Monday, November 30, 2015

#Relief - Monday - The Daily Diary of a Bible Blogger

There are times in life when you think something is going to happen and you prepare yourself for it. It was a bit like that today for me. I really don't want to go into the details as it's far too personal and family related but I felt exactly like that earlier today. I had prepared my heart for bad news. I had prayed and asked the Lord to help me to have the right attitude, to behave in the right way and to see things from His point of view.

Having done all that it was such a relief to find out that the news wasn't bad after all. But the Lord had taughg me another lesson in the process!

Sometimes in life we have to learn lessons and some of those lessons can only be learned in the difficult times. Easy circumstances don't often teach important lessons.

It is even said about the Lord Jesus Christ that he learned obedience by the things which He suffered, Hebrews 5:8. This verse is not teaching for a moment that the Lord Jesus was ever disobedient. The Bible makes it very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ was in no way disobedient or sinful. He did not have the capacity to behave in that way being the Son of God. The verse is in fact teaching that the Lord Jesus had an experience on earth that could not have had when he was in heaven. As the eternal Son of the living God he had never been in a position where he needed to be obedient. Angels served him, he created the world, he upheld all things by his powerful word and he was in a position of ultimate authority. But having chosen to become a man he lived a humble life submitting to his Father's will (i.e. God's will) and doing those things which pleased His Father. His obedience took him to the very point of death, Philippians chapter 2, and as a result he laid down his life to pay the price for sin. He provided forgiveness and salvation for those who are prepared to repent of their sins and trust him for salvation. 

I'm just wondering if you are prepared to take seriously your sinful condition. Do you recognise that Christ died for your sins. Will you repent (to turn from your sin) and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, in other words trust Him to save and rescue you?

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#Apple Story - Sunday - A Bible Blogger's Daily Diary

Some people call Ronald Wayne the most unfortunate man in the world. He was one of the three co-founders of the Apple Computer Company in America, but on April 14th 1976only 12 day as after the Apple Companystarted, thinking that he didn’t fit in, he sold his 10% share for just over £500. That 10% share would now be worth £50 billion! He spent many years of his later life selling stamps, and struggling with his finances. How sad, but there is a decision that we can make that has to do with our future, that can have even greater consequences.

The Lord Jesus said, what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’, Mark’s Gospel in the New Testament, chapter eight verses 36 and 37. There is nothing more valuable to you than your soul and its eternal destiny. Even if you obtain all that you ever wanted, but have no thoughts and make no provision for your soul, beware! Your decision to reject Jesus Christ means that you will forfeit a place in heaven. 

Someone has calculated that the sum total of all global wealth is nearly £170 trillion. The richest person in the world, Bill Gates is worth nearly £56 billionEven the 100th richest person is worth about £8 billion! These figures look impressive, but Jesus said that one human soul is worth more. He, the Son of God, died for our sins – ‘For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, 1 Peter chapter 3 verse 18.

‘Christ’s death on the cross is the basis on which God can forgive our sins, ‘not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world’, John’s first epistle, chapter two, verse two. Have your sins been forgiven yet? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’, Acts chapter 16 verse 31.





Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nobody's perfect bar one - Saturday - The Daily Diary of a Bible Blogger

 I’ve been thinking recently about characters in the news, public figures. It’s sad to notice that so often people we once held in high respect end up having some part of their character exposed as being defective. Think of Lance Armstrong. A man who was outstanding and respected. He had overcome many struggles, difficulties and problems in life and yet there’s a whole area of suspicion over him in terms of being drug-fuelled in his ability to win sport.

Jimmy Saville, a man that who was given great respect in many ways and many opportunities to affect people’s lives and then you think about what he really was like.

There are others. I resist from mentioning names but it’s disappointing at the regularity of the downfall of those who were once respected.

My simple point today on this is. When we look at men and women we see people who are flawed and who will inevitably let us down.

BUT when you come to the life of Jesus Christ He is exemplary. The Bible says He is holy, He is harmless, He’s undefiled, He is different. The Bible says that He is the Lamb without blemish and without spot. The Bible says about Jesus that “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2.22 – the Bible). The Bible says in Him was no sin. In fact the Lord Jesus actually refuted the accusations of men and said to them directly, point blank in their face, which of you convinces me of sin?

