Were we there when they crucified our Lord?

Good Friday: Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25 (or Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9); John 18:1-19:42 Were we there when they crucified our Lord? – Yes. He died for our sins. In this remarkable prophecy, we see Jesus Christ, crucified for us - ‘the Lord has laid all our sins on Him’ - and risen from the …

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Are you looking for true and lasting joy? Look to Jesus. Let him fill you with his joy.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; I come before him with joyful songs (Psalm 100:1). We are to worship the Lord with joy. As I was thinking about this, my thoughts went to two chapters from God's Word: Isaiah 12 and Philippians 4. With joy, you will draw water from the wells of …

Continue reading Are you looking for true and lasting joy? Look to Jesus. Let him fill you with his joy.

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.

Fill me, Lord, with your love, peace and joy. Fill me with yourself.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2). What is grabbing our attention? Many people are competing for our attention. What about Jesus? Are we paying attention to him? Have we closed our ears to the voice of Jesus? So many people have closed Jesus out, yet, still, he won't go away. He keeps …

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The Lord’s people must not be afraid to stand up for Him.

Jeremiah 52:1-34; Titus 1:1-16; Psalm 119:105-112 The final chapter of Jeremiah speaks of the fall of Jerusalem, followed by captivity in Babylon. Difficulties face God’s people in every generation: “There are many rebellious people ... “ (Titus 1:10). The Lord’s people must not be afraid to stand up for Him (Titus 1:11). Whatever others may …

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Bring your weak faith to God, and ask Him to give you a stronger faith.

Hebrews 11:17-12:2 -  We read about many people who trusted the Lord. Their faith was real. It changed their lives. As you read of so many people who lived ‘by faith’, let God’s Word challenge you. Bring your own weak faith to Him and ask Him to give you a stronger faith: ‘I believe; help …

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What a wonderful redemption! – eternal redemption

Hebrews 8:1-9:14 -  God gave His promise – ‘I will make a new covenant’ (8:8-12; Jeremiah 31:31-34). God has fulfilled His promise. There is now a ‘new covenant in Jesus’ blood’ (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25). The old covenant cannot even begin to compare with the new covenant. It is only …

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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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Without Jesus, our lives are empty. Invite Him into your heart now.

Hebrews 10:19-11:16 -  Are you ‘looking for a better country – a heavenly one’ (16)? ‘God has put eternity into man’s mind’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). In every human heart, there’s ‘a God-shaped blank’. Jesus came to give us ‘life’ – ‘abundant life’, ‘eternal life’ (John 10:10; 17:3; 1 John 5:11). Without Jesus, our lives are empty. …

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Listening to what God says to us through his world, his written Word and his Son

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands... The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:1,7). God speaks to us through his world, and he speaks to us through his written Word. Speaking to us through his world, he prepares …

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Jesus is more than our teacher and example. He’s our Saviour and Lord.

"Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2). Not conformed to the world, transformed by the Lord: how are we to live this kind of …

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Earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to God’s holy people.

"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to earnestly contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people" (Jude 3). We rejoice in the great salvation that has been given to us. It is a good thing …

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Christ is calling us to walk with Him – in His victory.

Ezekiel 24:1-25:17; Hebrews 11:17-40; Psalm 124:1-8 There is, in these passages, the continuing conflict between the life of obedient faith (Hebrews 11) and the life of disobedience (God’s judgments in Ezekiel). The Psalmist makes it clear that the life of obedient faith is not an easy life - “If the Lord had not been on …

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Let us thank God for Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Hebrews 8-10 When we make comparisons between the Old Testament sacrifices and the sacrifice of Christ, there are two things we need to note. First, there's continuity in the work of God. Second, there's the uniqueness of Christ's sacrifice for sin. The Old Testament leads us to Jesus, but Jesus takes us beyond the Old …

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Don’t you want to get on in the world? – Which world are you living for?

Ezekiel 30:1-31:18; Hebrews 13:1-25; Proverbs 27:23-28:6 What a contrast there is between “Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Ezekiel 31:2) and “Jesus Christ” who is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Pharaoh had the appearance of “majesty”, yet he was “brought down” (Ezekiel 31:2,18). Jesus has a glory which will never be diminished. It …

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God has spoken, and he’s still speaking.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). On the one side, there is philosophy. On the other side, there is Christ. The two are very different. Philosophy begins with man - "after the tradition of men." …

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So much – but not everything?

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead …

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Christ has come. Christ will come. We have been saved. We will be saved.

