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Showing posts from February, 2019

Lord, Your love is the best love.

Psalm 36:1-12 We thank You, Lord, for “Your steadfast love” (Psalm 36:5,7,10). Your love is the best love. It’s the greatest love of all. Your love is very wonderful. We rejoice in Your love. We are amazed at Your love. We look at Jesus, Your Son, crucified for us, and we say, “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Jesus died for us. Now, He lives in us. In love, You are leading us on into Your future – on to “fullness of joy in Your presence” (Psalm 16:11).

Lord, Your Word brings peace to our hearts - but Your blessing is not to be kept to ourselves.

Psalms 46:1-47:9 You call us, Lord, to “be still and know that You are God” (Psalm 46:10). You call us to “shout to You with songs of joy” (Psalm 47:2). Your Word brings peace to our hearts – “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Your blessing is not to be kept to ourselves – “Sing to the Lord … Let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare His praise in the coastlands” (Isaiah 42:10-12). Help us, Lord, to rejoice in Your love for us, and to share Your love with others.

Lord, we worship You in the place of worship ...

Psalm 48:1-14 Lord, we worship You in the place of worship – “Within Your Temple, we meditate on Your unfailing love.” Help us to go out from there, and play our part in seeing that Your praise “reaches to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 48:: 9-11). How will other people know of Your love, if we don’t tell them? How will they find their way to Your House, if we don’t invite them? When we share Your Word with others, help us to remember Your promise: “My Word … will not return to Me empty, but will … achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

Lord, You call us to love You - and to love our neighbour.

Genesis 33:1-20   Lord, You call us to love You - and to love our neighbour. Help us never to think that we can grow in our love for You if we are not also learning to love our neighbour with the love that You give to us. Help us never to forget You. Help us always to rejoice in the love that You have for us - and to let Your love shine out through us to others. May our love for our neighbour never become a substitute for loving You.

How can I be saved? - Is there a more important question than this?

Psalm 49:1-20 How can I be saved? Is there a more important question than this? In Your Word, Lord, You speak to us about our need of salvation and Your provision of salvation. You call us to receive Your salvation. We cannot save ourselves – “No man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life. The price to be paid for his soul is too costly” (Psalm 49:7-8). We thank You that Your Son,Jesus, came to earth “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Help us, Lord, to believe Your promise – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31), and to enter into the blessing that is promised – “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36).

Guide us, Lord, by Your light and Your truth.

Genesis 30:25-31:21 Guide us, Lord, by Your light and Your truth ( Psalm 48:14 ; Psalm 43:3 ). Let Your light shine into our darkness. Let Your truth lift us out of the way that leads away from You and into the way that leads to You. Lead us to Jesus - He is "the Way, the Truth and the Life" ( John 14:6 ).

Opening Up God’s Word: Genesis 1 & 2

“In the beginning, God”  – The first four words of the Bible take us back to the point where we can go no further, back to the eternity of God. What do we find when we are taken back – into the heart of the eternal God? We find love. We discover that “God is love.” Creation is love because God is love. Before God made us, He loved us. The love which we find in the opening chapters of Genesis is the love that is proclaimed throughout God’s Word – from Genesis to Revelation. It’s the great love of God for us. It’s the love that never ends. It’s the love that goes on and on. * How do we get to know God the Creator? How do we come to know that His heart is full of love for us? In Genesis 1, three words are repeated over and over again: “And God said”. These words emphasize the creative power of the Word of God. God created through His Word. He proclaims His love to us through Jesus Christ, the living Word of God. He declares His love for us in the Scriptures, the wr

Listen To The Lord - And Live For Him.

In our day, there are many who say, "Let us follow other gods." God says, "You must not listen" to such people (Deuteronomy 13:2-3). To follow the Lord's instruction is not popular. Nevertheless, this is what we must do: "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door" (Luke 13:24). Whatever the world may say, we must stand by the truth of God's Word: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

Problems Among God's People

Numbers 11:1-35 There were problems among God’s people. The spirit of complaint had spread among them. This brought the “fire” of judgment (Numbers 11:1). The spirit spirit of complaint comes when people don’t like what God is doing among His people.We see this in Numbers 11:26-28. The words of prophecy are described as the result of the working of “the Spirit” (Numbers 11:26), yet Joshua said, “Stop them, sir!” (Numbers 11:28). Note Moses’ response – “I wish all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit on them” (Numbers 11:29).What we need is not the quenching of the Spirit, but the release of God’s Spirit among God’s people.

