Thursday 30 December, 2021

2 Peter 3:1-9

3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Have you ever broken a promise? I have, I’m sure we all have. This passage continues Peter’s earnest appeal to believers to be wary of false teachers & prophets that are actively leading young believers astray .. including those who scoff & raise doubt about the promise of Jesus’ second coming. (Matt 24:44, Rev 1:7-8, Rev 3:11, Rev 22:12-13, Acts 1:10:11)

Nothing has changed, there are still scoffers .. yet how many believers live as though the promise of Jesus’ return is not a current reality? Verse 9 reminds us that the Lord is not slow on his promises, I am grateful that He waited for me. We have just celebrated Christmas, the birth of our saviour which was prophesied/promised hundreds of years earlier, yet he came at the right time (Gal 4:4).

I don’t believe that Peter is writing to scare but to encourage us. Jesus will come again at the right time, perhaps he’s waiting for you to turn to him (repent) or others you know, he wants as many as possible to enter into the Kingdom. He has promised. It will happen.

Lord Jesus, let me never forget the promise of your coming again, help me to keep my eyes on that prize and not be distracted by the things & seasons of this world. Amen.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Wednesday 29 December, 2021

2 Peter 2:10-22

10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. 13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. 17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

What a straightforward, arresting and condemning passage of scripture. Is it strange to say, refreshing? But not in the sense you may think I mean. I am refreshed by a (brutally) honest account of the empty, impulsive, corrupting ways of the flesh. There is nothing good in this extensive description of giving oneself over to the flesh. And what powerful imagery: “these people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm.” There is a sense of lives that have so much possibility, or promise, but are in the end found empty and wanting.

What is perhaps most arresting is the fact that this could be any of us who know and follow the Lord – the flesh is an ever-present temptation that we can be overcome by, if we are not careful. But I see Good News. As verse 20 clearly implies, Jesus is the great liberator. He is the one that works escape from this extensive description of soul-destroying corruption. So, I need not fear, as long as I remain near to my deliverer. His way of life promises me the exact opposite of all that is grimly described here.

Lord, I cling to you and your way.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Tuesday 28 December, 2021

2 Peter 2:1-9

2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

Jesus had told his disciples that false teachers would come, telling people what they wanted to hear and twisting the truth and His teachings. Peter calls us to be aware of their shameful ways, lying, and greed as this is the path to destruction. I constantly rely on the Bible and Holy Spirit to guide and train me in the way of the Lord.

Our society is full of deception and lies. I am being led to believe that I must be the most important thing in life and that everything should be bent towards making me happy, safe, and complete. It tells me that I should be number one! The gospel quickly puts me back on course and guards me against the deceptions of our society.

Peter however is talking about something even closer to home: false teachers inside our faith. Those that pretend to follow Jesus but secretly introduce heresies, even denying our sovereign Lord. Let us follow Peter’s warning and turn away from false teachers. Trust in the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly for our Father knows how to rescue the godly from trials!

Lord, we pray for discernment against false teachers and those that bend your word and authority. Allow us to hold on to you and seek your will. Let us lean not on our own understanding but trust in you with all our heart. May we remain God-fearing, Christ-following, and Holy Spirit-filled. In your precious name, Jesus.


Written by Sven Bessesen

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Monday 27 December, 2021

2 Peter 1:12-21

12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The first time we hear “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” is when Jesus is baptized (Matthew 3:16-17). The next time was where the disciples saw Jesus, with his face shining like the sun. God again declares that Jesus is his loved son and that he is “well pleased” with him. But he adds, “Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5). Peter tells us he did indeed listen and hear God’s affirmation of Jesus as his true son. He takes it one step further and passes it on as a reliable eyewitness to us.

Peter tells us to pay attention to the prophets and his witness to Jesus as though they were a light in the darkness. It’s like the morning star pointing to the dawn about to break. It’s not just that Jesus was in the past, he is in the present, and we firmly expect that he will be revealed in even more glory than on that mountain, like the breaking dawn, when he returns to bring all God’s promises to completion.

Christmas is a great time to remember Jesus, born as Joseph’s son – but much more importantly, as God’s loved son. It’s also a great time to see and hear what Jesus is doing in my life now. And it’s a great time to imitate Peter in being a reliable witness, passing on all the truth about Jesus. And it’s a great time to remember that Jesus is returning, like the dawn breaking, bringing his glorious light and life. It’s a great time to be like the morning star, reflecting the Son of God’s glorious light to the world as a reliable witness.

