Prayer and the ministry of God’s Word …

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 or Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Psalm 25:1-9; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32 Prayer and the ministry of God’s Word Worldly people create problems (Exodus 17:3). Moses asks, ‘What shall I do...?’ (Exodus 17:4). Indecision asks, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ (Exodus 17:7). He gives victory (Exodus …

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When the tempter comes, we must stand on God’s Word: ‘every Word that comes from … God.’

Matthew 4:1-11 God the Father has declared Jesus to be His Son (3:17). Now, the devil challenges God's Word: 'If you are the Son of God...' (3). The Spirit has descended upon Jesus (3:16). Now, the devil uses his power in an attempt to defeat Jesus. The devil sows seeds of doubt; the 'if you …

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“The Beatitudes” show us God’s way of blessing.

Matthew 5:3-12  -  ‘The Beatitudes’ show us God’s way of blessing. We might also describe them as the Be Attitudes, since they show us what we are to be. Jesus teaches us that the way to happiness is the way of holiness. The only alternative to the way of holiness is the way of hypocrisy. There can …

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Daily bread that sustains our faith …

"And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”" (Exodus 16:11-12). "And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the …

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Jesus – our Saviour and Lord …

Daily Devotional Readings

Joseph makes himself known to his brothers: “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!” (Genesis 45:4). Jesus makes Himself known to His disciples (Matthew 16:13-17). In Joseph’s self-identification, there is a statement about why God had sent him into Egypt – “it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you … God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:5,7). Jesus was sent by God to call out the “Church” by an even greater deliverance – deliverance from “the gates of hell” (Matthew 16:18). Joseph said, “God has made me lord of all Egypt” (Genesis 45:8).  Concerning Jesus, Scripture declares that God has made Him Lord of all – He has “the keys of the Kingdom…

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Matthew 3:1-12 – The preacher and the Saviour – We preach the Word, He sends the power.

This chapter begins with 'John the Baptist' (1). It ends with our Lord Jesus Christ concerning whom the Voice from heaven says, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased' (17). Once John had served his purpose, once he has pointed away from himself to the Lord Jesus Christ, he …

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The Death of Christ

"This is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). Early on in my Christian life, I read James Denney's book, The Death of Christ.  Reading this book gave me a real sense of the importance of the death of Christ. This has stayed with me over the …

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Enthusiastic and energetic … Evangelical and Evangelistic … Let’s follow Jesus …

Enthusiastic and energetic - sometimes, these are the words churches use to describe the minister they're looking for. Enthusiastic and energetic - these are words that could be used to describe the crowd at a sports event or music concert. Is there anything inherently spiritual about looking for a minister who is enthusiastic and energetic? …

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Life looks very different when we start listening to Jesus and learning from him.

Who knows if it's true? - that's what lots of people say about the story of Jesus. Very often, people listen to what all kinds of people tell them - but they don't listen to Jesus. He comes to us from such a long time ago - and many people they think that they don't …

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Jesus – the sure foundation for our faith and our life

'“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears …

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A positive faith is much more helpful than a purely negative reaction!

The Pharisees were subtle - just like the ‘ancient serpent who is the devil’ (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 20:2). They tried ‘to entangle Jesus in His talk’ (Matthew 22:15). They wanted to trap Him and bring a charge against Him. They asked Jesus about payment of taxes to Caesar (Matthew 22:17). Jesus moved beyond this question …

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Take Your Stand – In The Name Of Christ And The Power Of Christ.

In Matthew 8:1-17, we see Jesus' healing ministry. There are three miracles - healing people who were suffering from "a skin disease" (Matthew 8:1-4), paralysis (Matthew 8:5-13) and "a fever" (Matthew 8:14-15). After these three miracles, we have a more general statement about the ministry of casting out demons (Matthew 8:16-17). This is followed by …

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Matthew 6:19-34 – Living for Christ is very different from worldly living.

On the one side of Christ's disciples, there are the hypocrites. On the other side, there are 'the Gentiles' (32). The hypocrites represent religion without reality. The Gentiles represent the world, living for material things only, refusing to take spiritual realities seriously. We are to be different from both the hypocrites and the Gentiles. Our …

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The Authority Of Grace

In Matthew 21:23-46, we learn that the authority of Jesus is heard in His words and seen in His actions. He speaks of grace. He lives by grace. Jesus is the foundation of our salvation. Without Him, there is no salvation. With Him, we are greatly blessed. What a great Saviour He is!

