Thursday, April 28, 2022

Possessions - How do you use them?

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Bible Reading - Mark 11:1-19  

Imagine that I just bought a new car. It is just the model I dreamed about, the pearlescent metallic paint is looking great, the alloys are really cool and the leather seats are ….well what can I say! I have only one problem. Someone has asked me to take a new family (with their children, mucky feet etc) on a very important journey. What should` I do?


The passage we are reading today can teach me a lot about how I use the things I own. I do not know how the man came to meet Jesus or if and when he had agreed to give the Him the use of his donkey and colt. All we know about this man is that his house was at a crossroads, the village was not far from Bethany (a village that often frequented), the animals were kept outside and the man knew who the Lord Jesus was.


The Lord Jesus knew just how the man would behave. He knew that the man would be quick to respond to the request and generous, v.3. He knew that he was responsible and would not let anyone walk away with his property, v.5. He knew that he would lend the animals to Him willingly, v.6. I wonder what the Lord Jesus would say about me.


What did the man achieve by giving his animals to Jesus?


1. He helped fulfil scripture as recorded in Matthew chapter 21 verse 4, on the day the Lord Jesus came into Jerusalem as Messiah.

2. He showed his obedience to the Master.

3. He used what he had for the Lord.

4. He hid in the shadows but allowed the Lord Jesus to walk in the limelight.


Searching Questions – Do I use what I have for the Lord Jesus? Do I bring the Lord Jesus out into the open or do I promote myself by how I live? 

PS - these lessons are aimed at people who are already believers in Jesus Christ.


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

God’s plan for public services


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Today’s suggested Bible reading - Mark 10:28-52

The Lord Jesus really shook people up, particularly his disciples, with his teaching. I can only imagine the shocked looks on their faces when he announced that for anyone to be great in his Government, they would need to serve everybody, v44.


How different to the way this world operates! Power goes to people’s heads. When they get important jobs, they want to be recognised for their status. There are certain things that they don’t do anymore. Some privileges go with power. 


It is so different, or it should be, in the world of the Christian. The Lord Jesus was teaching that only humble people are really great. Only people who serve others can be recognised as important, v43, 44. I am not sure about you, but I know that this teaching is not the natural way that I think. So, I need to pray and ask for the Lord’s help to understand this teaching. I also need His help so that my behaviour is ‘in line’ with the teaching.


I wonder how this teaching should affect how I behave. Will I be more interested in what I can do to help others from now on, Phil 2:4? Would I be happy to work hard if it saved another person the effort? Are there any jobs that I think are beneath me that really I should do for the Lord Jesus?


One of the great things about this truth is that the Lord Jesus is not asking us to do something He will not do. He came to serve and not to be served, v45. The biggest proof was His death. He laid down His life to pay for my salvation. Is there anything that I would not do for Him? 


Friday, April 22, 2022

What is a friend?

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A genuine friendship is the binding and bonding together of two people. Friendship is always preceded by self-giving. The first friend in the Bible was God Himself. God's first gift to Adam was another friend. God determined from the beginning that 'it was not good for man to be alone'. Friendship is based on the type of love, which is a desire for and a delight in the well-being of the one loved. This leads to an active and self-sacrificing effort on their behalf. God, Himself is the very essence of friendship.

A friend is someone we can be ourselves with. A friend is someone who knows our weaknesses and respects our strengths. It has been said:'The only way to have a friend is to be one'. A friend is a source of sunshine when we are under the weather; who believes in us when we cease to believe in ourselves. A friend is a source of celebration when we feel there is nothing to celebrate. A friend is someone who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Look at me I’m great!

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Short Reading – Mark 9:30-37Longer Reading – Mark 9:30-50

Key Verse – Mark 9:34

The human mind is an amazing thing. have the ability to listen to someone talking and at the same time be thinking my own private thoughts, which could be a million miles away from what the other person is saying.

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In Mark chapter 9, the Lord was teaching his disciples about his betrayal, death and resurrection on the third day. The disciples did not understand what the Lord meant nor did they want to admit it or to ask him questionshave noticed that I am a bit like that. Mquestions and doubts are no different from anyone else’s but I often do not ask simple questions in case I look silly. Join me in trying to be more honest; it will be better for all of us in the long run.


While the Lord was speaking the disciples were carrying on another discussion in the background. The sad thing was that the Lord Jesus was telling them about his future suffering while they were discussing which one of them was the most important, v. 34. My first reaction is to be quite critical – imagine me talking about how great I am while the Lord is explaining how He is going to suffer. On reflection, I have to admit that often am so taken up with my life and the things that are going on in it that I fail to appreciate what the Lord suffered for me. 

That day the disciples were to learn a lesson that I need to learn. To be first in God’s kingdom, I need to be last of all; to be great in God’s eyes I need to be small in my eyes.

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Listen to what the Lord tells you

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Short Reading - Mark 9:1-13Longer reading - Mark 9:1-29 
Key Verse – Mark 9:7

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I find it easy to get carried away with what is happening in my life and to forget to listen to the Lord speaking to me.

