Raised for our Justification Romans 4:25: the forgotten verse?

"...delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification" (Romans 4:25) I first got arrested by Romans 4:25 when writing my book Raised With Christ (also available in Logos Bible Format).To me, this verse is the pivot on which the whole of the epistle to the Romans turns. Everything so far in the letter has been building to this point, and these words summarise what has gone before. What is more everything Paul writes after this flows from the word THEREFORE which immediately fol … [Read more...]

Pastor, this Sunday preach the resurrection boldly!

Easter Sunday is coming soon. And for many churches it is the biggest Sunday of the year. It is our day more than Christmas.It is the one day of the year when Christians loudly celebrate the risen Saviour. It is the resurrection of Jesus that saves us.And yet, some pastors reading this will be hiding a guilty secret. They are dreading to preach this Sunday.I remember several years ago now when I was asked to preach on Easter Sunday thinking 'Oh, no I will have to preach on the … [Read more...]

If God feels distant, maybe our hearts need cleansing

Do you want to know God? You may have been a Christian for years, but you may feel that you don't experience or KNOW God. Do you feel distant from God sometimes? I definitely do. In fact I am currently gradually finding my way back from a period where God felt a million miles away.This is not how God intends us to live as Christians.If you seek him, it IS possible to find God and experience him. There is a way back to him.Many of us today have become alienated from the experience t … [Read more...]

ONLY the truth will set you free (not fake news or alternative facts)

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32) This is not a political post.But in an age when 'alternative facts' and 'fake news' rule, it is time to remind ourselves: truth matters.It really worries me that the very concept of truth is under attack, not just by Trump, but also by the media he so hates, and the fake news we see every day online. Just one example recently was Mark Hamil becoming just the lastest celebrity forced to deny his own death on … [Read more...]

How can I walk with God without falling?

Many of us have forgotten what it is like to walk without a sat nav guiding us.Even when I go nordic walking in the forest I tend to rely on my phone's map app to direct me.We miss therefore some of the sense of the metaphor 'walking with God' that the Bible intends.Walking with God doesn't mean we never take a wrong turn and even get lost.It doesn't preclude stumbling and falling.God promises to be the voice saying 'You are going the wrong way'And to pick us up when we … [Read more...]

How not to hear “away from me I never knew you!”

Many.Let that word sink in a moment.Many.Not a few.Not a theoretical group.Not a hypothetical warning.Many.Notice how complacent they are.Feel the pride.They think they are in.Prophesying. Casting out demons, mighty works.Perhaps we could add preaching and leading.Maybe writing a blog.Doing things 'in Jesus name'Part of the 'in crowd'Looking terribly spiritual to others.But not to the Lord.No to the … [Read more...]

It’s a good time to look to Jesus, humble ourselves, and pray

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14) If you are anything like me you are only too aware that 2016 was not a perfect year. The New Year gives us a sense of moving on which can be very important. The past can be reflected on, repented of, and we begin 2017 with a fresh start.But, by now, perhaps already you have … [Read more...]

“You have eaten and drank, now work, and enjoy it!” – The Bible

"There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work" (Ecclesiastes 2:24, HCSB) If you are anything like me you have eaten way too much food over the last few days. The Bible is clear that we can and should enjoy our food, and enjoy our rest. But it is no surprise that the verse I am looking at today comes from the same book of the Bible that says 'There is a time for everything . . ." (Ecclesiastes 3).It is good to "eat, drink and be merry" you are only being Biblical! I … [Read more...]

Keeping your work seat warm for the next occupant

I have had a tendency to get overly committed to work. I know I'm not alone. Occasional overtime becomes the new regular hours. Commitment and passion becomes obsession and fervor. Being responsible becomes feeling like you are indispensable.I have news for us all today: we are replaceable. It stuck me as I start my new job that someone already sits in my seat at the old one. And someone else before me sat in the chair I now do. One day I will leave this role even if it is to retire or if I … [Read more...]

Bless the Lord. Forget not his benefits!

We are a very blessed people. We are also a forgetful people. Or let me own that more personally, I am a forgetful person. Today I read Psalm 103 and it reminded.  I have a God who blesses me even though I deserve none of it. I have a God who forgives ALL my sins, who heals ALL my diseases, and who CARES for me. How often do I forget all this? How often do I live as a functional atheist? How rarely do I really stop and say THANK YOU, humbly acknowledging that the very air I breath was given to … [Read more...]