Out Of This World!

"Out of this world!" - Sometimes,  we use this phrase to describe something we like a lot. We exaggerate. We make something out to be better than it really is. When we speak about Jesus, our Saviour, we really mean it - He's out of this world: "Who came down from heaven to earth? Jesus …

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Draw back the curtain.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). In these words, Paul is encouraging us to draw back the curtain and catch a glimpse of a bigger and better world than this world, which …

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Responding to God’s Word (43): One day when heaven was filled with his praises…

We preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23). What we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5). As I was reading these verses about Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, I found this song of praise, arising in my heart. May God help each of us to think, often, of Jesus, …

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Out of our old life, into Christ’s new life

1 Corinthians 10:1-33 -  ‘Participation in the blood of Christ… participation in the body of Christ’ (16): There is nothing more important than this. We are not to be spectators, standing on the side lines, watching what’s going on without ever getting involved. We are to be participants, getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ, growing …

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As far as the eye can see … and more than that!

"However, as it is written: “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" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). "For now we see through a glass, darkly; …

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Living in accordance with the Gospel is the all-important thing.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-12:14; 1 Corinthians 9:1-18; Psalm 96:1-13 “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). There are many matters which are secondary. Living in accordance with the Gospel is the all-important thing: “We put up with anything rather than hinder the Gospel of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:12). “For great is …

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Our great privilege and our great responsibility

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). These verses speak to us …

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God’s saving grace and keeping grace

"I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way, with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge, God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ …

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The Lord’s way is better than the world’s way.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12; 1 Corinthians 7:17-35; Proverbs 19:23-20:4 “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).This is the world’s way. The Lord’s way is a better way. We are to “use the things of the world” without being “engrossed in them” (1 Corinthians 7:31). What we must …

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Enough understanding to change our way of thinking and our way of living

"The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about" (Luke 18:34). The disciples didn't know what Jesus was talking about. Jesus did know what he was talking about. There are many things that we don't understand - this is when …

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The history of God’s salvation – Jesus is our Saviour and Lord.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). When we think about the history of God's salvation, we begin with God's everlasting love. We go back beyond the beginning of the world - back to the everlasting God and his everlasting love. "That it might be fulfilled" (Matthew 1:21). When we focus our …

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How do we grow strong in the Lord?

1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Proverbs 19:3-12 “The Lord gave David victory everywhere he went” (1 Chronicles 18:6,13). “He will keep you strong to the end ... “ (1 Corinthians 1:8). How do we grow strong in the Lord? How do we walk with Him in the way of victory? - We are strong in …

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It is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

1 Chronicles 26:20-27:34; 1 Corinthians 4:1-21; Proverbs 19:13-22 The people of Israel had to do battle against their enemies. We also must wage war for God. Paul describes the hardships involved in true discipleship (1 Corinthians 4:9-12). In all of this, our intention must be to do the will of the Lord – “Many are …

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Our hope is not in man. It is in the Lord.

1 Chronicles 19:1-22:1; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5; Psalm 91:1-8 David - “Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men” (1 Chronicles 20:13). Paul - “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God …

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No boasting in ourselves – only boasting in the Lord!

1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Psalm 93:1-5 Our “boasting is not good” (1 Corinthians 5:6). It is better for us to boast in the Lord - “Praise be to You, O Lord .... Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power ... Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious …

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Praise, Preaching and Prayer

1 Chronicles 22:2-23:32; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Psalm 91:9-16 The Temple was to be “built for the Name of the Lord”, “to praise the Lord” (1 Chronicles 22:19; 23:5). In the context of such worship - “thanking and praising the Lord” (1 Chronicles 23:30), the Word of God would be spoken “not in words taught by …

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The great message of the gospel – for the people of our generation

“We preach Christ crucified… I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified… For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 1:23; …

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Prayer, prophecy and praise

2 Chronicles 13:1-15:19; 1 Corinthians 14:1-40; Psalm 101:1-18 Prayer, prophecy and praise - these are three essential ingredients of worship. Prayer - “They sought God eagerly and He was found by them” (2 Chronicles 15:15). Prophecy - “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:39). Praise - “To You, O Lord, I will …

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How long will we be in this wilderness?

