In the wilderness… (Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 (or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21) or Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103: (1-7), 8-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35)

In the wilderness, we can know that God is with us. Sin may be ‘near’, but God never leads His people into it (Exodus 13:13:17, James 1:13). Following Christ means walking a narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). We are surrounded by many temptations. Pray that your feet will not slip (Psalm 37:31; 17:5; 44:18). Sometimes, the …

Continue reading In the wilderness… (Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 (or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21) or Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103: (1-7), 8-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35)

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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Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 119:33-40; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20

Saved by the Lord, let us go on to live for Him. ‘When I see the blood, I will pass over you... You must eat unleavened bread’ (Exodus 12:13, 20). In Exodus 12:13, we are directed beyond the Passover to Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins (John 1:29; 1 John1:7). …

Continue reading Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33:7-11; Psalm 119:33-40; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20

The Name of Jesus is the Name of our salvation.

"Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Joel 2:32: Romans 10:13). From the prophet Joel and the apostle Paul, we have this great promise of God. Between the prophet and the apostle, there is Jesus, the Saviour. The prophet points forward to Him. The apostle looks back to Him. The name, Jesus, was …

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Being strengthened by the Lord and sharing His Word with others

Matthew 5:1-2 Here, we have the introduction to 'the Sermon on the Mount' (chapters 5-7). Reference is made to both 'the disciples' and 'the crowds'. The disciples are taught with a view to becoming teachers of the crowds. Peter learned from Christ and later he taught the crowds (Acts 2:14-42). The Sermon on the Mount …

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Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday): Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66

Isaiah 50:4-7: Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66 Listening to God and speaking for Him ‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ …

Continue reading Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday): Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66

Special Days – Michaelmas: 2 Kings 6:8-17; Psalm 103:19-22; Revelation 12:7-12a; Matthew 18:1-6, 10

Our love for God is grounded in His love for us. Elisha was ‘the man of God’ (2 Kings 6:6, 9, 15). This was the important thing about him. More than anything else, he was ‘the man of God’. We find the same phrase in 1 Timothy 6:11 - ‘But as for you, man of …

Continue reading Special Days – Michaelmas: 2 Kings 6:8-17; Psalm 103:19-22; Revelation 12:7-12a; Matthew 18:1-6, 10

Prayer and the ministry of God’s Word

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 or Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Psalm 25:1-9; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 Prayer and the ministry of God’s Word Worldly people create problems (Exodus 17:3). Moses asks, ‘What shall I do...?’ (Exodus 17:4). Indecision asks, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ (Exodus 17:7). He gives victory (Exodus …

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What a difference there was between Jesus’ teaching and those who ‘preach, but do not practise.’

Matthew 5:17-20 In verse 20, Jesus refers to 'the scribes and Pharisees'. Jesus warned against the shallow superficiality of these men who were more concerned with outward appearances than inner reality. This conflict with the Jewish religious leaders lies close to the surface in the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus says, 'This is their …

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c or Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

The work of God makes progress when God’s people move forward together. Salvation, service, personal faith, life among God’s people - God has much to teach us. Moses sins (Exodus 2:12). God graciously forgives (Micah 7:18-19) - this is salvation. His sin forgiven, Moses is called to service. He is called by the eternal God, …

Continue reading Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c or Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Redeemed by the Lord, we are to be consecrated to Him. Things were difficult for Israel yet ‘the more they were oppressed the more they multiplied’ (Exodus 1:12). Difficult times can be the making of God’s people! Pharaoh (and Satan!) is murderously anxious about the growth of God's people (Exodus 1:15-16; John 10:10). God is …

Continue reading Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves. Tell the nations: Jesus saves.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice (Psalm 97:1). Here, we focus our attention on the words, "the distant shores." As we read these words, we are reminded that the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is for people of all nations. As a community of worshippers, we are to be reminded, often, …

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Matthew 12

MATTHEW 12:1-21  -  Much of Jesus’ ministry was carried out under the watchful eye of the Pharisees. The controversy with the Pharisees was intensifying  (2, 14). The Pharisees were out to get Jesus. For all their religion, they had no time for Jesus. Still, there are the critics, those who try to undermine our faith …

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Before our love for God, there is His love for us.

