At every stage of our life’s journey, the Lord is there – with us and for us.

How did the world begin? How will the world end? Who was there when the world began? Who will be there when the world ends? How and Who - these are quite different questions. The How question wonders about the beginning and the end. What happened? What will happen? The Who question takes us beyond …

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Witnessing for Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1-3 The Lord Jesus called His disciples to be His witnesses, in the power of the Holy Spirit. They prayed that the power of God would come upon them (chapter 1). The Lord sent the Holy Spirit to them. They were were epowered by the Holy Spirit. Their ministry was blessed by God. It …

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Jesus is taken up into heaven. The Holy Spirit is given to us.

Ascension of the Lord: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47 or 93 or Daniel 7:9-14; Psalm 24:7-10; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53 Jesus is taken up into heaven. The Holy Spirit is given to us. 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 …

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God’s work goes from strength to strength.

Acts 7-8 In chapter 7, through a history of God's dealings with Israel, Stephen exposes the sin and guilt of hts accusers, They react violently, and Stephen is stoned to death. Saul watched this, and "entirely approved of the killing" (8:1). Saul went on from there, "working for the total desctruction of the church" (chapter …

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Don’t miss God’s opportunities to share Christ’s Good News!

Acts 28:1-31 Read of Paul's protection from the 'snake'. 'Rejoice' - Christ has won for us a great victory over 'that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan'. When God gives us His victory, we must not think too highly of ourselves - 'he was a god'. We must give all the glory …

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New Year: a time for thinking about something else – new life

We're nearly at the end of the old year. Our thoughts are turning to the New Year. Is it time for thinking about something else - new life? "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who …

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This is what the Lord says.

1 Kings 20:1-21:29; Acts 18:9-19:13; Psalm 78:32-39 As a prophet of God, Elijah brought this message to the people: "This is what the Lord says" (1 Kings 21:19). This was Paul's ministry: "teaching them the Word of God" (Acts 18:11). Elijah's ministry was the denunciation of the evil king, Ahab. Paul's ministry was the proclamation …

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Learning from Stephen – a man, filled with the Holy Spirit

Immediately before he was stoned, Stephen preached the Gospel of Christ. After he had finished speaking, we see Stephen - about to be stoned - facing death as a man, full of the Holy Spirit, a man looking to Jesus Christ - "Now when they heard these things they were enraged and they ground their …

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Moving beyond a general prayer for God’s help to a personal experience and enjoyment of God’s salvation

"Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love" (Psalm 109:26). When we're going through hard times, we come to the Lord and ask for his help. Is this only a prayer for partcularly hard times? It is that, but it is, also, more than that. Is there ever a time when we can …

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The good news of Christ is for people of every nation.

Acts 11-13 Peter's taking the Gospel to Cornelius opened the way for the Gospel to go the Gentiles. In chapter 11, Peter emphasizes that the Gospel is for the Gentiles. In chapter 13, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, emphasizes that the Gospel for all nations is rooted in God's revelation to the Jews. While …

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Peter and Paul, working together to bring many people to Christ

Acts 14-16 Here, we see the great influence of both Peter and Paul in the life and witness of the early church. In chaoters 14 and 16, we have the ministry of Paul. In chapter 15, we see Peter giving his support to Paul's ministry. He does this by emphasizing that the Gospel is for …

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How can we become more on fire for the Lord?

His word is in my heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9). What is it that keeps the fire burning? It's the power that comes from God. It's the power of the Holy Spirit. He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11). You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and …

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As Paul travelled from place to place, the good news of Christ’s love was reaching more and more people.

Acts 20-22 As we read about Paul, travelling from place to place, we come to appreciate the geographical breadth of his ministry. In chapter 22, we see the spiritual depth of his ministry. This spiritual depth arises out of his real, life-changing experience of the salvation which had come to him through the Lord Jesus …

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In the eyes of men, Paul was a prisoner. In the plan of God, he was a witness.

Acts 26-38 In addressing King Agrippa, Paul focuses attention on the resurrection: "Why does it seem incredible to you that God should raise the dead?" (chapter 26). Paul proclaimed that "Christ... as the first to rise from the dead... was to proclaim that light now shone for our people and for the pagans too" (chapter …

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I will tell him only what the Lord tells me.

1 Kings 22:1-53; Acts 19:14-41; Proverbs 15:31-16:7 Here's a spiritual principle for everyone who seeks to be faithful to God: "As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me" (1 Kings 22:14). In Ephesus, there was a riot. The crowds shouted, "Great is Artemis ("Diana" in the King James …

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The resurrection of Christ opens up for us a glorious future.

Acts 23-25 "The resurrection of the dead" was a central theme in Paul's preaching: "It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial" (chapter 23); "It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today" (chapter 24). His teaching concerning the resurrection …

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The Lord alone is worthy of our trust. He will not fail us.

