Category Archives: Details of Discipleship

Abraham’s cross-bearing crises

Abraham’s cross-bearing crises (Genesis 12:0 – 25:0) Christian discipleship is often compared to an apprenticeship in which the learners have been yoked to an experienced trainer in some particular craft or trade; if they are successful in an entrance exam … Continue reading

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Four characteristics of ‘Zerubbabel’s Gang’ that equipped them for the restoration of the kingdom of God (Ezra 1:14-15, ESV)

Ezra 1:14-15, ESV Text: ‘….. Let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted … with silver and gold … for the house of God. … Then rose up … everyone whose spirit God had stirred … to rebuild … Continue reading

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Yield not to temptation

In the 1950s we frequently sang in Sunday school:’ Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin …’ The hymn continues by promising victory upon victory if you resist temptation: ‘Dark passions subdue’ and ‘Look ever to Jesus’ for ‘He … Continue reading

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Yes, let’s do that!

The letter to the Hebrews presents Jesus as the perfect fulfilment of so many aspects of Israelite history and religious practices. The writer regularly pauses in his teaching to call his readers to respond in practical ways. And rather than … Continue reading

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Where ‘the Gideon restoration’ started

In depression So often in history the church has emerged from a state of indifference or wilfulness into a season of revival that began when some obscure handful of souls cared enough and met regularly to intercede. Judges 6:1-10 paints … Continue reading

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Walking with my dog with God

While striding the sand of a local beach with my Westy terrier I got to thinking about the benefits of walking. I had read recently that brisk walking in one’s early and middle years laid a basis for better health … Continue reading

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‘Walk this way, please.’

[] In the way The book of Psalms opens with mention of two opposing paths: ‘the way of the sinner’ and ‘the way of the righteous’ (Psalms 1:1,6). And, later, one psalmist encourages us to pray, ‘Teach me your way, … Continue reading

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True meditation – mantras? or mumbling?

We all talk to ourselves, do we not? Come on, admit it; say out loud: ‘I often talk to myself.’ Did that embarrass you, or amuse you? We even use special words for the exercise –some in regional slang: chuntering … Continue reading

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Training in passion

I have always applied the word passion in an active sense, as powerful zeal for a cause. But the traditional phrase for the sufferings of Jesus from Gethsemane through Calvary, ‘the Passion of Christ’, reflects the noun’s Latin origin from … Continue reading

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Tomorrow’s people in today’s world

The woman of Sychar, in her unplanned, one-on-one meeting with Jesus by her town’s watering-hole, and the couple whom Jesus joined unexpectedly on their mournful trudge home to Emmaus, saw only a human anybody. To the one he was just … Continue reading

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Time for a spiritual eye test

The eyes are the windows of the soul, they say – a folk saying that may have been around when Jesus taught his seminar on the mount: ‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is … Continue reading

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The Lord’s most treasured gems

[] His holy nation Many a world-conquering king, such as Nebuchadnezzar, was so rich in gold, silver and gemstone valuables that he could easily forget many of his most prized items. So he would keep near his person and under … Continue reading

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The Battle of Pea-Patch Plot

King David’s crack troops were known as ‘The Thirty’. They were his proven storm troopers during his years in exile before he was crowned as his nation’s sovereign. And his personal bodyguard were simply ‘The Three’, according to 2 Samuel … Continue reading

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‘Sweet revenge’ they call it

Blazing rage A female driver told on the radio how she had once hunted for somewhere to leave her car in a road totally occupied on either side, when a space was suddenly cleared just ahead of her. She made … Continue reading

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Recovering your spiritual effectiveness  

The scene is set                                                                                                                     Here are a couple of blunt questions:  Have you lost your cutting edge?  Do you long to get it back again? If so, then 2 Kings 6:1-7 offers you hope and some ‘how to’ counsel. … Continue reading

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Reading between the lines of Jesus’ love letter to a bland church

The book of Revelation is cryptic throughout – even Jesus’ letters to seven churches are in code. Read carefully Revelation 3:14-22, his message to the church in Laodicea, and let’s savour the pairs of buzz words [bold/italic//underlined] that disclose his … Continue reading

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Learning to be self-sufficient

Self-sufficiency is a popular modern theme, yet surely Adam and Eve were at first both self-sufficient – not just ‘two halves that made a whole’ but two wholes who made a perfect duet. In the New Testament the terms autarkes … Continue reading

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Jesus promotes his training programme (Matthew 11:2-30)

Matthew 11:2-30 With what kind of news headlines might the tabloid press have reported Jesus’ ministry? ‘Jesus’s Former Publicity Manager in Doubting Dungeon’ (Matthew 11:2-15) John the Baptist was bothered. Incarcerated in Herod’s prison, he had plenty of time to … Continue reading

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