How important it is not to settle for a superficial religion

Judges 7:8b-8:35; John 5:31-47; Proverbs 11:19-28 “No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals” (Judges 8:33). “John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light” (John 5:35) – “For a time”, but note their response to Jesus -”I have …

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Jesus is the way to victory.

"The Lord crowns the humble with victory" (Psalm 149:4). Victory is not something that we achieve for ourselves. It is given to us by the Lord. He sees that we are defeated. He shows us that we are defeated. He shows us that there is a way to victory. Jesus is the way. We look …

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Great is Thy faithfulness.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself (Psalm 89, verses 1 and 2). Singing of the Lord's great love: this lies at the heart of …

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Thy hand, O God, has guided Thy flock from age to age.

Future generations will be told about the Lord (Psalm 22:30). We look back to the Old Testament. We look back to the New Testament. We wonder, "Is this just ancient history?" We ask, "Does all of this have anything to do with us in today's world?" Here, God's Word gives us God's answer to our …

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Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:20-22). Here, we focus on the word, "hope." What do the politicians and economists have to …

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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 matters most to you – the things of this world or the new life in Christ?

"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word." (Psalm 119:37) What matters most to you - the things of this world or the new life in Christ? In our hearts, we know that there is really no contest, but, sadly, we, very often, take our eyes off Jesus, and …

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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

Bless us, Lord, and make us a blessing to others.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm 51:1-2). Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. …

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O for a closer walk with God

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:10-11). In these verses, we read about who God is, and we read about what he does for his people. (1) God is the "King." He is not just one king among many other …

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We are close to God’s heart, and we called to be his faithful people.

Psalm 148 begins and ends with the words, "Praise the Lord." This is the message that comes to us from every part of this Psalm: "Praise the Lord from the heavens... " (verses 1-6), "Praise the Lord from the earth... " (verses 7-14). In the final verse of the Psalm, we read about "the praise …

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We are not to keep the good news of Christ’s love to ourselves.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us, so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations (Psalm 67:1-2). We have been blessed by the Lord. Let us share his blessing with others. As we go into the house of the Lord, we …

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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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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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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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O come to the Father through Jesus, the Son.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart" (Psalm 24:3-4). We read these words of the Psalmist, and we ask the question, "Who has clean hands and a pure heart?" The moment each of us ask ourselves this question is the …

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The child died, but the love of God did not cease.

 2 Samuel 11:1-12:31; Acts 4:1-22; Psalm 71:1-8 “David pleaded with God for the child”, born of his adultery with Bathsheba, but “the child died” (2 Samuel 12:18). David prayed that “the Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live” (2 Samuel 12:22). The child died, but the love of God did not …

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Strengthened by the Lord, let us face our fears and rise above them.

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1). Fear is a very powerful emotion. It can take hold of us and destroy us. The Psalmist speaks to us with faith. He speaks to us about the light of God, and the …

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The light of the Lord shall triumph over our darkness, and the joy of the Lord shall triumph over our sadness.

Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy (Psalm 4:6-7). When the light of the Lord shines upon us, our hearts are filled with joy. In our journey through life, we go through many dark times. Often, we wonder, "Are we alone in the darkness?" Sometimes, it seems like our …

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Lord, fill us with your love, and fill us with your joy.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is …

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The greatness of God’s love

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise youand extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom (Psalm 145:1-3). The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love {Psalm 145:8). "Great is …

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Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised (Psalm 113:1-3). We only have today. At night time, we wait for the coming of …

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Let us celebrate the love of God, when we’re gathered together for worship and when we’re on our own.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious (Psalm 66:1-2). To every one of us, the call goes out, "Shout for joy to God." We shout for joy when we have something to celebrate. What do we have to celebrate? We celebrate the love of …

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Getting back on track with personal worship

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving (Psalm 69:30). Let us worship God: we hear these words, being spoken to God's people, when they are gathered together for worship. What about personal worship: I will praise God? True worship will, always, be more than what happens when we are gathered together …

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Thanking God for his blessings, and praying that we will know, more and more, of his blessing

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.  For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How …

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Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is absolutely trustworthy and completely dependable.

Psalms 20:1-21:13 We boast of the Name of the Lord our God...Through the steadfast love of the Most High' we 'shall not be moved' (20:7;21:7). We do not trust in things that 'collapse and fall'. We build on 'the Rock' (20:8; Matthew 7:24-27; Psalms 18:1-3; 62:5-7). We 'rejoice' in our God. He has made us …

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Worshipping the Lord: Learning From The Psalms

In Psalm 4, there is a great message of the Gospel. By ourselves, we are sinners, turning God’s glory to shame, loving delusions and seeking false gods (Psalm 4:2). By grace, God has done something about this - ‘the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself’ (Psalm 4:3). When we pray, ‘Answer me’ (Psalm …

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God loves us with a great love. He loves us with a faithful love.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself (Psalm 89:1-2). As we read through God's Word, we read about many things, and we read about many …

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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