The Rectory Bulletin
Sundays

The Danger of Bare Ritual

Sun 29th Aug 2021

Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (Mark 7:1-8) - The problem with the Pharisees was that their faith had become an external matter. Rules had supplanted relating to God. Earning God’s favour had replaced revelling in the grace of a forgiving God. Christianity is a matter of the heart.

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Sundays

Don’t Settle for Second Best

Sun 22nd Aug 2021

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:69, ESV) - God’s grace is not cheap, but it is worth everything. Christianity is not a thin veneer to can apply to your life, but it is your whole life. To try and knock off the bits of Christianity which offend is to lose it all. We end up with a cliche in sandals. Christianity may be radical, it may be costly, but then it should be. It is worth everything.

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Sundays

Careful How You Walk

Sun 15th Aug 2021

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-16) - True joy is not found in serving yourself, but in serving others. Not selfish, but selfless. This is what it is to be wise, to live in the presence of God.

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Sundays

More than a Teacher

Sun 08th Aug 2021

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst (John 6:35) - We would do well to allow Jesus to speak for himself, and to acknowledge the vast scope of the claims he makes about himself. As he himself will say much later: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). What words! What teaching.

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Sundays

The Bread that Endures

Sun 01st Aug 2021

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) - In a world which asserts that all religions are the same, and that to have no faith is as valid as having faith, these words of Jesus stand as an offence. They put him at the heart of any approach to God, and put belief in him as the “work” which restores us to God. This a claim to exclusivity. All must come through Christ.

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Sundays

What is the Kingdom of God?

Sun 25th Jul 2021

When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (John 6:14-15) - Never be satisfied with a merely external or physical form of faith. Embrace the Kingdom of God! Allow God to reign, and be transformed. Earthly kingdoms come and go, but the Kingdom of God lasts forever.

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Sundays

The Shepherd

Sun 18th Jul 2021

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:30-31) - So it is that Jesus the good shepherd is in fact the LORD returning to shepherd his people, those sheep without a shepherd. He is, as Isaiah foresees, the “righteous Branch” of King David. He is the one from the line of David who will reign. He is the one who will bring Salvation to Judah. He is the one who is called “The LORD is our righteousness”.

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Chronological Snobbery

Sat 17th Jul 2021

Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you. (Deuteronomy 32:7) - Oh Christian, you stand at the forefront of twenty centuries of the church! The pages of the past are written with tales of our spiritual forebears, and their words still ring clear. The history of the church is our family history, and enriches our experience of the present. Be wary of falling for something simply because it’s new. Often it isn’t, it’s just something which was dismissed in the past and then forgotten.

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Books

Fri 16th Jul 2021

When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. (1 Timothy 4:13) - So where to start? That is a more difficult question now than it was twenty years ago. By and large Christian bookshops have disappeared, and even a city as large as Bristol has none. Surprisingly, though, there are two near us: one in Newent with a cafe attached, and another in Bromyard. Neither are huge, but they do give an opportunity to flip through some pages before you buy.

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Why Bother with Prayer?

Thu 15th Jul 2021

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) - At its base, prayer is consciously being in the presence of God. It is talking to God. It is an awareness that this is a place where God is, and that makes a difference. Some prayer may be wordless - at times words are hard to find - or a pouring out of the heart. It might be silent, spoken or written. Perhaps the written prayers of others might act as a ‘starter’ to begin prayer, or it might be that your own words flow more easily. Some wrestle in prayer at night, others might speak a single line in the midst of the day.

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Why the Bible?

Wed 14th Jul 2021

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105) - In the Scriptures we have a document which spans many centuries, and has stood the test of the passing millennia. The church through the ages has attested to its inspired nature, and is has proved to be the link between us now and the church throughout the ages. Given it is the “Word of the Lord” it has an eternal relevance, and can also serve to challenge our sometimes lazy presuppositions.

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Influence

Tue 13th Jul 2021

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:16) - Christianity is not a private affair, but is lived out in the public sphere. As God has done good for us, so we do good for others and thereby win influence for the gospel.

