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Ipswich Christadelphians

"Prove all things, hold fast what is good" 1Th 5:21

Short articles that give food for thought. Click on the '+' to review articles.

Women in Christ's Genealogy…

Women in Christ's Genealogy…

Women in Christ's Genealogy

  The women in Christ’s line…An extract from the Testimony Magazine, February 2016 There are four women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ as recorded by Matthew. It is suggested that they reflect the life in Christ of a baptised believer. &nbs hab, the harlot. Rahab lived in Jericho in a world so steeped in sin that it had to be totally destroyed. However, she heard of the might of the God of Israel and believed in the way that He had led His people Israel out of Egypt and throug…

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Keep Hanging On!…

Keep Hanging On!…

Keep Hanging On!

Every day we say things which are not to be taken literally. If we’re not feeling well, we might say that “We’re under the weather” or that we “Feel like death”. That’s just a colourful way of expressing our feelings, and everybody understands that. Literaurative? Smetaphors are used which have a quite different meaning when applied literally. We might say that “My heart stopped when I saw it!”, when we really mean that we were very shocked at something we had seen. But…

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The Prophet Isaiah…

The Prophet Isaiah…

Isaiah lived in the times of Uzziah, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah – about 740 to 680 BC. This was the period when the Assyrian Empire was growing in power, and Judah was about to be invaded by Sennacherib. Isaiah lived in royal circles (he was a great friend and advisor of King Hezekiah) and had a wife and children in Jerusalem. Isaiah is writing at a time of nations in decline, he is as it were sent at the 11th&n ur to speak to Israel. Basically the book can be divided into 3 rough s…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 5…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 5…

David's input into Solomon's temple This study s designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual the need to give careful attention to the text the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture the value of building up a picture from various scriptures the value of recording and preserving information found. &n  You will need: Bible with marginal references, concordance or compueriz…

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When the time is right…

When the time is right…

When the time is right

Sometimes things happen just because we are in the right place at the right time. Or, if it is something bad that happens, because we were in the wrong place at that very time. What if we had been born at a different time in the world’s history?&n  you had been born in the Middle Ages, just reading this website (had it been around at the time!) could have cost you your life. Many people were executed just because they wanted to read the Bible for themselves. At that time the Church held the m…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 4…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 4…

  The Promise To David  This study is designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual the need to give careful attention to the text the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture the value of following up quotations the value of recording and preserving information found. You will need: Bible with marginal references, concordance or computerized Bible There are two ac…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 3…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 3…

Psalm 34 and David’s experiences This study is designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: at Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectualtrneed to give careful attention to the texttrimportance of contexttrvalue of comparing Scripture with Scripturetrvalue of recording and preserving information found. will need: &nbs e with marginal references; &nbs ordance or computerised Bible&nbs The title of Psalm 3…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 2…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 2…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 2

  The death of Saul You will need a Bible, a Bible Atlas, a concordance.   Read 1 Samuel 31     This study is designed to highlight the following aspects of Bible study from the list given in Part 1: 1 show that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual show the need to give careful attention to the text reveal the value of knowing Biblical geography highlight the value of recording and preserving information found The Bi…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 1…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 1…

Introduction This series of short articles is designed to demonstrate, by working through some simple pieces of Bible exposition, that Bible study is not just for the academic. It is hoped that any who read these short expositions will realise, if they have not done so already, that rewarding Bible study is within the grasp of us all. All that will be required to develop your own studies along similar lines will be a Bible, ideally with marginal cross-references; a good concordance or comp…

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Salvation from sin and death…

Salvation from sin and death…

Salvation from sin and death

  Criminal Convictions The original Guildhall at Lichfield probably goes back even further than 1421, the first recorded date. It was known to be the meeting place of the guild of St Mary and St John which was founded in 1387, hence its name the “Guildhall.” And the later use of part of the building as a prison is enough to send a chill down one’s spine. For in the times in question there was little mercy shown to suspected criminals; the only protection from the weather was the bars w…

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The Lamb of God…

The Lamb of God…

The Lamb of God

    It was John the Baptist who first made the connection. He had become a well-known figure in First Century Israel; a priest by birth who had become a reformer instead. Positioning himself by the River Jordan, instead of in the Temple at Jerusalem, he had summoned the nation to renew their vows and to enter into a new spiritual experience. They were to repent of their sins and be baptised in the Jordan. Coming Deliverer But, on his own admission, John was not the centre of the r…

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What's around the corner?…

What's around the corner?…

What's around the corner?

