The apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, and Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord

"Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no …

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At the end of my ministry: looking back and looking forward

From time to time, I wondered what I would say to the people in the final service of my ministry. This is what I did say. As I began to think about this service, my thoughts turned to the the opening words of Psalm 115, "Not to us, not to us, but to your name …

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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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God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do" (Matthew 11:25-26). "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, …

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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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The deep things of God – and the deep love of Christ

"'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. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  "I …

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Learning from Ephesians and the 23rd Psalm (Part Two)

"He makes me lie down in green pastures" (Psalm 23:2) / Ephesians 1:15-23 Green pastures: Green is the colour of growth. Let's think about spiritual growth. The shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures. Paul, the pastor of God's people, leads the people of God to the "green pastures" which He has provided for their …

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As we learn to love and serve the Lord, may we learn to trust his precious promise, “I am with you always.”

You are fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17, New |King James Version). Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching …

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How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people (Ephesians 1:18). "The eyes of your heart": here, Paul is speaking about the opening of our hearts to the love of God. …

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Kindness, compassion and forgiveness

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as, in Christ, God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). How are we to become kind, compassionate and forgiving people? Again and again, we must remember this: "in Christ, God forgave you." This is where our kindness, compassion and forgiveness comes from: the kindness, compassion and forgiveness …

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Notice what comes first, and what comes second.

"See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you" (Deuteronomy 1:21). Notice what comes first - "the Lord your God has given you the land", and what comes second - "Go up and take possession of it." By grace, God …

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The grace of God reaches us and changes us.

"I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:45). Where does holiness come from? How are we to become holy? Before we read about God's holiness, we read about his love. God says, "I am holy" - but, first, he says, "I ... …

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The overflowing abundance of God

Isaiah 65:17-66:24; Ephesians 5:8-33; Psalm 113:1-9 We are to “drink deeply” from the “overflowing abundance” of God (Isaiah 66:11). We are to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). This fullness of the Spirit leads to praise. “Praise the Lord” (Psalm 113:1,9). As “servants of the Lord”, we are called to praise His Name “both …

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Fulfil your vows – in the strength of the Lord.

Nahum 1:1-3:19; Ephesians 6:1-24; Psalm 114:1-8 “Fulfil your vows” (Nahum 1:15). “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). In all the vows we have promised to keep, we must remember the strength of the Lord: “Be strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10). …

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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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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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The Kingdom Of God: The Prison Letters – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon: These letters are known, collectively, as the prison letters. They were written by Paul during his time of imprisonment in Rome. In Philippians, we see God's kingdom as a kingdom as a kingdom of joy: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and, again, I say, rejoice" (Philippians 4:4). When the Lord …

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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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Christ is always greater than our thoughts about Him.

"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 riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). Paul was deeply conscious of his own inadequacy. He was profoundly grateful for the great privilege of being called to preach "the boundless riches of Christ." …

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Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you …

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Twenty-Seventh (or last) Sunday after Pentecost (Reign of Christ the King): Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 100 or Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-26; Psalm 95:1-7a; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd. God speaks to us in love. He says, ‘I Myself will be the Shepherd of My sheep’ (Ezekiel 34:15). We rejoice in His love. We say, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ (Psalm 23:1). Jesus is our Shepherd. He is ‘the good Shepherd’. …

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The miracle of the new birth

Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 8:18). Here, we read about “signs and wonders” (Amplified Bible). Our thoughts turn to the spectacular. Thinking about eye-catching events, events that grab our attention, events that make us sit up and take notice, there is something that we …

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The love of God inspires us and enables us to live a holy life (Ephesians 1:1-4:6).

EPHESIANS 1:1-2:10  -  ‘By grace you have been saved through faith… for good works’ (2:8-10). God calls us to live a ‘holy’ life. We cannot make ourselves holy. We are spiritually ‘dead’. We need to be ‘made alive’ - by God. Holiness does not come from ourselves. It comes from the Lord. Long before we …

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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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