The Word and the words (15): The way to the Father … the way of love and holiness … the way to heaven

“Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later " (John 13:36). "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go …

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Purify my heart.

"Purify my heart, cleanse me from within and make me holy" (Songs of Fellowship, 475). When we pray this kind of prayer, what are we expecting to happen to us? Are we looking for sinless perfection? If we're expecting sinless perfection, we're in for a big shock? "Purify my heart ... " - this is …

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When you are deeply aware of your sinfulness, remember – God loves you.

1 John  3:19-4:21 - ‘God is greater than our hearts’. When you are deeply aware of your sinfulness, remember - God loves you. God’s Word is brutally honest - about us: ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ God’s Word is wonderfully encouraging - about His love for …

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We will be led in the pathway of victory, as we learn to follow Jesus.

"The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Do not underestimate Satan - he has great power, but make sure that you never overestimate him. Christ is greater than Satan - and Christ in us! We should respect the power of Satan - he …

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When we feel like the light’s been switched off

Our light can go out. Jesus' light never goes out. This is something we must never forget. It's not about our light. It's about His light. Our feelings tell us one thing. Jesus tells us something else. Who are we to believe: our feelings or Jesus, our Saviour? We know what our answer should be, …

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God’s love for us, our love for him and our love for one another

"We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19) .  Before there is our love for God, there is his love for us. Before there is our love for another, there is God's love for each one of us. God's love, always, comes first. This is something we should never forget. When we become …

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Our sin speaks out against us. Our Saviour speaks out for us.

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been …

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The Name of the Lord and the Word of the Lord becomes precious to us, the love of the Lord becomes real to us, the strength of the Lord is given to us, and the enemy is firmly resisted.

Daniel 11:2-35; 1 John 4:7-21; Psalm 138:1-8 Daniel 11 is concerned with conflict. This is part of our spiritual experience as well as Israel's military experience. There is an enemy who opposes the Lord and His people. Nevertheless, "the people who know their God will firmly resist him" (Daniel 11:32). How are we able to resist …

Continue reading The Name of the Lord and the Word of the Lord becomes precious to us, the love of the Lord becomes real to us, the strength of the Lord is given to us, and the enemy is firmly resisted.

The School of Discipleship (15): Learning from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, “The Cost of Discipleship”

What can we learn from Bonhoeffer's book, The Cost of Discipleship? This book was first published when Bonhoeffer was only 31 years old. Page references are to the edition I was using at the time I wrote these notes. I've included the page references. It will give you a rough idea of the part of …

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From a self-centred life to a God-centred life

They said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth’ (Genesis 11:4). Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!  Take words with you and …

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The serpent, Adam and Eve, and us!

In Genesis 3:1-7, we read abot the evil influence of "the serpent" (Satan - Revelation 12:9). Here, we must note the difference between temptation and sin. Satan tempted Adam and Eve. They sinned. They couldn't blame Satan for their sin. Temptation only became sin when they gave into temptation. It's the same with us. We …

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Words from far away and long ago … or more than that?

"The Lord is my light and my salvation ... The Lord is the strength of my life" (Psalm 27:1). We read these words from a faraway place and a long time ago, and we wonder, "Are these words for us? Are they for today's world? or Should they be left in the past?" Does God's Word give …

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Responding to God’s Word (55): Soldiers of Christ, arise.

Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love (2 John, verse 1). I have no greater joy than to hear that my children …

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God has given us eternal life. This life is in his Son.

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life" (1 John 5:11-12). God has created us for eternal life. He has opened up the way for us to have eternal …

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Fill us, Lord, with Your strength and Your joy.

Daniel 9:20-11:1; 1 John 3:11-4:6; Psalm 137:1-9 "When He spoke to me, I was strengthened" (Daniel 10:19). The strength we receive from the Lord is a greater strength than the temptations we face: "the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). To know that …

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Lord, You, alone, will give us the strength that we need to keep on walking with You, all the days of our life.

Daniel 8:15-9:19; 1 John 2:28-3:10; Proverbs 29:10-18 There is real urgency about Daniel's prayer: "O Lord, look with favour on Your desolate sanctuary ... O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!" (Daniel 9:17,19). We do need to pray with urgency. There are many who seek to lead us astray (1 John …

Continue reading Lord, You, alone, will give us the strength that we need to keep on walking with You, all the days of our life.

God’s Kingdom will never be destroyed.

Daniel 5:17-6:28; 1 John 1:1-2:11; Psalm 136:1-12 “For He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end” (Daniel 6:26). “His love endures for ever” (Psalm 136). God is the God of love. His Kingdom is the Kingdom of love. God is eternal. His …

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The Kingdom Of God: John’s Gospel And Letters

'He's a born again Christian.' This phrase suggests that there are some Christians who are born again, and there are  other Christians who are not born again. What are we to make of this? According to Jesus, you cannot be a Christian unless you have been born again. There is no such thing as a …

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Each of us must choose how we’re going to live.

"Don’t love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don’t have the Father’s love in them. Not everything that the world offers, physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles, comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and the world and its evil desires are passing away. But the person who …

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‘Jesus Christ’ died ‘for our sins’ – This is Good News.

1 John 1:1-2:17 - ‘Jesus Christ’ died ‘for our sins’. This is Good News. It is not to be kept to ourselves - He died ‘for the sins of the whole world’. We have ‘fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ’. ‘We have fellowship with one another’. These blessings are not to …

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All glory to the Lord – the God of eternal love, the God of our eternal salvation.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" (Ephesians 1:3-4). We sing praise to the Lord. He has blessed us so much - …

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Love has the victory forever.

"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. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does …

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O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!

Daniel 8:15-9:19; 1 John 2:28-3:10; Proverbs 29:10-18 There is real urgency about Daniel’s prayer: “O Lord, look with favour on Your desolate sanctuary … O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!” (Daniel 9:17,19). We do need to pray with urgency. There are many who seek to lead us astray (1 John …

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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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The Lord bless you and keep you.

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven" (Psalm 32:1). The forgiveness of sins - this is such a great blessing. The forgiveness of sins: it's just the beginning of so much great blessing which will continue throughout our life on earth and for all eternity. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit …

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Through Christ, We Are “More Than Conquerors.”

Revelation 14:1-15:8 With ‘patient endurance’, we are to ‘obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus’ (12). This will not be easy. Satan will do all that he can to defeat us. How can we be ‘victorious’ over him? We must rejoice in all that God has done for His people, Israel. He delivered them …

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There’s a difference between life under the sun and life in the Son.

There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17). There's a difference between life "under the sun" and life in the Son. It's important that we understand this difference. Life under the sun: this is life, …

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The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, …

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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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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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God’s Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

Daniel 5:17-6:28; 1 John 1:1-2:11; Psalm 136:1-12 “For He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end” (Daniel 6:26). “His love endures for ever” (Psalm 136). God is the God of love. His Kingdom is the Kingdom of love. God is eternal. His …

Continue reading God’s Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

When the Lord spoke to me, I was strengthened.

Daniel 9:20-11:1; 1 John 3:11-4:6; Psalm 137:1-9 “When He spoke to me, I was strengthened” (Daniel 10:19). The strength we receive from the Lord is a greater strength than the temptations we face – “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). To know …

Continue reading When the Lord spoke to me, I was strengthened.

God’s love endures for ever.

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 does the …

Continue reading God’s love endures for ever.