The Perfect Sacrifice

Numbers 28:1-29:40 The people of Israel were given an extremely elaborate and detailed description of the sacrifices they were to bring to God. We no longer need to to bring such sacrifices to God. God Himself has provided the perfect Sacrifice. The Son of God has given Himself for us. He has put away our sin by the Sacrifice of Himself. We must focus our exclusive attention on Him.

Living for You, Lord, is not easy.

Numbers 1:1-54 Living for You, Lord, is not easy. We face determined opposition from Satan. He keeps coming back at us, again and again. We thank You, Lord, that we do not stand against him in our own strength. We stand in Your strength, in the victory of our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour.

Numbers 7:1-47 Lord, You gave Your Son, Jesus - to be our Saviour. Help us to give ourselves to You - to be Your servants. Jesus died for us. Help us to live for Him. Help us never to forget His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine." May we be challenged by His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." Help us to respond to His sacrifice - "Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all."

The Lord Never Changes – He Remains Unchanged, Unchanging And Unchangeable In His Love.

Numbers 20:1-29 No man or woman is indispensable. God’s work goes on, with or without us! (a) Miriam(Moses’ sister) served and worshipped the Lord (Exodus 2:7-8; 15:20-21). Now, her time had come. She was not to enter the land. She ‘died’(1). (b) Moses had been the leader of God’s people. He sinned, and he was excluded from the promised land (12). Do not rest on your laurels. Yesterday’s grace is not sufficient for today’s challenges. A day-by-day walk with the Lord is called for. (c) Aaron(Moses’ brother) had stood alongside Moses in leadership. He ‘died’(28) without entering the promised land. In the leadership of God’s people, the names and the faces change – but the Lord never changes. He remains unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable in His love. When Moses, Aaron and Miriam had gone, God was still there!

Before we began to serve You, Lord, You were calling us to be Your servants.

Numbers 3:1-51 Before we began to serve You, Lord, You were calling us to be Your servants. Before we can serve You, we must be saved by You. We're saved to serve. Help us, Lord, to receive Your salvation and to give ourselves in Your service. Your salvation always comes first - never our service! Your salvation never stands on its own - it leads to our service! 

The Lord Bless You And Keep You ...

Numbers 6:22-27 There’s nothing better than God’s blessing. It’s nice to have friends. People like you. It feels good. God’s blessing – That’s so much better. Friends come and go. God’s blessing remains. You can be surrounded by friends – and still feel very lonely. Sometimes, they’re great friends. Sometimes, they disappoint us. When you’re surrounded by God’s blessing, everything’s very different. God will never disappoint us. He’s our “always and forever” Friend. His blessing is an “every day” blessing. It’s not just a “now and again” thing. It’s an “all the days of our life” thing. Everywhere we look, we see God. We look to the hills. We see our Creator. We look to the cross. We see our Saviour. We are blessed by our Creator. We are blessed by our Saviour. How do we enjoy God’s blessing? Trust Him. Walk in His way. Wherever life’s journey takes us, He’s there. He’s our faithful Friend. He’s the Friend who’ll never let us down. In our happy times, He gives us

We thank You, Lord, that our determined enemy - Satan - is Your defeated enemy.

Numbers 33:50-34:29 We thank You, Lord, that our determined enemy - Satan - is Your defeated enemy. To us, the devil seems so powerful. In Your eyes, He is defeated - defeated by Jesus, our crucified Saviour and risen Lord. Jesus has triumphed over Satan. He has won the victory for us (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15). Lord, Your Word says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 5:7). Will he really flee from us? He flees from Jesus - but, surely, not from us? Have we not forgotten something? - Jesus won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us to resist the devil - in the victorious Name of Jesus. He will flee from us. Why? Because Jesus is Lord over Satan. It's not us he's fleeing from. It's Jesus. When the devil comes 'knocking on our door', help us to send Jesus to the door - and send him packing!

Lord, we have begun to follow Jesus.

Numbers 11:1-35 Lord, we have begun to follow Jesus. Help us to keep on following Him. Again and again, we are tempted to turn back, to return to the ways of this world. Help us to keep on saying, "I have decided to follow Jesus - No turning back. The world behind me, the Cross before me - No turning back. If no-one joins me, still I will follow - No turning back."

