Saturday 3rd December 2022

1 JOHN 4How do we know if a prophecy or body of teaching is genuinely from God?  How can we really know what is true?  How can we avoid being both gullible and cynical – both equally dangerous characteristics in a Christian?  (It is interesting that almost everyone would rather be known as cynical ratherContinue reading “Saturday 3rd December 2022”

Friday 2nd December 2022

1 JOHN 3“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (3:2).  What a wonderful hope!  It is a free gift that arises from knowingContinue reading “Friday 2nd December 2022”

Thursday 1st December 2022

1 JOHN 2“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins…” (2:1-2).  John makes it clear that Christians should quickly identify and acknowledge toContinue reading “Thursday 1st December 2022”

Wednesday 30th November 2022

1 JOHN 1John, son of Zebedee, was the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’, one of the inner circle of Jesus’ three best friends, and possibly Jesus’ first cousin.  He almost certainly wrote John’s Gospel in about 85AD, the Book of Revelation in 95 AD, and the three anonymous letters 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John,Continue reading “Wednesday 30th November 2022”

Tuesday 29th November 2022

2 PETER 3Our thought life is very important.  Ultimately, it is a matter of life and death.  Consequently, we experience a ‘battle for the mind’ resulting – we hope – in progress and maturity as our mindset becomes transformed over time (Romans 1:2).  Rarely is this a smooth upward curve, though; more usually we fluctuateContinue reading “Tuesday 29th November 2022”

Monday 28th November 2022

2 PETER 2Both Peter and – as we will see in a few days – Jude warn their readers of the dangers of false prophets and false teachers, who introduce destructive heresies and manipulate the faithful for their own ends.  2 Peter 2 and Jude 1 have some very similar sentences, and most scholars reckonContinue reading “Monday 28th November 2022”

Sunday 27th November 2022

2 PETER 1We’ve said ‘goodbye’ to Paul, and now we say ‘goodbye’ to Peter.  Even if we count the Gospel of Mark as essentially Peter’s words, he did not write nearly as much as Paul, and only authored two letters in his own name.  Peter was a man of the spoken word and of action,Continue reading “Sunday 27th November 2022”

Saturday 26th November 2022

1 PETER 5 “Young men: submit yourselves to your elders” – have some respect!  “Elders” is simply a label for church leaders, and Peter counted himself amongst that crowd!  The metaphor of ‘shepherd’ is a very apt one for Peter: recall when, after the Resurrection, Jesus commanded Peter to “Feed my Sheep” and “Feed myContinue reading “Saturday 26th November 2022”

Friday 25th November 2022

1 PETER 4 If you suffer for being a Christian believer, then be proud that you are counted worthy of joining your Saviour in a precious elite group.  (Actually, this group is probably going to grow quite fast!).  But don’t be proud if you suffer for being a criminal, or just for being a ‘painContinue reading “Friday 25th November 2022”

Thursday 24th November 2022

1 PETER 3 Some wise words to husbands: “…in the same way, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (3:7).  What does “in the same way” mean? Continue reading “Thursday 24th November 2022”

Wednesday 23rd November 2022

1 PETER 2 The next step from ‘New Birth’ leads us logically to new babies growing up, eagerly desiring the ‘milk’ of the word of God and a close relationship with the Lord.  For us, these are just as essential as milk is to a young child. Jesus is like the cornerstone, the keystone ofContinue reading “Wednesday 23rd November 2022”

Tuesday 22nd November 2022

1 PETER 1 It is pretty certain that the Apostle Peter wrote 1 Peter.  Just about the entire early church and the ‘Church Fathers’ agreed on this point.  It carries the weight of his authority but may not entirely be his own words: towards the end of the letter, he gives Silas credit for helpingContinue reading “Tuesday 22nd November 2022”

Monday 21st November 2022

JAMES 5 Who are these ‘rich people’ in verses 1-6?  Probably not Christians actually, since the promised judgments against them are extremely severe and show none of the grace that believers would obtain.  Many Old Testament prophets cried out God’s judgment upon the wealthy pagan nations.  And, in general, the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, forContinue reading “Monday 21st November 2022”

Sunday 20th November 2022

JAMES 4 Greed is a strange thing!  It is wrong, not because what it is aimed at, but because of the way in which that aim is obtained.  “God… richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17), is a foundational biblical truth.  God is very generous and wants us, his beloved children,Continue reading “Sunday 20th November 2022”

Saturday 19th November 2022

JAMES 3 If yesterday was about faith in action, then today is about faith in words.  The human tongue – our speech – speaks volumes about our faith.  James ranks it as the most accurate and sensitive indicator of our spiritual condition: “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, ableContinue reading “Saturday 19th November 2022”

Thursday 17th November 2022

JAMES 1 We now read an ‘epistle’ (letter) written by one of Jesus’ biological brothers, James.  In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13, verses 55-56, we read: “When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.  Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed.  “Where did thisContinue reading “Thursday 17th November 2022”

Wednesday 16th November 2022

HEBREWS 13 “Whatever you do to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do to me” – so Jesus said in Matthew 25.  Treat your fellow believers the very best way you can – and you may be in for some pleasant surprises!  One of the key aspects of Christian fellowship isContinue reading “Wednesday 16th November 2022”

Tuesday 15th November 2022

EZEKIEL 28, 29, 30 and 31 Who WERE the ruler (or ‘prince’) of Tyre and the King of Tyre?  The first sound like one of its kings, proud of heart, who claimed “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas”.  The Lord replies:  “But youContinue reading “Tuesday 15th November 2022”

Monday 14th November 2022

HEBREWS 12 The time has come for our Olympic Games!  We are lined up on the running track, ready for the starter’s gun to sound.  The stadium is packed full of thousands upon thousands of people, all completely engrossed in the outcome of our great race!  Who are they?  Who are they supporting?  “Therefore, sinceContinue reading “Monday 14th November 2022”

Sunday 13th November 2022

EZEKIEL 24, 25, 26 and 27 The Lord is very precise in his timing.  “Make sure you record this date, Ezekiel”, he instructed in chapter 24.  On the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of King Zedekiah’s reign in Jerusalem (January 15th 588 BC, in our calendar), the King of BabylonContinue reading “Sunday 13th November 2022”

Saturday 12th November 2022

HEBREWS 11 Today we learn about ‘blue-sky thinking’!  Hebrews 11 is one of the most critical chapters in the whole Bible.  We read in 6:19: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf”. Continue reading “Saturday 12th November 2022”

Friday 11th November 2022

EZEKIEL 20 and 21 Today, God tells a story (via his prophet Ezekiel) to the exiled elders of Judah/Israel to illustrate the ‘problem’ that he has with them and with the majority of the nation.  “Let’s examine the facts of the matter”, God says, “I chose Israel and revealed myself to them first in Egypt…Continue reading “Friday 11th November 2022”

Thursday 10th November 2022

HEBREWS 10 Yesterday’s reading ended with the triumphant message that Christ’s sacrifice was once for all time, sufficient to do away with sin, at the culmination of the ages.  He ushered in the gospel age, which spans the entire period between his first and second comings. Today’s chapter continues to major on the ineffectiveness ofContinue reading “Thursday 10th November 2022”

Wednesday 9th November 2022

EZEKIEL 16 and 17 What would you do if you found a new-born baby girl abandoned in an open field?  God did once.  Ezekiel 16 is an allegory – a story with a deeper meaning, where each event translates into a teaching point.  (This is where a parable is different: a parable has generally onlyContinue reading “Wednesday 9th November 2022”

Tuesday 8th November 2022

HEBREWS 9 Worship under the Old Covenant was complicated and ‘gory’!  It involved much ornate furniture, gold and silver, curtains and veils, associated equipment and utensils, and a pair of very exclusive rooms.  Into one room, only the priests ‘on duty’ were permitted to go (v6) – that was the ‘Outer Room’ or the ‘HolyContinue reading “Tuesday 8th November 2022”

Monday 7th November 2022

HEBREWS 8 In the previous chapter, the Law of Moses was described as ‘weak and useless, making nothing perfect’.  (7:18-19).  Today, the Old Covenant is ditched as being ‘obsolete, outdated, and soon to disappear’!  (8:13).  First the rituals and ceremonies are described as mere ‘copies’ and ‘shadows’ of the reality that is found in heaven. Continue reading “Monday 7th November 2022”

Sunday 6th November 2022

HEBREWS 7 The Jews were completely wedded to their Levitical priesthood, so it was vital that Jesus was not seen as just another priest in Aaron’s long genealogy.  It was necessary to the Holy Spirit’s plan that the Old Covenant priesthood be undermined and quickly abolished.  The destruction by the Romans of the Jerusalem templeContinue reading “Sunday 6th November 2022”

Saturday 5th November 2022

EZEKIEL 5, 6, 7 and 8 First, a further thought about yesterday’s reading: (1:26) “…High above on the throne was a figure like that of a man”.  And the reason it was like a man is that it was a man.  Our God is not a passionless force or a robotic tyrant, he is alsoContinue reading “Saturday 5th November 2022”

Friday 4th November 2022

HEBREWS 6 These basic foundational doctrines mentioned in the previous chapter included repentance, faith in God, instruction about baptisms (that had been an original ‘sticking point’ for Apollos before Ananias and Saphira had sorted him out Acts 18:24-26), the laying on of hands (for baptism, appointing elders, healing or just imparting blessing), and doctrines ofContinue reading “Friday 4th November 2022”

