God’s saving grace and keeping grace

"I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way, with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge, God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ …

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Knowing Christ and making Him known

Tuesday in Holy Week: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 71:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36 Knowing Christ and making Him known ‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’ (Isaiah 49:26). We are not to keep this to ourselves. God wants ‘all mankind’ to ‘know’. ‘Jesus, the Name to sinners dear, the …

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Good News for everyone

Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany – Isaiah 49:8-16a; Psalm 131; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34 Good News for everyone: Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. ‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’. We are not to keep this to ourselves. God wants ‘all mankind’ to ‘know’ (Isaiah 49:26). ‘Jesus, the …

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Living in accordance with the Gospel is the all-important thing.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-12:14; 1 Corinthians 9:1-18; Psalm 96:1-13 “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). There are many matters which are secondary. Living in accordance with the Gospel is the all-important thing: “We put up with anything rather than hinder the Gospel of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:12). “For great is …

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Hearing and Obeying God’s Word

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany – Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37 Hearing and Obeying God’s Word For Israel, a real turning to the Lord with ‘all the heart and soul’ involved obedience to ‘His commandments... written in this book of the law’ (Deuteronomy 30:10). We are not left wondering what God …

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Worship – at the heart of the Christian life

2 Chronicles 7:11-9:31; 1 Corinthians 11:2-34; Psalm 98:1-9 Worship lies at the heart of the Christian life. If the blessing of God is to come upon His people, there must be the gathering together of the His people for worship.  In calling His people to prayer, God says this: “Now My eyes will be open and …

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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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May we never become so taken up with ourselves that we forget Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us (Journey though the New Testament: 1 Corinthians).

1 Corinthians 1- 6 Paul preached ‘Christ crucified’ with a determination ‘to know nothing except Jesus Christ crucified’(1:23; 2:2). This is the message of our salvation. All the glory belongs to God: ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ (1:31). We come to know God when ‘the Spirit’ leads us to ‘Jesus Christ’ (2:10-13; …

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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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Christ died for us. Let us live for Him.

Thursday in Holy Week: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17 Christ died for us. Let us live for Him. Here, we focus attention on two verses which emphasize the importance of being saved by the Lord and going on to live for Him: ‘when I see the blood, I will pass …

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The Death of Christ

"This is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). Early on in my Christian life, I read James Denney's book, The Death of Christ.  Reading this book gave me a real sense of the importance of the death of Christ. This has stayed with me over the …

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Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Chronicles 21:4-23:21; 1 Corinthians 15:50-16:4; Proverbs 20:25-21:4 The conflict between good and evil, godliness and ungodliness, may be seen throughout the Scriptures. This is particularly true in the history of the Old Testament kings. God is doing a work. Satan is doing all that he can to destroy it. We must make “a covenant ... …

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Our limited understanding and God’s revelation

"God has set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  God has given us some understanding of himself, but we do not understand everything all that he is doing in our lives and in our world. There are two thoughts here, and …

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All that we do – for the glory of God

2 Chronicles 5:2-7:10; 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1; Proverbs 20:5-14 “The glory of the Lord filled the Temple of God” (2 Chronicles 5:14). There is glory among God’s people when He answers their prayers (2 Chronicles 6:40-42 and 2 Chronicles 7:1-3). All that we do is to be done “for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This includes our …

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Very important people – but the Word of the Lord didn’t come to any of them!

"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness" (Luke 3:1-2). Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate ... They …

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‘My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.’

Psalm 42:1-11 As we read God's Word day-by-day, we are to pray for an increase of our desire for God: 'My soul thirsts for God, for the living God' (Psalm 42:2). This is the spiritual experience, referred to in Psalm 42:7 - 'Deep calls to deep'. This is what Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians …

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May we never become so taken up with ourselves that we forget Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us.

1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11 -  ‘Your boasting is not good’ – May we never become so taken up with ourselves that we forget Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us: ‘Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us’, ‘you were washed… sanctified… justified in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in …

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Prayer, prophecy and praise

2 Chronicles 13:1-15:19; 1 Corinthians 14:1-40; Psalm 101:1-18 Prayer, prophecy and praise - these are three essential ingredients of worship. Prayer - “They sought God eagerly and He was found by them” (2 Chronicles 15:15). Prophecy - “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:39). Praise - “To You, O Lord, I will …

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A remnant: The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

"For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this" (Isaiah 37:32). A remnant - When Isaiah was called by God to the prophetic  ministry, he was given a warning. He was told that only a small minority of his hearers would respond …

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How long will we be in this wilderness?

Sometimes, we feel like we're in a wilderness - and we can't get out of it! The first half of the book of Exodus tells of the deliverance of the people of Israel from their time of bondage in the land of Egypt. Things were looking up! Surely, there were better days ahead for them. …

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The battle is not yours, but God’s.

2 Chronicles 18:28-21:3; 1 Corinthians 15:35-49; Psalm 102:12-17 Those who were armed for battle received this message from the Lord: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 21:15). Now, we fight many battles. There will come a Day when these battles …

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Praise, Preaching and Prayer

1 Chronicles 22:2-23:32; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Psalm 91:9-16 The Temple was to be “built for the Name of the Lord”, “to praise the Lord” (1 Chronicles 22:19; 23:5). In the context of such worship - “thanking and praising the Lord” (1 Chronicles 23:30), the Word of God would be spoken “not in words taught by …

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Jesus – what a great Saviour he is!

"But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Saviour except me" (Hosea 13:4). Here, God is saying to the people, "Here's something you must never forget. I brought you out of Egypt the land of bondage." He's saying to them, "Never forget how much …

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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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Repentance – faith: where do we begin? What about beginning with “Christ crucified” – with Jesus, the Saviour of sinners?

"I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:21). What are we to say about "repentance" and "faith"? Where are we to begin? Are we to begin with repentance? or Are we to begin with faith? Let's begin with …

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The deep things of God – and the deep love of Christ

"'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived' — the things God has prepared for those who love him — 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  "I pray …

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Not by works… for good works

"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). We look back - and we remember. What do we remember about Jesus? We …

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Now I belong to Jesus – not for the years of time alone, but for eternity.

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:11). This verse means a lot to me. It was given to me at the time when I set out on a life of ministry. It tells us that …

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