Travelling And Celebrating

Numbers 9:1-10:36 The Israelites were travelling towards the promised land. As they travelled, they were to celebrate the Passover (Numbers 9:1-14). In their journey, they were being led by the Lord (Numbers 9:15-23). In the course of their journey, they faced opposition from their enemies, the enemies of the Lord. In this situation, they looked to the Lord for victory: “the Lord your God will remember you and rescue you from your enemies”, “Arise, O Lord! Scatter Your enemies! Make those who hate You, run away from You!” (Numbers 10:9,35). Our journey is from the past (for which we give thanks to God), through the present (in which we look to the Lord for victory), to the future (towards which we are being led by the Lord.) In every part of our journey, we are journeying with God.

Whatever you may think of Christmas ...

Whatever you may think of Christmas - in our modern world, you will not be disappointed with Jesus. He comes to us from the past - and He leads us on into the future. We're no sooner past Christmas, and we start thinking about the New Year. We wonder what the New Year will bring. Will you go into 2020 on your own - or with Jesus as your Saviour?

Called into the service of the eternal God

Jeremiah was called into the service of the eternal God - “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for My holy purpose. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Jeremiah called the people back to the Lord, “the fountain of living (life-giving) water” (Jeremiah 2:13). He called them to be converted - to turn around. They were turning their backs on the Lord. They were replacing Him with something else, something useless, something that would never bring them real satisfaction (Jeremiah 2:13). Now, they were to turn their faces to Him (Jeremiah 2:27). To a returning people, God promises his mercy - “Come back, unfaithful Israel. It is the Lord speaking. I will no longer frown on you because I’m merciful, declares the Lord, I will no longer be angry with you.” returning to the Lord means confessing our sins - “Admit that you’ve done wrong! You have rebelled against the Lord your God ...” The message of Jeremi

Blessing From The Lord!

"Once the stroke of God is past, the air clears and a better spirit pervades the community, under Gedaliah's kindly governorship, God's blessing on the land again appears (Jeremiah 40:12). How quick He is to turn His anger away. He does not willingly afflict the children of men. Slow to chide, and swift to bless, is our God!" (Rev James Philip, Notes on Jeremiah 40:7-16, Gardenstown Church, Thursday 23rd August 1956) 

Praying Through God’s Word: Nehemiah

Nehemiah 1:1-2:18 When we have big problems, help us to remember that You are bigger than all of our problems. Where do our problems come from? they come from our sin. That’s our biggest problem. That’s no problem to You, Lord – “Christ has put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus. What a great Saviour He is! Nehemiah 2:19-4:9 What are we to do when we encounter opposition? We’re seeking to serve You – and the enemies of Christ and His Gospel are making life difficult for us. Help us, Lord, to look to You. May we know, in our hearts and lives, the truth of Your Word: “The people who know their God will be strong” (Daniel 11:32). Nehemiah 4:10-5:13 “Our God will fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20). What tremendous encouragement there is in these wonderful words! We are not alone in our battle against Satan. You are with us – and You are stronger than Satan! When Satan attacks us, teach us, Lord, to take our stand on Your Word:

Biblical and Theological Links

Belgic Confession Bible Centre Bible Commentaries Bible Gateway BiblePro Blue Letter Bible (Commentaries) Christian Blog Crosswire Bible Society Daily Devotions Evangelical Christian Library Gospel and Culture Heidelberg Catechism International Theological Dialogues IVP New Testament Commentaries James Philip: Daily Bible Readings John Zizioulas Northwestern Community Church Pentecostal – Reformed Dialogue Preachology Sermons: Biblical Revival Spurgeon Gems Study Light The Text This Week Third Millenium Ministries Vernard Eller Victor Shepherd Wesley Center for Applied Theology YouVersion Books Political Sermons The Asuza Papers The Work of the Holy Spirit Music Cyber Hymnal Psalms (Joe Hand) My Blogs The Theology of G C Berkouwer Other Blogs A Boomer in the Pew An Accidental Blog Arminian Perspectives Biblical Studies Bonhoeffer Blog Christian Ministries Faith and Theology Faith by Hearing Fundamentally Refor

Thank You, Lord, for Your love. You always remember us - because You love us.

1 Chronicles 1:1-54  Sometimes, Lord, we read, in your Word, things that make us wonder, "What's this all about?" What are You saying to us in the parts of the Bible that don't jump out at us? We ask, "Do we really need to read a long list of names?" You say to us, "All of these people were important to Me. I loved every one of them. You are important to me. I love you," Thank You, Lord, for Your love. You know each one of us by name. You never forget us. You always remember us. You remember us - because You love us. 

