Thursday, November 16, 2017

Are you going up?

Good Tidings from Heaven

GOING UP?




I was going to visit two Christians who were in hospital. It was a high rise building and the people I wanted to see were on different levels. I went to the area on the ground floor, from which the elevators could be accessed and was soon on my way up. After spending a little while with the first person I made my way back to the area where a number of people were waiting for an elevator. Soon it arrived and we were asked, "Are you going up?" This immediately divided the people because some said, "No we’re going down". I got in and was in the company of people, all of whom were going up; the others we left behind and they were going down.
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Have a good day


Good Tidings from Heaven

Have a Good Day

We all have been the recipient of the greeting, "Have a good day." Did you ever think that you can really have a good day, not only today, but every day?

A GOOD DAY AND A GOOD FOREVER

It is our wish for everyone not only to have a good day, but to have a good forever. How can you have a good day if you are not assured of a good forever? You may try to ignore the future by concentrating on the pleasures of this life. You may be partly successful with this and even say to yourself, "Take your ease, eat, drink and be merry" Luke 12.19. However, if you do not know where you will be when your life is over, thoughts of the future will inevitably return to spoil your present joys.

ONE THING CAN RUIN BOTH

God has provided a way for everyone to have a good forever, but, if you do not avail yourself of that way, then your future is foretold in Hebrews 9.27: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment". Death and judgment are the results of sin for "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3.23. Sin will keep you from having a good forever, and it will keep you from having a good day. If you die in your sins, it will be too late to change your forever, Revelation 20.15.

TODAY CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Thankfully you can change that future now. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" 2Corinthians 6.2. God, Who is holy and must punish sin, is also a God of love. He has provided a way for sinners to be saved from the consequences of their sin. God is longsuffering toward us, and is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" 2Peter 3.9. In fact, God never prepared hell for man but for the devil and his angels, Matthew 25.41.

THE PRICE HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID

The salvation that God provided does not set aside His holiness and righteousness. It is summed up for us in Romans 5.8: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Christ, the sinless Son of God, satisfied all of God’s holy and righteous requirements by dying for our sins. God’s wrath and judgment against sin were met by Christ when He suffered the awful agonies of the cross, Matthew 27.46; 1 Peter 3.18.

WHAT IS THE WAY?

Yes, God has provided a way for you and me to have a good forever. This way of salvation is open to all who will confess their sins to God in true repentance, believe that Jesus died for them, and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. If you trust Christ, the power of death will be broken and there will be no judgment ahead for you because Jesus Christ has said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" John 5.24. Your sins will all be forgiven and your future will be bright and clear with a certainty of being with Christ in heaven.

THE SOURCE OF GOOD DAYS

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you will not only be sure of a good forever, you will also be able to have a good day every day. Jesus will never leave you, and the more you fellowship with Him through prayer and reading the Bible daily, the more you will experience His presence in your life. Even when everything around you seems dark and discouraging, God’s presence in your life brings "fulness of joy" Psalm 16.11.

(With permission from MWTB)
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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Three Things That God Cannot Do!




Three Things That God Cannot Do!

It is commonly believed that God can do anything, but what does the Bible say?

GOD CANNOT LIE

"Ah," you say, "yes, I believe that God cannot lie." This may seem rather obvious or even a trick answer, but nevertheless absolutely true. In God’s own Word we read, "God, that cannot lie" Titus 1.2. God, and God alone, can make that claim.

GOD CANNOT CHANGE

"Oh, sure," you say, "I believe that God cannot change." This is also a rather obvious truth. God tells us in His Word, "I am the Lord, I change not" Malachi 3.6. This is another characteristic which is unique to God alone.
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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Are you worrying? There’s an 85% chance that it will never happen.




Statistics say that 85% of what we worry about never happens. Paul, an early Bible writer and Apostle, once wrote a series of exhortations aiming to encourage Christians in Philippi. In the closing comments of the letter he encouraged them to ‘rejoice in the Lord alway,’ Philippians 4. 4. This is something we all need to be reminded about from time to time. When things get on top of us we often forget to see the blessings that we have.

Next, Paul encourages them, in verse 5, to be gentle and mild in their behaviour. This attitude is beautifully expressed in the translation of the word ‘moderation’ as ‘sweet reasonableness’. To emphasis how important it is to live in this way Paul reminds his readers that the ‘Lord is at hand’. This could mean that the Lord is near (in other words they can be confident that He is with them) or that the Lord’s coming is near (Jesus will come again as He promised). Both statements are true and should affect how we live.

