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...]

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...]

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

“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)

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...]

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...]