Fourth Sunday of Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

Don't settle for second best... ‘Samuel did what the Lord commanded’ (1 Samuel 16:4). Real obedience comes from ‘the heart’. It is more than just ‘keeping up appearances’(1 Samuel 16:7). ‘The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart’ – This is something we must never forget!’. ‘It’s the presence of Your Spirit, …

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From The Depths To The Heights

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins... But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:1,4-5) Down we go - deep into our …

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Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10).  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! …

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God is always greater than all our words about him.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3, verses …

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Less leaning on our own understanding and more trusting in the Lord

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 …

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One Spirit, one Lord and one God and Father of all

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when …

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Saved to do good works.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). These words come immediately after Paul's great words concerning salvation by grace through faith (verses 8-9). Here, in verse 10, he is emphasizing that grace changes us. By God's grace, we become new men …

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“one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:5-6)

Everything about our unity points away from ourselves.  * Our unity is in the Lord. He did not wait for us to come to him. He came to us and for us.  * Our unity is in the faith. This faith is not a man-centred faith. It's a faith that has been given to us …

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Christ is the sure foundation upon which our faith is built.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but 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. In him the whole building is joined together …

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The Prophets, The Apostles And The Saviour

"I will send them prophets and apostles. They will murder some of those prophets and apostles and persecute others ... When Jesus left, the experts in Moses’ Teachings and the Pharisees held a terrible grudge against Him. They questioned Him about many things  and watched Him closely to trap Him in something He might say" …

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The full armour of God and praying in the Spirit

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly …

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Yield not to temptation.

Away from me, Satan!... Then the devil left Jesus (Matthew 4:10). When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Jesus until an opportune time (Luke 4:13). Jesus' temptations in the wilderness were over, but there would be more temptations, coming his way. As we read the words, "until an opportune time", we are reminded that …

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The greatness of Christ’s love for us

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and …

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Journey through the New Testament: Ephesians

‘By grace you have been saved through faith… for good works’ (2:8-10). Holiness does not come from ourselves. It comes from the Lord. Long before we ever thought of loving Him - He loved us. By the grace of God we are called to salvation - ‘saved through faith’ - , sanctification - ‘for good works’ - , and …

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When I am weak, then I am strong.

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, ... I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being" (Ephesians 3:14,16). There are many times, in our life, when we become deeply aware of our own weakness. In such times, there's something we must never forget: "when I …

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God’s amazing grace

By grace, you have been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Here, Paul speaks to us about our faith, but, first, he speaks to us about God's grace. This is important. Grace comes first. Grace comes before faith. Let us never think too highly of our faith. Let us never cease to praise God's grace.

Don’t leave it all to the preachers!

To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it (Ephesians 4:7). To each one of us: what does this mean? So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in …

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Epiphany of the Lord: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6; Matthew 2:1-12

Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. ‘Arise, shine; for your Light has come... the Lord will be your everlasting Light’ (Isaiah 60:1,19-20). Jesus Christ is ‘the Light of the world’. When we ‘follow Him’, we ‘will not walk in darkness’. We ‘will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). …

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Don’t settle for “second-best.”

Fourth Sunday in Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 Don’t settle for “second-best”. ‘Samuel did what the Lord commanded’ (1 Samuel 16:4). Real obedience comes from ‘the heart’. It is more than just ‘keeping up appearances’ (1 Samuel 16:7). ‘The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart’- This …

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God’s grace is so great.

Isaiah 55:1-57:13; Ephesians 2:1-22; Psalm 110:1-7 Following the promise of grace (Isaiah 55:7), we have this great declaration by the Lord, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My …

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Everlasting love

Isaiah 51:17-54:17; Ephesians 1:1-23; Psalm 109:21-31 ’“With everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:8). “In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:5). This loving kindness has its origin in the heart of the eternal God. It continues for all …

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Sing to the Lord, and listen to His voice.

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!" (Psalm 95:1) - what a great call to worship! "Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts" (Psalm 95:7-8) - a much-needed word of warning! We're called to worship, but, sometimes, our hearts are far from …

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The “Mutch” theology – think “much” of the blood.

"In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7). When I was in my early twenties, I worked alongside a man called John Mutch. I had known John before I worked with him - but I got to know him better when we …

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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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Learning from Ephesians and the 23rd Psalm (Part Two)

"He makes me lie down in green pastures" (Psalm 23:2) / Ephesians 1:15-23 Green pastures: Green is the colour of growth. Let's think about spiritual growth. The shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures. Paul, the pastor of God's people, leads the people of God to the "green pastures" which He has provided for their …

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Passing on the Lord’s message to the next generation

Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them (Deuteronomy 4:9). What are the best things we can pass on to the rising generation? In Ephesians …

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Growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). We need grace, and we need knowledge. We begin with grace. This is where knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, comes from. It comes from grace. Without grace, we can have no real knowledge of our Saviour, …

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Where does our life of faith begin?

Where does our life of faith begin? Does it begin with our decision? or Does it begin with God's grace? "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4-5). We were dead. The …

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The Redeemed of the Lord

Isaiah 60:1-62:12; Ephesians 4:1-16; Proverbs 23:19-28 The grace of God is very great and very precious. Through His grace, we are “called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord” (Isaiah 62:12). We are “urged ... to live a life worthy of this high calling” (Ephesians 4:1). Following “the right path” is always a matter of the …

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The Lord’s compassion never fails.

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). When we're hurting, we need more kindness, more compassion, more forgiveness. Where do these things come from? Do they come from within ourselves? Again and again, we fail to be kind, compassionate and forgiving. If we …

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Saved by grace, saved through faith, saved for good works

Ephesians 2:1-10  What we were without Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3); What God has done for us in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-10) Ephesians 2:8-10 - saved by grace, saved through faith, saved for good works By grace - but not without faith and good works Faith and good works - the fruit of grace Faith and good works …

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The miracle of the new birth

Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 8:18). Here, we read about "signs and wonders" (Amplified Bible). Our thoughts turn to the spectacular. Thinking about eye-catching events, events that grab our attention, events that make us sit up and take notice, there is something that we …

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