Blessed by God, we have so much to celebrate.

Deuteronomy 15:1-16:20; Luke 13:31-14:14; Psalm 44:1-12 The people of God had been blessed by God. They had much to celebrate. The Lord had brought them out of the land of bondage. He was about to bring them into the land of promise. As we celebrate the love of God, we give the place of highest honour to …

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Human language and divine revelation

Berkouwer's concept of the depth-aspect of salvation may be viewed as a serious attempt to understand the complex problem of the relation of human language to divine revelation. It need not be dismissed as a denial of what Scripture says. It may be regarded as an interpretation of what Scripture says, an attempt to understand …

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Awesome judgment and eternal salvation

2 Kings 8:16-9:37; Acts 23:12-35; Psalm 80:1-7 The Word of God speaks of judgment. The judgment upon Jezebel was an awesome judgment (2 Kings 9:36-37). God's Word also speaks of salvation. This is not simply the safety spoken of in Acts 23:24. It's the eternal salvation, which is suggested to us in the Psalmist's prayer: "Restore us, …

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The greatest inheritance we can leave to the rising generations

One Year Bible: Days 152-181 Day 152 2 Samuel 1:1-2:7; John 20:10-31; Proverbs 13:20-14:4 David was “anointed … king over the house of Judah” (2 Samuel 2:4). Jesus was given a higher honour: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). The greatest inheritance …

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Religion is not salvation.

Amos 5:1-27; Romans 4:1-15; Psalm 86:1-10 Religion is not salvation. “Sacrifices and offerings” (Amos 5:25), circumcision (Romans 4:9-12) – All of this can be “works” which are given to God as a means of earning His favour. The Gospel shows us another way – “righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6). This is the way of which …

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God longs for men and women to be saved.

Hosea 11:12-14:9; Romans 9:1-21; Psalm 89:9-13 God longs for men and women to be saved (Hosea 14:1-2; Romans 9:1-5). He has “great sorrow and unceasing anguish in His heart” as He considers the sins, the waywardness of man (Romans 9:2; Hosea 14:2,4). When He saves, His people “sing for joy at His Name”, singing, “Your arm is …

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The Lord calls us back from our backsliding.

Jeremiah 2:31-4:9; Philippians 2:12-30; Psalm 115:12-18 The Lord calls us back from our backsliding: “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22). The returning people say, “Yes, we will come to You, for You are the Lord our God… surely in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel” (Jeremiah 3:22-23). As …

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True faith is always faith in Christ, and never ‘faith’ in anything we can ever offer to God.

Genesis 4:1-5 The name of Abel appears among 'the heroes of the faith' (Hebrews 11:14). The story of Abel is a story of grace, faith and obedience. Abel's sacrifice was a blood sacrifice while Cain's was a fruit sacrifice (3-4). The blood sacrifice points forward - via the Old Testament sacrificial system - to the …

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Beyond The ‘Pain’ Of ‘Discipline’, There Is ‘The Peaceful Fruit Of Righteousness.’

2 Samuel 7:1-29 David was king. God was looking ahead to the next king, Solomon. Knowing the kind of man Solomon would become, God speaks of chastening: ‘When he does wrong, I will chasten him’. This chastening is an expression of God’s ‘steadfast love’: ‘Those whom I love, I rebuke and chasten’. How do we …

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Where, Lord, will we find peace – when our emotions are tearing us apart?

Where, Lord, will we find peace – when our emotions are tearing us apart? We feel like we’re being pulled this way and that way. Sometimes, we feel like we’re all over the place. We don’t know whether we’re coming or going. Lord, give us Your peace. Give us Your Son, Jesus. He is our …

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Stop rebelling against God and start returning to Him.

Samaria and Jerusalem behaved like prostitutes. In graphic language, the sin of turning from the Lord is compared to sexual immorality. Why does God expose their sin with such plainness of speech? He wants to show them the full extent of their rebellion, so that they may see the folly of continuing in sin and …

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The true and living God

Jeremiah 1:1-2:30; Philippians 1:27-2:11; Psalm 115:1-11 The true and living God must not be reduced to the level of man-made gods. The challenge goes out from God’s Word: “Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?” (Jeremiah 2:28). There is no comparison between God and the gods – “Our God is in heaven… But …

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Speaking The Word Of Truth, Walking In The Way Of Truth

Numbers 22:1-24:25 The story of Balaam concerns the challenge of speaking God’s Word in truth. God is the God of truth (Numbers 23:19). His messengers must speak the Word of truth.. Before we can speak God’s Word in truth, there needs to be a confession of sin, an acknowledgment of how far we have deviated …

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I will sing to the Lord all my life.

Micah 1:1-4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1-18; Psalm 104:31-35 “All the nations may walk in the names of their gods; we will walk in the Name of the Lord our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5). This is the kind of commitment the Lord is looking for. We commit ourselves to Him not for our benefit but for …

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Jesus’ love for us – that’s what sent him to the cross and kept him on the cross.

Genesis 9:8-17 We look at the rainbow. We see the love of God. We look beyond the rainbow. We look to the cross. There - we see the supreme demonstration of the love of God. We see Jesus - suffering for us. His suffering is the suffering of love. It wasn't the nails that kept …

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Teach us, Lord, to obey Your Word. Lead us on the pathway of blessing.

‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel: The end!’ (Ezekiel 7:2). Why, Lord, did You say, ‘This is “the end? ”’You had been taking a good look at what was going on among His people: ‘the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive …

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Our Sins Are Great. The Love Of God Is Even Greater.

Nehemiah 8:1-9:5 What happens when God’s people ‘gather together’(8:1)? - (a) We hear the Word of the Lord (8:2-3,8). We come to the Lord’s House, seeking a fresh understanding of His Word. We look to the Lord, speaking through His Word, to fill us ‘with great joy’(8:12). (b) We thank God for His Son, our …

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Lord, You’re calling us to worship You with the dedication of our lives and not only the words of our lips.

Jeremiah 19:1-20:6 ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stubborn and would not listen to My Word’ (Jeremiah 19:15). Lord, You're warning Your people. You're calling us back from the way of sin and disobedience. You're calling us to …

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How well we live is more important than how long we live.

Genesis 5:1-17 From the story of Cain - taking God for granted (the opposite of grace), approaching God proudly (the opposite of faith), rebelling against God (the opposite of obedience) - , we come to a list of names and numbers. In this first part of the chapter, there is nothing of any note. Perhaps, …

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God is greater than His servants.

David’s work was intended by God to bring blessing to the people. He was “raised up” by God (2 Samuel 23:1). “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through him" (2 Samuel 23:2). David’s influence on the people was not always a good influence. He “sinned” against the Lord, bringing judgment upon the nation (2 Samuel 24:10,15). Sin and judgment are not, however, the last word concerning God’s dealings with His people. “So the Lord heard the prayers for the country, and the plague in Israel stopped” (2 Samuel 24:25). The Lord’s servants are not perfect. There is sin in us. This affects our usefulness in God’s service. God is greater than His servants. His grace reaches out to men and women through His very inadequate servants. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” Why? - “To show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

What, Lord, are we to do when things seem to be going from bad to worse?

“My guilt  has overwhelmed me. Like a heavy load, it is more than I can bear” (Psalm 38:4). What, Lord, are we to do when things seem to be going from bad to worse? What are we to do when everything seems to be falling apart? When, Lord, we are “completely devastated” and our “heart is …

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I will praise God’s Name in song and glorify Him in thanksgiving.

2 Samuel 5:6-6:23; Acts 1:23-2:21; Psalms 69:29-36 The world cannot understand the working of the Holy Spirit – “when Michal, daughter of Saul, saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart” (2 Samuel 6:16). She didn’t understand what David was doing – “I will celebrate before the Lord” …

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Lord, You show us how much we need to be saved so that we might learn to be truly thankful to You for the Good News of Your love, the Gospel of our salvation.

Prayers based on Ezekiel 25 -26 Ezekiel 25:1-17 Lord, we read about Your judgment upon sinful nations - Ammon (Ezekiel 25:1-7), Moab (Ezekiel 25:8-11), Edom (Ezekiel 25:12-14) and Philistia (Ezekiel 25:15-17). You speak to us. You say to us, ‘You will know that I am the Lord’ (Ezekiel 25:5,7,11,17). You speak to us as our …

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Some Theological Connections between G. C. Berkouwer and Herman N. Ridderbos

The idea of witness in connection with the New Testament witness to Christ.Drawing upon the work of Herman N. Ridderbos, Berkouwer writes, “it is the product of a perception that was not infinite. It is subject to human limitations, its record does not exceed the limits of human memory” (Holy Scripture, p. 162, n. 75).He …

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Words of peace, joy and victory – from Jesus, our Saviour

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) What great words these are - words from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. They are words of peace, joy and victory. The peace is His. …

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Help us, Lord, to build our life on Christ, ‘the solid Rock.’

We thank You, Lord, that Your Son,  Jesus Christ, is ‘the precious Cornerstone’. He is ‘the sure Foundation’ (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus is the Name of our salvation – ‘Salvation is found in no-one else… there is no other name… by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:10-12). There is only one ‘Foundation’ for our faith – …

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By the grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us live as children of light.

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).  Does it feel like we're partly in the light, and we're partly in the darkness? Is this what God's word says about us? No. It's not. What does God's Word say? "You were once darkness, but now …

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Our lives lie in ruins until Christ puts us together again.

Nehemiah 11:1-12:30  -  Like the walls of Jerusalem, our lives lie in ruins until Christ puts us together again. In Christ, our lives have been rebuilt. Now, we can ‘celebrate’. We can worship the Lord ‘with gladness’ (12:27). We are to build our lives upon Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). This will not be easy. Our …

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God has been there for us in the past – and He will be there for us in the future.

"You (Joseph's brothers) intended to harm me (Joseph), but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives ... And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, ‘God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.’" …

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May there come a time when we will be able to look back at our most distressing circumstances and say from the heart, ‘God meant it for good.’

Jeremiah 49:1-22 ‘Afterwards I will restore the fortunes...’ (Jeremiah 49:6). Sometimes, Lord, when we’re going through a particularly difficult time, we wonder, ‘Will this ever end?’ You, Lord, speak to us Your Word of encouragement. There will be an ‘afterwards.’There will be a ‘restoration of our fortunes.’’The Lord will not cast us off for ever. …

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