Thursday 3rd November 2022

HEBREWS 5 We begin with a basic explanation of what a high priest’s role and necessary qualities were.  Israel required an empathic representative, appointed by God, who could offer the required forgiveness-sacrifices for the sins of the nation and – crucially – for his own sins too. The author then goes on to show howContinue reading “Thursday 3rd November 2022”

Wednesday 2nd November 2022

HEBREWS 4 No rest for the wicked!  So the old-fashioned saying goes!  It is actually a quote from the last verses of Isaiah chapters 48, 57, and 66.  But it is also a development of Psalm 95 that is referenced here.  The term ‘Rest’ might have meant the seventh day of creation, when God restedContinue reading “Wednesday 2nd November 2022”

Tuesday 1st November 2022

HEBREWS 3 The previous chapter ended with a reference to Jesus representing us as God’s true High Priest.  This theme continues in today’s chapter, telling us believers to “… fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.  He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as MosesContinue reading “Tuesday 1st November 2022”

Monday 31st October 2022

HEBREWS 2 You have been warned!  Rejection of God’s Messiah was, and is, spiritual suicide.  These Jewish believers and those Jews who were perhaps near to coming to faith needed to understand something fundamental:  there was no alternative route to salvation.  Jesus was and is the only way!  Our God is a great Judge asContinue reading “Monday 31st October 2022”

Sunday 30th October 2022

HEBREWS 1 The Letter to the Hebrews is anonymous.  For centuries people thought it was by Paul, but the writing styles are very different, and Paul always identified himself as the ‘shepherd’ with a message to his flock.  Some theologians ascribe the letter to Barnabas – who knew his Old Testament exceedingly well.  However, IContinue reading “Sunday 30th October 2022”

Saturday 29th October 2022

PHILEMON This is another of Paul’s so-called ‘Prison Letters’ – probably written in AD 60 whilst he was under house arrest in Rome, under appeal to the emperor (Acts 28).  It is likely that it was sent at exactly the same time as the letter to the Colossian church, since Philemon was a key memberContinue reading “Saturday 29th October 2022”

Friday 28th October 2022

TITUS 3 Are you obedient to your government, the police, and the local authorities?  (Romans 13:1 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 concur with this command).  There are no examples of civil disobedience encouraged in the New Testament!  We are expected to be model citizens of earth, on the basis that our true citizenship is elsewhere (PhilippiansContinue reading “Friday 28th October 2022”

Thursday 27th October 2022

TITUS 2 All theology is practical if it affects you thinking, your attitudes, your faith, or your lifestyle.  Today’s is very lifestyle orientated. Older women are not to be timewasters and gossips (as many with time on their hands are tempted to be) but models (in a mentoring sense!) and teachers of the younger women. Continue reading “Thursday 27th October 2022”

Wednesday 26th October 2022

TITUS 1 Today we intercept another spiritual ‘e-mail’ from Paul to one of his best mates – this time, Titus.  This young man was a Gentile (unlike Timothy) who again deputized for Paul when his mentor was off on his missionary travels.  Titus also carried the letters from Paul to the church in Corinth andContinue reading “Wednesday 26th October 2022”

Tuesday 25th October 2022

2 TIMOTHY 4 In this last chapter, we come to the core of Paul’s ‘will and testament’, his final instructions: preach the gospel in favourable situations and in tricky ones; teach and apply the scriptures even in times when Christian doctrine is ‘out of fashion’ amongst the Christians!  Avoid trying to be ‘popular’ in whatContinue reading “Tuesday 25th October 2022”

Monday 24th October 2022

2 TIMOTHY 3 “There will be terrible times in the last days!”  The term ‘last days’ means the entire period between Christ’s first coming – as a baby – and his return later as the Living God.  The entire ‘Christian’ era represents these days, and there will be no subsequent ‘phase’ of earthly life beforeContinue reading “Monday 24th October 2022”

Sunday 23rd October 2022

2 TIMOTHY 2 Discipleship is key to church growth: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (v2).  In once sentence, four generations of believers are identified: Paul, Timothy, Timothy’s disciples, and the disciples of those disciples. Continue reading “Sunday 23rd October 2022”

Saturday 22nd October 2022

2 TIMOTHY 1 This was the Apostle Paul’s final letter ever – before his death!  It therefore reads like a last will and testament.  He had a parting legacy for his ‘son’ (in the faith) Timothy – in fact, an entire inheritance!  “Timothy, I’m handing over to you the Gospel; please look after it withContinue reading “Saturday 22nd October 2022”

Friday 21st October 2022

1 TIMOTHY 6 If you are a slave, then you may not be reading these notes!  But if you an ‘employee’ then you must give one hundred percent to your employer.  If they are a Christian too, then give them one hundred and fifty percent!  Treat your employment as though God were your employer.  AndContinue reading “Friday 21st October 2022”

Thursday 20th October 2022

1 TIMOTHY 5 Social action played a vital part in the First Century Church.  Children and grandchildren need to put their faith into action by caring for their own parents and grandparents, especially vulnerable widows; this is a way of repaying them in part for the many sacrifices they made for you earlier in life,Continue reading “Thursday 20th October 2022”

Wednesday 19th October 2022

1 TIMOTHY 4 Some false teachers had moved into the area.  “You must not marry”, “You must avoid certain foods” – these were some of the ascetic heresies that they tried to plant in the local church.  This was the beginning of Gnosticism, which included the belief that the material world was inherently evil andContinue reading “Wednesday 19th October 2022”

Tuesday 18th October 2022

1 TIMOTHY 3 It is OK to ‘aspire’ to be a church leader, since it is a ‘noble’, serving role in God’s church.  One of Timothy’s chief tasks was now to appoint a group of ‘Overseers’ or ‘Elders’ for each local church.  With Paul elsewhere and Timothy now moving from region to region, these appointmentsContinue reading “Tuesday 18th October 2022”

Monday 17th October 2022

1 TIMOTHY 2 We are urged to pray together.  Requests, prayers, intercession, thanksgiving – prayer in all its ‘flavours’.  Do it alone and do it together.  Surprisingly, Paul tells us to pray for all rulers, including the evil Emperor Nero, who was in power at the time that Paul wrote this letter.  Why?  Because theContinue reading “Monday 17th October 2022”

Sunday 16th October 2022

1 TIMOTHY 1 Discipleship is not the best way to grow the church… it is the only way!  Large worship meetings, slick Alpha courses, well-equipped buildings, powerful preaching, miracles, great youth work and a missional emphasis are all highly desirable, but they are not the core of our faith and not the ‘engine’ of ourContinue reading “Sunday 16th October 2022”

Saturday 15th October 2022

2 THESSALONIANS 3 “Deliver us from the Evil One” – this is a basic part of the prayer pattern that Jesus himself taught us.  Paul begins this chapter in that frame of mind too.  Pray that the gospel message he speaks will be honoured and obeyed.  Pray that he, and all God’s people, will beContinue reading “Saturday 15th October 2022”

Friday 14th October 2022

2 THESSALONIANS 2 God is not simply ‘love’, but ‘justice’ too.  Paul does not ‘pull any punches’ here.  The previous chapter paints a fearsome landscape of what will be done to those who are disobedient to the gospel and who have rejected Christ.  Those people are implicitly challenging the Lord to exercise justice in hisContinue reading “Friday 14th October 2022”

Thursday 13th October 2022

2 THESSALONIANS 1 This letter was sent for the same reason that 1 Thessalonians was written – and as a follow-up and reinforcement to it.  A church in the middle of persecution needs a great deal of encouragement, with reasons for enduring and persevering emphasised strongly. God will not let us be tested nor temptedContinue reading “Thursday 13th October 2022”

Wednesday 12th October 2022

1 THESSALONIANS 5 “Save the date!”  Now that’s something that God will never say to you.  Why should he tell you the date when Jesus will return – He didn’t even tell his own Son when on earth (see Mark 13:32).  Jesus, after his Resurrection also told his disciples directly: “It is not for youContinue reading “Wednesday 12th October 2022”

Tuesday 11th October 2022

1 THESSALONIANS 4 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage ofContinue reading “Tuesday 11th October 2022”

Monday 10th October 2022

1 THESSALONIANS 2 (and 3) Today, Paul is talking about motives and perception.  There are few more powerful things on earth than these, in directing people’s will and actions.  If you believe that someone loves you, you will do almost anything they ask of you – trusting that their motives are pure and that theyContinue reading “Monday 10th October 2022”

Sunday 9th October 2022

1 THESSALONIANS 1 Both letters of this name were written from AD 51 to AD 52 by Paul to the mainly Gentile church of the Greek city of Thessalonica (now in North-Eastern Greece).  They were written to encourage new believers in trials and persecutions, and to give assurance over the future of believers who diedContinue reading “Sunday 9th October 2022”

Saturday 8th October 2022

COLOSSIANS 4 If you are like me, you will feel the ‘sting’ of the Holy Spirit in your heart when you read verse 2:  “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful”.  Very few of us claim that we are prayerful enough (and I am not one of the ‘few’).  But rather than feeling condemned,Continue reading “Saturday 8th October 2022”

