Revised Common Lectionary – Year B: First Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Revised Common Lectionary Year B - First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer. We confess our sins to God - ‘We sinned... All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy …

Continue reading Revised Common Lectionary – Year B: First Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

He who calls you is faithful.

Daily Devotional Readings

“He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Here, Paul is thinking about the fullness of God’s salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:23). This is the big picture. As I was reading these words about God’s faithfulness, I started thinking about the smaller picture: my own call to serve the Lord. There was a real sense of the call of God, but it wasn’t there all the time. As I moved beyond the original sense of God’s call, there were times when I wondered, “Is this really a call from God?” In times like these, I was taught to look beyond my own changeable feelings. I was reminded of God’s faithfulness: “He who calls you is faithful.”

We may think about this, and ask, “Why has God called me? What’s so special about me?” The more I thought about these questions, the more the Word of…

View original post 386 more words

God is calling us to be faithful in the ministry of His Word.

Jeremiah 49:7-50:10; 2 Timothy 2:1-26; Proverbs 25:21-26:2 Jeremiah speaks of a time of judgment upon Babylon (Jeremiah 50:1-3) and a time of blessing upon the people of Israel (Jeremiah 50:4-5). If the blessing, and not the judgment, is to come in our own day, we must be faithful in the ministry of God’s Word (2 …

Continue reading God is calling us to be faithful in the ministry of His Word.

Marx’s Call for a World-Changing Philosophy: Herbert Marcuse, Liberation and Jesus Christ

Marcuse emphasizes that liberation is grounded in the truth. He sees, in Marx’s thought, an “absolutism of truth (which) … once for all separates dialectical theory from the subsequent forms of positivism and relativism” (Reason and Revolution (RR), p. 322, emphasis mine). Marcuse describes this absolutism of truth thus: “According to Marx, the correct theory …

Continue reading Marx’s Call for a World-Changing Philosophy: Herbert Marcuse, Liberation and Jesus Christ

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord… your labour in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Jeremiah 48:1-49:6; 2 Timothy 1:1-18; Psalm 119:81-88 “A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!” (Jeremiah 48:10). We should not be lax in doing the Lord’s work, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Through …

Continue reading Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord… your labour in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

When we really begin to see things from Jesus’ point of view, we will follow Him.

"Jesus was going to Jerusalem"  - to be "betrayed", "condemned to death" and to "come back to life" (Mark 10:32-34). Hallelujah! What a Saviour! "Teacher, we want you to do us a favour" (Mark 10:35) - This sounds so self-centred. What does Jesus say about this? - "Whoever wants to be great among you will …

Continue reading When we really begin to see things from Jesus’ point of view, we will follow Him.

Herbert Marcuse and Marx’s Call for a World-Changing Philosophy

The difference between Marcuse’s perspective and that of traditional Marxism is that the former is less one-sided in its analysis of the development and future possibilities of Marxism. * A Marxism, which is acutely aware of capitalism’s defects while remaining rather oblivious to the inadequacies of communism, requires to take seriously Marcuse’s criticisms of both …

Continue reading Herbert Marcuse and Marx’s Call for a World-Changing Philosophy

Worship – This must always lie at the heart of the life of God’s people.

Ezra Following the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, after their captivity in Babylon and prior to the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple, there was the resumption of worship at the Temple site (Ezra 3:1-6). Worship - This must always lie at the heart of the life of God’s people. Once the foundation …

Continue reading Worship – This must always lie at the heart of the life of God’s people.

Some Interpretations of the Theology of Soren Kierkegaard

* T. F. Torrance writes of Kierkegaard as “the avowed enemy of all objectivism … rationalization of truth into a system of ideas” while insisting that “his emphasis on subjectivity was never intended to mean the abrogation of objectivity” (Theological Science, (London, 1969), p. 5). He continues, “That ‘truth is subjectivity’ (Kierkegaard) does not mean …

Continue reading Some Interpretations of the Theology of Soren Kierkegaard

Before we can hear the Lord speaking to us, we must stop speaking against Him.

