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: https://1drv.ms/w/s!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.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/bill-gates/9812672/Bill-Gates-interview-I-have-no-use-for-money.-This-is-Gods-work.html 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”

Thursday 7th April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 5, 6 and 7 Growing up in a God-fearing, Bible-believing home does have its drawbacks.  It is tempting to think that all the real action happened between your parents and the Lord, before you were born, and that you are just a kind of afterthought or add-on to your parents’ blessings.  The Children ofContinue reading “Thursday 7th April 2022”

Wednesday 6th April 2022

LUKE 11 This is not really the “Lord’s Prayer” (that one is found in John 17).  This would better be titled “The Disciples’ Prayer”, as it was designed by Jesus for his disciples.  An almost identical version is found in Matthew 6:9-13, as part of the Sermon on the Mount.  Personally, I don’t think thatContinue reading “Wednesday 6th April 2022”

Tuesday 5th April 2022

DEUTERONOMY 3 and 4 Moses continues to remind the Children of Israel that God had then given them a great victory over the other Amorite king, Og, who ruled over the northern end of the Transjordan region, up as far as Mount Herman in what is today the Golan Heights.  Og was the smallest possibleContinue reading “Tuesday 5th April 2022”

Monday 4th April 2022

LUKE 10 In Luke 9, Jesus sent out the ‘Twelve’ (apostles) in a mission to proclaim the gospel exclusively to the Galilean Jews.  In today’s reading, he sends out ‘Seventy-Two’ (or Seventy) others to cover a wider territory, that included Samaritans and Gentiles.  Significantly, the ‘Table of Nations’ in Genesis 10 has 72 names inContinue reading “Monday 4th April 2022”

Sunday 3rd April 2022

NUMBERS 35 and 36 “Simeon and Levi are brothers—their swords are weapons of violence.  Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.  Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel!  I will scatter themContinue reading “Sunday 3rd April 2022”

Saturday 2nd April 2022

NUMBERS 33 and 34 Moses is commanded by the Lord to itemise the stages in the journey that they have taken from the Exodus to the Promised Land.  There are exactly 40 stages mentioned, which probably has symbolic significance – 40 symbolises a ‘generation’ and, of course, an entire generation perished in the desert onContinue reading “Saturday 2nd April 2022”

Friday 1st April 2022

LUKE 9 In Stage One of discipleship (yesterday: Luke 8), Jesus took his apostles along with him to watch him at work in the towns and villages of the Galilee region.  Today we see Stage Two, when Jesus sends these same men, under his own power and authority, to dispatch demons and heal diseases, whilstContinue reading “Friday 1st April 2022”

Thursday 31st March 2022

NUMBERS 28, 29 and 30 Let’s look first at a fascinating chapter in today’s reading – Numbers 30.  In my bible it is entitled ‘Vows’, but the real meaning should be ‘Authority’, since that is what it is all about.  And the implications are huge, for those people and for us.  It begins with aContinue reading “Thursday 31st March 2022”

Wednesday 30th March 2022

LUKE 8 We now take a closer look at Jesus’ methods of mission and discipleship.  Having been rejected by the people he grew up with in his home town of Nazareth, he based himself at Capernaum on the shore of Lake Galilee, where he preached, taught, and healed extensively, both within the synagogues and inContinue reading “Wednesday 30th March 2022”

Tuesday 29th March 2022

NUMBERS 26 and 27 The focus shifts back to the Old Testament; Israel were told by The Lord to organise another census, following the one that occurred 38 years previously.  There were two main reasons for this:  (a) To demonstrate to all parties that every one of those Israelites previously 20 years old or olderContinue reading “Tuesday 29th March 2022”

Monday 28th March 2022

NUMBERS 23, 24 and 25 You would imagine that a man who was really a false prophet, a fraud and a mercenary would be put off his mission by being rebuked by his donkey and nearly killed by the Angel of the Lord.  He certainly offered to turn around – since he was scared forContinue reading “Monday 28th March 2022”

Sunday 27th March 2022

LUKE 7 In this episode, an honest fighting man, in charge of up to one hundred men, seems to grasp the ways of God more quickly than some of God’s own people!  Whereas they approach Jesus and ask him to help the centurion on the grounds that “…he has built our synagogue” (v5), he realisesContinue reading “Sunday 27th March 2022”