Friday 7th October 2022

COLOSSIANS 3 We are not called to live by rules but called to disciplined living.  What is the key to disciplined living?  A vision and a mindset that lead to a motivation, are what makes the difference.  We will do almost anything and endure almost any discomfort if we are sufficiently motivated towards the goal. Continue reading “Friday 7th October 2022”

Thursday 6th October 2022

COLOSSIANS 2 Paul is fighting hard for these Colossian believers – even those he has never actually met face to face!  How?  He does this by the power of prayer – a channel by which those physically absent can be entirely present in the spirit realm.  Paul prayed for his own disciples and for theContinue reading “Thursday 6th October 2022”

Wednesday 5th October 2022

JEREMIAH 7, 8 and 9 “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord…!”.  And they would go on and on and on like this.  The religious people of Jerusalem were superstitious and totally reliant on repetition and ritual.  They had convinced themselves that, however badly theyContinue reading “Wednesday 5th October 2022”

Monday 3rd October 2022

PHILIPPIANS 4 “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Rejoice!” (v4).  Paul echoes the voices of the Psalms in encouraging us to verbalise and harmonise our praise to the Lord.  Spoken and sung praise and thanksgiving is a vital part of our worship and devotion.  Do it corporately and individually; do it regularly – do it allContinue reading “Monday 3rd October 2022”

Sunday 2nd October 2022

PHILIPPIANS 3The chapter begins with Paul tearing up his Curriculum Vitae – his whole life before he met Christ on the road to Syria.  If anyone could have earned his way into the Kingdom of God, it was Paul!  But, on meeting the Lord face to face, he came to the great realisation that no-oneContinue reading “Sunday 2nd October 2022”

Saturday 1st October 2022

PHILIPPIANS 2 Paul had very few criticisms, if any at all, for his Philippian readers.  But he did issue several warnings and encouragements to Christ-like behaviour: 2:2-5  “…then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vainContinue reading “Saturday 1st October 2022”

Friday 30th September 2022

JEREMIAH 1, 2 and 3 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”.  This was the word of the Lord to Jeremiah when he was called by God in the thirteenth year of King Josiah.  (JeremiahContinue reading “Friday 30th September 2022”

Thursday 29th September 2022

PHILIPPIANS 1 “From Rome with love”.  This is Paul’s email (using the technology of his day) to the household churches in the province of Philippi, a prosperous Roman colony in Macedonia.  Any citizen of Philippi was automatically given Roman citizenship and they were immensely proud of this.  They acted as more ‘Roman’ than the peopleContinue reading “Thursday 29th September 2022”

Wednesday 28th September 2022

EPHESIANS 6 Human relationships are the acid test of what goes on in our hearts.  At the end of chapter 5 we read about the relationship between husband and wife.  Now we learn about how to live out the gospel in other relationships that are perhaps more ‘hierarchical’, such as parents / children and mastersContinue reading “Wednesday 28th September 2022”

Tuesday 27th September 2022

EPHESIANS 5 Under the old covenant, the burnt offering was described as producing a ‘pleasing aroma’ to the Lord – an acceptable sacrifice (Genesis 8:21;  Exodus 29:18 etc.).  The death and resurrection of Christ later produced an offering to God that was completely acceptable for all time – this sacrifice was borne out of aContinue reading “Tuesday 27th September 2022”

Monday 26th September 2022

ISAIAH 64, 65 and 66 “Since ancient times, no-one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.  You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways” (Isaiah 64:4-5a).  Waiting for God is aContinue reading “Monday 26th September 2022”

Sunday 25th September 2022

EPHESIANS 4 (continued from yesterday)…Or else Paul might have continued his interrupted train of thought in verse one of this chapter.  “As a prisoner for the Lord…” he begins.  Remember that the first verse of chapter 3 was a reference to Paul as a prisoner too – and then Paul changed the subject!  Ephesians isContinue reading “Sunday 25th September 2022”

Saturday 24th September 2022

EPHESIANS 3 Verse one is rather like a false start in a sprint race: the runners seem to stop as soon as they have begun.  Or, more literally, Paul interrupts himself before he has completed half of one sentence!  “For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…”Continue reading “Saturday 24th September 2022”

Friday 23rd September 2022

EPHESIANS 2 This is a chapter in two parts:  The first ten verses describe our personal reconciliation to God and our resulting unity with him, whilst the remainder of the chapter describes the reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles in Christ and the resulting unity of Christ’s Body on earth. The first ten verses, then, tellContinue reading “Friday 23rd September 2022”

Thursday 22nd September 2022

Sorry. A lot of words today! EPHESIANS 1 This letter contains more meat than a two-pound steak; don’t expect to digest it all at one sitting!  Ephesians contains 155 verses of high protein biblical truth.  In Paul’s time the city of Ephesus was the principal city of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and a vast commercialContinue reading “Thursday 22nd September 2022”

Wednesday 21st September 2022

GALATIANS 6 “Carry each other’s burdens and, in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ” (v2).  Now consider: “…for each one should carry their own load” (v5).  How do we explain these two potentially contradictory verses?  How does it explain a great deal of this chapter? The subtle balance between corporate and individualContinue reading “Wednesday 21st September 2022”

Tuesday 20th September 2022

GALATIANS 5 If you have waited many thousands of years – since the dawn of history – for freedom, then its arrival seems especially good!  Mankind, having been held captive by sin, by the Devil, and by religious legalism, has at long last found freedom in Christ.  So, it is with extra urgency that PaulContinue reading “Tuesday 20th September 2022”

Monday 19th September 2022

ISAIAH 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48 “I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.  They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams”.  (Isaiah 44:3-4).  This was spoken to a down-trodden captive nation in a pagan land, where no-one wanted toContinue reading “Monday 19th September 2022”

Sunday 18th September 2022

GALATIANS 4 “Are you still a slave or are you now free?”  Paul asks this question of the Galatian believers, and the Holy Spirit asks the same one of us today.  Up until then, the most god-fearing person in the world was an observant Jew, serving God and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. Continue reading “Sunday 18th September 2022”

Saturday 17th September 2022

GALATIANS 3 “Believe the gospel and receive the Holy Spirit”.  “Believe the gospel and see miracles worked among us”.  That is the message that Paul sends to his churches and to us.  Perhaps our problem today is not that we expect to have to earn the presence and power of the Spirit, but that weContinue reading “Saturday 17th September 2022”

Friday 16th September 2022

ISAIAH 37, 38 and 39 When Hezekiah heard the Assyrian commander’s threat on behalf of the King of Assyria, he did the right thing: he humbled himself, dressed for mourning, fasted, and went to seek the Lord in his temple.  And he sent word to Isaiah to the effect that the King of Assyria hadContinue reading “Friday 16th September 2022”

Thursday 15th September 2022

GALATIANS 2 “Horses for courses” – as Paul sort-of said.  He was recognised as the chief apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews), whilst Peter was the chief apostle to the Jews.  Paul’s qualifications for apostleship had been attacked by certain Judaistic elements in the Galatian churches, on the basis that he was not an ‘original’ andContinue reading “Thursday 15th September 2022”

Wednesday 14th September 2022

GALATIANS 1 TO:  The churches in the Roman province of Galatia (probably Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe).  These are the ones that Paul founded in his very first missionary journey.  This would make this letter Paul’s first letter, written perhaps in 48-49, between that journey and the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15). CC:  All ChristianContinue reading “Wednesday 14th September 2022”

Tuesday 13th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 13 Paul reminds us again that the ultimate example of God’s power being shown through human weakness is the Cross.  Jesus submitted himself to the most degrading torture and death that mankind could deliver – becoming as weak as it is possible to be – and then unleashed the full power of heavenContinue reading “Tuesday 13th September 2022”

Monday 12th September 2022

ISAIAH 28, 29 and 30 Isaiah prophesies a series of six ‘woes’ on various nations in the vicinity of Judah.  Firstly, he rounds on Samaria, the capital of the Northern kingdom and generally acknowledged to be beautiful, built on a hilltop and full of luxury and fine living.  Like a stunning bunch of flowers, itContinue reading “Monday 12th September 2022”

Sunday 11th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 12 And so to Paul’s much-debated ‘thorn in the flesh’; what was it?  We get around to that today.  But first, Paul is well into his stride boasting (a little sarcastically) about amazing visions and revelations of heaven and of Jesus himself.  Paul describes – actually in a tone of extreme modesty –Continue reading “Sunday 11th September 2022”

Saturday 10th September 2022

ISAIAH 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 Tyre was the major seaport and trading centre on the Mediterranean coast of the Middle East. It was founded before 2000 BC and was a centre of colonisation that included Carthage in North Africa.  A substantial part of Tyre was originally built on two rocky outcrop islands halfContinue reading “Saturday 10th September 2022”

Friday 9th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 11 Some Christians are very perverse!  Their ‘bar’ of proof is raised very high when they listen to the true gospel and biblical teaching; they query it and take a great deal of persuasion to put it into practice.  Then along comes some more ‘trendy’ but unbalanced teaching from someone on the outside,Continue reading “Friday 9th September 2022”

Thursday 8th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 10 What was the Apostle Paul’s so-called ‘thorn in the flesh’?  (2 Corinthians 12:7).  This has been debated extensively over the centuries, so I can’t resist adding my own interpretation on the verse.  But that’s for later!  (Just a ‘teaser’ for now). The context of today’s chapter is that Paul was being slanderedContinue reading “Thursday 8th September 2022”