What God Has Done, What God Will Do

We look back, and we ‘give thanks to the Lord’, remembering ‘the wonderful works that He has done’ (1 Chronicles 16:8,12). We look forward, committing our future to the Lord in prayer, looking to Him to fulfil the promise He gives to those who call upon Him in heartfelt prayer: ‘If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The dedication of our lives to the Lord

David called God’s people to worship. They were ‘to raise sounds of joy’, praising the Lord with ‘loud music’. David did not leave it to others. He gave the lead. Along with all the others, he was there, ‘dancing and making merry’. He was a true spiritual leader. He ‘blessed the people in the Name of the Lord’. He called upon the people to ‘praise the Lord’ (1 Chronicles 15:16,28-29; 16:2,4). God calls us to worship Him continually’ (1 Chronicles 16:6). May God help us to be the kind of people who take ‘delight in the Word of the Lord, meditating on His Word day and night’ (Psalm 1:2). Our meditation on God’s Word is to be accompanied by obedience to His Word – ‘be careful to do according to all that is written in it’ (Joshua 1:8). This is the true ‘spiritual worship’ God is looking for – the dedication of our lives to Him (Romans 12:1).

Don't Build On Shifting Sand. Build on Christ.

As well as Peter’s three denials, we have three wonderful statements which point us away from Peter, in his failure, to Christ, who is the Rock of our salvation. (a) “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). (b) “This Jesus, God has raised up and “made both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32, 36). (c) “Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. To you who believe, He is precious” (1 Peter 2:4-7). Praise God – Our faith is not built on shifting sand. It is built on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the risen Lord, the wonderful Saviour.

The Solid Rock

“Have you never read the Scripture passage: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The Lord has done this, and it is amazing for us to see’?” (Mark 12:10-11). Jesus is the Cornerstone of our faith. We build on Him, the solid Rock. He’s the sure Foundation. He died for us. He was raised again for us. What great things the Lord has done for us. To Him alone be all the glory!

Lord, Your love is greater than our sin.

Genesis 18:1-15 Lord, Your love is greater than our sin. You have a great purpose for every one of us – but our sin gets in the way! You want to make us more like Jesus – but there’s so much of self in us! You want to lead us in the pathway of victory – but Satan’s always trying to trip us up! What are we to make of all this? Are we to give up in despair? No! We must not give up – because You, Lord, never give up on us. Your love is greater than our sin. You will fulfil Your great purpose in us. You will make us more like Jesus. You will lead us in the pathway of victory. Our sin shall not triumph over Your love. Satan will be defeated. Your “love has the victory for ever!” (Mission Praise, 86).

The Lord saves me.

“I call on God, and the Lord saves me” (Psalm 55:16) - This is the Psalmist’s testimony. It is followed by his call to others to turn to the Lord and discover how good He is: “Turn your burdens over to the Lord and He will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22). “I praise the Word of God, I trust God, I am not afraid. What can mere flesh and blood (mortals) do to me?” (Psalm 56:4,10-11). “My heart is confident, O God, I want to sing and make music... I want to give thanks to You among the people, O Lord, I want to make music to praise You among the nations because Your mercy is as high as the heavens. Our truth reaches the skies. May You be honoured above the heavens, O God. Let Your glory extend over the whole earth” (Psalm 57:7,9-11). As we praise God, He leads us forward in His triumph.

Take your problem to the Lord.

"O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake ... " ( Daniel 9:19 ). " O Lord " - This is prayer. We do not take our problem to everyone else but the Lord. We take our problem to the Lord. " Hear " and " listen " - There can be a very real difference between hearing and listening. Something is said in our hearing, but we're not listening. When something is important, we say, "Are you listening?" Why do we want to make sure that the hearer is paying attention to what we're saying? - Because it's important to us. When we say to the Lord, "Hear"  and "listen", we're saying, "Lord, this is important to me." " Forgive " and " act " - We want to break free from our past. We want to be set free for God's future. Don't let my past sins hinder my future blessing. Send Your blessing, Lord. That's what we're pra

Standing!

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the House of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem” ( Psalm 122:2 ). * Standing – in the House of the Lord! In life’s many trying times, we are put to the test – Will we stand? Will we fall? * Standing – in the house of the Lord! Let’s never imagine that we can stand in our own strength – “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” ( 1 Corinthians 10:12 ). * Standing – in the House of the Lord: We stand when we put our trust in the Lord. We stand when we build our life on Him.

Do not trust in deceptive words ...

"Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord,  the temple of the Lord!”... Has this house, which bears My Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 7:4,11). Jeremiah spoke to the people of his own day. He speaks to us as well. Don't let the place where you worship become more important than it really is. This is what he says to us. These are not only the words of Jeremiah. This is the Word of the Lord. What's happening in our hearts when we are gathered together in the House of the Lord? Are we thinking to ourselves, "I never miss a church service - not like those who've stopped coming to church"? What kind of "worship" is this? Lord, take us to the heart of worship. Give us a worshipping heart.

Everlasting Love

"I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). God loves us. This isn’t for some perfect people who’ve never fallen into sin. There’s nobody who’s like that. All of us have made a mess of things – but God still says to us, “I love you.” He says, “My Son, Jesus, died for you.” This is what gives us the strength to choose His way rather than our own way. This is what keeps us from sin. This is what convinces us that there’s a better way than the way of sin. There’s a way of blessing. It comes to us when we’re learning how much God loves us. He doesn’t give up on us when we let Him down. He keeps on loving us. He keeps on lifting us up. He sets us on our feet. He changes the direction of our life. It becomes less about ourselves, and more about Him (Galatians 2:20). So often, we have been like ‘the prodigal son’( Luke 15:11-24 ). We have walked away from our Father’s House. We have wandered off into ‘the far country’. We feel that we are far from God

The Third Day!

Genesis 1:13 - “the third day” We read these words, and our thoughts move forward to the mighty miracle of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – “on the third day God raised Him from the dead.”

Praise the Lord.

“Praise the Lord” (Psalm 134:1). “Praise the Name of the Lord” (Psalm 135:1). “Give thanks to the Lord” (Psalm 136:1). God is calling us to worship Him. In a world where worshipping the Lord has been abandoned by so many people, it isn’t easy to keep on worshipping Him - “How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4). Even though many people have stopped worshipping God, we must renew our commitment to Him: “I will give thanks to you with all my heart” (Psalm 138:1). “If no one joins, still I will worship. No turning back.”

Lord, there are two ways of living.

1 Samuel 2:1-36 Lord, there are two ways of living. There's the way of holiness and joy, the way of living in the strength of Your Spirit. There's the way of living to please ourselves, living without the joy that comes from You, living in the weakness of the flesh. Help us, Lord, to keep on choosing Your way, and not to persist in going our own way and doing our own thing.

Second Sunday after Christmas Day: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:(1-9), 10-18

In love, the Lord draws us to Himself. ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness’ (Jeremiah 31:3). So often, we have been like ‘the prodigal son’ (Luke 15:11-24). We have walked away from our Father’s House. We have wandered off into ‘the far country’. We feel that we are far from God, yet still He draws near to us. The Lord is at work in our hearts. He is bringing us ‘to our senses’. He is reminding us of His love. He is drawing us back to Himself. In love, He is calling us home again. He is speaking to our hearts. He is saying to us, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’. As His love reaches our hearts, ‘the prodigal son’ becomes ‘the returning son’: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’. ‘Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God!’ (Jeremiah 31:18). In love, the Lord brings us into fellowship with His people. ‘The Lord bu

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany – Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12); Psalm 112:1-9, (10); 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16); Matthew 5:13-20

Through faith in Christ our Saviour, we receive peace and joy. ‘To the far and to the near’, God speaks His Word of ‘peace’ (Isaiah 57:19). Christ is God’s Word of ‘peace’ (Ephesians 2:13-14). Christ is for ‘the Jews’. Christ is for ‘the Gentiles’. There is one way of salvation. Jesus Christ is our Saviour. We must put our ‘faith’ in Him. Through Him, we have ‘peace with God’ (Romans 3:29-30; 5:1). God’s Word invites us to ‘call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved’ (Isaiah 58:9; Acts 2:21). In Christ, there is true ‘joy’- ‘I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation...’ (Isaiah 58:14; 61:10). We rejoice in Jesus Christ. He is ‘the High and Exalted One’. He has come from His ‘high and holy place’. He has become ‘Emmanuel’, ‘God with us’. He is our peace and joy, our Saviour and our God’ (Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 1:21, 23; John 20:28). Through faith in Christ our Saviour, we offer to God our triumpha

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany – Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12