Sometimes, we feel like we're in a wilderness - and we can't get out of it! The first half of the book of Exodus tells of the deliverance of the people of Israel from their time of bondage in the land of Egypt. Things were looking up! Surely, there were better days ahead for them. …

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A remnant: The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

"For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this" (Isaiah 37:32). A remnant - When Isaiah was called by God to the prophetic  ministry, he was given a warning. He was told that only a small minority of his hearers would respond …

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Living As The Prophetic People Of God

'Living as the prophetic people of God': How should we approach this subject? We could embark on a lengthy discussion, centred on the question, "What is prophecy?" Here, I will suggest a general definition of prophecy, and then proceed to consider the principal connections between prophecy and the Christian life. We may begin with two …

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Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God

"When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Exodus 12:13). When we read these words, our thoughts move forward to several verses from the New Testament. In John 1:29, our attention is directed towards Jesus Christ, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." In 1 Corinthians 5:7, we learn …

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Jesus has risen from the dead: What does this mean for us today?

We preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23). People hear us speaking of Christ, they hear us speaking of his death for us, and they say, "All of this happened such a long time ago. What does it have to do with us, so many years after Christ lived and died?" When people put this question …

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Through the power of the Spirit, let us walk with our Saviour, as we learn from the Scriptures.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, …

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Our understanding of God’s Word and the strengthening of our faith

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Those who hope in (or wait on) the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given …

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Listening to what Jesus has to say to us

As I was reading the Bible's first chapter, Genesis 1, I noticed, in verses 22 and 28, "God blessed them." In verse 28, I read about "seed" and, in verse 22, I read about being "fruitful." This made me think of Jesus' parable of the sower (Mark 4:3-9). In this parable, Jesus is speaking about …

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The way, the truth and the life; faith, hope and love

We begin with the words of Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6). From there, we move on to the words of Paul: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). There are six words upon which we must focus our attention. There …

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Repentance – faith: where do we begin? What about beginning with “Christ crucified” – with Jesus, the Saviour of sinners?

"I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:21). What are we to say about "repentance" and "faith"? Where are we to begin? Are we to begin with repentance? or Are we to begin with faith? Let's begin with …

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Trusting, Loving And Serving Christ, Our Victorious Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:46-16:24 In Christ, there is ‘victory’ - glorious, eternal, heavenly victory (54-57). Every day, we face a battle. It is a battle for faith, love and service. (a) We are called to trust the Lord: ‘Stand firm in your faith’ (13). We are to have faith. It is to be a growing faith, …

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Compassion, Comfort, Confidence and Courage

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our …

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What does it mean to believe in God?

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15, verses 3 and 4). There are many people who say that they believe in God, but when they're asked …

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Special Days – Christian Unity: Ezekiel 37:15-24; Psalm 122; 1 Corinthians 3:1-11; Matthew 28:16-20

As we we come to God’s House, let us pray, “Holy Spirit, we welcome You.” It was ‘a valley of dry bones’ (Ezekiel 37:1-2). Then, the Lord changed everything - ‘I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live’ (Ezekiel 37:5). What a difference the Lord makes! ‘Breathe on me, Breath of God. …

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Matthew 5:1-12a

The Lord is calling us back to Himself - from sin and sadness to salvation and gladness. ‘The great Day of the Lord is near - near and coming quickly... That Day will be a Day of wrath... I will bring distress upon the people... because they have sinned against the Lord’ (Zephaniah 1:14-17). This …

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer ... He will say: Here am I." (Isaiah 58:9) God’s Word invites us to ‘call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved’ (Acts 2:21). To each and every one of us, the call of God comes. He's calling us to come to Him. This …

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). How does the Lord keep us walking in His way? – He keeps on bringing to our attention the glorious future which He is preparing for us. …

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Peace with God, the grace in which we now stand, the hope of the glory of God

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2). Peace with God, the grace in which we now stand, the hope of the glory of God: …

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Are we content to live our life at the surface level? or Are we looking for something more than that?

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:2). Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me (Psalm 42:7). The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God …

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48

Holiness and Love Holiness and love – the two belong together (Leviticus 19:1,18,34).  God calls us to live a life of holiness, a life of love.  Through His Spirit – the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love – , He enables us to live this life.  We need His promises.  We need His commands.  Take …

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