For many years, we have been producing devotionals that are contributed by members of our church. These are comprised of scripture and a short amount of reading to challenge, inspire and grow us in our faith.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New King James version of the Bible.
A series of devotional readings on the subject of 'Hope'.
The word “Genesis” means “beginnings” or “origins”, and this book unfolds how everything began - the world, human history, sin and God’s plan for salvation.
As we read this book about events that happened three and a half thousand years ago, we will learn much that is relevant to our own lives. We have an unchanging eternal God who is still working out His purposes for the world through us, His chosen people.
Deuteronomy gives us an idea of the commitment Moses had to God’s truth and the commitment we need to have to pursue the course of holiness and to accomplish our God-given purposes. Bottom line…. Disobedience to God’s Word is always more painful than obedience!
Joshua, after whom this book is named, was appointed to be Moses' successor. After Moses' death Joshua, who had been his assistant for many years, was to lead the people into the Promised Land
Named after the prophet Samuel, one of its main characters, this book covers the history of Israel during a period of change. The story looks at the lives of three individuals - Samuel, Saul and David.
2 Samuel continues the history of Israel. As we read this book and see how David walked in God’s ways, we see glimpses of how Jesus would deal with situations, and we also learn how to be people after God’s own heart.
The psalms are songs of many different types written by various children of God, including King David who wrote most of those we will be reading in this series.
Isaiah’s book was written against a background of political upheaval. The book falls into two parts. The first part (ch.1-39) is primarily a book of rebuke and judgement and the second part (ch.40-66) is predominately a book of comfort and hope. Together the two parts speak powerfully of salvation. Although not always easy to read, do press on, the rewards are great!
This book was written by Daniel (see 7:2), who, as a young Israelite lad of high birth, was deported from Judah after it fell to the Babylonian army. The book was written about 536 BC, both to other captives in Babylon and to all of God’s people, wherever they were scattered.
If you have ever doubted God’s love for you, read Hosea. Here we see clearly portrayed the God who “is love” (1 John 4:7), who loves ordinary, sinful human beings with patience, tenderness, understanding and steadfastness.
Joel speaks in powerful terms about disaster and how to respond to it. He shows us both the sovereign power and the tender mercy of the great God who is also our loving heavenly Father. He demonstrates to us that prayer really can change things.
The central message of this book is that being God’s people, enjoying His blessing and worshipping Him has much more to do with lifestyle, and righteousness and justice in particular, than with observing religious rituals.
It is not certain when this prophetic book was written, although it was certainly before the people of Judah were taken into exile. Neither is anything known about the writer - the prophet Obadiah - except that his name means servant (or worshipper) of the Lord.
Read through the entire book of Jonah in one sitting and try to establish what you think the key verse is for the book of Jonah. This is helpful to get the big picture and the full story of what happened and what is being talked about.
Micah’s message was aimed at God’s people. He spoke to both nations - Israel and Judah - and alternated between prophecies of judgement and words of hope
This gospel was written by the apostle Matthew (also known as Levi) who was called from his work as a collector of taxes for the Roman government to become a follower of Jesus (9:9). Matthew’s gospel is particularly noted for the way it brings together the Old and New Testaments.
Mark does not waste any time in introducing his readers to Jesus. There is just one general sentence of introduction before he moves straight into his narrative. His style is simple and straightforward, fast-paced and vivid.
Luke is the third of the ‘synoptic’, or literally ‘together view’, gospels; Matthew and Mark are the other two. The three together cover the life and ministry of Jesus.
The fourth gospel was written under the direction of God’s Holy Spirit by the apostle John.
The book of Acts covers thirty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Its theme is best summarised in 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
The book of Romans was written by the apostle Paul to the church in Rome. Although he knew many of its members, Paul had never been to the church in that great city, but he hoped to visit in the future.
As a pastor with a father’s heart for his spiritual children, Paul writes firmly, but lovingly. He sees their immaturity and worldliness (3:1-3), but he also sees their potential in God (1:4-8), so he urges them to move on to greater wisdom and holiness.
As we read this letter we will see in Paul a man who is a tremendous example of what it is to be a Christian. We shall also learn more of what it means to be a church leader, and recognise the respect we owe to those whom God has placed in authority over us.
This letter is about the gospel of grace. We are all justified through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works.
This letter was written by the apostle Paul around AD 60 during the time when he was imprisoned in Rome. It was written to the Christians in Ephesus, which was the capital of the Roman province of Asia (today part of Turkey).
On his second missionary journey, Paul went to Macedonia (present-day Greece) to the city of Philippi to establish the first church in Europe.
This letter to the Christians in Colosse was almost certainly written by Paul, probably when he was in prison in Rome in about AD 60.
This letter was written to Jewish Christians who had converted from Judaism. It is not known who wrote the letter to the Hebrews, although Paul, Barnabas and Apollos have all been suggested as possible authors.
Paul was deeply concerned about the state of affairs in the newly-formed church he had had to leave so abruptly. Unable to return himself, he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how the young believers there were getting on.
These books are full of encouragements and instructions on how to live a life that will glorify God and draw people to Him. As you read these letters, I encourage you to examine your life against the example that Paul gave to Timothy.
Like Timothy, Titus was a younger man whom Paul was training to be a church leader. This letter to Titus, like the letters to Timothy, contains much advice about how to organise and lead churches. Philemon is the shortest of Paul's letters.