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The Bishop of our Souls

Mon 12th Jul 2021

For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25) - Sheep are not the brightest of beasts, and are prone to wander. Any small hole in a hedge poses a challenge, any gap is a call to escape. The thing with sheep is that they thoroughly enjoy wandering off, as if they were browsing the hedges for bargains. And such were we, but now the great shepherd of our souls has rounded us up and brought us to rich pastures. Now we graze under his protective eye. Yet this shepherd is more than simply an external guide, he is also the “overseer of your souls”. He it is who, though our consciences, prods us onto the right paths.

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Sundays

The Sorry Tale of King Herod

Sun 11th Jul 2021

And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. (Mark 6:26) - Herod and John. One who looked around for approval, and the other who only looked up. One who only listened, and the other who also acted. One who held all that he had close to him, and the other who put it all in God’s hands. Two choices as to how to live are clearly laid out in front of us.

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Being Courteous

Sat 10th Jul 2021

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9) - Courtesy is a child of grace, and as Christians we have received extraordinary grace from God. As we receive, so we give. As one much forgiven we forgive much. As one on whom Christ had compassion, we are compassionate to others. As we follow a much mocked and insulted Christ, we endure those insults in good humour.

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Providence

Keep Watch!

Fri 09th Jul 2021

The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. (Ecclesiastes 2:14) - The calling of God is a calling not only to believe certain things, but also to put them into practice. It is as these two aspects align themselves that true satisfaction is found. To walk out your faith is to find a path to contentment. It is also a deep witness to your faith - you are willing to put it into practice.

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Providence

Alone

Wed 07th Jul 2021

“For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10) - The history of the church is long, and often perilous. At times persecutions break out, and great pressure is put on Christians to abandon their faith. At other times, though, the pressure is subtler and far more dangerous for the future of the church.

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Providence

Walking in the Way

Tue 06th Jul 2021

And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. (Galatians 6:16) - For many long centuries we have seen ourselves as a Christian nation, and so to walk the Christian path has been straightforward. Now, though, the Christian walk might be different to societies norms. No matter. In the end there is only one path which leads to “peace and mercy”.

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Providence

Living Out Your High Calling

Mon 05th Jul 2021

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called (Ephesians 4:1). - William Dobbie was a staunch Christian, and would often surprise dinner guests by calling them to prayer at the end of meals. In Parliament, Churchill once said of him: “That remarkable man, General Dobbie — a Cromwellian figure at a key point, fighting with his Bible in one hand and his sword in the other.” ... You have been called to a task, and to a way of life. God calls you by name, and says follow.

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Sundays

Letting Jesus Be Jesus

Sun 04th Jul 2021

He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” - To put it simply, ask yourself this question: who is Jesus to you? Is he someone you’ve created in your own image, a better version of yourself at your best. Have you stripped him of his glory, of his divinity, and made him simply a good teacher? Have you created an imaginary Messiah, or allowed Jesus to speak for himself?

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Providence

Pray for Them

Sat 03rd Jul 2021

But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ (Luke 15:17-19). - The interesting phrase here is: “he came to himself”. I am sure we all have friends and family who are not Christian, and maybe they have been dismissive of any conversation about the faith for many years. This doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of the matter: you can still pray. Pray that the person will “come to himself”. The prodigal was not with anyone when this took place, he was simply by himself

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Providence

Oh the Wonderful Grace of God

Fri 02nd Jul 2021

I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. (Psalm 152:1-2) - The wonderful thing is that the more you realise the holy vastness of God, the smaller you feel. The smaller you feel, the more you realise how gracious God is in dealing with you. How marvellous it is to be able to rely upon an entirely dependable God! Oh the joy of receiving the grace of God.

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Providence

Afflictions

Thu 01st Jul 2021

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) - At times God uses our afflictions to draw us to him. At other times, we struggle with something or other which reminds us that we are not as perfect we as think. And then we fall upon God’s grace. Afflictions are, as in the case with the Apostle Paul, a means to a greater glory

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Providence

God and Sin

Wed 30th Jun 2021

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death… Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:13-17) - We do bear the consequences for our own actions, but God has also extended to us the offer of forgiveness. Rather than thinking we are good enough, better to see that Christ is entirely good and allow him to bear our sins for us. The cross is, after all, a sign of grace and mercy.

