To know God's love, to show God's love

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Recovering our Passion

After the outburst of excitement and determination that brought back almost forty thousand exiles back to Jerusalem to rebuild the ruined Temple, resistance and the temptation of an easy life mean that 18 years are allowed to pass without a single brick being laid. Then, as Ezra 5 records, two prophets – Haggai and Zechariah…

The man who tried

On this Easter Sunday we remember how John 18:26-19:16 records Jesus being brought to Pontius Pilate, a pagan, a Roman, a man from an entirely different world, and a man (who boasted at least) that he held Christ’s life in his hand. And yet, convinced as he was of his innocence, Pilate could only try…

False Friends

Success attracts false friends, but how can you tell, and how should we respond to offers of such false friendship? Ezra 4 describes how the returning exiles navigating exactly those, very contemporary, challenges. And there are a number of truths that become evident: False friends can’t give true help False friendship is expensive to refuse…

First things first

Crisis and difficulty has an almost irresistible way of betraying what the real priorities in our lives are. It was so for the returning exiles in Ezra 3. Their behaviour when they returned to the ruins of the Temple show that they had learned: The first work is sacrifice The first need is passion The…

It’s always about the people

The second chapter of Ezra is one of those passages we often find unpalatable, but in the very emphasis on the details of small places, where the ordinary people lived, which makes it difficult to read issues two challenges to us. Do we, like Israel, have … An understanding of our place in God’s work?…

Promises Kept

In Babylon Israel were a people without a state, without a king, and very often, without even their own name. Daniel, Hananiah, Zerubbabel, all were given new names honouring false gods. God’s faithfulness in keeping the promise he made through Jeremiah meant, Remembering their real Name Remembering their real Home

God never gives up

The events of the book of Ezra when the glory days of Israel are long gone, when the Temple itself has been destroyed. It must have felt like God had abandoned them – but God never gives up. To understand that we need to grasp: How hopeless was their situation How inevitable had been their…

Paradise

Our final study in Revelation encompasses the last two chapters which offer a picture of comes after the decisive victory of Christ. The world is come is pictured as a New Jerusalem and there are three things that are made clear to John about it: The New Jerusalem is a Present Reality The New Jerusalem…