Will we ever learn?

In the Gospels, we read about Jesus and his disciples. They were slow learners - but he was a very patient teacher. He didn't give up on them, and he doesn't give up on us. In the question, "Will we  ever learn?", there is more than a hint of frustration - we want to learn, …

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Out of the shadows of our past, into the light of His future

Micah 5:1-7:20; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Proverbs 21:17-26 God wipes out the shadow of our past - He “pardons sin” (Micah 7:18). He shines in the light of His future - “We will be “clothed with our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:4). From this standpoint of privilege, we are called to fulfil our responsibility: to be soldiers of …

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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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What A Great Gospel! What A Great Saviour! What A Great Salvation! What A Great Future!

The Humbled and Exalted Christ  5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself …

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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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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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There’s a difference between speaking with pride and speaking with faith.

So many people have so many questions. Again and again, we feel that there are so many questions - and so few answers. What are we to say about this? Are we to give up on the search for an answer? or Are we to look away from ourselves to Jesus? Here we need to …

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Whatever is happening, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Philippians 3:12-4:23 ‘Christ Jesus has made me His own’(3:12). In Paul`s words, we hear an echo of Jesus` words, ‘You did not choose Me... I chose you’(John 15:16). Christ has claimed us for Himself. He has laid claim to every part of our life. We are to ‘rejoice in the Lord always’(4). We are to …

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Our past, God’s future

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). Is our life being controlled by our past? Or, is God preparing us for his future? We look back on our past. What are we to say about …

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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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You get nothing for nothing … ?

"You get nothing for nothing. You only get what you pay for." Is this cynicism - or realism? Let's think together about something else - something that lifts us above all of this - the love of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God, the gift of God, the peace of God, the …

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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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Praying Through God’s Word: Philippians

Philippians 1:1-2:11Lord, there are times when we feel like we can’t go on, times when we feel like giving up. When we feel like this, speak to us Your Word of encouragement: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).Philippians 2:12-3:11Lord, we have …

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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. 2 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? 3 And if I go …

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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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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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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 Lord calls us back from our backsliding.

Jeremiah 2:31-4:9; Philippians 2:12-30; Psalm 115:12-18 The Lord calls us back from our backsliding: “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22). The returning people say, “Yes, we will come to You, for You are the Lord our God … surely in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel” (Jeremiah 3:22-23). …

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The true and living God

Jeremiah 1:1-2:30; Philippians 1:27-2:11; Psalm 115:1-11 The true and living God must not be reduced to the level of man-made gods. The challenge goes out from God’s Word: “Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?” (Jeremiah 2:28). There is no comparison between God and the gods – “Our God is in heaven … …

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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 we …

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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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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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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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One Year Bible: Days 274-304

Day 274 Jeremiah 2:31-4:9; Philippians 2:12-30; Psalm 115:12-18 The Lord calls us back from our backsliding: “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding” (Jeremiah 3:22). The returning people say, “Yes, we will come to You, for You are the Lord our God ... surely in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel” …

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Receiving strength from the Lord …

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 or Jonah 3:10-4:11; Psalm 145:1-8; Philippians 1:21-30; Matthew 20:1-16 Receiving strength from the Lord God allows His people to suffer difficulties. Why? - To strengthen our faith (Exodus 15:25; 16:4; Deuteronomy 8:2, 16; 1 Peter 1:6-7). He chastens us, to teach us repentance (Revelation 3:19). Don't …

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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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Looking up to the Lord … lifted up by him

"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord" (Isaiah 2:3). "You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22). "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"(Philippians 3:14). What are we to do when our …

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What a difference there is between “my own righteousness” and “the righteousness which is from God”!

"... not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" (Philippians 3:9). What a difference there is between "my own righteousness" and "the righteousness which is from God"! When we "stand amazed in the presence of Jesus", we realize …

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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 important …

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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. 7 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 must …

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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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Called on – from heaven, called on – to heaven

"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 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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