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Every Day with Jesus

English, Christianity, 1 season, 1036 episodes, 2 days, 17 hours, 28 minutes
Find revelation and encouragement through Every Day with Jesus, a world-renowned Bible reading notes publication from Waverley Abbey Trust. With readings, thoughts, prayers and actions to take, you as a reader will be enriched in your faith and see its impact in all areas of life.
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31st Dec 2023 - Waiting for Jesus

One of the great privileges of going to church is to meet elderly saints, the kind who have walked with Jesus for so much of their life that it seems to shine through on their faces. This is how I picture Simeon and Anna, two devout prophets who yearned to see the coming of the Messiah. Anna is described as ‘very old’ at ‘eighty-four’, and she’d enjoyed only seven years of marriage before becoming a widow (vv36–37). She spent her years worshipping ‘night and day, fasting and praying’ (v37). God told Simeon he would see the Messiah in his lifetime (v26). 
12/31/20233 minutes, 42 seconds
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30th Dec 2023 - Waiting for Good from Galilee

Unfortunate residents of Slough are forever blighted by the infamous poem by John Betjeman, which suggests that the town is so awful it should be razed to the ground. Though literary critics say it’s a protest poem against industrialisation, nevertheless, several mayors of Slough have objected to it. 
12/30/20233 minutes, 47 seconds
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29th Dec 2023 - Waiting for a Tyrant to Die

Do evil people live longer lives? Former president Robert Mugabe, initially celebrated as a progressive anti-colonialist ruler of Zimbabwe, committed genocide against approximately 20,000 Ndebele people. Social scientist Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann wrote there was ‘clear evidence that Mugabe was guilty of crimes against humanity’,* and Uganda-born John Sentamu criticised his ‘unjust and brutal regime’.** Mugabe lived to the ripe old age of 95. 
12/29/20233 minutes, 50 seconds
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28th Dec 2023 - Waiting To Be Comforted

Christmas can be a joyful time with church and family, full of happiness. However, it can also be a painful time, full of loneliness and sorrow. If we have endured grief, loss, or trauma during the year, this will be the time we feel it acutely. If we have had painful Christmases in the past, it’s hard to celebrate without those memories casting shadows on the present. 
12/28/20233 minutes, 48 seconds
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27th Dec 2023 - Waiting to Worship

Despite the Magi having to stop in at Jerusalem and ask for directions to Bethlehem, they didn’t actually need that information. God was the one who ended up leading them. They had seen the star originally when Jesus was born, charted the approximate location, and ended up in Jerusalem. 
12/27/20233 minutes, 34 seconds
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26th Dec 2023 - Waiting on a King

A theologian once asked her class for biblical metaphors for waiting. The men spoke first and listed growing plants, harvesting and farming. The theologian nodded but kept asking for more suggestions. Finally, a woman spoke up. ‘Pregnancy,’ she said, and cited Romans 8:22, which describes all of creation in labour pains. The men looked at her in astonishment. That metaphor would never have occurred to them. 
12/26/20233 minutes, 34 seconds
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25th Dec 2023 - The Long Wait Is Over

The long wait for a Messiah began at the beginning. When Abraham was promised a descendant who would bless all peoples, the world waited for a son. When Moses, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Micah, Hosea and John the Baptist rebuked God’s people for continuing to sin and abandon God’s instructions, the world waited for a saviour from those sins. 
12/25/20233 minutes, 36 seconds
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24th Dc 2023 - Waiting for Emmanuel

For the avoidance of controversy, pick your own favourite football team, and imagine them playing in a cup final. The fans are yelling, cheering them on in the stands. Just then, it’s announced that the most skilful football player who ever lived (again – you pick!) is coming to play on your team. 
12/24/20233 minutes, 41 seconds
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23rd Dec 2023 - Waiting for Freedom

In many parts of the world, it is illegal for Christians to worship God or share their faith. To protect their lives, Christians must meet together covertly. In 2022, Open Doors USA made a list of what it considered the most dangerous countries for Christians to live in. 
12/23/20233 minutes, 47 seconds
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22nd Dec 2023 - Waiting for Fairness

In June 2023, two tragedies occurred at sea. Five people died in Titan, a submersible designed to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. Millions of dollars were spent trying to rescue them. Meanwhile, 650 people, mainly women and children, drowned in an overcrowded boat that sank in Greek waters. 
12/22/20233 minutes, 52 seconds
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21st Dec 2023 - Waiting with a Friend

Anyone who faces uncertainty in life needs an Elizabeth by their side. Before Mary had to face the music with Joseph and tell him she was pregnant, and before anyone else knew, God had tipped her off that one of her relatives was also having a miracle pregnancy. 
12/21/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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20th Dec 2023 - A Difficult Calling

Some people seem to have a very hard furrow to plough in life. Whether it’s a tough job where you do the right thing but face criticism, or the call to be a prophetic voice when people don’t want to hear you, it can feel like you’re on your own and it’s just too demanding. 
12/20/20233 minutes, 45 seconds
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19th Dec 2023 - Waiting to Believe

When God says something good about you, you should believe it. That seems obvious. And yet so many of us struggle to truly receive God’s gifts and blessings because something in our spirit stops us from believing them. Perhaps you have no trouble believing that God has a good plan for others, but, deep inside, you don’t know if you can trust God to be good to you. 
12/20/20233 minutes, 40 seconds
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18th Dec 2023 - Waiting for Elijah

If Jesus were to return tomorrow, would you be ready for Him? This is a fairly terrifying question that preachers ask at Christian conferences, and it can cause us to re-examine our priorities and character (as well as perhaps secretly feeling disappointed that we’d miss out on that party next month). 
12/18/20233 minutes, 48 seconds
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17th Dec 2023 - Waiting for a Servant

The experience of auditioning for a primary school play used to be very intimidating. The speaking parts were scarce, so if you didn’t get picked, the rejection would sting. Nowadays, schools seem to have plays written so that every child can play a part, even if it’s one line. Everyone gets to join in and play. 
12/17/20233 minutes, 43 seconds
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16th Dec 2023 - Waiting for a Shepherd

All leadership involves power. As Lord Acton famously said, ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ A recent study, reported in The Atlantic, showed that the more powerful you are, the less empathetic you become.* Leadership should not be embarked upon lightly, and those of us who are leaders should regularly evaluate our practice and character.
12/16/20234 minutes, 4 seconds
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15th Dec 2023 - Waiting for Hope

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt stuck, with no escape? It could be where you’re living, a frustrating job, or even a difficult marriage. It could be that your health has deteriorated, and you feel helpless. It could be that parenting or caring for others is taking too much of a toll, but there’s nothing you can do about it.
12/15/20234 minutes, 5 seconds
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14th Dec 2023 - Waiting for Light

What does it feel like to live ‘in the land of deep darkness’ (v2)? Depression or grief can feel like a life where someone has switched all the lights out, and there is no joy. Darkness can also mean a feeling of lostness – we can no longer see our way ahead and don’t know which step to take next. It can also imply evil – we may be surrounded by evil people and desperate situations, with no way out. Living in darkness is lonely, too. 
12/14/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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13th Dec 2023 - God's Heartbreak

It is hard to envisage anything so bad that a parent would choose to turn away from their grown-up child, but addiction is surely one. Severely affected addicts can be so destructive and manipulative that in the end the parent, in tears, is forced to stop contact with them until they become clean. It’s a drastic and devastating action, taken only when all other options have been exhausted. 
12/13/20234 minutes, 2 seconds
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12th Dec 2023 - Waiting for a Protector

If you’ve ever been asked to read from Micah 5 at a Christmas service, you’ll know that the word ‘Ephrathah’ is very hard to pronounce, and that no one seems to know what it means. Like the Isaiah 7 verse about the virgin giving birth, often that’s the only verse that people remember, and the original context gets lost. 
12/12/20233 minutes, 59 seconds
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11th Dec 2023 - Waiting for Ruin

In its original context, the verse about the virgin giving birth is NOT about Jesus. Let me explain. The challenge for any political leader is to know which powers to align yourself with. Ahaz, King of Judah, was anxious about the threat of attack from Aram and Israel (vv1–2). So God sends Isaiah to reassure Ahaz that those two countries are spent as powers, and not to worry (vv3–9). Ahaz only needs to trust in God. 
12/11/20234 minutes, 2 seconds
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10th Dec 2023 - Unfulfilled Dreams

Rosalind Franklin was a scientist who helped discover the double helix structure of DNA. Sadly, she contracted cancer and died at the age of thirty-seven. She never won a Nobel Prize. After her death, three of her male colleagues collected the Nobel Prize instead, and only recently has her part in the research been recognised. It’s all too common that people can dedicate their whole life to one particular goal, only for it to be snatched away and someone else take the credit. If we’re not careful, it can make us bitter. 
12/10/20234 minutes, 9 seconds
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9th Dec 2023 - The Longer Road

Reading maps well is an acquired skill. A wiggly, winding road from point A to point B seems pointless when you could go straight, unless you’re very carefully examining the contours, seeing the numbers increase and realising that going straight would mean ploughing through the middle of a sizeable mountain. Similarly, the symbols for marshes are also worth learning. (I may be speaking from experience.) 
12/9/20233 minutes, 43 seconds
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8th Dec 2023 - Why God Made Pharaoh Stubborn

There’s nothing like teaching a children’s Sunday school group to keep you theologically sharp, because children don’t shy away from asking difficult questions. One pesky question about the whole process of the Exodus is why God had to send quite so many plagues, with Pharoah hardening his heart and God allowing it. Why such a long wait while the Israelites endured more hardship?
12/8/20234 minutes, 7 seconds
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7th Dec 2023 - Ordinary Prayers

When we look at difficult situations in the world, our prayers can feel so puny. ‘Dear God, please bring peace to Europe’ is a short prayer about a large and complex issue, and at times it may feel pointless to pray this way. We look to the heroes or people in power to do something about it, because who are we, as ordinary people, to influence history on the grand stage? 
12/7/20233 minutes, 59 seconds
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6th Dec 2023 - Moses and Madela

Nelson Mandela was always committed to non-violent protest against apartheid – until the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 where sixty-nine black protestors were killed by South African police. There seemed no way for change other than violent retaliation, so Mandela became the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress.* 
12/6/20234 minutes
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5th Dec 2023 - A Joyful Laugh

Have you ever had a situation where you did something embarrassing, and everyone around you started laughing at you? It’s the stuff of nightmares, because it taps into the deepest part of us where we feel shame. Sarah had reason to feel shame – she carried the disgrace of not being a mother in a society that only valued women for motherhood. 
12/5/20234 minutes, 7 seconds
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4th Dec 2023 - A Bitter Laugh

In counselling training, students are told they should try to mirror the person’s body language as far as possible to show empathy. However, there are important exceptions. Sometimes a person can laugh with ‘gallows laughter’. 
12/4/20233 minutes, 42 seconds
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3rd Dec 2023 - Mother of Nations

There are two types of people in life: those who act like they are the hero of the story and everything revolves around them, and those who feel they’re more like a sidekick, even in their own life. Hero-types tend to be confident about their purpose and importance in life, whereas ‘sidekicks’ find it harder to define themselves and their purpose outside of other people. 
12/3/20233 minutes, 54 seconds
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2nd Dec 2023 - The Danger of Shortcuts

Think of something you truly need or long for in this world in order to feel your life has meaning. Have you thought of it? Now imagine that God has prophesied you will have that very thing you’re longing for, and your long waiting will be over. How do you feel then? Now imagine that it’s been ten years, and the joyful prophecy you told everyone about has never come to pass. 
12/2/20233 minutes, 53 seconds
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1st December 2023 - The First Wait

How does the Bible begin? You might want to say, ‘with creation’, but look closer: it begins with waiting. Before God spoke the world into existence and time as we know it began, the Spirit was there, waiting, poised, hovering over the deep. 
12/1/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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30th Nov 2023 - Completion Day

After fifty-two days of prayer, hard work and overcoming the enemy’s deception, the wall was completed. Fifty-two days. The walls had been left in ruins for seventy years and yet the city was transformed in a matter of days. 
11/30/20233 minutes, 9 seconds
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29th Nov 2023 - Blessed to be a Blessing

Nehemiah was entitled to money and food from the people. As mentioned earlier, to demand this was the practise of previous governors. It was considered normal to request more, even though the King already provided them an ox, six sheep and some poultry each day and a wine delivery every ten days (v18a). Power and wealth are often insatiable. 
11/29/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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28th Nov 2023 - Room for One More

I am not sure how big your table is, but I am sure it is not as big as Nehemiah’s – he seemed to fit 150 people around it! Admittedly, the phrase ‘ate at my table’ may have simply meant that he provided food for 150 people each day, but it is still an incredible image of hospitality. 
11/28/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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27th Nov 2023 - Devoted to Work

Work is not something to be avoided, it is a good thing. We are designed to work, to care, to produce, to create and to be fruitful. From the beginning of time, Adam is placed in a beautiful garden where everything was as it should be. 
11/27/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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26th Nov 2023 - Producer or Consumer?

We live in a self-obsessed world, where our own selfish needs and desires are central to the decisions we make. A commonly used phrase would be ‘me first’ or ‘look after number one’, and reinforced by encouraging comments such as ‘you do you’ or ‘look after yourself’. It all seems a lovely and kind approach. But 
11/26/20233 minutes, 15 seconds
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25th Nov 2023 - Shake the Folds

Nehemiah demanded of himself and the other wealthy members of the community, that they would restore any assets and repay any interest that had been charged. A big ask. But the response is positive and all those in attendance promise to give everything back and demand nothing more from the people. 
11/25/20233 minutes, 11 seconds
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24th Nov 2023 - Bringing restoration

Many television shows replicate the idea of restoration. It is heart-warming to see something that seemed to have had its day and lost all value being restored to its former glory. Whether that be a piece of furniture found in a skip or a pet that became separated from its owner, or an adult fostered as a child discovering family they had never met. Restoration is bringing something back to its original owner, place or condition. 
11/24/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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23rd Nov 2023 - Fight for the opressed

Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 26 that the poor will always be with you, having just said in Matthew 22 to love our neighbours as ourselves, and in even clearer detail in Matthew 25 about how in the final days God will judge us on how we treat people. Throughout His life on earth, Jesus modelled what He taught by intentionally looking out for opportunities to include society’s outcasts. 
11/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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22nd Nov 2023 - Infighting builds nothing

At the end of chapter 4 there is great victory over the enemy, the wall continues to be built, albeit slower, as they hold a sword in one hand and a trowel in another. But now there is infighting and it seems as though the building work has stopped as it does not get mentioned. It is interesting how in just a few days they go from this beautiful community in chapter 3, working hard together across generations and trades to build this wall. 
11/22/20232 minutes, 56 seconds
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21st Nov 2023 - Night and Day

The motto created by Lord Baden-Powell for the Scout’s movement was ‘Be prepared’. It was the idea that from a young age, Scouts would learn to survive and thrive, wherever they might find themselves. That they would be able to tie knots, make a shelter, stay safe and know what a woggle was and how it should be used. 
11/21/20233 minutes, 1 second
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20th Nov 2023 - God Will Fight For Us

In our home we have a large family. So, over the years, we have created a tradition of ringing a bell when it is time for the evening meal. Once the bell is rung, children come from all directions, salivating at the prospect of food. If we have visitors, there is often some surprise at the sound of a bell being rung and even more surprise when children appear instantaneously at the meal table, seated with cutlery in hands and ready to eat.
11/20/20232 minutes, 55 seconds
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19th Nov 2023 - Be On Your Guard

Poor Nehemiah. The wall is half built and everyone has done so well to get to this point, but now people are tired and starting to grumble. Just as he is trying to work out how to keep the work moving forward, he gets given a message repeatedly: ‘They will come from all directions and attack us’. 
11/19/20232 minutes, 50 seconds
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18th Nov 2023 - Hitting the Wall

Years ago I ran the London Marathon. It was an incredible day. I had trained for months; I was in good condition and joined thousands of others on the starting line. I remember the moment it started to go wrong. Tower Bridge, around the halfway mark. I was feeling good and thinking, ‘This is great, I am halfway. Just got to do that again.’ 
11/18/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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17th Nov 2023 - The Enemy is Sneaky

It is often in children’s movies and comic books that enemies are obvious in their actions. The reality is that in life the enemy is often sneaky. Confusion is caused, by the whisper of gossip in the staff canteen, the seemingly innocent question in the company boardroom, the text message or social media post that could be read in many different ways. 
11/17/20232 minutes, 58 seconds
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16th Nov 2023 - Half Full or Half Empty

Is the glass half full or half empty? This is often the question that is asked to determine whether you are an optimist or a pessimist. But life is never as simple as the remains of a drink in a glass. There is always something that needs doing. 
11/16/20232 minutes, 56 seconds
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15th Nov 2023 - Hear Us, Our God

I don’t know what your natural reaction is when you face opposition and persecution. Maybe it is to run away from the situation, to get yourself out of the room, away from the confrontation and hope it will go away. Or maybe you react with excess strength and retaliate, saying things you later regret or getting physical and pushing the problem away. 
11/15/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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14th Nov 2023 - Success Will Breed Opposition

As we mentioned earlier, haters are going to hate. It seems that success, which we prayed for yesterday, breeds opposition. But this seemingly overnight success was a long time coming. Nehemiah’s predecessor was Zerubbabel (Ezra 1–6), who led the first Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem and completed the rebuilding of the temple in 516 BC. But rather than continue rebuilding the city, they stopped. 
11/14/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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13th Nov 2023 - Even the Priests Get their Hands Dirty

This is a beautiful moment in the story of Nehemiah. We started in chapter 1 with Nehemiah feeling alone in the pain for the state of his homeland (1:4). From that point we see his concerns being shared with the king (2:5), then with the few (2:12), then with the leaders (2:17) and now everyone is playing their part. 
11/13/20232 minutes, 57 seconds
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12th Nov 2023 - Praying for Success

Challenges will always come our way. The author James writes, ‘Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance’ (Jas 1:2–3) We may not enjoy them, but life is full of hurdles to be overcome. 
11/12/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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11th Nov 2023 - Call to Action

It was once said that leadership is simply taking people from position A to position B. To achieve this you have to either explain to those you are leading how bad position A is or how much better position B will be. 
11/11/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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10th Nov 2023 - Just a Few

Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem and before he tells the people of his plans and the task that God has ordained him to do, he decides to take ‘only a few others’ with him and investigate what is needed for the plan to be achieved. Some might say he was being secretive or not very transparent, but not everything has to be shared with everyone all the time. 
11/10/20232 minutes, 54 seconds
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9th Nov 2023 - Haters are Going to Hate

Whenever someone is successful, there is a person in the background offended by their achievements. For every politician who wins the vote, there is someone who loses out. For every salesperson who, scores a big contract there is one who misses out on a bonus. 
11/9/20232 minutes, 54 seconds
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8th Nov 2023 - The Big Ask

This is a beautiful moment in the story, where Nehemiah adds the extravagant request. Makes the Big Ask. Having nervously asked the King for some leave and got his royal approval, he then adds on an extra plea: ‘Could I have a security team and extra timber, because I will need the wood for the new walls, gates and a house for myself!’ Nehemiah, the cupbearer has upsold the King. How often do we only ask for the bare minimum? 
11/8/20232 minutes, 54 seconds
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7th Nov 2023 - Who is in the Room?

