Looking beyond Jesus’ death to his resurrection (Luke 23-24)

Here, we see unity in evil: "And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day." Politically, these men were at odds with each other. Spiritually, however, they were united in their opposition to Christ. Whatever the outcome of this incident with Jesus of Nazareth, nothing must be permitted to …

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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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Christ comes to us in love (Travelling Through God’s Word: Song of Solomon, also known as Song of Songs)

Within the context of the Old Testament, Song of Solomon, also known as Song of Songs, is an unusual book. God is never mentioned in it. It's really a collection of love songs. It's not always easy to see the connection between one part of the "song" and another part of it. It can be …

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Proverbs

PROVERBS 1:1-7  -  Scripture speaks of different kinds of ‘wisdom’. In Proverbs, wisdom is closely associated with godliness. In Ecclesiastes, wisdom - viewed as mere human intelligence - is described as ‘meaningless, a chasing after the wind’ (1:12-18). This contrast is continued in the New Testament, where Paul describes Christ as our ‘Wisdom’, contrasting this …

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There is a greater Power than the power of Satan (Travelling Through God’s Word: the book of Job).

JOB 1:1-2:13  -  Satan is very busy - ‘going to and fro on the earth... walking up and down on it’. Why is Satan ‘roaming through the earth’? - ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour’ (1:7; 1 Peter 5:8). If, like Job, you ‘fear God and …

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To be blessed by the Lord is better than anything else.

"Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:19). To be blessed by the Lord is better than anything else. Without the blessing of God, our lives are empty. We may fill our lives with many things, but the question keeps coming back to us: What about God: where does …

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Is the Lord at the centre of our lives?

"Abram built an altar to the Lord" (Genesis 13:18). As I was reading about Abram and Lot going their separate ways, I noticed these words in the last verse of this chapter. Here, we are challenged to think about what is important to us. Are we giving the Lord His rightful place in our lives? …

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The heavens were opened and I saw visions of God (Travelling Through God’s Word: Ezekiel)

EZEKIEL 1:1-2:10  –  ‘The heavens were opened and I saw visions of God… The Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel’(1:1-2). The Lord opens our eyes to ‘see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Lord speaks to us and we must listen to Him: ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening’ …

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Travelling Through God’s Word: Lamentations

LAMENTATIONS 1:1-22  –  Jerusalem had fallen into hard times – ‘she who once was great among the nations… ha snow become a slave’ (1). The explanation for this sad situation was not hard to find – ‘Jerusalem has sinned greatly and so has become unclean…’ (8-9). Could things be turned around? Could there once again …

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Jeremiah

JEREMIAH1:1-19  –  To understand Jeremiah’s story, we must look ‘behind the scenes’: ‘The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”’ (4-5). To understand our own story, we must go even …

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Without Christ, life is empty. With Him, everything changes.

ECCLESIASTES  1:1-2:26 -  Without Christ. life is empty. With Him, everything changes. He fills our life with God’s blessing. With Him, we have more than life ‘under the sun’. We have life ‘in the Son’ – abundant life, eternal life (1:3,14; 2:11,17; John 10:10; 1 John 5:11-12). Which life do you want? You can settle …

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Despite our many failures, God remains faithful.

Genesis 12 Before starting to comment on chapter 12, I want to say something about the second part of chapter 11, verses 10-32. These verses provide us with the background to the events which begin to unfold in chapter 12. The message of this long list names is this: God is moving on. He is …

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God keeps on loving us, even when we’re doing all that we can to keep on running away from Him.

Genesis 16 Hagar was running away, but "the Angel of the Lord found her" (verses 6 and 7). Can we run away from God? We can try, but will we succeed? Why does God come looking for us? It's because He loves us. This is something we must never forget. God does not want us …

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The long journey, through the Old Testament, is leading us to Jesus Christ, our great Saviour.

Genesis 17 "Your wife, Sarah, will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac" (verse 19). Abraham was given a glimpse of the future. For Abraham and Sarah, Isaac would be their immediate future. God was looking beyond the immediate future. He was looking toward the long-term future. God told Abraham that he would …

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God is leading His people towards a time of great blessing.

Genesis 18-19 Abraham lived through tumultuous times. As we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, let us not lose sight of where things are going: "Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him" (18:18). When terrible things happen, and we …

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The resurrection of Christ opens up for us a glorious future.

Acts 23-25 "The resurrection of the dead" was a central theme in Paul's preaching: "It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial" (chapter 23); "It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today" (chapter 24). His teaching concerning the resurrection …

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In the eyes of men, Paul was a prisoner. In the plan of God, he was a witness.

Acts 26-38 In addressing King Agrippa, Paul focuses attention on the resurrection: "Why does it seem incredible to you that God should raise the dead?" (chapter 26). Paul proclaimed that "Christ... as the first to rise from the dead... was to proclaim that light now shone for our people and for the pagans too" (chapter …

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As Paul travelled from place to place, the good news of Christ’s love was reaching more and more people.

Acts 20-22 As we read about Paul, travelling from place to place, we come to appreciate the geographical breadth of his ministry. In chapter 22, we see the spiritual depth of his ministry. This spiritual depth arises out of his real, life-changing experience of the salvation which had come to him through the Lord Jesus …

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Peter and Paul, working together to bring many people to Christ

Acts 14-16 Here, we see the great influence of both Peter and Paul in the life and witness of the early church. In chaoters 14 and 16, we have the ministry of Paul. In chapter 15, we see Peter giving his support to Paul's ministry. He does this by emphasizing that the Gospel is for …

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The good news of Christ is for people of every nation.

Acts 11-13 Peter's taking the Gospel to Cornelius opened the way for the Gospel to go the Gentiles. In chapter 11, Peter emphasizes that the Gospel is for the Gentiles. In chapter 13, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, emphasizes that the Gospel for all nations is rooted in God's revelation to the Jews. While …

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God’s work goes from strength to strength.

Acts 7-8 In chapter 7, through a history of God's dealings with Israel, Stephen exposes the sin and guilt of hts accusers, They react violently, and Stephen is stoned to death. Saul watched this, and "entirely approved of the killing" (8:1). Saul went on from there, "working for the total desctruction of the church" (chapter …

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Witnessing for Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1-3 The Lord Jesus called His disciples to be His witnesses, in the power of the Holy Spirit. They prayed that the power of God would come upon them (chapter 1). The Lord sent the Holy Spirit to them. They were were epowered by the Holy Spirit. Their ministry was blessed by God. It …

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Ruth

RUTH 1:1-2:23  –  Ruth meets Boaz. It seemed like a ‘chance’ meeting – ‘she happened to come… ‘ (2:3). It was more than that. God was at work. Ruth had committed herself to the Lord (1:16-17). She was being guided by the Lord (Psalm 37:3-5; Proverbs 3:5-6). Ruth was unassuming and grateful, hard-working and responsible …

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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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