Rejoice in your Saviour!

Romans 3:1-31 We are sinners - every single one of us. There are no exceptions: 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God'. When we see ourselves as we really are, sinners, we come to see that there is no way for us to earn God's love. We will never deserve to …

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The flesh and the Spirit

"Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you" (Romans 8:8-9). The flesh and the Spirit are very different. This is what Paul says here. It's what Jesus said in John 3:6. In John …

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Romans 11-14

Romans 11:1-36 -  ‘You stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe’ (20). In 9:32, Paul contrasted ‘faith’ and ‘works’. Here, he contrasts ‘grace’ and ‘works’ (6). Grace and faith belong together. ‘Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling’ (Church Hymnary, 83) – This …

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We are sinners. We’re called to be servants. Jesus is our Saviour.

"I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). We read the words of Paul - and we look beyond him to …

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God sees us as we really are – and he keeps on loving us.

"For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others" (Ecclesiastes 7:22).  "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" (Romans 2:1).  The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector "Also …

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In the power of the Holy Spirit

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to …

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God’s purpose – for all nations and all generations

1 Chronicles 12:23-14:17; Romans 15:14-33; Psalm 90:1-10 God’s purpose concerns all the nations – “The Lord made all the nations fear David” (1 Chronicles 14:17). Paul was “a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles” (Romans 15:16). God’s purpose concerns all generations – “Lord, You have been our dwelling-place throughout all generations” (Psalm 90:1). From …

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Jesus, the risen Lord, calls us to look up from our suffering and catch a glimpse of his glory.

"Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). When we're suffering, it's not easy to lift up our eyes and catch a glimpse of the glory of God. Our thoughts are taken up with the things that are happening to us right now. What is …

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God’s greatest gift – Jesus

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 or Jeremiah 20:7-13; Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 19:24-30 Let us rejoice in God’s greatest gift – Jesus. We have here the contrast between Isaac, the child of promise, and Ishmael, the fruit of unbelief. Ishmael was born as a result of impatience, the …

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It’s not the beginning of the end. It’s the end of the beginning.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). Is everything that happens to us good? How are we to answer this question? Should we answer a question with another question? Will the final outcome be good? When we look on to the final outcome, everything changes. …

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As we learn to love and serve the Lord, may we learn to trust his precious promise, “I am with you always.”

You are fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-20). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17, New |King James Version). Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching …

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We may stop loving God, but he will never stop loving us.

"I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). What is God's Word saying to us here? …

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Fourth Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

Christ has come. Christ is coming again. Isaiah looked ahead to the coming of ‘Immanuel’ - ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We look forward to the Second Coming of Immanuel: ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will …

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Let us pray that our love for Jesus will not grow cold.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 7:10-14; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24 Let us pray that our love for Jesus will not grow cold.Isaiah looked ahead to the coming of ‘Immanuel’ - ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We look forward to the Second Coming of Immanuel: ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and …

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Fourth Sunday of Advent: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 (or Luke 1:47-55); Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Fourth Sunday of Advent: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 (or Luke 1:47-55); Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38 Look beyond David. Look beyond Solomon. Jesus Christ is the King of kings. David was king. God was looking on to the next king, Solomon. Knowing the kind of man Solomon would become, God speaks of chastening: …

Continue reading Fourth Sunday of Advent: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26 (or Luke 1:47-55); Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Let us pray that our love for Jesus will not grow cold.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 7:10-14; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24 Let us pray that our love for Jesus will not grow cold. Isaiah looked ahead to the coming of ‘Immanuel’ - ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We look forward to the Second Coming of Immanuel: ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, …

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Christ calls all nations to turn to Him.

Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12 Christ calls all nations to turn to Him. The family tree of ‘Jesse, the father of King David’ has a very special ‘Branch’ - Jesus Christ (Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 1:1,6,16). Jesus Christ has raised ‘a banner for the nations’. He is ‘the Saviour of the …

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Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

Christ calls all nations to come to Him. The family tree of ‘Jesse, the father of King David’ has a very special ‘Branch’- Jesus Christ (Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 1:1, 6, 16). Jesus Christ has raised ‘a banner for the nations’. He is ‘the Saviour of the world’. He has died ‘for the sins of the …

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From strength to strength, from faith to faith, from glory to glory

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are led from strength to strengh, from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. (1) From strength to strength The phrase, "from strength to strength" is taken from the hymn, "Soldiers of …

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Jesus is more than our teacher and example. He’s our Saviour and Lord.

"Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2). Not conformed to the world, transformed by the Lord: how are we to live this kind of …

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In life’s hard times, God keeps on loving us…

"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:6). "Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life" - What does this mean? Does it mean that only good things will happen to us? …

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God’s constant love – the divine pattern for our living in love

Amos 1:1-2:16; Romans 2:17-3:8; Proverbs 17:5-14 God is perfectly holy. He cannot stand sin. This is clear in both Amos and Romans. It is stressed in Proverbs, which emphasizes that sin is not so much sin against man but “contempt for their Maker” (17:5). Proverbs 17:9 tells us that we are to “promote love.” This love …

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Knowing Jesus and preaching him: it’s all about loving him.

"I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). Here, Paul speaks to us about knowing Christ crucified and preaching Christ crucified, Before we can preach him, we must know him. God speaks to us before we speak for him. What …

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The Lord brought about a great victory.

1 Chronicles 11:1-12:22; Romans 14:19-15:13; Psalm 89:46-52 1 Chronicles 11 speaks of “David’s mighty men” (1 Chronicles 11:11). The focus is not, however, on either David or the “mighty men.” It is on the Lord – “The Lord brought about a great victory” (1 Chronicles 11:14). In their warfare, “the Spirit” brings this message – …

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The Word and the words (13): Jesus – the resurrection and the life

"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die" (John 11:25). Jesus speaks to us with realism - we will "die." He speaks to us with hope - we will "live." Jesus' words find an echo in the words of Paul - "The wages of …

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Lord, help us to keep on telling people what you have done for us.

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch (Isaiah 62:1). “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a …

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When God works in mighty power

Jonah 1:1-4:11; Romans 2:1-16; Psalm 85:1-7 In Nineveh, God works in mighty power. "Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry" (Jonah 3:10-4:1). To this proud attitude, God says, "You ... have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else" (Romans 2:1). He calls for a change of attitude: "Do you show contempt for the …

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Jesus Christ our Lord: crucified for us and risen for us

"We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord" (2 Corinthians 4:5). Jesus is Lord. This is the message that Jesus' resurrection brings to us. In Romans 10:9, Paul brings the two together: Jesus has been raised from the dead, and Jesus is Lord.  "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your …

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When we preach Christ crucified, let us, also, preach that he is the risen Lord.

"We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). In his preaching. Paul "reasoned with people from the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2), but he did not say, "We preach Isaiah", "We preach Jeremiah" or "We preach... ." He said, "We preach Christ crucified." When Paul spoke about the death of Christ, he spoke about the love of God: …

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God shows us our sin so that we might appreciate His salvation …

"Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23-24). Here, we read about our sin and God's salvation. Once we have received God's salvation, we must not forget about our sin. We have …

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Let us rejoice in Jesus, God’s Son. Let us rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour.

"God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4). This post is a continuation of my earlier post, "This is my Son. This is your Saviour." You should, really, read that post before reading …

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Are there some things that are more than “just your own opinion”?

"I'll tell you what I think." "I'll give you my opinion." In today's world, people will listen to all sorts of opinions. They may disagree with what's being said, but they will listen, and they will say, "You're entitled to your opinion." What happens when someone says, "This is what the Word of the Lord …

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God has great things in store for His people.

Romans 5:1-21 God has great things in store for His people! (a) 'Much more' (9-10): 'Justified by Christ's blood', 'reconciled to God', 'We shall be saved by Christ from the wrath of God', 'saved by His life'. (b) 'Much more' (15,17): 'The grace of God' has 'abounded for many'. In Christ, we have 'received the abundance of …

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When we bow at the foot of the Cross, we say, “To God be the glory.”

Romans 11:1-36 'You stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe' (20). In 9:32, Paul contrasted 'faith' and 'works'. Here, he contrasts 'grace' and 'works' (6). Grace and faith belong together. 'Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling' (Church Hymnary, 83) - This is …

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Let us rejoice in God’s great salvation.

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having …

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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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Responding to God’s Word (42): You will be saved.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). How are we to respond to God's Word? Here, Paul tells us: confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. What is to be our confession …

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The commonplace and the deeper experience of worship

1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36; Romans 16:1-27; Psalm 90:11-17 In a book full of so many names, David’s psalm of thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 16) stands out. It is a high-point in the midst of the commonplace. The commonplace is not insignificant in God’s purpose. It is the backcloth against which God gives to us His special high-points. In …

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It’s God’s Love For Us That Creates, In Us, Our Love For Him.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we come to God, our loving, heavenly Father. In Christ, we see God's Fatherly love. Enjoying God's Fatherly love - This is more than our entrance into God's family through faith in Christ. It's living as a member of God's family. It's discovering how much we are loved by God. …

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