March 10, 2014
Jesus wants women to be theologically minded and grounded in the Scriptures. That's why he commended Mary, who sat "at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching" (Luke 10:39), while Martha served Jesus and his disciples. Instead of applauding Martha for her service, Jesus approved Mary for choosing "the good portion, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:42). Mary chose the one thing that is still necessary today. Women who are students of the Bible, serious about studying it and hearing it taught, choose the good portion, the one thing that is necessary.
February 4, 2014
In todayâ€™s society, not many of us have experience as shepherds. We many have seen shepherds in movies or while on holiday somewhere, but shepherds arenâ€™t a part of our every day life here in Dubai. Reading John 10 and the way Jesusâ€™ teaching centers around the sheep fold and the role of the shepherd might be as confusing for many of us today as hearing Him speak about applied physics or advanced calculus. Shepherding isnâ€™t the field of expertise for many of us and so we must approach John 10 carefully to understand what Jesus was saying to His first century listeners.<<>>
February 4, 2014
Today we are looking at John chapter 9 and two things come to mind as we are reading this beautiful account of Jesus giving sight to a man born blind:
â€œLight and darknessâ€
But how could we describe them from personal experience?
As I was thinking of this, I remembered a dear friend of mine and her story of what she went through in the 2010 earthquake in Chile.<<>>
December 4, 2013
â€œHe came to his own, and his own people did not receive himâ€ - John 1:11.
He is the Creator of all, but His own creation rejected Him and sought to kill Him. Jesusâ€™ deity is the major theme and the focus of conflict in John 6. By the time we get to chapter 7, Jesus has performed many miracles and signs whose purpose was: John 20:30-31 â€œNow Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.â€ However, despite the miracles and signs that Jesus performed, not everyone believed in Him.>>> Continue Reading...>>>
November 18, 2013
We live in the midst of the Muslim world. Not only that, but we live in a city where many different religions are represented. We have a Seikh Temple right down the road, and many of us have Hindu and Buddhist friends we interact with in our daily lives. Of course, there are many in our city who are completely secular and donâ€™t believe in God at all. To our friends from other backgrounds, Jesus is a controversial figure.>>>Continue Reading...>>>
November 14, 2013
Thus far in our study of the book of John, we have seen Jesus. We have seen Him revealed through Apostle Johnâ€™s inspired writings, by John the Baptist and through Jesus' own words and signs. Last week in chapter 3 we saw Jesus revealed through a discussion He had with Nicodemus. This week in chapter 4 we see Him revealed through His encounters with a Samaritan woman and a Roman government official. It is interesting to note that these personal encounters Jesus had were with people from different backgrounds.>>>Continue Reading...>>>
November 10, 2013
We all know John 3:16.
We see it proclaimed on coffee cups, bookmarks, T-shirts, bags, golf caps, and signs outside churches. It might even be on your front page of your bible. John 3:16 is one of the best known verses of the Bible among both Christians and non-Christians. Biblegateway.com says that itâ€™s is the most read verse on their website! So, what more can we learn from this verse? Surely we know it well enough?>>>Continue Reading...>>>
October 31, 2013
With Dubai being a transient community, people are always coming and going and it seems everywhere we go we have opportunity to meet new people. New people at church. New people in ladiesâ€™ Bible study. New people in our neighborhoods. New people at our kidâ€™s schools. New people in the elevator. Weâ€™re all pretty good at asking and answering the questions that come along with the meeting of new people. We ask and answer â€˜whatâ€™s your name?â€™, â€˜where are you from?â€™, â€˜how long have you been here?â€™, and â€˜what brought you here?â€™ all the time. In essence what weâ€™re asking is â€œWHO ARE YOU?â€ This is the question that we see asked and answered in our passage this morning.
