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Showing posts from July, 2017

Prayer is about what we're becoming as well as what we're saying.

"Lord, teach us to pray ... Ask, seek, knock ... " (Luke 11:1,9).
Prayer is more than a form of words. It's about what we're becoming as well as what we're saying. Are we becoming people who are learning to say, "What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer"? "Take it to the Lord in prayer" - Teach us, Lord, to do this.

Faith and Holiness

Let us never forget the importance of faith and holiness – 'without faith it is impossible to please God ... without holiness no-one will see the Lord' (Hebrews 11:6; 12:14). We are to 'live holy and godly lives' – 'make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love ... if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ'. In all of this, let us never forget to give all the glory to our Saviour – 'To Him be glory both now and for ever!' (2 Peter 3:11; 1:5-11; 3:18).

Keep On Worshipping The Lord.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
It's great that we are able to encourage one another in the Lord. Hebrews 10:25 speaks about "the assembling of ourselves together" and "exhorting one another." Each of us has a particular ministry of encouragement to those with whom we are gathered together to worship the Lord. It is a privilege to be able to share something of this ministry of encouragement with other people. We encourage one another in the Lord when we gather together for worship (Hebrews 10:25). The preaching of Christ strengthens our faith (Romans 10:17). What a great encouragement it is to know that "God is pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe" (1 Corinthians 1:21). What happens in …

In all that we do, we need love.

"Christ makes me bold enough to order you to do the right thing. 9 However, I would prefer to make an appeal on the basis of love" (Philemon 8-9). 
In all that we do, we need love. We learn this love from Jesus "who loved us and gave himself for us" (Galatians 2:20).

Saved - by grace, for good works, to be a witness

 * Saved by grace - "He saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain His approval. Instead, because of his mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5). 
 * Saved for good works - "God’s saving kindness ... trains us to avoid ungodly lives filled with worldly desires so that we can live self-controlled, moral, and godly lives in this present world" (Titus 2:11-12).
 *  Saved to be a witness - We are to "show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything we do" (Titus 2:10). Witness is more than what we say. It's what we do. Our whole life - words as well as actions - is to point people away from ourselves to our Saviour.

"I have fought the good fight. I have completed the race. I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).

The good fight, the race, the faith - three descriptions of the Christian life: It's a fight to be fought - in the strength of the Lord.It's a race to be run. It's a faith to be kept. How are we to keep on running? How are we to keep on believing? We need the Lord. He gives us the strength that we need to keep on running, to keep on believing.

God hasn’t stopped speaking to us through His Word – but have we stopped listening to Him?

Some people say, “Surely, you don’t believe the Bible.” They say that the Bible belongs to the past. It’s not for us today. This kind of talk takes us right back to the Garden of Eden – “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1).  The Bible says that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God?” (2 Timothy 3:16).  Who are we to say that the Bible needs to be rewritten – so that it only says what we want it to say to us? God hasn’t stopped speaking to us through His Word – but have we stopped listening to Him?
* In our cynical world, we hear that “It doesn’t matter what you believe because what you believe doesn’t matter.” When we find ourselves starting to think like this, let’s remember this: God’s Word is unchanged.
* Sometimes, we look back over our life, and we think, “I used to love reading the Bible – but somewhere along the line, something’s changed.” What’s changed? Has God’s Word changed? No! It hasn’t changed. When our feelings change, let’s not forget this: God’s …

God's written Word (the Bible) points us to God's living Word (Jesus Christ).

"The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15).
Reading the Scriptures, we become wise for salvation as we find Christ who is our Wisdom (2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Corinthians 1:30).In the Bible, we have God's written Word. The Bible points us to Christ. he is God's living Word - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14). What do we learn as we read God's written Word? - This is what we learn: "Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so." God speaks to us His written Word so that we may come to trust in Christ, the living Word - "from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ J…

The Mystery Of Godliness ...

