God has given us new life. Let us live the new life.

"No one pours new wine into old wineskins... They pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22). In John's Gospel, we read about Jesus turning water into wine (chapter 2), and, then, we read about Jesus, telling Nicodemus that he needed to be "born again" (John 3:3). Here, he speaks about new wine. He's telling …

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May we keep on praising the Lord and giving thanks to him.

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day" (Deuterinomy 8:10). When the Lord has blessed us, let us not forget to give …

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How did Jesus come to his baptism? Did he come as a sinner in need of salvation? No. He came as the Saviour who brings salvation to sinners.

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then John consented" (Matthew 3:13-15). "Therefore, …

Continue reading How did Jesus come to his baptism? Did he come as a sinner in need of salvation? No. He came as the Saviour who brings salvation to sinners.

Reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ

‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation.’ Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him.’ We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ.’ We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation - ‘now is the …

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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 within …

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Some words of encouragement – for the times when we feel discouraged

Two Bible verses are running through my mind. One of the verses is very discouraging. The other verse is very encouraging. The first verse would make us feel like giving up in despair. The second verse makes us want to keep on going with the Lord and for the Lord. The first of these verses …

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Believing in the Lord and speaking for him.

"It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is …

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Getting our priorities right

Trinity Sunday (First Sunday after Pentecost): Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20 Getting our priorities right: God, His Word, His Spirit - at the centre of our life The Bible’s opening verses challenge us to get our priorities right. (a) The priority of God (Genesis 1:1). God comes first. Before anyone else …

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Out of the shadows of our past, into the light of His future

Micah 5:1-7:20; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Proverbs 21:17-26 God wipes out the shadow of our past - He “pardons sin” (Micah 7:18). He shines in the light of His future - “We will be “clothed with our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:4). From this standpoint of privilege, we are called to fulfil our responsibility: to be soldiers of …

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Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing.

2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-2:11  -  Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing - ‘God… comforts us in all our affliction’ (1:3-4). Whether good things or bad things are happening to you, don’t forget this: God loves you. His Word is ‘not Yes and No’ - ‘Yes, I love you. No, I don’t love …

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We need true lives as well as true words.

2 Corinthians 5:11-7:1  -  ‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation’. Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him’. We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ’. We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation - ‘now …

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The things that really matter

2 Corinthians 10:1-11:15  -  We are engaged in warfare. Is it ‘worldly war’? Do we use ‘worldly weapons’? No! It is spiritual  warfare. God has given us His weapons (10:3-4). Our enemy is ‘Satan’ - ‘the god of this world’ (11:13-15; 4:4). We face him with ‘the whole armour of God’, with ‘the Gospel of peace’ (Ephesians 6:11,13,15). We are not …

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By the mercy of God, through the Word of God, in the power of God, for the glory of God

In the work of ministry, we are, often, discouraged by the lack of response. May God help us to remember that "we have received this ministry by the mercy of God" (2 Corinthians 4:1). May he give us the wonderful privilege of seeing more and more people, responding to the Word of God, which, by …

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Jesus Christ our Lord: crucified for us and risen for us

"We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord" (2 Corinthians 4:5). This post is, really, a continuation of an earlier post, "When we preach Christ crucified, let us, also, preach that he is the risen Lord." If you want to read that post before starting to read this one, here's the link for …

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You Raise Me Up.

"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil" (Habakkuk 1:13). The contrast between our sinfulness and God's holiness is an absolute contrast - never the two shall meet. Can we raise ourselves up from our sinfulness to God's holiness? - No! We cannot. We need to be raised up from above, by the Lord. …

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God has spoken to us. Let us speak to him, and let us speak for him.

"The Sovereign Lord has spoken: so who can refuse to proclaim his message?" (Amos 3:8). As I was reading these words from Amos, I recalled the words of Paul, "I believed in God, so I spoke" (2 Corinthians 4:13). We receive the Word of the Lord with faith. We are not to keep the Word of the …

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The light of God: this is what makes the difference.

"God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). The light of God: this is what makes the difference. When we feel like we're in a dark hole, the light …

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God hasn’t stopped speaking to us through His Word – but have we stopped listening to Him?

Some people say, “Surely, you don’t believe the Bible.” They say that the Bible belongs to the past. It’s not for us today. This kind of talk takes us right back to the Garden of Eden – “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1).  The Bible says that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God?” …

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Always seeking, never finding

"The word is very near you" (Deuteronomy 30:14). Some people are always searching - but never finding. They look here, there and everywhere ... and, then, they start again ... and so, the search continues ... always searching, never finding. They tell us, "It's all about the search." Jesus tells us something very different. He …

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“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Here are some great words from Jim Elliot, an American missionary who died at the hands of Auca Indians in Ecuador in the 1950s – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” * "To gain what he cannot lose" - Eternal life has lasting value. * "what he cannot …

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The Word and the words (13): God’s salvation covers our past, our present and our future.

"I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing" (Psalm 23:1). I lack nothing - God has given us a full salvation. It's a salvation that covers our past, our present and our future. -- We begin by emphasizing that God's salvation covers our past. "He makes me lie …

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The revival of our worship

2 Chronicles 29:1-31:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12-22; Psalm 103:13-22 A revival of worship does not come from the worshippers. It comes from the God whom they worship – “what God had brought about for His people” (2 Chronicles 29:35b-36). “It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:22). If …

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The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus came from heaven. He came to earth. What a wonderful story is the story of God's way of salvation! In …

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The Lord our God is with us – to help us and to fight our battles.

2 Chronicles 31:2-33:20; 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11; Proverbs 21:5-16 “With us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:8). The battle will not be easy. “Satan” is seeking to “outwit us” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Nevertheless, “we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). In our spiritual …

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The Holy Spirit – living in our hearts

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy …

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The Holy Spirit Is Our ‘Guarantee Of Heavenly And Eternal Glory.’

2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10 God has called us to salvation - ‘God has shone in our hearts…’ (2 Corinthians 4:6). He has called us to service, ‘having this ministry by the mercy of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:1). We receive salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be …

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In times of trouble

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 103:1-12 “In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord” (2 Chronicles 28:22). Times of trouble can lead people towards bitterness and further rebellion against the Lord. On the other hand, times of trouble can be precisely the times when God’s purpose is …

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Our weakness – and the Lord’s strength

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When I think of my weakness, I, also, think of something else; I think of the strength of the Lord. Let us not think too highly of ourselves. If we think too highly of ourselves, we will not think highly …

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More than words to be said and heard at the end of a church service

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). We have often heard these words spoken. Here, we are reading them in the Word of God. How often do we think about these words? What do they mean? …

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You get nothing for nothing … ?

"You get nothing for nothing. You only get what you pay for." Is this cynicism - or realism? Let's think together about something else - something that lifts us above all of this - the love of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God, the gift of God, the peace of God, the …

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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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We ask about suffering. God gives us his answer – salvation.

"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). Why has God allowed this to happen? Why do we suffer? Where is our salvation to be found? Make sure that you begin with the third …

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Praying Through God’s Word: 2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11Lord, You “comfort us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). You turn our times of trouble into times of great blessing. When bad things are happening to us, You keep on loving us. You don’t leave us on our own when the going gets tough. You’re with us in the good times …

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The Word and the words (11): Giving our own testimony and inviting others to come to the Saviour

"I am the light of the world" (John 9:5). "It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians4:6). In John 8:12, Jesus says, "I am the light of the …

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The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord

"You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High" (Luke 1:31-32) - What a special person Jesus is! He's the Son of God - and he's our Saviour! "And there were shepherds living out in …

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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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