And that brings me to the point, of why is this true? It is true because He is God become man, born of a virgin, so He wouldn’t carry human guilt and sin. Miraculously conceived but naturally born. The Son of God (Jesus) came into the world (God was manifested in flesh) and the reason He came was so that He might deal with sin by his sacrificial death on the cross. He paid the price by suffering and taking the just judgment of God for sin. The purpose was that unjust people, like us, could be forgiven. The Bible says “He suffered the just for the unjust, so He might bring us to God”.
Jesus is just, we’re unjust, He’s right, we’re wrong, He’s pure, we’re dirty. He took our judgment, He paid the price, so that we could have forgiveness.

You might look at the great characters of society, politics and sport, scratch your head and say well they don’t seem to come up to the mark. But I want to tell you today about one who does. He will never fail nor be discouraged the Bible says. If you trust Him, if you confess your sin to Him (not to a priest nor a church or an organization), if you come to Him confessing in prayer your sin and asking for cleansing He will forgive. “He saves to the uttermost those that come unto God by Him”.

Look at  ‘Seek the Truth’ or Stephen Baker on YouTube, and look at some of the videos there and make use of them. We trust that they will be helpful. Thanks again for reading this.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Why do we hurt? - Thursday - The Daily Diary of a Bible Blogger

It’s our aim in this blog post to address some of the questions that people ask in life and to discover what the Word of God (the Bible) has to say about it. We place real confidence in the Bible because we have become convinced that the Bible is God’s communication to men and women and we wish people to benefit from what God has said.

I’m sure that most would agree that life hurts! That hurt can be caused by the normal progression from youth to old age and all the problems that come with ageing. Sickness also brings its heartaches! Natural disasters are devastating and destructive! To say nothing of the dreadful treatment that people endure at the hands of their fellow man. War and acts of terror produce unimaginable horrors. I’m sure that at times we all question why life is such a difficult and a hurtful experience.

Is it wrong to question why? No it isn't. Even the Lord Jesus asked the question - why? 

The first thing I’d like to say is that it's not personal. What I mean is that we do not usually suffer as individuals because of something specific we have done. Before I go any further let me qualify that statement.  There are times in life when we do reap what we sow. There actually are consequences to our actions! But all the awful things that happen in the world are not usually the direct result of our personal actions.

My main thought when I say it’s not personal is this: ;people don’t die as a result of some sinful thing that they have done; old age doesn’t come because you did something wrong. The fact that we die, that we have sickness, that we grow old is explained to us in the Bible. The Bible states that all of these conditions and circumstances exist because sin came into the world. As a result of Adam, the first man, disobeying God the floodgates to all that was evil were opened. The fact that all of this is the result of the first man’s rebellion to God is explained by the biblical statement by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin,” Romans 5:12.

The Bible clearly teaches that God gave man a choice:

Obey Him,
Enjoy His presence,
Enjoy all that He created for him….

But, there is a but, God warned him that the day he ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would die. And that is what happened! Adam didn’t die physically but he died as far as his relationship with God was concerned. He was dead spiritually. Sin, death, pain and suffering became the normal experience of life. He had to work by the sweat of his brow for everything. Childbirth became a painful experience for the woman and the earth was cursed. So life hurts as a result; a fact that we know only too well.

However, what is quite incredible about the biblical story of salvation is that God had already a plan in place. God’s plan to provide forgiveness and to offer salvation to men and women was devised long before time began, 1 Peter 1: 19, 20.

God had always planned to send His ‘Son to be the Saviour of the world’. He made sure in the writings of the Old Testament, the first half of the Bible, that we would know Him when he visited earth. In the Old Testament, God told the prophets how to identify His Son. There were specific facts such as what family He would be born into, His distinctive and sinless lifestyle and His mode of death. Normally how people will die is an unknown fact but God was making a point in defining how Jesus would die in advance. Psalm 22:16 and Zechariah 12:10 speak of the death penalty as crucifixion and of the piercing of the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus which at the time was unknown. All of this information was so that when He came we would know Him.