Wednesday 7th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 9 ‘Generosity’ Part Two is today!  The background: for a year or two, the believers in Jerusalem and Judea had suffered disproportionally from famine and intense persecution and so were severely financially disadvantaged compared to the Christians in Macedonia and Greece, for example.  Therefore, a big gift of money to the Judean ChristiansContinue reading “Wednesday 7th September 2022”

Tuesday 6th September 2022

ISAIAH 9, 10, 11, 12 Some classic chapters in Isaiah that most people will have heard read aloud at a Christmas carol service…  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  AndContinue reading “Tuesday 6th September 2022”

Monday 5th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 8 The next couple of days feature two great chapters on ‘Generosity’ (8 and 9); everything is based on the grace of God shown in the life of Jesus: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so thatContinue reading “Monday 5th September 2022”

Sunday 4th September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 7 Paul had paid a visit to Corinth, which was evidently very unpleasant for him and for them (see chapter 2:1).  By way of follow-up, he had written the Corinthian church a harsh letter (now missing, but probably in between 1 and 2 Corinthians) – the contents of which ‘pulled no punches’.  PaulContinue reading “Sunday 4th September 2022”

Saturday 3rd September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 6 “In the time of my favour, I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you”  (Quote from Isaiah 49:8).  The Day of Salvation – the Time of Favour – alludes to the ‘Year of Jubilee’ and really represents the entire gospel age between the First- and Second- Comings ofContinue reading “Saturday 3rd September 2022”

Friday 2nd September 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 5 If you are a Christian – or indeed any kind of human being – then you are a seasoned camper!  So says the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.  He compares a person living in a tent to the human soul inhabiting its mortal body; and it is a very apt comparisonContinue reading “Friday 2nd September 2022”

Thursday 1st September 2022

MICAH 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 Today’s reading is the whole book of the prophet Micah – all seven chapters of it.  What does it say?  Well, the weekly notes from the Big Picture reading plan are a good background for us:!AqmXwc9NXEEFiGHuJ8JXPUgCu93C?e=cp9wmZ o The only mentions of the Prophet Micah areContinue reading “Thursday 1st September 2022”

Wednesday 31st August 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 4 How does your church attract people to the gospel?  How do you do it?  Is it your attractive personality?  Or is it: “Why not join our exciting community”?  We may well attract some like-minded people who are friendly with us – for a while- but later, they will drift away when circumstancesContinue reading “Wednesday 31st August 2022”

Tuesday 30th August 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 3 If you are a real believer in Christ, you won’t need a certificate that proves the fact, because your heart has His Name written all over it.  Your life will prove ownership and membership.  Paul’s disciples in Corinth were all the introduction he required to that church – they only existed becauseContinue reading “Tuesday 30th August 2022”

Monday 29th August 2022

2 CHRONICLES 34 and 35 It must have been a shock to Josiah: being made king of Judah at an age when most children have just started junior school!  The very last godly king of God’s people, at the age of eight he ascended the throne and then reigned in total 31 years.  At theContinue reading “Monday 29th August 2022”

Sunday 28th August 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 2 The people you love most bring out the strongest emotions in you.  In this next chapter, we read some thoughts about Paul’s love for his disciples and the grief they are causing him.  He had already visited Corinth the first time, to establish the church, and then he wrote the First LetterContinue reading “Sunday 28th August 2022”

Saturday 27th August 2022

2 CHRONICLES 29, 30 and 31 Hezekiah is the person in the Bible who really should have had a book named after him!  Born of a terrible father, King Ahaz, and born during the reign of the last king of Northern Israel, the pagan King Hoshea, Hezekiah might have been excused for making a completeContinue reading “Saturday 27th August 2022”

Friday 26th August 2022

2 CORINTHIANS 1 Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians is addressed to people who are ‘in trouble’.  God is the ‘God of Comfort’ – the first person to turn to when you are in a crisis and the one who is best able to meet your needs in that crisis.  He also uses other believersContinue reading “Friday 26th August 2022”

Thursday 25th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 16 This chapter of 1 Corinthians is right back down to earth – and it starts with money!  Generous giving frees us all from greed and materialism.  The Early Church gathered usually on the ‘First Day of the Week’ – i.e. on a Sunday – to break bread, to study, to share theContinue reading “Thursday 25th August 2022”

Wednesday 24th August 2022

2 CHRONICLES 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 Up until now, the kings of Judah have generally been the ‘good guys’ and those of Northern Israel the ‘noisy neighbours’; from today’s readings, Judah starts to sink as low as Israel.  Jehoshaphat returns from the losing battle to the safety of Jerusalem – but he didContinue reading “Wednesday 24th August 2022”

Tuesday 23rd August 2022

2 CHRONICLES 18 “Do not be unequally yoked” is a common phrase or concept in both Old and New Testaments.  It means not to involve yourself in any relationship or enterprise that may risk you compromising your own beliefs and values.  Well, the godly Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was invited to join forces with Ahab,Continue reading “Tuesday 23rd August 2022”

Monday 22nd August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 15 It has been claimed that if the Resurrection of Christ could be disproven then Christianity would be finished as a faith.  I completely agree – and so did the apostle Paul!  His very gospel – outlined very briefly in 1 Corinthians 15 – is resting on this one historical fact: that ChristContinue reading “Monday 22nd August 2022”

Sunday 21st August 2022

2 CHRONICLES 13, 14, 15 and 16 It is interesting how two views of the same person and their actions can both be true and yet both read so differently.  Abijah, son of Rehoboam, received a rather negative ‘appraisal’ in 1 Kings 15:1-8 and a very positive one in 2 Chronicles chapter 13.  An yetContinue reading “Sunday 21st August 2022”

Saturday 20th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 14 If the message of 1 Cor 12 is that the Body of Christ has unity and power through diversity, and the message of 1 Cor 13 majors on the method and motivation of manifesting the gifts, then today’s chapter is about administering these powerful gifts. Paul explains in more depth how toContinue reading “Saturday 20th August 2022”

Friday 19th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 13 Because the Body of Christ is so united, any impact on a single individual member will have a knock-on effect, for good or for ill, on every individual member and on the entire body.  The point of everyone working at their specialist skills and giftings is to benefit the whole body andContinue reading “Friday 19th August 2022”

Thursday 18th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 12 Imagine a football team that fielded eleven goalkeepers; or an army where everyone drove tanks; or a building firm that employed only electricians; or a cricket team full of fast-bowlers; or a hospital of nothing but brain surgeons!  They’d all fail or lose or go bust or even die!  The composition ofContinue reading “Thursday 18th August 2022”

Wednesday 17th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 11 The ‘Covering Heads in Worship’ debate has gone on for many centuries.  I will not draw any firm conclusions in these notes, except to make some general points from 1 Corinthians 11: There is a play on words between a person’s physical head and their authority-head The principle is about honouring yourContinue reading “Wednesday 17th August 2022”

Tuesday 16th August 2022

2 CHRONICLES 5, 6 and 7 The Temple, having been completed, it was now time for the Ark to be transported and installed into the Holy of Holies that had been prepared for it.  It had been held in a tent at Zion, the old city of David, where the temple musicians had conducted theirContinue reading “Tuesday 16th August 2022”

Monday 15th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 10 Like the ominous reversing warning sounds of a heavy goods vehicle, the danger of sin is made very clear to us by the Lord.  His scriptures, his Spirit in us, our consciences, and our brothers and sisters in Christ are all suitable resources to warn us of sin’s stealthy approach.  And weContinue reading “Monday 15th August 2022”

Sunday 14th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 9 Rights, responsibilities, and self-control are the name of the game for Paul.  Responsibilities sometimes mean that you exercise self-control so as not to take advantage of your rights, in order to be more effective in your witness. Rights:  Paul worked hard among his churches and is clearly their ‘builder’ in Christ, ratherContinue reading “Sunday 14th August 2022”

Saturday 13th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 8 These ‘superior’ Corinthian Christians were so proud of their deep knowledge of the truth of the scriptures, which categorically say that there is only one God.  They lived in an idolatrous culture that worshiped many different gods and sacrificed all kinds of things to them, including food.  Probably their non-Christians friends kindlyContinue reading “Saturday 13th August 2022”

Friday 12th August 2022

ECCLESIASTES 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 The Book of Ecclesiastes.  What’s it all about?  Who wrote it?  Can we believe everything it says? The most likely author of Ecclesiastes is King Solomon, as 1:1 seems to indicate.  It was apparently written in his later life and possibly in a melancholy old age.  ItContinue reading “Friday 12th August 2022”

Thursday 11th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 7 The Corinthian leaders had already sent Paul a long list of questions or statements on all kinds of lifestyle issues.  For example: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman?”  (They seem to assume that Paul will agree with them unreservedly.)  But Paul always upholds theContinue reading “Thursday 11th August 2022”

Wednesday 10th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 6 Before resuming his teaching on sexual sins, Paul continues where yesterday’s chapter ended: ‘You are judging the wrong people in the wrong places’, he basically says!  The Corinthian believers were both judging the ungodly and also taking one another to court to be judged by the ungodly.  Paul points out that weContinue reading “Wednesday 10th August 2022”

Tuesday 9th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 5 “Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:5).  Sex is the main topic in today’s reading.  There are sexual unions that God blesses and encourages, and sexual unions that he regards asContinue reading “Tuesday 9th August 2022”

