Reflections

Short Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer

Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 01
Our Father who art in heaven
RFL001.01S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, April, 2020

Today we start with the most fundamental understanding of ourselves in relation to God, one which determines how we address God and sets the tone for all that follows.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 02
Hallowed be thy name
RFL001.02S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, May, 2020

Today we start to look at the first three petitions of the Lord’s prayer; three petitions that summarise our response to knowing God as our father, and which concern God’s person and his glory.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 03
Thy kingdom come
RFL001.03S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, May, 2020

Today we look at the second petition which builds on our desire to see God’s named hallowed, and God’s person glorified.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 04
Thy will be done, on Earth as in heaven
RFL001.04S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, May, 2020

Today we look at the third petition which tells us of how God’s kingdom will be finally established, and what the condition is for its appearance.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 05
Give us this day our daily bread
RFL001.05S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, May, 2020

Today we start look at the fourth petition, which appeals to God for our immediate bodily needs.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 06
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
RFL001.06S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, June, 2020

Today we look at the second petition for ourselves, which is the first of two spiritual needs.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 07
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
RFL001.07S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, June, 2020

Today we look at the third petition for ourselves, which is the second of two spiritual needs.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 08
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever
RFL001.08S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, June, 2020

Today we look at those final lines of the prayer, the doxology, which, though not in either the Matthean or Lucan accounts of the Lord’s Prayer, have historically been seen as a fitting end the prayer.

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Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer – Week 09
Amen
RFL001.09S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, June, 2020

Today we bring the prayer to an end in the manner of almost all our prayers. The final word which seals our intentions and submits us to playing our part in seeing our prayers bear fruit. 

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Short Reflections on Suffering

Reflections on Suffering – Week 01
Hope in Suffering
RFL002.01S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, August, 2020

Paul has been talking in the previous chapters of Romans about the free gift of God’s grace in the person of Jesus Christ.

More speci#ically, Paul has been arguing that because of the life and death of Jesus on the cross, we, by being joined with Jesus in faith, are transferred, as it were, from a world dominated by the law, by sin and by death, into a world dominated by faith, by the Holy Spirit and by the hope of glory.

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Reflections on Suffering – Week 02
Called to Suffering
RFL002.02S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, August, 2020

A few weeks ago we spent a little time looking at hope and suffering, and saw how Paul encourages us to place our suffering within the greater context of the glory of God, which will be our eternal joy and satisfaction.

We made reference to the suffering of Jesus, who himself endured because of the joy set before him.

Today we are going to pause a little longer on Jesus’ particular call to suffer.

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Short Reflections on Galatians

Reflections on Galatians – Week 01
No Other Gospel
BRFL009.001.01S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, 20201

The gospel that Paul preaches is not a man-made gospel, he did not learn it from the other apostles or the Jerusalem church but from the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Paul is frustrated that the Galatian christians are so quick to turn away from the gospel. There is no other gospel. Paul curses those who preach a gospel contrary to the one he preached.

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Reflections on Galatians – Week 02
Justified by Faith
BRFL009.001.02S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, 20201

Paul is so con+ident in his God-given authority, and the truth of the gospel, that he will confront anyone in its defence. Paul opposes Peter and Barnabas for their hypocrisy. Paul asserts that a person is not justi+ied by works but by faith. The law, and trying to obtain righteousness through the law, just demonstrates sin. Paul has died to the law, being cruci+ied with Christ, and now lives by faith in Christ, the Son of God.

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Reflections on Galatians – Week 03
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
BRFL009.001.03S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, 20201

Having established his authority, and the uniqueness of the gospel, and having demonstrated how he defended the gospel in the face of hypocrisy, Paul now challenges the Galatians with regard to their own willingness to compromise the gospel and adopt Jewish legal practices. HIs challenge: did you received the Holy Spirit by works or by faith?

Paul appeals to the experience of Abraham, reasoning the primacy of God’s promise to Abraham, over the demands of the law, arguing that the law imprisoned people until faith was revealed in Jesus Christ. Paul argues that righteousness is established by faith and not by obeying the law, and that the law was a gaoler keeping God’s people imprisoned until Christ should come.

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Reflections on Galatians – Week 04
Abba! Father!
BRFL009.001.04S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, 20201

Paul moves from the idea of the law as a gaoler to the law as a guardian or manager. The people are compared to children under a teacher, who are no better than slaves. When Christ comes the children, are freed from their guardian and adopted into the full sonship of God.

Paul appeals to the Galatians on the basis of their prior relationship, expressing pain that their previous love for him now appears to have been replaced by hatred, because he would not compromise in telling them the truth of the gospel.

Paul then appeals to the law itself, using the allegory of Hagar and Sarah to compare those under the law with those enjoying freedom in Christ and the beneBits of God’s promise to Abraham.

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Reflections on Galatians – Week 05
Faith Working Through Love
BRFL009.001.05S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, 20201

Having established his authority, and appealed to Abraham, to his relationship with the Galatians, and to the law itself, to prove his case, Paul now moves on to address the issue of circumcision in particular.

Paul argues that if a person were to accept circumcision then they would be obliged to obey the whole law, and shows that in Christ whether a person is or is not circumcised does not matter, since the key to the matter is faith working through love.

Paul warns the Galatians not to use their freedom as an opportunity to sin, instead telling them to walk by the Spirit and bear spiritual fruit.

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Reflections on Galatians – Week 06
Bear One Another’s Burdens
BRFL009.001.06S, A5 Booklet, v.1.0, 20201

Having completed his case against adopting legal practises, and having warned about using Christian freedom as an opportunity to sin, Paul now goes on to teach about the manner in which Christians should behave.

Paul ends the letter with a <inal warning against circumcision, and a brief benediction.

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