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Showing posts from January, 2017

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

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

From Genesis to Revelation in a Year: 25th-31st January - Exodus 23-40

These notes are also being posted, day-by-day, at From Genesis to Revelation in a Year.

25th January - Exodus 23-25

23:1-33-God is love: He loves ‘the stranger’ (9). God is holy: He ‘will not acquit the wicked’ (7). He wants to reproduce His love and holiness - in us. Not holiness without love: that is self-righteous legalism. Not love without holiness: that is spineless sentimentalism. To Israel, He sent 'an angel...' (20). To us, He has sent Christ: He is the Way to the place prepared for us (John 14:2-3,6). Through the Holy Spirit, Christ continues His ministry among us (John 14:25-26). ‘Pay attention’ to the words of Christ. ‘Listen’ for the voice of the Holy Spirit (21). Do not ‘quench’ or ‘grieve’ the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19; Ephesians 4:30). It may take time - ‘little by little’ (30) - but God will work through his obedient people - ‘I will... you shall...’ (30-31). 24:1-18-Moses was alone with the Lord - receiving the Word of the Lord (1-2). Moses w…

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Christ is God’s Beloved Son. ‘Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, my Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will bring justice to the nations’ (Isaiah 42:1). These words turn our thoughts towards the Lord Jesus Christ. At His baptism, we hear the voice of the Father - ‘This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’ At His baptism, we see ‘the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on Him’. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word of prophecy: ‘All mankind shall see the Saviour sent from God’. After His resurrection, we hear Jesus Himself speaking. He says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...’ (Matthew 12:15-21; 3:16-17; 28:18-20; Luke 3:6). Let us bring Christ to the nations. Let us serve the Lord in the power of the Spirit.
Jesus Christ is our great Strength. ‘The Lord is my Strength…The Lord is the Strength of His people’ (Psalm 28:7-8). …

Season of Epiphany: Epiphany of the Lord – Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

Let the light of Christ shine. ‘Arise, shine; for your Light has come... the Lord will be your everlasting Light’ (Isaiah 60:1, 19-20). Jesus Christ is ‘the Light of the world’. When we ‘follow Him’, we ‘will not walk in darkness’. We ‘will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). We are living in difficult times. We are surrounded by much darkness. We must not be discouraged - ‘the lamp of God has not yet gone out’ (1 Samuel 3:3). When the darkness threatens to overcome the Light, we must take encouragement from God’s Word - ‘The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:5). When the darkness seems to be everywhere, put your trust in the Lord - The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?’- and let ‘His Word’ be ‘a lamp to your feet and a light to your path’ (Psalms 27:1; 119:105).
Let the words of Scripture lead to thoughts of the Saviour. * Read the words - ‘His Name’ shall ‘endure for ever’ (Psalm 72:17) - and think of Christ. …

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

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