Saturday 7 April 2012


Notes for "a time to be born"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Genesis 1:1-2:25
The first few pages of the Bible describe the birth of the universe and the beginning of life on earth.  They tell us that we are here as the result of a deliberate act of creation by an Almighty Creator.

Is 45:18
We are here for a reason, not by accident or a chance evolution.  Life is meaningful, not meaningless.

Is 66:1-2
Eccl 12:13
We have a duty, a responsibility towards our creator which will give real purpose to our lives.

Hab 2:14
Acts 17:22-31
Is 65:17-25
God has a plan for the world, to fill it with the glory of his character and wisdom.  That plan requires a process of rebirth, a new creation, because the world has been corrupted by human evil.

1Pe 1:32
2Cor 5:17
Eph 4:22-23
We ourselves need to be reborn, remodelled for our place in the new world of the future.

Luke 1:1-2:52
Is 9:6-7
1Cor 15:20-23
The key to this divine plan is Jesus Christ, whose miraculous birth 2000 years ago is the pivotal point in human history.  He is the first of this new creation.

1John 5:1
Rom 6:1-4
We can be reborn by our faith in him.  Baptism is the essential sign of that change of direction in our lives.

Notes for "a time to search"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Luke 12:13-15
1 Tim 6:6-10

Many spend their lives looking for happiness, for whatever they think may bring happiness - money, fame, success of some sort.  Many are disappointed.
Romans 2:7
Matt 7:7-12
Through his Word, God promises happiness to those who seek for glory and honour through him.  But can we trust that promise?  How can we test it for ourselves?
John 17:17 
Many religions make promises to their adherents - how can we find 'the truth'?
2 Tim 3:14-17
It is our privilege to be able to read God's Word, to search out its message, and to test it in our lives.
Luke 24:27
Gal 3:8-9
Acts 26:22-23
The consistent theme of human redemption (the 'good news'), that runs through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, is unique evidence that this is God's revelation to us.
1 Cor 3:11
Acts 4:10-12
Only in Christ is salvation to be found.  No other religion promises hope through a God-given redeemer.
1 John 4:1
Is 8:19-20
 There are many false prophets and false spirits whose words we must test and reject.
1 Tim 4:7-8
Prov 3:13-18
 In finding 'the truth', we will find real happiness now and the prospect of perfect life in the future.

Notes for "a time to plant"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Matt 13:1-23
Jesus told a parable about a sower. In his story, the seed represents the good news about God's Kingdom, planted in our minds by God. This seed may not take root in us at all - it may take root but then be swamped by everyday things - or it may flourish and produce the right response, the fruit that God is looking for.

James 1:21-22
Gal 5:22-23
Phil 4:8

This process is under our control - we can let the 'good news' take root; we can encourage it to grow. The fruit it produces is a character like that of Jesus, a life modelled on his.

Luke 13:6-9
John 15:1-8
Heb 6:7-8

One day the harvest will come- God will look for fruit from us. Unfruitful plants, thorns and weeds will be destroyed.

Isaiah 5:7
Joel 1:6-7
Jer 31:27-28
Amos 9:14-15
Luke 1:31-33

In a similar Old Testament parable, God's people, the Jews, are represented as a vine or a fig tree. The prophets of Israel foretold a time when this nation, unfruitful and long uprooted from its land, would be replanted in the Holy Land, and ruled by a new king sitting on the throne of King David- Jesus Christ.

Notes for "a time to weep"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Gen 3:16-19
 Human suffering stems directly from our disobedience to God; at present the whole of creation labours under the curse placed upon it by God in the beginning.  Humanity is condemned by sin to a life of constant struggle against nature, ending in death.

Rom 5:3-4
Heb 12:9-11
Acts 14:22
James 1:12

Through this struggle our characters are formed.  Through it we can come closer to God, as we are moulded into something better that gives him pleasure and that will bring us into his kingdom.

Luke 4:18-19
Luke 6:21
John 16:20-22

Jesus came to bring comfort, hope and joy to all who believe and trust in him.

Heb 2:10
Heb 5:7-9

Jesus himself was made perfect by his sufferings.  When we suffer, we follow in his steps.