My children know when the best times are to ask me for something, whether it be for me to help them with their homework, give them a lift to a friend’s house or whether we might plan to go somewhere special at the weekend. 
11/7/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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6th Nov 2023 - Arrow Prayers

In the TV show Dragons Den, potential entrepreneurs present their ideas to wealthy business people, hoping for financial investment in their big idea. Once they have completed their pitch, they are asked questions by the Dragons. 
11/6/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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5th Nov 2023 - In the Face of Fear

We know from the story of Queen Esther about the importance of presentation in front of the king. Anyone in the court of the king must meet his approval, so a great amount of effort would go into the outfits that would be worn and the make-up applied to cover any blemishes. 
11/5/20233 minutes, 19 seconds
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4th Nov 2023 - Opportunities for Favour

We mentioned a few days ago how the practice of prayer is more like sowing seeds than using a heavenly slot machine. If we want to see favour and blessing in our lives, we need to be praying today for opportunities of favour tomorrow. 
11/4/20232 minutes, 56 seconds
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3rd Nov 2023 - The Part Your Play

Have you ever read the Bible and considered what part of the story you resonate with. People often place themselves in the position of the hero of the story. They are David not Goliath, they are Paul not Saul, they are Esther or Mordecai but definitely not Haman, they are Joseph but never one of his many brothers. 
11/3/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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2nd Nov 2023 - Listen to My Prayer

Sometimes the concept of prayer is seen as a shiny chrome celestial slot machine. Prayer is asking God for things we desire, and He gives them to us. Anything is possible. A bit like when I was a child, circling all the things I would want for Christmas in the, now defunct, Argos catalogue and leaving it lying around to ensure my parents were aware of my festive request, hopeful that they would get the hint. 
11/2/20233 minutes, 9 seconds
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1st Nov 2023 - Days of Disappointment are Days of Destiny

That moment when you hear tragic or disappointing news, your knees go weak and you can do nothing but sit down, weep and stare into the distance. Whether it be exam results, financial issues, health concerns, the breakdown of a relationship or the unexpected loss of a loved one, these moments bring real pain and there is no way to immediately fix it or make it better somehow. 
11/1/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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31st Oct 2023 - Bound

The ritual of burial in first-century Israel involved the corpse being washed, then anointed with a variety of oils and spices. The body would then be wrapped in white linen grave clothes, which also contained spices. The body of Lazarus had been given life, but he still had to contend with the grave clothes that would inhibit him. Hence Jesus’ command in verse 44. 
10/31/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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30th Oct 2023 - Jesus acts

Back in verse 4 we learned of Jesus intention, and now it’s time for Him to raise Lazarus from the dead. John reminds us that Jesus is still deeply moved (v38). This is not a magician delighting to perform a trick, but a man who cares for all involved in the business of life and death, and granted power by His Father for this extraordinary act. 
10/30/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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29th Oct 2023 - Jesus talks

Jesus never wastes a moment, and the interchange between Him and the two sisters is telling. He could have simply announced before they spoke: ‘It’s OK – I’m going to raise your brother from the dead, so don’t worry!’. But instead, He could see the value in talking with the woman about their faith in Him and the situation. 
10/29/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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28th Oct 2023 - Jesus Waits

Jesus heals all who ask Him in the gospels with one exception – this one! And in this case the outcome is far better. We cannot imagine fully what was going on in Jesus’ mind when he hears news that Lazarus is ill and close to death. We know that Lazarus is a close friend, indeed Jesus stayed with the family when He came to the Jerusalem area. 
10/28/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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27th Oct 2023 - Well Connected

At the start and finish of the book of Ruth we have a clue as to why this is included in God’s library. This book is a wonderful contrast to the preceding book of Judges (mentioned in verse 1), which has some of the toughest narrative in the whole of the Bible. 
10/27/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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26th Oct 2023 - My Redeemer

At the heart of the story of Ruth is a wealthy landowner, Boaz, whose many workers harvest the fields in Bethlehem. He is an upright, generous man who makes sure there is increased provision for Ruth, requesting harvesters to leave something for her (in accordance with Levitical law). But there’s more. 
10/26/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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25th Oct 2023 - Defining Moments

This is a classic ‘grim tale to start and wonderful ending to finish’ kind of story. It begins with a famine and real pain with the death of three husbands (Naomi’s husband and her two sons, who were married to Moabite women). Naomi’s daughter-in-law Ruth, chooses to stick with Naomi, who is part of the people of God. 
10/25/20233 minutes
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24th Oct 2023 - A Mixed Day!

Things are going well. God has just used you to see a lame man healed and you have had opportunity to preach the good news to non-believers. And you are especially feeling good because you gave God the glory. 
10/24/20233 minutes, 11 seconds
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23rd Oct 2023 - It’s God!

Paul has an opportunity to speak to the people and, although Luke doubtless gives just a summary of what he said, it is interesting that Paul communicates in a way appropriate for people with little or no grasp of the Scriptures that Paul has been schooled in. 
10/23/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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22nd Oct 2023 - Faith for Healing

If you have ever seen someone healed by God, you will know how amazing it can be. We thank God for His healing through medicine and other means but, at times, we get to glimpse the inbreaking kingdom, as with a prayer or command God instantly intervenes to cure the malady being suffered. 
10/22/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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21st Oct 2023 - Walk this way

Since the time of Adam, the Scriptures make it clear that all human beings will face death. But Enoch’s passing is at odds with that of other men and women, and the implication is that his ‘ending’ is connected to his lifestyle. Here was a man who ‘walked with God’ and ‘then he was no more’, implying that, like Elijah, he is translated to heaven rather than his physical body dying and being buried. 
10/21/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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20th Oct 2023 - Eye Catching

Even in our permissive age, most regard cheating on a spouse or partner as a reprehensible act. Here is one of the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament which translates well into most people’s personal moral code and, of course, especially if you are the innocent spouse. 
10/20/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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19th Oct 2023 - Save Legal Fees

Jesus is still on the theme of the heart, but this illustration is not about a ‘brother’ who has something against you, but about a situation where someone is so upset that they are willing to take you to court – the kind of thing that might end up in a civil court today.
10/19/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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18th Oct 2023 - Hearts Matter

At some time in your life, you have probably been on the end of a donation request. A charity you support, a salesperson, a request at the checkout of a petrol station. But how often has anyone had any concern about your heart first? Did anyone think to check that your relational life was smooth before you transferred the money? Of course not. But Jesus continues majoring on the heart. 
10/18/20233 minutes, 19 seconds
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17th Oct 2023 - Tough stuff

The Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 5–7) is variously understood. Some see the commands as ‘impossible’, but valuable as a benchmark. Other see them as indicating what will happen in heaven when we are all perfect. But it seems reasonable to assume that Jesus was addressing His disciples (5:1) and the crowds (7:28) and expecting the words to have meaning for here and now. 
10/17/20233 minutes, 20 seconds
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16th Oct 2023 - His Eye is On You

This is one of the most misquoted psalms in the Bible. Many seem to imagine that the hills are somehow a reminder of God, and so looking at the hills is a reminder of who He is. The reality is that for the traveller looking to the hills, is a fearful thing. We might say: ‘I look at the busy, dangerous road.’ 
10/16/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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15th Oct 2023 - In Denial

Have you ever found yourself to be reading a verse one way only for someone to suggest an alternative? Our verse for today is a classic used for Christians who are conscious of messing up. It may be quoted in churches with a liturgical tradition, where ‘confession’ is a part of a typical church service and especially at a communion service. 
10/15/20232 minutes, 56 seconds
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14th Oct 2023 - In The Light

It was some forty years ago that I recall a preacher at church talking about a movement of God taking place in Uganda. I remember little of what he said, but the phrase ‘walking in the light’ was evidently very significant. 
10/14/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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13th Oct 2023 - In Fellowship

The start of John’s letter focuses on his testimony of being with Jesus when He was physically alive. This is in part to counter a notion that was developing in popularity that Jesus was never a physical being. So, the ‘him’ in our verse is Jesus. Of all the things to say that God is, John chooses ‘light’, because he knew this was important for his hearers at this point. 
10/13/20232 minutes, 56 seconds
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12th Oct 2023 - Wonder Woman

The Christian church’s track record on looking after women has not generally been great, which is a big surprise given that women were there at the resurrection of Jesus and given the task of proclamation, and women were there at Pentecost being empowered to share. 
10/12/20232 minutes, 51 seconds
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11th Oct 2023 - I’ve started so I’ll finish

There are places in some European countries which remain ‘unfinished’ because then a tax on a finished building doesn’t need to be paid. But, by and large, unfinished building is not a good look and suggests poor planning. 
10/11/20233 minutes, 1 second
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10th Oct 2023 - Sign-Up Form

If you join the army, it will be necessary for you to wear army uniform and obey army rules. If you sign up to an apprenticeship with a plumber, you will need to do the required work to make the grade. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, you will need to take up your cross and follow Him. 
10/10/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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9th Oct 2023 - A Costly Business

Anyone in sales knows that there is a tricky balance to be made between offering the product at an enticing price, and showing the customer that the product has high value. With some products, selling it at too low a price will mean it is not valued. Similarly, when asking for people to join something, do you emphasise the challenge and cost or the benefits? 
10/9/20233 minutes, 19 seconds
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8th Oct 2023 - Proud To Be Humble?

There is a massive irony to the last part of this verse. Even by the time of Jesus, ‘walking humbly’ was hardly a characteristic of the people of God. 
10/8/20232 minutes, 47 seconds
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7th Oct 2023 - Mercy to Whom?

A policeman stops your car when you are travelling 40mph in a 30mph zone. Justice is being given a speeding ticket, mercy is just being given a warning, and grace is the policeman giving you his theatre tickets…! 
10/7/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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6th Oct 2023 - Required

Minor prophets get a bad rep. Most people do not know of them or, when they read them, they are uncertain what they are saying. But the little-known Micah has two verses that most Christians know. 
10/6/20233 minutes, 19 seconds
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5th Oct 2023 - Forgotten

The homecoming scene has been the finale to many a film: the lost child is reunited with her parents; the broken marriage is resolved; the hero who has won the day and cheated death is brought back into the safety and warmth of the family. 
10/5/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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4th Oct 2023 - Radiant

It is estimated that the ‘observable universe’ is a sphere with a diameter of about 92 billion lightyears and a volume of about 410 nonillion (410 thousand billion, billion, billion) cubic lightyears! 
10/4/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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3rd Oct 2023 - Son Light

Preachers are commonly telling congregations that there is a problem with Christians not reading their Bibles. 
10/2/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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2nd Oct 2023 - A Great Appointment

The Hebrew writer contrasts the Old Covenant and New: the one spoken to ancestors through prophets versus that spoken to us by God’s Son. He will go on to amplify the wonderful elements of the New Covenant in the epistle, which is clearly written to people with a Jewish background tempted back into Judaism, in part because they would be less likely to be persecuted. 
10/1/20233 minutes, 13 seconds
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1st Oct 2023 - Past Words

We might have been tempted to have sent Jesus thousands of years ago, soon after Adam and Eve sinned. But in God’s purposes it was necessary for the pages of the Old Testament to unfold so we would see the failure of humanity to live up to God’s ways even though they had received clear instructions and reminders. 
9/30/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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30th Sept 2023 - Valuing Time

The writer’s musings on life cause him to start to bring God into the picture (see 2:24), and so he is now reflecting, more helpfully, on seeing things as brought by God, with a series of fourteen couplets which contrast one another, and are perhaps the best-known part of the book. 
9/30/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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29th Sept 2023 - Work, Work, Work

Solomon’s reflections in Ecclesiastes cause him to reflect on many areas that seem to be fulfilling. He is especially gloomy about work, finding that for all the short-term benefits, the fruit of what he has done will be left to others who may or may not deserve it. 
9/29/20233 minutes, 13 seconds
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28th Sept 2023 - Finding meaning

Not everything in the Bible is true. What?! Let me qualify that. Some of the statements in the Bible reflect conversations where what is said is not true, and this is especially true in the book of Ecclesiastes. It starts as ‘The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem’, which most agree fits for Solomon, writing probably at the end of his life. 
9/28/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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27th Sept 2023 - It’s All In The Follow Through

A student in history might be satisfied to learn about the Elizabethan age, a geographer might be pleased to understand the way a landscape is formed and a physicist how gravity operates. The teaching experience is complete when the student has learned information. Paul was pretty unconcerned whether Timothy had memorised which kings of Israel were good and which were bad or how many of the minor prophets spoke to Judah. 
9/27/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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26th Sept 2023 - God Breathed

The source of information is pretty important. You might be less inclined to trust a newspaper report than a university-peer-reviewed research paper. Instructions on a tin of chemicals have rather more weight than a tweet from an annoyed football fan. We ask, ‘What authority do they have?’ 
9/26/20233 minutes, 21 seconds
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25th Sept 2023 - Well trained?

As has been pointed out many times, the Bible doesn’t say: train up young people in the way they should go’ (Prov. 22:6), it says train up children. Evidently Timothy’s parents (and grandparents) knew the verse, for he had been taught the Scriptures from infancy. The introductory words on Timothy in the book of Acts (16:1) suggest that it may have been just his mum doing the teaching. 
9/25/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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24th Sept 2023 - Convinced?

Those demonstrating expertise in any walk of life have a certain authority when it comes to teaching others: witness the popularity of ‘how to’ books written by experts in the field, and video training courses by master craftsmen and women. This is no less true in spiritual life, and Paul uses it as an exhortation to Timothy to stick with the faith ‘because you know those from whom you have learned it’. 
9/24/20233 minutes, 1 second
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23rd Sept 2023 - A Glorious Death

Whether you are a Christian or not, it seems obligatory to use the words RIP (Rest In Peace) in a text, Tweet or Facebook post when news of the death of a loved one or celebrity is broadcast. 
9/23/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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22nd Sept 2023 - One Strike and You’re Out

It may have crossed your mind that it seems pernickety of God to plunge the whole human race into sin because of one transgression regarding a choice in the Garden of Eden restaurant. Wouldn’t one warning have been enough? Paul would later say that in Adam all have sinned. 
9/22/20233 minutes, 13 seconds
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21st Sept 2023 - In fashion

It’s not altogether obvious why eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil led Adam and Eve to realise they were naked. Some have speculated that the glory of God surrounded them, which was then removed when they disobeyed God. 
9/21/20232 minutes, 54 seconds
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20th Sept 2023 - Your Desires

Having been deceived into thinking that God was withholding something, Eve now saw that the fruit was desirable for gaining wisdom, so she ate and gave some to Adam. This apparently ‘innocent act’ leads to catastrophe for the first couple. Now we can be sure that God had made Adam and Eve to relate with Him: there was no defect in them that meant they were deficient and so needed an outside agent. 
9/20/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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19th Sept 2023 - Don’t you believe it?

