Isaiah 52-54

"Clothe yourself with strength" (Isaiah 52:1). Our strength comes from our Saviour. In ourselves, there is sin. In Him, there is salvation (Isaiah 53:6,10-12). We look to our Saviour's sacrifice for our sin. From the Cross, we hear His Word of love: "My kindness will never depart from you. My promise of peace will never …

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Isaiah 49-51

What "joy" there is in the Lord's "comfort" and "compassion" (Isaiah 49:13). He reaches out to us in compassion. He reaches out to us with His comfort. We rejoice in Him - the God of compassion, the God of comfort. "The Almighty Lord helps me" (Isaiah 50:7,9). What help there is in the Lord! The …

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Forgiveness comes first.

When Isaiah was called to be a prophet of God, something else needed to happen first. He needed to have his own sins forgiven (Isaiah 6:7). First, there was the forgiveness of Isaiah's sins, and then, immediately after that, there was his call to the prophetic ministry (Isaiah 6:8).  

I will rejoice, for He has made me glad.

With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). In these two very encouraging verses, one from Isaiah and the other from Nehemiah, we read about joy, and we read about salvation and strength. What do we mean when we speak about joy? It is …

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Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday): Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66

Isaiah 50:4-7: Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14-27,66 Listening to God and speaking for Him ‘The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught’ …

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Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Redeemed by the Lord, we are to be consecrated to Him. Things were difficult for Israel yet ‘the more they were oppressed the more they multiplied’ (Exodus 1:12). Difficult times can be the making of God’s people! Pharaoh (and Satan!) is murderously anxious about the growth of God's people (Exodus 1:15-16; John 10:10). God is …

Continue reading Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Before our love for God, there is His love for us.

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Psalm 19 or Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46 Before our love for God, there is His love for us. God does not want to see sin in us (Exodus 20:20). He wants to see Himself in us. Sin robs us of His great blessing. …

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Receiving strength from the Spirit of God

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 or Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14 Receiving strength from the Spirit of God ‘Called’ by God and ‘filled’ with His Spirit (Exodus 31:1-3), Bezalel had the support of Oholiab and ‘all able men’ (Exodus 31:6). Few may be called and equipped to lead, …

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Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

We gather together to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the reunion of Joseph with his brothers, there is a great testimony to the God of grace: ‘Do not be distressed... because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life... God sent me before you to preserve for you …

Continue reading Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

When the Word of the Lord is spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit

"I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8). As we commit ourselves to serving the Lord, we must pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon us with power. How can we serve the Lord effectively if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit? By themselves, our …

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How can I get the most out of life?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; …

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Is there any hope?

Isaiah 17:1-19:25; 2 Corinthians 10:1-18; Psalm 106:16-31 Much of the “oracle concerning Egypt” (Isaiah 19:1) speaks of the negative aspects which are associated with the nation of Egypt. Nevertheless, there is a Word of hope at the end of this oracle (Isaiah 19:18-25). In 2 Corinthians 10:15-16, Paul expresses the hope that “our area of activity …

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The renewal of our lives

Isaiah 1:1-2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2; Psalm 105:1-11 The ministry of Isaiah calls for reality, for transformed lives. This renewal of our lives can only be achieved through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t have the power to change ourselves. It is in Christ that we become “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This …

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16

"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer ... He will say: Here am I." (Isaiah 58:9) God’s Word invites us to ‘call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved’ (Acts 2:21). To each and every one of us, the call of God comes. He's calling us to come to Him. This …

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Learning from all that Isaiah has to say to us (Travelling Through God’s Word: Isaiah).

Many years ago, I led a weekly midweek Bible study in the home of one of our church members. When we were coming to the end of a series of Bible studies, I asked the group if anyone had any ideas about what we should study next. The lady, whose house we were in, suggested …

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The Spirit of the Almighty Lord is with me.

"The Spirit of the Almighty Lord is with me     because the Lord has anointed me         to deliver good news to humble people.     He has sent me         to heal those who are brokenhearted,         to announce that captives will be set free             and prisoners will be released" (Isaiah 61:1). These words were spoken by Isaiah. They were …

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Responding to Jesus Christ

Sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm / Passion): Entry into Jerusalem – Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Passion – Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66 (or Matthew 27:11-54)    PALM SUNDAY Our response to Christ - Discipleship, Depth, Devotion Four times, Jesus is called ‘the Son of David’ (Matthew 20:30-31; 21:9,15). Christ is greater than …

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Are we only to pray to the Lord when things are going badly?

Isaiah 33:1-24  ‘O Lord...Be our strength every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble’ (Isaiah 33:2). We are not to pray to the Lord only ‘in the time of trouble’. We are to pray to Him ‘every morning’. We are not to keep God at a distance, calling on Him only when things are …

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Human comfort helps us so much – but it can only take us so far.

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God" (Isaiah 40:1). We are comforted by the words and actions of good friends. We know the truth of the saying, "A friend in need is a friend indeed." Human comfort helps us so much - but it can only take us so far. We need more than human …

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In Christ, we have the victory: ‘they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb.’

ISAIAH 14:1-23  –  We look beyond ‘the king of Babylon’ (4). We see Satan, full of pride – ‘I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High’ – , fallen  – ‘How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…’ – , and  brought to nothing – ‘you will be brought down …

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A famine in the land, a famine of hearing the words of the Lord

"Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe." (Genesis 12:10). Later on, in the time of Joseph, we read about Egypt being a place of refuge in a time of famine. This story is told in Genesis 41-50. …

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By the power of the Holy Spirit

Isaiah 10:20-13:22; 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5; Psalm 105:37-45 Jesus Christ was filled with “the Spirit of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2). It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are to live for Christ. As we give ourselves to the Lord in service, our first priority is “to honour the Lord Himself.” We do this …

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A tremendous and fascinating mystery

Rudolf Otto spoke about a "tremendous and fascinating mystery." In a great song of praise to the Lord, Mark Altrogge speaks of the greatness of God in a most thought-provoking way: "You are beautiful beyond description, too marvellous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen or heard." In God, we see holiness …

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Let us ‘press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’

ISAIAH 4:1-5:17  –  ‘Those who are left… will be called holy’ (4:3). The world speaks of God’s people with contempt – ‘the holy people who need to learn to live in the real world’. When God calls His people ‘holy’, He speaks in a very different way. He speaks with affection. He looks upon us …

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When ‘the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, the wilderness becomes a fruitful field.’

ISAIAH 32:1-20  –  ‘Abandoned… deserted… a wasteland…’ (14). Can such a desperate situation be turned around? Yes! When ‘the Spirit is poured upon us from on high… the wilderness becomes a fruitful field’ (15). We must not lose heart. We must keep on calling upon the Lord. We must believe that God is able to …

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The forgiveness of our sins

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is …

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God’s salvation is always greater than our praise.

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As …

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