I give my heart (Dec 20)

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 I was struck recently by the lyrics of the last verse of the carol In the Bleak mid-winter: “What can I give him, poor as…

Ever adoring (Dec 19)

There is a slogan “A dog is for life not just for Christmas” and I think as Christians we can get caught in the trap of thinking celebrating the birth of Jesus is just for Christmas. We put lots of energy and effort into Christmas services. We have all the carols and festive Bible readings.…

Let every heart prepare Him room (Dec 18)

 “but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy” 1 Peter 3:15 There is section in the classic carol Joy to the World that goes “let every heart prepare Him room” that I think is an important reminder reminder for us as we approach Christ. We need to remember to honour Christ the Lord…

Refugees welcome because of the manger (Dec 17)

“And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and remained there until the death of Herod” Matthew 2:14-15 The birth of Jesus was not widely celebrated on the first Christmas. King Herod in particular felt threatened when the wise men came looking for the newborn baby they said had been born…

Come and worship (Dec 16)

We are getting closer and closer to Christmas. By now you probably have decorations up, cards written and some of your shopping done. Everything is underway. But today we need to take time and remember that the only truly fitting response to the birth of Jesus, the long awaited righteous branch, our liberator and the…

The Righteous Branch (Dec 15)

“There will come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight…

Joy to the world (Dec 14)

“Rejoice always” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” Philippians 4:4 Several times in the New Testament Paul commands us to rejoice in the Lord always. Issac Watts’ classic Christmas carol Joy to the world reminds us of the reason why we should be especially full of joy at Christmas –…

The case against Pastor McConnell and the Gospel

This week in Belfast, capital city of Northern Ireland – a country that would still regard itself as a very Christian country – Pastor James McConnell faces trial over remarks he made in a 2014 sermon about Islam. He stated “People say there are good Muslims in Britain – that may be so – but…

Come thou long expected Jesus (Dec 13)

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” John 8:31 From the very start of creation we have been a rebellious people. We all reject God’s commands. We are…

Immanuel (Dec 12)

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 Today we are back in Isaiah for another name that was given to Jesus our Saviour in the prophecies prior to his birth – Immanuel. Immanuel means God is…