Gratitude

‘Jesus said, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine?”’ Luke 17:17 NCV In the Bible, we read about Jesus healing ten lepers. These were people who suffered with the skin disease, leprosy. In those days, lepers were seen as unclean people and were not permitted to come into contact with others. The Bible tells us that ‘they did not come close to Jesus but called to him, “Jesus! Master! Have mercy on us!”’ (Luke 17:12-13 NCV). Jesus healed these lepers. But only one out of the ten returned to say ‘thank you’. ‘Jesus said, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine?”’…

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Hospitality

‘Some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.’ Hebrews 13:2 NIV The Bible encourages us to show hospitality to others, to welcome them into our homes, to give them food, and meet their needs. But it goes beyond just being welcoming and caring to those around us. Take a look at Matthew 25:35-40. In that passage, Jesus said: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:40 NIV). When we’re helping others, we’re actually helping Jesus. He sees what we do, and the heart we do it with. But…

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Encourage your pastor

‘Honor…your leaders in the Lord’s work.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:12 NLT We’ve probably all been guilty of thinking ‘well, that sermon didn’t really go well. I didn’t get anything from it.’ Maybe we’ve shared that with others, or even told the pastor themselves. But God calls us all to be encouraging towards one another. The Bible says: ‘Encourage one another and build each other up’ (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV). And that includes encouraging and building up our pastors and leaders. In fact, the verse straight after mentions our leaders: ‘Honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and…

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Abide

‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you.’ John 15:4 NIV In John 15, Jesus uses the analogy of vines to explain what He meant when He told His disciples to abide in Him. He said: ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:4-5 NIV). Abiding in…

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Grace

‘Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.’ Romans 5:20 NIV Sometimes we can be worried that God won’t accept us because of our sins. We think we’ve made too many mistakes, we’ve gone too far off His path for us, and that we don’t deserve His love. But we don’t need to be worried about that. Paul said: ‘Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.’ Before Paul’s Damascus Road conversion (you can read about that in Acts 9), he was ‘Public Sinner Number One’ (1 Timothy 1:15 MSG). Afterwards, God used him to reach the world with the gospel. ‘Grace’ was…

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Share your faith

‘Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.’ Acts 8:35 NIV In Acts 8 we read the story of a high-profile leader who became a Christian. This man held a position similar to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Britain. And he was led to Christ by a low-profile person called Philip, a church deacon (have a read of Acts 8:26-40). Let’s look at how it happened and see what we can learn: 1) Philip was ready. When this man needed someone to explain the gospel to him, Philip was ready to do it. Are…

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Set your mind(2)

‘You know my thoughts before I think them.’ Psalm 139:2 NCV Ever felt overwhelmed by emotions? How we feel is often determined by the thoughts we’re having. So to change our feelings, we must go to the source and deal with the thing that produced them – how we think. For example, worried people tend to think anxious thoughts, and eventually those thoughts become so automatic that they stop noticing and learn to live with it. Or negative people usually feel down about things because their mind has started to automatically think pessimistically about everything. Our thought patterns become as much of a…

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Set your mind

‘Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.’ Romans 8:5 NIV To become the person God wants us to be, we must set our mind on the right things. That can seem easier said than done, particularly when our circumstances are tough and we struggle to think about anything other than what’s happening in our lives. We might feel like we’re powerless to change anything in our lives, but we’re not. While circumstances can have a huge impact on our lives, and make us feel certain emotions, it’s often the way that we think…

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God-confidence

‘Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.’ James 4:10 NIV The word ‘self-esteem’ gets used a lot in today’s society. But self-esteem means we have confidence in ourselves; that’s different from knowing our identity in Christ and having confidence in who He is. The world tells us to take care of ourselves above others, to recognize how amazing we are and to celebrate our successes. But if we listen to the world, we can end up quite self-focused. We can begin to think we don’t need God. We think that we can manage perfectly well on our own, and…

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Death & Life

‘The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.' John 11:25 NIV If we're being honest, the end of our life isn't something we really want to think about. For most of us, it feels like it's way off in the distant future. And so we push it to the deepest corner of our minds. But as we saw in yesterday's reading, it's important to prepare now for spending the rest of eternity with God in heaven. When Jesus' good friend Lazarus was sick, his sisters Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus to let Him know. By the…

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