Lord, everything seems so hopeless.

Genesis 17:1-27 Lord, everything seems so hopeless  - when we take our eyes off You! Help us to keep our eyes on You. Fill us with fresh hope. Sometimes, we can be optimists. Often, we’re pessimists. You’re always “the God of hope” (Romans 15:13). You’re always saying to us, “There is hope” (Jeremiah 31:17). Lord, …

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The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 22:1-12; Psalm 13 or Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42 Let us look to Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” In Genesis 21:22-34, we see Abraham in his relationship with the world. In Genesis 22:1-14, we see Abraham in his …

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The Blessing of God, the Grace of God and the Glory of God

Genesis 12:1-4: 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9 God's Blessing - Given,  Accepted And Enjoyed (Genesis 12 & 13) The “land” was given to Abraham by God. It was to be the land of His “blessing” (Genesis 12:1-3).  God’s gift of grace calls forth our response – “Abraham went, as the Lord had spoken to him” …

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God’s greatest gift – His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ

Genesis 21:1-21 We have here the contrast between Isaac, the child of promise, and Ishmael, the fruit of unbelief. Ishmael was born as a result of impatience, the failure to wait upon the Lord. In the birth of Isaac, the initiative belonged with God, and the glory belonged to Him. In Christ, we are the …

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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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Fron every tribe and nation and people and language

"With your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). To Abraham, the Word of God was spoken: "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3). In the one hundredth Psalm, we have a call to worship: "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth" (verse …

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Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. God did sacrifice his only Son.

"When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” …

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This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Here, we are taken back to the beginning. Immediately, we feel that we are way out of our depth. Everything is surrounded by mystery. This is too much of us. We try to understand, but we can't take it all in. We confess our faith. We …

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The evil subtlety of Satan, and the defeat of Satan!

From the majestic perfection of God and the privileged responsibility of humanity, we now move to the evil subtlety of Satan. An intruder has sneaked into the privileged place between God the Creator and mankind. His creation. Chapter 2 ends with the absence of shame. Chapter 3 begins with the presence of Satan. The work …

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Lord, we thank You that You have a place in Your heart for us.

Genesis 2:18-25 Lord, we thank You that You have a place in Your heart for us. Why? What have we done that You should keep on loving us? Is there something good about us - something that makes us worthy of Your love? Whatever way we look at it - the answer’s always “No.” No! …

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It’s not the beginning of the end. It’s the end of the beginning.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). Is everything that happens to us good? How are we to answer this question? Should we answer a question with another question? Will the final outcome be good? When we look on to the final outcome, everything changes. …

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Sometimes, we wonder, “Where is our life leading us?”

Genesis 5:18-32 Lord, help us to walk with You. Sometimes, we wonder, “Where is our life leading us?” That depends, Lord, on who’s doing the leading. Are we being “led by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:14)? or Have we allowed the devil to slip into the place where You alone should be? Lord, lead …

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The laughter of unbelief and the laughter of faith

Genesis 21:1-34 There are two very different kinds of laughter in the story of Sarah. There is the laughing in Genesis 18:13-15. This is the laughter of unbelief, laughing at the Lord, with the proud attitude that God's Word cannot be taken seriously. There is the laughter of faith, the laughter which rejoices in the …

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If there is to be delight in God’s Word, we must overcome doubt.

If there is to be delight in God's Word, we must overcome doubt. Satan is always saying, "Did God really say ...?" (Genesis 3:1). We must learn to say, "God did say" (Genesis 3:3). We must stand by this confession of faith in God and His Word. Satan will not give in easily. He will …

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We look at the rainbow. We see the love of God.

Genesis 9:8-17 We look at the rainbow. We see the love of God. We look beyond the rainbow. We look to the Cross. There, we see the supreme demonstration of the love of God. There, we see Jesus, suffering for us. His suffering is the suffering of love. It wasn't the nails that held Him …

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Closeness to God develops as we learn to delight in the Word of God.

