‘This man receives sinners’ – words of divine grace

Judges 14:10-16:3 'This man receives sinners' (Luke 15:2). These are the words of legalistic Pharisees. They were intended as an insult. They are also words of divine grace: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners' (1 Timothy 1:15). Samson was a sinner. There is no question about that. Is he any different from …

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Without the blessing of God, our worship is empty.

2 Chronicles 5:2-6:42 - Without the blessing of God, our worship is empty. We must look for God’s blessing in the place of worship. What we must pray for is this: ‘the glory of the Lord filled the House of God’ (5:14). We must look for God’s blessing in the pulpit, praying that the preachers …

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God was about to do ‘a new thing.’

LUKE 1:1-38  -  God was about to do ‘a new thing’ (Isaiah 43:19). It was centred on Christ, though John also played his part (31-33,16-17). There were obstacles - Zechariah and Elizabeth were ‘old’ (18), and Mary had ‘no man’ (34). What were these obstacles to God? - Nothing: ‘with God nothing will be impossible’ …

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Our salvation comes from the Lord …

Genesis 13:1-18 Life is full of choices. Lot made a selfish choice (10-12). He allied himself with ‘the men of Sodom (who) were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord’ (13). Abraham made a godly choice, and he was blessed by the Lord (14-17). The lesson of Abraham’s choice is the lesson of Matthew …

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Before our love for God, there is His love for us.

Exodus 20:1-20  -  God does not want to see sin in us (20). He wants to see Himself in us. Sin robs us of His great blessing. He wants to fill us with love (Mark 12:28-31; Galatians 5:14; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13). Before our love for Him, there is His love for us. He is the …

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Wisdom

PROVERBS 1:1-7  -  Scripture speaks of different kinds of ‘wisdom’. In Proverbs, wisdom is closely associated with godliness. In Ecclesiastes, wisdom - viewed as mere human intelligence - is described as ‘meaningless, a chasing after the wind’  (1:12-18). This contrast is continued in the New Testament, where Paul describes Christ as our ‘Wisdom’, contrasting this …

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By the grace of God, we are called to salvation, sanctification and service.

EPHESIANS 1:1-2:10  -  ‘By grace you have been saved through faith… for good works’ (2:8-10). God calls us to live a ‘holy’ life. We cannot make ourselves holy. We are spiritually ‘dead’. We need to be ‘made alive’ - by God. Holiness does not come from ourselves. It comes from the Lord. Long before we …

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Faith – believing God’s promise and obeying His command

Judges 4:1-5:11 Barak is an example of 'faith' (Hebrews 11:32-34). Faith involves believing God's promise - 'I will give...' and obeying His command - 'Go' (4:6-7). God still says, 'Go...I am with you always...' (Matthew 28:19-20). Barak needed Deborah's help (4:8-10). Both needed God's help - 'Our sufficiency comes from God' (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). In …

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