Saturday 26th March 2022

LUKE 6 With the previous thought of ‘new wineskins’ still an echo in our minds, the first real test of this comes in the form of ‘The Sabbath’.  What happens when the ‘wave’ of new life rolls onto the ‘rock’ of Jewish tradition?  Surprisingly, the rock is shattered!  Jesus ‘harvested’ grain on the Sabbath andContinue reading “Saturday 26th March 2022”

Friday 25th March 2022

NUMBERS 19, 20 and 21 The water of cleansing in Numbers 19 was unusual.  The animal killed was not sacrificed, but slaughtered outside the camp, rather than at the altar.  It was a female, not a bull, and every part of it was burnt, including the blood and the offal.  It was only needed toContinue reading “Friday 25th March 2022”

Thursday 24th March 2022

NUMBERS 17 and 18 As a final demonstration of power, in support of Moses’ and Aaron’s authority, the Lord turned Aaron’s dead staff into a living tree, producing fruit.  Ultimately, true leadership in God’s church is confirmed by its fruitfulness and effectiveness in producing growth.  Whether you are in new covenant leadership, or one ofContinue reading “Thursday 24th March 2022”

Wednesday 23rd March 2022

LUKE 5 A complete stranger appears at your place of work, performs a very impressive miracle and then asks you to leave your job, your possessions, and your family – and to follow him wherever he goes.  Is that plausible?  Is it likely?  Is it even a wise course of action? Those of us whoContinue reading “Wednesday 23rd March 2022”

Tuesday 22nd March 2022

NUMBERS 14 Democracy only takes you so far!  Many times it actually holds you back.  The problem that Moses created by choosing a representative from each tribe to explore the land was that when ten of them rejected the will of God, all their relatives ‘voted’ with them and that meant that most of theContinue reading “Tuesday 22nd March 2022”

Monday 21st March 2022

LUKE 4 “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread”.  (v3).  “The Devil led him to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world…’I will give you all their authority and splendour… if you worship me, it will be yours’”.  (vv6-7).  “If youContinue reading “Monday 21st March 2022”

Saturday 19th March 2022

NUMBERS 8, 9 and 10 The Holy of Holies (or ‘Most Holy Place’) had no man-made light in it.  On the one hand, it wasn’t necessary, since no human was allowed in there; on the other hand, the glory of God filled that tent, since the Light of the World was resident between the CherubimContinue reading “Saturday 19th March 2022”

Friday 18th March 2022

NUMBERS 7 Well, now I know where they got the idea for “The Twelve Days of Christmas”!  Numbers 7 is the longest chapter in the Pentateuch (89 verses) and it benefits hugely from the copy-and-paste facilities that a word processor provides.  Twelve representatives of the twelve tribes each bring an offering on one of twelveContinue reading “Friday 18th March 2022”

Wednesday 16th March 2022

NUMBERS 5 and 6 The Bible is the most misunderstood book in the world.  It must be – or else everyone would by now be a Christian!  And one of the classic examples of misunderstanding is found in Numbers 5: ‘The Test for the Unfaithful Wife’.  Most modern-thinkers will read it and conclude that thisContinue reading “Wednesday 16th March 2022”

Tuesday 15th March 2022

NUMBERS 3 and 4 Every powerful and effective community needs a group of people who are committed full-time to the service and work of that community.  They cannot have normal ‘day jobs’ and cannot have the distractions of ownership that others are permitted.  In the church there are full-time leaders, administrators, and gift ministries; inContinue reading “Tuesday 15th March 2022”

Sunday 13th March 2022

LUKE 1 “…since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”  (vv3-4) The ‘Good News’ must be accurate and historically truthful in order to be believable and life-transforming.  We areContinue reading “Sunday 13th March 2022”

Saturday 12th March 2022

MARK 16 (“The Amazing Jesus”): Possibly the most studied chapter in the New Testament – but not for the reasons you might expect!  When theologians are chatting over their pre-dinner drinks, the conversation may drift to “What do you think about the ending of Mark’s gospel, then?”.  All reliable manuscripts have verses 1 to 8,Continue reading “Saturday 12th March 2022”

Thursday 10th March 2022

MARK 15 Matthew 27 and Mark 15 are almost identical, but with certain significant differences.  I have already given a complete run-down of the Matthew chapter, so I will not repeat myself here.  Matthew contains extra material of mainly Jewish interest:  The fate of Judas Iscariot; The overt rejection of Jesus’ Messiahship by the JewishContinue reading “Thursday 10th March 2022”

