Matthew 5-7

In "the Sermon on the Mount", we learn, from Jesus, that the way to happiness is the way of holiness. Holiness is to be seen. Happiness is to be shared. Holiness must take shape in our lives - the shape of Jesus Christ, living in us. The truly happy life is the Christ-centred life. It's …

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Numbers 7

Numbers 7:1-47  -  Why do we bring our offerings to the Lord? - ‘that they may be used in doing the service of the tent of meeting’ (5). We give ourselves to the Lord - ‘Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all’ - and we ask Him to put …

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We are to “pay more attention to calm words from wise people.”

We are to “pay more attention to calm words from wise people” (Ecclesiastes 9:17). This combination of calmness and wisdom is highlighted also in James - “the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. Then it is peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good deeds, impartial and sincere.” This description of …

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God says, “I am with you. I will save you.”

Jeremiah 14:1-15:21; Colossians 3:1-4:1; Proverbs 24:15-22 Our spiritual warfare is both outward and inward. We have enemies coming at us from without and from within. Concerning the enemies from without, God says, “This people will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you… I will …

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Sin, salvation and service

Jeremiah 7:30-9:16; Colossians 1:1-23; Psalm 116:12-19 There is a great contrast between sin - “Do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver... and no-one speaks the truth” (Jeremiah 9:4-5) - and salvation - “the holy and faithful brothers in Christ... the Word of truth, the Gospel... has come to you” (Colossians 1:2,5-6). …

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A Critique of J D Bettis, "Is Karl Barth a Universalist?"

More about Berkouwer, see The Theology Of G C Berkouwer The question of universalism in Barth’s theology has been raised directly by J D Bettis in his article, “Is Karl Barth a Universalist?” (Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 20, No. 4, December 1967, pp. 423-436).This article requires to be carefully discussed not only for its significance as …

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Faith – Conflict and Victory

Jeremiah 11:18-13:27; Colossians 2:6-23; Psalm 118:1-16 The life of faith is a life of conflict. We live among “the faithless” – God is “always on their lips, but far from their hearts” (Jeremiah 12:12). We are called to maintain the faith in the face of “hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and …

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Colossians

COLOSSIANS 1:1-2:7  -  ‘In everything’ Christ is ‘pre-eminent’ (18). In Him, there is salvation - ‘redemption, the forgiveness of sins’ (14) - , sanctification - ‘mature in Christ’ (28) - and service - making Him known (27). Everything is in Christ. In Him are ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (2:3) - all that …

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Meditating On God’s Word: New Testament

MATTHEW When the tempter comes, we must stand on God’s Word: ‘every Word that comes from...God’ (Matthew 4: 4). ________________________________ From religion to revival Standing upon divine revelation – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4), Jesus received God-given strength for challenging the …

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The light of God: this is what makes the difference.

"God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). The light of God: this is what makes the difference. When we feel like we're in a dark hole, the light …

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When we fall away from the Lord

"Meaningless! Meaningless!     says the Teacher. Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 12:8). "Now all has been heard;    here is the conclusion of the matter:Fear God and keep his commandments,    for this is the duty of all mankind" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). How do we get from "meaningless" to "fear God"? Do we say to ourselves, "Pull yourself together. This is getting out …

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God speaks to us – and he’s waiting for our reply.

Ezekiel 32:1-33:20; James 1:1-27; Psalm 127:1-5 God’s Word must be spoken as a Word which calls for response. The prophet is to “warn the wicked man to turn from his ways” (Ezekiel 33:9). He is to declare that “the Sovereign Lord ... takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they …

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Preach God’s Word – and pray that men and women will be brought back to the Lord.

Ezekiel 40:1-49; James 5:1-20; Psalm 130:1-8 The prophecy spoken by Ezekiel has its ultimate Source in God Himself - “the hand of the Lord was upon me” (Ezekiel 40:1). He goes on to describe “visions of God” (Ezekiel 40:2). To speak the Word of God faithfully requires patience. There is not always evidence of great …

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Knowing Jesus and preaching him: it’s all about loving him.

