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Romans 1:1-17; Colossians 1:15-23 “You’re a saint!” they exclaim.  And it feels nice to be called that.  Though obviously we bat away the compliment.  Because we know it’s mock praise for a minor act of kindness.  We know they don’t really think of us as a saint.  You see in most people’s understanding saints are unapproachable, […]

It is more blessed to give than to receive

Acts 20:13-38 Jesus’ version of it is probably the most famous – but everyone says “it’s better to give than receive.”  All the religions say it.  Even the atheists say it. Last year, UCLA life scientists released a study showing the health benefits of providing support to others.  There are many such studies around.  They […]

In Him we live and move and have our being

Acts 17:16-34 How do we proclaim the gospel to a world that thinks so differently? “Contextualisation” is a buzz word in some Christian circles to describe the way our message needs to be fitted to our surroundings.  Today’s phrase is often used as a prime example of how Paul drew on the truths already present […]

Turned the world upside down

Acts 17:1-15 On Good Friday, Christianity was “down and out.”  The Christ was dead and buried.  His followers were despondent and scattered.  And that should have been that. Yet, within a very short period of time, Christ’s people were said to be ‘turning the world upside down.’  How did such an extraordinary revolution happen?  Not […]

Damascus Road Experience

Acts 9:1-31 It’s shorthand for any dramatic conversion.  People have often said to me that they’re Christians but they’re still waiting for their “Damascus Road Experience.” But they will have to wait for Christ’s return for anything like what Paul experienced.  You see the Damascus Road was not just the conversion of a man, it […]

Cut to the heart

Click for source Acts 2:36-47 When we’re “cut to the heart” it’s usually because we’ve been insulted or betrayed or broken up with. But three times in the book of Acts, the Israelites are “cut” or “pricked” to the heart (Acts 2:37; 5:33; 7:54).  Yet with them it’s different.  Here’s what pricks their hearts:  the […]

The fruit of his loins

Acts 2:1-41 If this phrase is used today it’s usually as a playful archaism. –  “That’s my boy,” says the teasing father, “the fruit of my loins.” –  “Dad!!!” But actually it’s a great compliment.  There’s only one person in the Bible who is specifically referred to as ‘loin-fruit’:  Jesus.  Well of course – the […]

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

Matthew 28:16-20 Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “When we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, reared to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which […]

Doubting Thomas

John 20:1-31 “If God came down right now, I’d believe.  If He showed up in all His Godness and proved Himself to me, I’d bow down and worship.  I won’t believe if I can’t see, hear and touch Him – but if He appears, I’ll believe.” Have you ever said that?  Or thought it?  Well, […]

He is not here, for he is risen

Matthew 28:1-15 Woody Allen is famously fearful of death (of course he maintains he’s not afraid, he just ‘doesn’t want to be there when it happens’).  He was once asked, ‘Aren’t you pleased to know you’ll live on in the hearts and minds of those you’ve touched?’  Woody said ‘I don’t want to live on […]