Monday 8th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 4 “For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena.  We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.  We are fools for Christ, but you are so wiseContinue reading “Monday 8th August 2022”

Sunday 7th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 3 Tribalism is the curse of the church!  “I follow Paul”; “I follow Apollos” – what a ridiculous line to take!  They are both the servants of Christ and are just doing a job for him.  The real root of tribalism is the misplaced need to be exclusive: “I follow Apollos and notContinue reading “Sunday 7th August 2022”

Saturday 6th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 2 “When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified…  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but withContinue reading “Saturday 6th August 2022”

Friday 5th August 2022

1 CHRONICLES 19, 20, 21 and 22 What started as a kindness ended in a full-scale war.  Such is the power of misunderstanding!  David simply wanted to express his sympathy to the new king of the Ammonites, over the death of the previous king – all this is almost identically in 2 Samuel 10 andContinue reading “Friday 5th August 2022”

Thursday 4th August 2022

1 CORINTHIANS 1 Corinth in AD 55 was a thriving city, the main commercial centre of Greece and a port with two separate harbours, on opposite oceans.  Rather than sail all around Southern Greece, smaller ships would be hauled full loaded across a stone road from one harbour to the other.  Corinth was therefore aContinue reading “Thursday 4th August 2022”

Wednesday 3rd August 2022

ROMANS 16At the end of this letter, in chapter 16, there is a long roll of honour: believers whom Paul wishes to commend for their service in the gospel – including Priscilla and Aquila who had done so much to bless the churches Paul had established.  It seems that, by then, they were living backContinue reading “Wednesday 3rd August 2022”

Tuesday 2nd August 2022

1 CHRONICLES 13,14,15 and 16 Two main events occur in today’s readings:  The battles against the Philistines and the bringing of the Ark into Jerusalem.  The Books of Samuel and Chronicles deal with them in a different order, because of the different emphases of each book.  The Chronicles account is not chronological! The Philistines hearContinue reading “Tuesday 2nd August 2022”

Monday 1st August 2022

ROMANS 15 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God”  (15:7).  We were accepted by Christ ‘just as we were’ – i.e. warts and all!  We therefore have no right to reject other believers at all – assuming that they are believers.  This is perhaps the keyContinue reading “Monday 1st August 2022”

Sunday 31st July 2022

ROMANS 14 So why are you a vegetarian (if indeed you are)?  As part of Paul’s efforts to bring the gospel to life, he raises some ‘lifestyle’ issues that affected not only the First Century Romans but also affects the 21st Century Western world.  We have a huge amount of freedom under the gospel: howContinue reading “Sunday 31st July 2022”

Saturday 30th July 2022

ROMANS 13 We read yesterday, in chapter 12, that personal revenge is not permitted for God’s people.  One of the reasons given was so that God could have room for vengeance instead.  It is much better to wait for the Judge of All The Earth to execute his judgments, with the full facts and motivesContinue reading “Saturday 30th July 2022”

Friday 29th July 2022

ROMANS 12 Having established eleven chapters of closely argued doctrine, Paul now shows us how we should live in the light of that doctrine.  This combination of doctrine plus lifestyle in us is both essential and irresistible.  The eleven chapters of doctrine are difficult because they challenge our understanding, but the following chapters on lifestyleContinue reading “Friday 29th July 2022”

Thursday 28th July 2022

ROMANS 11 Today we reach Romans 11, which continues to discuss the question of the Jews in more depth.  “Did God reject his people?” is the first question.  Paul’s answer is: “It depends on what you mean by ‘His People’”.  He has already stated in 9:6-7 that: “Not all who are descended from Israel areContinue reading “Thursday 28th July 2022”

Wednesday 27th July 2022

ROMANS 10 Paul again begins by declaring that his heart’s desire and prayer is for Israel to be saved.  He acknowledges that they have zeal for righteousness but not the knowledge of how to get it.  For many of us today, we often have ample knowledge but little zeal for others to gain that righteousness! Continue reading “Wednesday 27th July 2022”

Tuesday 26th July 2022

1 CHRONICLES 1 and 2 In today’s readings the unsuspecting reader finds himself/herself whizzed back to the beginning of creation (did you blink!).  1 Chronicles starts with a raft of genealogies that begin at Adam.  The purpose of the Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles is not to duplicate the Books of Samuel and ofContinue reading “Tuesday 26th July 2022”

Monday 25th July 2022

ROMANS 9 The controversial topic of predestination is now addressed more fully, starting with Israel as an example, but applying it comprehensively to Jew and Gentile alike.  Many Christians find this doctrine unacceptable because they think it reflects badly upon God – rather than because the opposite view is supported by scripture – which itContinue reading “Monday 25th July 2022”

Sunday 24th July 2022

HOSEA 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 God continues in the book of Hosea, alternately reminding Israel of the times that he rescued them and led them through danger to a place of rest – and then giving them analogies of what they are like as a rebellious people.  Some significant verses standContinue reading “Sunday 24th July 2022”

Saturday 23rd July 2022

ROMANS 8 “No Condemnation!”  What a wonderful couple of words!  If there is ever a message that humans need to hear it is that one.  The Apostle Paul has already shown the futility of Christians trying to please God by obedience to the Law (in chapter 7); now he explains how simple it is toContinue reading “Saturday 23rd July 2022”

Friday 22nd July 2022

ROMANS 7 Romans 7 is one of the more controversial chapters in the New Testament.  The first six verses are vital to grasp the full meaning of the chapter.  It is a tale of two metaphorical marriages, both involving us as sinful people.  In the first marriage, our husband was ‘Mr Law’ – the LawContinue reading “Friday 22nd July 2022”

Thursday 21st July 2022

HOSEA 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 In God’s book, the worship of false gods or idols is spiritual adultery.  Israel had been joined by covenant to the Lord – analogous to marriage – since they had crossed the Red Sea, but they had begun a series of ‘affairs’ with the foreign godsContinue reading “Thursday 21st July 2022”

Wednesday 20th July 2022

ROMANS 6 Paul, the great teacher, anticipates his readers’ important questions – particularly when faced with a gospel of grace and freedom on offer.  Here’s one: “If grace gets larger when sin gets larger, perhaps we should sin even more!”  This comes from chapter 5:20 “The law was brought in so that the trespass mightContinue reading “Wednesday 20th July 2022”

Tuesday 19th July 2022

ROMANS 5 Romans chapter 5 really takes up the thread from chapter 3 – meaning that chapter 4 was in ‘parentheses’.  Paul uses this literary tool a great deal, particularly in the book of Romans.  We left the thread in Romans 3 with the vital doctrine of Justification by Faith alone.  In chapter 5, PaulContinue reading “Tuesday 19th July 2022”

Monday 18th July 2022

AMOS 6, 7, 8 and 9 “Do horses run on the rocky crags?  Does one plow the sea with oxen?  But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness…”.  God is now rebuking both Israel and Judah for their complacency, since they worship the Lord in a ritualistic fashion, butContinue reading “Monday 18th July 2022”

Sunday 17th July 2022

ROMANS 4 “What Would Abraham Do?”  This was the perpetual thought that circulated around an orthodox Jew’s head as he went about his daily religious duties.  Abraham, their forefather was, from their perspective, almost a ‘god’ and he carried enormous influence over the Jewish people, more two thousand years after he had died.  Paul, knowingContinue reading “Sunday 17th July 2022”

Saturday 16th July 2022

ROMANS 3 Chapter 3 is the big one!  Everyone is the same: all under the power of sin, all falling short of God’s glory and his standards of holiness.  And, left to his own human devices, “…there is no-one who seeks God” (3:11).  No-one will be declared acceptable to God by obeying the Law; theContinue reading “Saturday 16th July 2022”

Friday 15th July 2022

AMOS 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Amos was not a ‘professional’ prophet, but a shepherd who prophesied ‘on the side’.  He lived about 10 miles south of Jerusalem and yet his ministry was directed at the Northern kingdom (Israel); this is rather like having a job in Guildford and spending your ministry time inContinue reading “Friday 15th July 2022”

Thursday 14th July 2022

ROMANS 2 Chapter 2 speaks to different kinds of person: the self-congratulatory ‘moral’ person and the ‘religious’ person.  Both are different examples of the sin of pride in action! The average quality newspaper journalist might be a typical example of Type 1: he or she appears to ooze moral superiority and looks down upon mostContinue reading “Thursday 14th July 2022”

Wednesday 13th July 2022

2 KINGS 22, 23, 24 and 25 It must have been a shock to Josiah: being made king of Judah at an age when most children have just started junior school!  The very last godly king of God’s people, at the age of eight he ascended the throne and then reigned a total 31 years. Continue reading “Wednesday 13th July 2022”

Tuesday 12th July 2022

ROMANS 1 Romans: my favourite book of the Bible.  It took the great bible teacher Martin Lloyd-Jones nearly 700 consecutive weekly sermons to exposit its teachings – on Friday evenings from 1955 to 1968.  My task is to cover it in just sixteen daily posts!  An introduction to the book is found in the weeklyContinue reading “Tuesday 12th July 2022”

Monday 11th July 2022

2 KINGS 20 and 21 The finest and most faithful king since the days of David was given a death sentence by God.  “Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover”.  (2 Kings 20:1).  When a highly qualified medical consultant gives you an unfavourable prognosis, it is badContinue reading “Monday 11th July 2022”

