What no-one else could ever do for us, God has done for us.

"No one can ever buy back another person or pay God a ransom for his life" (Psalm 49:7). What no-one else could ever do for us, God has done for us -  "... the  Son of Man came ... to give His life as a ransom for many people” (Mark 10:45). "God forbid that I should …

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The Saviour Takes The Sinner’s Place.

Mark 11:1-11 More than a journey into Jerusalem - a journey to suffering, crucifixion and death. No shortcut to resurrection - Jesus must go by way of the Cross. At the Cross, we see Jesus, the King of love. Why did He not defend Himself? - Because He loves us. He shows His love by …

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Jesus, our Saviour; Jesus, our Lord

Mark 2 What was the first thing that Jesus said to the paralyzed man? He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (verse 5). What did Jesus say to Levi? He said, “Follow me” (verse 14). From forgiveness to following: We do not receive forgiveness as a reward for following Jesus. Forgiveness is God’gift, We have done nothing to deserve his …

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Exodus 19:1-20:26; Mark 1:29-2:17; Psalm 22:12-21

Those who seek to be mighty before men must learn to be humble before God. “Moses went up to God… “, “Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak” (Exodus 19:3,7). “Very early in the morning, while it was still …

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Exodus 21:1-22:31; Mark 2:18-3:30; Proverbs 5:1-14

There is a world of difference between legal obedience and Gospel obedience. It is the difference between “old wine” and “new wine” (Mark 2:21-22). The religion of the Pharisees was legalistic. The obedience of Jesus was truly spiritual. These men could not stand Jesus -  “the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the …

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Exodus 23:1-24:18; Mark 3:31-4:29; Psalm 22:22-31

The people of Israel were called by God to celebrate His goodness:  “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field” (Exodus 23:16). A good harvest is used by Jesus as a symbol of a rich, spiritual harvest – “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, …

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Exodus 25:1-26:37; Mark 4:30-5:20; Psalm 23:1-6

The Lord’s people were in the wilderness. Nevertheless, the Lord’s presence, symbolized by the tabernacle, was with them (Exodus 25-26). Jesus’ disciples were caught in the storm. Nevertheless, the Lord was with them, and He brought peace (Mark 4:35-41). The greatest wilderness, the greatest storm is death itself. Through faith, we can say, “Even though …

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Heaven came down, and glory filled my soul.

"They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 ‘What …

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Love, joy, peace… where do they come from?

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Love, joy, peace ... - Is this what we find when we look within ourselves? or Do we find something very different? What does Jesus tell us about ourselves? Does he pat us on the back and tell as that, at …

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More questions than answers

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will …

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Revised Common Lectionary – Year B: First Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Revised Common Lectionary Year B - First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer. We confess our sins to God - ‘We sinned... All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy …

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When we really begin to see things from Jesus’ point of view, we will follow Him.

"Jesus was going to Jerusalem"  - to be "betrayed", "condemned to death" and to "come back to life" (Mark 10:32-34). Hallelujah! What a Saviour! "Teacher, we want you to do us a favour" (Mark 10:35) - This sounds so self-centred. What does Jesus say about this? - "Whoever wants to be great among you will …

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What a difference there is between Jesus giving a sign and the Pharisees demanding a sign!

What a difference there is between Jesus giving a sign and the Pharisees demanding a sign! Miracles are given when the Lord decides - not when we demand: "If these people are given a sign, it will be far different from what they want!" (Mark 8:12). A blind man came to Jesus. His sight Was …

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The Gospel Is For Today And Tomorrow – Not Just Yesterday.

Mark 7:24-37 The Gospel is for both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 1:16). The Gospel isn't just for long ago. It's for today and tomorrow - as well as yesterday. What about our response to the Gospel? - "They were extremely astonished and said, He has done everything well!": We worship the Lord, and we are …

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Looking forward to being with Christ, forever

"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). From "Christ for you", we move on to "Christ in you." Christ was crucified for us. Beyond his crucifixion, there is his resurrection. And, beyond his resurrection, there's his return "in great power and glory."* We do not only remember a past event: He died for …

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Jesus – the Saviour – takes the place of Barabbas – the sinner.

Jesus, the Saviour, takes the place of Barabbas, the sinner. Each one of us can see ourselves in Barabbas: the sinner for whom Jesus died. "He saved others, but He cannot save Himself" (Mark 15:31): This is missing the point of Jesus' death. It was by sacrificing Himself that He saved others. We look at …

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Believing in Jesus and following him.

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ 18 At once they left their nets and followed him. 19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son …

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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 the Lord. (c) the priority …

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The seed shall sprout and grow, the sower does not know how … (Mark 4:27).

God has given us a great promise - "my word that goes out from my mouth ... will not return to me empty" (Isaiah 55:11). When we feel that God's Word is returning to us empty, we have this Word of encouragement: God's Word will not return to Him empty. God gives us His great …

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Journey through the New Testament: Mark

Mark 1- 3 With the command, ‘Follow Me’, there is the promise, ‘I will make you fishers of men’ (1:17). Jesus prayed (1:35). Jesus was mighty before men. The power of God was flowing freely. Jesus knew where the power comes from - He was humble before God. There is a world of difference between …

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The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord

"You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High" (Luke 1:31-32) - What a special person Jesus is! He's the Son of God - and he's our Saviour! "And there were shepherds living out in …

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A New Beginning – Based On What Had Gone Before

Mark 1:1-20This was a new beginning (Mark 1:1), but it was based on what had gone before (Mark 1:2-3).Those who speak of Jesus Christ, their Saviour, are "voices crying in the wilderness", but their ministry is blessed by the Lord (Mark 1:3,5).  We must  never forget this, and we must pray that we will be like …

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A New Year Sermon: 2 Chronicles 30:6-12; Mark 1:1-13

2 Chronicles 30:6-12; Mark 1:1-13 "Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king" (2 Chronicles 30:6). A message had been given to them. They passed the message on. They "spoke according to the command of the king" (2 Chronicles 30:6). What we see here, in 2 Chronicles 30, …

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Good News – Reaching Out To Us And Reaching Out Through Us

“Good News” - “the forgiveness of sins” and “baptism with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:1,4,8). This Good News is centred on Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son (Mark 1:11). Jesus was empowered by “the Spirit” (Mark 1:12). He comes to us with “the Good news of God” (Mark 1:(14). He calls for our response - “Change …

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“Many warned him to be quiet, but he cried out all the more … ” (Mark 10:48).

There were many people who tried to silence blind Bartimaeus. Here was the voice of prayer – and they were saying, “Shut up’! Thank God – he didn’t shut up. He shouted out. They more they said, “Shut up”, the more he shouted out. Because our praise is loud, that doesn’t mean that it’s real …

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Let’s Eliminate Negative Thinking about Jesus Christ.

Mark 8:27-9:8 I've borrowed part of this title from Robert Schuller. He used the letters of the word, Lent, to say something that we all need to hear - Let's Eliminate Negative Thinking.  * Let's Eliminate Negative Thinking about Jesus Christ. In his short three-year ministry, Jesus encountered much criticism and controversy. The religious leaders, known …

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