"I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). Here, Paul speaks to us about knowing Christ crucified and preaching Christ crucified, Before we can preach him, we must know him. God speaks to us before we speak for him. What …

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God wants to bless us. How much do we want to be blessed by Him?

Ezekiel 33:21-35:15; James 2:1-26; Psalm 128:1-6 The Word of God speaks clearly about sin and judgment - “See, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep” (Ezekiel 34:20), “judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful” (James 2:13). God’s Word also gives to us great promises. …

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The ancient paths, the good way, and rest for your souls

"This is what the Lord says: 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.' But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'” (Jeremiah 6:16). We want to move forward into the future. What are we getting …

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The deep things of God – and the deep love of Christ

"'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived' — the things God has prepared for those who love him — these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  "I …

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We are sinners. We’re called to be servants. Jesus is our Saviour.

"I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). We read the words of Paul - and we look beyond him to …

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The apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, and Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord

"Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no …

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So much – but not everything?

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead …

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Faithfulness and relevance: speaking to believers – and unbelievers

"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people" (Jude 3). Jude writes about "the salvation we share" and "the faith that was once for …

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Called to believe in God’s Word – and called to trust in Christ as Saviour and follow Christ …

The purpose for which God has given us Scripture G C Berkouwer points out that “Scripture itself in a very explicit way speaks about its intention” (Holy Scripture, p. 125, where he cites John 20:31, Romans 15:4, Romans 4:23-24, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 2 Timothy 3:16 and 1 Timothy 1:18-19). He emphasizes that his approach is …

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In Christ, We Are Being Led On To ‘A Better Country… A Heavenly One.’

Genesis 47:27-48:22 No more fear (46:3). No more pride (47:9). Now, no more doubt - God will bless (15-16, 19-21). Let it be confidence(Philippians 1:6), humility(John 15:5) and faith(Hebrews 11:1; Philippians 3:14). Man's way is set aside - ‘his younger brother shall be greater than he’(19). We are ‘saved by grace’(Ephesians 2:8). There is one …

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The Way Of Blessing Is The Way Of Obedience.

Psalm 119:1-24 The way of blessing is the way of obedience (1,9,11,17). Many will choose the way of disobedience - ‘influential people sit together and slander me’. We must choose the way of obedience - ‘Your servant will meditate on Your teachings’(23). Following Jesus Christ will not be easy. We see many people turning back …

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Jesus brings His light into our darkness.

For more of these Daily Devotional Readings, visit God's Word For Every Day. Matthew 4:12-17 Having overcome His enemy, Jesus begins His ministry. Satan will be back - Luke ends his account of Jesus' temptations with these ominous words, 'When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left until an opportune time' (4:12). Satan …

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One Year Bible: Days 334-361

Day 334 Daniel 7:1-8:14; 1 John 2:12-27; Psalm 136:13-26 Daniel 7:13-14 looks forward, prophetically, to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the future towards which history is moving, the future towards which God is working, the future of the Kingdom of God. This world is passing away, "but the man who …

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The ‘depth-aspect’ of salvation

Maintaining that Berkouwer has continually failed to expound the full teaching of Scripture concerning the ‘before’ element of divine election,  A L Baker insists that “Berkouwer cannot communicate what the Bible means by ‘election’ if he neglects such a determinative concept” (G C Bekouwer's Doctrine of Election: Balance or Imbalance?, pp. 102-103). Referring to the …

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Berkouwer on “‘Luther and Calvin’ on ‘Paul and James’”

The views of Luther and Calvin regarding the relationship between Paul and James - this is not merely a matter of historical curiosity. Rather, it points towards a way of overcoming the evangelism - social concern polarization. Both Luther and Calvin were committed to the principles of “grace alone”, “faith alone”, “Christ alone” and “Scripture …

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Stability, service, salvation, sanctification, singing, strength (Psalms 1-9)

PSALMS 1:1-6  -  As well as journeying through the Old and New Testaments, we will read a Psalm at fairly regular intervals. The first Psalm contrasts two ways - the way of the Word and the way of the world, the way of blessing and the way of judgment. Encouraging us to build upon the …

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