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June 2012

In the beginning was the Word

John 1:1-18 One of the most common questions about prayer is this: “Should I really pray to God about such and such?”  Sometimes we feel that “bothering God” with the minutiae of our lives is beneath the majesty of the Most High.  Surely God is too lofty to consider me? What He wants are grand acts […]

Prisoners of hope

Zechariah 1-2; 9:9-17 We’ve all met people who are prisoners of despair.  Perhaps we feel this way ourselves. Depression could be described in these terms: as a helpless and hopeless condition, with no prospect of release.  We don’t want to collapse in despair, but feel impelled to do so.   But Zechariah (a contemporary of Haggai) speaks of […]

Latest Devotional Available Soon

The third quarter of the devotional will be available for purchase on Lulu and Kindle very soon. See January – March April – June .

The desire of all nations

Haggai 2 There is a limit and a longing to us all.  And that interaction between the limit and the longing defines our human condition.  We are finite creatures, and yet this finite world does not satisfy. The prophet Haggai wrote to the Israelites in the 6th century BC: a strange kind of in-between time.  […]

From of old, from everlasting

Micah 5 How did Israel understand its Messiah? That’s a question Jesus himself asks in Mark chapter 12.  Jesus directs his hearers to Psalm 110 and asks the question: 35 How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?  36For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, “The LORD said to my Lord, […]

Sackcloth and ashes

Jonah 3-4 Is Jonah the Bible’s most successful evangelist?  In Hebrew his sermon consists of just 5 words.  And yet, in response, the 120 000 residents of Nineveh cover themselves ‘in sackcloth and ashes’ and turn to the LORD. Sackcloth was the clothing of mourning.  Ashes were also a reminder of mortality.  To cover oneself in […]

Jonah and the whale

Jonah 1-2 “Arise, go to Nineveh” says the LORD.  Jonah arises and runs in the opposite direction.  There is much that is comic about the book of Jonah.  Its protagonist is something of an anti-hero.  Jonah does everything in his power to thwart God’s evangelistic mission to Nineveh.  First he runs in the opposite direction.  […]

Reap the whirlwind

Hosea 7-8 “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  Paul’s saying from Galatians 6:7 is a common biblical theme.  The judgement which befalls the wicked is not an alien imposition.  It is the way they’ve been heading all along.  It’s simply the fruit of their lives. Hosea looks on the northern kingdom, about […]

Play the harlot

Hosea 1-3 How would you feel if your yearly work review summed up your performance as, “Unfaithful?”  You might expect negatives like “incompetent” or “lazy”.  But, “unfaithful”?  What if your your work was described as“adulterous”?  Adulterous? Surely you’re not married to your job! And yet, throughout the Bible, the LORD says to His people, “You […]

For ever and ever

Daniel 7 Given the suffering of this world, how can anyone believe in a good God, or a happy ending? In Daniel 7, the prophet has a vision of horrific cruelty.  It was a “vision by night” that left him, in his own words, “grieved in my spirit… and the visions of my head troubled me.” […]