Paul then warns about being anxious and not trusting the Lord. It is so easy to forget that the One who upholds the universe, Col.1.17, is the same One who cares for us, 1. Pet. 5. 7. There should not really be any issues that we are not prepared to bring to Him and to leave in His hands. 

The antidote to worry is prayer. We should pray remembering the greatness of God. We should pray asking Him for help and direction with our problems and we should pray with a grateful heart of appreciation for who God is and what He has done.


We should be specific about our problems when we talk to God as He is interested in every issue that we face. These prayers may be one second prayers, like Nehemiah in the Bible, Neh. 2. 4-5, or they might be more detailed accounts of the issues that we face in life.


All of this will be very strange to you if don’t yet know God personally in your life. Why would you talk to someone you don’t know? The Bible makes it clear that sin separates us from God, Isa. 59. 2,  but that if we ‘repent and believe the gospel,’ Mark 1. 15, we can have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom 5. 1.

As you pray you will know the peace of God despite not necessarily knowing the answers.

Five hundred years ago, Michel de Montaigne said: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened”. Many agree wholeheartedly that we should pray when we are in a state of relative calm but we often feel that we fail bitterly when the pressure is on and we are at our wits end.




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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Why did Jesus die?



WHY DID JESUS DIE?

This question is of vital importance because your eternal destiny depends upon your answer to it. Do you know why Jesus died? If not, this article will tell you.

SIN BRINGS DEATH

In God’s Word, the Bible, we learn that death came into the world because of sin. "Wherefore … by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," Romans 5. 12. "The wages of sin is death," Romans 6. 23. You and I die because we are sinners: "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," Romans 3. 23.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Human Achievement.

Human Achievement



Most of us love to boast of what we have accomplished and draw attention to the effort and sacrifice we had to make; the expense and time we were prepared to invest. Some projects have been possible only by physical effort, toil and labour to the point of exhaustion and human endurance beyond imagination. Their completion involved blinding sweat, aching muscles, straining sinews, weary limbs and in some cases resulted in death. Hundreds of miles of road and rail have been laid by intense labour.
Other projects were the result of engineering skill, architectural flair and the ingenuity of brilliant minds: bridges spanning deep chasms or miles of ocean; tunnels carved through solid rock; Alpine roads snaking tortuously down mountain sides; ornate buildings which have drawn admiration from tourists and visitors for many decades; skyscrapers and towers rising to dizzying heights, competing with others to be the tallest in the world.
Yet others feats could not have been achieved without staggering amounts of money and incredible wealth being provided; their completion depended on colossal cash injections stretching to millions or billions of pounds or dollars.
Many of these great feats of scarcely believable human achievement are listed in books such as "The Guinness Book of Records".
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to change your life in a moment


My attention recently was caught by a Scottish Widows advertising campaign slogan, it said...

‘Change your life today’! 

That seems a bit dramatic - Is it really possibly to have a personal revolution in a day?

Being honest there are not many things that cause a transformation in a day; but it could happen. Let me give you one example  there are others. For instance, you could meet an individual who changes your life for ever. The love of your life! You have just been introduced or your paths have only crossed but immediately your heart is captured and things are never quite the same again. 

For some people their first encounter with Jesus of Nazareth changed them from that day forward. His grace and love captured their hearts. The voice of God stirred their spirit and they became aware of their failings and sin. The feeling of guilt was crushing as they discovered how rebellious they were by nature and why life hurt so much. The outcomes and consequences of sins were devastating but what blew them away was that 'Christ died for our sins'. He, the holy Son of God paid in person the full price God required to clear the guilty and forgive the fallen.

The words of the Bible, despite being shocking in their starkness and truthfulness, ring true to reality and are in tune with the human conscience. 

Let me remind you of the blunt, basic but honest truths of the Bible:

In respect of wrong that is found in every human being: 

‘All have sinned’
‘The soul that sins shall die’
‘The wages of sin is death’ 
Sinful people 'will be cast into hell’

In supporting the claim that Jesus is the only means of rescue (salvation) 

Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life no one comes to the Father (God) but by me’
'Neither is there salvation in any other' (only Jesus)
'Through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins'

In explaining what you need to do to take advantage of God’s rescue plan

'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved'
'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved'
'Repent and believe the gospel'

The truth is there!