"so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Hebrews 9:28). Here, on earth, we have the beginning of our salvation - purchased for us by the Saviour, who died for our sins. The completion of our salvation is …

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A Human Problem That Needs, And Has, A Divine Solution

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure" (Jeremiah 17:9). What did Jeremiah mean when he said this? The words of the Rev Eric Alexander sum up Jeremiah's point very well: "The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart." When we read Jeremiah's words on their own, we …

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They will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 28:1-29:21; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalm 126:1-6 Many times over, in these chapters of Ezekiel, the words are repeated, “They will know that I am the Lord.” We must view the events of history in relation to God. He is fulfilling His purpose. He is demonstrating that He is the Lord. The demonstration of His Lordship …

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Jesus prays for us – and his prayer will be answered.

"I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). These words were spoken by Jesus to Simon, also known as Peter. What a great answer to prayer there was on the Day of Pentecost - "When the people heard this, they were cut to the …

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The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ezekiel 17:1-18:32; Hebrews 9:16-28; Psalm 121:1-8 The Word of God calls us to repentance - “Repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32). This repentance does not earn salvation for us. While we are called to “repent and live”, we must understand that eternal life is God’s gift, given to us on the basis of Christ’s death as …

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Keep Christ at the centre of your life.

Lamentations 3:40-5:22; Hebrews 1:1-14; Psalm 119:129-136 Lamentations 4:20 contains an interesting phrase - “The Lord’s anointed, our very life breath.” Christ is the Lord’s anointed. Christ is our life. He is God’s Word to us - “in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:2).  He is God’s Son - …

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Jesus – The Good Shepherd, The Great Shepherd, The Chief Shepherd

* Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who died on the cross for us – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). * Jesus Christ is the Great Shepherd who rose from the dead for us – “May the God of peace, who through the …

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When the storms of life come your way

Ezekiel 26:1-27:36; Hebrews 12:1-13; Psalm 125:1-5 To Tyre, God says, “Your wealth, merchandise and wares, your mariners, seamen and shipwrights, your merchants and all your soldiers, and everyone else on board will sink into the heart of the sea on the day of your shipwreck” (Ezekiel 27:27). Those who are overladen by their attachment to …

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The Kingdom belongs to the Lord … and we will be there with Him.

Obadiah 1-21; Hebrews 2:1-18; Proverbs 26:13-22 The last words of Obadiah are a great declaration: "the Kingdom will be the Lord's" (Obadiah 21). When we think of God's Kingdom, we are thinking not only of a Kingdom which belongs, solely, to God, but a Kingdom, which He shares with the redeemed. Christ says, "Here am …

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The call to return to the Lord is an urgent call.

Joel 1:1-2:17; Hebrews 3:1-19; Psalm 119:137-144 “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love” (Joel 2:13). The call to return to the Lord is an urgent call: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8). Those who have returned …

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Today, if you hear God’s voice, do not harden your hearts.

Joel 2:18-3:21; Hebrews 4:1-13; Psalm 119:145-152 As in Hebrews 3, we find, again, in Hebrews 4, the words, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7). The Word of God speaks of “the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31). We are called to decision …

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Without God’s mercy and grace, we will fall. Through His mercy and grace, we will stand.

Ezekiel 4:1-6:14; Hebrews 5:11-6:12; Proverbs 26:23-27:4 “Alas! because of all the wicked and detestable practices of the house of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, famine and plague” (Ezekiel 6:11). Alongside these words concerning Israel’s sin and fall, we place the solemn words of Hebrews 6:4-6, words which warn us of the danger …

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When our love for the Lord gets very weak

"Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians" (Exodus 14:30). What a mighty deliverance! They had come out of Egypt. Now, they were crossing the Red Sea. We think of what God did for his people, Israel - and we give thanks to him. We think of what he has done for …

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Help us, Lord, to worship You – with hearts, full of love for You.

Ezekiel 7:1-9:11; Hebrews 6:13-7:10; Psalm 119:161-168 The prophet was shown “the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here (in the Temple), things that will drive Me (God) far from My sanctuary” (Ezekiel 8:6). There were, however, “those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it” (Ezekiel …

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God is faithful (Opening up God’s Word – Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 6:13-20)

Our concern is not so much with Abraham. Our chief focus of attention is on "the God of Abraham." The story of Abraham is both the story of Abraham and the story of God's grace and power. We see the grace of God, revealed in the promises of God. We see the power of God, …

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Looking back to Christ’s crucifixion, looking forward to His return

We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19). We are to live as those who are awaiting the Day of the Lord’s return (Hebrews 10:25). We look back to what Christ has done for us. We look forward to what He will do for us. Looking back …

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Beyond the suffering, there’s the triumph.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its …

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