October 31, 2013
In the Gospel of John we will find evidence upon evidence of Jesus as the Son of God. This will through the many signs Jesus did which were recorded. In John 20:30-31 we read â€œNow Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.â€ Today we will look at the first of the many signs Jesus performed. It should be observed that Jesus had not performed any miracle until this time at the wedding in Cana. John chapter 2 marks the beginning of Jesusâ€™ public ministry. It gives us two important tasks that Jesus came to perform: To establish a relationship with his people and to purify his bride the church. At the wedding in Cana they run out of wine and when Jesus had turned water into wine, the master of the feast said, to the bridegroom â€œyou have kept the good wine until now.â€ He did not know where the wine has come from.>>>Continue Reading>>>
September 26, 2013
Before we dive in to a Bible study, we should ask ourselves, â€œWhy?â€ Why do we daily read and study our Bibles, and why do we gather together to talk about what we have learned?
The answer is simply that we believe this book to be the very words of God, as 1 Timothy 3:16 says, â€œBreathed out by [Him].â€ We were created to know and enjoy the God who spoke the universe into being, and we know him by reading what he has revealed about himself in the Bible. >>> Continue Reading >>>
September 26, 2013
"Who do you think Jesus is?" Islam teaches that Jesus was a great prophet who lived in Palestine, was taken up to paradise and will come again. Hindus believe he was a wise guru or even a godï¿½ï¿½"one of the many in their pantheon of gods. New Agers believe that Jesus was a spiritual master who attained enlightenment.>>> Continue Reading >>>
May 15, 2013
I love reading, there is something just so satisfying about a well written story. Sometimes, you can read a book and the story will be written so beautifully, that it's like the author is painting a picture with words in your mind. But I suppose what I like most about a story, is the happy ever after. What makes a story worthwhile is that it should have a good ending. One that resolves all the plot lines and brings everything to conclusion. As we have read the narrative of Nehemiah, having learned many excellent lessons from him, how wonderful if at end of this narrative we could have concluded, â€œAnd they lived happily ever after.â€ But the history of mankind is unfortunately not a fairy tale. Nehemiah had done what he set out to do - the wall was rebuilt! He had appointed men to all the various positions of responsibility. The people had committed themselves through oaths to keeping the Laws of God and they were contributing to the work of supporting the Levites, singers and gatekeepers. Nehemiah thought that his job was done. I suppose he thought he was heading for a happy ever after. >>> Continue Reading >>>
April 23, 2013
â€‹Do you remember the story of Balaam from Numbers? King Balak of the Moabites hired the pagan prophet, Balaam, to curse the Israelites, but Balaam was unable to pronounce a curse on Godâ€™s people. God stopped his mouth and then opened it with a blessing on the people. The account of Balaam is in Numbers 22-24, but the very next chapter, Numbers 25:1-3, we read:
â€œWhile Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor.â€ >>> Continue Reading >>>
April 15, 2013
From my bedroom window I can see the rugged mountains that separate the UAE from Oman. The view is beautiful. We live near the beach, and Godâ€™s creation is on powerful display when you survey the ocean contrasted with the desert against the imposing rocky mountains. But as summer marches towards us and the temperatures have begun to rise in the past few weeks, my ability to see the mountains has gotten worse. What I have since found out is that the high humidity in the UAE is in part to blame. It causes water vapor to linger in the air. Lots of water in the atmosphere makes our visibility hazy. Add to this humidity sand stirred up and smog lingering around, and as a result Iâ€™ve lost my beautiful view of the mountains for the next 7 months or so. >>>Continue reading >>>
April 10, 2013
How did you get on with studying Nehemiah 7 and 8? Did you enjoy it? I mean, chapter 8â€™s pretty exciting stuff" but chapter 7? We all have favourite bits of the bible, but I doubt that Nehemiah 7 would make it into anyoneâ€™s Top 10. When you were doing your homework, perhaps you were tempted to just skip over the list of names and numbers. >>> Continue Reading >>>
April 4, 2013
If someone asked you 'whatâ€™s your problem?', something would automatically pop into your head. We all have problems. Some problems are physical like sickness, pain, stress, or monetary issues. Other problems are emotional like loneliness, fear or anxiety. Whether big or small, problems are a part of everyday life for everyone in the world. And, if weâ€™re really honest with ourselves, weâ€™ll admit that we have even bigger problems ~ we all suffer from heart problems as sin rears its ugly head in our lives and attempts to distract us and pull our attention from God to the world.
