When God sends out His Word

Isaiah 55-57 When God sends out His Word, He sends it with a promise; "My Word... will not come back to Me without results, but it will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do" (Isaiah 55:11). The Lord is looking out. He's looking beyond those who are already worshipping Him. …

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Let the light of Christ shine.

Season of Epiphany: Epiphany of the Lord – Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 Let the light of Christ shine. ‘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 …

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Read the written Word of God – and feed on Christ, God’s living Word.

"These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine." (Isaiah 29:24). Before there can be a change in our way of living, there needs to be a change in our way of thinking. This is a change which comes to us through our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus, God's …

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Weak in ourselves, strong in the Lord – this is meekness, and it is blessed by the Lord.

"The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord" (Isaiah 29:19).  "Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" (Numbers 12:3). "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). The work "meek" rhymes with the word, "weak" - but the two words are …

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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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Never to be forgotten

In 1996, Willie McDonald died at the age of ninety. I had only known him for a short time. I will always remember him as a man who loved the Lord deeply. He was small of stature, but he was a man of “strength”: real, spiritual strength (Psalm 90:10). He was “strong in the Lord”, …

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Revised Common Lectionary – Year B: First Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Revised Common Lectionary Year B - First Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Jesus Christ is God’s Answer to our prayer. We confess our sins to God - ‘We sinned... All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy …

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Remembering the Lord, rejoicing in Him and looking forward to His return

Easter Sunday Evening: Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 114; 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8; Luke 24:13-49 Remembering the Lord, rejoicing in Him and looking forward to His return ‘O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name... You have done marvellous things’ (Isaiah 25:1). We remember what God has done for us. He sent …

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The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isaiah 8:23-9:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17; Matthew 4:12-23 "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light" (Isaiah 9:2). The prophecy has been spoken - ‘To us a Child is born, to us a Son is given...’. The prophecy has been fulfilled - ‘Today in the town of David …

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Special Days – All Saints: Revelation 7:9-17 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 34:1-10, 22; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

Looking at things with Christ’s eyes Christ invites us to ‘come’ (Revelation 6:1, 3, 5, 7) - and look at things through His eyes. With Him, we look at earth. With Him, we look at heaven. Troubled world, tremendous worship - These are the things we see when we look through the eyes of our …

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Looking back and looking forward

Special Days – Remembrance Day: Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 20; Revelation 22:1-5; Matthew 5:38-48 Looking back and looking forward ‘O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your Name... You have done marvellous things’ (Isaiah 25:1). We remember what God has done for us. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be …

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There’s one thing that doesn’t change. It’s the love of God.

Isaiah 54:1-17‘The Lord’ is not only ‘the Holy One of Israel’. He is ‘the God of the whole earth’ (Isaiah 54:5). The Gospel is for ‘all nations’. The ministry of Christ’s apostles began in ‘Jerusalem’, but it did not end there. The Gospel was to be taken ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Luke 24:46-47; Acts …

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The coming Saviour and the coming Kingdom

Isaiah 10 speaks of a divine judgment, in which the only “survivors” will be those who “depend on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 10:20). Isaiah 11 contains a Messianic prophecy. These are words, which point forward to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. They are words of the coming Kingdom (Isaiah 11:1-10). Isaiah 12 …

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Think of God’s faithfulness – and count your blessings.

Comfort (Isaiah 40:1) - This comes from God's great faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23). In our past, present and future, we see the faithfulness of God - "His mercies never end. They are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23). Think of God's faithfulness, and "count your blessings." Think of this, that and the other blessing (good things in …

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When God looks upon us, he cannot see beyond this – he loves us.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 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. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As …

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The Lord is exalted, but He is also the God who draws near to us.

Isaiah 43:1-44:23; Galatians 3:26-4:20; Psalm 108:1-5 What a majestic description of God we have in Isaiah 44:6 – “This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty; I am the First and I am the Last; apart from Me there is no God.” This is the God to whom we pray, “Be …

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Prophecy, looking forward to Christ’s resurrection and His return (Isaiah 25:6-9)

Here, we have prophecy, looking forward to Christ's resurrection and His return. We look back to His resurrection - and we look forward to his return. We have "the foretaste of glory divine" - but we still look forward to the complete fulfilment of God's promises: "He will destroy" (Isaiah 25:7-8), "On that day, it …

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From Good Friday to Easter Friday (14): In the prophet’s words, we hear the Word of love, eternal love, the love of God.

Welcome to the fourteenth stage of our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday: In the prophet's words, we hear the Word of love, eternal love, the love of God. Isaiah 55 The Lord says, “Come, everyone who is thirsty—    here is water!Come, you that have no money—    buy grain and eat!Come! Buy wine and milk—    it will cost you …

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G. C. Berkouwer On “Election And The Hiddenness Of God”

In his discussion, "Election and the Hiddenness of God" in Divine Election (Chapter Four, pp.102-131), G. C. Berkouwer emphasizes that God's hiddenness is not to be set over against His salvation. He rejects a concept of God's hiddenness which "separates the God of revelation from our lives and mitigates the absolute trustworthiness of that revelation" …

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Patience and pride – There’s a big difference between the two.

"The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit" (Ecclesiastes 7:8). We are to wait patiently on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 40:1). The emphasis is on the Lord - not ourselves.  Pride says, "I don't need the Lord. I'll do things my way."  Teach us, …

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You get nothing for nothing … ?

"You get nothing for nothing. You only get what you pay for." Is this cynicism - or realism? Let's think together about something else - something that lifts us above all of this - the love of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God, the gift of God, the peace of God, the …

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Teach Us, Lord, To Pray For Revival In This Generation.

‘Awake, awake!... O arm of the Lord; awake, as in days gone by... The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them... I am the Lord your God... I have put My words in your mouth...’ (Isaiah 51:9,11,15-16). Teach …

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Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy …

"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. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.30 Even youths grow tired and weary,     and young men stumble and fall; 31 but …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Isaiah

Isaiah 1:1-31 We thank You, Lord, that You invite us to “come” to You and receive salvation – “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Along with Your promise, there is also Your warning: “if you refuse and rebel … ” (Isaiah 1:18-20). You call us to believe in …

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The Word and the words (15): The way to the Father … the way of love and holiness … the way to heaven

“Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later " (John 13:36). "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go …

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Lord – give us strength. Give us your strength.

"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. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; …

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With God, we shall gain the victory.

Isaiah 44:24-46:13; Galatians 4:21-5:6; Psalm 108:6-13 “I am the Lord, and there is no other” – This truth is repeated several times over in this part of Isaiah (Isaiah 48:5-6,14,18,21-22; Isaiah 46:9). The contrast, in Isaiah, is between God and the gods. The contrast, in Galatians, is between Christ’s salvation and other ways of salvation (Galatians …

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With God, we shall gain the victory.

Isaiah 44:24-46:13; Galatians 4:21-5:6; Psalm 108:6-13 “I am the Lord, and there is no other” - This truth is repeated several times over in this part of Israel (Isaiah 48:5-6,14,18,21-22; Isaiah 46:9). The contrast, in Isaiah, is between God and the gods. The contrast, in Galatians, is between Christ’s salvation and other ways of salvation …

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