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Providence

Warriors and the Will of God

Tue 29th Jun 2021

Against a godless nation I send [Assyria], and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few … When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes. (Isaiah 10:6-7, 12) - Just before his death, Moses warned the people that if they turn to other gods, then they will lose the land. The only way to maintain life in the land is to obey the commandments of God.

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Providence

What About Evil Deeds?

Mon 28th Jun 2021

“this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” (Acts 2:23) - Right at the end of Genesis Joseph is speaking with his brothers, those brothers who threw him into a pit and then sold him into slavery. The brothers were fearful that Joseph would take revenge, but he assured them: “as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Never think God is absent in the face of evil. He is not.

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Sundays

How Do You Approach God?

Sun 27th Jun 2021

hen came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And he went with him. (Mark 5:22-24) And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. (Mark 5:25-27 )- Here in this passage we find two starkly contrasting people, but the same result. They both reached out. Will you?

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Providence

Above Nature

Fri 25th Jun 2021

“He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,” (Romans 4:19–20) - The history of the Church is scattered with unpromising people who were mightily used by God. God is able to act above nature, and that is something which gives great hope. You may feel a small Christian, but you have a great God. And that is plenty.

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Providence

God Does as He Pleases

Thu 24th Jun 2021

“But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God. I will not save them by bow or by sword or by war or by horses or by horsemen.” (Hosea 1:7) - To be Creator implies not only a mastery over creation so that it can be used to bring about whatever God wishes, but also the right to act in a way which takes priority over the created order.

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Providence

The Means to an End

Wed 23rd Jun 2021

“And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship’s boat into the sea under pretence of laying out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.”” (Acts 27:30–31) - “He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.” (Acts 27:43–44) - To have a belief in a God who is sovereign over all should not imply we simply have to sit back and do nothing. Yes God decrees the end of things, but he also decrees the means by which this end will come about. Yes, we are secure in God’s hands but we also have to follow the commands he gives.

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Providence

What is an Act of God?

Tue 22nd Jun 2021

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) - “Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD of hosts is his name:” (Jeremiah 31:35) - Old insurance policies used to mention “Acts of God”, by which they meant unusual and unforeseen events such as earthquakes, lightning strikes or volcano eruptions. The problem with this language, though, is it relegates God to the realm of the spectacular. It assumes that God can only act in ways which overwhelm and draw attention.

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Providence

Who Killed Jesus?

Mon 21st Jun 2021

“this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (Acts 2:23–24) - In these couple of verses, then, we see something of the way in which God brings his will into being. He determines something will come to pass, and humans bring it about. They are acting in accordance with their will, but God’s will is deeper. They may even seek to defy God, but that might simply be a means to an end.

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Sundays

Is God Sleeping?

Sun 20th Jun 2021

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:27-39) - Oh Christian you will encounter storms in life, times when life seems to be sinking and hope fades in the darkness. This is when your faith counts, this is when belief has to be put into practice. In all places and at all times remember that Jesus has said to you: “I am with you always” and so he will be. Pray with confidence, and trust in the one who keeps his promises. You may think God is sleeping, but maybe something greater is in mind.

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Providence

To the Praise of God’s Glory

Sat 19th Jun 2021

“Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.” (Isaiah 63:14) - “… so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10) - “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”” (Romans 9:17) - “They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:7) - To give God glory is to understand that he is full of a weighty holiness. To give him his due. It is also to recognise God for his goodness, wisdom and power.

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Providence

Advisors and Counsellors

Fri 18th Jun 2021

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…” (Ephesians 1:11) - “The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:10–11) - There is a danger in not seeking the wisdom of others, as the book of Proverbs is quick to point out: “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Going it alone in the spiritual realm is a hazardous path, and if you are not careful you find that it is not so much God you believe in. It is yourself.

