Millstones and amputations (Mark 9:42-50)

Jesus has a serious warning for those who lead others into sin. He says: it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.  God has a great love and concern for the vulnerable and so we have a great responsibility for them. … Continue reading Millstones and amputations (Mark 9:42-50)

Get behind me (Mark 8:27-38)

Strong and shocking words from Jesus “Get behind me Satan”.  Why does he use such strong language? It’s because he recognises in Peter’s response to his teaching that he must suffer and die one of the devil’s big temptations. Earlier we saw how the Pharisee’s demand for a sign echoed Satan’s encouragement that Jesus should… Continue reading Get behind me (Mark 8:27-38)

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (3) I am tempted to believe that I am dependent on others for my relationship with Christ (v11-13)

The commander in chief of David’s army, Amasa’s body lies in the road. Joab has assassinated him. One of Joab’s men then stands by the body and calls out: “Whoever favours Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.”[1] Loyalty to David has now been explicitly linked to loyalty to Joab. The both… Continue reading Relentless Spiritual Warfare (3) I am tempted to believe that I am dependent on others for my relationship with Christ (v11-13)

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (2) I am tempted to believe that my agenda is what matters (2 Samuel 20 v4-10)

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King David is under attack from Sheba, a worthless man. He has sent the new commander of the arm, Amasa to muster the soldiers of Judah but Amasa is delayed in returning. We are not sure why Amasa takes so long. It is possible that despite his loyalty and willingness, he isn’t an affective commander.… Continue reading Relentless Spiritual Warfare (2) I am tempted to believe that my agenda is what matters (2 Samuel 20 v4-10)

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (1) I am tempted to believe that I have no share in the inheritance offered by Christ (2 Samuel 20 v 1-3)

In this mini-series of articles I identify 4 types of temptation that we face. The context is 2 Samuel 20 where we see that David faced relentless trouble and opposition in the later years of his reign following his sin with Bathsheba. We live in a fallen world and this means that spiritual warfare is… Continue reading Relentless Spiritual Warfare (1) I am tempted to believe that I have no share in the inheritance offered by Christ (2 Samuel 20 v 1-3)

The pandemic – faith and emotional health

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Earlier this week, I shared the results of a survey that I had done among my twitter followers picking up on the impact of the pandemic. The survey showed that whilst quite a few people are able to talk positively about the impact on their spiritual health in terms of relationship to church family and… Continue reading The pandemic – faith and emotional health

A magnifying glass on my sin

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Back in 2019 I was becoming increasingly irritable and snappy.  I found that my patience was in short supply and that I struggled to find joy and delight in things.  Perhaps it was no surprise then when towards the end of the year I found myself diagnosed with Mixed Anxiety and Depressive Disorder. Things had… Continue reading A magnifying glass on my sin

Policing temptation with what we wear

Social media is a dangerous place to go if you are worried about causing offense. Twitter in particular is a place where the compression of communication can lead to a lack of nuance and much misunderstanding. Of course it works well if your desire is to be provocative. But plenty of pastors have come unstuck… Continue reading Policing temptation with what we wear

Walking away from gossip and slander

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In a recent study of Romans 6, I talked about sanctification and how we are tempted to see the Gospel in the following terms. I enjoy sin, it brings me pleasure but at a great cost, the penalty of death. Christ pays that price so I am free from hell but in return he expects… Continue reading Walking away from gossip and slander