The heart of sin is the belief that God cannot be trusted to look after us. Look at the Ten Commandments and see how the breaking of the prohibitions suggests we need to take matters into our own hands.
9/19/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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18th Sept 2023 - Did God Say?

The very start of the fall of humanity came with a question. The narrator tells us of the craftiness of the serpent (3:1), as if to suggest that the succeeding narrative may not be all that it seems, and so begins the journey for Eve and Adam to eat the prohibited fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 
9/18/20233 minutes, 1 second
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17th Sept 2023 - Incomprehensible

The New Testament has verses that we can barely comprehend, and this is one of them. The trouble is we have all been taught that if it’s too good to be true it probably is! Ever been seduced by an advert only to be caught out by the small print? But we have tons of evidence that the Bible is 100% trustworthy, and so how likely is it that the writers and in this case, Jesus are going to mix in some lies? 
9/17/20233 minutes, 35 seconds
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16th Sept 2023 - Judgement Comes Eventually

Around 760 BC, God sent Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh, the Assyrians, that judgment was coming. When the Assyrians repented, God withheld His action. At the time, the Assyrians were the superpower of the day, they ruled the world, from Libya and Ethiopia to Babylon and beyond. 
9/16/20233 minutes, 11 seconds
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15th Sept 2023 - Judge Wisely

This letter by Jesus’ half-brother doesn’t mince its words, as Jude feels the need to ‘contend’ for the faith (v3) and warn his readers to stick with it. These closing words to his short letter remind us that there is no ‘one size fits all’ response to people we might regard as struggling with their faith. 
9/14/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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14th Sept 2023 - Loved

Our English word ‘love’ is how translators typically translates each of four Greek words: philia, eros, storge and agape. This fourth is often, though not exclusively, used of God’s love, and this is the word for Christ’s love. 
9/14/20233 minutes, 9 seconds
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13th Sept 2023 - Filled to Overflowing

Depending on what you count, there are forty-three occasions when Paul’s prayers are recorded in the Epistles, but this is one of Paul’s four main prayers, and the Ephesians knew exactly what he was asking God to do. 
9/13/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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12th Sept 2023 - Beware of Left Handers

You would think Israel would have learned their lessons. ‘The evil’ they do is not specified but likely to have been following the local gods, where shrine prostitution was part of their practices. This time it’s the Moabites, Ammonites and Amalekites who oppress Israel, and this time it’s for eighteen years. 
9/12/20233 minutes, 1 second
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11th Sept 2023 - Unassuming

The book of Judges relates the story of twelve Judges. The likes of Gideon, Samson and Deborah are well known but some, like Othniel, have just a few verses devoted to them. This is in the pre-monarchy days, and we see the classic cycle within Judges: Israel sins, God allows enemies to defeat them, they cry out to God, God sends a deliverer. 
9/11/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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10th Sept 2023 - Enemy Battles

The book of Judges outlines the way God provides a series of deliverers to rescue God’s people from their surrounding enemies. For a while they learn their lesson and return to God, only to backslide again, until the pain becomes so great, they call out to the Lord again. 
9/10/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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9th Sept 2023 - Lonely

The stereotypical view of Jesus is of a man who showed up for occasional talks in the open air and had down time with His disciples between events. Doubtless this pattern did prevail. But this verse in Mark and parallel verses in the other Gospels paint a more complicated picture. 
9/9/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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8th Sept 2023 - Indignant

Jesus is said to be indignant on two occasions in the Gospels: when the disciples stopped children approaching Him (Mark 10:14), and here when the man with leprosy approached Him. His indignation (could be translated anger) can be read in a few ways: that the leper wasn’t sure He would be willing to heal him, or that He was angry at how sin had messed this man’s life up, or maybe that He knew the man would ignore His later request to keep quiet. 
9/9/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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7th Sept 2023 - An Amazing Visit

This opening chapter of Mark paints a picture of who Jesus is. Having gathered His team of disciples, His first public actions are to teach and cast out an evil spirit. 
9/7/20233 minutes, 1 second
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6th Sept 2023 - Ups and Downs

If Jonah had been in the modern day, his ministry newsletter would have made interesting reading. An astonishing revival comes about such that God does not bring on the people the judgment He had promised. You can imagine the book deals and the conference invites that Jonah would garner off the back of this. 
9/6/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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5th Sept 2023 - Seven Words of Life

It was seven words (five in Hebrew) and a whole city turned around. Now of course it may be that we have just a summary of what Jonah said but, even so, it was a simple message. Why the turnaround?
9/5/20232 minutes, 52 seconds
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4th Sept 2023 - Jonah’s Lot

We wouldn’t have the Jonah story if God had let Jonah go. After all, He could have raised up another prophet who would be more willing. But He had His purpose in sending this prophet to these people and so God intervenes with a storm, and we have the oddness of pagan sailors calling out to their gods with Jonah prayerless. 
9/4/20232 minutes, 55 seconds
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3rd Sept 2023 - Jonah’s Shipping Forecast

Jonah certainly has a bad reputation as a disobedient and grumpy prophet who fails to go where he is told to go and is angry with God when his warning is heeded by the people. 
9/3/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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2nd Sept 2023 - Blown Away

God’s love and concern for all people is demonstrated throughout the Bible. Everyone you clap eyes on today is loved by God and precious to Him. God has made it possible for all to know His embrace. 
9/2/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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1st Sept 2023 - Two Ways of Life

This is not just the first psalm but a ‘gateway’ psalm introducing the whole psalter comprising 150 psalms and arranged in five ‘books’. These verses declare that those who avoid certain pathways and embrace God’s ways will be blessed. Walking, standing and sitting suggest increasing affinity with evil, and are contrasted with the delight that comes from meditating on God’s Word. 
9/1/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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31st Aug 2023 - Reaching Completion

We need each other – we see this reflected in Paul’s list of people who send their greetings to the new church. Notice how diverse the people are, from Luke the doctor to a former slave to Gentile believers to Jewish people who have converted to the Christian faith. After all, as Paul said earlier, Christ is all and Christ is in all (Col. 3:11). In Him there is no room for discrimination. 
8/31/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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30th Aug 2023 - Salty Speech

We’ve looked at Paul’s letter to the Colossians mostly from a point of view of our own personal growth in our commitment to Christ. In this passage, however, we see that we cannot forget the gospel imperative to share our faith with others. We shouldn’t live in a closed-off colony where we’re concerned only for fellow believers, but rather should seek that others too will know the life-saving nature of God’s redemption through Jesus. 
8/30/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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29th Aug 2023 - For the Lord

We might be surprised at the length of Paul’s household instructions regarding slavery, especially compared with the short directives regarding husbands and wives and parents and children. Perhaps Paul treats this subject in more detail because of the situation with Onesimus, who was a slave of Philemon’s who ran away after wronging his master, probably by stealing money. 
8/29/20233 minutes, 27 seconds
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28th Aug 2023 - Fitting in the Lord

We might find Paul’s change of subject abrupt. Having discussed who we are in Christ and how we are to live out the new life, Paul then addresses what are known as the household codes – his instructions for family life. We also might or might not agree with Paul’s emphasis on the roles within the home. 
8/28/20233 minutes, 52 seconds
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27th Aug 2023 - Abiding Peace

The peace of Christ can make a real difference to our lives. For instance, a Christian leader encountered many difficulties and challenges over her life, then finally reached a point where she came to the end of herself and leaned on God fully. 
8/27/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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26th Aug 2023 - A Stunning Wardrobe

What clothes do we don? The world often gives us stinky rags, such as those slapped on a young girl who was called ‘fat face’. Our hearts sink when we hear stories such as these, and we pray that young people enduring such abuse will be able to put on the garments of God’s chosen people and to ‘forgive as the Lord’ forgives them (v13). 
8/26/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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25th Aug 2023 - Leaving Behind

A great theme of Paul’s is leaving the old self behind as we daily embrace the new, as we see in this section of Colossians. For the believers to live out of a new self, Paul says that they need to continue putting to death whatever would keep them embroiled in sin; that is, their earthly nature. 
8/25/20233 minutes, 37 seconds
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24th Aug 2023 - Hidden in Christ

We reach a sort of climax here as Paul says, ‘Since, then…’ With these words he signals to his readers that he’s laid the groundwork and he wants them to take notice. For here is how they should live. Because they have died to their old life, they are now raised with Christ. 
8/24/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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23rd Aug 2023 - Smothering Rules

Some people find the apostle Paul difficult, thinking that he’s harsh or unfeeling. But if we try to find out more about the individual churches to whom he wrote, we might reshape our view of him. For instance, to one group of people who were lax in their faith –such as in his first letter to the Corinthians – he writes (paraphrased), ‘Shape up! I want you to know God’s truth as revealed in Christ and His sacrifice for you!’ 
8/23/20233 minutes, 26 seconds
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22nd Aug 2023 - True Belief

Teachers and lecturers, especially when rooted in Christ, are often gracious as they teach, sharing their wisdom. They exude humility as they weave together the nuggets of understanding proffered by those who learn from them – those who in their youth might wear their arrogance as a shield. But true wisdom never puffs one up. 
8/22/20233 minutes, 33 seconds
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21st Aug 2023 - Out of Debt

Have you ever had a debt dismissed? One moment you’re expected to pay back a sum – large or small – and the next, you’re given a reprieve. Relief washes over you as you fill with gratitude. What felt like a burden weighing you down has been removed from your shoulders. 
8/21/20233 minutes, 36 seconds
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20th Aug 2023 - Active and Passive

Paul never forgets that people flourish in their faith in the triune God through His merciful action, for although we respond to the Lord’s loving invitation, He is the one who effects change. We can see this clearly in verses 6 and 7 by digging into the grammar. 
8/20/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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19th Aug 2023 - United in Love

When we’ve been part of a church for a length of time, we often will have encountered conflict within it. We may hear heartrending stories of people deeply hurt by leaders who seemed to be on a power trip, or those betrayed by a close friend in church, or the disappointment and ache when the leadership group adopts a theological stance that is at odds with one’s own understanding. 
8/19/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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18th Aug 2023 - Fully Mature

A church minister confided how sad he felt when people left the church, or didn’t seem to move forward in their faith. He wondered if for them, coming to church was just one of many ‘leisure opportunities’ in a weekend, which might get crowded out by a children’s birthday party, a brunch outing with friends or a sports match. 
8/18/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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17th Aug 2023 - Christ in You

Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ This is a favourite phrase in the Bible, for it hints at a mystery of which we’ll never fully plumb the depths. That is, our union with the triune God, through Christ dwelling within us (and elsewhere we see the Holy Spirit filling us, such as on Pentecost [Acts 2:4]). 
8/17/20233 minutes, 50 seconds
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16th Aug 2023 - Once and Now

Once you were a murderer. Once a liar. Once a gossiper. But now… now you are no longer accused of wrongdoing; now you are without stain. Why? Because Christ has made things right for you with God. Once all of that stuff was the reality, but now – if you continue believing and hoping – now He sees you as holy. 
8/16/20233 minutes, 37 seconds
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15th Aug 2023 - The Supreme Son

We reach Paul’s wonderful prose poem, looking at the first part today, which is a hymn about Jesus. We’ll probably never exhaust the ways of describing God’s Son. Paul says that Jesus is the ‘image of the invisible God’ (v15); this means that He fleshes out that which is unseen. 
8/15/20233 minutes, 23 seconds
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14th Aug 2023 - Complete Forgiveness

We look at two short verses today that brim with meaning. In fact, Paul’s words summarise the gospel well – that Jesus rescues us from condemnation through the forgiveness of sins and the gift of new life. Let’s dig in and examine some of Paul’s phrases, such as that Jesus ‘rescued us from the dominion of darkness’ (v13). Here the light of God’s kingdom is implied by what we are saved from – a life of groping around in the dark while losing our way and perhaps smashing into brick walls. 
8/14/20233 minutes, 38 seconds
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13th Aug 2023 - True Wisdom

As we read Paul’s intercessory prayer for the Colossians, we can more deeply understand his concern for the new believers if we keep in mind the context. False teachers there have been trying to entice the Christians with promises of secret knowledge to enhance their spiritual experience. 
8/13/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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12th Aug 2023 - The Gospel’s Fruit

If we’re gardeners with some land to work with, we might be now enjoying the fruits of our labours – the beauty that blossoms from little seeds. Yet Paul shares a more beautiful blossoming when it comes to the spread of the Christian faith, how it grows and bears fruit through the whole world. 
8/12/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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11th Aug 2023 - Faith, Hope and Love

Welcome to three weeks of exploring Colossians! Paul wrote to this church which he’d likely not visited, but had grown out of his mission to Ephesus through the conversion of Epaphras. This man became a ‘dear fellow servant’ of Paul and Timothy (v7) and planted churches in several areas, including at his home of Colossae. 
8/11/20233 minutes, 40 seconds
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10th Aug 2023 - Remember the Why

On this, our last day journeying through 1 and 2 Kings, we skip ahead to the last king of Israel. Although his name, Hoshea, means ‘salvation’, he does not deliver this. He and his people sin against God, following the practices of the foreign nations and doing detestable things in secret. Instead of turning from their evil ways, they are stiff-necked, unwilling to bow before God in humility. 
8/10/20233 minutes, 32 seconds
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9th Aug 2023 - Murky Questions

God wanted the destruction of Baal worship, just as He wants all people to turn away from idolatry and return to Him. Thankfully, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus leaves us with some very different methods from those of Jehu. After all, Jehu deceived the prophets of Baal by pretending to be one of them, promising that they would receive his royal approval – all so that he could lure them into one place to slaughter them. 
8/9/20233 minutes, 9 seconds
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8th Aug 2023 - Unfinished Business

If we take on a new job or a new project, we might have to attend to some unfinished matters left from colleagues or volunteers who are no longer involved. We might feel upset that things weren’t done properly, but they still need doing. Elijah also left some unfinished business. 
8/8/20233 minutes, 31 seconds
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7th August 2023 - Sowing in Tears

Often, we feel pain and sorrow when we see those we love going through difficulties. We witness a loved one struggling through a health issue, or see another experiencing intense problems in a relationship. God’s prophets experienced these sorrows too. 
8/7/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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6th August 2023 - Pursued by Grace

Remember the Shunammite woman whose son Elisha restored to life? She appears again here. Having heeded the prophet’s warning to flee the impending famine, she returns seven years later to find her home and land taken over. 
8/6/20233 minutes, 20 seconds
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4th August 2023 - The Lord Says

Although God’s people enjoyed times of peace throughout the ministry of Elisha, their disobedience brought forth God’s displeasure. No longer did He hold back Israel’s opponents, but allowed the siege of Samaria. Things got so bad with the ensuing famine that unclean meat – that of a donkey – sold for a lot of silver. 
8/4/20233 minutes, 25 seconds
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3rd Aug 2023 - The Unseen Real

The historical narrative of Kings focuses more on the practical outworking of Elisha’s faith in God than on the prophet’s conversations with Him. One such example is the glorious story we’re reading today. You may be well acquainted with it – Elisha is being hunted down by the king of Aram, but he doesn’t fret. 
8/3/20233 minutes, 29 seconds
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2nd Aug 2023 - Borrowed Goods

The ‘floating axe-head’ story is one of many about Elisha and his life as a prophet of God. These stories don’t take a chronological form, but are included in the overall narrative to show that God will reveal Himself even when His people do not follow Him. Some biblical commentators think that this story follows the one about Naaman because both take place at the River Jordan. 
8/2/20233 minutes, 28 seconds
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1st Aug 2023 - Expect the Unexpected

Pride has been called the deadliest of sins, for it often precedes other sins. For instance, when someone who prizes their station in life believes they are being snubbed, they may act on their anger. This is what happened with Naaman. 
8/1/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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31st July 2023 - Miraculous Provision

Not only does God work by imparting His wisdom, as we saw yesterday, but sometimes He does something miraculous through the things of His creation. In today’s passage, Elisha illustrates God’s miraculous extension of twenty loaves of barley bread to feed the hundred hungry men. 
7/31/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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30th July 2023 - Everyday Miracles

God can answer our prayers through His miraculous intervention, but He also can use practical means, as we see illustrated today. Elisha is responsible for the company of prophets who travel with him, and when they have to scavenge for food in a famine-affected land, one of the servants gathers some wild gourds for them to eat. Scripture to consider: Ps. 77:13–14; Jer. 32:16–17; Matt. 17:17–20; John 4:46–48
7/30/20233 minutes, 15 seconds
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29th July 2023 - Pursuing Grace

Elijah’s name means ‘the Lord is God’, and Elisha’s name means, ‘my God saves’. In a story that echoes that of Elijah raising the widow’s son from the dead (1 Kgs 17:17–24), Elisha lives out the meaning of his name when approached by a Shunammite woman. 
7/29/20233 minutes, 35 seconds
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28th July 2023 - What Do You Want?

