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. 

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.

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.


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!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nobody is perfect!!

‘He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He’.

Deut 32. 4

Take time to read today’s verse though a couple of times. Note carefully the absolute statements that are made.

‘He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He’.

The writer, Moses, had no doubts about the character of God, no grey areas no maybes. I wonder if that is that the way that you and I think about God.

A brief overview of the Bible would convince you that although Bible characters did not always understand what God was doing or why he was doing it they without exception declare his right to act as he chooses and defend the principle that God always acts justly and fairly. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A little light reflection!

‘This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ 

1 John 1. 5

When you stop and think about it, it would be a very strange thing to say about anyone - ‘you are light’. We might say ‘so and so is kind, patient’ and so on but to say someone is light is very odd indeed. When you bring in the fact that we are talking about God it makes more sense. It is not however until you stop and consider the character of God that you really get a feel for what it means?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Is God as loving as Christians claim?

Suppose you stop someone in the street and asked if they believed in God. You would undoubtedly get a wide range of responses which would vary depending on where you are. When I think about what people say to me I think that most common impression people have of God is - God is love. They are not wrong in fact it is very true. However it is amazing that most tune in to this strand of God’s nature.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Can God be trusted?

Romans 11

Verse four ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal’

Verse twenty nine ‘For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable’

You may be forgiven for thinking that the passage that we have given you to read today, Romans 11, does not at first sight make you think about the fact that God is faithful. However the more you read through the passage and think about what is written you begin to see this principle.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Looking over your shoulder! Trusting others!

Titus 3. 4

‘But when the kindness and the love of God our Savour toward man appeared’

What is your mental image of someone who is kind?  Does it conjure up an image of a certain type of person in your mind? This will all depend on the type of kindness that you have experienced in your life. Sadly some people don’t experience much kindness at all. I meet people who when they have met Christians for the first time cannot believe the care and kindness that they have been shown. They often wonder what the catch is! It is great to see them realise that there is no catch; it is just kindness for its own sake. When this happens the Christian is truly reflecting the type of kindness that God is known for.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can...

‘But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth’

Psalm 86:15

I would challenge any Christian to deny that God is consistently patient. I think however that most would admit that they have been impatient with God and stressed with things that are going on in our lives. Amazingly, God still works with us and looks out for us even when we are not too happy with him.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

What is God really like - holy?

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory’
Isaiah 6.3 

‘Be holy, for I am holy’
1 Pet 1:16

In the book of Habakkuk the writer has a moment of truth. He says to God ‘You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,’ Hab. 1. 13. The writer is actually being quite sarcastic with God when he says this. He is complaining that God has used a sinful nation, the Chaldeans, to judge His people. While arguing the case he says to God ‘you wouldn’t even look at evil’ never mind do it so why use these sinful people to judge your own people. 
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