Showing posts in 'Fighting the Monday Feeling'

Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 12 Jan 2015

The Christian life is a race—one in which all of us are runners.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

The Christian race is not a fun-run. It’s a matter of life and death. And the prize is much bigger than a piece of metal on a ribbon. The stakes are eternal. So we need to get rid of anything which is slowing us down.... continue reading

Frantic Friday?

The Explore Team | 10 Jan 2015

Sometimes it’s good to get a reality check—and these first verses of Psalm 144 are great for that. It's a psalm by King David. He's recalling God's help in subduing the enemies he faced—and looking to God for future help with great confidence.

1 Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
3 Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them?
4 They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. 
Psalm 144:1-4... continue reading

Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 5 Jan 2015

Here are two short—but brilliant—verses to start your week with.

For we know that our old self was crucified with [Christ] so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:6-7

  • If you are a Christian, what has happened to the old “you” (v 6)?
  • What is the consequence of this (v 6)?

Boxing Day

The Explore Team | 26 Dec 2014

Whether you’re slumping on the sofa this morning or preparing to tackle an ambitious boxing-day walk, take a few moments to reflect on the words of Simeon as he held the infant Jesus in the temple:

‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’

Luke 2:29-32

Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 22 Dec 2014

These verses are one of the most breathtaking descriptions of Jesus. The most important thing for the Colossians is to understand just who Jesus is—and as we celebrate Christmas, the same is true for us.

 

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1:15-19... continue reading

Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 15 Dec 2014

Psalm 33 gives a simple message to start your week: exuberant praise should mark God’s people!

 

1Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.... continue reading

Frantic Friday

The Explore Team | 13 Dec 2014

Perhaps you come to the end of this week feeling the weight of the things you’ve got wrong. Today’s verses kick off one of the best-loved chapters in the whole of Scripture…

Romans 8:1-2 

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

  • What does 8 v 1 tell us about being “in Christ”? Why is this wonderful news?
  • What else has happened to Christians (v 2)?

The phrase Paul uses in verse 1 is much stronger than simply saying we are not condemned; it is that there is no condemnation at all—no possibility of it. Not only are we not condemned, we can never and will never be condemned.

  • How does this affect our response to sin?
  • How does this affect our view of our future?

Although they sin, for those who are “in Christ Jesus” there “is now no condemnation”—first, not because of their own obedience, but because of the work of God’s Son and God’s Spirit (8 v 2). And second, because the Spirit now works to do what we cannot—overcome sin.

 

Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 8 Dec 2014

In this passage, God gives a command and makes a wonderful promise.

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk,
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Isaiah 55:1-2

God says: “Come—there is free food.” There are two highlights about this promise of a banquet: it is free and it truly satisfies. The invitation is wide open.

  • Think for a moment about the things to which people look for satisfaction and fulfilment. They give little and short-lived satisfaction, yet people can spend their lives and wealth pursuing them.
  • Where are you looking for satisfaction? Take this invitation to heart. Come to God now for satisfaction and fulfilment.

Based on an extract taken from Explore Daily Bible Reading Notes.

Frantic Friday?

The Explore Team | 6 Dec 2014

In this short paragraph from the book of Titus, Paul gives us one of the New Testament’s great mountain peaks:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. - Titus 2:11-14

Titus was a pastor, and all pastors worth their salt long for their church’s members to grow in godliness. So a common shortcut is to lay down rules to obey, and use the stick of guilt to keep people “up to scratch”. But that is the fatal path of legalism—trying to earn, or keep, salvation through our own goodness. God has given a life-saving alternative: the gospel of Christ.

The first “appearing”: in the past (v 11-12)

  • When did saving grace first appear?
  • How does this change us?
  • What do we say “no” to? What do we say “yes” to?

The second “appearing”: in the future (v 13-14)

  • What are we waiting for?
  • On what grounds can we have hope when we so often fail to say “no” to ungodliness (v 14)?

Christianity is never rules-based—we never grow beyond the gospel. We must not slip into the mindset that we are saved by grace but now we live by law. The gospel both saves us and motivates us to live for Christ, as the pure people He has died to make us. Knowing that the grace of God has appeared, and will appear, is all we need to desire to live in a way which is “good” (v 7). The more we understand and appreciate the gospel, the more we’ll obey God.

Manic Monday?

The Explore Team | 1 Dec 2014

The worldly success of ungodly people regularly bothers people who are trying to follow God. This week, you’ll doubt less see lots of people who are rejecting God and doing well out of it—colleagues, friends and even family. How should we react? “Fret not,” says this psalm; and then it tells us why.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
he will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret – it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Psalm 37:1-11

Notice the repetition of “the LORD.”

  • What five responses should we have to the LORD (v 3-5, 7, 9)?
  • What promises does God make in v 4-6, 9, 11?
  • How do those promises encourage us to respond in the ways these verses tell us to?

Based on an extract taken from Explore Daily Bible Reading Notes.

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