Sunday, 29 June 2014
Duration: 35 mins 25 secs
Solomon reminds us at the beginning of Proverbs that this book is for "gaining wisdom and instruction". At the end of this book Solomon decribes the attributes of the wife of noble character. But is this passage about what a wife should do to please her husband and family? No, it is more about what we as people need to do to please God! In God's eyes, marriage is husbands and wives complementing each other and not competing against each other. Marriage should be about love, about submission, about leading, about unity, about working together, and to fear and have faith in God. To fear God is to see Him as He really is - righteous and holy, and to recognise who we are - sinful and not worthy of Him. The fear we have of God should not drive us away from Him, but draw us closer to Him.
Sunday, 22 June 2014
The Shunammite woman is a lady of faith. She recognises that Elisha is a man of God and makes the effort through her hospitality to serve God in preparing a room in her home for Elisha to stay when he comes to visit her town. After the death of her son, the Shunammite woman did not just accept the earthly fate of her son but put her faith in God through Elisha that her son may be restored to life. When we invite Jesus into a life do we allow Him to take over all aspects of our life or do we set apart just a section of our life for Him whilst relying on things of this earth? Putting our hope in earthly things will ultimately lead to failure. We need to put all our hope in Jesus because it is only through Him that we will be able to spend an eternity with God.
Sunday, 08 June 2014
Duration: 29 mins 20 secs
Nabal, a Calebite, was very wealthy but was a man who was very mean in his dealings. His wife Abigail was in complete contrast to Nabal. She was an intelligent woman who was approachable, understanding and quick thinking. This was shown when one of the servants tells Abigail what Nabal has done to offend David. Her response was immediate and deliberate in making amends for Nabal's mistake. In Abigail's meeting with David she shows that she is wise and God fearing. In her speech to David she highlights key attributes of God that are critical to David's well being, as well as our own, in that God provides the direction, protection, correction and completion in our lives. Abigail shows true servanthood, even when David invites her to become his wife after the death of Nabal. Abigail was willing to do what was required of her by God. God invites us to one His servants. Are we willing to do what He requires of us?
Sunday, 01 June 2014
Duration: 34 mins 54 secs
Many of the stories of the Old Testament retell the history of the people of Israel. But they are more than straight historical records. Together they show that God was not idle in the lead up to the coming of Jesus, but constantly working in the lives of His people to save and restore them into right relationship with Him. In theological terms, this is called salvation history, and the story of Samuel is an important part of it as he is used by God to anoint the first kings of Israel. Samuel's story however begins with Hannah, a woman who, in desperate times for Israel, was desperate to have a child and went to the only one who could meet this need.
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Duration: 39 mins 19 secs
Ruth is a short book tucked away between Judges and 1 Samuel that tells one of the most deeply touching stories in the whole Bible. It is not first and foremost a love story however. It is the story of God on mission to bring back people to Himself. The story of Ruth is a beautiful picture of this redemption. Ruth was a widow and foreigner, living in a strange land. Circumstances had reduced her to a life of poverty. She was an outcast, destitute and needy, and she could not save herself. She needed her life redeemed. Really Ruth's story is that of every person in this world. It foreshadows the life of Jesus, who entered this world to become our kinsman-redeemer and to buy us back to God.
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Duration: 31 mins 17 secs
What is God doing in this world today? God is on mission - bringing the sinful world of His fallen creation to the redeemed world of His new creation. Rahab was part of the Amorite kingdom who were going to be condemned because of their sinfulness. But in amongst all of this wickedness, and whilst her profession would say otherwise, there was a glimmer of faith in the form of Rahab. Rahab understood God's power and was saved because of her faith, along with her family, from the wrath of God. The criminal on the cross next to Jesus also understood God's power and even in the last minutes of his life was saved to spend an eternity with Jesus because of his faith. God is always about bringing people back to Himself. That is the task that we have been left to do - spreading God's word and making disciples!
Sunday, 11 May 2014
Duration: 29 mins 31 secs
Sarah's life was one of ups and downs with the main issue for her being childless. She was faithful to her husband Abraham and had no hesitation in following him when he is called by God to leave their country. With the arrival in Canaan, and ten years after the promise from God that Abraham and Sarah would give birth to a child, Sarah, still childless, decided to take matters into her own hands by offering her Egyptian slave, Hagar, to Abraham in order to fulfil God's promise - but this was not meant to be. How often do we take matters into our own hands without having God involved? 25 years after His promise, God delivers, and Abraham and Sarah have a son. We are to trust in God's promises to us, look to the cross and to say it is not in my strength that I am able. It is our trust, faith and hope in Him by which we can be made right.
Sunday, 04 May 2014
Duration: 11 mins 10 secs
It is right to feel the tragedy and loss of the actions of Eve and her husband Adam when they gave into temptation and took of the fruit they were told not to take. How can we judge, after all they were only human, and we too have become victims of temptation of our own doing. Would we have done anything different if we had been there in the beginning? Eve had the perfect life before giving into temptation. We can only imagine how bad she must have felt when she realised what she had done to displease God. When it comes to us focussing on the Kingdom of God, we are not called to be tourists, but we are to seek permanent residency there. In order for this to happen we may need to make some changes in our life. Unlike Eve, we come from an imperfect beginning, but we can be made perfect in Jesus.