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Providence

The God who Foresees

Thu 17th Jun 2021

After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’” (Acts 15:13–18) - From his vantage point in eternity God knows all things, and is not trapped as we are in the narrow tunnel of time. To trust in God is not to place your hopes in one who will be surprised by a turn of events. It is to trust in one who already knows. It is to trust in one who writes his great plan of redemption on the fabric of time, and who brings to fruition plans laid centuries before.

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Providence

Wise and Holy

Wed 16th Jun 2021

“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3) “O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (Psalm 104:24) “The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17) - Power may corrupt imperfect human beings, but fortunately for us God is not a bigger version of a human. He is good. His is not corruptible.

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Providence

From the Greatest to the Least

Tue 15th Jun 2021

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:29–33) - Never feel too unimportant to raise your voice to heaven, or think something is too trivial to bring before God. God may guide the affairs of the nations, but he also notices the individual. He is concerned with the greatest and the least.

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Providence

The Divine Controller

Mon 14th Jun 2021

At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34–35) - God needs no more from us, than the model railway builder needs from the little tiny model of a dog. To know God as almighty, is to regain a sense of things being under control.

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Sundays

God Given Growth

Sun 13th Jun 2021

“With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” - So Christian, fret not! We may be weak but God is strong. The Gospel is still good news, and the scriptures still have their power. Mustard plants need mustard seeds, and revivals in the fortune of the church need small starts. Maybe what we are experiencing now is just the beginning of that small start.

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Providence

The Great Upholder

Sat 12th Jun 2021

“He [Jesus] upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). - Life not only came from God, but continues to come from God. This is the way in which Christ “upholds” the universe, and This act of upholding serves to underline our entire dependence upon God. We not only owe him our existence, but also our continuing existence. As life flows back into the countryside in Spring, it flows from God. As life ebbs from the body at death, it continues in eternity before God.

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Providence

What is Providence?

Fri 11th Jun 2021

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17) - Providence is not a word much used in Christian speech. Whilst a very common concept in the writings of previous ages, for whatever reason it has faded from much of the modern church. Providence is more than mere foreknowledge. In Christian terms it is the understanding that God continues to care for his creation and his people. And he cares through providing for it and for us.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Gentleness

Thu 10th Jun 2021

It is only when we realise that we, like all others, are flawed individuals that we can gain a true perspective on ourselves. It is as we acknowledge we get things wrong, we are ready to learn and to seek forgiveness. Gentleness is not weakness. It is simply being realistic.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Self-Control

Wed 09th Jun 2021

Self-control is the ability to restrain your emotions. To say no to impulses or desires as they begin to rise. It is putting your head in charge of your heart, and detecting your emotions. Are they legitimate, or something you’ll regret in ten minutes time? Is this really the best way to behave? Shouldn’t this temptation be resisted? It is a product of patience and an abiding joy in life. It is a quality of someone who is kind and good, who is trustworthy and doesn’t think too highly of themself.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Faithfulness

Wed 09th Jun 2021

Faithfulness is about being someone in whom other people can trust. You are reliable and committed, not swept along by whatever fad flits across the screen that particular day. It is, to quote the standard dictionary, “that which evokes trust and faith” or “the state of being someone in whom confidence can be placed”. If we are to be faithful people ourselves, we would be best advised to follow the Christ who is deeply faithful. This is a fruit of the Spirit which gives deep and enduring foundations.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Goodness

Mon 07th Jun 2021

Is there an eternal measure of what is good? Well, yes. If we hold that God is both good and eternal, then goodness is to be found in his character, actions and teachings. To be good is to be upright, just and trustworthy. Christ taught, healed and gave up his life so that others might be reconciled to God. There is goodness. It is a generosity, and a willingness to self-sacrifice. It is an interest in the welfare of others. When it comes to deciding between good and evil, it is vital to do so using a standard which transcends culture and time. No wonder Jesus said: “No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)

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Sundays

Mad, Bad or God?

