All in Lord's Day Morning

The Profile of the Perfect Servant

What would you say marks an ideal servant? For those in employment, there are directives given by Paul in the New Testament: 'be submissive...in everything...be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith' (Tt 2:9–10, ESV). Paul outlines features such as submission, integrity and trustworthiness as marks of the servant.

10 Minutes Before the Meeting Starts

I wonder what sort of atmosphere characterises your meeting before it begins? In some places it is light chatter that can build up into a cacophony of noise. Often there are cordial smiles and greetings as people take their seats. Every meeting has a few ‘meerkats’ whose necks crane and look around to investigate every new sight or sound that enters the meeting room. Perhaps there are some who struggle to get to the meeting 10 minutes before it begins and thus enter the building flustered and in a jangling of noise. These are often common sights that we’ve all experienced.

The Thesaurus of the Heart

The Lord Jesus told many parables and used multiple illustrations that had a secondary audience. In Luke 6 he is addressing his disciples–‘And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said...’ (v20)–but you get the feeling that His perennial enemies, the scribes and the Pharisees, were not far away (v7).

Mine Own Familiar Friend

There are few people who can claim to have been betrayed as often and as treacherously as King David. He first experienced betrayal at the hands of King Saul. Fresh back from his victory over Goliath in the Valley of Elah, he might have expected some form of preferential treatment in the King’s palace. Instead he heard the whistle of the King’s spear as it flew past his head and thudded into the wall behind.

Leviticus 14

The ceremonial cleansing of the leper found in Leviticus 14 is a wonderful picture of what Christ has done for us through His incarnation, death, and resurrection. A deeper look of this ceremony will warm our cold hearts, and fill us with joy at who Christ truly is.

Led by the Spirit...Tempted of the Devil

What greater contrast could Doctor Luke present to affirm the stately humanity of the Lord Jesus? ‘Led by the Spirit’–even the Son of God, the perfect man, deemed it necessary to be led by the Spirit. We understand why Scripture would tell us that we should be led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14, KJV), but why Him? Surely as God, He did not require the work of the Spirit in this way? We note that He was also 'full of the Holy Ghost' (4:1) and so while we might not understand it, we are told that it was so. Thus, we read He was 'led by the Spirit' to go into the wilderness.

The Word–Jn.1:18 [10]

We have already seen some of the attributes of the Word, in that he is full of grace and truth. But now we see the character, nature and essence of the Word since he is the only begotten of the Father. The title ‘the Word’ conveys to us the disclosure of God’s mind but as the only begotten Son we see the disclosure of God’s heart.

The Word–Jn. 1:15-17 [9]

After the mountain top statement of “the Word was made flesh” we see again that John the Baptist gives testimony to the Lord Jesus. This is a parenthesis in the narrative between v14 and v16. It’s an uncontainable interjection, John is almost bubbling over as he declares the arrival of the Messiah. This echoes the feeling of the Psalmist when he said “my heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King” (Ps. 45:1, NKJV). Just as “the noise of the trumpet” (Ex. 20:18) signalled the presence of God in the wilderness, the trumpeting of John’s voice announced the coming of the Word.

A Great King Over All The Earth

One of my favourite hymns is Daniel Whittle’s classic, The Crowning Day is coming. In four carefully crafted verses, drenched in theology, he takes the congregation from our Lord’s current rejection, to the Crowning Day when ‘our pain will all be over.’ The sentiment of the hymn is clear; the Lord is rejected now, but will be crowned as King in a day to come. 

The Pilgrim Ark

The Ark of the Covenant is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus. It was the single most important vessel of the tabernaclebeing the very throne of God. It was constructed of shittim wood (incorruptible humanity) inlaid and overlaid with gold (deity) – how blessed to remember that God (gold) was manifest in the flesh (shittim wood)! These were twoseparate and different materials, but one glorious vessel. Likewise the Lord Jesus is perfect humanity and full deity in one glorious person. This Ark was the meeting place between God and His people – so the Lord Jesus is the one Mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2.5). But, as one year closes and another opens, I would like to leave a word (or three!) of encouragement in relation to the movements of this most holy of objects. The Ark was…

Magnify The Lord With Me

Every week we get another opportunity to do exactly as David instructs in this Psalm: "O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together."

What a call! "Magnify" means ‘make strong' or 'declare the greatness of.” “Let us exalt" or ‘raise up' or ‘lift high.’ To be clear, the Lord does not need us to declare His greatness, for He is great; nor does he require us to lift His name high, for it is already so. But, He wants us to, and commands us to, for no other reason than He delights to hear His people worship Him. David knew this, and he understood the immense spiritual benefit that came as a result.

The Word—John 1:14 [8]

John has described the Lord Jesus in some fairly abstract terms until now; we have seen him as life and as light, but here in wonderful succinctness we read that “the Word was made flesh”. This is personal, relational and close. The eternal Word who was in intimate union with God and is essentially God became man.

What Job Knew

It is possible to fall into the trap of assuming that Old Testament saints knew very little compared to what we know. This is especially true of some of the early saints, such as Abraham, Moses and Job. However, we must bear in mind what the scriptures say about such individuals; the Lord Jesus told the Jews that ‘Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad’ (Jn. 8:56, KJV). What degree of revelation Abraham had is the matter of debate, but one thing is certain; he believed in a coming Messiah. Of Moses, the Hebrew writer states; ‘He regarded abuse suffered for Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on the reward’ (Heb. 10:26, NET). He didn’t know Christ in the way we do, but again, he believed in a coming Messiah, and considered Him worthy of his suffering. Far from being unenlightened, disadvantaged saints, these were individuals who had received revelation from God directly.