Among many names and life-spans, there is this remarkable statement: "Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away" (Genesis 5:24). This closeness to God develops as we learn to delight in the Word of God. Together with "Noah" who "found favour in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis …

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Lord, we thank You for Jesus – He is the Rock of our salvation.

Genesis 8:1-22 Lord, we thank You for Jesus – He is the Rock of our salvation. Often, in our journey through life, we’re walking on shifting sand. As we walk along, we discover that it’s more than shifting sand – It’s quicksand! It’s sucking us in – and it’s dragging us down. Is there any …

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Transported into an eternal dimension (Search The Scriptures: Genesis)

Genesis 1:1-2:3 There is, here, a real sense of the majesty of God. He is "beyond description." We cannot comprehend Him. We can hardly put into words this sense of God's greatness. We are transported into an eternal dimension, which is so different from our earthly existence. We read, "In the beginning, God ... " …

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The elder – Esau – will serve the younger – Jacob.

Genesis 27:1-46 This is a story of deception - things are not as they seem. What are we to say about this chapter? We must begin by saying that this family is a mess. There's something else that we must say - there is more to this story than what's going on in this family. …

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Despite our many failures, God remains faithful.

Genesis 12 Before starting to comment on chapter 12, I want to say something about the second part of chapter 11, verses 10-32. These verses provide us with the background to the events which begin to unfold in chapter 12. The message of this long list names is this: God is moving on. He is …

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Everything seems to be changing. We trust in God’s unchanging love.

Genesis 49:28-50:26 It was a time of "very great and sorrowful lamentation" (10). Jacob had died (33). Soon, Joseph would be gone (26). God was still there. He had been there in the past (20). He would be there in the future (24-25). Times are hard. We rejoice: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never …

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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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Is the Lord at the centre of our lives?

"Abram built an altar to the Lord" (Genesis 13:18). As I was reading about Abram and Lot going their separate ways, I noticed these words in the last verse of this chapter. Here, we are challenged to think about what is important to us. Are we giving the Lord His rightful place in our lives? …

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To be blessed by the Lord is better than anything else.

"Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:19). To be blessed by the Lord is better than anything else. Without the blessing of God, our lives are empty. We may fill our lives with many things, but the question keeps coming back to us: What about God: where does …

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God keeps on loving us, even when we’re doing all that we can to keep on running away from Him.

Genesis 16 Hagar was running away, but "the Angel of the Lord found her" (verses 6 and 7). Can we run away from God? We can try, but will we succeed? Why does God come looking for us? It's because He loves us. This is something we must never forget. God does not want us …

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The long journey, through the Old Testament, is leading us to Jesus Christ, our great Saviour.

Genesis 17 "Your wife, Sarah, will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac" (verse 19). Abraham was given a glimpse of the future. For Abraham and Sarah, Isaac would be their immediate future. God was looking beyond the immediate future. He was looking toward the long-term future. God told Abraham that he would …

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God is leading His people towards a time of great blessing.

Genesis 18-19 Abraham lived through tumultuous times. As we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, let us not lose sight of where things are going: "Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him" (18:18). When terrible things happen, and we …

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God so loved the world – not only the important people, but all people.

Genesis 10:1-32 What a lot of names! Why is all this included in God’s Word? It may describe the historical conext of God’s unfolding purpose of providing salvation for sinners, but what does it say to us? The inclusion of so many obscure names emphasizes that everyone - however obscure - is important. ‘God so …

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True faith is always faith in Christ, and never faith in anything we can ever offer to God.

Genesis 4:1-5 The name of Abel appears among ‘the heroes of the faith’ (Hebrews 11:14). The story of Abel is a story of grace, faith and obedience. Abel's sacrifice was a blood sacrifice while Cain’s was a fruit sacrifice (3-4). The blood sacrifice points forward - via the Old Testament sacrificial system - to the …

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Jesus – the Name that is above every name, the Name of our salvation

Genesis 7:1-24 Here, we pick up on the words of verse 16 - ‘the Lord closed the door behind them’. What was going on outside of the ark is contrasted with the haven of salvation inside the ark. What was it that made the ark a place of salvation? - The Lord. What is it …

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