More than just a New Year… more than just ‘turning over a new leaf’

"If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Behind Paul's words - there is own personal testimony: 'This is what the Lord has done for me." This is not about Saul of Tarsus - changing the direction of his own life. A …

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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 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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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 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 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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I will sing to the Lord all my life.

Micah 1:1-4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1-18; Psalm 104:31-35 “All the nations may walk in the names of their gods; we will walk in the Name of the Lord our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5). This is the kind of commitment the Lord is looking for. We commit ourselves to Him not for our benefit but for …

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By the grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us live as children of light.

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).  Does it feel like we're partly in the light, and we're partly in the darkness? Is this what God's word says about us? No. It's not. What does God's Word say? "You were once darkness, but now …

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God’s gift of grace is so great.

Isaiah 14:1-16:14; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Psalm 106:1-15 Christ came to destroy the evil one, Satan – to bring him “down to the grave, to the depths of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan seeks to impoverish our lives. God, however, is very different. He gives us His “surpassing grace.” This is given to us in His …

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The grace that is reaching more and more people

Micah 1:1-4:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1-18; Psalm 104:31-35 “All the nations may walk in the names of their gods; we will walk in the Name of the Lord our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5). This is the kind of commitment the Lord is looking for. We commit ourselves to Him not for our benefit …

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“Yes” – This is what God says to us. Will we say “Yes” to him?

Genesis 17:1-27 God's covenant is so different from human promises. We don't always keep our word. God never breaks his word. He is faithful. He never fails us. Behind his covenant - there's his love. His covenant is "an everlasting covenant" (7). His love is "an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). here are times when we …

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Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing.

2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11  -  Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing - ‘God… comforts us in all our affliction’ (1:3-4). Whether good things or bad things are happening to you, don’t forget this: God loves you. His Word is ‘not Yes and No’ - ‘Yes, I love you. No, I …

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The enemies of the Lord will be brought to nothing.

Isaiah 20:1-23:18; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15; Proverbs 22:7-16 The people of God live in a situation of conflict. We are at war with the enemy. Nevertheless, we need not be afraid. The enemies of the Lord will be brought to nothing: “Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the …

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The enemies of the Lord will be brought to nothing.

Isaiah 20:1-23:18; 2 Corinthians 11:1-15; Proverbs 22:7-16 The people of God live in a situation of conflict. We are at war with the enemy. Nevertheless, we need not be afraid. The enemies of the Lord will be brought to nothing: “Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the …

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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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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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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 Chrust 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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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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God has given us new life. Let us live the new life.

"No one pours new wine into old wineskins... They pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22). In John's Gospel, we read about Jesus turning water into wine (chapter 2), and, then, we read about Jesus, telling Nicodemus that he needed to be "born again" (John 3:3). Here, he speaks about new wine. He's telling …

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May we keep on praising the Lord and giving thanks to him.

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day" (Deuterinomy 8:10). When the Lord has blessed us, let us not forget to give …

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How did Jesus come to his baptism? Did he come as a sinner in need of salvation? No. He came as the Saviour who brings salvation to sinners.

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then John consented" (Matthew 3:13-15). "Therefore, …

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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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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 within …

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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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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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Getting our priorities right

Trinity Sunday (First Sunday after Pentecost): Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; Matthew 28:16-20 Getting our priorities right: God, His Word, His Spirit - at the centre of our life The Bible’s opening verses challenge us to get our priorities right. (a) The priority of God (Genesis 1:1). God comes first. Before anyone else …

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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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Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing.

2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-2:11  -  Times of trouble can turn out to be times of great blessing - ‘God… comforts us in all our affliction’ (1:3-4). Whether good things or bad things are happening to you, don’t forget this: God loves you. His Word is ‘not Yes and No’ - ‘Yes, I love you. No, I don’t love …

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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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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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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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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). This post is, really, a continuation of an earlier post, "When we preach Christ crucified, let us, also, preach that he is the risen Lord." If you want to read that post before starting to read this one, here's the link for …

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You Raise Me Up.

"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil" (Habakkuk 1:13). The contrast between our sinfulness and God's holiness is an absolute contrast - never the two shall meet. Can we raise ourselves up from our sinfulness to God's holiness? - No! We cannot. We need to be raised up from above, by the Lord. …

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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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The light of God: this is what makes the difference.

"God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). The light of God: this is what makes the difference. When we feel like we're in a dark hole, the light …

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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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“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Here are some great words from Jim Elliot, an American missionary who died at the hands of Auca Indians in Ecuador in the 1950s – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” * "To gain what he cannot lose" - Eternal life has lasting value. * "what he cannot …

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The Word and the words (13): God’s salvation covers our past, our present and our future.

"I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing" (Psalm 23:1). I lack nothing - God has given us a full salvation. It's a salvation that covers our past, our present and our future. -- We begin by emphasizing that God's salvation covers our past. "He makes me lie …

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The revival of our worship

2 Chronicles 29:1-31:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12-22; Psalm 103:13-22 A revival of worship does not come from the worshippers. It comes from the God whom they worship – “what God had brought about for His people” (2 Chronicles 29:35b-36). “It is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:22). If …

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