Sun 06th Jun 2021

How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. (Mark 3:22-28) - Perhaps you view him as someone who is trustworthy in parts, or a good teacher who was made a messiah by mistake. If so, think on this: Jesus made tremendous claims to be God. He dared to teach on his own authority, and forgive sins. Something which only God has the right to do.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Kindness

Sat 05th Jun 2021

Very often the word “kind” is equated with “nice”, but that does little justice to what the word meant in Greek when Paul wrote Galatians. The word he used - chrēstótēs - primarily means behaving in an upright manner with people. It’s not misleading them, or deceiving them. For Paul, the word “kindness” means being open and honest, and not hiding uncomfortable truths. This is the truly helpful and beneficial thing to do.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Patience

Fri 04th Jun 2021

The present is one of the hardest times in which to live, living entirely in the here and now, not anchored down by past regrets or consumed with yearnings for future promises. Patience is trusting in God for your future and having a deep sense that in the end his timing is probably better than yours. It is living in the present, and not being dominated by a future which might never happen.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Peace

Thu 03rd Jun 2021

Peace is a cousin to joy, and swims in stiller, deeper waters. Rather than simply being the absence of war, or of strife, peace also points to a state of wellbeing. It is a deep calmness which withstands the buffets of waves, and the whirling winds of anxiety. When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”

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Fruits of the Spirit

Joy

Wed 02nd Jun 2021

The greek word translated ‘joy’ (chara) has the wonderful definition “the experience of gladness”. In Christian terms this comes from a sense of security in God. You are his, since he gave up his son for you. The Spirit of God resides within you, and you are in his care. This joy can bubble up in difficulty, and sustain in times of struggle. It is the kind of joyful security we see in Deuteronomy 33:27 where we read: “the eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms”.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Love

Tue 01st Jun 2021

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-24) - In the passage, Paul is using the word: “agapē”. It is a kind of love which is not based on self interest, but on a warmth for another. It is not the sort of love that leads to marriage, but rather an affectionate esteem for another person. It’s not limited to intimate relationships, and only very rarely did the Greeks of the day use it to describe anything sexual.

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Fruits of the Spirit

Fruitful Living

Mon 31st May 2021

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-24) - At times you may feel a million miles away from patience and self-control. Joy and peace might feel like far distant hopes. At these times the answer is not positive thinking, or sheer effort. No, times like these are calls to put down roots.

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Sundays

Adopted

Sun 30th May 2021

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:21-17) - Some treat Christianity as being fostered: you can only stay with God as long as you behave yourself; you might be moved on at any moment. That is to misunderstand things. Adoption is permanent. The papers have been signed. You are now a child of God. If have decided to follow Christ, you are a Child of God and the Holy Sprit within you acts as your adoption papers. He bears witness with your spirit that you are a child of God.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Spirit of God

Sat 29th May 2021

"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” (John 15:26) - And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6) - Here then is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. This Spirit is as much God as the Father and the Son are, but we must be careful not to think of him simply as some vague force.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Son of the Father

Fri 28th May 2021

“but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:2–3) - So it is that Jesus is not another God, but simply the God. God made manifest. The God made known. The image of the invisible God.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Uncreated Father

Thu 27th May 2021

In the beginning, God... (Genesis 1:1) - God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14) - Often when you meet someone, you ask them: “where are you from”. God alone can answer: nowhere. He just is. In the beginning God was already there, and his name is simply “I AM WHO I AM”. He just is. We can describe him, but we cannot define him. Deeper than all my thought, emotions and intuition is God. Who is.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Trinity

Wed 26th May 2021

“And when Jesus was baptised, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”” (Matthew 3:16–17) - As our heads gently swim, perhaps I might put it this way: we believe in the Trinity, because the Father acts like God, Jesus acts like God and the Spirit acts like God. Yet we know that God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4). Quite how it works, we leave to God. That it works is clear in the pages of the Bible.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Very Meet, Right, and our Bounden Duty

Tue 25th May 2021

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Revelation 5:12–14) - At times it is easy to live your life with eyes cast down, and shoes shuffling along the pavement. It is at precisely that time that you need to look up and realise the great majesty of God. A God who knows you by name!

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Righteous and Kind

Mon 24th May 2021

“The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17) - God may be the judge, but he is also the one who sent his Son so that we might be forgiven. God is “kind”. To have a God who is both righteous and kind; well that is a most comforting balance. God judges, but God forgives. What a God we have!