Jesus, thank you for stepping into our world as a baby in Bethlehem to live amongst us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit living in us now. Thank you that you’re coming to us again with the fullness of your life and love for us.

Written by David Cornell

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Sunday 26 December, 2021

2 Peter 1:1-11

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It may surprise you to know that I don’t like being told what to do. Shocking, I know! I think most, if not all of us feel that way. But the writer of 2 Peter doesn’t want us to feel like that. He is so excited by what he is about to tell us – truths about the greatness and love and “divine power” of God – that he can hardly contain himself. It’s like he is saying “this is the secret! This will change your life! The benefits of doing what I’m about to tell you are beyond what I can describe!” Ok Peter, you’ve got my attention. What do I do?

Answer? – “Add to your faith.” V5

“Add” isn’t a great word here. The original word was more like “extravagantly throw yourself in, boots and all.” ie because of the massive love and grace of God shown to us in sending Jesus to save us, let’s show that same massive love in the form of obedience and living God’s way.

Then Peter gives a list of things to do, a list where each virtue builds on the previous and explains how God wants us to live…

Goodness (being Christ-like)

Knowledge (renewed mind)

Self-control (see 2 Timothy 1:7)

Perseverance (keep trusting God)

Godliness (think – reverence for God)

Mutual affection (think – mercy and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ)

Love (think – agape. Love like God loves)

But here comes the best part. Verse 10 says, “If you do these things…” this is what you will experience…

Abundant peace

Abundant grace

Effective for God

Productive in your Christian life

Validate/confirm your calling 

Never stumble

Receive a rich welcome into heaven

God will share His nature with you 

We need to ask ourselves “what good thing can I add to my faith today? How can I obey Jesus today?” and then do it – boots and all! If we do that, the blessings from God will amaze us. 

Father God, thanks for providing everything I need for “life and Godliness.” Please help me listen, and do what you say today. From now on I will add to my faith – boots and all – because of what you’ve done for me. 


Written by Boudy Van Noppen

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Saturday 25 December, 2021

1 John 4:10

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Let’s take a moment to stop and to try and let these words sink in. They are perhaps the most wonderful and the most powerful words ever written:

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

So, so simple, although it may take us an entire lifetime to try and understand how this could possibly be true. 

Everyone wants to be known and to be loved for who they are deep inside. People will go to great lengths (and sadly, sometimes depths) to grasp for love in different ways, to try and prove that they are worthy of love and belonging.

And yet the greatest love, the love of the One who created us and knows us better than we even know ourselves, has been right here all along, right within our reach.

This is the story of Christmas – we didn’t go looking for Him… Jesus came looking for us. And when He finds us in all our shame and brokenness, He doesn’t say “You are a mess – clean yourself up, then I will love and accept you”. No, instead, He Himself covers our shame with His sacrificial love and forgiveness.

As we approach this Christmas, may the wonder of God’s love and sacrifice for you sink deeper into your heart.

You don’t have to prove that you are worthy of God’s love. In one sense, we can never be worthy enough, but He loves us anyway.

“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till He appeared, and the soul felt it’s worth”.

Written by Shelley Witt

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Friday 24 December, 2021

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus – the advent King, the one in whom our faith is anchored is given here a powerful description – Wonderful Counsellor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  The first two remind us of His deity, His wisdom and strength, the latter two how He outworks such power and authority.  All too often we see and experience power and authority expressed in directive, even dictatorship methods – But Jesus is different.  He expresses His ultimate power and ultimate authority – there is no one like Him – through fathering and bringing peace.  Wow – that is the kind of Kingdom I want to be part of.

This Advent why not come to the King of the Universe – Jesus!

Father help me to experience Jesus in all His authority and power expressed through being an everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Thursday 23 December, 2021

Psalm 96

1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

What a wonderful declaration this psalm is: Great is the Lord and worthy of praise! This psalm speaks of His marvellous deeds, majesty, glory and splendour. It declares His sovereignty over heaven and earth. He is above it all. He is worthy of all praise.