Friday 8th July 2022

ACTS 27 And so to the journey to Rome!  In late summer, the prevailing wind in the Mediterranean is from the West.  For Paul to be taken to Rome from Caesarea would be almost due West and therefore impossible.  (See Map of Journey ).  The usual route was to hug the South coast of TurkeyContinue reading “Friday 8th July 2022”

Thursday 7th July 2022

ACTS 26 The gospel has three ‘tangible’ strands that make it so compelling to its hearers, and one ‘intangible’ strand.  These all feature in this chapter of Acts.  1) Truth and Reasonableness (v25):  It is hard to commit yourself to a message that is either meaningless or non-sensical, so the mind needs to be convincedContinue reading “Thursday 7th July 2022”

Wednesday 6th July 2022

ACTS 25 It is easy to ‘gloss over’ the human consequences and emotions of the last verse of Acts 24: “When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favour to the Jews, he left Paul in prison”.    Imagine how Paul must have felt!  He hadContinue reading “Wednesday 6th July 2022”

Tuesday 5th July 2022

ACTS 24 Paul found himself caught up in politics: Governor Felix was an ineffective ruler who was later to be recalled to Rome to answer for his incompetence.  He had recently married the 16-year-old daughter of Herod, Drusilla, who became his third wife – she herself having been induced to leave her previous husband ofContinue reading “Tuesday 5th July 2022”

Monday 4th July 2022

ACTS 23 “You must be on your guard.  You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.  On account of me, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.  And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.  Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do notContinue reading “Monday 4th July 2022”

Sunday 3rd July 2022

2 KINGS 5, 6, 7 and 8 The supreme commander of Syria’s armed forces becomes very ill with an incurable disease; he hears that a Christian believer has a strong prophetic healing ministry, and he travels to meet him, in the hope of being healed.  The healing is fast and simple, and the commander isContinue reading “Sunday 3rd July 2022”

Friday 1st July 2022

ACTS 21 The journey of Paul and his companions continued by sea until they reached the Judean coastal city of Caesarea.  After that long and difficult trip, they rested for a few days at Philip the Evangelist’s home.  Philip may have been at Caesarea for nearly 25 years by then, which gives us an ideaContinue reading “Friday 1st July 2022”

Thursday 30th June 2022

ACTS 20 After the riot, two separate groups of disciples travelled with Paul to the Troas, but not at the same time.  Eventually they met up with the local disciples and stayed a week, culminating in a meeting of the whole church to break bread – that is, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper – onContinue reading “Thursday 30th June 2022”

Wednesday 29th June 2022

ACTS 19 Today is also about discipleship, and what happens if it goes slightly wrong.  It also demonstrates that you cannot help but reproduce what you are in your disciples.  Paul had begun his third so-called ‘Missionary Journey’ and decided to take the inland route through Turkey to get to Ephesus on its west coast. Continue reading “Wednesday 29th June 2022”

Tuesday 28th June 2022

ACTS 18 Today is about discipleship and its importance.  Corinth was a Greek city of two seas and two major ports, with an innovative way of getting ships from one side to the other across dry land.  As such it was a huge mixture of cultures and faiths, and with a well-deserved reputation for sexualContinue reading “Tuesday 28th June 2022”

Monday 27th June 2022

1 KINGS 17, 18 and 19 Today’s the day of the big showdown:  Elijah’s God versus Ahab’s god!  The arrival of Elijah on the scene is a bit mysterious – in 1 Kings 17 he just appears and starts speaking.  His name means ‘The Lord is my God’ and the essence of his message wasContinue reading “Monday 27th June 2022”

Sunday 26th June 2022

ACTS 17 Paul knew that the heart will not warm to what the mind cannot accept.  On the other hand, a purely intellectual grasp of the gospel is insufficient for salvation.  Both elements of a person’s character are required to empower the will to submit to Christ and follow his commands. In Thessalonica, a cityContinue reading “Sunday 26th June 2022”

Saturday 25th June 2022

1 KINGS 15, 16 It is interesting how two views of the same person and their actions can both be true and yet both read so differently.  Abijah, son of Rehoboam, received a rather negative ‘appraisal’ in 1 Kings 15:1-8 and a very positive one in 2 Chronicles chapter 13.  An yet the passages doContinue reading “Saturday 25th June 2022”

Friday 24th June 2022

ACTS 16 Paul: “Some good news, Timothy: you are accompanying me on my next mission trip”.  Timothy: “Great!  When do we leave?”  Paul: “As soon as you can walk again after being circumcised!”  This is how Paul’s Second Missionary Journey might have started.  Actually, if you read the end of yesterday’s chapter (15), you willContinue reading “Friday 24th June 2022”

Wednesday 22nd June 2022

ACTS 15 Today we witness a master-class in high-powered talks and negotiations over the future direction of God’s church on earth; talks which could so easily have resulted in schism, complete disunity, and huge recriminations.  The critical issue was nothing to do with ‘brand’, methodology, style, or leadership – things that we get so upsetContinue reading “Wednesday 22nd June 2022”

Tuesday 21st June 2022

1 KINGS 9 It is now 24 years into Solomon’s reign and the two gigantic building projects are completed (4 years before the temple was begun + 7 years building the temple + 13 years building Solomon’s palace).  Just as he did at the beginning of Solomon’s reign, The Lord appears again to him andContinue reading “Tuesday 21st June 2022”

Monday 20th June 2022

ACTS 14 If you stir up a hornets’ nest, you had better expect some retaliation!  Paul and Barnabas, by proclaiming the good news about Jesus, had effectively ‘invaded’ the enemy territory.  Having had some tremendous success in Pisidian Antioch, they incurred the backlash of persecution and fled to Iconium, a major agricultural region in theContinue reading “Monday 20th June 2022”

Sunday 19th June 2022

1 KINGS 5, 6 and 7 Solomon begins the greatest construction project that he will ever undertake: the Temple of The Lord in Jerusalem.  1 Kings chapters 5 and 6 are roughly paralleled by 2 Chronicles chapters 2 and 3, although there are some subtle differences of emphasis. First, he wrote to Hiram, king ofContinue reading “Sunday 19th June 2022”

Saturday 18th June 2022

ACTS 13 Today’s and tomorrow’s readings describe Paul’s First Missionary Journey, which lasted about two years, from AD 46-48.  This was a whole eleven years after Paul had been converted (AD 35).  The Book of Acts covers a long time period of intense activity and does not have room for the extended ‘pauses’ between keyContinue reading “Saturday 18th June 2022”

Friday 17th June 2022

ACTS 12 Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, not everything was wonderful for the church there.  King Herod Agrippa I had taken over the role of persecutor-in-chief and also wanted to strengthen his own position by making himself more popular with the Jewish Authorities.  The obvious strategy was to attack the Jews’ prime enemies, the Christians!  HeContinue reading “Friday 17th June 2022”

Thursday 16th June 2022

ACTS 11 Back in Jerusalem, there was some serious explaining to do!  The church there had only known the concept of being born a Jew, or converted to Judaism, as a prerequisite to accepting Jesus as the true Messiah.  These Gentiles had apparently entered ‘via the back door’ and the Jewish Christians wanted to knowContinue reading “Thursday 16th June 2022”

Wednesday 15th June 2022

ACTS 10 The raising of Tabitha from the dead had also strategically placed Peter in Joppa – part of modern-day Tel Aviv.   The stream of new disciples that resulted from her spectacular resurrection needed leading and wielding together into a local church, so Peter planned to stay quite a while there, at the home ofContinue reading “Wednesday 15th June 2022”

Tuesday 14th June 2022

ACTS 9 “Those who attack you will surrender to you” – or so said the prophet Isaiah in 54:15.  In Saul’s case, it could not have been more vivid.  One moment he was the chief persecutor of Christ’s church; the next, he was the most effective apostle the world has ever known. The light fromContinue reading “Tuesday 14th June 2022”

Monday 13th June 2022

ACTS 8 God’s sovereignty is shown in the graphic contrasts between the lives of Stephen and Philip; both were saved at about the same time, and both served faithfully on the same ministry team, the ‘Seven’.  As disciples of Jesus, they were equally powerful and effective.  Yet the Lord chose to cut short Stephen’s lifeContinue reading “Monday 13th June 2022”

Sunday 12th June 2022

2 SAMUEL 19 and 20 That scheming Joab was right this time: David was so preoccupied with his own grief for his dead son, Absalom, that he was totally neglecting his duties as king.  You would have thought it was a military defeat rather than a great victory!  Joab, who was never afraid to confrontContinue reading “Sunday 12th June 2022”

Saturday 11th June 2022

2 SAMUEL 16, 17 and 18 Now David was running for his life and, to make matters worse, the disgruntled members of Saul’s household were taking the opportunity to get their revenge.  Ziba, the not-so-faithful steward of Mephibosheth, had decided to curry favour with the King at his master’s expense.  By slandering Mephibosheth and makingContinue reading “Saturday 11th June 2022”

Thursday 9th June 2022

2 SAMUEL 13, 14 and 15 Nathan’s prophecy of the punishment imposed by God on King David starts to be fulfilled in the next three chapters.  First, Amnon, David’s eldest son, became obsessed with his half-sister, Tamar who was stunningly beautiful.  We see later that it was a lustful obsession, rather than real love.  ThisContinue reading “Thursday 9th June 2022”