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Sundays

Pentecost

Sun 23rd May 2021

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:1-2) - So it is that Pentecost burst onto the world, bringing together word and Spirit as Joel’s words pointed to what was happening. Bringing together Old and New Testaments that selfsame prophet’s prophecies were fulfilled. Bringing all peoples together as they shared in the joyous call of God. We may long for such days again, but don’t simply long. Allow that longing to turn you to prayer, prayer that God’s church might once more be revived.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Infinite, Infallible, and Self-Contained

Fri 21st May 2021

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor?” (Romans 11:33–34) - We unconsciously imagine him to be bound by culture, and time. As if an eternal God knows more than he did back then. As if the God who himself is the definition of truth, makes mistakes. As if our very salvation, and our hopes for eternal life are in the hands of a fallible God.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

God Sees

Thu 20th May 2021

"And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) - Some might find this idea that God sees all a threatening one. But then, the realisation that regardless of this Christ still died to gain your forgiveness dawns. What Grace that is! However much you screw up your eyes, you are not out of the sight of God. That, though, should be a comfort!

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Sovereign God

Wed 19th May 2021

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11) - “which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” (1 Timothy 6:15) - God can do what he pleases, and we should be very wary of sitting in judgment over him. We know very little in comparison to his all knowing knowledge. Better to trust that God is good, and that he works all things for good for those who love him.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The God of All Things

Tue 18th May 2021

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) - For anyone to be able to say that they fully understand God is to claim that they are in fact greater than he is. That their finite mind can contain the infinite! In the end, we owe all that we are to the eternal God.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

God Derives No Glory From Us

Mon 17th May 2021

“So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17:10) - We must be wary of thinking that we are doing God a favour with our devotion and energies. He needs no favours, but rather our actions are a rich response to his grace. A joyful echo of what we have received from him. The glory is not in the thing that is produced, but in the majestic God which prompted all of this in the first place.

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Sundays

In the World, but not of the World

Sun 16th May 2021

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (John 17:6) - Christian! The Father has taken you from the world and placed you in the secure hands of Christ. You will find no safer, or more secure place in which to dwell.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The All Sufficient God

Sat 15th May 2021

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” (Acts 17:24–25) - Perhaps rather than helping God out we would let him help us out. Rather than making him ‘up to date’ we should realise he is timeless. If God is God, perhaps we would do better to trust him, his message and his methods.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Sure and Certain

Sat 15th May 2021

“After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’” (Acts 15:16–18) - And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.” (Ezekiel 11:5) - Whereas our plans are often contingent on other things, and less than certain, not so with the Almighty. What God says will occur, will occur

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Blessedness

Fri 14th May 2021

he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honour and eternal dominion. Amen.” (1 Timothy 6:15–16) - To be blessed is to be the recipient of something which brings joy and is undeserved. It is to live in a state of thankfulness, knowing that someone else has favoured you. Treat all things like a blessing, and it’s like living as if everyday were your birthday!

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Goodness

Thu 13th May 2021

“You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.” (Psalm 119:68) - It is only as we live in accordance with God’s statutes that we can be a reliable judge of “good”, and experience the fullness of goodness. Let God, not anyone else, be the arbiter of “good”.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The God of Glory

Wed 12th May 2021

And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,” (Acts 7:2) - It is easy to acknowledge that we rely upon God for life, but not often easy to depend on him for glory or worth. Better to seek the Lord in whom all wisdom is to be found, and who alone can give you a meaning which endures.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

God Has All Life

Tue 11th May 2021

“But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.” (Jeremiah 10:10) - “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” (John 5:25–26) - I AM. God just is. God has no beginning or end because he is simply ‘being’. God has “life in himself” and so all life is a gift from God. I wonder, how do you use it?

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Westminster Confession of Faith

He Will by No Means Clear the Guilty

Mon 10th May 2021

The LORD ... keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty. (Exodus 34:7) - The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. (Nahum 1:3) - The move from iniquity to repentance is a move from guilt to forgiveness. It is a humbling thing, but also a liberating thing. It might not be natural to us, it might even take years, but the Lord is patient.