Wednesday 9th March 2022

LEVITICUS 19 and 20 Some of the things I write today may shock you, offend you or cause you to examine your own lifestyle.  Let me first say that my aim is to attempt to explain and interpret what the Word of God says and not to give my own opinion, which is really irrelevantContinue reading “Wednesday 9th March 2022”

Tuesday 8th March 2022

MARK 14 The crucifixion and resurrection events were now rushing rapidly towards them all, and his disciples were struggling to ‘keep up’ emotionally and psychologically.  First the scene shifts to the peaceful home at Bethany (whose Hebrew name means ‘house of figs’), the same village where Lazarus, Martha and Mary lived.  John 12 tells usContinue reading “Tuesday 8th March 2022”

Monday 7th March 2022

LEVITICUS 14 and 15 Yesterday’s readings talked about the diagnosis of infectious skin diseases and their treatment.  Today follows on to outline the purification rites when the individual was declared ‘clean’ again.  There were regulations for cleansing in the first week – outside the camp; and regulations for cleansing in the second week – insideContinue reading “Monday 7th March 2022”

Saturday 5th March 2022

LEVITICUS 11, 12 and 13 “You are what you eat” – as the saying goes!  It was very important that an itinerant nation of 2 ½ million people, travelling through an inhospitable desert full of strange animals, knew what to eat.  Once in the Promised Land, there would be many creatures that might constitute aContinue reading “Saturday 5th March 2022”

Friday 4th March 2022

MARK 12 Jesus spoke a parable to the Jews about themselves: a vineyard owner rented the land to tenants who were expected to look after the place and to give the landlord a significant percentage of the ripe fruit.  These tenants, however, were evil and had no intention of paying their rent; instead, they attacked,Continue reading “Friday 4th March 2022”

Thursday 3rd March 2022

LEVITICUS 8, 9, and 10 Before you can be forgiven, the priest needs to be acceptable to God.  Why?  Because the priest stands between mankind and God and mediates between them – he connects the two parties and re-joins what has been divided.  In similar fashion, Jesus (see Hebrews 7:26-28) was appointed the perfect HighContinue reading “Thursday 3rd March 2022”

Wednesday 2nd March 2022

MARK 11 Today, Jesus does something blatantly Messianic, possibly in an attempt to provoke the Jewish leadership finally into action: he borrows a young donkey, along with its mother, and rides it into Jerusalem.  To do this in such a way was an expression of royalty and a fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9. The Jews couldContinue reading “Wednesday 2nd March 2022”

Tuesday 1st March 2022

LEVITICUS 5, 6 and 7 Having dealt with the five offerings from the giver’s point of view, Leviticus then looks again from the perspective of the priest receiving the offering on behalf of God.   The Burnt Offering was obviously burnt whole, minus the skin (in the case of a bull), which the priest could keepContinue reading “Tuesday 1st March 2022”

Monday 28th February 2022

MARK 10 The first part of this chapter contains exactly the same material – with just one exception – that is found in Matthew 19.  Therefore, I will repeat the comments that I made previously… It’s a funny thing that in First Century Judea the hot topic was ‘Divorce’, when today it is ‘Marriage’!  TheContinue reading “Monday 28th February 2022”

Sunday 27th February 2022

LEVITICUS 1, 2, and 3 If you were a worship leader in the Old Covenant ‘church’, then you were in for a very messy time indeed!  (And to think that we sometimes call it ‘Messy Church’ now!)  Worship was seen primarily as sacrifice of some animal from the flock or the herd and was doneContinue reading “Sunday 27th February 2022”

Saturday 26th February 2022

MARK 9 If you offered law-abiding Jews the chance to meet Moses, Elijah, and the Messiah together, and to listen to their conversations – you’d sell a lot of tickets!  Today’s readings describe this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, received gratefully and for free by Peter, James, and John.  Mark 9 begins with an obscure comment by Jesus:Continue reading “Saturday 26th February 2022”

Friday 25th February 2022

EXODUS 37 and 38 Every great construction project needs a brilliant architect, a skilled master builder, numerous other craftsmen, a willing labour force prepared to work hard, and a suitable supply of high quality materials.  The Tabernacle project has it all: God the architect, Bezalel the master builder, Oholiab and other unnamed men and womenContinue reading “Friday 25th February 2022”

