Fear God, not man


Today’s reading: Gen 12:1–13:18, Matt 10:1–42, Eccles 3:1–8

Today’s theme: Fear God, not man

The theme from today’s reading is teaching us that we should not be governed by our fear of other men and the things we imagine they might say or do. Instead we should both fear and put our trust in God alone. We are called to boldly stand up for God in faith and treasure Him in our hearts above life itself.

Genesis 12:1–13:18

Do not let your thoughts be governed by fear

and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” Genesis 12:12–13 (ESV)

This was all in Abram’s mind, he was fearful and thought the worst instead of trusting God in faith. We can learn from this that we should not try to figure everything out in our own minds in fear but should instead trust God in faith.

Matthew 10:1–42

Called to persevere

and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. Matthew 10:22–23 (ESV)

We are called to endure and persevere, God grants us the grace and strength we need to do this.

Fear God

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 (ESV)

We should not fear man, instead we should fear God!

Stand up for God

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32–33 (ESV)

If God is taking care of the birds we know He will take care of us. We should stand up for Him and not fear man or be ashamed.

Treasure Jesus above all

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37–38 (ESV)

Jesus demands our allegiance and to have priority in our lives and affections. We need to examine our hearts and be sure we treasure Him more than anything or anyone else.

Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

Timing is important

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

Lord help us to do the right thing at the right time.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional resources

Look at the Book is a great interactive look at a Bible passage – Have No Fear of Them

The origin of language

Today’s reading: Gen 10:1–11:32, Matt 9:1–38, Eccles 2:18–26

Today’s theme: The origin of language

It is important to remember that our theology (the understanding of God), anthropology (the understanding of man and his origin) and ecology (understanding of the world including its origin and how we care for it today) is derived from the Bible and not man’s foolish ideas on how it all began. With that in mind our focus today is the origin of all human language. We once had just one language until God’s supernatural intervention at the tower of Babel. We also look at issues regarding racism today.

Genesis 10:1–11:32

“Black” people are not specially cursed

The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. Genesis 10:6 (ESV)

Cush, Egypt and Put were not cursed, only Canaan was. So let’s be clear, the African nations were not singled out to be especially cursed! This lie was perpetuated to justify the slave trade in modern times and has been used for centuries by different religions to divide, oppress and disfigure human beings made in God’s image based on their skin colour.

We are not defined by skin colour

These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations. Genesis 10:31 (ESV)

Notice The Bible distinguishes people by their language, clan, land and nation. It does not distinguish people by the colour of their skin! This is a fairly recent invention created to divide people in a way that God has never intended. Defining someone by the colour of their skin is very simplistic and quite disrespectful to the individual when compared to the richness with which people are defined in The Bible.

The origin of different tongues (languages)

Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:9 (ESV)

This is where all languages originally came from although languages have changed and developed over time.

Matthew 9:1–38

Live life on mission

But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12–13 (ESV)

Jesus teaches us that the mission of salvation cannot be achieved by us staying in “respectable company”. We need to go out into all the world and share the good news with everyone. God’s priority is self-sacrificing love rather than man-made ritual and protocol.

The new way

No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:16–17 (ESV)

The new way that Jesus brings cannot be contained by man made traditions and religious observances. We now relate to God in terms of a responsive, living relationship and not a religion of unfulfilled forms and shadows. Jesus has fulfilled the law and as a result, we now live our lives in the new order that He has made through the cross.

Pray for and be labourers

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37–38 (ESV)

This is still true and we should still pray this with all our hearts and be willing to be the labourers that are sent out.

Ecclesiastes 2:18–26

Work in faith

For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 2:26 (ESV)

All our work will only truly be of benefit to us if we put our faith in God which pleases Him. Outside of this, work can become like a slave master.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional resources

A great resource page about the Tower of Babel from Answers in Genesis

The fruit of conduct


Today’s reading: Gen 8:1–9:28, Matt 7:12–8:34, Eccles 2:12–17

Today’s theme: The fruit of conduct

Our conduct as Christians is the true evidence of God in our lives, good trees have good fruit (conduct and behaviour) whereas bad tress still have the naturally evil heart of man producing bad fruit. Having good fruit is only possible through Jesus. We also deal with one of the oldest lies regarding racism in today’s reading.

