Acts 6:8-8:40

Acts 6:8-8:3  -  In life and death, Stephen was Christlike. In life and death, he made a great impact. In life, we see him, ‘full of grace and power’, doing ‘great wonders and signs among the people’. People noticed that ‘his face was like the face of an angel’. Even his enemies took notice of …

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Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday): Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66

Isaiah 50:4-7: Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66 Listening to God and speaking for Him ‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ …

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Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:20-22). Here, we focus on the word, "hope." What do the politicians and economists have to …

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“He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

Proverbs 3:19-35 ‘You will walk on your way securely... for the Lord will be your confidence’ (Proverbs 3:23,26). Trusting in the Lord, we are to say, ‘He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10). Our faith is under threat. There is the danger …

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Called on – from heaven, called on – to heaven

"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Philippians 3:20-21) We've only just begun! What we know of the Lord's love, while we're here …

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Help us, Lord, to become the kind of people that You want us to be.

We read about Solomon – he built “his own house”, and he built “the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:37-7:1). Which was the most important to him? Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You? Help us, Lord, not to be “lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure”. …

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Acts 1-3

ACTS 1:1-26  -  We read, in John 7:39, that ‘the Spirit’ would not be ‘given’ until Jesus was ‘glorified’. Now, as Jesus was about to be ‘taken up... into heaven’, He tells His apostles, ‘the Holy Spirit’ will ‘come upon you’ (11,8). He gives them His Word of promise: ‘I send the promise of my …

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Some Thoughts for Harvest (2)

Harvest Festival: Deuteronomy 8:1-10; Psalm 67; Acts 14:13-17; John 6:24-35 God gave Israel the land. He gives us the Kingdom. It’s a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed.The ‘wilderness’ was a place of ‘testing’. God was ‘disciplining’ His people. He was teaching them to ‘walk in His ways’ (Deuteronomy 8:2, 5-6). In the ‘wilderness’, we …

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The Lord gives us the strength that we need.

Praying Through God's Word

“The Lord said to me, ‘ … I have begun to deliver ,.. Now begin to conquer and possess …'” (Deuteronomy 2:31).

In our walk with the Lord, there is both grace and faith – his grace, our faith. His grace comes first. His grace is reaching out to us – calling for our response. His grace is always greater than our faith. Often, we are deeply aware of our own weakness. The Lord comes to us in our weakness. He says to us, “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). As we receive this word from the Lord, he gives us the strength that we need to walk, more closely, with him in the way of faith.

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Overview Of The Old Testament: Leviticus

Leviticus 1-7 Jesus Christ, ‘the Lamb without blemish’, has ‘made atonement’ for sin through the shedding of His ‘precious blood’ (1:3-5; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Christ is the real thing. Israel’s sacrifices are only ‘copies of the heavenly things’, ‘a shadow of the good things to come’ (Hebrews 9:23-24; 10:1,5-10). Christ’s sacrifice covers every sin. No …

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Fourth Sunday of Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

Don't settle for second best... ‘Samuel did what the Lord commanded’ (1 Samuel 16:4). Real obedience comes from ‘the heart’. It is more than just ‘keeping up appearances’(1 Samuel 16:7). ‘The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart’ – This is something we must never forget!’. ‘It’s the presence of Your Spirit, …

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Special Days – Michaelmas: 2 Kings 6:8-17; Psalm 103:19-22; Revelation 12:7-12a; Matthew 18:1-6, 10

Our love for God is grounded in His love for us. Elisha was ‘the man of God’ (2 Kings 6:6, 9, 15). This was the important thing about him. More than anything else, he was ‘the man of God’. We find the same phrase in 1 Timothy 6:11 - ‘But as for you, man of …

Continue reading Special Days – Michaelmas: 2 Kings 6:8-17; Psalm 103:19-22; Revelation 12:7-12a; Matthew 18:1-6, 10

Prayer and the ministry of God’s Word

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 or Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Psalm 25:1-9; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 Prayer and the ministry of God’s Word Worldly people create problems (Exodus 17:3). Moses asks, ‘What shall I do...?’ (Exodus 17:4). Indecision asks, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ (Exodus 17:7). He gives victory (Exodus …

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What matters most to you – the things of this world or the new life in Christ?

"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word." (Psalm 119:37) What matters most to you - the things of this world or the new life in Christ? In our hearts, we know that there is really no contest, but, sadly, we, very often, take our eyes off Jesus, and …

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What a difference there was between Jesus’ teaching and those who ‘preach, but do not practise.’

Matthew 5:17-20 In verse 20, Jesus refers to 'the scribes and Pharisees'. Jesus warned against the shallow superficiality of these men who were more concerned with outward appearances than inner reality. This conflict with the Jewish religious leaders lies close to the surface in the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus says, 'This is their …

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c or Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

The work of God makes progress when God’s people move forward together. Salvation, service, personal faith, life among God’s people - God has much to teach us. Moses sins (Exodus 2:12). God graciously forgives (Micah 7:18-19) - this is salvation. His sin forgiven, Moses is called to service. He is called by the eternal God, …

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Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Redeemed by the Lord, we are to be consecrated to Him. Things were difficult for Israel yet ‘the more they were oppressed the more they multiplied’ (Exodus 1:12). Difficult times can be the making of God’s people! Pharaoh (and Satan!) is murderously anxious about the growth of God's people (Exodus 1:15-16; John 10:10). God is …

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Bless us, Lord, and make us a blessing to others.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:1-2). Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. …

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Leviticus

LEVITICUS 1:1-2:16 –  Jesus Christ, ‘the Lamb without blemish’, has ‘made atonement’ for sin through the shedding of His ‘precious blood’ (1:3-5; 1 Peter 1:18-19). This offering of Christ – He ‘loved us and gave Himself up for us’ – is ‘a pleasing odour to the Lord’, ‘a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God’ (1:9,13,17; …

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O for a closer walk with God

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:10-11). In these verses, we read about who God is, and we read about what he does for his people. (1) God is the "King." He is not just one king among many other …

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We are close to God’s heart, and we called to be his faithful people.

Psalm 148 begins and ends with the words, "Praise the Lord." This is the message that comes to us from every part of this Psalm: "Praise the Lord from the heavens... " (verses 1-6), "Praise the Lord from the earth... " (verses 7-14). In the final verse of the Psalm, we read about "the praise …

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We are not to keep the good news of Christ’s love to ourselves.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us, so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2). We have been blessed by the Lord. Let us share his blessing with others. As we go into the house of the Lord, we …

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The Word of God is like a fire.

Jeremiah 4:10-5:31; Philippians 3:1-4:1; Psalm 116:1-11 The Word of God is like a fire, burning up the sin of man (Jeremiah 5:14). The purpose of this fire is not, however, destructive. God’s purpose is to burn up the pride which “puts confidence in the flesh”, to burn away the “legalistic righteousness.” All of that is …

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