At the end of my ministry: looking back and looking forward

From time to time, I wondered what I would say to the people in the final service of my ministry. This is what I did say. As I began to think about this service, my thoughts turned to the the opening words of Psalm 115, "Not to us, not to us, but to your name …

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The Name of Jesus

January 1: The Naming of Jesus – Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 8; Galatians 4:4-7 (or Philippians 2:5-11); Luke 2:15-21 His Name was called JESUS (Luke 2:21). Christmas is over – but let’s not forget Jesus. He is still here. He is still with us. He is for New Year’s Day as well as Christmas Day. He …

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First Sunday after Christmas Day: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7 (or Philippians 2:5-11); Luke 2:22-40 – The Name of Jesus is Good News. It tells us of the Saviour’s love.

First Sunday after Christmas Day: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Psalm 148; Galatians 4:4-7 (or Philippians 2:5-11); Luke 2:22-40 The Name of Jesus is Good News. It tells us of the Saviour’s love. ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me... to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour’ (Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus has fulfilled these words (Luke …

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We come to the Lord’s House.

Second Sunday of Advent: Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 27 (or Luke 1:68-79); Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6 We come to the Lord’s House so that we might offer our heartfelt worship to the Lord.‘One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the House of the Lord…’ (Psalm 27:4). What are we doing when …

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Our anxieties and God’s peace

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Anxiety is something we all have to live with. How do we respond when anxiety threatens to …

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The Word and the words (16): Without Christ – we can do nothing. With him – we can do all things.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). "Apart from me you can do nothing" - This doesn't do much for our pride! Jesus hits the nail on the head! He's absolutely right! …

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Peace, peace, when there is no peace

Jeremiah 6:1-7:29; Philippians 4:2-23; Proverbs 24:5-14 The false prophets say, “Peace, peace … when there is no peace” – “They dress the wound of God’s people as though it were not serious” (Jeremiah 6:14). The true prophet of God comes with a very different message. He says, “Do not say, ‘This is the temple of …

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The Word and the words (15): The way to the Father … the way of love and holiness … the way to heaven

“Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later " (John 13:36). "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go …

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Words from far away and long ago … or more than that?

"The Lord is my light and my salvation ... The Lord is the strength of my life" (Psalm 27:1). We read these words from a faraway place and a long time ago, and we wonder, "Are these words for us? Are they for today's world? or Should they be left in the past?" Does God's Word give …

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The God of salvation

Zephaniah 1:1-3:20; Philippians 1:1-26; Proverbs 23:29-24:14 “The Lord God is with you. He is mighty to save” (Zephaniah 3:17). The God of salvation is with us, not only here-and-now but for evermore – “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). As …

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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 …

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The Story of God’s Perfect Love – The Story of God’s Perfect Son

* Jesus told a story of God's love - "the story of the prodigal son" (Luke 15:11-32). * Jesus is the story of God's love - His story is the story of God's perfect Son. ----- In Luke 15:13, we read of the prodigal son going into the "far country". In Luke 15:20-22, we read …

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Responding to God’s Word (46): At the name of Jesus

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he …

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The history of God’s salvation – Jesus is our Saviour and Lord.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). When we think about the history of God's salvation, we begin with God's everlasting love. We go back beyond the beginning of the world - back to the everlasting God and his everlasting love. "That it might be fulfilled" (Matthew 1:21). When we focus our …

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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 grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus came from heaven. He came to earth. What a wonderful story is the story of God's way of salvation! In …

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The Kingdom Of God: The Prison Letters – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon

Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon: These letters are known, collectively, as the prison letters. They were written by Paul during his time of imprisonment in Rome. In Philippians, we see God's kingdom as a kingdom as a kingdom of joy: "Rejoice in the Lord always, and, again, I say, rejoice" (Philippians 4:4). When the Lord …

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In times of prosperity, in times of adversity

Jesus speaks to "the cities where most of his mighty works had been done" (Matthew 11:20). He gives them absolutely no encouragement to bask in their past glories. He presents them with the challenge of the present. He calls on them to makle an immediate response to God. In no uncertain terms, he challenges them …

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Our understanding of God’s Word and the strengthening of our faith

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Those who hope in (or wait on) the Lord will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given …

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Downcast, disturbed: What are we to do when we feel like this?

"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God" (Psalm 43:5). Downcast... Disturbed... What are we to do when we feel like this? As I was reading these words of the Psalmist, I thought, also, of the …

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Christ will give you the strength to keep going when you feel like giving up (Philippians).

PHILIPPIANS 1:1-2:11  -  Do you feel like you can`t go on? Do you feel like giving up? Here`s God`s Word of encouragement for you: ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ’ (1:6). God finishes what He starts - ‘He didn`t bring us this …

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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’ …

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Called on – from heaven, called on – to heaven

"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Philippians 3:20-21) We've only just begun! What we know of the Lord's love, while we're here …

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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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The Word of God is like a fire.

Jeremiah 4:10-5:31; Philippians 3:1-4:1; Psalm 116:1-11 The Word of God is like a fire, burning up the sin of man (Jeremiah 5:14). The purpose of this fire is not, however, destructive. God’s purpose is to burn up the pride which “puts confidence in the flesh”, to burn away the “legalistic righteousness.” All of that is …

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Lord, fill our worship and our living with your holiness and your joy.

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!... Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad (Psalm 96:9,11). In our worship, there is to be both holiness and joy. This is not only the way things are to be when we are gathered together for worship. It's the way things are to be in …

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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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Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10).  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! …

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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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Anxiety in ourselves, peace in the Lord

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). We're constantly in a battle with anxiety - but there's something else we …

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No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.

Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is more important and more wonderful than everything else (Philippians 3:8). Paul's testimony lifts us above the shallow superficiality of the worldly way of thinking. Too often, we attach too much importance to the things that aren't really that important. We need to be reminded that Jesus is the most …

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