This psalm calls us to actively sing, give praise, proclaim, declare, ascribe, worship and speak of His greatness. As I read it, I’m drawn in. I too want to join in and offer my praise to the Lord.

By doing this, something amazing happens. As I offer praise to the Lord and lift Him up, as I focus on Him and declare His goodness and greatness, He draws me close to Him.

God is not interested in a distant one-way relationship. He wants us to be with Him, side by side. But He doesn’t force us to worship Him. If we humble ourselves before Him and recognise who He truly is, He offers a way of salvation through Jesus so that we can live in close relationship with Him.

Oh Father God how thankful I am for this. Thank you for loving me and sending your son Jesus for me. Thank you for making a way to draw me close. You are truly worthy of ALL praise and honour. 

Written by Gab Martin

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Wednesday 22 December, 2021

Isaiah 35:1-10

35 The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. 3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. 8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Have you ever been in a ‘wilderness’ season of life? Where things feel dry or fruitless, like you are constantly walking in circles but getting nowhere? I know I have. I have experienced seasons that have felt barren and empty, that have drained me and made me question whether there was any hope or purpose in what was going on.
One of the things that has sustained me in seasons like this has been the word of God, specifically passages like this one that remind us of who God is and the goodness He brings, how He promises that “dry places will be full of joy”, and of the hope that is to come.

The truth is that being one of God’s people does not guarantee an easy breezy life all the time. However, when we know God, we know that we can have peace and hope no matter our circumstances or surroundings, because of who He is. We can also continue to have hope that when this life passes, we will live in perfect freedom and peace, with “joy that lasts forever” because of Jesus.

Jesus, we know that nothing in this life can be perfect because of sin that has entered and permeated every part of our world. We thank you that you are working all things for good – seasons of dryness and seasons of abundance, and that we have hope of an eternal life of joy with you because of what you have done for us. Help us to hold onto these truths in all seasons of life that we face. Amen.

Written by Madelaine Tarasenko

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  1. Richard says:

    Streams in the Desert

    What a strange sight? Streams in a desert!! Isn’t it a desert simply because there are no streams?

    Yet the Scripture declares that there will be streams in the desert.

    When Jesus comes to a person there is monumental change, transformation at the innermost parts, and so there become streams in the desert.

    Dry experiences, may come but up bubbles another brook, another stream of His grace.

    What hope and expectation comes as a result, faith emerges, life released.

    This Gospel of Jesus is life transforming. Not a bolt on optional extra, it is a life filled with life, the life of the Spirit that broke Jesus out of a grave and caused the whole cosmos to take note.

    Father help me to believe for, imbibe and experience the life of Your Spirit in His fullness that the advent of Jesus be truly transforming in me.

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Tuesday 21 December, 2021

John 3:16-21

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

I am passionate about addressing climate change. It is something I feel responsible for. Many activists talk of saving the world as being the goal, for the people of the future. And so it is.

But someone has already made the world right by fixing the broken relationship between people and the creator of this beautiful world. Jesus.

When Jesus brought heaven down, he came to help make the world right … with God. (v17)

Jesus is love. This passage shows God’s love through the person of Jesus.

Jesus coming to live among people showed the loving Father’s heart more than words to prophets or laws to obey. Jesus is the fulfillment of those prophecies and brought in a new commandment of love.

Jesus demonstrated his love by giving up everything he had with The Father and coming to live with us. He showed us what love is like, as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13. When I think about Jesus’ life and death, it represents the characteristics listed there: patient and kind (think of his meeting with the Samaritan woman); never bears a grudge (think of his loving restoration of Peter the disciple); doesn’t demand its own way; always wants the best for someone else (think of the miracles); never puts itself first (think of the cross); not jealous or proud (think of the temptation); doesn’t boast; isn’t rude; always hopes; never stops.

It is through his life, and death, that Jesus was “The Light”, exposing falsity, deceit and religious legalism (“the darkness”.) At the cross he submitted to being belittled, tried, condemned, tortured, killed so that we are not condemned if we believe in him (v18).

Dear Heavenly Father. You gave up so much in sending Jesus. When you were separated from your son in those 3 days it must have felt like agony. I thank you that Jesus’ life and death have cast out darkness in my life and for the promise this is for everyone in the world. Amen.

Written by Claire Moore

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