We find God’s blessing when we come to worship Jesus Christ. In Micah 5:2, we have a prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus at ‘Bethlehem’. This prophecy invites us to ‘go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about’. At ‘Bethlehem’, we see ‘shepherds, glorifying and praising God’ (Luke 2:15,20). We also see Jesus our Shepherd. He is the One whom the shepherds worshipped. He is the One who ‘will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord...’ - He is ‘the Good Shepherd’. He ‘laid down His life’ for us. - He is ‘the Great Shepherd’. He ‘was raised from the dead’ for us. - He is ‘the Chief Shepherd’. He will ‘come’ again for us (5:4; John 10:14; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4). Jesus, our ‘Shepherd’, gives us ‘strength’ to ‘do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God’ (Micah 6:8). God’s blessing increases as we build our life upon Jesus Christ. Life can be testing and trying. In all of this, God makes Hi

Third Sunday after the Epiphany – Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

God has kept His promise. Christ has come. Let us rejoice in Him. 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 a Saviour has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord’. Jesus Christ is our great Saviour. He is our ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6: Luke 2:11). Jesus Christ has brought to us a great salvation. Through faith in Him, we enter God’s heavenly and eternal ‘Kingdom’ (Isaiah 9:7: Luke 1:30-33). This is ‘Good News of great joy’- for ‘all the people’, for ‘all generations’. Let us rejoice in the Lord, as Mary, the mother of Jesus, did - ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour... for the Mighty One has done great things for me... .’ Let us join with the angels in saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest...’ (Luke 2:10; 1:46-50; 2:14). Worship the Lord, wait on Him and walk with Him. God’

Second Sunday after the Epiphany – Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

We worship the Lord. Let us be His witnesses. ‘I, the Lord, am your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob’. We are not to keep this to ourselves. God wants ‘all mankind’ to ‘know’ (Isaiah 49:26). ‘Jesus, the Name to sinners dear, the Name to sinners given, it scatters all their guilty fear, it turns their hell to heaven’- This is not something to keep to ourselves. We must make Christ known to others - ‘Oh, that the world might taste and see the riches of His grace! The arms of love that compass me, would all mankind embrace. His only righteousness I show, His saving truth proclaim: ‘tis all my business here below to cry: “Behold the Lamb!” Happy, if with my latest breath I may but gasp His Name: preach Him to all, and cry in death: “Behold, behold the Lamb!”’(Mission Praise, 385). ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News’ (Mark 16:15). Worship and witness – we need the Lord’s help. We have been saved by the Lord: ‘He drew me up fro

First Sunday after the Epiphany: Baptism of the Lord – Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus Christ is God’s Beloved Son. ‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:1). These words turn our thoughts towards the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear the voice of the Father - ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’. After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...’ (Matthew 12:15-21; 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Luke 3:6). Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit. Jesus Christ is our great Strength. ‘The Lord is my Strength…The Lord is the Strength of His people’ (P

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 walk in darkness’. We ‘will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). We are living in difficult times. We are surrounded by much darkness. We must not be discouraged - ‘the lamp of God has not yet gone out’ (1 Samuel 3:3). When the darkness threatens to overcome the Light, we must take encouragement from God’s Word - ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). When the darkness seems to be everywhere, put your trust in the Lord - The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?’- and let ‘His Word’ be ‘a lamp to your feet and a light to your path’ (Psalms 27:1; 119:105). Let the words of Scripture lead to thoughts of the Saviour. * Read the words - ‘His Name’ shall ‘endure for ever’ (Psalm 72:17) - and think

From Genesis to Revelation in a Year: 1st-7th February - Leviticus 1-19

These notes are also being posted, day-by,day, at From Genesis to Revelation in a Year . 1st February - Leviticus 1-4 1:1-2:16 -  Jesus Christ, ‘the Lamb without blemish’, has ‘made atonement’ for sin through the shedding of His ‘precious blood’ (1:3-5; 1 Peter 1:18-19). This offering of Christ – He ‘loved us and gave Himself up for us’ – is ‘a pleasing odour to the Lord’, ‘a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God’ (1:9,13,17; Ephesians 5:2). Read of the ‘cereal offering’ in which there was to be ‘no leaven’ (2:11). Think of Christ – ‘Our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed’: ‘Let us celebrate the festival (the Lord’s Supper)… with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth’ (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). May our worship – ‘frankincense’: an expression of worship (Matthew 2:11) – be filled with ‘the oil of gladness’, ‘with the Holy Spirit and with fire’ (Psalm 45:7; Luke 3:16). Such worship is ‘most holy… to the Lord’ (2:3,10). 3:1-4:35 -  Christ is the real thing . Is