The Upward Look And The Outward Look

God is calling us to move forward into His future. He's calling us to move forward with Him. He's calling us to move forward for Him. How are we to move forward with God? How are we to move forward for Him? If we are to move forward with God and for God, we must …

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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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When, Lord, our message isn’t popular, help us to remember that it’s Your message – not ours.

Jeremiah 2:1-19They had turned away from the Lord. They had chosen to go their own way (Jeremiah 2:13). When, Lord, our message isn’t popular, help us to remember that it’s Your message – not ours. You have not called us to preach a superficial message. You’ve called us to preach a searching message. We are …

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Lord, Your Word was written many centuries ago – but it still has a great deal to do with us!

‘The day has come to destroy all the Philistines... The Lord is about to destroy the Philistines... Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh are destroyed’ (Jeremiah 47:4). That seems like ancient history  - nothing to do with us! What about this? - ‘A curse on him who is lax in doing the …

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Seeing Beyond The Things That Are Happening Right Now

"You get some idea of Jeremiah's faith in this intriguing story. Nothing seemed less likely than that the land would ever recover from its disasters, yet Jeremiah could see beyond them to the good time coming. What better illustration of the text, 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not …

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Problems – from outside of ourselves, problems – from within our own hearts

Jeremiah 15:1-21 Lord, some of our problems come from outside of ourselves. Other people cause problems for us – ‘This people will fight against you’ (Jeremiah 15:20). Some of our problems come from within our own hearts. Our own sins cause problems for us. There are ‘fightings and fears within’. We are ‘tossed about with many …

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Help us, Lord, to do what You want us to do – not what other people want us to do.

Jeremiah 5:10-6:8‘A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and My people love it this way’ (Jeremiah 5:31)! Sometimes, Lord, people are happy to listen to ‘prophets’ – so long as their preaching isn’t too challenging. They’re happy to attend the services conducted by ‘priests’ – …

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Help us, Lord, to see clearly that, even when we’ve been ‘brought up in the Church’, we still need to open our hearts to Christ.

Jeremiah 9:1-26We read, Lord, about those who are ‘circumcised only in the flesh.’ They remain ‘uncircumcised in the heart’ (Jeremiah 9:25-26). Teach us, Lord, that salvation is not a matter of outward conformity to religious rituals. What we need is ‘circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit’ (Romans 2:28-29). Help us to remember Jesus’ words: ‘You must be born …

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If, Lord, we are growing in our fellowship with You, we will want others to know what they’re missing.

Jeremiah 51:1-33‘Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations!’ (Jeremiah 51:27). Lord, You call us to be Your witnesses. If we are growing in our fellowship with You, we will want others to know what they’re missing. We will want them to know how much blessing they could know - …

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“How long will the land mourn … ?” (Jeremiah 12:4).

Praying Through God's Word

There are times, in our life, when our questions go unanswered – and remain unanswered.

We wonder what the future holds. We’d like to think that “things can only get better”, but we wonder, “Will they get better?” We, also, ask another question, “If things do get better, when is this going to happen?”

In one sense, we must say that we don’t know the answer to these questions.

In another sense, there is an answer to our questions. It’s not an answer which says, “This is what’s going to happen”, and “This is when it’s going to happen.” It’s an answer that comes to us from God. It’s an answer that calls us to keep on trusting him – no matter how bad it gets.

Keep on trusting God – Is this an answer to our questions?

We might say, “No. It’s not”, but, perhaps, it is the only…

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Real praise continues after we leave the place of worship.

Jeremiah 31:7-14“Sing with joy” (Jeremiah 31:7,12-13).This is to be our response to the Gospel. It’s more than a singalong. It’s “praise.” This praise continues after we leave the place of worship.“Shout” - “I am not ashamed” (Romans 1:16).“Proclaim” - Make the message known: “for the Good News” (Romans 1:1,5-6).This for everyone (Jeremiah 31:8,10).We come as …

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When we feel like we’ll never get out of this wilderness …

The people of Israel had been brought out of Egypt, the land of bondage - but, after that, things seemed to do from bad to worse. there were forty years of wilderness wanderings. We read, in the book of Numbers, of Israel's time in the wilderness. Reading about life in the wilderness is not encouraging. …

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Some Meditations on God’s Word

Receiving Strength from the Lord (Daniel 10:1-11:13) Daniel came to God in great weakness- ‘I am helpless… My strength is gone…’(16-17). From the Lord, Daniel received great strength- ‘The One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength… When He spoke to me, I was strengthened…’. Daniel’s strength came from the love of …

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Don’t Let Familiarity Breed Contempt!