"We have spoken against the Lord" (Numbers 21:7). Before we can hear the Lord speaking to us, we must stop speaking against Him. How can we hear what the Lord is saying to us if we keep on speaking against Him? If we are to speak for God, we must begin with listening to Him. …

Continue reading Before we can hear the Lord speaking to us, we must stop speaking against Him.

“Is there any word from the Lord?” (Jeremiah 37:17).

There are different ways of asking questions. "Is there any word from the Lord?" This is a question which invites Jeremiah to speak the Word of the Lord. In Genesis 3:1, we have a very different way of asking questions - "the serpent ... said to the woman, Did God really say ... ?" The "ancient serpent …

Continue reading “Is there any word from the Lord?” (Jeremiah 37:17).

Christian Faith in Dialogue with Herbert Marcuse

Marcuse observes the tension between the notion of liberation and its possibilities of historical realization. He maintains that “On theoretical as well as empirical grounds, the dialectical concept pronounces its own hopelessness” (One-Dimensional Man (ODM), p. 253). Marcuse draws this conclusion on the basis that “The human reality is its history and, in it, contradictions …

Continue reading Christian Faith in Dialogue with Herbert Marcuse

Marx’s Call for a World-Changing Philosophy: Herbert Marcuse’s Interpretation of Marxism

Interpreting Marx’s intention, Marcuse maintains that “far more was involved than the liberation and rational utilisation of the productive forces, namely, the liberation of man himself” (Reason and Revolution (RR), p. 435, emphasis mine). Marcuse notes that “Marx’s conception of the ‘free’ proletariat as the absolute negation of the established social order belonged to the …

Continue reading Marx’s Call for a World-Changing Philosophy: Herbert Marcuse’s Interpretation of Marxism

Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Jeremiah 31:15-32:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Proverbs 25:1-10 Jeremiah 32:17 tells us that nothing is too hard for the “Sovereign Lord”, the Creator of “the heavens and the earth.” He is able to deliver us “from wicked and evil men”, to “strengthen and protect us from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:2-3). We are enabled to …

Continue reading Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

God’s unfailing love

"May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise" (Psalm 119:41). Our salvation comes from the love of God for us, not our love for him. Time and time again, we fail in our love for God. He never fails in his love for us. His love for us is "unfailing love."

An unchanging Gospel for an ever-changing world

To restrict one’s comments on our constantly changing world to social and economic factors would be to speak as if one was a politician. It’s often said that “everything is politics.” We also need to say that “politics isn’t everything.” Even in the Church, there seems to be a reticence of speaking about the Good News …

Continue reading An unchanging Gospel for an ever-changing world

The Word and the words (13): God’s salvation covers our past, our present and our future.

"I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing" (Psalm 23:1). I lack nothing - God has given us a full salvation. It's a salvation that covers our past, our present and our future. -- We begin by emphasizing that God's salvation covers our past. "He makes me lie …

Continue reading The Word and the words (13): God’s salvation covers our past, our present and our future.

Declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

Ezekiel 43:1-44:31; 1 Peter 2:4-24; Psalm 132:1-18 In Ezekiel, the priests are described in great detail. In 1 Peter 2:5, the Lord’s people are described as “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This description continues in 1 Peter 2:9 – “a royal priesthood … a people belonging to God. To His people, …

Continue reading Declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

Walking in wisdom, enjoying salvation

Ezekiel 45:1-46:24; 1 Peter 3:1-22; Proverbs 28:18-28 In Ezekiel, we read of many sacrifices being offered to God. In the New Testament, it is emphasized that one Sacrifice is sufficient – “For Christ died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). We are called …

Continue reading Walking in wisdom, enjoying salvation

Our faith must be grounded in the Son of God and the Word of God.

Matthew 7:15-29 Whenever we are seeking to follow Christ, there will be dangers - false prophets (15-20), empty profession (21-23). Clearly, our faith must be grounded in the Son of God and the Word of God. This is the point of Jesus' parable of the two builders and the two houses (24-27). We must build …

Continue reading Our faith must be grounded in the Son of God and the Word of God.

You, O Lord, reign for ever … Help us to remember this when we feel like You have forgotten us.