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Sundays

As Christ Loved You

Sun 09th May 2021

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. (John 15:9) - That is the church - the living body of Christ. Not simply a charity or a building, but a people called together by God himself. What an awe inspiring vision, what a wonderful prospect. So, go and love each other as Christ loved you.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

God and Sin

Sat 08th May 2021

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18) - Christ’s righteousness covers over the unrighteousness of all who turn to him. In Christ, God provides us with a solution.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Justice of God

Fri 07th May 2021

Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. (Nehemiah 9:32–33) - It is as we come to terms with the justice of God that we begin to grasp the wonderful, deep grace of his forgiveness. As we realise how far short we have fallen, the bloody, reconciling sacrifice of Christ on the cross becomes more precious

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Rewarder of Those Who Seek Him

Thu 06th May 2021

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) - The best way to seek God then, is to read this revelation. It is to pray and live in the knowledge that God exists. It is to realise that the world revolves around him, and not around you! It is a revolution in the way you view the world.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

A God All-Gracious

Wed 05th May 2021

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6–7) - The fact that he sent his only Son so that we might be reconciled back to him is sheer grace. The fact that Jesus’s death has washed away those sins which we commit is abundant mercy. The fact that he sticks with us is great patience indeed. That he forgives “iniquity and transgression and sin” is something to be cherished.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

A Most Loving God

Tue 04th May 2021

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. (1 John 4:8–9) - So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16) - This is what love truly looks like, it is not simply an emotion or a feeling but active and reconciling. It is the means by which God brings forgiveness, and restores sinful humans to a holy God.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Glory of God

Mon 03rd May 2021

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36) - Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. (Revelation 4:11) - When we give glory to God, we are giving him the weighty seriousness he deserves. God’s glory means he shouldn’t be taken lightly, or dismissed with a brief “I’m sure God wouldn’t mind”. People get nervous when the Queen enters the room. How much more the King of Kings!

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Sundays

Abiding in God

Sun 02nd May 2021

This is how the Christian bears fruit which glorify God. As Jesus I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:1) - The practice of abiding in Christ is a lifelong task, something which deepens and becomes more rich over time. This is how the Christian bears fruit which glorify God. As Jesus says: “apart from me you can do nothing”. As Jesus warns: “if anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned”. The soil of Christ is rich indeed. Christian - put down your roots!

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Prevailing Will of God

Sat 01st May 2021

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11) - To have this confidence in God’s will is something which will keep you going through the darker turns of life. Rather than just fatalism, it is knowing that you are being shepherded by a God who both loves you and sent his son to die for you. The prevailing will of God is the most wonderful thing.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Most Absolute God

Fri 30th Apr 2021

I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me (Isaiah 45:5) - “Besides me there is no God”. In a world which is skeptical about absolute truth, here is one absolute which we cannot avoid. We may not be aware of the existence of God, or reject his existence outright, but neither of these things affect the fact that he does exist. Absolute truths might be rejected, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It just means you don’t like them.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Entirely Free

Thu 29th Apr 2021

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. (Psalm 115:3) - The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,” (Isaiah 14:24) - Unlike us, God’s freedom is not limited in any way. He is not subject to anyone else’s rules and regulations, not does he change or age. He is all-knowing and all-powerful, and so his will cannot be defeated by another. He is entirely free, whereas our freedom is limited.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Holy, Holy, Holy

Wed 28th Apr 2021

And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3) - And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8) - One of the great themes of the Bible is: God is holy, and we are not. When Moses approaches the burning bush, he has to remove his shoes since he is on holy ground. He is to come no closer. When the law is given on the mountaintop, the Israelites are warned not even to touch the mountain.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

God Most Wise

Tue 27th Apr 2021

to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:27) - To understand that God is wise, means that he is timeless and trustworthy in all that he says. A wisdom which takes a wider view, and transcends modern fads, fashions and trends.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Almighty God

Mon 26th Apr 2021

When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,” (Genesis 17:1) - And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8) - All creation is of his making, and he has power over it all. God cannot be resisted or overcome. He is All-Mighty.