The first line of this story of Elisha’s performing God’s miracle for a widow and her children gives us a clue about the context. The ‘company of prophets’ are the group of prophets who accompanied Elijah and Elisha and who lived by their own means while supporting these men. 
7/29/20233 minutes, 35 seconds
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27th July 2023 - A New Role

In today’s passage, we see Elisha experiencing some of the highs and lows of his new title, ‘prophet’. He begins by exercising his authority as a man of God, ushering in God’s healing of the water, much to the delight of the townspeople of Jericho. 
7/27/20233 minutes, 25 seconds
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26th July 2023 - Passing the Baton

As a Christian leader came to the end of his life, he shared some of his plans and ideas with the one he was mentoring. She soaked up his words, sensing that this was a holy moment. She believed that she was being called to take up the mantle he was passing to her. 
7/26/20233 minutes, 25 seconds
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24th July 2023 - The Simple Things

God provides for the overwrought Elijah. Having won a major victory against King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel, Elijah has fled from them, travelling about eighty miles south to the city of Beersheba. Spent of his energy and deeply discouraged by the threats of Jezebel, he then travels even further away, this time a day’s journey alone into the wilderness.
7/24/20233 minutes, 36 seconds
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23rd July 2023 - Unseen But All Powerful

Not only has he defeated the prophets of Baal, he’s just invented the barbecue.’ So muses popular author Nick Page about Elijah when he encounters the prophets of Baal. This is a wry observation, but one that reflects the power of the almighty God.
7/23/20233 minutes, 56 seconds
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22nd July 2023 - Hard Truth

After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam became king, after which began the splitting of the kingdom. Rehoboam and the kings after him turned away from the true and living God as they embraced false gods, and the Lord removed His favour from them.
7/22/20233 minutes, 42 seconds
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21st July 2023 - Wise, Yet Foolish

Hearing about leaders who succumb to temptation – often through illicit sexual relationships – can feel rather clichéd, as it seems to happen so often. Perhaps the power that leaders are given fuels illusions of them being impervious to correction. But when the truth comes out, they still have to face the consequences, just as Solomon did.
7/21/20233 minutes, 17 seconds
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20th July 2023 - True Fidelity

Solomon prays, and God responds. He appears before Israel’s leader and shares not only the promises of His relationship with His people but also the requirements. Namely that God will establish Solomon’s throne as promised to David (v5), but if God’s people betrayed Him, turning from Him, He will destroy the Temple (v8) and Israel will become an object of ridicule (v7).
7/20/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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19th July 2023 - Down to Earth

After God appears as a cloud covering the Temple, we see Solomon’s response. He can’t help but express his wonder at the fact that God, who dwells in the heavens, would yet come and grace the Temple with His presence. 
7/19/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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18th July 2023 - In the Cloud

Christians share how at times we sense God’s presence like a cloud that descends and envelops us. Such as when praying with others and God seems to inhabit our prayers through His presence in breath-taking ways. Or when we lift our voices and hands in worship amongst hundreds of others while marvelling at God’s palpable love and grace. 
7/18/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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17th July 2023 - Wisdom from God

Grief can lead to crazy actions. We may have heard of siblings warring against each other when their parents die, battling over material things or how to settle the estate. Blame is bandied about, with labels slapped on one another in emotionally charged exchanges. The loss of a loved one is therefore amplified in unfortunate ways. 
7/17/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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16th July 2023 - 1 Kings 3 1–9

Dallas Willard, a renowned philosopher and writer on spiritual formation, was known for his humility and gentleness, and for being not only very smart but deeply wise. He once told a friend that he had asked God to give him sentences and phrases that would convey meaning memorably, such as his definition of joy: ‘a pervasive and constant unending sense of wellbeing’. 
7/16/20233 minutes, 34 seconds
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15th July 2023 - Kings, Prophets and Promise

For some Christians, reading the Hebrew Bible can feel like a foreign country where there’s seemingly a lot of laws and retribution without the grace of the New Testament God. If that’s you, spending a month in 1 and 2 Kings could prove reassuring as we glimpse the loving and holy God who longs for His people to stay true to Him. 
7/15/20233 minutes, 25 seconds
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14th July 2023 - The Bread of Life

Our fortnight of exploring God the planter and harvester culminates in this passage from John’s Gospel, where Jesus declares to the crowds that He is the bread of life. And that whoever eats of Him will have eternal life (v.54). Bread was in the minds of the crowds when they heard Jesus’ declaration, for He had recently fed the 5,000 through the miraculous stretching of a young boy’s lunch of bread and fish. 
7/14/20233 minutes, 41 seconds
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13th July 2023 - Be Patient

Those who come from a long line of farmers probably inherit a strong work ethic. From the influence of their forebears, they may have developed an awareness of the seasons and the need for rain – perhaps checking their rain gauge with interest and praying for rain in the midst of drought. 
7/13/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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12th July 2023 - Those Cheering Us On

We live in the age of the cloud. With easy access to our digital stuff now seemingly a need, technology companies have developed a vast system that hosts our data, from which we can pull our digital assets without a fuss. 
7/12/20233 minutes, 37 seconds
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11th July 2023 - Fruit of The Spirit

Some historians say that Paul’s letter to the Galatians brought about the Protestant Reformation, for Martin Luther preached from and wrote about this letter repeatedly, stressing that by faith alone are we justified before God. But as Scot McKnight, a modern biblical commentator, says provocatively, ‘While works do not save us, no one is saved without works’.
7/11/20233 minutes, 34 seconds
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10th July 2023 - Resurrection Body

As we age, we start to wear down in our bodies, such as needing glasses as our arms seem to grow longer to read the small type, or when our joints wear away and we need them replaced. Other reminders of our perishable bodies arise regularly: indigestion; weariness; things just not working right or as well as they used to. 
7/10/20233 minutes, 25 seconds
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9th July 2023 - Co-workers with God

In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he addresses some areas of their immaturity and sin. One is the number of factions that had cropped up among the believers, with some following one leader and others someone else. Paul wants them to grow up in the Lord; to reach a state of maturity where they can digest solid food, not just milk. 
7/9/20233 minutes, 29 seconds
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8th July 2023 - Shoots of Life

We might breathe a sigh of relief when we read the hope-filled last chapter of the book of Hosea. As we read for thirteen chapters, we faced the ongoing heartbreak of Hosea and his wife, which symbolises God and His people. A major part of that story is the protracted courtroom scene where God confronts His people with His case against them. 
7/8/20233 minutes, 14 seconds
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7th July 2023 - Sowing Righteousness

The prophet Hosea was a living metaphor. The Lord called him to marry an adulterous woman, Gomer, who eventually became a sex worker. Hosea was grieved by her betrayals but took her back into his home, buying her out of slavery. He longed for her wholehearted devotion, just as the Lord longed for the pure worship of His people, who had turned to the false gods of Baal. 
7/7/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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6th July 2023 - No God, but God

Whereas in Isaiah chapters 5 and 17 the Lord wanted to destroy His vineyard, here we see a different picture. He will rescue His vines, tending them gently; He’ll water and guard them continually. We understand that His anger was for purification and the removal of idols: ‘the full fruit of the removal of his sin’ (v.9). The altars to the false gods will be smashed and the Asherah poles that brought God grief will no longer stand. 
7/6/20233 minutes, 31 seconds
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5th July 2023 - The Day of Disease

The saying ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ resonates because people often take out their frustration on the one who delivers a strong message. And Isaiah had more hard words for God’s people. Though they spent their money on the finest plants and imported vines, at the harvest they would only reap rot and pain. No longer could God tolerate their infidelity and hardness of heart. 
7/5/20233 minutes, 23 seconds
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5th August 2023 - Missing the Point

We waited and waited in the queue for the loo at the museum, and only when getting to the front did we realise that we’d all been waiting for one stall! Although the other six stalls were empty, no one had bothered to check whether or not they were free. A somewhat similar situation could have occurred with the Israelites and the Arameans, but of course on a much bigger scale. 
7/5/20233 minutes, 18 seconds
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4th July 2023 - Good and Bad Fruit

When the prophet Isaiah shared a story about a vineyard, God’s people would have been familiar with the effort required to plant a fruitful one – the need to choose the location, to clear the stones and stack them into protective walls, to plant the prized vines. As the Israelites engaged with his story, they would have felt shocked to hear that they were the vine that produced the bad grapes. And that the Lord would therefore destroy this vineyard. 
7/4/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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3rd July 2023 - The Great Vine

The Great Vine at Hampton Court Palace catches one’s attention, not least because of how big it is – it’s the oldest and largest vine in the world. Although it was planted in 1768, it still bears fruit – about 250 to 300 kilos a year. 
7/3/20233 minutes, 32 seconds
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2nd July 2023 - Rooted and Planted

Today many people move not only from city to city, but often from country to country. Some people set down their roots easily, making friends and finding community, but others may struggle to make connections. They might form strong bonds to those from their country-of-origin in order to stave off feelings of dislocation. 
7/1/20233 minutes, 21 seconds
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1st July 2023 - God, Our Gardener

Whether we’re keen gardeners or those who allow weeds to flourish more than vegetables and flowers, we can all benefit from delving into the theme of God as our Gardener and Harvester. Scripture gives us rich examples along this line, some of which we’ll explore over the next fortnight. 
6/30/20233 minutes, 42 seconds
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30th June 2023 - Plague Town

In Derbyshire there is a village called Eyam, made famous after the Black Death of 1665 and 1666. To protect those outside the village, Eyam was cut off: no one inside could leave, and no one outside could go in. Before vaccines, masks and lateral flow tests, this was the only protection. Outsiders would leave food around the boundaries for residents to collect. 
6/30/20232 minutes, 52 seconds
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29th June 2023 - Good Focus

If someone was to write the word ‘chair’ on a piece of paper in front of you, and then ask you not to think about a chair, you will immediately have the picture of a chair in your head. This helps us understand why Jesus responds to the lies of the enemy as He does. 
6/29/20232 minutes, 55 seconds
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28th June 2023 - God's Word Stands

Maybe you are the kind of person who always thinks of a smart reply once a conversation is over?! Plenty of people find themselves unable to know what to say when criticised or challenged, and it’s only later that the right words come to them. 
6/28/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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27th June 2023 - Prove It

It was a glorious moment when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism and He heard those words from His Father: ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’ (Matt. 3:17). But His being led by the Spirit does not lead to an easy life, and Jesus soon after finds Himself in the wilderness, where He is tempted by the devil. 
6/27/20233 minutes, 1 second
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26th June 2023 - Ruling

Rulers give ruling a bad name! Most people see the word ‘ruler’ and can think of leaders who rule poorly, especially in parts of the world where the rulers more concerned with keeping power than serving their people. 
6/26/20232 minutes, 40 seconds
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25th June 2023 - Your Job

There has been plenty of controversy concerning the first chapter of Genesis, normally surrounding whether God created the universe in six days or whether days are indicative of a longer span of time or whether this is simply a poetic device to describe God as Creator over and against other alternative ways of understanding creation. 
6/25/20232 minutes, 57 seconds
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24th June 2023 - Purposeful Living

Look around your room you will no doubt see various appliances that are designed to make our lives function more smoothly. The purpose of the gadget is clear and, although when new you may require some instruction in how to operate it, very quickly you get into the habit. If there are other human beings in your house, what are they there for?! 
6/24/20232 minutes, 49 seconds
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23rd June 2023 - On Cloud Nine?

Status changes can make us feel very different about life. You may recall your first days as a parent or in a new role in a company or perhaps serving in a local church. You are the same person as you always have been, but now your role or label means that certain things are expected of you, and you expect certain things of yourself. 
6/23/20232 minutes, 45 seconds
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22nd June 2023 - A Response to Anger

At the start of chapter 9, Jesus gives the disciples power and authority to drive out demons, to cure diseases and to proclaim the kingdom of God. Things have been going very well. But when they go to a Samaritan village, things are not so smooth – the disciples are not welcomed. James and John, nicknamed ‘sons of Thunder’, ask Jesus if He wishes them to call fire down from heaven to destroy the village! 
6/22/20232 minutes, 48 seconds
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21st June 2023 - Home on Time

Some Christians use a plan for reading through the Scriptures in a year (the New Testament and Psalms twice and the Old Testament once). This method was devised by the Scottish pastor Robert Murray McCheyne, who ministered largely in Dundee, Scotland. 
6/21/20232 minutes, 44 seconds
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20th June 2023 - Intended for Good

Thinking about the human ability to terminate life in the womb has made today’s passage especially poignant. Of course, there are difficult questions surrounding medical ethics. These debates require careful thought and pastoral understanding. 
6/20/20232 minutes, 47 seconds
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19th June 2023 - Light and Dark

We can be utterly secure in knowing God’s presence with us. We can be at one with the psalmist when he talks of God being near, watching over and caring for us. And then something happens and it’s as if a storm cloud has gathered over us and is showering its ugly contents! 
6/19/20232 minutes, 55 seconds
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18th June 2023 - Always There

In the early years of childhood, there is considerable comfort received by a child who knows their parent is watching over them. Indeed, the child will often make sure that the parent is watching something they are proud of, such as kicking a football, playing a game, or dancing. 
6/18/20232 minutes, 47 seconds
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17th June 2023 - Spared From The Lions

Doing the right thing can become a habit not always appreciated by others. The young man who refused to defile himself with the king’s food is now an experienced civil servant within the king’s palace, possibly in his early eighties! Indeed, by chapter 6 verse 3 we find the king plans to set him over the whole kingdom. 
6/17/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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16th June 2023 - Better Diet

It would seem that Daniel was a first-class honours kind of guy. For this reason, he had been deported from Israel and taken thousands of miles away to Babylon to serve in the king’s palace for a three-year training course. 
6/16/20233 minutes, 16 seconds
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15th June 2023 - Perfection

The New Testament really does have some astonishing verses, and this one is right up there with the best. The writer to the Hebrews is contrasting the sacrifice of Jesus with the sacrifices prescribed within the old covenant. 
6/15/20232 minutes, 56 seconds
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14th June 2023 - Working or Resting?

There are definitely two kinds of Christian. There are those who have a very high trust in the sovereignty of God and His work in their lives. There are those who have a strong sense of responsibility to do things to please God. 
6/14/20232 minutes, 41 seconds
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13th June 2023 - Is It For Freedom

Freedom is very much a positive word for many. A child looks forward to the holidays because they will be free from school. A teenager may look forward to university days because they will be free from home. Those in challenging relationships may look forward to when those relationships come to an end and they can be free at last! 
6/13/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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12th June 2023 - DIY Christianity?

The story of the two sons is such a powerful one. Many begin to see that the ‘DIY Christianity’ they follow is so distant from what Jesus teaches.  It is possible for us to put together a faith that is high on rules and regulations but fails to grasp the wonder of the welcome the Father gives us into His family as adopted children. 
6/12/20232 minutes, 45 seconds
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10th June 2023 - A Good Start

The understanding that Proverbs is a collection of wise sayings and not a series of laws is especially important when we come to interpreting today’s verse. This verse has sadly been a source of great dismay for many Christians who assume that if their child strays away from God, especially later in life, then it must be due to the start they gave them. 
6/10/20232 minutes, 46 seconds
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11th June 2023 - Popular Parable

This is one of the best-known parables but is typically given an inaccurate name! It is true that ‘The Prodigal Son’ title does cover some elements of the story. The son calls for his inheritance to be given to him by his father, wastes it and returns home keen to make amends, only to be wonderfully restored to his position as son. 
6/9/20233 minutes, 1 second
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9th June 2023 - Which is It

There are some people who think that there are contradictions in the Bible. There do appear to be some, but often one or both passages that seem to contradict are being interpreted wrongly. One of the most obvious apparent contradictions is verses 4 and 5 of Proverbs 26. 
6/9/20233 minutes, 28 seconds
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8th June 2023 - Deserter?

The apostle Paul had many who worked with him, but it wasn’t always smooth, and Luke records how Paul was convinced that John Mark was a liability because he hadn’t stayed with them on a previous trip. The text talks of a ‘sharp disagreement’ which caused them to part company. The word used implies ‘a provocation which literally jabs (cuts) someone so they must respond’! 
6/8/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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7th June 2023 - Under Pressure

The second letter to the Corinthians is one of Paul’s most personal letters. He will later outline why the church could trust him as an apostle. But at the very start he shares how tough he has found Christian ministry and says that he and his companions were overwhelmed and despaired of life itself. 
6/7/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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6th June 2023 - Whatever!

