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...]

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

 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...]

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

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?

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)

“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

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...]

Working out what God is working in (Philippians 2:12-13)

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”(‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:12-13‬)READ more on this verse at Bible Gateway. When we truly believe that God will not quit on us, this should spur us to action not lull us into complacent passivity.This morning I ask myself, how much do o really coo … [Read more...]

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

  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

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...]