To me the greatest and most amazing thing about this whole thing is that God came to earth in person. He was a real but sinless man. He suffered, He hurt and He endured death to pay for our sin. God wants us to be forgiven therefore the price and the legal penalty for our sin was dealt with by the Lord Jesus Christ when He died upon the cross.

The Bible explains it like this:  Christ died for our sins.”, 1 Corinthians 15:3, “He was despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, Isaiah 53:3.

Today God offers us not hurt but forgiveness;
Today God offers us love.

The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”, John 3:16. The greatest proof of the love of God is that, God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”, Romans 5:8.

I want to point you to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, if you pray to God, today, confessing your sins He will forgive you.

I trust that you will do this.

May God bless you!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why do we have a keen sense of #justice? - Wednesday - The Daily Diary of a Bible Blogger

We now live in a society where the general opinion about whether things are right or wrong can at times be vague.

I believe that, in the Bible, God has given us clear information about what is right and what is wrong. There is a reality about things being just or unjust. Here are some things to consider:

·      Why do children cry “that’s not fair” or “it’s not right”!
·      Is there is an inbuilt awareness of fairness in a child!
·      Why is it common for people to have a really well developed
      feeling for what is right and what is wrong?

The Bible gives us the explanation. It teaches that God “has written His law in our hearts”. God gave us this inbuilt awareness of right and wrong. Holy scripture (the Bible) teaches that we have a conscience. It teaches that we have inbuilt knowledge within ourselves and a knowledge about ourselves. We automatically can clarify the reality of the rightness or wrongness of the things that we say, feel and do. This is what the word conscience actually means - a knowledge of ourselves.

For example, most of us feel impulsively that to tell blatant lies is wrong. We instinctively know that to remove property that belongs to someone else is wrong. The Bible teaches these principles but somehow we know them to be true! Is that significant or co-incidental?

The ‘ten commandments’ teach that you shouldn’t steal, you shouldn’t lie, and that you shouldn’t take somebody else’s wife and so on. The list defines prohibitions as well as teaching positive things that we should do. Things like loving God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind (and Jesus summarized the rest by saying “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” – Matthew 22:39).

You may say to yourself, “I’m not really sure why we all know those things?” Let me come back to what the Bible says - God has planted within us an awareness of right and wrong. Just look across society for a moment. People are very interested in equal rights and equal opportunities. We are very concerned that disabled people are cared for, that ethnic minorities aren’t disadvantaged, that there is religious freedom, freedom of thought and freedom of belief. We campaign for the rights of the unborn child plus we debate people’s rights for free speech. Public behavior is monitored ensuring that people do not overreach themselves and inflict damage on other people or their property. In all of this we try to balance the rights of a society to be free and yet free of criminal activities.

These things are right. I believe we are like this in society because God has implanted in us an awareness of things that are very important to Him - a consciousness of right and wrong and of the realities of living in a way that is fair and equitable. God describes Himself as just, as well as righteous, as doing right. He is a God of light; God is love, a God who is eternal and a God who is all-knowing!

We wouldn’t know these things if God hadn’t revealed them to us in the Bible. This is why the Bible is such a key book for us to read. In fact it is God’s message to humanity and it’s an amazing thing that we have it so freely available despite some societies today that still restrict access to the Word of God.

Let me leave you with a statement from the Bible, the Bible says this, “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”, 1 Peter 3:18. This verse is saying that if God was being just, if God was being fair He would punish is for our sin, He would penalize us, He would judge us for breaking His law because we are guilty. But the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world and suffered for sins to bring us to God. He personally suffered the penalty for sin by dying for us. Three days later He was brought up back to life. His resurrection is sufficient evidence that the price for sin was fully paid. His resurrection establishes that you can take advantage of salvation. You do this by confessing your sin (to God, not a religious representative) and asking God to forgive you. You are effectively asking for God’s blessing upon your life.

I wonder if you would take advantage of a God’s offer of salvation today. Will you come to Him for forgiveness and rest upon Him for salvation? You can know what it is to be forgiven and saved.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved – the Bible, Acts 16:31

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