Thursday 24th February 2022

MARK 8 The Feeding of the FOUR Thousand only features in Matthew’s and Mark’s gospels – leading some commentators to suggest that it was a copyist’s mistaken duplication.  However, in Mark 8:19-20, Jesus mentions both occasions in the same sentence, and makes comparisons between them.  What strikes me are two things:  (a) The disciples wereContinue reading “Thursday 24th February 2022”

Wednesday 23rd February 2022

MARK 7 It appears that Jesus turns his criticism onto dyed-in-the-wool religious traditionalists who refuse to move with the times.  Smugly, perhaps, we think of churches and denominations to which we would like to send our copy of Mark 7 with copious highlighting.  But Jesus wasn’t talking about these people at all!  The practice ofContinue reading “Wednesday 23rd February 2022”

Tuesday 22nd February 2022

EXODUS 31 and 32 Aaron comes across as a bit of a wimp!  He was naturally a man-pleaser who was apparently desperate to be liked and would push his own convictions to one side to avoid rejection or unpopularity.  He had been left in charge for 40 days and the natives were getting restless!  “MakeContinue reading “Tuesday 22nd February 2022”

Monday 21st February 2022

MARK 6 We are hard-wired only to accept an expert if he or she is from somewhere distant, has a mysterious history, and is slightly aloof.  If he comes from our hometown, his family is well known, we remember his childhood ‘scrapes’ and he openly shares his life with us – then he has noContinue reading “Monday 21st February 2022”

Sunday 20th February 2022

MARK 5 If he had lived today, he would simply have been ‘sectioned’ as insane.  He spoke in a multitude of different voices and claimed that Jesus was torturing him – clearly some kind of religious mania?  He seriously self-harmed and spent nights without sleep, wandering around graveyards and howling in despair.  But we knowContinue reading “Sunday 20th February 2022”

Saturday 19th February 2022

MARK 4 The Parable of the Sower is more logically the parable of the soil – since that is what really makes the difference here.  The seed, or the living word of God, is sown into all kinds of soil – just like a First Century farmer would do accidently.  Some of this soil hasContinue reading “Saturday 19th February 2022”

Friday 18th February 2022

MARK 3 If you have ever visited a great and beautiful building and arrived to see it under repair and covered in temporary scaffolding, you will have had that feeling of ‘let-down’, of second best.  The same is true of the Christian gospel when legalism has been allowed to wrap itself around it – andContinue reading “Friday 18th February 2022”

Thursday 17th February 2022

MARK 2 The front page of the Rome tabloids contains the following action scenes from the life of Jesus: Scene 1:  They gather to hear Jesus teach in Peter’s home in Capernaum and the place is rammed.  Four guys carry their paralysed friend onto the top floor and dig through the mud roof in orderContinue reading “Thursday 17th February 2022”

Wednesday 16th February 2022

EXODUS 17, 18, 19, and 20 In a desert, water is even more important than food, and cannot be stored as easily either.  Learning nothing from the ‘manna’ experience, they grumbled again against Moses, and by extension, against the Lord.  The solution was quick, simple, and miraculous: hit a rock with your staff and outContinue reading “Wednesday 16th February 2022”

Tuesday 15th February 2022

MARK 1 If Luke’s gospel is like the Daily Telegraph, then Mark’s is closer to the Mail, the Mirror, or the Express (or maybe the Son!!!).  It is written in a much racier, action-packed style, with short ‘scenes’ changing more rapidly than camera shots on a modern dance video.  In Mark, actions generally speak louderContinue reading “Tuesday 15th February 2022”

Monday 14th February 2022

MATTHEW 28 The Resurrection!  If you asked four eyewitnesses to describe truthfully the same event, it would probably surprise you how different their stories were from one another.  The same is true of the Resurrection accounts of the four gospel writers.  Consult a ‘harmony of gospels’ and see these accounts when laid out side byContinue reading “Monday 14th February 2022”

Sunday 13th February 2022

EXODUS 13 and 14 “Out of Egypt have I called my son” – said the Lord (Hosea 11:1;  Matthew 2:15).  Israel was God’s adopted son, his Firstborn (Exodus 4:22), and when Pharaoh continued to hold that ‘son’ captive, the Lord punished him by putting the firstborn of Egypt to death, rescuing Israel in the process. Continue reading “Sunday 13th February 2022”