Out of Satan’s darkness, into the light of the Lord ..

Praying Through God's Word

How do we get from this – “Lord, you are the God who saves me” (Psalm 88:1) – to this – “darkness is my closest friend” (Psalm 88:18)? – “An enemy has done this” (Matthew 13:28).

God’s people are under constant attack – from Satan, the enemy of God and his people. Satan is a determined enemy.

How are we raised from the “darkness” of Psalm 88:18? How are brought into the assurance of salvation of Psalm 88:1?

We must remind Satan that he’s, also, a defeated enemy. We do not claim that, by ourselves, we are able to triumph over Satan. We direct Satan’s attention to Jesus Christ,  our Saviour and Lord. We remind Satan that Jesus “loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians 2:20). We remind Satan that “we are  more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Satan will attack us, again and…

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Created by God and for God …

First Sunday in Lent: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11 Created by God and for God, we have sinned against Him. We noted, in Genesis 1:1-3, the importance of getting our priorities right - God, God’s Word, God’s Spirit. Here, we emphasize the importance of these priorities. We are under God. We …

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How far can psychology and sociology take us?

When I was a young student, I studied psychology and sociology. I learned a lot about these subjects. Most of it I've now forgotten. Here's something I haven't forgotten. At my first psychology seminar, the leader described the study of psychology as building on shifting sand. As I heard these words, I remembered the parable …

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God has spoken … and he’s still speaking …

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). On the one side, there is philosophy.On the other side, there is Christ. The two are very different. Philosophy begins with man - "after the tradition of men." When …

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Looking beyond what’s happening to us right now …

Job 1:1-3:26; Matthew 18:10-35; Psalm 16:1-11 In the life of faith, we will face many difficulties. For Job, there was great suffering. For Jesus’ disciples, there was the pain of loss when Jesus was taken from them. For all of God’s people, there is something better still to come: “You will fill me with joy …

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I once was lost, but now am found …

For more notes on God's Word, visit God's Word For Every Day. Genesis 6:1-8 The story of Noah is the story of God's grace - 'Noah found grace' (8). Noah lived in very difficult times (5-7), yet 'Grace found Noah'. His testimony could be summed up: 'Amazing grace...I once was lost but now am found' (Mission …

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Jesus brings His light into our darkness …

For more of these Daily Devotional Readings, visit God's Word For Every Day. Matthew 4:12-17 Having overcome His enemy, Jesus begins His ministry. Satan will be back - Luke ends his account of Jesus' temptations with these ominous words, 'When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left until an opportune time' (4:12). Satan …

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Let us bring Christ to the nations …

Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday in Ordinary Time): Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7; Acts 10:34-38; Matthew 3:13-17 Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit. ‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and …

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From the wilderness – to the glory …

God "spreads a table in the wilderness" (Psalm 78:19). We read these words, and our thoughts turn to the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21). Israel was "in the wilderness." "The crowds" were in "a solitary place .. a remote place" (Matthew 14:13,15). "Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up …

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What blessings God has given to us …

Genesis 49:1-27 Jacob blesses his sons, 'blessing each with the blessing suitable to him' (28). The most significant blessings are reserved for Joseph (22-26). This is not simply the blessing of Jacob. This is the blessing of 'the Mighty One of Jacob...the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel...the God of your father...God Almighty' (24-25). God blesses …

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Trust in the Lord. He is working in us to do us good …

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b (or Psalm 128) or 1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119:129-136; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Trust in the Lord. He is working in us to do us good. The tables are turned on Jacob. The trickster is tricked! The ‘trick’ was according to the ‘custom’ that the …

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The darkness of sin … and the light of God’s salvation

Genesis 19 is a chapter that's full of the darkness of sin. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is followed by the sordid episode with Lot and his daughters. Sin leads to judgment. That's the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah. sin leads to judgment. we see this in the birth of these two illicitly conceived …

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God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ …

"At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do" (Matthew 11:25-26). "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, …

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Led in the way of victory …

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b or 1 Kings 19:9-18; Psalm 85:8-13; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33 Strengthened by the Lord, we are led in the way of victory. In the story of Joseph, we see human sin and divine grace. We see jealousy (Genesis 37:11) and its effects: ‘where jealousy …

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