The words in verse 16 of our passage for today are some of the most extraordinary words in the whole of the New Testament! They are abused by many who think they offer carte blanche to claim whatever we like. The key phrase to note is ‘in my name’. 
6/6/20232 minutes, 50 seconds
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5th June 2023 - Remaining in Vine

You may have heard the idea of ‘marginal gains’, often used when it comes to sporting endeavour, where a 1% improvement over a competitor can bring success. Christians too are looking for the ‘secret’ that will help them stay on track. 
6/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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4th June 2023 - Stay Connected

Vines were, of course, very common within Israel, and it is possible that Jesus chose this metaphor because the disciples were passing by a vine as they were leaving the upper room (see 14:31). Jesus calls Himself ‘the true vine’, contrasted with the people of God in the Old Testament who were seen as ‘a vine’ (see Isa. 5:1–7). 
6/4/20232 minutes, 49 seconds
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3rd June 2023 - Here To Save

Verse 16 of John chapter 3 is so famous that we can easily forget the verse which follows. But verse 17 underlines for many sceptical about the Christian faith what God is really like. 
6/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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2nd June 2023 - It's Not Perishing

The best-known verse in the Bible includes, of course, a word that is much contested and which many do not wish to consider. The flipside to eternal life is of course to perish. 
6/2/20232 minutes, 45 seconds
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1st June 2023 - Living Eternally

When it comes to this famous verse, perhaps the major misunderstanding comes with those two words ‘eternal life’. These have typically been understood to be life after death, but in the Gospel of John it refers to the life of God experienced in the here and now which we enter into through faith in Jesus, and this is a life that will go beyond the grave .
6/1/20232 minutes, 35 seconds
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31st May 2023 - Looking the Right Way

Throughout the 1980s, Rollen Stewart travelled 60,000 miles a year as a full-time spectator, living out of his car, and using TV’s obsession with sport to promote his faith. In doing so, he made John 3:16 a fixture of professional sporting events. 
5/30/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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30th May 2023 - Begin To Work

What is the very first spiritual gift mentioned in the Bible? We might think prophecy or teaching or maybe performing miracles? You may not think of Bezalel, who is given the gift of craftsmanship to build the tabernacle! 
5/29/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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29th May 2023 - Get Building

There is a church in Newport, Isle of Wight which was built by the direction of a man who read these verses and took them to heart. He had just finished work on his own home and came across these verses in Haggai and realised his church needed updating. 
5/28/20233 minutes, 57 seconds
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28th May 2023 - Devotion

Devotion is an action. It requires movement towards its object. Where once the Temple stood in Jerusalem and housed the presence of God, today we are ourselves each a temple of God’s presence (1 Cor. 6:19–20). The temple now moves with us for we are God’s tabernacle. 
5/27/20233 minutes, 54 seconds
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27th May 2023 - Value

Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’ People are too materialistic to recognise something’s true value.* Writing at the height of ‘The Age of Materialism’, Wilde challenged the belief that nothing can exist beyond matter, something tangible rather than spiritual. 
5/26/20235 minutes, 2 seconds
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26th May 2023 - Worship

Devotion means both to worship and to serve. Moses presents God’s demand to Pharoah that the Israelites be permitted to go to worship God. Pharoah refuses but neither he nor Moses and the Israelites are aware of the consequences. 
5/25/20234 minutes, 18 seconds
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25th May 2023 - God's Will

What is God’s will? A question that can easily be misunderstood. For example, ‘Deus vult’ (‘God wills it’) was first chanted during the First Crusade in 1096 as a rallying cry, but on reflection the Crusades do not present a positive expression of God’s will.* Clearly the entire Bible sets out what pleases God, addressing both unseen attitudes and visible actions. 
5/24/20234 minutes, 8 seconds
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24th May 2022 - Hope of Our Calling

There are seasons when we experience one setback after another. Our patience is tested and our trust in God challenged. Trust can either wither and fail when put to the test, or we can choose to keep faith until there is some undeniable evidence that trust has been broken. 
5/23/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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23rd May 2023 - Freedom

God invites us to get to know Him as our friend. Many of us live with constant anxiety that the choices we make may not please God. We live with an uncertainty about the nature of our friendship with Him. All friendships develop over time. We discover through experience – getting things right and wrong – how friendships grow and fail. Too often the narrative of what went wrong in a relationship has a far greater impact in shaping us than those things that went well.
5/22/20234 minutes, 15 seconds
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22nd May 2023 - Respect

Freedoms are frequently demanded throughout society, but what is freedom? Most understand it as the opportunity to exercise our will. The question arises, can one person’s will be pursued at the expense of another’s? 
5/21/20233 minutes, 54 seconds
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21st May 2023 - Connection and Belonging

All of us long for friendship. We long to be loved, cared for, and helped to realise that we matter. It must have been amazing for the disciples to hear Jesus’ words: ‘I no longer call you servants, now I call you friends.’ When these words were spoken, something profound happened in their lives. 
5/20/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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20th May 2023 - Finding Peace

We live in anxious times. Perhaps it began with the 2007 financial crash when we suddenly realised that it is possible to lose everything we have in an instant. Or perhaps our anxiety began to rise due to COVID-19 and the growing realisation that we are not as strong, independent, and in control as we thought we were.
5/20/20233 minutes, 21 seconds
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19th May 2023 - The Power of Small Things

Mother Teresa once observed: ‘We are not called to do extraordinary things; we are called to do ordinary things with extraordinary love.’ This is the way of the heart. In the midst of a culture that prioritises intellect over friendship, independence over community, and success over love, the suggestion that our calling is to small things can seem odd. Yet when we think about it, we often encounter our most meaningful moments in the small things.
5/19/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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18th May 2023 - Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love

Sometimes I feel that I just can’t go on. I feel alone, lost, empty, abandoned. It’s painful.’ I wasn’t sure how to reply to Jane when she said this. I had to think: where do you find hope when everything seems to be hopeless? There is no easy answer to such a question. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul does give us a vital starting point. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
5/18/20233 minutes, 49 seconds
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17th May 2023 - A Strange Journey

Living with dementia is not easy. It is a mixture of happiness and joy, sadness and grief, impossibility and new possibilities. As one person with dementia put it: ‘It’s more of a journey than a clear path.
5/17/20233 minutes, 57 seconds
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16th May 2023 - The Prodigal Son

The story of the prodigal son illustrates the foolishness of the son who thinks he knows best, and the grace of the father who waits patiently for him to return. I imagine many of us can identify with this story. We have all been in that distant country. We have all thought we knew better than God only to discover that God knows what God is talking about!
5/16/20234 minutes, 1 second
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15th May 2023 - Respect

In the book of Genesis, we are given a wonderful vision of God creating everything that we know. He makes the moon, the mountains, the seas, the animals, the birds, the fish. God imagines a world of diversity and beauty and creates it out of love and for love. The highpoint of creation is the formation of Adam and Eve, the first two people whom God loved. 
5/15/20233 minutes, 53 seconds
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14th May 2023 - Acknowledgement

The pressure of concealment is a heavy burden to carry. Our decision making is private unless we choose to reveal it. Adam hid from God and discovered nowhere lies outside God’s gaze. Past mistakes, deceptions, and untruths depend upon our carefully managed efforts to keep them hidden. 
5/14/20233 minutes, 41 seconds
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13th May 2023 - Spiritual Houses

There are two critical ways we are instructed in our Christian faith. Both are aspects of the spiritual house that God is building. Every house is separated into different rooms. Jesus teaches His disciples that when we pray, we are to go into our room, shut the door (Matt. 6:6). 
5/13/20233 minutes, 48 seconds
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12th May 2023 - Collaboration

God invites us to join in collaborating with grace. Many are taught that grace means, ‘God’s riches at Christ’s expense’. The treasury of heaven opened to us through Jesus’ Passion. Christ becomes our foundational principle upon which we build our life, always engaging in collaboration where we discover the best and worst of ourselves. 
5/12/20233 minutes, 50 seconds
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11th May 2023 - Watching

Watching demands paying attention to what’s happening around us, together with the influences at play within. The first are visible to others with many varied interpretations (as Job endured his friends’ unsought advice). 
5/11/20234 minutes, 1 second
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10th May 2023 - Presence

It is only when God is present that anything of significance can take place. We may declare God is everywhere present, but the question remains, is God present with us in the here and now? Life’s a perpetual distraction from our personal encounter with God. 
5/10/20234 minutes, 25 seconds
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9th May 2023 - Humility

The virtue of humility is seldom the objective of anyone’s character development programme today. In our age of celebrity culture, most prefer the lens of life to promote their personal worthiness, and humanity’s contemporary mantra is, ‘I’m noticed, therefore I am’. Whilst we might enjoy a modicum of success, we can take ourselves too seriously, failing to appreciate our true standing in God’s world. 
5/9/20233 minutes, 52 seconds
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8th May 2023 - Stillness

It’s difficult to own the fact that our personal contribution to world affairs is minimal. We collaborate with God under His direction, but our influence, whilst important, is negligible. Many seek to quantify the importance of their mortal life in its significance, but for disciples its importance lies in our attentiveness to God. 
5/8/20234 minutes, 16 seconds
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7th May 2023 - Trials

One consistent challenge in the Christian life is the impossibility of proving God through empirical method, something based on verifiable evidence drawn from observation rather than theory. Christian confidence is established through faith, which Scripture describes as, ‘confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see’ (Heb. 11:1). 
5/7/20234 minutes, 10 seconds
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6th May 2023 - Coronation

Today the world will observe King Charles III’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in a thousand-year-old ceremony. Charles will be anointed and acclaimed King by the gathered assembly with the words, ‘God save the King!’ 
5/6/20234 minutes, 15 seconds
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5th May 2023 - Trust

It’s difficult being honest about our heart desires. King David gazed at Bathsheba bathing and lust awoke in his heart and forcefully drove his decision taking (2 Sam. 11:2–5). The lesson’s clear! We are never best placed to evaluate the desires inflaming our hearts. This provides a foundational principle as we live every day with Jesus. 
5/5/20234 minutes, 9 seconds
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4th May 2023 - Integrity

We read Bible stories with the benefit of hindsight and life’s uncertainties appear easier when bravely experienced by some historic hero. Job, facing the loss of all he loved most followed by a brutal illness, pioneered a path of living hope through suffering that helps us with our pain today. 
5/4/20234 minutes, 1 second
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3rd May 2023 - Living Hope

Keeping hope alive when hard pressed is difficult for everyone. Here Peter encourages Christians to do so, even in the face of real hostility. There is no consensus on what constitutes life as a ‘living hope’. It is a process rather than a state. We see this as we change physically and psychologically with age. 
5/3/20234 minutes, 6 seconds
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2nd May 2023 - Gaslighting

Peter, former fisherman and Christian disciple, encourages the Christian Church suffering their first violent persecution under Roman emperor Nero. This was brutal, a source of great fear amongst the early Christian communities. Scattered throughout what is today Turkey, these disciples found themselves the unwitting scapegoats for Nero’s personal plans for grandeur. 
5/2/20234 minutes, 18 seconds
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1st May 2023 - Pressure

Pressure makes its impact on all of us. A great metaphor is a car tyre. Four rubber rings filled with air keep us from disaster over various terrains at differing speeds. A tyre has inflated air pressure pushing outward to maintain its shape. It also experiences the external pressure exerted by the road surface pushing back and impacting that shape and the tyre’s performance. 
5/1/20233 minutes, 37 seconds
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30th April 2023 - How Big is His Love?

In this well-known story, Jonah receives instructions from God to deliver a warning message to the city of Nineveh. God has seen their ‘wickedness’ (v1). However, instead of obeying, Jonah runs away. The ship he’s on gets into trouble, he is found to be the reason, the sailors throw him overboard, and Jonah is swallowed whole by a large fish (v17). 
4/30/20233 minutes, 14 seconds
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29th April 2023 - Dwelling

This psalm is a beautiful promise of ‘shelter’ and ‘rest’ in God. It is a psalm we often quote when we feel we are being attacked or oppressed in some way. Verse 2 tells us that God is a ‘refuge’ and a ‘fortress’, and later verses speak of salvation and covering. Whatever the terrors, seen or unseen, ‘no harm will overtake [us]’ (v10). 
4/29/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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28th April 2023 - Love and Endurance

Reading this passage in Ephesians encourages us to grasp the depth of the love of God, in Christ Jesus. Once we do, says the apostle Paul, we can be ‘filled to the measure of all the fullness of God’ (v19)! What would it be like for us to be filled with God’s fullness? In this passage is also found the astonishing promise that He is ‘able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us’ (v20). 
4/28/20233 minutes, 19 seconds
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27th April 2023 - An Inheritance of Faith

The apostle Peter is telling his readers about the inheritance that is kept for believers in heaven, that ‘can never perish, spoil or fade’ (v4). Here, Peter encourages his readers that although we may suffer all kinds of trials and grief in this world, these troubles will prove the ‘genuineness of [our] faith’ (v7). 
4/27/20233 minutes, 13 seconds
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26th April 2023 - Every Blessing

This chapter is full of excitement and promise. We are spiritually blessed by God! It is through His ‘pleasure and will’ (v5) that we are adopted into His family. We have ‘redemption through his blood’ (v7) and all this is ‘lavished on us’ (v8) by our generous and loving heavenly Father. This is all for the glory of God; we have the security of being ‘marked… with a seal’ which is the Spirit (v13), who guarantees our holy inheritance. 
4/26/20233 minutes, 14 seconds
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25th April 2023 - All Welcome

Zacchaeus is determined to see Jesus! He is small, so he climbs up a tree to get a better view of the Lord passing through Jericho; he couldn’t get a proper view any other way. His tenacity is rewarded as Jesus tells him that He is going to spend time with Zacchaeus at his house! 
4/25/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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24th April 2023 - Listening Well

In the first chapter of 1 Samuel we read of a woman, desperate for a child, who finds the favour of God, and gives back to the Lord what He has graciously given to her – a son. Samuel becomes a major figure in the life of Israel, anointing both the first king, Saul, and his successor, the shepherd David. But it all starts here, when he first listens to God. 
4/24/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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23rd April 2023 - Keep Shouting!

Bartimaeus is well known for being the blind man who was given his sight by Jesus: and he’s persistent. He just doesn’t give up trying to attract the attention of the man he knows can heal him! The crowds are telling him to keep quiet, to shut up, but he doesn’t listen to them. 
4/23/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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22nd April 2023 - True Gospel

Peter and John have been proclaiming the good news of the gospel – and it is has brought them some unwanted attention. They have been jailed, but the amount of those being converted to Christ is growing (Acts 4:4). The message of Christ crucified, raised from the dead, and that He is the only way to God, is clearly causing a disturbance! The 
4/22/20232 minutes, 58 seconds
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21st April 2023 - Manifesto

In Luke 14, we read what is essentially Jesus’ manifesto. He has come to ‘proclaim good news’, ‘freedom for the prisoners’, ‘recovery of sight for the blind’, and to ‘set the oppressed free’ (v18). This truly is the time of favour from God (v19). 
4/21/20232 minutes, 58 seconds
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20th April 2023 - Prince of Peace

This passage in Isaiah tells us about the One who is promised – the One who would come, a child who would be born, who would walk among us as a man and yet be so much more. He is God in the flesh (Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:3), the One who would counsel us with His wisdom and show us who God is. He is also the ‘Prince of Peace’ (v6). 
4/20/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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19th April 2023 - Backs Against the Wall

Paul and Silas have been imprisoned. They haven’t just been thrown into jail; they have been flogged, and put into the inner cell, in the stocks. There is no earthly way they could escape. The reason for their imprisonment is what has just happened with a female slave. Obviously afflicted by a demonic spirit, the girl has been following them during their time in Philippi, shouting out truth – yet it doesn’t come from the right source. 
4/19/20232 minutes, 58 seconds
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18th April 2023 - What Do You Want?