James 1:13-15
James 4:1-3

God is in no way responsible for moral evil, but uses good and evil circumstances to bring about his purpose.  Man alone is responsible for war and conflict of all sorts.

Rev 21:4
Rom 8:19-21

When God's plan is complete, pain and sorrow will disappear, and the whole creation will be filled with joy. When God's plan is complete, pain and sorrow will disappear, and the whole creation will be filled with joy.

Notes for "a time to heal"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)

Isa 1:4-6
Rom 7:14-25
The Bible uses physical disease and disability as a symbol for moral weakness.  Medical science has produced amazing advances in the treatment of physical and mental illness, but what is really needed is a remedy for our spiritual disease.  Only this will produce a genuine improvement in the human condition.
Matt 11:5
Matt 9:2-8
Jesus' miracles of healing were the proof of his authority to do something far more important - to remove our sins, and heal our sin-disabled nature.
Deut 32:39
Psa 103:3
This authority comes from God, who alone is able to change our nature.
Isa 53:4-12
Rom 4:25
Jesus offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin, the means by which our sins can be forgiven, our nature healed and restored.
Isa 35:6 
When the earth is restored to its original beauty in God's kingdom, all our diseases and disabilities will be removed.  The rift between man and his Creator will be healed.

Notes for "a time to build"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Dan 4:29-30
Building has always been a potent symbol of human power and wealth.

Gen 11:1-9
The story of building the Tower of Babel epitomises man's pride in opposition to God.

Luke 12:13-21
Jesus' parables show the stupidity of building bigger and better for an uncertain future.

Luke 6:46-49
He says we should build on his words - paying attention to them and putting them into practice.  This will provide a rock-solid foundation on which to build our lives and characters.

Acts 17:24
1 Cor 3:16-17

God's real house is not a temple or a church, but a collection of living people.

2 Cor 6:16
Acts 4:10-12

Jesus is both the foundation stone and the highest capping-stone of that house.

Eph 2:10-22
1 Pe 2:4-5
We can be part of that house as living stones, and God will live in us for ever.

1 Kings 8:27-30
Zech 14:16
Micah 4:1-4

In the ancient kingdom of Israel the temple was a symbol of God's presence among his people.  In the future Kingdom that God has promised a new Temple in Jerusalem will become the focus of divine worship for all nations.

Notes for "a time to uproot"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Psalm 37:38
Isaiah 13:11

The God of love and forgiveness is also a God of righteousness and justice.

Isaiah 2:12-17
God plans to restore the earth to its original beauty.  Before this can happen, all human pride and rebellion must one day be uprooted.

Genesis 6:11-13
Luke 17:26-30
Luke 21:25-27
The great Flood of Noah's time was God's judgement on a world that had rejected him, and was full of violence.  Jesus says that 'the last days' will see a similar pouring out of God's judgements on an equally godless and violent world; a world completely absorbed in material things.

Acts 17:30-31  
Jesus is the one who has been appointed to judge the world in the future when he returns.

Matthew 24:21-22
2 Peter 3:12

Those who put their trust in God will be protected from this future time of great trouble, and will live to enjoy a world purged of wickedness, restored to its original glory and beauty.

Notes for "a time to throw away"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Isa 40:6-8
James 1:10-11

Life is precious - time is short.

Prov 23:4-5
Eccl 2:10-11
1 Tim 6:6-10

We need to define what in our life is worthwhile and what is worthless, which goals are worth pursuing and which are not, otherwise our time and efforts will be wasted.

Job 1:20-21
Deut 8:17-18
Acts 14:17
Acts 4:34-35

Material things are a gift from God.  They are only of real value when dedicated to God's service.

Matt 6:24
We cannot pursue material gain and the service of God - the two goals are incompatible.

Matt 19:24
Luke 12:16-21
Prov 30:7-9
Matt 18:8-9
Heb 12:1

Wealth is more likely to be a distraction and impediment to our spiritual life than a help.  We need to clear our lives of unnecessary distractions in order to truly serve God.

Eccl 5:10-17
A life that is entirely focussed on material things brings no real happiness, satisfaction or security.