Wednesday 8th June 2022

ACTS 5 God clearly cannot stomach hypocrisy.  The account of Ananias and Sapphira is not about ‘giving’, but about ‘lying’.  There is indeed something worse than a lack of generosity: a false generosity!  The previous chapter ends with descriptions of almost miraculous financial giving, of open hearts and open wallets towards the poor, and ofContinue reading “Wednesday 8th June 2022”

Tuesday 7th June 2022

ACTS 4 Three ‘P’s today:  ‘Persecution’, ‘Prayer’, and ‘Possessions’.  The religious authorities deeply resented Peter’s miracle for several reasons:  (1) They couldn’t do any, so they were very jealous;  (2) Peter and John were uneducated country folk, who had followed up their miracle with some of the most persuasive bible teaching ever heard in theContinue reading “Tuesday 7th June 2022”

Monday 6th June 2022

ACTS 3 It was an ordinary afternoon – nearly impossible, really, after Pentecost! – and Peter and John went as usual to the temple for a special time of prayer.  They still followed the Jewish rhythms to some extent at that time and realised the importance of a disciplined devotional time each day in theirContinue reading “Monday 6th June 2022”

Sunday 5th June 2022

2 SAMUEL 7 and 8 The next chapter in 2 Samuel is simple, yet profound!  The Ark had been safely returned to Jerusalem without anyone else dying and David was now established fully as king over all Israel.  He had had a cedar palace built and moved in with his wives, concubines, children, and servants. Continue reading “Sunday 5th June 2022”

Saturday 4th June 2022

ACTS 2 This chapter describes “The Big Bang Theory” a.k.a. “The Birth of the Church”.  The Day of Pentecost was, of course, the Jewish festival that celebrated the firstfruits of harvest.  How appropriate that the seeds of discipleship that Jesus had ‘planted’ over a period of three and half years should now blossom into aContinue reading “Saturday 4th June 2022”

Friday 3rd June 2022

ACTS 1 The Book of Acts could be subtitled: “Jesus – Part Two”.  Written again by Luke, it begins:  “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all the Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles heContinue reading “Friday 3rd June 2022”

Thursday 2nd June 2022

JOHN 21 After a completely stressful, totally exhilarating, experience, the usual human response is to do something very ordinary.  Peter and his mates went fishing.  Unsuccessfully, as it happened! It was like the re-run of a well-viewed movie.  Jesus stood on the shore and told these experienced fishermen how to fish more effectively (well, heContinue reading “Thursday 2nd June 2022”

Wednesday 1st June 2022

2 SAMUEL 1, 2, 3 and 4 Saul and his claims to kingship over Israel are both emphatically dead – as is his son Jonathan.  It now remains for David to claim what his previous anointing has prepared for him – kingship over all Israel.  But David was a man of patience and planning, asContinue reading “Wednesday 1st June 2022”

Tuesday 31st May 2022

JOHN 20 It was fitting that the first person to meet the Lord after his resurrection was Mary Magdalene, who had shown him so much devotion previously, and who had risked arrest and death by sticking so close to him during his trials, crucifixion and at the tomb.  She arrived at the tomb at theContinue reading “Tuesday 31st May 2022”

Monday 30th May 2022

JOHN 19 Flogged, crucified, died, and buried.  That was the sequence of events for the Hero of so-called ‘Good Friday’!  Pilate, in his attempt to avoid this unjust execution, had one more throw of the dice: have the prisoner scourged, dress him up and humiliate him, and the crowd might just have their sympathies arousedContinue reading “Monday 30th May 2022”

Sunday 29th May 2022

1 SAMUEL 21, 22, 23 and 24 The whole of life is a degree-course in learning to trust God.  It is not simple to do, which is why it takes a lifetime to master.  In this university of Christian Life, the examination season comes when times get very tough, when we reach the end ofContinue reading “Sunday 29th May 2022”

Saturday 28th May 2022

JOHN 18 His disciples having been fully briefed and his prayers completed, Jesus crossed the steep Kidron Valley between the city walls and the Mount of Olives.  In doing so, he was retracing his route of a few days previously when he had ridden triumphantly into the city, to the cheers and acclaim of greatContinue reading “Saturday 28th May 2022”

Friday 27th May 2022

JOHN 17 Now we are eavesdropping on a private conversation between Jesus and his Father.  The Holy Spirit – through scripture – draws back the curtain and reveals to us some of the secrets that the Old Testament kings and prophets would have given anything to learn.  Within an obvious face-to-face, person-to-person relationship, the overridingContinue reading “Friday 27th May 2022”

Wednesday 25th May 2022

JOHN 15 There are few occupations on earth that are more single-minded than that of the vine grower.  His or her only purpose in life is to produce the maximum crop of the highest quality grapes.  Nothing else is permitted to get in the way.  Everything else is sacrificed for the sake of fruit.  AContinue reading “Wednesday 25th May 2022”

Tuesday 24th May 2022

JOHN 14 The longest account of Jesus’ teaching at and after the Passover meal is in John’s gospel.  Five chapters of doctrine, encouragement, warnings, and reassurance come from Jesus’ lips, and it is impossible to do justice to them all in these notes!  So I will just comment on a small selection of verses thatContinue reading “Tuesday 24th May 2022”

Monday 23rd May 2022

1 SAMUEL 13 and 14 Saul was an impetuous king, leaning towards the impatient; he had Jonathan attack a Philistine outpost in order to provoke a counterattack, so that the whole army of Israel would be forced to assemble behind Saul.  Unfortunately, he stirred up a hornets’ nest and the Philistines retaliated with their heavyContinue reading “Monday 23rd May 2022”

Sunday 22nd May 2022

JOHN 13 John refers to the same Passover Supper events detailed in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but John completely omits all details of the meal and the bread and wine.  He focuses on Jesus the Servant King.  The lowliest servant did the foot washing – for a very good reason – and the disciples wereContinue reading “Sunday 22nd May 2022”

Saturday 21st May 2022

JOHN 12 Just about everything Jesus says in this chapter is related to his death.  All four gospels have an account of a woman anointing Jesus with some kind of expensive perfume.  However, Luke 7:36-50 is clearly a quite different event from the one in this gospel and from the other two (Mt 26:6-13 andContinue reading “Saturday 21st May 2022”

Friday 20th May 2022

1 SAMUEL 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Today’s readings describe a key transitional period between the futility of the times of the Judges and the prosperity of Israel under Kings Saul, David, and Solomon.  God was now disposing of the ‘old guard’ represented by Eli, with his permissive attitude towards his sons and towardsContinue reading “Friday 20th May 2022”

Thursday 19th May 2022

JOHN 11 “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die”.  (John 11:25-26).  Just about everything Jesus taught was backed up by action, and nearly all his actions were a means of teaching too.  The ‘Lazarus Incident’ (as the ChiefContinue reading “Thursday 19th May 2022”

Tuesday 17th May 2022

JOHN 10 Chapter 10 continues seamlessly:  These Pharisees are not the true shepherds of Israel – they are thieves and robbers, ruling harshly over the flock, using the sheep for their own benefit, and having no meaningful relationship with them.  Ezekiel 34 refers to the false shepherds of Israel and, in exasperation, God says thatContinue reading “Tuesday 17th May 2022”

Monday 16th May 2022

JOHN 9 Your opinion of whether a miracle has occurred will depend on your prejudices!  If you don’t believe that miracles can occur, then you will never be convinced that a particular one has happened right in front of your nose.  Later on, you will declare that miracles do not occur because you have neverContinue reading “Monday 16th May 2022”

Sunday 15th May 2022

JUDGES 19, 20 and 21 The final five chapters of Judges (including 17 and 18 from yesterday) are a kind of epilogue to the Book and describe graphically the depths to which human behaviour can sink.  An Ephraimite names Micah steals a huge amount of money from his own mother, and only confesses to herContinue reading “Sunday 15th May 2022”

Saturday 14th May 2022

JUDGES 16, 17 and 18 “Every person has their price” – this seems to be a bit of a theme today.  Samson with his infatuation with exotic foreign women booked up a session with a prostitute in a Philistine stronghold of Gaza.  Being Samson, he wasn’t quiet about it either!  So half the population, bentContinue reading “Saturday 14th May 2022”

Friday 13th May 2022`

JOHN 8 The account of the woman caught in adultery is interesting.  It does not feature in the oldest and most reliable manuscripts of John’s Gospel and seems logically better located just after Luke 21:38; indeed, a limited number of manuscripts do have the account appearing there in Luke.  Regardless of where it ‘should’ beContinue reading “Friday 13th May 2022`”

Thursday 12th May 2022

JUDGES 13, 14, and 15 Samson, whose name means ‘Brightness’ was much-wanted baby, a spoilt teenager, and a nasty piece of work as a man.  His twin driving forces in life were a lust for beautiful women and the arrogance that comes from overwhelming physical power over men.  He indulged both those impulses to theContinue reading “Thursday 12th May 2022”

Wednesday 11th May 2022

JOHN 7 “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them”.  So Jesus claims in John 7:37-8.  What Scripture is he talking about?  There is no direct quotation, so I think it refers to Ezekiel 47,Continue reading “Wednesday 11th May 2022”