The disciples who had been following John the Baptist were now encouraged by the Baptist himself to follow the ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Fascinatingly, as Andrew, Peter’s brother, and the other disciple begin to follow the Lord, He turns to them and asks a question. What do they want? 
4/18/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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17th April 2023 - Low Hanging Fruit

In Acts 8 we read of great persecution that causes the first Christians to be ‘scattered’ (Acts 8:1). As a result of this scattering, the gospel is widely preached and there is a great move of God; we see Philip the evangelist performing signs and wonders in Jesus’ name (Acts 8:4–7). 
4/17/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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16th April 2023 - God’s Plans

Jeremiah 29 has the famous verses about God’s plans that Christians very often quote! But let’s look at this promise in context. Promises here are being given to the Jewish exiles in Babylon, sent by the prophet Jeremiah, who was in Jerusalem, to the ‘surviving elders’ (Jer. 29:1) – a grim phrase. 
4/16/20232 minutes, 57 seconds
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15th April 2023 - Guidance and Glory

One of the hardest things about following Jesus is resting, when we want to ‘go’! Often it seems as if life has come to a full stop. In the wilderness, the Israelites were completely dependent on the God who had brought them out of Egypt to lead them and protect them in the perilous journey to the Promised Land. 
4/15/20233 minutes, 21 seconds
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14th April 2023 - Come and See

This is such an authentic piece of dialogue! Philip finds his friend and can’t wait to share the good news. ‘We’ve found the One we’ve been waiting for. The Messiah! It’s Jesus of Nazareth!’ ‘What? Nazareth?’ is the cynical reply. ‘That crummy backwater? You think something good could from there?’ 
4/14/20233 minutes, 15 seconds
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13th April 2023 - Grace and Works

This passage is an enthusiastic endorsement of grace: saved by God’s free, unmerited favour, we are raised up with Jesus Christ, ‘seated’ with Him in ‘heavenly realms’ (v6)! Why? Because of God’s love, mercy (v4) and kindness (v7)! 
4/13/20233 minutes, 14 seconds
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12th April 2023 - The Advocate

In the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus was speaking with His disciples about many things – including the coming of the Holy Spirit. He talked about ‘another advocate’ (v16) – One who is like Jesus. This is the One who would ‘teach’ and ‘remind’ the disciples of Jesus’ words (v26). 
4/12/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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11th April 2023 - Restored

We can only imagine what is going through Peter’s mind as the resurrected Jesus asks him to go for a walk on the beach. The disciples have been fishing all night and caught nothing, and then, all of a sudden, there’s a man on the shoreline calling them to put down the nets on the other side of the boat. 
4/11/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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10th April 2023 - Recognising Jesus

The two despondent disciples walking along the road are clearly confused about everything that has happened in their lives lately. The One they thought was going to set their people free from captivity has suffered a terrible death, and yet there are reports that He is alive.
4/9/20233 minutes, 13 seconds
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9th April 2023 - Calling Our Name

Jesus has died. Mary has watched Him suffering on the cross. She has heard Him crying out, and witnessed the spear thrust into His side. She has seen His body taken down. He has been buried. He is dead. And yet, now, visiting His burial place, He’s not there. 
4/8/20233 minutes, 27 seconds
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8th April 2023 - Servant King

Jesus, the Servant King! The One who laid aside all majesty and became a man. Fully God, He walked this earth clothed in flesh, coming as a baby, born not in a palace but in an outhouse. He died a criminal’s death and was buried in a borrowed tomb. 
4/8/20233 minutes, 14 seconds
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7th April 2023 - Forgive

Even as He was being crucified, Jesus was forgiving His enemies. He had taught about the importance of forgiveness throughout His ministry; that He had power to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6) but also that we need to forgive each other (Matt. 6:14). 
4/7/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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6th April 2023 - Doing and Being

When Jesus was talking with His disciples in the Upper Room, before He would be arrested and taken for trial and punishment, He spoke to them using a picture of a vine. It is such an evocative picture of what true discipleship should be like. He is explaining to them that unless they stay connected with Him, they really cannot accomplish anything. 
4/6/20233 minutes, 18 seconds
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5th April 2023 - Lavish Love

Mary’s act of worship was lavish; in contrast to Judas’ comment, which was based in personal greed (vv4–6). Mary is so grateful to Jesus; He has restored her brother to life. She has seen a miracle. Everything was lost, over, finished – and Jesus brought about restoration and new beginnings. 
4/5/20233 minutes, 27 seconds
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4th April 2023 - Be Ready

The story of the ten girls who were waiting for the bridegroom to appear is a sobering one. Five of these lamp-carrying ‘bridesmaids’ ran out of oil for their lamps, and left to get some when the cry came that the bridegroom had arrived (v6), but by the time they were ready, it was too late for them to attend the wedding banquet. 
4/4/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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3rd April 2023 - Settling

Here we read that Abram (later Abraham) and his family set out from their home in Ur, to go to live in the land of Canaan. It is fascinating to note that Terah, Abram’s father, was heading in the very direction that God would call his son to journey – with a rich promise that the land has been given to Abram’s descendants (Gen. 12:5–7). 
4/3/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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2nd April 2023 - Reaching Out

On the way to heal synagogue leader Jairus’ daughter, Jesus encounters an interruption. Someone touches Him. It seems extraordinary that He notices this; there’s a crowd pressing around Him. How does He know power has left Him (v30)? The woman, desperate, has gone to the only source of hope. 
4/2/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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1st April 2023 - New Life

There are several accounts of Jesus raising the dead in the Gospels. In the story of Jairus’ daughter, it is poignant as there has been an interruption and all seems lost (vv43–49). But with Jesus, delays are not important to His plans and purposes. 
4/1/20233 minutes, 9 seconds
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31st March 2023 - In The Shadows

The woman in this story is a widow; she is grieving, inconsolable. Her only son is dead – in a society where widows were wholly dependent on their sons to take care of them. Jesus sees the suffering, and His heart is touched. In compassion He tells her not to cry; He touches the coffin, and commands the young man back to life. 
3/31/20233 minutes, 35 seconds
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30th March 2023 - Follow

It’s a simple instruction – and yet one of mind-blowing magnitude. ‘Follow Me!’ What does that mean, Jesus? For the first disciples it meant a complete life change. In this passage we read of them giving up their businesses, their lifestyles, leaving it all behind to follow Jesus. 
3/30/20233 minutes, 36 seconds
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29th March 2023 - Temptation

Right at the start of His ministry, Jesus had an encounter with the devil – the adversary. This was a real encounter with a living, spiritual being, who tried to destroy Jesus’ ministry before it had even begun. He had tried, through Herod’s murderous acts (Matt. 2:16), to rid the world of Jesus when he was born, but now, he changed tack and tried to stop the work of God through temptation. 
3/29/20235 minutes, 1 second
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28th March 2023 - Into the Unknown

The book of Ruth is a beautiful story of love, loyalty, commitment, and lives redeemed. Naomi and her family leave their home in Judah, during a famine, and go to live in Moab. Naomi’s husband dies, and her sons marry local girls. There’s further sorrow as both Naomi’s sons pass away too. 
3/28/20233 minutes, 39 seconds
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27th March 2023 - The Equality of Sharing

Disciples Priscilla and Aquila are in Ephesus when they meet Apollos. Apollos is ‘learned’ and has ‘great fervour’, but his understanding of the gospel is limited. He needs a wider understanding (vv24–26). It is interesting here to read that Priscilla is active in helping; in fact, her name comes before Aquila’s. 
3/27/20233 minutes, 16 seconds
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26th March 2023 - God's Equipping

Jeremiah has been called – but he believes he’s not up to it! He thinks he’s too young to do what God is asking. God replies that he shouldn’t say that; after all, the Lord Himself has called the young man, and so Jeremiah must obey, and not be afraid (v8)! God is with him, and will look after him. 
3/26/20233 minutes, 49 seconds
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25th March 2023 - Whole Hearted

What an extraordinary person Caleb is! He is strong, even at eighty-five years of age (v10), describing himself as ‘just as vigorous’ (v11) as when he was younger! 
3/25/20233 minutes, 47 seconds
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24th March 2023 - Unlikely People

Moses was ‘eighty years old’ when he began his work for God! At a time when most people would be thinking of taking it easy and contemplating doing very little, Moses was stepping into his life’s calling. He’d seen the oppression of his captive people when he was young, but in his own strength could do nothing to help.
3/24/20233 minutes, 35 seconds
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23rd March 2023 - Excuses

Moses had been so keen to help his people, the Hebrews, that he had murdered one of their oppressors (Exod. 2:11–14), and had to flee from his adopted home in Egypt. Living in the wilderness then seems to dull his ambitions, because when the time comes for him to do what God has called him to do, in God’s own power rather than his own, he seems very reluctant.
3/23/20233 minutes, 33 seconds
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22nd March 2023 - Great Faith

Jonathan was the son of Israel’s first king, Saul, and a real man of God. He had great faith, which is in evidence in today’s passage; he also became a good friend and support for David, the second king of Israel.
3/22/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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21st March 2023 - Light of the World

Here, Jesus is speaking about His followers being salt and light in this world. He Himself is the ‘light of the world’ who gives us the ‘light of life’ (John 8:12). John 1:9 tells us that when Jesus came into this world, He was ‘The true light that gives light to everyone’, and we, as His followers, must also reflect His light.
3/21/20235 minutes, 15 seconds
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20th March 2023 - Feasting on Jesus

When being questioned over the issue of bread, Jesus gives people an answer they don’t expect. It seems the people are hoping He will perform another miracle for them, following the feeding of the thousands of people. But the conversation takes an unexpected turn!
3/20/20233 minutes, 36 seconds
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19th March 2023 - Grave Clothes

In this story of delays and faith, Jesus is about to perform a great miracle. On hearing Lazarus is ill, He doesn’t go to help his friend straight away. When He does arrive at his home, Lazarus is dead and his sisters are deep in grief. And yet, all is not lost. Jesus tells the grieving Martha, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.
3/19/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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18th March 2023 - Delays and Faith

In this poignant yet powerful story, Jesus hears of a friend’s illness, but delays going to help. By the time He gets there, Lazarus is dead and buried. How disappointed Lazarus’ sisters are that Jesus didn’t arrive in time to save their brother!
3/18/20233 minutes, 40 seconds
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17th March 2023 - Taking Risks

Peter makes so many mistakes, but it seems that he is the only disciple in the boat to want to take the risk and walk on water when invited to do so! Many of us can probably relate to this hot-headed disciple; he makes extreme statements, such as the one found in Matthew 26:33 where he swears he will never fail Jesus.
3/17/20233 minutes, 45 seconds
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16th March 2023 - Don't You Care

You would think that being anywhere in the company of the Son of God, His followers would never be afraid. But the terrible storm that springs up in today’s reading frightens these seasoned fishermen. And where’s Jesus? He’s asleep!
3/16/20233 minutes, 43 seconds
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15th March 2023 - Priorities

In this passage, we encounter Jesus spending time with his friends. Elsewhere in the Gospels we read this is the home of ‘Simon the leper’ (Matt. 26:6; Mark 14:3; see also John 12:1–3), but here we see that it is Martha – possibly Simon’s daughter or wife – who is opening up her home to Jesus and His disciples.
3/15/20233 minutes, 33 seconds
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14th March 2023 - Welcome Home

What a great picture this parable paints of who God really is! The son leaves home, effectively wishes his father dead by taking his portion of the inheritance, throws his money away on wild living and fickle friends, then the wealth runs out and so do his options. He’s feeding pigs, and thinking fondly of home.
3/14/20233 minutes, 27 seconds
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13th March 2023 - Sheep

In this passage, Jesus is calling Himself the Good Shepherd, an excellent picture of love and provision. He is the Shepherd who looks after the sheep. Anyone who doesn’t genuinely care won’t stick around; but if it’s the Shepherd’s own flock, then He will protect them.
3/13/20233 minutes, 14 seconds
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12th March 2023 - No Condemnation

It’s obviously a trap. A woman has been caught in the act of adultery, but interestingly, the man concerned has not also been brought forward for punishment! At any rate, it’s a clear indication that the leaders of the Jewish community want to force Jesus’ hand in a difficult situation, as they bring the woman to Him.
3/12/20233 minutes, 16 seconds
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11th March 2023 - Nothing Wasted

In the famous story of the feeding of thousands of men, women and children, we see how a small amount of food went a long way in Jesus’ hands! The disciples are concerned about feeding so many people, and all they have is two fish and some barley loaves – a boy’s lunch.
3/11/20233 minutes, 38 seconds
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10th March 2023 - Spirit Change

In John 3 we read about a secret believer. It appears that the Pharisee Nicodemus was meeting Jesus at night, away from his fellow religious leaders. We can guess his reasons for doing so! We see him speaking with Jesus and learning about the change that needs to be made to a heart, if someone wants to live in right communion with the Lord.
3/10/20234 minutes, 34 seconds
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9th March 2023 - The Wine of Joy

John calls Jesus’ works ‘signs’ regarding His identity. The things He does point to who He is (v11). In the first of His signs, which we are reading about today, we see that He is able to turn the very elements of the universe into something completely different – and why not?
3/9/20233 minutes, 27 seconds
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8th March 2023 - Who God Is?

What amazing words we find here, echoing the first words found right at the start of the Bible – see Genesis 1:1–2! In the beginning, there was God, the Word and the Spirit in the work of creation. These verses in John are breathtaking in their awesomeness, as they tell us Jesus is the Word: the One who comes to communicate who God is to a broken world.
3/8/20233 minutes, 41 seconds
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7th March 2023 - Seen

Have you ever felt ‘not seen’? Hagar must have felt that, when she ran away into the wilderness, away from her mistress, Sarai (later Sarah). While attempting to work God’s plan out themselves, Abram and his wife had come up with a plan: Abram would have his much-wanted child by the slave Hagar, circumventing God’s agenda.
3/7/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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6th March 2023 - Impossible

Abraham has some visitors! He welcomes them with a generous spirit. But these visitors are no ordinary travellers. One of them makes an astounding promise. Sarah – Abraham’s wife – is, like her husband, elderly, and the times of childbearing are well past. And yet a promise is made.
3/6/20233 minutes, 58 seconds
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5th March 2023 - Grace

What an extraordinary conversation! God speaks with Abram (later Abraham) and tells him that his offspring will be great in number. And yet this elderly man of God has no child – yet. There’s a vision, and a promise that follows a heartfelt entreaty; essentially, Abram questions God about the blessing God wants to bestow, because he has no progeny, a blessing that seems to have been withheld (v3).
3/5/20234 minutes, 1 second
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4th March 2023 - Being Steadfast

In a world that had never experienced it before, a mighty flood was coming. There was wickedness, we are told in Genesis 6, so much so that the Lord made the decision to pour out judgement, but to rescue the righteous. How sad it is to read that only one family could be found who pleased God.
3/4/20233 minutes, 37 seconds
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3rd March 2023 - Hiding

Adam and Eve have been placed in a beautiful garden, where they walk with God, enjoy His fellowship, and each other’s. Sadly, Eve listens to a voice that causes her to doubt the goodness of God (vv1–4), and the first people disobey the Lord, severing their friendship with Him.
3/3/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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2nd March 2023 - Running & Resting

Elijah, the man of God, has seen the Lord do amazing things – see 1 Kings 18, where he experiences an incredible victory! But the formidable Queen Jezebel has threatened him, and now he’s running for his life. He’s exhausted; he feels as if he’s a failure. He doesn’t even want to live.
3/2/20233 minutes, 58 seconds
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1st March 2023 - Scandalous

The encounter that Jesus has with the woman at the well is full of surprises. A Jewish man – a rabbi – speaking with a woman who is not a close family member – alone? Scandalous! No wonder the disciples were taken aback when they re-joined Him (v27). The woman is drawing water at a time when the other women wouldn’t be at the well.
3/1/20233 minutes, 31 seconds
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28th Feb 2023 - Giving Thanks

If you have ever been around a moaner, you might find it very waring. The capacity to see the negative in any situation would win them an Olympic medal if it was a sport. The apostle is looking for us to do the exact opposite by giving thanks in all circumstances.
2/28/20233 minutes, 11 seconds
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27th Feb 2023 - Always Praying

If ‘rejoice always’ is a challenge, then praying continually seems impossible. One man who took this seriously was Frank Laubach, a missionary to the Philippine islands in the early part of the twentieth century.
2/27/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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26th Feb 2023 - Joy All The Time

The quest to know God’s will is high on the list of every committed believer in Jesus. It is, of course, a crucial part of our walk with Jesus, though sometimes God is asking us to use our common sense and get on with living! But the sad thing is that some are agonising over what God’s will is and miss the verses that make it absolutely clear what we should be doing, and verses 16 to 18 of 1 Thessalonians 5 give us clear direction.
2/26/20233 minutes, 16 seconds
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25th Feb - Blessed To Be a Blessing

We linger for our final time on God’s words to Abram. It is clear that it was always God’s intention that Abram’s descendants would be a blessing to other nations. In Isaiah we are told that Israel was to be a light to the nations around (49:6). In the New Testament the gatherings of Christians across the Roman Empire were to bring a little bit of heaven to earth, so the communities would shine out God’s love and goodness.
2/25/20233 minutes, 11 seconds
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24th Feb 2023 - Just as God Said

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul describes Abraham as the father of all who believe. Certainly these opening verses demonstrate a man prepared to trust in God. But in case we become intimidated by Bible characters and assume that they are on a wholly different planet, it is worth noting a few things about Abram.
2/24/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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23rd Feb 2023 - Extraordinary Promises

Abraham has no scriptures from the past that would tell him that the voice that called him to go was in any way reliable. We’re not told that he was necessarily seeking a move. Historians suggest that Ur was a reasonably pleasant city in its day.
2/23/20233 minutes, 13 seconds
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22nd Feb 2023 - Time To Leave

Introduced at the end of chapter 11, Abram’s move to the land of Canaan is outlined at the start of chapter 12. This is seen as a key turning point in the book of Genesis, and indeed in the whole of Scripture. This extraordinary call is given little detail as to how exactly the conversation came about.
2/22/20233 minutes, 4 seconds
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21st Feb 2023 - Just Like You

When you are going through a trial it is enormously valuable to talk with someone who has been through what you are going through. This was the basis of the Paraclesis course which Trevor Partridge launched at Waverley Abbey Trust.
2/21/20233 minutes, 29 seconds
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20th Feb 2023 - Gently Does It

You have probably heard the phrase, ‘You can win an argument but lose a friend!’ It is absolutely important that we articulate clearly the truth of the gospel and have wise and thoughtful responses to those who question our faith. But, as anyone who has ever watched or heard Prime Minister’s Question Time, the parroting of angry views to the opposition changes the minds of no one.
2/20/20233 minutes, 26 seconds
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19th Feb 2023 - Lord and Saviour

