Monday 28 February, 2022

I so appreciate this parable, it reminds me again of the significance of the Word and inspires me not to take it for granted. 

How cool that God has seeds and He is scattering them across the ground, it reminds me that God is active in the world and wants to bring life. What a helpful metaphor, God’s Word is like those seeds, each verse is a tiny package with expansive and reproductive life potential. God partners with His people across the globe to scatter tiny packages of expansive and reproductive life potential. What about John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life’. A tiny package of one sentence, but what potential for life and freedom is in that one verse! 

God, forgive me for underestimating or dismissing your Word. Please help me to have a heart of good soil, that I would receive the seed of your Word and that it would bear much fruit in my life. Amen. 

Written by Ps. Beth Waugh

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Sunday 27 February, 2022

* This passage of Scripture is about the readiness of a person’s heart to receive the word of God.
* God so desires for us to listen to him and to be fully engaged.

* The Kingdom of Heaven has secrets that not everybody understands but believers have been given insights and this is a great privilege

How often have you felt that those around you simply “don’t get” why you believe in Jesus and why the Christian faith is central to all you do?  This passage of Scripture goes some way in explaining the reasons. On one level it seems a little cruel in that those who listen to God will be given even more knowledge in regards to the Kingdom of God.  They already had some level of understanding and now they get more while those with hard hearts, the little they knew is taken from them.  It’s the hard hearted that really need the revelation but they are not ready to receive it. They are not looking or listening to God.

Jesus uses parables or storytelling to stir and ready people’s hearts so that they will be in a position to see and hear God.  Storytelling is such a powerful form of communication because it engages us from the outset.  As a story unfolds an image is brought to mind as we try and work out the plot. The image and therefore the message sticks in one’s mind.  Jesus used stories to explain God’s Kingdom because he wants to communicate with men and women. A story can bring a different perspective, the flicker of hope and the beginnings of faith. I am encouraged to share stories rather than principles or facts alone.

Dear God, help me to tell your story to those around me like Jesus did. Amen

Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods

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Saturday 26 February, 2022

So frustrating! Jesus has just finished some really deep and important teaching about listening to God and the nature of evil spirits and some random guy in the crowd breaks in with a comment completely off topic. “Hey Jesus your mum and brothers are out here and want a word.” Was he even listening?

Jesus, true to form, doesn’t miss a beat. He points to his disciples and says to the guy “do you see these guys? That’s my family!”

Can Jesus point to me and say “look at that guy! Do you see him? Putting God first in everything, immersing himself in Me, crying out and begging for the Holy Spirit, obeying and imitating me even when its costly. Look at him go! That’s my brother!”?

Oh, Jesus. May you say this of me. Amen

Written by Boudy Van Noppen

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Friday 25 February, 2022

The request for a sign revealed the character of that “generation’s” hearts.  Jesus had already been providing signs, and his opponents were disputing their validity (12:22–24).  All too often we ask for a sign and then ask again not convinced that what has been given is enough.  Jesus explains that his generation needs no greater sign that He is from God than his own message.  He insists that the only sign the sign-seekers would be given was the sign that God supplied the Ninevites: Jonah’s restoration after three days.  The Ninevites repented without recognizing a sign, whereas Jesus’ opponents were too hard-hearted to repent despite the many signs he had been giving them.  Jesus was greater than Jonah yet the generation were not prepared to repent. 

Where am I asking God for more – is it to convince me of who He is?  God is God and I need to get with that program and stop requiring Him to prove Himself! 

Father help me to honour You and take You at Your Word – for You are Almighty, All loving, All wisdom…

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Thursday 24 February, 2022

There is a popular saying, “actions speak louder than words”, but here Jesus is reminding us that our words are just as important and directly linked to the state of our hearts…

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We often talk about “bearing good fruit” in our lives with regards to the way we live and the things we do, but here Jesus is using the metaphor of “good fruit” in the context of what we speak.

I recognise here that the Pharisees are just speaking lots of rubbish –accusing Jesus of doing miracles by the power of the devil in order to distract and hide from the obvious truth that is before them. They don’t want to acknowledge who Jesus really is and what He is requiring of them, because that would involve humbling themselves and exposing their sinful hearts.

How many times have I done that – made excuses and used distraction techniques to avoid facing what’s in my own heart?

I am on a journey to dig deeper and get to the root of any thinly disguised pride in the form of false words used as smoke-screens to hide behind.

May I know (acknowledge) the truth and speak the truth – for the truth will set me free.

Written by Shelley Witt

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Wednesday 23 February, 2022

Matthew puts this OT scripture confirmation (Is 42:1-4), of who Jesus was, right in the middle of story’s of Jesus miraculously healing & delivering people which brought hatred from the Jewish leaders. This passage is confirming God’s love, authority & Spirit given to Him & it confirms His character – justice.

The verse that I have gravitated to is v21. ‘In his name the gentiles will hope’. Hundreds of years (700) before Jesus, God spoke this & thousands (2,000) of years later I’m reading it. This speaks to me of Gods unswerving control of history & my life in the midst of eternity. He is there before I am. He knows I need hope. He knew I’d need Jesus, He knows my life & He is in control of all my circumstances. What an amazing God, how can I not put my trust in Him.

