“For I am God; there is no other” – Combatting Idolatry and Embracing Freedom

The Old Testament is full of stories of the frequent occasions when the Israelites fell into “idolatry”, and for a lot of Christians, those stories are what first come to mind when thinking about the concept of idolatry. But idolatry isn’t just something that belongs in chronicles of the ancient past. It’s something that play as much a part in the hearts and minds of contemporary Christians as it did for the ancients. So what does that mean in light of God’s declaration that He is the only one worthy of our worship – and what do we need to do about it? Read: Isaiah 45:22 (NLT) Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. John 8:31-38 (NLT) Jesus said to the people who believed in him, […]

Perfect Love Casts out All Fear

God is Love

The concept of love is something some of us find it hard to talk about. Life has a way of twisting and distorting those things that God intended to be unblemished. For many, love has very negative associations, and it’s hard to break those subconscious links. Hard, but not impossible. The apostle John writes about what love really is – and absorbing these truths can be truly transformative. Read: 1 John 4:16-19 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because […]

A Spirit of Power

Read: 2 Timothy 1:6-7: 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT) What Does it Mean? Paul exhorts Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” because God didn’t give us “a spirit of…timidity”. There are two things to notice about this. The first is that God gives us gifts. All of us. Every single Christian has been given one (or more) gifts by God that He intends for us to use for His Glory. 1 Corinthians 12 is a whole chapter on spiritual gifts that are given to the body of Christ. As Christians we are called to serve, […]

For Freedom, We Have Been Set Free

Read: Galatians 5:1, 13-15 (MSG) Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you… It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? What Does […]

Search Me and Know Me

Read: Psalm 139:1-16; 23-24 You have searched me, Lord,     and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;     you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;     you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue     you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before,     and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,     too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?     Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;     if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,     if I settle on the far side of […]

Walking on Water With Peter

Read: Matthew 14:25-31 and Luke 5:1-11 Matthew 14:25-31 The Message (MSG) 24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. 27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” 29-30 He said, “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He […]

The Temptation of Jesus

Bible Reading: Matthew 3:16-4:11 The Message (MSG) 16-17 The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.” The Test 4 1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.” 4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more […]

Read Devotional Blogs

The Cost of Forgiveness

Bible Reading Psalm 32:1-5 New International Version (NIV) 1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.[b] 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. What Does it Mean? Forgiveness is a wonderful gift – one we cannot earn, something we can never really deserve. It is freeing, releasing us from the heavy burden of our guilt. But read verses […]

Lions and Bears

Bible Reading 1 Samuel 17:32-37 New International Version (NIV) 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies […]

Remember Your Roots – the Rise and Fall of Man

Bible Reading: Genesis 3:1-8 3 The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” 2-3 The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” 4-5 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” 6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she […]