The distinction is sometimes made between Jesus being Saviour and Jesus being Lord. We might distinguish between those who’ve asked Jesus to save them from their sins and those who have made Him Lord of their lives. There may well be some truth in such a distinction, but there is also some confusion over what the lordship of Jesus means.
2/19/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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18th Feb 2023 - Good Reasons

If you love talking about the defence of Christianity over against alternative approaches, then verse 15 is your verse. Many Christian apologists, who give reasons for their hope, point to this verse as justification! Giving reasons for faith is a necessary part of our walk with Christ, but the context is that the believers to whom Peter was writing were suffering for their faith.
2/18/20233 minutes, 17 seconds
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17th Feb 2023 - Who Are You Following

Mark gives us a summary of how Jesus invites Simon and Andrew, and later James and John, to be His followers. The account in John’s Gospel suggests that all four had already met with Jesus in Judea when they were followers of John the Baptist, and realised they needed to switch allegiance to Him.
2/17/20233 minutes, 20 seconds
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16th Feb 2023 - Are You a Believer

You may recall the BBC sitcom character Victor Meldrew and his frequent mantra, ‘I don’t believe it!’, which depicted his rather grumpy and cynical outlook on life in One Foot in the Grave. In the Christian world, belief has also been misunderstood. For many it represents fanciful ideas that we accept even though there’s no logical reason to do so, even in the Church.
2/16/20233 minutes, 37 seconds
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15th Feb 2023 - A New Outlook Needed

The word ‘repent’ still has unhealthy overtones for many people. It’s a word used sometimes on placards by Christians keen to see people turn back to God, and in some people’s minds it implies feelings of remorse or perhaps even tears.
2/15/20233 minutes, 15 seconds
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14th Feb 2023 - Good News at Last

The Gospel of Mark is known as the fastest moving Gospel. It is believed that Mark leans on the eyewitness testimony of the apostle Peter, and we can certainly see something of Peter’s impetuous personality in the fast pace in which the Gospel is written.
2/14/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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13th Feb 2023 - Keep on Keeping On

Nehemiah had inspired his people to keep going, they were armed for battle and prayerful in their work as they rebuilt the wall. But the opposition did not die down, indeed it increased, and chapter 6 outlines some of the tactics used.
2/13/20233 minutes, 26 seconds
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12th Feb 2023 - God's Work Opposed

We re-join the story as Nehemiah begins to rebuild the wall. He had to assess the situation and envision the people to do the work. But he encounters opposition. Earlier in the book Nehemiah has described how Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem the Arab had initially opposed the rebuilding work.
2/12/20233 minutes, 33 seconds
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11th Feb 2023 - All Systems Go

We love stories in part because of the dramatic moments, and Nehemiah includes a moment of great suspense at the start of chapter 4. It was four months between his praying and fasting and this moment that comes when Nehemiah was able to ask the king for help.
2/11/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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10th Feb 2023 - What Next?

Nehemiah is clear in what he should do about the broken-down walls back in his people’s home city of Jerusalem. Having spent the time in prayer and fasting we can now read his recorded prayer to God, which includes the way in which he saw the justice of God’s action in His judgment of the people.
2/10/20234 minutes, 3 seconds
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9th Feb 2023 - News Flash

The idea of compassion fatigue was coined by a nurse in 1992 to describe the feeling of burnout that comes to those in the caring profession. The idea has been extended to include how people respond to news of unpleasant things that happen around the world.
2/9/20233 minutes, 17 seconds
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8th Feb 2023 - A Pearl to Gain

The parable of the fine pearl seems very similar to the treasure hidden in the field in verse 44. Why is Jesus repeating Himself? But there is a contrast. With the treasure in the field the implication is that the man comes across the treasure.
2/8/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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7th Feb 2023 - Buying a Field

Who needs lots of words to make a point? In just two sentences in our English Bible, Jesus summarises the gospel! We can over-elaborate, but the meaning is pretty clear. If we really grasp what the kingdom of heaven is, there is nothing on earth that we would want more.
2/7/20233 minutes
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6th Feb 2023 - Like Christ

Imitating your heroes is a standard game for most children. Maybe you can recall pretending to be a TV star or sporting hero in your playtime? But we soon grew out of this and learn to be ourselves – indeed, if people today think they are someone else we assume that there must be a mental health issue there somewhere.
2/6/20233 minutes, 23 seconds
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5th Feb 2023 - Who is God Blessing?

As my good friend used to say with a glint in his eye: ‘God blesses all the wrong people!’ We might like to think that only the churches that we agree with receive the blessing of God – after all, we have come to our treasured view with so much thought and prayer that God is bound to bless us and churches like us!
2/5/20233 minutes
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4th Feb 2023 - Reframing

Psychologists talk of the importance of reframing. This has various guises but includes the taking of a situation that may appear to be negative and ‘reframing’ it so that we see the positives.
2/4/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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3rd Feb 2023 - Godly Living

When did you last pray that someone might be godly? Prayer requests typically concern work, health, relationships and finance. There’s nothing wrong with that, as we are encouraged to pray at all times with all kinds of requests.
2/3/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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2nd Feb 2023 - Partners

The apostle Paul is thrilled that the good news of Jesus is making such an impact across the Roman world. In a new area Paul would typically visit the synagogue, but there were so few Jews in Philippi he knew this was unlikely, so sought a ‘place of prayer’ near the Gangites River.
2/2/20233 minutes, 20 seconds
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1st Feb 2023 - Thinking of You

The narrative of Acts 16:12–40 gives us the background to this epistle. The church in Philippi is planted in part because Paul is thrown into prison! The jailer and his household come to faith and join with Lydia and her household and others who would come to faith.
2/1/20233 minutes, 16 seconds
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31st Jan 2023 - Finally

Today we conclude our time with Joseph. Over the course of the story, we have had the privilege of seeing the whole story, and therefore seeing how God is able to turn every situation from harm into one that will prosper us.
1/31/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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30th Jan 2023 - 'What Now'?

One of the brothers’ first thoughts after Jacob had died was that Joseph would punish them for harming him as a teenager. They still carried the guilt and shame that manifested itself when the brothers struggled to be blessed. While this guilt and shame did not surface in the good years in Egypt, it still lurked in them, ready to quickly bring low the brothers.
1/30/20234 minutes, 7 seconds
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29th Jan 2023 - All-knowing God

Jacob is able to accurately prophesy what will happen in the future of the descendants of each of His sons because the Lord gives him the insight, as He is all-knowing. God knows how many stars are in the sky and what each one is called. He knows exactly how many grains of sand there are on the shore.
1/29/20233 minutes, 12 seconds
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28th Jan 2023 - Judgement and Grace

As Jacob prophesies over his sons, we see judgment. Sin has consequences even when it is forgiven, and the sons of Israel bore those consequences. Reuben saw judgment because of sin. Yet at the same time we see grace and forgiveness. Judah’s behaviour was not exemplary, and yet Christ came from the tribe of Judah, the very greatest blessing.
1/28/20233 minutes, 20 seconds
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27th Jan 2023 - A Double Portion

All of Jacob’s sons give their names to tribes, except Joseph, because his sons become a tribe each. In this way Joseph is doubly blessed, and once again we see Jacob’s favour towards his son Joseph. Joseph’s inheritance was also more than the other brothers. He was deeded some land in Canaan that Joseph’s descendants would take possession of some 400 years later.
1/27/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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26th Jan 2023 - A Job To Do

Joseph has the joy of having his family back with him in Egypt, but God called him to Egypt for a purpose and he has a job to do. In today’s reading we see him execute that job with fairness, as the people are glad he has saved their lives and seem happy with the terms he sets. He was called to a foreign land for a purpose.
1/26/20233 minutes, 2 seconds
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25th Jan 2023 - The Reunion

Joseph went to meet his dad, and then Jacob knew he could die in peace for he had seen with his own eyes not only Joseph himself, but also Joseph’s authority and standing in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh.
1/25/20234 minutes, 24 seconds
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24th Jan 2023 - A Promise

God knows our weaknesses and knows just when we need encouragement or ministry to the soul. Sometimes that help comes from scripture we have memorised, sometimes it comes from a friend who is sent by the Lord, sometimes God Himself will speak into our hearts.
1/24/20233 minutes, 5 seconds
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23rd January 2022 - Read and Pray

Can you imagine that conversation? The brother they assumed was dead is alive. The guilt and shame they have carried for many years over what they did to Joseph and their part in his demise and the effect on their dad is put to one side. Joseph has held nothing against them and they struggle to believe that Joseph could see the hand of God in it all and wanted the brothers to know they were restored by giving them many gifts.
1/23/20233 minutes, 18 seconds
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22nd Jan 2023 - Tell Dad

At first it might look as if Joseph is boasting here but, if we look a little deeper, he tells the brothers to let Jacob know that God has made him lord over all Egypt. Joseph knew his dad would hardly dare believe the favourite son was not dead but very much alive and doing well. Joseph was quite determined that Jacob should know what God had done.
1/22/20232 minutes, 42 seconds
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21st Jan 2023 - The Big Reveal

Today we see God’s good plan and purpose come to full light. Who could have thought when Joseph was sold as a slave that God had a good plan, and yet Joseph himself tells his brothers not to berate themselves because God’s plan was good.
1/21/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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20th Jan 2023 - Detestable

Today’s story is one of segregation, division and prejudice. Egyptians saw eating with Hebrews as detestable. We see examples of prejudice and segregation throughout the Bible and in more modern times.
1/20/20234 minutes, 45 seconds
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19th Jan 2023 - Brothers Matured

The brothers are queuing up to guarantee Benjamin’s safety. First, it was Reuben, then Judah. Perhaps it was guilt for all the suffering that they had caused Jacob over the years because of their deceit, or perhaps they were maturing in responsibility. Whatever the reason, they seem keen to prove to both Joseph and their dad that they are honest men.
1/19/20233 minutes, 1 second
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18th Jan 2023 - More Heartache

Yesterday we saw how guilt and shame can sometimes stop us from seeing God’s goodness. Once again today we see Jacob and his sons struggling to receive the blessing. For Jacob the obstacle seems to be a broken heart and bitterness rather than guilt and shame. When sorrow overwhelms us, we stop being able to see God’s goodness even though it is always there. We focus on what we do not have rather than what we do.
1/18/20233 minutes, 6 seconds
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17th Jan 2023 - Afraid to be Blessed

The burden of guilt and shame is such for the brothers that they cannot accept blessing without adding to their guilt and shame. God is a God who loves to bless. One who is abundant in love and slow to anger. He has paved the way for us to accept blessing without guilt because the price of our sin is fully and completely paid.
1/17/20233 minutes, 33 seconds
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16th Jan 2023 - Guilty

Not recognising Joseph, the brothers immediately think that his accusing them of being spies it is punishment for their past sins. It seems the brothers regret what they did to their brother and feel guilty about it. The weight of guilt and shame can be a heavy burden to carry.
1/16/20233 minutes, 22 seconds
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15th Jan 2023 - A Promise Fulfilled

As we return to the story of Joseph, we see the fulfilment of Joseph dream of 13 years earlier. Today the brothers bow down to Joseph, just as they had in Joseph’s childhood dream. Thirteen years is a long time to wait for a promise to be fulfilled, especially when the interim has not been easy. Yet here is God fulfilling a promise.
1/15/20234 minutes, 23 seconds
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14th Jan 2023 - The Timing of God

As we continue to consider God’s timing, today we look at another character in Genesis: Abraham. Often it seems that our timing and God’s are at odds. We tend to want everything now, and yet God’s perspective is an eternal one not temporal.
1/14/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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13th Jan 2023 - Upstart to Champion

At last we see some light on the dark path that has been Joseph’s life to date. And, if we take a closer look, there is more light than we might first think. We can see how Joseph gives glory to God and is much less about himself and his own importance. God has used Joseph’s story to make him into more of the man he needed for the task ahead of him.
1/13/20233 minutes, 28 seconds
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12th Jan 2023 - Let's Imagine

Now we begin to see God’s plan a little clearer. Let’s imagine for a moment if Joseph had not got on his brother’s nerves… He would not have been sold as a slave and then he would not have been falsely accused of wrongdoing.
1/12/20233 minutes, 25 seconds
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11th Jan 2023 - More Dreams

This time it is Pharaoh’s turn to dream. Today we see the powerlessness of the magicians and everyone else in Pharaoh’s court. While the magicians could not interpret the dreams of Pharaoh, Joseph is confident in his God.
1/11/20233 minutes, 8 seconds
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10th Jan 2023 - Way Out? Not Any Time Soon

Hopes are raised for Joseph once more. After some time in prison forgotten by all, and yet not by God – for remember God is showing kindness to Joseph – Joseph sees a possible way out. 
1/10/20235 minutes, 5 seconds
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9th Jan 2023 - Prospering in Prison

Today we find Joseph at his lowest. Rock bottom used to be at the bottom of a pit and then sold as a slave, but today we find Joseph in prison for something he did not do. This is a far cry from the days of grandeur with his ornate coat.
1/9/20233 minutes, 30 seconds
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8th Jan 2023 - Innocent But Not Condemned

In our reading today we have an insight into Joseph’s character and faith. He is doing his best to live in an upright and godly manner. He chooses to actively avoid Potiphar’s wife by refusing to be with her and resists the constant temptation. It is his faith that helps him in this. It seems unfair then that, as he is fleeing from sin, he ends up accused of the wrongdoing and lands in jail.
1/8/20233 minutes, 3 seconds
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7th Jan 2023 - Making the Best of It

In our reading today, we see Joseph in his new circumstances, a slave but making the best of it. Probably working harder than he has ever had to before. He used to be a son of privilege, and he is now a slave – but a prospering one.
1/7/20233 minutes, 44 seconds
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6th Jan 2023 - Lies and Lost

The brothers lied and saw the devastation that lie brought to their father, Jacob, and yet they could not admit the terrible truth, even if it might have brought comfort to the old man.
1/6/20233 minutes, 24 seconds
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5th Jan 2023 - Sold as a Slave

Previously we have considered pride; today we see the fall that followed – and what a fall it was. Joseph had set off in his robe, with status and a meal for his brothers. His brothers plotted his demise while eating the meal that Joseph had brought to them.
1/5/20232 minutes, 59 seconds
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4th Jan 2023 - Murder in the Heart

What had probably for the brother’s started as just annoyance with Joseph and his showing off had, over time, become hatred and jealousy. So, when an opportunity presented itself, their hearts turn to murder, followed by covering up the dirty deed by lying about what had happened.
1/4/20233 minutes, 19 seconds
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3rd Jan 2023 - Pride Comes Before a Fall

In today’s reading we see Joseph enjoying his status as set above his brothers, even though he should by birth be near the bottom of the pile. He does not seem to mind telling his brothers how he is so much more important than them. He seems oblivious to their unkind words and the hatred brewing in their hearts.
1/3/20234 minutes, 14 seconds
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2nd Jan 2023 - A Coat of Many Colours

Have you ever dressed up for a special occasion and felt perhaps more important, or worth more, just because of the clothes you were wearing? Joseph was something special. He was set apart from the ordinary by his ornate robe. The robe was a status symbol. The robe was a gift from his father. He had to do nothing for it.
1/2/20233 minutes, 9 seconds
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1st Jan 2023 - Plans Plans and More Plans

At the start of a new year we often make plans for the months ahead. Perhaps plans to get fitter or to eat more healthily, or maybe home or garden improvements. We may talk about God’s plan for our lives. Sometimes our plans can go awry and we wonder what God is doing.
1/1/20233 minutes, 16 seconds
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31st Dec 2022 - Pressing On Everyday

Pressing on and going all out for God is an admirable desire, yet it is important to be realistic about the challenges ahead and our own frailties. For our final message of the year, we want to encourage you to keep pressing on ‘every day with Jesus’.
12/31/20223 minutes, 46 seconds
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30th Dec 2022 - Whatever and Wherever

Once Joshua had taken over the leadership mantle from Moses, and had received his instructions from the Lord, he faithfully passed these commandments on to the people.
12/30/20223 minutes, 57 seconds
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29th Dec 2022 - Repeated Encouragement

There are some things that we need to hear time and time again for them to sink in. Perhaps this is due to distractions, inner fears or straightforward rebellion, a refusal to heed wise words. In Joshua chapter 1, we read of a pivotal moment in the history of God’s people – Moses, the faithful servant of the Lord has just died (v1), and now it is Joshua who is called to lead the people into the promised land – to take on the mantle of leadership.
12/29/20223 minutes, 18 seconds
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28th Dec 2022 - Focused on Him

Having just given us an impressive list of Old Testament saints who all ‘by faith’ followed God’s purposes for their lives, it would have been understandable if in the next section of his letter, the Hebrews writer exhorted us to ‘be like them’, to follow their example.
12/28/20223 minutes, 22 seconds
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27th Dec 2022 - A Common Faith