Father God the future & hope you have given me in Jesus is such a huge comfort & assurance, even when things look the opposite, I know that you have got this. Thank you from a grateful heart.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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  1. Richard says:

    Thanks Suzie.

    I am drawn to the phrase “Aware of this Jesus withdrew from that place.” The previous verse says that the Pharisees were conspiring against Jesus with a view to destroy Him. Well who wouldn’t withdraw, what a natural reaction. Of course we do not know the motive of Jesus for withdrawing. We are aware that He commonly went to lonely places to pray. This was one of His rhythms of life. So He could have just been following one of His rhythms for life or it could simply have been that it was not yet His time as John reflects in John 7:30 and John 8:20 or of course He could have been protecting Himself. All of this to say there are times when the best thing to do is to withdraw. We are not built to always be taking the hill, always advancing. We do well to note when we should be on the advance and when we should withdraw.

    Father, give me the wisdom to know in what circumstances I need to withdraw and the courage to do so.

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Tuesday 22 February, 2022

The Pharisee’s are out to trip Jesus up. They are trying to catch him doing or saying something ‘inexcusable’. Any mistake that Jesus might make, they want to use to tear him down. They are so hell-bent on getting at Jesus they are missing the forest for the trees. Jesus is saying and doing everything they could have hoped for: Miracles in their day, good news for all people, the enthusiastic crowds that follow Jesus are proclaiming God’s goodness. The very fundamental purpose of Sabbath ‘Sunday’ is demonstrated in front of the Pharisee’s with a miraculous healing and they prefer to quarrel and fume. Can’t they just be happy for the bloke whose hand is healed? 

I’m reminded that this is an illustration of God’s fundamental attitude towards us: to heal, to restore, to show his love. The opposite of this attitude, being a Grinch over the technicalities, is tempting territory for most people. It is so easy to want to seek power through re-enforcing rules, quibbling over definitions, protecting laws and leveraging hierarchies. eg. “That man with the deformed hand is out of line! This isn’t right. Something is wrong, he’s unclean!” 

Jesus. The story of you is often so direct on the pages of the Bible. “The man was healed by Jesus, let’s celebrate!” But still this message was lost on certain people. Jesus, I don’t want to be ‘certain people’ – I want to be your disciple and celebrate your love, your ways and your plan with you. Amen.

Written by Sam Stewart

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Monday 21 February, 2022

Everybody loves the stories of Jesus being challenged by the Pharisees.  With a single scripture he silenced the Pharisees and brought freedom from the letter of the Law.

When I was a younger Christian I would have said, ‘Yes and Amen to that, I am on Jesus’s team, I would never use the scriptures to my own advantage’, however the older I get the more I wonder how often I act like a Pharisee and do not realise it.

The problem with these Pharisees was a preoccupation with legalities without understanding the underpinning principles of ‘love and grace’.  Simply, God has shown great ‘undeserved favour’ to us and in turn, asks we show ‘undeserved favour’ to others.

Grace that has been shown to us must be passed on.

What is interesting about the verse ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’ is it’s speaking to people who are already devoted to God.   This is less about how we treat God and more about how we treat others.

So, take the opportunity today to observe your own behaviour and attitudes to others.   Do I show the same quality of mercy to others that is shown to me.

Lord, I ask you to help me today to be more sensitive to others and how I may practically show mercy to those I come into contact with.  


Written by David Newton

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Sunday 20 February, 2022

This passage is not meant for me.
For years I’ve claimed this passage, particularly verses 28-30, as my own – one of my favourites. But it’s not intended for me. It’s not intended for people who are already Christians – already set free from their past and their sin and are following Jesus as His disciples. Jesus was not speaking to His disciples – He was speaking to “the crowd.” (See Matthew 11:7 – where this conversation began)

This passage is a call to those who are currently stuck in darkness, loaded down helplessly with a burden of sin and guilt and separation from God that they just can’t shift no matter what they do. It is for those who are weary from striving to be good enough for God’s heaven and know they haven’t made it and can’t make it. This is a loving call to those who’s lives are broken and to the broken hearted.

This is the wonderful ‘swap’ of the gospel! The amazing and incomprehensible exchange – that Jesus takes my burden of sin and guilt and separation and darkness and puts it ALL on Himself. And in exchange He gives me His rest. He takes the death that I deserve for my rebellion against God and pays for it on the cross and in exchange gives me His eternal life.

He simply asks us to come.

The best way to do that is simply to talk to him…

God, I’m sorry for my rebellious life. I don’t want to live that way anymore.  Thanks, Jesus, for taking all my burdens and my death onto yourself when you died on the cross.  Jesus, I come to You now. To learn from You how I am to live, to receive rest for my soul and the eternal life You offer.  I know these things can be found in no one else.   Amen

Written by Boudy VanNoppen

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Saturday 19 February, 2022

I read this passage and think about the places where Jesus did miracles but there was no turning from their sin and turning to God.    This verse 20 – makes the Fear of God rise in me.

Has God done a miracle for you?  Jesus has done miracles for me.  We must make sure we walk in repentance and freedom of Christ.  Set free from our sin and walking free in His Spirit and His grace.

Let’s each of us take Jesus by the hand each day and walk with Him.

Lord help me to walk free.  You took the punishment for my sin and shame.  Help me to walk each day with you.  Help me Lord to know your freedom, love and grace afresh today.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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