Saturday 12th February 2022

MATTHEW 27 “The Crucifixion”:  The plot by the Jewish authorities to have Jesus killed was very difficult to organize and almost impossible to plan much in advance.  Jesus was enormously popular with the masses and the religious people were not.  Also, the Jews had no jurisdiction over the death penalty in an occupied Roman territory. Continue reading “Saturday 12th February 2022”

Friday 11th February 2022

EXODUS 9 and 10 Locusts are a pest!  A large swarm that might cover a square kilometre would devour 100,000 tons of vegetation in a single night!  Unsurprisingly they were seen as a sign of divine judgment.  When Moses conveyed God’s threat, Pharaoh’s officials advised playing safe and giving in to the Hebrews’ demands.  ToContinue reading “Friday 11th February 2022”

Thursday 10th February 2022

EXODUS 6, 7 and 8 Egypt became a battleground between Pharaoh, his magicians, his officials and the false gods of the land – against the Lord, Moses and Aaron.  The outcome was never in doubt!  Ten plagues of increasing severity were unleashed against the stubborn Egyptians, with God demonstrating his power and control over hisContinue reading “Thursday 10th February 2022”

Wednesday 9th February 2022

MATTHEW 26 Like a ski jumper heading for the great leap into the unknown, Jesus was now accelerating towards his crucifixion and resurrection, and his disciples were struggling to ‘keep up’.  In Matthew 26:2, he states, almost matter-of-factly, that in two days he will be arrested and crucified.  But first the scene shifts to theContinue reading “Wednesday 9th February 2022”

Tuesday 8th February 2022

EXODUS 1, 2, and 3 Some people never show gratitude, no matter how much blessing they receive.  The same applies to some nations.  Egypt had been rescued from starvation and annihilation by Joseph and his Israelite family – but national memories are short, and soon Israel was seen as a threat to them, in ratherContinue reading “Tuesday 8th February 2022”

Monday 7th February 2022

MATTHEW 25 “The Sheep and the Goats” – that fearsome piece of teaching from Jesus in Matthew 25 – what is it REALLY about?  Many would say that it is a judgment by God based on how many good works a person has done in his/her life, and how caring they have been towards theirContinue reading “Monday 7th February 2022”

Sunday 6th February 2022

JOB 38 and 39 Finally, in the last five chapters of Job, God himself takes centre stage!  He ‘appears’ concealed within a vast storm cloud and his voice probably carries more fear and awe than all that thunder and lightning!  The concealment of God’s full glory and presence within the cloud was perhaps for twoContinue reading “Sunday 6th February 2022”

Saturday 5th February 2022

MATTHEW 24 This chapter is extremely similar to Mark 13 – which is not really surprising, since it describes the same speaker on the same topic!  It is certainly possible that both the gospel writers derived material from a common source, or else one writer began with the other’s gospel in front of him.  BothContinue reading “Saturday 5th February 2022”

Friday 4th February 2022

MATTHEW 23 “You snakes!  You brood of vipers!  How will you escape being condemned to Hell?”  That was Jesus describing the most committed religious leaders of his day with their fasting, their tithing, their memorizing of the scriptures, and their devotion to God.  It goes to prove that sometimes your religious observances can be soContinue reading “Friday 4th February 2022”

Thursday 3rd February 2022

JOB 32, 33 and 34 Today, a new character appears on the scene: Elihu, whose name means ‘He is my God’.  A man is never going to be half-hearted with a name like that!  Having waited for his elders to exhaust their arguments with Job, he now takes the opportunity to launch his own defenceContinue reading “Thursday 3rd February 2022”

Wednesday 2nd February 2022

MATTHEW 22 Telling pointed parables about your opponents is a guaranteed way of offending them and of stirring up a hornets’ nest of retaliation.  Yet Jesus did not shirk from causing offence where the truth was concerned.  The chapter today is similar to Mark 12, but with a couple of differences in content.  The ‘pointedContinue reading “Wednesday 2nd February 2022”

Tuesday 1st February 2022

MATTHEW 21 Lots of exciting goings-on today in what seems to be one of those real-time 24-hour micro-documentaries of Jesus’ life.  It began at a village just outside Jerusalem called ‘House of Figs’ (Bethphage).  Nearby was also the village of Bethany – meaning ‘House of Affliction’ or ‘Poor House’ – where Jesus lodged during theContinue reading “Tuesday 1st February 2022”