You may not believe it, but Peter, the apostle, had this problem as well. In today’s passage, he was one of three disciples who had a special experience. The Lord took them up into a mountain, and they saw a sight that they would never forget. The Lord described what they saw as seeing ‘the kingdom of God come with power’, v. 1. They saw Jesus visibly changedHis clothes shone brighter than can be described, v. 3, and His face ‘shone as the sun’, Matt 17. 2.

Luke tells us that they had gone up the mountain to pray, Luke 9. 28 and that as Jesus prayed, the changes took place. Peter, James and John had fallen asleep and woke to see the Lord talking to Moses and Elijah. They were discussing the death of Jesus at Jerusalem, Luke 9. 32. The word for death could be translated as departure or exodus. Just imagine what Moses could have said about the Exodus’ or what Elijah could have said about his ‘Departure’, but they were talking about the work that the Lord Jesus would accomplish at Jerusalem.

This was when Peter blurted out in his excitement that he wanted to celebrate the Lord Jesus, Moses and Elijah by building a festival tent for each of them. At this stage, the Father intervenes by speaking from heaven and reminding Peter (and the rest of the group) to focus on the Lord and to do what he says, v. 7.

Remember – listen to His voice and do what he says.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

It is no secret what God can do

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Stuart Hamblen was an American entertainer who became one of radio's first singing cowboys in 1926, going on to become a singer, actor, radio show host, and songwriter.  From 1931, he began hosting the popular radio program Family Album in California. He also composed music and acted in films with cowboy stars including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne. He did not cope well with the pressures of his high-profile career and sought relief in alcohol. Many times his drinking landed him in jail for public brawling and other destructive behaviour. 

In 1949 after years of struggle with alcohol, along came a young preacher holding a tent revival meeting. He decided to have him on his radio show presumably to poke fun at him. In order to gather more material for his show he  showed up at one of the revival meetings. Early in the service the preacher announced, "There is one man in this audience who is a big fake." There were probably others who thought the same thing, but Stuart was convinced that he was the one the preacher was talking about (some would call that conviction) but he was having none of that. 


Thursday, April 07, 2022

Why Worry?

Worry is common to all of us. There is something we can do about this debilitating problem.

worryWorry and the Christian Life

The problem with worry is it’s often all in the mind – a message for Christians
I am told that 85% of what we worry about never happens.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes a series of exhortations to the Christians in Philippi in his closing comments of the letter addressed to that Church. In chapter four verse four he has encouraged them to ‘rejoice in the Lord alway’. 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 and to rejoice in what God has done. I am sure we all know people who can see the goodness of God in everything. We should all cultivate this way of thinking

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Why do we need so much #security?

We live in a highly security-conscious age with security guards, security fences, security lights, security cameras, security alarms, etc. etc. We are increasingly aware of more and more threats to our security and by all means we endeavour to minimise the risks and dangers and eliminate the threats.
However, there is one area where there is an alarming neglect and carelessness on our part; that is in relation to our eternal security. We secure our homes, our cars, our computers but we leave our undying soul exposed to all forms of danger. We are so obsessed with the physical, the temporal, the external that we have failed to protect our most precious asset, our soul. We can replace the car, we can have viruses removed, we can repair damage to our homes but we cannot undo the irreparable damage that will be sustained if we lose our soul. The old hymn says:
To lose your wealth is much,
To lose your health is more;
To lose your soul is such a loss,
That nothing can restore.
I ask you then, my friend, have you ensured the eternal security of your immortal soul; are you saved? Have you, until now, fallen into the same trap as the ‘rich farmer’ of Luke chapter 12? Have your priorities been your career, your finances, your health, your family, etc. so much so that your precious soul has been neglected? Have you been so preoccupied with the years ahead; making provision for retirement and the other contingencies of life that the consideration of your invaluable soul has been buried under all the other encumbrances that have filled your life hitherto?
Thankfully God has made provision for our eternal security. The Lord Jesus said, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish" John 10.28. He also affirmed, "… those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost …" John 17.12. The life that we receive when we trust Christ is "eternal life" John 3.15; "everlasting life" John 3.16. In Hebrews 7.25 we read, "He is able also to save them to the uttermost [evermore, completely] that come unto God by Him …" Paul wrote, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8.38,39. These rock-solid, iron-clad, inviolable guarantees ought to reassure us; we need not fear to trust Christ; we should not hesitate for one moment to rely on Him alone for our eternal security.
Dear reader, is all well for eternity? If you died today, are you sure that you would be in heaven? If your answer to these questions is ‘No’, please do not rest until you have guaranteed your eternal security by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ Who died for your sins and rose again, thereby providing an eternal salvation for us. When you trust Christ, He assumes full responsibility for your salvation and it is utterly impossible for a soul trusting Him to perish. You can have that unshakable peace, that unwavering confidence today if you "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" Acts 16.31. Let me quote, in closing, another hymn:
O, what can equal joy divine or what can sweeter be,
Than knowing that the soul is safe for all eternity?

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