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Sundays

The Good Shepherd

Sun 25th Apr 2021

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11–18) - Oh sheep, as you wander Jesus seeks you out! Can you hear his voice, calling you home in accent clear and urgent? As you stray, look up and see the shepherd coming to you. Here is one who alone can safely lead you though death, and bring you to the heavenly fold. Listen to no other voices, and follow no other paths. There is but one good shepherd. And he seeks you out.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Is God Incomprehensible?

Sat 24th Apr 2021

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:3) - To try and reinvent God, perhaps through attempting to make him more palatable to the present age, is simply to invent an idol. No, we need to allow God to be God, and to trust that all that we need to know about him he has revealed to us.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Eternal God

Fri 23rd Apr 2021

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2) - “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17) - We needn’t look back to the events recorded in Scripture and think that they deal with a different God from whom we are separated by millennia. God is as present to us as he was to them. He is much “I AM” now as he was then. For God, forever is simply now.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The God who is Immense

Thu 22nd Apr 2021

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! (1 Kings 8:27) - God’s immensity doesn’t mean that he is simply a very big being, bigger than anything else. It means that he is present everywhere. There is nowhere where he is not: as the old prayer has it, he is “everywhere present and fillest all things”. He is omnipresent

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Does God Change?

Wed 21st Apr 2021

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) - “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6) - As we age, the aches begin to dog our joints and names seem to evaporate from the tip of the tongue. Things which our twenty-year old selves thought were dull and boring, become familiar and comforting. Joy turns to sorrow, anger flares up and then ebbs into regret. Compassion pricks our conscience, and sympathy brings tears. God’s love for us does not wane or change, and it is already pure and total. God’s goodness is entire and eternal. He is a firm foundation for our faith. He is utterly reliable, and a safe haven for all our hope.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

A Bodiless God

Tue 20th Apr 2021

“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.” (Deuteronomy 4:15–18) - The Israelites were warned not to imagine God as having any form, as being like anything which he has created. What nonsense it is to imagine God as being simply a larger version of something he has created. That would be like imagining Mary Berry is in fact a large Victoria Sponge!

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Westminster Confession of Faith

A Most Pure Spirit

Mon 19th Apr 2021

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth”. (John 4:24) - “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17) - God is spirit, and yet we are material. God is infinite, and we are not. God is spirit. He is not simply a bigger and better version of human beings. He is other. He is spirit.

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Sundays

The World Changed

Sun 18th Apr 2021

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:45–48) - Here then is the resurrection. A physical resurrection, long foretold in the Scriptures. An event which enables those selfsame Scriptures to be truly understood. An event which then puts Jesus - his name - at the core of the unfolding revelation of God, and which sends out the disciples to bear witness to these events. Every church, every Christian that you see today is but an after-echo of that event. The world was changed that day. Will you be changed too?

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Infinite in Being and Perfection

Sat 17th Apr 2021

Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. (Job 11:7–9) - The idea of the infinity of God is rich. It demonstrates his perfection, as he is not limited by anything. There is no lack in his holiness, or possibility that it can be greater. An infinite God is always at hand, and always present to us.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

Living and True

Fri 16th Apr 2021

“But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.” (Jeremiah 10:10) - “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9–10) - God is truth, and since he created the heavens and the earth he alone has the power and authority to define what truth actually is. He is the measure by which we discern what is, and what is not, true.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The One and Only God

Thu 15th Apr 2021

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:4–6) - In the ancient world, there was an assumption that each group of people had their own god. Against this background Judaism stood alone, with its insistence that there is in fact only one God.

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Westminster Confession of Faith

The Westminster Assembly

Wed 14th Apr 2021

“Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.” (Joel 1:14) - On 15th October 1642 Parliament passed a bill which called for a gathering of “divines” in London to revise the Thirty-Nine Articles, which stand as the statement of faith for the Church of England. These divines were to be people who were learned in the faith, and among their number were theologians, bishops and ministers of other denominations.

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