    Have you ever travelled along a twisting and narrow road hoping that there is no other vehicle approaching the same tricky corner at the same time? Or have you walked along a winding path wondering what you are going to see around the corner, hoping that you will get a new insight into how near you are to your journey’s end? rld Events Things that are happening in today’s world are a bit like that for some people. We seem to be turning a corner, but nobody is very sure what…

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One step at a time…

One step at a time…

One step at a time

Climbing steps is easy enough when you are young and fit but not so easy when you’re getting older and a bit stiff. Young people love to race up, partly to show what they can do at their age; older folk have learned that it’s surprising what you can accomplish if you take things one step at a time. r ChallengesLife can present us with some formidable challenges. We might have a crisis with our health, or with that of someone close to us. We could lose our job; have to move home; make…

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Coping with Change…

Coping with Change…

Coping with Change

 This is the time of year in Britain when it might snow. It might or it might not. The weather has been so unpredictable of late − 2012 being almost the wettest year since records began − that anything might happen. Some years it snows heavily; occasionally we get a very severe winter; but it could remain mild. It’s that unpredictability that makes it difficult to plan ahead so that everything carries on much as before, snow or no snow. ck! is well known that a light snowfall c…

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Felixstowe Talk…

One step at a time

garden stepsClimbing steps is easy enough when you are young and fit but not so easy when you’re getting older and a bit stiff. Young people love to race up, partly to show what they can do at their age; older folk have learned that it’s surprising what you can accomplish if you take things one step at a time.

Major Challenges

Life can present us with some formidable challenges. We might have a crisis with our health, or with that of someone close to us. We could lose our job; have to move home; make new friends or have to learn a new language. Sometimes we set ourselves these challenges, like wanting qualifications or a change of lifestyle. At other times we have no choice but just have to do the best we can.

Whatever the challenge, it is good advice to take things step by step: not to rush, but to approach the problem steadily. After all, if you were climbing up the steps shown on in the picture, wouldn’t you want to linger a little and enjoy the blossom and the views?

In Bible times people were sometimes confronted by issues that were hard to resolve. The land of Israel once lay desolate for seventy years, its inhabitants having gone into exile. When their descendants returned, there was a lot to do. The family farms had been neglected and they had families to feed. The cities that had once been occupied had fallen into disrepair and the temple in which their fathers had worshipped had been destroyed by enemy action. They had to attend to first things first.

The Right Time

rebuildingtemple01

Building their homes was the first job for the returning exiles, to provide shelter for themselves and their families. Home improvements can consume a lot of our time and money and it was the same in those days, over two thousand years ago. Wanting a bit of extra comfort or making things look more presentable, some householders were lining their walls with cedar wood boarding, only to earn this rebuke from a prophet of God:

“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Consider your ways!’” (Haggai 1:4–5).

The prophet’s point was that following God was to be their first priority. Unless they put Him first nothing would work out for them. If they attended to God’s will as the first thing they did then everything else would fall into place under God’s hand. This is exactly the point the Lord Jesus made as well when teaching those who wanted to follow him:

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
All the things we really need will be supplied by God provided we make it our first priority to seek God’s will and to live accordingly.

Commitment

Some people have difficulty making a commitment about anything. They don’t get married because that’s too big a step and they might want to walk away from the relationship if things get tough. They don’t get a permanent job because they prefer the option of short-term contracts: they might get bored doing the same job, or something better might turn up. They won’t join a church congregation because they might have to get involved.

Such people prefer to be free agents, having no significant obligations or responsibilities. But people on the fringe of things never get to experience the enjoyment of those who have stuck together through thick and thin, good and bad times, happiness and sadness. And when it comes to church membership, they never really share in the fellowship of believers who worship together week after prayerful week.

Deciding!

But how do you make the decision that could prove life changing, when you find decision-taking difficult? You have to take it one step at a time. Making a small decision is the way to considering a bigger one, with God’s help. It was so with the exiles who returned to the land of Israel back in Haggai’s day.

Encouraged by the promise that God would help them to settle back there, they began to build the Temple on its ancient site. The words of God through His prophets stirred them up and they started to build (Haggai 1:14,15).
They weren’t especially skilled, but they did their best and when they had finished they were a bit downcast. For the Temple that had been on that site – built in the days of King Solomon – was one of the wonders of the ancient world, and the second Temple they had built was much less grand.

Doing our best

God does not ask the impossible; He only asks us to do our best. He sent Haggai to reassure them that He would see to it that the Temple would become glorious, for He would fill it with His presence. And He sent another prophet with a message which is exactly what we need to know as well. His name was Zechariah and this is what he said:

“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small things...? (Zechariah 4:9,10).

Zerubbabel was the leader of the infant community at the time and he was overseeing the building work, from start to finish. What God wants us to understand is that our efforts might not amount to much, compared with the achievements of others, but they are acceptable in His sight, and that is all that matters. If God is with us we are bound to succeed.

Come to Jesus

Anyone contemplating establishing a life-changing relationship with Almighty God needs to come first to Jesus, for he is the self-declared way, through truth, to life (John 14:6) and nobody can come to God except by believing and being baptized into the saving name of Jesus. But that’s a big step and you may be wondering where to start.

The answer is to start reading the Bible regularly – a bit at a time. Leave the rest to God.

CoupleReadingBible


 

A version of this article was published in Glad Tidings magazine. If you found it helpful you can subscribe to receive a free copy of the Glad Tidings magazine each month by clicking on the logo below.

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