"I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God ... the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh ..." (1 Timothy 3:15-16).
We read, in 1 Timothy 3:16, of our deeply-held convictions concerning our Saviour, Jesus Christ: "God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." Paul is not only speaking about beliefs that we hold with our minds - 'I believe this about Christ. I believe that about Him.' He's speaking about beliefs that change the way we live - "how you conduct yourselves in the house of God" (1 Timothy 3:15).
When Paul speaks about "the mystery of godliness", he's speaking about "God was manifested in the flesh". He's also speaking about "how we conduct ourselves in the house of God." This is the practical mystery - How can sinners live…

More Than Words ...

"Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction" (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
We need more than words. We need the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tychicus and Epaphras ...

"I’m sending Tychicus to you. He is our dear brother, trustworthy deacon, and partner in the Lord’s work. He will tell you everything that is happening to me. 8 I’m sending him to you so that you may know how we are doing and so that he may encourage you ...Epaphras, a servant of Christ Jesus from your city, greets you. He always prays intensely for you. He prays that you will continue to be mature and completely convinced of everything that God wants. 13 I assure you that he works hard for you and the people in Laodicea and Hierapolis" (Colossians 4:7-8,12-13).
In Colossians 4:7-18, we have 'greetings from Paul and his co-workers.' Two of these co-workers were Tychicus and Epaphras. What a great example they have set for us. Tychicus was "trustworthy." He brought encouragement to others. Epaphras was a man of prayer and a hard worker. We need more people like them. We need to become more like them.

Bible Notes by G. Philip

‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’

God calls us to pray - ‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’ We are to pray with concern - ‘watchful.’ We are to pray with gratitude - ‘thankful (Colossians 4:2). We are to pray for those who preach God’s Word. Thank God for the past. Trust Him for the future. Remember - the important thing is the ‘message’ (Colossians 4:3). The messengers are just ‘jars of clay’. The message is the ‘treasure’ (2 Corinthians 4:7). The messengers must not draw attention to themselves. They must direct attention away from themselves to Jesus Christ - ‘We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord’ (2 Corinthians 4:5). We are to pray that the message will be ‘clear’ (Colossians 4:4). Pray for good preaching - preaching which does you good, giving you good cause to say in your heart, ‘For me it is good to be near God’ (Psalm 73:28). Pray for preaching which glorifies God.

Thankfulness is a way of life.

"Everything you say or do should be done in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17).
Thankfulness is a way of life. It is to affect everything we say. It is to affect everything we do.

"If you have died with Christ to the world’s way of doing things, why do you let others tell you how to live?" (Colossians 2:20).others tell you how to live?" (Colossians 2:20).

This is a very good question. It's a question that needs to be asked. It's a question that must be answered. May our answer be, 'We will live Christ's way - not the world's way' - "As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Above all, be loving" (Colossians 3:12-14).

"Be careful not to let anyone rob you of this faith through a shallow and misleading philosophy" (Colossians 2:8).

There are some ideas which sound good - if you don't look too closely at what they're really saying. They say to us, "You have a problem. This is how you can sort things out for yourself." Really? We can sort things out for ourselves, can we? This is exactly what God's Word says we can't do. We need Jesus to sort things out for us. Without Him, we are lost. We try to sort things out for ourselves. What happens when it doesn't work? Do we just look for something else, some other way of sorting things for ourselves? or Do we consider the possibility that we've been starting from the wrong place. We're staring with "I", when we should be starting with God. What does "a shallow and misleading philosophy" do for us? It leads us to think that we can sort ourselves out, we can make something of ourselves. There's a problem with this kind of thinking. It's man-centred. It tells us we can do something about our prob…

Spiritual Wisdom

Colossians 1:9
"Spiritual wisdom" is "knowledge of God's will." It doesn't take us up into the clouds - and leave us there. It lifts us up - and puts our feet back on the ground again. Spiritual wisdom isn't just knowing a lot about God. It's learning to do His will.

In the Lord ...

"Always be joyful in the Lord ... I know how to live in poverty or prosperity" (Philippians 4:4,12).
In the Lord - This is the important thing. Poverty with the Lord is better than prosperity without Him.

No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.

Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ is more important and more wonderful than everything else (Philippians 3:8).
Paul's testimony lifts us above the shallow superficiality of the worldly way of thinking. Too often, we attach too much importance to the things that aren't really that important. We need to be reminded that Jesus is the most important Person of all. No-one else can ever be more important and more wonderful than Jesus.