Lamentations | 1 | Jerusalem in her desolation

Dear MUC family Over the next few days I will be walking you through the book of Lamentations. I trust it will help you respond biblically to the Corona Virus Pandemic. Whereas Job deals with the problem of personal suffering, Lamentations deals with the problem of national disasters like famine, warfare and global pandemics. InContinue reading “Lamentations | 1 | Jerusalem in her desolation”

Lamentations | 4 | Unearthing idols

READ LAMENTATIONS 4 Lamentations 4 does not make for pleasant reading. The dark clouds of desperation that filled Jerusalem in the days following it destruction impacted social values. In vrs 3 we read how people became cruel neglecting even the compassion that animals gave their offspring. Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young,Continue reading “Lamentations | 4 | Unearthing idols”

Lamentations | 5 | A roadmap to grace

Fairy tales often end with those words “and they lived happily ever after.” There are no “and they live happily ever after” moments in Lamentations. The book ends without resolution and with questions lingering. The people’s suffering remains. Life remains a daily struggle. The temple still lies in ruins. However the book ends with aContinue reading “Lamentations | 5 | A roadmap to grace”

HOW CAN WE BE THE BODY OF CHRIST WHEN PHYSICALLY SEPARATED?

Christians all over the world are asking this question as we respond to restrictive measures which have been implemented to combat the spread of the coronavirus. One of the main metaphors for the church in the Bible is of a body. A body that has its individual parts removed from one another is unnatural. WeContinue reading “HOW CAN WE BE THE BODY OF CHRIST WHEN PHYSICALLY SEPARATED?”

Praying the Psalms | Part 5

Our psalm for today has much to teach us about responding to a crisis. The number of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to escalate and governments all over the world are struggling to contain it. Stock-markets are struggling to inspire any sort of investor confidence. South Africa is undeniably in recession, established companies are closingContinue reading “Praying the Psalms | Part 5”

Holy Wednesday / Spy Wednesday | Part 3

HOLY WEDNESDAY / SPY WEDNESDAYThe previous few days have been packed with drama – Sunday’s triumphal entry, Monday’s temple cleansing, and Tuesday’s teaching. Now on Spy Wednesday evil is lurking in the shadows. Because of Judas Iscariot’s decision to betray Jesus, Holy Wednesday is sometimes called “Spy Wednesday”. The word spy, as used in theContinue reading “Holy Wednesday / Spy Wednesday | Part 3”

Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 1

For this week following Easter Sunday it would profit us immensely to focus on a number of Jesus’ post resurrection appearances. EASTER SUNDAY – READ LUKE 24:1-12Thomas Jefferson, though a great American statesman, could not accept the miraculous elements in scripture. Because of his bias he edited his own version of the bible in whichContinue reading “Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 1”

Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 2

The resurrection lies at the heart of the gospel. Notice how the apostle Paul summarises the gospel in 2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel. Of course there are many other elements in the gospel – Christ’s atoning death, his imputed righteousness, forgiveness of sins,Continue reading “Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 2”

Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 3

We have been examining a selection of Jesus’ resurrection appearances. During the Second World War there was a very famous atheistic professor of Philosophy at London University – CEM Joad. He was once asked on a radio interview an intriguing question. “Who, of all the past figures in history, would you most like to haveContinue reading “Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 3”

Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 4

As John 21:14 says this was the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples following his resurrection. TO SEVEN DISCIPLES FISHING – READ JOHN 21It is always a moving thing to go back to a place filled with memories. It can be the place you fell in love, or the graveside of a loved oneContinue reading “Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 4”

Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 5

A former Archbishop of Cape Town was interviewed and asked a few theological questions. This is what he said; “there are certain tenets of the Christian faith which are important; that Jesus lived, that he died, that he was buried and that he was raised.” So far so good. Then the interviewer asked a moreContinue reading “Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 5”

Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 6

If you had to identify the most significant event of your life what would it be? Some of you may choose your marriage. Others may point to a new job opportunity. Some may point to your graduation day. You never thought you would make it but there you were in academic gown collecting your certificate.Continue reading “Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances | Part 6”

The Apostles Creed | Part 3

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;He descended into hell.The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 3”

The Apostles Creed | Part 4

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;He descended into hell.The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 4”

The Apostles Creed | Part 6

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;[He descended into hell.]The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 6”

The Apostles Creed | Part 7

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;[He descended into hell.]The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven, AndContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 7”

The Apostles Creed | Part 8

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;[He descended into hell.]The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 8”

The Apostles Creed | Part 9

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;[He descended into hell.]The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 9”