The choice is will you believe!

Your life could be changed, in a moment!






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Sunday, October 08, 2017

Personal Reflections



In the Bible the apostle Paul, who wrote a sizeable portion of the New Testament epistles, did not often speak about himself. In fact he wrote, "we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" 2Corinthians 4.5. However, when he wrote to his close companion Timothy, in the final days of his life, he did refer to himself a number of times and some of these references are introduced with the expression "I am". I would like you to think of three of these expressions.


The first is in 1Timothy 1.15 and is a confession: he says, "I am chief". We may ask, "Chief of what?" Note the unmistakable language, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." This man described himself as the chief of sinners. You may say, "I’m not a sinner", but God’s Word states, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3.23; "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" Romans 5.12. There is no way of evading these statements; we are all sinners and thus are facing eternal banishment from God.
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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Golden Weddings



The traditional gift for a 50th Wedding Anniversary is gold. Gold is a metal that is durable so I suppose that the symbolism is that of something that has lasted fifty years, is very valuable and has survived the ups and downs of life and is still standing and hopefully in good condition. There are not many things that increase in value over the years but a good marriage does, as does gold.




Life by its very nature is moving towards days of decline. Over time we lose strength, we are not quite as sharp as we used to be and one day life will ebb away and the question is, what then? One of the reasons I am a Christian is because the Lord Jesus Christ has given me eternal life. The biblical definition of eternal life is twofold. 1. It is the spiritual life that a person gets the moment their sins are forgiven and they have made their peace with God plus 2. It is the guaranteed prospect of existing forever in heaven (with a new body at the resurrection) in a place where death, sickness, sorrow and the effects of evil can never touch the people who are there. 
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Jesus was socially excluded!



I wonder if you have ever thought about how popular Jesus was in his day. The impression we get at times is that he was loved by everyone right up until his rejection by the Jewish authorities, his prosecution by the Roman authorities and his ultimate death of crucifixion.

From the early days of his time on earth the Lord Jesus was excluded and rejected. There is quite a considerable period (from age 12-30) where we have very little information about the behaviour and activities of the Lord Jesus but we do have the commentary of God, the Father, when he publicly spoke from heaven (which was a very unusual thing to do) and said the he was delighted with His Son. This indicated that though there is scant information about these eighteen years there is nothing in that period (or any other period for that matter) that displeased His Father, God.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When is it right to be angry?




Bible Reading - Hebrews 13:17-19

Today’s reading is about the way that God viewed the attitude and behaviour of the nation of Israel over a long period of time. If you read the passage a couple of times you will begin to see some recurring themes. Write them down and think ‘Is my attitude ever like this?’

The main attitudes I discovered are these: arrogance, refusing to listen, open rebellion, carelessness and unbelief. I am sure there are more but these the ones that caught my attention.

Not good you say and you are right! How can we make sure that we do not fall into the trap of acting in the same way? The passage makes clear that God must punish sin so we must avoid these things if at all possible.

The answers are in the same passage.

  • Listen to what God has to say (v7)
  • Do not be stubborn and harden your heart (v8)
  •  Do not be rebellious (v8)
  •  Do not ignore the evidences of God’s goodness in your life (v9)
  • Keep a tight control of your  will and the things that you love (v10)
  • Believe what God has said as unbelief is the door to disaster (v12)

We need to help each other to avoid slipping up in these various ways. 

We should be aware of the dangers and that not believing God creates a distance between us and Him (v12).

Our first priority, on a daily basis, is to remind ourselves of these things. We must also encourage our Christian friends not to be deceived or turn away from God (v12).

God must punish sin but he has given us enough warnings so that we can walk in a way that is pleasing to him. Live for Him and help other Christians to do the same.


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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Words are Powerful, Choose them well!



The title of this blog is a slogan that I seem to see regularly in the Daily Telegraph. ‘Words are powerful, Choose them well’. In the following examples, selected from today’s news, you will see the powerful and sometimes devastating effect that words can have.


Comments on Social Media can affect the outcome of court cases

The Attorney General has recently commented that the justice system needs to catch up with the modern world. In the past, only the Media had the power outside of the courts to influence jurors and if they did not have access to newsprint this could generally be avoided.

Now with the advent of social media, the possibilities are endless. Members of the public don’t understand the implications of the Contempt of Court Act and may comment on cases without realising the damage that this can do to the outcome of a case.

The power of words!
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