Genesis 8:1–9:28

Mankind, evil at heart

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. Genesis 8:21 (ESV)

As humans we are evil from our youth, this confirms the biblical teaching that we are all sinners in need of salvation which is only available through Jesus Christ.

The curse of Canaan

he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” Genesis 9:25 (ESV)

Notice Noah said cursed be Canaan (Ham’s son) not cursed be Ham or any of Ham’s other children. In the past this curse has been misquoted to say that Ham was cursed and therefore the African nations that came from Ham are cursed. This is simply a lie as the curse fell to Canaan and his children who were the 7 people’s of Canaan, the promised Land. “Black” people have not been specially cursed.

Matthew 7:12–8:34

The fruit of conduct

So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:17 (ESV)

Jesus has given us a very simple way to tell if someone is a true teacher, or even a true believer. What do they actually do, that is the fruit. We don’t need to know their heart (roots) we just need to observe their conduct (fruit).

Ecclesiastes 2:12–17

The unavoidable appointment

For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! Ecclesiastes 2:16 (ESV)

One appointment we all have to keep, so don’t make the pursuit of wisdom be your whole life, give your life to the one who has conquered death… Jesus!

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional resources


The origin of the races

The curse of Ham, it’s not true

Reward from God


Today’s reading: Gen 6:1–7:24, Matt 6:1–7:11, Eccles 2:1–11

Today’s Theme: Reward from God

Today’s theme is the great rewards we receive from God, we should focus on serving God and desiring the rewards He promises rather than the wages, false promises and rewards of sin. As we invest in God and His kingdom, the promises of future grace will help us to live well before God and encourage us to endure.

Genesis 6:1–7:24

God’s covenant to save us

But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. Genesis 6:18 (ESV)

We can be grateful that God has made a covenant with us through Jesus to save us from the wrath to come. In the same way God made a covenant with Noah to save him from the flood.

Obedient faith

And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him. Genesis 7:5 (ESV)

One of Noah’s distinctive virtues was that he was obedient to God’s commands. We too should be obedient to God.

A global flood

The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. Genesis 7:20 (ESV)

This was not a local but a global flood.

Matthew 6:1–7:11

Rewards from God

so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:4 (ESV)

There is nothing wrong with seeking reward, it is perfectly natural, the issue comes with where and who we seek to receive the reward from. We should seek to be rewarded by God in His time and His way. We do not deserve the reward but we gladly receive it as a benefit of God’s great grace. God’s reward can be a good motivation for all we do in the way we live our lives as believers.

Where is your investment?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 (ESV)

You will care about whatever you invest in.

Choose to serve God

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 (ESV)

In our capitalist and consumer driven culture we must consciously choose to serve God and not our own temporary pleasures through the pursuit of more money.

Human worth

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26 (ESV)

Humans are worth more than animals in God’s eyes, another blow to the theory of evolution.

Seek God first

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

We should seek God first, this was the word our Pastor Dennis preached at our new years eve / new years day service as we crossed into 2014.

Boldly ask

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:8 (ESV)

We must not be cowardly and quiet but boldly ask God for what we need in accordance with His will.

Ask for good things

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 (ESV)

Boldly ask God for good things!

Ecclesiastes 2:1–11

Seek Godly reward

And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Ecclesiastes 2:10 (ESV)

Solomon’s attitude here was really wrong, he felt his hard work entitled him to any pleasure he desired. This only leads to hedonism and is why Jesus taught us in today’s reading to seek reward from God and store our treasures in Heaven.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional resources

The Flood from Answers in Genesis

An Appetite for God


Today’s reading: Gen 5:1–32, Matt 5:1–48, Eccles 1:12–18

Today’s Theme: An appetite for God

Today’s theme is about us having a desire and appetite to walk closely with God through feeding on His Word, communion with Him in prayer and living in a way that brings glory to His name.

Genesis 5:1–32

Have a close relationship with God

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24 (ESV)

Enoch stands out from the crowd in this genealogy because of one thing, he had a close relationship with God. We should learn from his example and walk closely with God.

Matthew 5:1–48

Have an appetite for God

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6 (ESV)

We should have an appetite for God, His Righteousness and for His Word. If we don’t have an appetite for God then we really need to ask God to revive our hearts or to change our appetite.