The Apostles Creed | Part 10

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;[He descended into hell.]The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 10”

The Apostles Creed | Part 11

I believe in God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,And born of the Virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate,Was crucified, died, and was buried;[He descended into hell.]The third day he rose again from the dead.He ascended into heaven,And isContinue reading “The Apostles Creed | Part 11”

James | Part 4

TRUE AND FALSE RELIGION (James 1:26, 27)Most people, Christian and non-Christian are uncomfortable with this word religion. For some people the word religion conjures up images of priests in ecclesiastical robes, and bells and smells. Some Christians who have got this kind of dead formality in mind seem overly anxious to let it be known;Continue reading “James | Part 4”

Sexual Purity | Part 2

In this series of devotions, I am tracing particular themes through Proverbs and illustrating it with a narrative account from elsewhere in the Scriptures. For today’s study on sexual purity Proverbs 7 will provide our narrative backdrop. SEXUAL IMPURITY (Proverbs 7)There was a rather famous edition of the King James Version of the bible thatContinue reading “Sexual Purity | Part 2”

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness | Part 4

When your dog loses its appetite you know that it has got a problem. You had better make an appointment with the vet. When a baby suddenly does not want to drink you know that you have a problem. Make an appointment with the doctor! When a Christian loses their appetite for God you haveContinue reading “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness | Part 4”

Blessed are those who are persecuted | Part 8

These beatitudes end on a surprising note. Blessed are those who are persecuted. Why do you think Jesus ends with this beatitude? The extent to which we live the first seven beatitudes is the extent to which we will experience the last. The range of suffering that we ought to expect as Christians is madeContinue reading “Blessed are those who are persecuted | Part 8”

Knowledge | Part 3

In our last two studies we have been examining the portrait that Peter paints for us of an effective and productive Christian. Eight characteristics are highlighted. We have already examined faith and goodness (moral excellence). Today we turn to knowledge (gnosis). In vrs 3 Peter makes an astonishing statement. His divine power has given usContinue reading “Knowledge | Part 3”

Brotherly kindness | Part 7

We have been examining a series of character qualities which we need to lavishly add to our Christian faith. Faithfulness in this endeavour will ensure that we are effective and productive Christians. Of course, it all too possible to fail to diligently add these qualities. In vrs 9 Peter spells out the implications for suchContinue reading “Brotherly kindness | Part 7”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 1

Text: Revelation 1-3 In recent years South Africa has followed in the footsteps of America by having a SONA (state of the nation) address where the president will outline the success stories of past year and challenges for the current year. In Revelation 2&3 we are privileged to eavesdrop on the Lord Jesus Christ asContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 1”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 2

Text: Revelation 2:1-7 In recent years it has become customary in South Africa to have a State of the Nation address. Indeed, this has been extended to more localised State of the Province addresses. Often-times this is nothing more than a talk shop. However, when the risen Lord Jesus Christ issues a state of theContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 2”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 3

Text: Revelation 2:8-11 Each of these seven letters is addressed to the angel of. The Greek word can refer either to a literal angel or a messenger. In this context it surely means “messenger.” Angels are never leaders in the church. The letters are most likely addressed to key elders in these seven churches. SmyrnaContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 3”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 4

Text: Revelation 2:12-17 We have examined the loveless church (Ephesus) and the suffering church (Smyrna). Now we must consider what the risen Christ has to say to the compromising church. Pergamum was situated about 160Km north of Ephesus and about 25Km inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Ephesus and Smyrna may have been the commercial capitalsContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 4”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 5

Text: Revelation 2:18-29 We turn this morning to consider Thyatira, the overly tolerant church. It was situated about 60Km South East of Pergamum. TO THE CHURCH IN THYATIRAIt was originally built as a military outpost. Its sole purpose was to delay the advance of an army approaching Pergamum long enough so that Pergamum could organizeContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 5”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 6

Text: Revelation 3:1-6 This morning we are introduced to the church at Sardis. In vrs 1 Christ tells this church, you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Jesus comes to the sleeping corpse of Sardis and takes their pulse and finds it to be very faint indeed. Imagine if sick churchesContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 6”

State of the Church Addresses | Part 8

Text: Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea was about 160Km east of Ephesus. It was a leading banking and textile centre. It was a centre for the wool industry and was particularly famous for a soft, glossy, black wool. Laodicea also had a medical school and was particularly well known for a certain eye ointment known as PhrygianContinue reading “State of the Church Addresses | Part 8”