Finding The Missing Peace

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Have you got the Symptoms?

The outbreak and spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought about a large measure of panic throughout the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the first case was recorded in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and since then it has rapidly extended to multiple other countries worldwide, and been declared a global pandemic. It is predicted to have implications upon medical, economical, societal, political and educational spheres on an unprecedented and unparalleled scale.

According to the U.K. National Health Service, symptoms of the virus are similar to those of the common flu, including fever, breathing difficulties, and, in severe cases, pneumonia, and organ failure. The NHS explains that because the Coronavirus is a new illness, there is still much to be learned regarding how it is transmitted, and how it may be treated. As the situation develops, the authorities are continually issuing updates on how best to avoid contamination and respond to signs of infection.

However, there is a disease that is far more concerning and urgent than COVID-19 could ever be; its contamination is more extensive and its consequences are infinitely more extreme. The Bible tells us of a sickness that afflicts every person on earth: "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3.23. It is in every single person, for we are all "in sin" from birth, Psalm 51.5. Its symptoms are evident in every aspect of our lives: it infects our thoughts, our words, our actions, our steps, and even the motives of our hearts (see Romans 3.9-19). It is an infection that spreads from head to toe, and it is one that we simply cannot escape from or cure by ourselves, no matter how hard we try. Many people in the world show carelessness and indifference to the seriousness of sin, but this sickness has a one hundred percent mortality rate: the solemn outcome is the same for everyone: "the wages of sin is death" Romans 6.23.

While various treatments and a cure for the Coronavirus are still uncertain and under pressing active research, the Bible thankfully makes it clear that a complete and perfect remedy for the sickness of our sin has been provided. In His death upon the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ "bare our sins in His own body" 1Peter 2.24, and "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" Hebrews 9.26. Even though our sin is the most deadly and dangerous disease of all, the blood of Christ can cleanse us from it all: "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" 1John 1.7. His love was so great that He was willing to give Himself for us, and take the punishment in our stead. The work is entirely finished, and all we must do is trust Him, Who died for us and rose again, as the Saviour of our souls.

However, time is limited. You need to avail of the cure while there is still opportunity. Would you love to know your sins are completely and eternally forgiven? Because "Christ died for us" Romans 5.8, God can forever forgive and save your soul.

Written by a Guest Blogger for FTMP (Assembly Testimony May/June 2020)

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Important Meetings

It could be said, without fear of contradiction, that a substantial part of life is taken up with meetings. In the last while meetings have morphed into 'virtual meetings' via Skype, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Zoom. GoToMeeting and the like.

These may be unimportant or they could be life changing. We hear folks say, “We’ll meet to discuss it over a cup of coffee.” I heard one mother say to another, “It’s our son’s birthday on Saturday week and we’ll need to meet to arrange the catering.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Handling Grief

Tragedies happen? "Why?”  Why does God allow bad things to happen? 

Grief is a multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed.  Grief is a natural response to loss. It is the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away. Grief is also a reaction to any loss. The grief associated with death is familiar to most people, but we grieve in connection with a variety of losses throughout our lives, such as unemployment, ill health or the end of a relationship. 

Every step of the grieving process is natural and healthy. It is only when a person gets stuck in one step for a long period of time that the grieving can become unhealthy, destructive and even dangerous. Going through the grieving process is not the same for everyone, but everyone does have a common goal; acceptance of the loss and to keep moving forward. The process is different for every person and can involve a wide range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. The goal of grieving is not the elimination of all the pain or the memories of the loss. The goal is to reorganise one’s life, so the loss is an important part of life rather than its centre. There is not a right or a wrong way to grieve.  Everyone grieves differently.  

As a Christian, while I grieve I turn to God’s Word to find strength and comfort. The book of Proverbs says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding" The more you know God, the more you will trust God. What is there not to trust? He is completely loving, wise, powerful, and good, but it is one thing to express a belief in God, and another to actually trust in him with all your heart. Trusting the Lord with all your heart means walking out, by faith, on his Word, no matter what consequences or opposition you may face.

Trusting God wholeheartedly also means resolutely refusing to lean on your own understanding. This, of course, does not mean that we are to give up the sound mind and reasoning spirit that God has given us. But it does mean that we are not to rely on our limited knowledge, experience, and emotions to guide us safely through life.

The question to ask yourself is this: do you trust God in precisely those places where your natural inclination is strongest against his leadership or direction or commandments? When the Bible clearly spells out his counsel, will you take it regardless of your personal preferences or preconceptions?

It is precisely at those places where we are least inclined to listen to or follow God that we are most able to show our devotion to him and our trust of him. Is there an area of your life today in which you have the opportunity to trust in the Lord, rather than in your own understanding? If so, cast all your cares upon Him because He's the only One who really does care for you.

Written by a Guest Blogger

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Someone's looking for you

In this busy world, where so many prying eyes are frequently upon us, it is difficult to escape the surveillance that we are so often under. Transactions carried out, using our credit cards, mean that we can be easily tracked and our movements monitored. CCTV cameras are everywhere and with sites like Google Earth, very little remains secret; complete strangers can visit our homes and move down our streets, undetected. "Big Brother Is Watching!"
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