Do good, to God’s glory

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

We make our light shine by doing good works to the glory of God and in God’s name.

True righteousness

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20 (ESV)

Our righteousness must come from the heart, it must be genuine and true not just external observance. This is only possible through the imputed righteousness of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

The heart of the law

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 (ESV)

Jesus takes us to the heart of the law and reveals the true intent of it. This is that we live lives of genuine righteousness from our hearts and not just externally. Our hearts are an open book before God, we must walk in honesty, purity and with joy.

Don’t retaliate

But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:39 (ESV)

Personal retaliation is forbidden.

Love your enemies

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44 (ESV)

This is not possible without God’s help. Jesus is asking us to do something unnatural for our flesh here, so we need the help of the Holy Spirit.

This is already taught in the Old Testament but traditions had built up over the years saying that enemies should simply be hated which was never God’s intention for his people.

Ecclesiastes 1:12–18

Don’t chase the wind

And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 1:17 (ESV)

This is a fruitless and futile task, we need to pray that we are not running after the wind but that our lives find their true purpose in God.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional resources

Desiring God on Matthew 5

Spurgeon on Enoch

The Old Lie


Today’s Reading: Gen 3:1–4:26, Matt 3:1–4:25, Eccles 1:6–11

Today’s Theme: The Old Lie

Important lessons today include the fact that the Devil has always lied to man through false religion and through our minds in thinking that we can in someway be on the same level as God, be a god ourselves or live above God. This is the oldest and ultimate lie which leads to the bondage of sin that Jesus calls us to repent from and find true satisfaction in Him.

Genesis 3:1–4:26

The old lie

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5 (ESV)

The devil is still using this same lie in many world religions and the new age movement and even in some so called Christian teachings where the lie is that man can become god through attaining secret knowledge… the old lie of Gnosticism.

The promise

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

This is the first promise of the Messiah (Jesus)

Cain’s wife

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. Genesis 4:17 (ESV)

A question often asked is where did Cain get his wife? In this early period of creation and human history, brothers and sisters would be married. This was before the commands against incest were instituted through Moses.

Scientific data backs this up and even points to the fact that as the human gene pool developed, marriage between close relations would cause genetic problems that it would not have caused in the earlier stage.

Matthew 3:1–4:25

The Trinity

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:16–17 (ESV)

All three members of the trinity are present at the baptism of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is like a dove, The Father’s voice and Jesus the Son.

The Bible is a weapon

And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:9 (ESV)

Jesus used God’s written word in all three encounters with the enemy. Today God’s written word is found in the bible, we should use it as a defense and as a weapon against the lies and schemes of the enemy.

The importance of repentance

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 (ESV)

Repent is the first word Jesus is recorded as saying in his public ministry, this shows how important and central repentance is to the Gospel.

Ecclesiastes 1:6–11

Lasting satisfaction

All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. Ecclesiastes 1:8 (ESV)

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. We can only find lasting satisfaction in God.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional Resources

The Fall of Satan and the Victory of Christ

Cain’s Wife—Who Was She?

God, The Creator

Today’s Reading: Gen 1:1–2:25, Matt 1:1–2:23, Eccles 1:1–5

Today’s Theme: God, The Creator

Today’s theme is clear, God is the one who created everything a few thousand years ago.

Genesis 1:1–2:25

God, The Creator

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”Genesis 1:26 (ESV)

Despite the theories of evolution and the errors of those who say Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God the evidence and record of scripture is quite clear. God is a Triune being and he created man not random or guided acts of evolution

Marriage defined

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (ESV)

Marriage between one man and one woman (not polygamy or other sexual relationships) was instituted by God and the first man Adam in the garden of Eden at the very beginning of creation.

Matthew 1:1–2:23

The Virgin birth of the God-Man

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18 (ESV)

Jesus was born to Mary who was a virgin, this miracle of incarnation was made possible by the power and work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not the physical son of Joseph or any other man. Jesus was the unique God-Man.

Ecclesiastes 1:1–5

It is all vain without Jesus

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:2 (ESV)

Without Jesus everything is worth nothing. Jesus brings value and purpose to our lives. Our lives (now and eternity) would be lived in vain without him.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014

Additional Resources


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