Cornelius is a Roman soldier and a Gentile. Jewish people kept their distance from Gentiles, maintaining separation between clean and unclean. Yet Cornelius was searching for God, and he both prayed and gave to the poor.
Sunday, 23 July 2017
Challenge: Be open to God doing completely new things
Sunday, 9 July 2017
The evil Haman despised Mordecai and all the Jews. He got the King to declare a day on which the Jews should be attacked across the whole empire - he wanted them all dead, he wanted ethnic cleansing. Mordecai, Queen Esther and Jews fasted and prayed - would Esther be able to petition the King? The day came and the King agreed to talk. Esther simply asked for a banquet, with Haman as guest. This went ahead, and the King again asked what was required. Esther asks for a second banquet ....
Challenge: Let God fight for you
Sunday, 25 June 2017
The commander called for all young women who had not been with a man to line up in the town square. This was no surprise - the royal proclamation had already gone out that the King sought a new Queen. The girls lined up dutifully and the commander took his pick. Eventually a few were sent off to the Royal Palace. The parents feared for their safety, among them Mordecai who had cared for Esther since her parents had died in her childhood. She too was taken to the palace.
Challenge: Pray not for a Christian country, but for God's Kingdom Come
Sunday, 4 June 2017
Apollos we are told in the preceding verses was a learned man, well educated and a Jewish believer. Further he could teach about Jesus, and do it with great energy. But it wasn't enough - something was missing, it was not all God intended. Priscilla & Aquila saw that he only knew the baptism of John, and had greater things of God to introduce him to. They took him aside and rehearsed afresh the story of Jesus.
Challenge: Seek to be ever closer to Jesus → He will send you
Sunday, 14 May 2017
I wonder if you can remember first falling in love, with all its emotions and inner turmoil. This was the case with Amnon, who looked 'haggard' because of his love for the young Tamar.
Sunday, 7 May 2017
The way the Israelites were to live was clearly important for them (hence tonnes of material in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy!). A key aspect was to teach these ways to their children, and children to their children (Deuteronomy 4:9). We deliberately talk about mentoring together with discipleship: leading alongside another so that they too can 'get it'. If we do that well, they will not only get it for themselves, but so that they too can walk alongside others and mentor them.