Notes for "a time to love"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Psalm 33:5,18
Psalm 117:1-2

Love is the principle that governs God's relationship with his creation.

1 John 4:8
Ex 34:6-7
Psalm 13:5-6

God is himself the embodiment of love.  This view of God is consistent throughout both Old and New Testaments.

John 3:16
Titus 3:4-7
Rom 5:8

God has shown the depth of his love for us by giving his own Son as a sacrifice to cover our sin.

Phil 2:5-11 
Jesus' love for God was shown by his submission to his Father's will, his willing surrender of his life for us.

John 14:15
John 15:12

 In the same way, our love for Jesus is expressed by our obedience to his commands and the surrender of ourselves to the needs of others.

1 Cor 13:4-7
Mat 22:39
 True Christian love is not self-centred, demanding or manipulative.

Rom 8:35-39
God's love will triumph over our weakness.


Notes for "a time to speak"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Jer 1:4-10  
Jer 30:1-2
 Words, written and spoken, are the way we communicate with each other, and the way God communicates with us.      

2 Tim 3:15-16
Psa 138:2
2 Pet 1:19-20
The Bible claims to be God's Word of Truth, the record of his dealings with humanity throughout history. That claim is too important to be ignored - we must test it for ourselves.      
Isa 66:2
Gen 1:3
Psa 33:6
Heb 11:3
2 Pet 3:5-7
By God's Word the Universe was created - he spoke, and it was done. By his command, the earth will be cleansed in the future.
John 14:8-10
John 1:14
Col 3:8-11

Jesus is God's Word in human form -God's ultimate message to us. He has not only told us, but shown us what God is like, and therefore what we should be like.

2 Tim 4:2-5
Col 4:2-5
James 5:13-18

Our Creator has given us voices to use in his work, to spread his words, to bring hope to those in trouble, to praise him and pray to him.
Col 3:16
James 3:1-12
Col 4:6
Psa 15:1-5

When we speak, it should be as God's children - with clarity, honesty and without profanity.


Notes for "a time to die"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Gen 2:16-17
Gen 3:19
Rom 3:23
Rom 5.12

Death is the result of sin, a punishment from God for man's disobedience.

1 Pet 1:18-19
1 Pet 2:21-24

Everybody sins, and so everybody dies.  There is one exception - Jesus did not sin, and so escaped from death to become our saviour.

Romans 6:23
Eternal life will be God's gift to those who seek righteousness.

1 Thess 4:16
1 Cor 15:1-28
Isa 26:19
Job 19:25-26
Daniel 12:2
John 11:24
Acts 23:6

The original Christian hope of life after death is through the resurrection of the body to eternal life.  This was the conviction of the faithful of the Old Testament (Job, Abraham, David, Daniel) as well as those of the New (Martha, Paul, Peter).  The idea of an inherently immortal soul that survives death is not based on scripture, but on pagan philosophy.

1 Tim 6:16
Only God is intrinsically immortal.

Rom 6:3-5
Gal 3:26-29

Baptism is a symbolic burial and resurrection.  It joins us to Jesus as his brothers and sisters, and links us to all God's great promises for the future.

Notes for "a time for peace"
(Place your cursor over the blue Bible reference to read)
Psa 119:165
Phil 4:6-9

Love for God brings real peace of mind into our lives, no matter how difficult our circumstances. 

Rom 5:1
Jesus as our mediator has reconciled us to God, and given us peace with him.

Isa 57:20-21
A world that, in God's eyes, lies in wickedness, can never experience real peace.  But God has promised a great change to come.

Psa 72:1-20
Is 2:2-4
Hab 2:14
 All God's promises to his people anticipate a time of perfect peace in the future, when the earth will be full of God's glory.

Luke 1:31-32,
Luke 2:14
Isa 9:6-7,
Isa 11:1-5
Isa 32:17-18

These promises will be realised when Jesus returns as the King of God's Kingdom on earth, and all nations submit to his righteous rule.

Isa 11:6-9
Isa 65:25

The whole of Creation will share in this peace and harmony, which was intended by God in the beginning, but disrupted by Adam's sin.

Psa 34:14
Mat 5:9
Heb 12:14

To prepare ourselves for a place in that future, we must promote peace now.

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