This week's theme

Covenants and promises: Warnings of consequences

Today's reading

Ephesians 4:1-16

Today's prayer

Lord of Unity, help us to find ways of respecting the others even while being sensitive of the differences and even divergence.

From Fresh From the Word 2017

For further thought

What examples can you think of in which different parts work together for the sake of greater unity?

How do we debate with those who graphically portray the second coming of Christ with absolute certainty?

The season of Advent is a time of repentance and renewal in some of the church traditions. How would you understand repentance in your context?

How can we explain Gods presence when the church and her leaders are involved in corruption and power abuse, or when they become insensitive and arrogant?

What watch group do you rely on every day? Give thanks to God for meteorologists and anyone else who comes to mind.

As we get ready to decorate our Christmas trees at home, at church, in community spaces, think of ornaments that meaningfully reflect the Christmas message and invite participants of all ages to contribute with their creativity.

Like, why dont you try to hold God to his promises to his people? Find out how his steadfast love is always at work!

Is it possible to get ready for a simple Christmas celebration? What things would you leave aside? What practices would you keep?

What opportunities are there where you live for help and engagement with refugees?

How can you share Gods promises and his call for spiritual renewal in your community during this Advent season?

Have you ever shown interest in the needs of students and teachers at your local secondary school? Talk about it in your church group and think of the best way to approach their concerns.

Where will you see Jesus today?

What does the parable tell you about Gods attitude to human effort? What are you keeping buried that you could be using?

Notice the play of light around you today on leaves, car windows or water. What can light tell you about Gods providence and character?

Living on high alert, at times of war, for example, can be stressful. Is this the case with the Christian life? Why not?

Martin Luther is said to have remarked: If I knew the world were ending tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today. What can you plant today?

Imagine Jesus pleading your case. What would he say?

Do you find this a hopeful passage? Why or why not?

Where is the newness in your life today?

We should walk the Christian way conscious of this warning and promise, striving daily to great examples of humility as Our Lord requires.

Which member of the love triangle identified by Jesus God, self and neighbour needs strengthening in your life at the moment?

The belief in the power of God over all human experiences, including death, offers assurance to us as we encounter the challenges of life.

How are you using the power entrusted to you? Let us pray for Gods guidance to use it to reflect his goodness.

Choose a tricky life question and try to answer it from loves perspective. Will there be a clear answer? Imagine Love judging us all.

Many different things are important in life. But in what do you find your peace at night? Perhaps that is what should be treasured.

Where have you recently found astonishing fellowship with others?

Go for a walk and watch for tiny details. When you find something, let it capture your attention. How does it make you feel?

Read about a scientist you like. Try to picture him or her without hopeful faith in their work. Would they still have come that far?

Pick someone you dont know very well, perhaps even a stranger. Tell him or her something nice that you sincerely mean. What happens?

Each day refresh me with the amazing fact that I live simply by your grace.

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International Community

'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'

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This week's writer

Dafne Plou is a journalist and social communicator who works on technology for development in an international organisation. Her work includes travelling to other Latin American countries to lead workshops and seminars, and to speak in conferences. Shes

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Celebrating 135 years!

Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.

Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.

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