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Daily reflections

Acts 9.1–9: Life on the Damascus Road (Day 9)

Acts 9.1–9: Life on the Damascus Road (Day 9)

A 'Damascus Road experience' has come to stand for anything that completely changes someone's perspective on life. This is the original, and it's a key moment for the early Church. Bitterly opposed to the gospel of Jesus, Paul – Saul, as he still w...

Acts 10.1–33: God begins to break down barriers (Day 10)

Acts 10.1–33: God begins to break down barriers (Day 10)

At the very beginning of the Church, the new believers faced a huge question ­– should the Jesus movement be for Jews only, or were Gentiles to be included as well? While there were plenty of Gentiles around in Palestine, observant Jews kept thems...

Genesis 12.1–9: Abraham's call and ours (Day 11)

Genesis 12.1–9: Abraham's call and ours (Day 11)

The call of Abraham marks the beginning of the story of the people of Israel. He leaves his home city of Ur in Babylonia and travels to somewhere new. God tells him that this is the land he will give to his descendants, and so a new chapter in God's ...

Genesis 13.1–13: Do the right thing (Day 12)

Genesis 13.1–13: Do the right thing (Day 12)

The characters of Abraham and Lot come out very clearly in this brief story. They are both substantial figures, with large numbers of livestock and large households. When competition for resources leads to conflict, it's Abraham who suggests a peacef...

Genesis 14.17–24: Owing all to God alone (Day 13)

Genesis 14.17–24: Owing all to God alone (Day 13)

This passage follows a rather complicated account of skirmishes between nine 'kings' – we're probably better thinking of them as tribal chieftains – which end up with Abraham's nephew Lot and his household being taken prisoner.

Genesis 15.1–6: Righteousness through faith (Day 14)

Genesis 15.1–6: Righteousness through faith (Day 14)

In Genesis 15, God makes a formal covenant with Abraham, evidently in a form that would have been recognisable in that ancient Middle Eastern context. However strange the details, the human situation is very recognisable. In an age when eternal sign...

Genesis 16.1–16: The God who sees me (Day 15)

Genesis 16.1–16: The God who sees me (Day 15)

The story of Hagar is one of the Bible's small domestic tragedies. It arises when Abraham's faith wavers. He has believed God will give him a son, but nothing seems to be happening so with Sarah's encouragement he takes matters into his own hands.

Genesis 17.1–10 The covenant of circumcision (Day 16)

Genesis 17.1–10 The covenant of circumcision (Day 16)

According to the story, Abraham's faith in God has by now been severely tested. It is 13 years since the birth of Ishmael, and there is no sign of a son for Sarah. Now the sign of circumcision is to be imposed on all the males of his household as a p...

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