‘You, O Lord, reign for ever; Your throne endures from generation to generation’. Help us to remember this when we feel like You have ‘forgotten’ us. When we feel like You have ‘abandoned’ us, may we remember this: ‘You, O Lord, are King for ever, and will rule to the end of time’ (Lamentations 5:19-20). …

Continue reading You, O Lord, reign for ever … Help us to remember this when we feel like You have forgotten us.

Thank You, Lord … for victory over death … beginning here-and-now.

"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57). Towards the end of the great resurrection chapter, this verse proclaims Christ's victory over death - "Death is swallowed up in victory" (verse 54). We are to serve the Lord wholeheartedly, We are to serve Him with the firm conviction that "our …

Continue reading Thank You, Lord … for victory over death … beginning here-and-now.

Some Thoughts On Mission And Evangelism

Teaching EvangelismIn the preface to his book, The Evangelism of the Early Church, Michael Green states a personal reason for writing the book:“Most evangelists are not very interested in theology: most theologians are not very interested in evangelism. I am deeply committed to both. So the study of this subject was particularly congenial to me” …

Continue reading Some Thoughts On Mission And Evangelism

When our love for the Lord gets very weak

"Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians" (Exodus 14:30). What a mighty deliverance! They had come out of Egypt. Now, they were crossing the Red Sea. We think of what God did for his people, Israel - and we give thanks to him. We think of what he has done for …

Continue reading When our love for the Lord gets very weak

Declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

Ezekiel 43:1-44:31; 1 Peter 2:4-24; Psalm 132:1-18 In Ezekiel, the priests are described in great detail. In 1 Peter 2:5, the Lord’s people are described as “a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This description continues in 1 Peter 2:9 - “a royal priesthood ... a people belonging to God. …

Continue reading Declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

Praising the Lord and being blessed by Him

Daniel 1:1-2:23; 1 Peter 5:1-14; Psalm 134:1-3 Daniel’s praise, offered to God, in Daniel 2:20-23, highlights for us the direction from which blessing comes. It comes from above. What we do not have is given to us by God – “He gives” (Daniel 2:21), “You have given me” (Daniel 2:23). Daniel’s praise is echoed in Peter’s …

Continue reading Praising the Lord and being blessed by Him

Holiness and love – we need more of both …

Ezekiel 41:1-42:20; 1 Peter 1:1-2:3; Psalm 131:1-3 Ezekiel emphasizes that the Temple was to be built according to God’s pattern. Our lives are to be lived according to God’s pattern - “Be holy in all you do”, “Love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:15,22). The instructions for the building the Temple were …

Continue reading Holiness and love – we need more of both …

The Sufficiency and Reliability of Scripture

Holding that the Bible is all that God wants it to be in accordance with His precise purpose, Berkouwer insists that it is unnecessary to posit a perfection that extends beyond the confines of the specific purpose of Scripture. He speaks of the sufficiency of Scripture in terms of "sufficiency for the Christian life (Holy …

Continue reading The Sufficiency and Reliability of Scripture

Praying Through God’s Word: New Testament

Matthew 1:1-17 Lord, we’ve only just begun – to experience Your love and enjoy Your blessing. We’ve started out on the journey of faith – but we haven’t reached our destination. We’re still travelling. We dare not stand still. We must keep on going forward – with You and for You. Sometimes, we can forget …

Continue reading Praying Through God’s Word: New Testament

God gives us His strength. He calls us to use His strength in His service.

First, the Lord speaks to Haggai (Haggai 2:1). Then, Haggai speaks for God (Haggai 2:2). "The faithful few who returned from Babylon" (Haggai 2:2): Even if we are few, let us remain faithful. God calls us to "be strong" (Haggai 2:4). He says to us, "Work, because I am with you" (Haggai 2:4). He gives …

Continue reading God gives us His strength. He calls us to use His strength in His service.

None but Christ can satisfy … Hallelujah! I have found Him!

We look out beyond the life that we have found in Christ. The world's way of living is drawing us away from our Saviour. May God help us to keep our eyes on Jesus, know this, "None but Christ can satisfy", and have this testimony, "Hallelujah! I have found him!" Here are the two hymns …

Continue reading None but Christ can satisfy … Hallelujah! I have found Him!