Hebrews 11 gives us a list of people considered to be heroes of faith in the Old Testament. People who heard God’s call, and obediently stepped out to follow His purposes for their lives.
12/27/20222 minutes, 54 seconds
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26th Dec 2022 - Ringing Out

In the UK, it is quite common to hear the sound of church bells ringing. These bells are often used to call local people to worship, or perhaps to hail special events. Celebrating the birth of Jesus and announcing services to celebrate this are such occasions.
12/26/20222 minutes, 47 seconds
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25th Dec 2022 - Beyond the Baby

Growing up physically is a natural and expected reality for the majority of people. Growing up emotionally into mature adults is also expected but can vary greatly from individual to individual. This is a normal and accepted part of life.
12/25/20223 minutes, 39 seconds
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24th Dec 2022 - Much To Be Thankful For

Many people on Christmas Eve, especially the young, are excited by thinking about what they might receive under the Christmas tree the next day. Maybe it will be that much longed for toy or gadget. As we get older, even the smallest gift matters – it is an indication that someone cares for us.
12/24/20223 minutes, 8 seconds
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23rd Dec 2022 - The Supreme Son

As we celebrate Christmas, it can be easy to simply see Jesus as ‘baby Jesus’, a helpless babe. Yet in Paul’s letter to the Colossian church, he gives us an awe-inspiring picture of just who Jesus is. Paul describes Jesus as the very image and reality of God Himself.
12/23/20223 minutes, 17 seconds
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22nd Dec 2022 - A Time to Say Thank You

Christmas is often a time to say, ‘thank you’. Perhaps we have received a gift from someone, or an act of kindness – or perhaps someone has tirelessly helped us throughout the year, and so we want to show our appreciation.
12/22/20222 minutes, 45 seconds
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21st Dec 2022 - Inseperable Love

For many people, Christmas can be a sad time as they remember loved ones who are no longer with them. Perhaps others are separated by geography, or perhaps through work – those in the armed forces, for example.
12/21/20222 minutes, 53 seconds
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20th Dec 2022 - Gathered for a Purpose

Many people like to attend church services at Christmas time – these are often special times of gathering, with familiar carols and Bible readings. In the time of Nehemiah, after re-building the walls of Jerusalem was seen as an ideal time for the people to meet for worship – to give thanks to God who had brought them thus far.
12/20/20223 minutes, 50 seconds
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19th Dec 2022 - Written for a Purpose

People like stories. There is something about a story that we can immerse ourselves in, imagine ourselves in, relate to. Have you ever thought why we tell the Christmas story?
12/19/20223 minutes, 18 seconds
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18th Dec 2022 - The Ultimate Banquet

One of the things we associate with the Christmas celebrations is eating and drinking – a time, if we are so blessed, to celebrate with those we love. For others, it might be that we cannot be with those we love and care for, perhaps because of work commitments, geographical distance, or loss. 
12/18/20223 minutes, 13 seconds
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17th Dec 2022 - Every Day With Jesus

What a privilege and incredible responsibility it must have been to be Joseph and Mary, the earthly parents of Jesus, entrusted with the care of the long-promised Christ child. In verses 39 and 40 of Luke chapter 2, it tells us that following the consecration ceremony in Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary took Jesus home – they literally lived every day with Jesus!
12/17/20222 minutes, 55 seconds
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16th Dec 2022 - Cause for Praise

Luke chapter 2 tells us that when the time had come, Joseph and Mary, in keeping with the Law of Moses, took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to be consecrated.
12/16/20222 minutes, 57 seconds
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15th Dec 2022 - Upfront and Central

At the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, he gets right to the point, no second guessing what his message is about, ‘The beginning of the good news about Jesus’.
12/15/20223 minutes, 39 seconds
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14th Dec 2022 - Beautiful Feet

In the midst of darkness and despair, Isaiah chapter 52 proclaimed hope for the people of God. The message of verses 7 through to 10 is a great message for us to share this Christmas too. Isaiah announces it as ‘good news’ of ‘peace’ and ‘salvation’, something to shout about!
12/14/20223 minutes, 32 seconds
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13th Dec 2022 - Expressions of the Kingdom

An ambassador has an important role, they literally represent a country or kingdom, whilst located within another country or kingdom! The embassies of various countries are ‘little expressions’ of the country to which they belong.
12/13/20223 minutes, 11 seconds
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12th Dec 2022 - Message of Hope

As we approach the Christmas celebrations, we also approach the end of another year. For some, this may mark a welcome conclusion to a challenging time, for others, it may have been a year of joy.
12/12/20223 minutes, 18 seconds
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11th Dec 2022 - Prepare The Way

The third chapter of Matthew’s Gospel starts by telling us about the role of John the Baptist, a preacher calling everyone to ‘repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near’.
12/11/20223 minutes, 5 seconds
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10th Dec 2022 - Family Tree

The start of Matthew’s Gospel gives us the genealogy of ‘Jesus the Messiah’. This may seem like a strange start to the nativity story, but being able to trace their lineage was important to the predominantly Jewish audience to which Matthew was writing. Matthew traces the family tree of Jesus from Abraham, an important and central figure to the Jewish people.
12/10/20223 minutes, 38 seconds
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9th Dec 2022 - We Are Family

Christmas can be a stressful time for many people, especially when it comes to family. Whilst some families are close and love to get together to celebrate this season, others find it difficult, perhaps still nursing past hurts, misunderstandings and rejection.
12/9/20222 minutes, 57 seconds
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8th Dec 2022 - Seeking Him

Luke chapter 2 tells us of another encounter between heaven and earth – angels visiting shepherds tending their flocks in the fields. The good news of the birth of Jesus was not just for wise men, it was for all people – people doing everyday jobs like the shepherds.
12/8/20222 minutes, 54 seconds
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7th Dec 2022 - Christmas Lights

One of the notable things about Christmas is the enormous array of lights that go on display in shops and streets. In many roads, people can become quite competitive as they seek to ‘outshine’ their neighbours’ displays! 
12/7/20222 minutes, 52 seconds
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6th Dec 2022 - Amazing Gift

It can be nice to both give and receive gifts at Christmas time. Whilst the earthly value of each gift may vary, the important thing is the love and thought that has gone into buying or making it. In his second letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul is encouraging the Corinthian church to organise a monetary gift, a collection for their less well-off brothers and sisters in Christ in Jerusalem.
12/6/20223 minutes, 43 seconds
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5th Dec 2022 - A Counter Narrative

Despite the excitement of many within the early chapters of Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels at the announcement of the birth of Jesus, there were others who were not so excited. Indeed, they were opposed to and felt threatened by the news. King Herod was one such individual.
12/5/20223 minutes, 13 seconds
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4th Dec 2022 - Repeating Songs

Many people love singing their favourite carols and songs at Christmas. As we go about our day-to-day tasks – at home, in the shopping centres – songs of Christmas celebration can often be heard ringing out.
12/4/20223 minutes
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3rd Dec 2022 - Out of Small Things

In Micah’s time, when he was prophesying to Israel, he witnessed great devastation, including the destruction of Israel by Assyria (722BC).
12/3/20223 minutes
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2nd Dec 2022 - Something to Sing About

When the full realisation and enormity of the angel Gabriel’s announcement sank in for Mary, that she would give birth to the long-promised Saviour, her reaction was one of praise and rejoicing.
12/2/20222 minutes, 57 seconds
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1st Dec 2022 - Too Familiar

Zechariah was a priest who loved God’s Word and God’s things. Luke tells us that both Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were righteous and blameless people before God. Yet when the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that his wife was pregnant, he struggled to believe it.
12/1/20223 minutes, 41 seconds
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30th Nov 2022 - A Certain Hope

The season of Advent heralds hope. It speaks of God becoming flesh and breaking into this dark world (John 1:14). It speaks of words of promise breaking a long silence between the testaments (Luke 1:26–33). It speaks of the fulfilment of redemptive prophecy (Luke 1:54– 55). This is not a vague or faint hope that something might happen;
11/30/20224 minutes, 32 seconds
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29th Nov 2022 - The Big Story

Knowing the story we are part of is so important. It can be easy to get caught up in the single chapters of both life’s challenges and adventures. Yet keeping in mind the bigger picture can help us as we seek to make sense of our part in it.
11/29/20223 minutes, 34 seconds
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28th Nov 2022 - Little Samuels

Arguably, the start of 1 Samuel reflects one of the darkest and most depressing spiritual periods of God’s people found in Scripture. Commencing with a story of physical barrenness (chapter 1), chapter 3 depicts a season of spiritual barrenness and darkness. Spiritual
11/28/20223 minutes, 15 seconds
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27th Nov 2022 - Looking Up

As we enter this season of Advent, building up to the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, it could be easy for us to be distracted by the season’s celebrations and the expectations of others. Within our Advent considerations, we want to encourage focus on the expectations and hope found in looking to God.
11/27/20223 minutes, 10 seconds
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26th Nov 2022 - Lifted Up

Many believers find themselves in a place of discouragement, perhaps weary from criticism, seeing little fruit for their labours, or struggling with past failures and guilt. In our text today from Isaiah chapter 40, the Lord wants to encourage His despondent people.
11/26/20223 minutes, 21 seconds
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25th Nov 2022 - Keep Going

Serving the Lord is a great privilege, yet also a great responsibility. It can be easy after or even during a long season of service to start to feel weary or even resentful. Yet in our text today, John reveals where both our strength and motivation for service come from.
11/25/20223 minutes, 42 seconds
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24th Nov 2022 - Giving Our All

The sacrifice that each of us might be asked to give in our service for God will be different, it will be personal. Cost and sacrifice are something we feel. For Abraham, the most precious thing to him was his son, a child he had waited years for, long promised by the Lord Himself (Gen. 15:4).
11/24/20223 minutes, 25 seconds
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23rd Nov 2022 - Riches Versus Cost

Luke chapter 18 reveals an encounter between Jesus and a wealthy young man. Like many biblical stories, various emphases have been placed on this interaction, ranging from the barrier of wealth to spiritual matters, through to consideration and care for the poor. 
11/23/20223 minutes, 9 seconds
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22nd Nov 2022 - The Rock of Obedience

The act of following Christ is exercised through obedience. This is demonstrated in a familiar, yet often misinterpreted parable that Jesus told about the wise and foolish builders. Within this parable in Matthew chapter 7 (also found in Luke 6:46–49), Jesus speaks of two men, one who built his house upon sand, the other on the rock.
11/22/20223 minutes, 21 seconds
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21st Nov 2022 - How Faith Works

When the apostle Paul preached the gospel within the Galatian church, there were some who were concerned that Paul was preaching a ‘new gospel’. This caused some to criticise Paul and to slide back into their old, legalistic, religious ways.
11/21/20223 minutes, 36 seconds
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20th Nov 2022 - Personal and International

God’s call to discipleship is not a New Testament phenomenon. God has always called a people to Himself, yet not simply to personally follow, but to participate in His redemptive kingdom plan for humanity.
11/20/20224 minutes, 35 seconds
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19th Nov 2022 - Come and Remain

A hidden danger of discipleship is that as someone who disciples others, we can think we are the ones that should have all the answers or, as someone being discipled, we can look to the person helping or spiritually guiding us to give us the answers. 
11/19/20223 minutes, 8 seconds
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18th Nov 2022 - Come and Be With Me

In our reading today, we see Jesus inviting Peter, James and John into His ‘come and be with me’ space. As the fulfilment of the law and the prophets, Moses and Elijah appeared alongside Jesus, where Jesus was suddenly transformed so that ‘his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning’ (v29).
11/18/20223 minutes, 6 seconds
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17th Nov 2022 - Come and Follow

Beyond Jesus’ ministry to the crowds, there were those who were called to ‘come and follow’. Some were directly called, like Simon and Andrew (Mark 1:17), others sought Jesus out, like Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10). This group of people represent those whose interest and enquiries move beyond general interest.
11/17/20223 minutes, 15 seconds
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16th Nov 2022 - Come and See

At the beginning of His ministry the Gospels tell us that Jesus began to teach, ‘proclaiming the good news of the kingdom’ (v23). In addition, in line with Old Testament prophecies about the signs of the incoming kingdom reign of God (Isa. 58:6; 61:1–2), people were being healed from various diseases, pain and demon-possession (v24).
11/16/20223 minutes, 13 seconds
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15th Nov 2022 - A Three Fold Calling

The first chapter of Mark reveals the calling of the very first disciples, including Simon and Andrew, two brothers. Their call to be disciples was not a simple bolt-on to an already busy schedule but was to involve three clear aspects.
11/15/20223 minutes, 15 seconds
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14th Nov 2022 - His Promised Presence

When we face life’s challenges, knowing that the Lord is with us is a supreme comfort. This can be more so as we face new chapters of uncertainty, perhaps a new job, moving home, a new calling or ministry. As we consider the Scriptures, we see the Lord encouraging His people to step into His purposes – to take their place in His kingdom plan – yet also promising His continued presence.
11/14/20223 minutes, 12 seconds
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13th Nov 2022 - Praising Him In Everything

It can be difficult sometimes to feel like praising God, particularly if life’s circumstances are challenging, with prolonged seasons of suffering or unanswered prayer. It is much easier to give thanks when things are going well, when we feel at ease and in a good place generally.
11/13/20223 minutes, 30 seconds
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12th Nov 2022 - Planted in His Word

The Bible is full of references to the benefits of allowing God’s Word, the Bible, to inform, guide and direct our lives (Ps. 12:6 and 119:1–176). Another psalm, the very first psalm, gives us a picture of the life of someone whose ‘delight is in the law of the LORD’ (v2), describing such a person as, ‘like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season’ (v3a).
11/12/20223 minutes, 22 seconds
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11th Nov 2022 - As We Meet

Meeting together is one thing, but what should this look like? The question has been the cause of much discussion in churches throughout Church history. Debates about the décor, the time we meet, and other things, can cause unnecessary heartache and division. The Bible, perhaps frustratingly for some, gives us very little detail about ‘how’ and ‘when’ we meet.
11/11/20223 minutes, 12 seconds
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10th Nov 2022 - Encouraging One and Another

As we serve the Lord each day, it is good to know we are part of the bigger, worldwide family of God. Yet, as with any family, at times, the various members can face trials and discouragements. Whilst some people may be happily serving and feeling blessed, others might be feeling isolated and discouraged.
11/10/20224 minutes, 54 seconds
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9th Nov 2022 - Doing It For God

It can be easy to compartmentalise our lives into the ‘sacred’ and the ‘secular’. Perhaps the things we do ‘in church’ or that have an obvious link to faith, we consider to be more spiritual or sacred, with everything else considered to be a distraction from God’s work – perhaps our job or family commitments.
11/9/20223 minutes, 29 seconds
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8th Nov 2022 - What Really Matters

Knowing what matters is an essential quality in life and work. If we react to everything in the same way, or treat everything with the same priority, then we risk focusing on the wrong things, or allowing less important matters to distract us from those that really matter. The apostle Paul knew what really mattered.
11/8/20223 minutes, 17 seconds
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7th Nov 2022 - Going On With God

It can be easy when thinking of the various Bible characters, to think of them as perfect exemplars of service to God. Yet a detailed study of their lives, as depicted in the Bible, gives us a different picture. Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister (Gen. 20:2). King David committed adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11). John Mark deserted the apostle Paul on his first mission trip (Acts 13:13).
11/7/20223 minutes, 17 seconds
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6th Nov 2022 - Heart Felt Service

Sacrificially serving the Lord is one thing, but this in itself can become unhealthy if done with impure motives or as a means to demonstrate our spirituality. King David, after committing adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11), thought he could carry on in His God-appointed role without being held accountable.
11/6/20223 minutes, 5 seconds
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5th Nov 2022 - Living For Him

Sacrifice in the Bible involved death. In the Old Testament, various animals were sacrificed (e.g. Gen. 8:20; Exod. 29:36). In the New Testament, it is Jesus, the spotless lamb of God, whose blood is shed (Heb. 9:12). As we consider the sacrifice of Christ, the One who became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21), there is only one fitting response, and that is to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Him.
11/5/20222 minutes, 56 seconds
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4th Nov 2022 - Substitute

The meaning of words can change over time. What something meant in one generation, may not always be obvious in another. Today, when we think of the word ‘substitute’, our immediate thoughts may turn to sport, where a like-for-like replacement is tactically brought in to play as the team manager seeks victory.
11/4/20223 minutes, 33 seconds
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3rd Nov 2022 - Sacrificial Love

Knowing we are loved and being commanded to love others is one thing, but knowing what that truly looks like is another. There are many ways love can be demonstrated, in word and deed: both are important – in fact essential – if our lives are to be authentic reflections of the God who first loved us (1 John 4:19).
11/3/20223 minutes, 20 seconds
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2nd Nov 2022 - Pass It On

As children of God, knowing we are loved by Him makes all the difference in our day-to-day lives, service and walk with Him. A loved child is a secure child. Yet God’s love is not something we are to simply cling onto for our own benefit, but rather is something to ‘pass on’.