Tuesday 10th May 2022

JUDGES 10, 11 and 12 Israel had been in the Promised Land 300 years by now and the spiritual temperature towards the Lord has fallen again.  It was G. K. Chesterton who said:  “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.” – and these Israelites were out toContinue reading “Tuesday 10th May 2022”

Friday 6th May 2022

JUDGES 3, 4 and 5 In my opinion, Judges is the best ‘window’ into human nature in the whole Bible. If you digest the stories and teachings of Judges, you have no grounds for asserting that human beings are essentially good and naturally god-fearing!  The human heart is no different today; most people will callContinue reading “Friday 6th May 2022”

Tuesday 3rd May 2022

JOSHUA 22, 23 and 24 From heroes to apparent ‘zeros’ in a short space of time: the Transjordan tribes had fought bravely and unselfishly to secure the territory for their brothers west of the Jordan, leaving behind their wives and children for a total period of at least seven years.  Individuals were probably permitted periodsContinue reading “Tuesday 3rd May 2022”

Monday 2nd May 2022

JOHN 3 Many people imagine that Billy Graham first coined the phrase ‘Born Again’, as a powerful emotional lever to persuade people to become Christians.  Not true!  The need for all to be born again or ‘born from above’ is an imperative directly from God the Son himself.  “Truly, truly, I tell you, no oneContinue reading “Monday 2nd May 2022”

Sunday 1st May 2022

JOHN 2 John calls miracles ‘signs’.  His gospel has the least number of miracles recorded – only eight – but he certainly chose to include the most spectacular!  They are ‘signs’ because they point towards the true nature of the Son of Man, who was and is also the Son of God.  They are theContinue reading “Sunday 1st May 2022”

Saturday 30th April 2022

JOSHUA 16, 17, and 18 Judah’s allotment of land had now been sorted and it was the turn of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, to receive theirs next.  Some of the time they were known collectively as ‘Joseph’ still.  It is interesting that – as with Judah – there was a group ofContinue reading “Saturday 30th April 2022”

Friday 29th April 2022

JOHN 1 If the first verses of Genesis introduce the beginning of the world, the first verses of John’s Gospel refer to a much, much earlier time!  Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, is given the name “The Word”, which in Greek is ‘Logos’, meaning ‘Reason’.  Indeed, Jesus is the first and the lastContinue reading “Friday 29th April 2022”

Thursday 28th April 2022

JOSHUA 12, 13, 14, and 15 It is good to keep a record of your past victories.  They are a reminder of the favour and power of God in your life – and an incentive to keep going in the future when things get tough.  The list starts with the Transjordan territories, inherited by theContinue reading “Thursday 28th April 2022”

Wednesday 27th April 2022

LUKE 24 The Apostolic Church of the first three Centuries did not celebrate Christmas or Easter.  These modern-day festivals only came into official existence in 350 AD and 325 AD respectively.  However, the early church did better than that: they lived in the power of the Incarnation 365 days per year, and they preached theContinue reading “Wednesday 27th April 2022”

Tuesday 26th April 2022

JOSHUA 9, 10 and 11 Big Mistake Number Two makes an appearance today!  Yesterday we read how Israel disobeyed the Lord by stealing some of the plunder from Jericho that was rightly all God’s.  Today, the error was more subtle but had longer-lasting consequences.  You probably remember that the Lord had commanded Israel not toContinue reading “Tuesday 26th April 2022”

Monday 25th April 2022

LUKE 23 Jesus, having declared himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, had provided more evidence of blasphemy to the ‘salivating’ Sanhedrin than they could have hoped for in their wildest dreams!  The man actually said that he was God!  The big problem with their trial, and with their definition of blasphemy, was: Continue reading “Monday 25th April 2022”

Sunday 24th April 2022

LUKE 22 The Passover was a meal that commemorated the ‘passing over’ of the Angel of Death – preserving the faithful Israelites whilst destroying the firstborn sons of Egypt.  It symbolised redemption, rescue, and re-birth.  It marked the birth of the Nation of Israel. It was held on a normal working day – not aContinue reading “Sunday 24th April 2022”

Saturday 23rd April 2022

JOSHUA 1, 2, 3 and 4 In our Old Testament reading, we are beginning a new Book: Joshua.  From an action point of view, it largely continues the stories in Numbers; from a teaching point of view, it expands on Deuteronomy.  Most conservative scholars regard Joshua, servant of Moses, as the main author of mostContinue reading “Saturday 23rd April 2022”

Friday 22nd April 2022

LUKE 21 Bill Gates and his wife have already given away 28 billion dollars of their fortune to charitable work worldwide; they intend to give away at least 95 percent of all their money eventually. Warren Buffett, currently the richest man in the world, has pledged to give away at least 99 percent ofContinue reading “Friday 22nd April 2022”

Thursday 21st April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 32, 33 and 34 If you wrote and released a song along the lines of the Song of Moses – Deuteronomy 32 – it would be a commercial failure; this is mainly since it spends most of its verses rebuking its target listeners and telling them “I told you so”!  But it is aContinue reading “Thursday 21st April 2022”

Wednesday 20th April 2022

LUKE 20 “Trick or Treat?”  “We are going to ask you an impossible question and, if you give the wrong answer, something bad might happen to you!”  In today’s reading, Jesus’ opponents take it in turns to attempt to catch him out by asking him to ‘clarify’ what he believes.  It turns out that, ledContinue reading “Wednesday 20th April 2022”

Tuesday 19th April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 30 and 31the Lord immediately reveals what will become of Israel: they will in fact inherit BOTH the blessings AND the curses; for a time they will obey the Lord and be blessed in every way, and then they will rebel as an entire nation and be cursed and dispersed. In chapter 30 versesContinue reading “Tuesday 19th April 2022”

Monday 18th April 2022

LUKE 19 Four stories, including one parable, that all feature a king arriving unexpectedly to groups of people: Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector had a major advantage in life: he was very rich; and a major disadvantage: he was very small.  He chose to do the Romans’ dirty work for them – for a fee,Continue reading “Monday 18th April 2022”

Sunday 17th April 2022

LUKE 18 Today, in a series of parables or encounters, Jesus tells us what a disciple’s attitude and behaviour towards God should be like.  First, the parable of the ‘Persistent Widow’:  Always pray and don’t give up!  Perseverance even works in a selfish human situation, so it is well worth persevering in prayer to God,Continue reading “Sunday 17th April 2022”

Saturday 16th April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 24, 25, 26 and 27 The subject of legitimate divorce was as live a topic in Jesus’ day as the question of legitimate marriage is in ours.  Two ‘schools’ of rabbis – Shammai and Hillel – disputed whether a man could divorce his wife for ‘any and every reason’ or whether it was onlyContinue reading “Saturday 16th April 2022”

Friday 15th April 2022

LUKE 17 Today’s reading starts with an interesting look at ‘forgiveness’.  Do you always have to forgive someone?  What does that forgiveness look like in practice?  What about people who do you harm and then you never come across them again?  Does the process work exactly the same between God and us?  I think thatContinue reading “Friday 15th April 2022”

Thursday 14th April 2022

LUKE 16 It is surprising how often the topic of money comes up in the gospels.  Most times it is Jesus himself who raises it.  In this chapter he illustrates how cleverly some of the people of this world deal with money, to gain wealth, power, and fame.  He then commands us to have aContinue reading “Thursday 14th April 2022”

Wednesday 13th April 2022

LUKE 15 A pivotal chapter, with an ‘obsession’ with ‘Mission’!  (That’s good, btw.!)  The chapter consists of three simple fictional stories crafted to illustrate Jesus’ response to the Pharisees’ allegation: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (v2).  The ‘Lost Sheep’ (singular) implies safety in the flock (wherever they are) and danger in isolation. Continue reading “Wednesday 13th April 2022”

Tuesday 12th April 2022

LUKE 14 Luke’s gospel contains five of the seven times that Jesus is recorded as healing on the Sabbath.  He really did want to make an important point, didn’t he!  (Which was what?) Most illustrations in today’s reading, however, come from eating and feasting.  What do we learn? (v11) Those who humble themselves (i.e. beingContinue reading “Tuesday 12th April 2022”

Monday 11th April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 14, 15 and 16 Food, Finance and Festivals – these three topics largely make up today’s readings.  The food laws have been referred to previously and more or less boil down to Israelites only being able to eat vegetarian creatures, not carnivores (but that is only approximate).  A reminder, too, from Mark 17:19 thatContinue reading “Monday 11th April 2022”

Sunday 10th April 2022

LUKE 13 How do we react to human disasters?  Are they a punishment from God for rebellious, irresponsible behaviour – or are they a kind of random consequence of living in a ‘broken’, fallen world?  Whilst accepting that ‘randomness’ is nothing more than a human confession of ignorance, and that true randomness is impossible forContinue reading “Sunday 10th April 2022”

Saturday 9th April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 11, 12 and 13 The search for the source of the Nile is a topic that has fuelled both fact and fiction.  The reason is that the Nile is vitally important to Egypt’s irrigation and agriculture.  Farmers had a type of foot-powered water pump that lifted water from the Nile itself into their ownContinue reading “Saturday 9th April 2022”

Friday 8th April 2022

LUKE 12 If Luke 11 was about Jesus training his disciples in prayer, then today’s is about ‘Fear’!  “Fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell.  Yes, I tell you, fear him”.  (v5)  The ‘Him’ is referring to God himself, and the message is that he isContinue reading “Friday 8th April 2022”