Posts tagged with "bible"
Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:59:16 AM
“So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”
Some Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection from the dead, put a trick question, a hypothetical, to Jesus to prove their intellectual superiority. They put to him a situation which they suppose shows the contradictions in believing in heaven. A woman who has multiple husbands (brothers who were required under the law of Moses to provide for heirs for widows), dies childless. Whose husband will she be in the resurrection?
Jesus replies by pointing out that heaven is different to earth. It's a different world with different needs so the present rules do not apply.
He goes on to say that if God is the God of the living, and not the dead, and if God describes Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then clearly these people are still alive.
Religion multiplies ridiculous questions because it engages the soul not the spirit. Religion is about finding the loopholes and exploiting them like an unethical lawyer, and keeping God in a safe corner.
Jesus came to set us free from this. Rather than boxing God in, Jesus calls us to taste His freedom.
No more hypotheticals trying to get our finite minds around the infinite God. Rather, let's walk in relationship with the God of the living, and let His life free us from the constraints of religious thinking.
This is not to decry doctrine, because we need to have categories to describe our infinite Father. When doctrines become the only definition of truth, when they seek to exclude people rather than include, then we are far from the path of life.
Lord I don't understand the details of eternity, but I trust you enough to know that you have it worked out. Thank you that you are equipping me for heaven. Please grow your grace in me each day. Amen.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 1:11:37 AM
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold on to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
Paul warns the Thessalonians against the teachings of those who claim the Day of the Lord has already come. No, that day will not come until the time of rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed. At that time the Lord Jesus will destroy the lawless one and all the works of satan.
Paul encourages the church of Thessalonica to stand firm in Christ in order to share in His glory.
Through the ages there has been speculation about the end times and the return of Christ. Our age is no different.
Paul seems to be saying here that we cannot be confident of the details of the time of Christ's return but we can be confident that there will be an uprisng in rebellion and that a man of lawlessness will be exposed as satan's tool to deceive the elect.
Therefore we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on the time in which we live. Look to obeying Christ now, and trust Him for the details of His return and triumph over evil.
Holy Spirit lead me into all truth. Let me stand firm in the power of your grace and never be deceived by the Evil One. Amen.
Monday, November 4, 2013 11:43:00 PM
Sing praise to the Lord,
Celebrate His name
I thought I was lost
But He rescued me
I thought there was no escape
But He showed me the exit
Hills sing with me!
Rivers come and praise!
All you birds and animals too
For God is good
In all His ways
Blessed be His name.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:40:48 PM
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, for this man, too, is a son of Abraham.”
Jesus comes into Jericho and the crowds line the streets to see him. Amongst them is a short man called Zaccheus, a wealthy tax-collector. Unable to see over the crowds, Zaccheus climbs a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus.
When Jesus reaches the place where Zaccheus is, he comes and invites himself to Zaccheus' place. The self-righteous people grumble about Jesus eating with sinners. Zaccheus stands up and says, “Today I'm giving half of my wealth to the poor and I will repay four-fold anyone I have cheated.”
Jesus tells him that clearly salvation has come to him and that the Son of Man came to seek what was lost.
Nobody is too much of a sinner for God. All it takes is an encounter with Jesus and a desire to repent.
The world says that leopards cannot change their spots, but Jesus offers us the chance to change.
A wealthy chief tax collector is changed by a short meeting with Jesus. Greed and selfishness melt away when he realises that he is loved for who he is and not what he has.
We find it convenient to put people in the “too hard” basket- they are clearly hard-hearted and beyond God's love. But how do we know until someone actually shows them what God's love looks like?
Lord show me the people like Zaccheus in my community. Show me how to share your love with them and the good news of salvation. Amen.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 3:40:57 AM
All this is evidence that God's judgement is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
Pail is writing to the church of the Thessalonians. He thanks God for them, for their faith and love are growing, and he boasts to all the other churches of their perseverance and faith in the midst of persecutions and trials.
Their faith is evidence that God's judgement is right. God will repay those who trouble the church while giving comfort to the church. This will happen when Jesus comes in glory. Those who refuse to obey the gospel will be punished with eternal destruction while those who are His people will be glorified by Him.
Paul prays for the Thessalonians constantly that they may be worthy of their calling so that the name of Jesus Christ will be glorified through them.
It can be hard to see God's purposes when we are going through hard times, whether it is systematic persecution or the griefs and trials of life.
We need to understand that God's hand is always on us and those whom we love. Even when we see no good thing, no purpose, no redemption in our situation, we can be sure that God will set it to rights when the end comes.
Paul promises that those who trouble us will be repaid with trouble and we will receive comfort and reward from Jesus.
In the end, hard as it is to see right now, God's righteousness will triumph over man's wickedness.
Thank you Jesus for the knowledge that one day all will be well. Give me eyes to see your purposes in the present as well as a heart that hopes for the future. Amen.
Sunday, October 27, 2013 11:54:29 PM
How long O Lord,
how long will you stand by
to let evil men rule?
