Always seeking, never finding

"The word is very near you" (Deuteronomy 30:14). Some people are always searching - but never finding. They look here, there and everywhere ... and, then, they start again ... and so, the search continues ... always searching, never finding. They tell us, "It's all about the search." Jesus tells us something very different. He …

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Believing in the Lord and speaking for him.

"It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is …

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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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Giving the answer of faith without giving the impression that we have all the answers

 We live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). There's a big difference between faith and sight. This is what Paul is saying to us here. When people come to us with difficult questions, we should take care that we do not give the impression that we have all the answers. We don't! We …

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How can we become more on fire for the Lord?

His word is in my heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9). What is it that keeps the fire burning? It's the power that comes from God. It's the power of the Holy Spirit. He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11). You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and …

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The Word and the words (11): Giving our own testimony and inviting others to come to the Saviour

"I am the light of the world" (John 9:5). "It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). In John 8:12, Jesus says, "I am the light of …

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May we know more and more of the love of Christ, controlling our way of thinking and our way of living.

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning: my God turns my darkness into light (Psalm 18:28). How are we to keep walking in the light with God? Here, our attention is directed away from what we do. Here, our attention is focused on what the Lord does for us. It is the Lord who keeps our lamp …

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Let there be light.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now, the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the …

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The School of Discipleship (7): Fixing our eyes on Jesus, let us move forward into the great future he is preparing for us.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen …

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The School of Discipleship (4): Looking away from ourselves to Jesus and being changed by him

We speak about growing in faith, becoming a stronger believer. We speak about growing in grace, becoming a more gracious person. Is this what we learn about in the school of discipleship? Should we not place the emphasis on the faithfulness of God and the grace of God? What are we to say about our …

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Some words of encouragement – for the times when we feel discouraged

Two Bible verses are running through my mind. One of the verses is very discouraging. The other verse is very encouraging. The first verse would make us feel like giving up in despair. The second verse makes us want to keep on going with the Lord and for the Lord. The first of these verses …

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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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God has spoken to us. Let us speak to him, and let us speak for him.

"The Sovereign Lord has spoken: so who can refuse to proclaim his message?" (Amos 3:8). As I was reading these words from Amos, I recalled the words of Paul, "I believed in God, so I spoke" (2 Corinthians 4:13). We receive the Word of the Lord with faith. We are not to keep the Word of 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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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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What we are in our sin is only part of our story. May we never forget what we are in God’s salvation: a new creation in Christ Jesus.

"The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down... The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who …

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The Holy Spirit – living in our hearts

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for …

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Responding to God’s Word (43): One day when heaven was filled with his praises…

We preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23). What we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5). As I was reading these verses about Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, I found this song of praise, arising in my heart. May God help each of us to think, often, of Jesus, …

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Spiritual growth – God’s gift of grace, not our own moral achievement

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:18). "Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ" is more than knowing about him. We are to "grow in his grace", and we are to give "glory" to him. …

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By the mercy of God, through the Word of God, in the power of God, for the glory of God

In the work of ministry, we are, often, discouraged by the lack of response. May God help us to remember that "we have received this ministry by the mercy of God" (2 Corinthians 4:1). May he give us the wonderful privilege of seeing more and more people, responding to the Word of God, which, by …

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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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The Lord is calling His people to holiness.

Isaiah 3:1-5:7; 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1; Psalm 105:12-22 “Those who are left … will be called holy” (Isaiah 4:3). “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). The Lord is calling His people to holiness. They are not to be in bondage to the world and its way of living. Even though the Lord’s …

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More than the things we can see with our eyes

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but …

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The Light of God, the Power of God and the Glory of God

The Light comes from God  - "Go... has shone in our hearts... "(2 Corinthians 4:6). The Power comes from God - "the excellence of the power is of God and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). The Glory goes to God  - "grace... may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God" (2 Corinthians …

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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 Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord

"You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High" (Luke 1:31-32) - What a special person Jesus is! He's the Son of God - and he's our Saviour! "And there were shepherds living out in …

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How are we to be ‘cheerful’ in giving ourselves to the Lord?

2 Corinthians 8:8-9:15 How are we to be ‘cheerful’ in giving ourselves to the Lord (9:7)? How are we to be confident that ‘God is able to provide us with every blessing in abundance’(9:8)? Before we ever think of giving ourselves to God, we must look at all He has given to us. We look …

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The power of the Spirit – poured into our hearts

2 Chronicles 33:21-35:19; 2 Corinthians 2:12-3:16; Psalm 104:1-18 Covenant – This is vitally important in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (2 Chronicles 34:29-32; 2 Corinthians 3:6). There is the Word of God (2 Chronicles 34:30) and the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 3:6). There is the human response (2 Chronicles 34:31-32) and renewal by the …

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The Holy Spirit Is Our ‘Guarantee Of Heavenly And Eternal Glory.’

2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10 God has called us to salvation - ‘God has shone in our hearts…’ (2 Corinthians 4:6). He has called us to service, ‘having this ministry by the mercy of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:1). We receive salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be …

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The Lord bless you and keep you.

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven" (Psalm 32:1). The forgiveness of sins - this is such a great blessing. The forgiveness of sins: it's just the beginning of so much great blessing which will continue throughout our life on earth and for all eternity. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit …

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Reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ

‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation.’ Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him.’ We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ.’ We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation - ‘now is the …

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Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you …

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Listening to what Jesus has to say to us

As I was reading the Bible's first chapter, Genesis 1, I noticed, in verses 22 and 28, "God blessed them." In verse 28, I read about "seed" and, in verse 22, I read about being "fruitful." This made me think of Jesus' parable of the sower (Mark 4:3-9). In this parable, Jesus is speaking about …

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Compassion, Comfort, Confidence and Courage

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our …

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Who is Jesus Christ? What has He done for us?

Isaiah 8:11-10:19; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Proverbs 21:27-22:6 Who is Jesus Christ? What has He done for us? God’s answer to these questions is found in Isaiah 9:6 – “He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” and 2 Corinthians 8:9 – “our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor, …

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The things that really matter

2 Corinthians 10:1-11:15  -  We are engaged in warfare. Is it ‘worldly war’? Do we use ‘worldly weapons’? No! It is spiritual warfare. God has given us His weapons (10:3-4). Our enemy is ‘Satan’ - ‘the god of this world’ (11:13-15; 4:4). We face him with ‘the whole armour of God’, with ‘the Gospel of peace’ (Ephesians 6:11,13,15). We are not …

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We need true lives as well as true words.

2 Corinthians 5:11-7:1  -  ‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation’. Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him’. We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ’. We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation - ‘now …

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