Coming out of a dark place, coming into the spacious place of God’s love

"When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place" (Psalm 118:5). What does this mean: a spacious place? When everything seems to be closing in on us, when it seems like we have nowhere to turn, the Lord draws near to us. He assures us that he is with us. When …

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When, Lord, we pray for Your blessing, help us not to think only of ourselves.

“I am like a green olive tree in the House of God” (Psalm 52:9). Here, Lord, we have a picture of growth and fruitfulness. In Your House, we can grow spiritually. In Your House, we can become spiritually fruitful. When, Lord, we pray for Your blessing, help us not to think only of ourselves. Help …

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Jesus, the risen Lord, calls us to look up from our suffering and catch a glimpse of his glory.

"Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). When we're suffering, it's not easy to lift up our eyes and catch a glimpse of the glory of God. Our thoughts are taken up with the things that are happening to us right now. What is …

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Listening to what the Lord has to say to us will mean being ready to revise our own ideas.

Jeremiah’s ministry was a call from God to the people - a call to “listen to the Word of the Lord” (Jeremiah 44:24). Listening to what the Lord has to say to us will mean being ready to revise our own ideas. Our thoughts, without the guiding Word from the Lord, will be very different …

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The laughter of unbelief and the laughter of faith

Genesis 21:1-34 There are two very different kinds of laughter in the story of Sarah. There is the laughing in Genesis 18:13-15. This is the laughter of unbelief, laughing at the Lord, with the proud attitude that God's Word cannot be taken seriously. There is the laughter of faith, the laughter which rejoices in the …

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How are God’s people to remain true to Him?

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20 The contrast between God's people and those who worship false gods is so strong. It would be easy for God's people to feel superior. God's Word gives us no encouragement to have a superiority complex (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). How are God's people to remain true to Him when there are so many pressures to …

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Berkouwer and Barth on Universalism

More about Berkouwer, see The Theology Of G C Berkouwer ----- Barth has tried to affirm universal election without moving from there to universal salvation. There have been different reactions to his theology.   (a) Some have written positively about this approach - affirming universal election without embracing universal salvation. (b) Others have moved on from …

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From strength to strength, from faith to faith, from glory to glory

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are led from strength to strengh, from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. (1) From strength to strength The phrase, "from strength to strength" is taken from the hymn, "Soldiers of …

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If there is to be delight in God’s Word, we must overcome doubt.

If there is to be delight in God's Word, we must overcome doubt. Satan is always saying, "Did God really say ...?" (Genesis 3:1). We must learn to say, "God did say" (Genesis 3:3). We must stand by this confession of faith in God and His Word. Satan will not give in easily. He will …

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Jesus Christ is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Numbers 19:1-22 When we read about being made clean, we must look beyond what we read in the Old Testament. From the sprinkling of the blood of "a red cow that is perfect, with no defects", we must look on to the New Testament, where we read of "the blood of Jesus Christ which cleanses …

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Lord, may our lives be an echo of the words of Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me… ” (Luke 4:18-19).

Lord, may our lives be an echo of the words of Jesus: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me ... " (Luke 4:18-19). We look at what we are, and we ask, "How can we become more like Jesus?" It begins with the death of Jesus - "while we were still sinners, Christ …

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We thank You, Lord, that Your love is the greatest love of all.

"Love is as strong as death... It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it" (Song of Solomon 7:6-7). We thank You, Lord, that Your love is the greatest love of all: "Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus …

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