The cross

‘Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.’ John 19:30 NIV The cross is also a symbol of victory. Good Friday is a day which doesn’t feel good at all. We reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross, and think of the suffering He had to go through. When we think about the cross it may look like evil has triumphed over goodness, the powerful over the powerless, but that’s not the truth. Jesus’ death on the cross was actually good overpowering evil. Jesus was triumphing. When He cried out, ‘It is finished’ (some translations…

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Wholehearted

‘The people worked with all their heart.’ Nehemiah 4:6 NIV A lot of people are just going through the motions in life. They smile, go to work, go to church, but on the inside they’re not committed. They do things because they have to, or because it’s expected of them, and not because they want to. Have you ever read the story of Nehemiah? He risked everything in order to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Even though he faced threats and obstacles, the wall was rebuilt in 52 days, because ‘the people worked with all their heart.’ They caught Nehemiah’s vision, and wholeheartedly…

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Fear

‘In God I trust and am not afraid.’ Psalm 56:4 NIV David said, ‘In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’ David had faced a lot of trials, but God had repeatedly come through for Him. And he knew that God would continue to be faithful. We can face anything when we know God has promised: ‘For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you’ (Isaiah 41:13 NIV). So instead of fearing the worst, we need to…

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Go deeper

‘Launch out into the deep.’ Luke 5:4 NKJV In the Bible, we find a story of the disciples fishing all night and catching nothing. Jesus said to them, ‘“Launch out into the deep and let down your nets”…And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish’ (Luke 5:4-6 NKJV). There are three things we can learn from this: 1) Working harder isn’t necessarily the answer. The disciples ‘worked hard all night’ (v.5 NIV). Nobody could have questioned their work ethic. But they needed to go deeper to see any results. When we’re trying to work on our relationship with…

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Stand strong

‘By faith…he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.’ Hebrews 11:27 NIV Perseverance was really important in Moses’ life. He had to persevere when he was facing Pharaoh, the mightiest monarch on earth. He had to persevere when dealing with the stubbornness, rebellion, and grumbling of the Israelite's in the desert. He persevered when criticized by Miriam and Aaron, his own family. He persevered when given the negative report by the ten spies who came back from the Land of Promise saying, ‘The giants are too big, and we are too small’ (see Numbers 13:33). In fact, his perseverance was mentioned in…

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Gospel power

‘I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.’ Romans 1:16 NIV Paul tells us the gospel ‘is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.’ The Greek word for ‘power’ is dynamics, and we get our word dynamite from that. That shows just how much impact the gospel can have. We can so easily forget that the gospel has power. We can view it as a nice story of God’s rescue, and forget that it’s actually truth. And not just truth, but truth that can bring about…

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Be expectant

‘For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land.’ Deuteronomy 8:7 NIV When God promises you something, it means it’ll happen. It may not happen when we want it to happen, but God’s timing is perfect. Waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled in our lives can be really hard. If we’ve been waiting a long time, we can begin to wonder whether anything’s actually going to change. When the Israelite's were in the wilderness, God told them: ‘For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land.’ The words ‘is bringing’ shows that God’s promise to them about entering…

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Attitude

‘With thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ Philippians 4:6 NIV When we’re anxious, we can end up saying things that aren’t helpful. It happens so easily, especially in the company of the wrong people. Before we know it, we’re criticizing and complaining, and the atmosphere becomes negative. That’s because our words can create a climate. But the Bible says: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds’ (v.6-7 NIV). We start to rise above…

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