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Psalm 19 or Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46 Before our love for God, there is His love for us. God does not want to see sin in us (Exodus 20:20). He wants to see Himself in us. Sin robs us of His great blessing. …

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Receiving strength from the Spirit of God

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 or Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14 Receiving strength from the Spirit of God ‘Called’ by God and ‘filled’ with His Spirit (Exodus 31:1-3), Bezalel had the support of Oholiab and ‘all able men’ (Exodus 31:6). Few may be called and equipped to lead, …

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God’s love, God’s Son, God’s command, God’s purpose

Easter Sunday Morning: Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10 God’s love, God’s Son, God’s command, God’s purpose ‘When the Holy Spirit comes on you... you will be My witnesses... to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). This great advance of the Gospel …

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Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

We gather together to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the reunion of Joseph with his brothers, there is a great testimony to the God of grace: ‘Do not be distressed... because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life... God sent me before you to preserve for you …

Continue reading Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

Trusting and following Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children, walking in the truth (3 John, verse 4). As I was reading these words, I thought of Jesus' words, "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). Throughout our life of faith, Jesus is the way. Throughout our life of …

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God’s unfailing love and his great salvation

May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise (Psalm 119:41). We come to this prayer of the Psalmist, and we are reminded of God's unfailing love. We are reminded of God's great salvation. How often and how easily we forget God's words of love, his words of salvation. We look at …

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Searching the Scriptures and finding the Saviour

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse …

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Special Days – Christian Unity: Ezekiel 37:15-24; Psalm 122; 1 Corinthians 3:1-11; Matthew 28:16-20

As we we come to God’s House, let us pray, “Holy Spirit, we welcome You.” It was ‘a valley of dry bones’ (Ezekiel 37:1-2). Then, the Lord changed everything - ‘I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live’ (Ezekiel 37:5). What a difference the Lord makes! ‘Breathe on me, Breath of God. …

Continue reading Special Days – Christian Unity: Ezekiel 37:15-24; Psalm 122; 1 Corinthians 3:1-11; Matthew 28:16-20

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Matthew 5:1-12a

The Lord is calling us back to Himself - from sin and sadness to salvation and gladness. ‘The great Day of the Lord is near - near and coming quickly... That Day will be a Day of wrath... I will bring distress upon the people... because they have sinned against the Lord’ (Zephaniah 1:14-17). This …

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A question that each one of us must answer

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the …

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer ... He will say: Here am I." (Isaiah 58:9) God’s Word invites us to ‘call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved’ (Acts 2:21). To each and every one of us, the call of God comes. He's calling us to come to Him. This …

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). How does the Lord keep us walking in His way? – He keeps on bringing to our attention the glorious future which He is preparing for us. …

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48

Holiness and Love Holiness and love – the two belong together (Leviticus 19:1,18,34).  God calls us to live a life of holiness, a life of love.  Through His Spirit – the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love – , He enables us to live this life.  We need His promises.  We need His commands.  Take …

Continue reading Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48

Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Deuteronomy 11:18,26-28; Romans 3:21-25,28; Matthew 7:21-27

Obedience and Blessing God is at work among His people, teaching them many lessons.  Through His precious promises and strong warnings, He leads us in the way of obedience and blessing (Deuteronomy 11:31-32).  If we are to enjoy the Lord’s blessing, we need the whole Word of God – the warnings as well as the …

Continue reading Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Deuteronomy 11:18,26-28; Romans 3:21-25,28; Matthew 7:21-27

First Sunday of Lent: Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

Created by God, Created for God Genesis 2:7 "the breath of life" Everything changes when the Lord breathes His breath of life into us. * Until God comes to us in power, our situation is desperate - "I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry" (Ezekiel …

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Special Days – Springtime: Genesis 8:15-22; Psalm 65:9-13; Galatians 6:7-10; Matthew 6:24-30

Christ has taken away our sin. Let us rejoice in Him. Following the flood, we have this simple yet striking declaration: ‘the ground was dry’ (Genesis 8:13). Safe from judgment! This is the message which comes to us from the Cross: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John …

Continue reading Special Days – Springtime: Genesis 8:15-22; Psalm 65:9-13; Galatians 6:7-10; Matthew 6:24-30

The darkness of sin, and the light of God’s salvation

Genesis 19 is a chapter that's full of the darkness of sin. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is followed by the sordid episode with Lot and his daughters. Sin leads to judgment. That's the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah. sin leads to judgment. we see this in the birth of these two illicitly conceived …

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Jesus calls us to be changed by his love.

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matthew 7:28-29). Some preachers leave us with a question, "What was all that about?" Jesus was different. He left people with the question, "What are you going …

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Responding to Jesus Christ

Sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm / Passion): Entry into Jerusalem – Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Passion – Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66 (or Matthew 27:11-54)    PALM SUNDAY Our response to Christ - Discipleship, Depth, Devotion Four times, Jesus is called ‘the Son of David’ (Matthew 20:30-31; 21:9,15). Christ is greater than …

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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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