Jesus’ anger at hardness of heart (Mark 3:5)

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 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (Mark 3:5 ESV) READ more  at Bible Gateway.  Hardness of heart means simply failure to soften your heart. It means failure of empathy. A rejection of someone else as a person. It means we see them as an annoyance, or it means certain rules and regulations take precedence over their needs in an unhelpful wa … [Read more...]

Jesus is not looking for perfect people, just failures like you and me (Mark 2:17)

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“And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.””‭‭ Mark‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭‬‬ Read more at Bible Gateway. This is personally so encouraging to me. I know how it goes. We like to put certain Christians on a pedestal. Some of them enjoy being perceived as perfect. But Jesus has no time for those who think they have it all together. In fact he remembers only too well his encounters wi … [Read more...]

How to not be driven by what everyone else wants from you (Mark 1:33-38)

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That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door . . . And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I c … [Read more...]

When God commands, do we immediately follow?

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And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Mark 1:17-18) Bible Gateway.One of the features of Mark's gospel is the phrase 'And immediately.' Despite Mark's brevity, his gospel contains more than 70% of the uses of this Greek Word in the New Testament (Source: Logos). He uses the same word so often that some translations decide not to translated it to avoid the constant repetition. The ESV is not one … [Read more...]

How reasonable are you? (Philippians 4:5 & Titus 3:1-3)

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“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬)Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:1-3) Reasonableness. The same Greek word elsewhere translated gentleness. Surely also related to meekness. Not righteous indication. Not aggressive forcefulness. Not irritation. Not self a … [Read more...]

Top Bible Verses Explained: Proverbs 3:5-6 – Conditions for Guidance

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I was fascinated recently to see a list of the most read Bible verses on Bible Gateway. Unsurprisingly, a number of these verses appear on similar lists from other Bible websites.  What is it about these verses that draw people to them again and again?  Over the coming months I will take several of these popular verses and explain them, sometimes linking also to useful materials from others. I hope this will be of interest to everyone and perhaps especially of  help for … [Read more...]

The hope that makes even death into a gain (Philippians 1:21)

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  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. - Philippians 1:21 READ more on this verse at Bible Gateway.Paul's words here are some of the most challenging in the Bible. But they also offer an incredibly comforting perspective. The old puritans used to encourage us to think often of the day of our death. I don't know about you, but the thought of death still makes me uncomfortable. It's not something I look forward to. It's not something anyone enjoys the process of.The … [Read more...]

The God who never quits: Philippians 1:6

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Was reading Philippians 1:6 this morning, and was very encouraged. "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."READ more on this verse at Bible Gateway.  On this second day of they year, perhaps you've already failed to keep your New Years resolutions! But God never fails to keep his. And he has resolved to work in and for is! We are unreliable. He is reliable.We falter and fall all the time. We stumble ou … [Read more...]

Sex, Violence, War, Betrayal, Blood and Guts. The Bible as it really is.

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Comics are not just for kids. They are collectors items that adults treasure into their old age. In this visually focussed world, they provide a new way to get people reading again. If you have seen Bible picture books before, the planned Bible Comic is nothing like them.All too often we sanitize the Bible, and airbrush out the bits that modern culture doesn't like. But the real bible is full of violence, sex, betrayal, blood and guts. Just the sort of thing the average older teen and … [Read more...]

Twenty differences between the Psalms and modern worship songs. 

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Beware of presumption. We serve a holy God not a cuddly best mate.  There is a major difference between many modern worship music and the Psalms. Too many modern songs speak only of the love of God, and he is seen only as a gentle and loving friend.It's not that the worship songs are wrong. It's just that they can almost completely miss a different side of God's character. I want to explore that a little today before we focus in another post to an event that happened in 2 Samuel 6 which … [Read more...]


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