"The impressive thing here is the respect shown to Jeremiah by the pagan authorities. Strange, is it not that the outsiders seem more able  to recognize the worth of God's servants than God's people do? Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt. A prophet is not without honour save in his own country." (Rev James Philip, Notes …

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The best thing I can tell you is God loves you.

"He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4). "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Like everything else in our world, the weather can be so changeable.  The love of God is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. What's so different about God's love? …

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May there come a time when we will be able to look back at our most distressing circumstances and say from the heart, ‘God meant it for good.’

Jeremiah 49:1-22‘Afterwards I will restore the fortunes...’ (Jeremiah 49:6). Sometimes, Lord, when we’re going through a particularly difficult time, we wonder, ‘Will this ever end?’ You, Lord, speak to us Your Word of encouragement. There will be an ‘afterwards.’There will be a ‘restoration of our fortunes.’’The Lord will not cast us off for ever. Though …

Continue reading May there come a time when we will be able to look back at our most distressing circumstances and say from the heart, ‘God meant it for good.’

Praying Through God’s Word: Jeremiah

Jeremiah 1:1-19Serving You, Lord, doesn’t begin with our choice. It begins with Your call. The initiative is Yours – not ours. Thank You, Lord, that You love us so much. Thank You for saving us – and calling us to be Your servants.Jeremiah 2:1-19They had turned away from the Lord. They had chosen to go their …

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A New Beginning (some thoughts from the Scriptures)

Genesis 1:1-3 'Genesis' means 'beginning'. Its opening verses challenge us to get our priorities right. (a) the priority of God(1)  God comes first. Before anyone else is mentioned, He is there. (b) the priority of God's Word (3) God is the first to speak. Before any human word is spoken, there is the Word of …

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Link to Rev George Philip’s Bible reading notes

Yesterday afternoon (1st March 2019),  I attended a thanksgiving service for the life and ministry of Rev George Philip (11th November 1925 - 16th February 2019). For  forty years, George taught the Word of the Lord, faithfully and fruitfully, in Sandyford - Henderson Memorial Church, Glasgow. Here's a link to George's Bible reading notes, which …

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What are you to do when you feel that your time of suffering is never going to end?

‘Afterwards I will restore the fortunes...’ (Jeremiah 49:6). Sometimes, when you’re going through a particularly difficult time, you may wonder, ‘Will this ever end?’. God speaks to us His Word of encouragement. There will be an ‘afterwards’. There will be a ‘restoration of our fortunes’. ‘The Lord will not cast us off for ever. Though …

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Listening to what the Lord has to say to us will mean being ready to revise our own ideas.

Jeremiah’s ministry was a call from God to the people - a call to “listen to the Word of the Lord” (Jeremiah 44:24). Listening to what the Lord has to say to us will mean being ready to revise our own ideas. Our thoughts, without the guiding Word from the Lord, will be very different …

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Run away from Babylon! … Babylon will suddenly fall and be shattered.

God’s Word speaks against us so that we might learn not to speak against God’s Word. God calls us to holiness - “Run away from Babylon! Run for your lives!” (Jeremiah 51:6). The final outcome is described in Jeremiah 51:8 - “Babylon will suddenly fall and be shattered.” God is warning us. It is folly …

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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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Some Simple Thoughts From The Scriptures

Genesis When I was writing these words, I was thinking of some of the stories in the book of Genesis (the book of beginnings). I was thinking about Adam, Abraham and Joseph - and I was thinking about Jesus!___________________________________________ It was the genesis of my life.Things were looking so good.Then, it all went badly wrong.What …

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What does it mean to be blessed?

"Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:7). What does it mean to be "blessed"? Sometimes, the words, "happy" and "blessed", are taken to mean the same thing. Is there a difference between being "happy" and being "blessed"? The word, "blessed", makes us think about the question, "Where does the blessing come from. It invites …

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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 is waiting to bless you. Will you come to Him and be blessed?

"Remember, God is promising these blessings to a repentant people - that must never be left out. His promises are grace, our response is faith, we are to call upon Him (Jeremiah 33:3) and take from Him what He offers. James say, 'Ye have not because ye ask not.'  Is that why you are unblessed?" …

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Lord, Your Word challenges us to think seriously about ourselves …

Jeremiah 13:1-27‘These wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them will be… completely useless’ (Jeremiah 13:10). Lord, Your Word challenges us to think seriously about ourselves: Am I on the way to becoming ‘completely useless’? Each of us …

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The Highway

Jeremiah 31:21-30“Set your hearts toward the highway; keep the highway in mind” (Jeremiah 31:21) - “the highway of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8):A call to the “backsliding daughter” (Jeremiah 31:22). “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied” (Proverbs 14:14).Here’s a breath prayer (breathe in for the …

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