2 Kings 18:1-19:13; Acts 27:13-44; Psalm 82:1-8 “Do not let the god you depend on deceive you” (2 Kings 19:10). The Lord alone is worthy of our trust. He alone will prove trustworthy. There is no god like the Lord - “God presides in the great assembly: He gives judgment among the gods” (Psalm 82:1). …

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The Word and the words (14): A light from heaven

"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness" (John 12:46). "As he (Saul of Tarsus) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you …

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The Word and the words (9): Speaking with authority, speaking with power

"No one ever spoke the way this man does" (John 7:46). There was something different about Jesus. There was something special about him. Jesus spoke with authority - "My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me" (John 7:16). Jesus spoke with power. In John 7:37-39, Jesus speaks of "rivers …

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What must I do to be saved? Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

The question is asked: "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). The answer is given: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). Sometimes, when questions come into our minds, we wonder if we will ever receive an answer. The more we think about it, the more we come …

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The School of Discipleship (14): Strengthening the faith of all the disciples

“Paul … strengthened  the faith of all the disciples” (Acts 18:23). Strengthening the faith of all the disciples: This is such an important ministry. We are not to be content with the faith that we have. We are to press on to a stronger faith. What do we mean when we speak about a strong faith? …

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More than ‘telling the truth’ – we are to be witnesses for Christ.

"You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free ... If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:32,36). "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). When we speak about 'the truth' we should, also, speak about Jesus. It is a good thing …

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The God who is there… and the God who is here (in the human heart)…

"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Here, we read about faith - and we read about God. How are we to think about faith - and how are to think about God? …

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Make sure that you don’t “neglect such a great salvation.”

Acts 27:1-44 There is, in this story, a great picture of God's way of salvation. (a) Our human situation is hopeless: 'All our hope of being saved was at last abandoned' (20). We are sinners. We cannot save ourselves. (b) There is hope: 'God has granted you all those who sail with you' (25). God …

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Our limited understanding and God’s revelation

"God has set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  God has given us some understanding of himself, but we do not understand everything all that he is doing in our lives and in our world. There are two thoughts here, and …

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From the Spirit, we receive new strength – God’s strength …

In ourselves, we are weak. From the Spirit, we receive new strength – God’s strength, the strength that we need to live for the Lord, the strength that we need to be His “witnesses” (Acts 1:8). This is the lesson that we’re learning from Acts. Remember what Peter was like at the time of the …

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When we preach Christ crucified, let us, also, preach that he is the risen Lord.

"We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). In his preaching. Paul "reasoned with people from the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2), but he did not say, "We preach Isaiah", "We preach Jeremiah" or "We preach... ." He said, "We preach Christ crucified." When Paul spoke about the death of Christ, he spoke about the love of God: …

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The importance of a teaching ministry: an in-depth ministry, not a superficial ministry

Acts 17-19 Here, we see that the preaching of the Gospel which is grounded in the Scriptures. In chapter 17, Paul spoke "from Scripture." In chapter 18, we read about Apollos who "demonstrated from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ." In Paul's preaching, the message was "the Christ is this Jesus." When we preach …

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Words from a faraway place and a long ago time, words for today, words for us

"The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39). When Peter preached to the crowds on the day of Pentecost , he wasn't preaching only to the people who were in Jerusalem on that day. He was preaching "for …

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The good news for sinners: our Saviour is greater than our sin.

 "Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless (or unsearchable) riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). This post continues on from an earlier post, which contrasts Paul and Jesus. You may find it helpful to read that post before reading this one. …

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Let us rejoice in Jesus, God’s Son. Let us rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour.

"God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4). This post is a continuation of my earlier post, "This is my Son. This is your Saviour." You should, really, read that post before reading …

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Up on the mountaintop, down in the valley …

Sometimes, we're up on the mountaintop. Sometimes, we're down in the valley. Sometimes, we're really rejoicing in the Lord - on fire for the Lord. Sometimes, our heads go down - and we've lost the joy of the Lord. What are we to make of the turmoil of confused and confusing emotions that we experience …

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This is my Son. This is your Saviour.

"God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it... God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:32,36). On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached Jesus, the risen Lord. What are we to say about Jesus and the resurrection? Did Jesus become the Lord and the Christ when …

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God’s Word is always more important than our words, and Jesus is always more important than we are.

How then can we be saved? (Isaiah 64:5). What must I do to be saved?... Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:30-31).' We think of our sin, and we ask the question, "How then can we be saved?" Is there a way of salvation for us? Can our sins be forgiven? …

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There is no god who can compare with the Lord.

2 Kings 16:1-17:41; Acts 26:24-27:12; Psalm 81:8-16 “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless” (2 Kings 17:15). There is no god who can compare with the Lord (Psalm 81:9-10). He alone is worthy of praise. He alone gives value to our lives by bringing fulfilment to them: “Open wide your mouth and I will …

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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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Responding to God’s Word (41): Open my eyes that I may see.

We will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:39): this is part of what the Lord has to say to us, but it is not all that he has to say to us. Some people may tell us that this is all …

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More than a mysterious presence – the good news of God’s love

We look at the world around us, and we feel like we are near to God. Where does this feeling of God's nearness take us? Does it take us to Jesus Christ, our Saviour? or Are we left with something less than faith in Christ? When we feel that God is speaking to us through …

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More than Duty Giving and Grudge Giving – Let there be Thanksgiving.

Acts 20:17-21:14 From Paul's farewell to the Ephesian elders, there are some lessons for all of us. (a) 'Repentance to God' and 'faith in our Lord Jesus Christ' (21) - This is not only a call for conversion. It is for every believer - all the time. (b) 'Take heed to yourselves and to all …

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