March 25, 2013
What should God's people do when they are serving God faithfully, building up His kingdom - and opposition comes? Nehemiah gives an outstanding example for us to follow in his narrative in chapter 4, on standing firm during times of opposition. Charles Simeon is another example of someone standing firm. He was appointed (by the bishop of York) to be the vicar of Trinity Church in Cambridge, England from 1782. Unfortunately, the parishioners did not want him as their pastor as they preferred the assistant curate, Mr. Hammond, and so Simeon offered to step down. However, the Bishop of York refused Simeonâ€™ offer, saying that he will not place Mr. Hammond in the position of vicar. And so Charles Simeon stayed on. The parishioners were still unhappy and started an all-out attempt to remove him from office. As they had the authority to choose who preached Sunday evening service, they assigned this service to Mr. Hammond. After 5 years, when Mr. Hammond moved on, they invited other preachers to preach Sunday evening service for another 7 years. Can you imagine, serving a church for 12 years that would not even let you preach on Sunday evenings. >>> Continue Reading >>>
March 5, 2013
â€œNehemiah was a godly and wise leaderâ€, â€œNehemiah was building a city within a cityâ€ are some obvious, true and helpful points that we can deduce from the study of Nehemiah 2:11" 3:32. However, some pressing questions like â€˜whatâ€™s the connection between walls and reproach or what is God doing through Nehemiah?â€™ and â€˜how does it apply to us today?â€™ need answering! >>> Continue reading >>>>
February 21, 2013
Kathleen Nielson writes, â€œNehemiah is not only telling the story of the Jewish people. He is telling above all, the story of God at work among His people, accomplishing His sovereign plan to preserve them and bless the nations through them, as He promised Abraham.â€ (Nehemiah Rebuilt and Rebuilding" page xiii.) At the time of Ezra, the Jewish remnant has re-established the temple, but the rest of the city still remains in ruins. We now meet Nehemiah, the man God used to lead the rebuilding of the city wall. Who was Nehemiah? Unlike Ezra, who was a priest, Nehemiah was a lay-person. He could have been born and raised in Persia. In chapter 1 verse 11, Nehemiah tells us that he was a cupbearer to king Artaxerxes. He protected the kingâ€™s life with his own life, tasting the kingâ€™s wine for poison. He was trusted. He was in a very influential position. He had access to the king, yet it was also a very dangerous job. >>> Continue Reading or Listen to it>>>
February 13, 2013
The book of Ezra is no less than history, but it is also more than history. We can learn from it. When reading Old Testament narrative, we should always ask ourselves what we can learn from it today? We should ask what was the purpose of the temple to the Israelites and what does rebuilding it have to do with us today? Should I, as the wife of the church planter, read about the rebuilding of the temple in Ezra and draw a direct correlation to building our church building? Are Ezra and Nehemiah lessons for church planters and pastors on how to deal with rulers, how to rally their church members to work hard, how to find financial resources from unexpected places, and how to deal with opposition inside and out the church? >>> Continue Reading >>>
January 29, 2013
History is God's story. It is His-story. In the book of Isaiah God says "...I am the Lord, and there is no other, I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord who does all these things." (Is 44:6-7.) God clearly orchestrated events in the time of Nehemiah and Ezra. But he orchestrates the events of our lives also. God has written each person into His story. To gain a deeper understanding of events in Nehemiah's time, we will look at three things: the past, the present (Nehemiah's time) and the future (our time). >>> Continue reading >>>
January 22, 2013
The first Friday Magazine in the Gulf News 2013 was full of encouragements to make this a better year. In fact, flashed across the cover was â€œ2013: Why it will be your best year yet!â€ Inside the magazine there were articles on people who achieved great things in 2012, like conquering a shopping and hoarding addiction, giving up binge eating, quitting smoking and losing 52 KGs.
As inspirational as those stories are, studying the book of Nehemiah is perfect for the beginning of a new year. Nehemiah is a man who accomplished great things and the book is the story of a new beginning for his people, the people of Israel. While the book doesnâ€™t end on a triumphant note, we can be encouraged by Godâ€™s mercy and kindness towards his people, and Nehemiahâ€™s faithfulness to his God. Before we decide what will make 2013 our best year yet, we should consider what this short book has to teach us about being the people of God.
>>> Continue reading >>>