Everywhere I look
there is violence and oppression
it just gets worse.
I'm looking and waiting
Listening and praying.
And the Lord said,
Write it down,
for I will intervene
when the harvest is here
and the fruit is ripe
all men will be judged
evil will not win
the faithful will arise.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:52:25 PM
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus tells a parable to some people who were self-righteous and proud. In the story, a Pharisee and a tax collector go to the temple to pray. The Pharisee prays proudly to God, boasting of his religious deeds. The tax collector, on the other hand, simply cried out to God, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Jesus concludes that it was the tax collector rather than the self-righteous Pharisee who went away in a right relationship with God.
It is so easy to forget that we are all sinners justified by the grace of God. When we hang around Christians enough, we start to enjoy our own good deeds a little too much. We condemn the sins of other people but forget the part about loving (really loving, not just pretending to love) the sinner.
Maybe we aren't as blatant about it as the man in the story, but sometimes we can be tempted to think God is pretty blessed to have us on his team.
The truth is that in any of us, even the most sanctified of saints, sin lurks just below the surface waiting to escape.
Self-righteousness is a form of delusion that persuades us that we are something better than we really are, and that God is something less than who He is.
We will always be sinners dependent on grace. But God's grace will always be enough to save us.
Father I thank you for your unending grace. Rescue me from the sin of self-righteousness and teach me how to receive your righteousness. Amen.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:12:56 AM
Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me but to all who have longed for his glorious appearing.Observation
Paul describes himself as being already poured out like a drink offering. He has fought the fight, finished the race, kept the faith. Now he is ready to receive his crown of righteousness.
Many people have deserted Paul, but some such as Luke have remained with him. At his first court hearing everyone deserted him, but the Lord was faithful and delivered him. He knows that the Lord will bring him safely to the heavenly kingdom.Application
Paul assures us that there is a crown of righteousness awaiting all who trust the Lord Jesus and who look forward to His return. It is not clear what form this will take, but it certainly reflects God's approval “Well done good and faithful servant.”
What is God's judgement on my life so far? Can I say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”?
The world is concerned only for temporary things- wealth, amusement, comfort. Christians must be concerned above all with eternity, finding God's purposes in daily living.Prayer
Lord please help me to live a life entirely devoted to you and to your purposes. Amen.
Monday, October 21, 2013 11:45:57 PM
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Our God saves.
He forgives our sin
And wipes out our debt.
Fires rage in the mountains
Drought ravages the land
But our Lord will send
Rain to quench the thirst
And still the ravaging flames.
Even in tough times
Our God is good
He supplies every good thing
And wealth and food in abundance
Sing praise to our God
The joy of all people.
Monday, October 21, 2013 12:38:21 AM
Rejoice with me my friends
God loves us
No more locusts to strip the crop
An abundance of wine is assured.
Rejoice with me my friends
God's Spirit is here
All flesh will be filled
Highest to lowest
Will know the Lord
Rejoice with my my friends
God saves us
All who asks may come
His kingdom is open to all.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:01:29 PM
“Will God not bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”
Jesus tells a parable to show that we should not give up in praying.
A widow keeps coming to a corrupt judge pleading for justice against her adversary. The judge doesn't care about justice, but tires of being bothered by her. So he eventually caves in and sees that she gets justice.
If a corrupt judge caves in for purely selfish reasons, won't our loving Father God respond to our cries for justice?
Jesus exhorts us to pray persistently even when it seems that our prayers are not getting any results.
Prayer is not about twisting the arm of a corrupt official but the impassioned sharing of the concerns of our heart with the confidence that God hears us.
Sometimes our answers come quickly, but other times perseverance and faithfulness are called for. When we know that we are praying God's will in a situation, we need to keep at it until the situation is resolved.
Loving God. I thank you that you are mighty and powerful, yet you hear my prayers. Help me to be faithful in prayer and to not give up. Amen.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:07:43 AM
But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the Good News and to do your job well.
Paul encourages Timothy to be faithful to what he was taught. Since his childhood Timothy has known the Scriptures which are able to lead us to salvation. All Scripture is useful for teaching us, correcting us and training us in God's ways.
Christ will come as King and Judge, so we must be always eager to please him. Paul tells Timothy to keep preaching even if it isn't popular. The time is coming when people will turn away from the truth and prefer senseless myths. Timothy must stay calm and persevere in the task of making Christ known.
The world pressures us to water down the inconvenient parts of the gospel. People want to believe that they are all OK with God and that judgement is not a reality..
The fact is that God will judge us all, and those who do not walk with Jesus will be going to eternal punishment for their sin.
As christians we must study God's word and only teach that which agrees with the Scriptures. To do anything else places us in the danger of judgement.
Regardless of what the world would have us believe, there is only one way of salvation and that is through Jesus Christ.
Thank you Jesus for saving me from my sin. Please help me to be entirely faithful to you and to your word. Amen
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 10:53:59 PM
Your word, Lord, is always on my mind
You never leave my thoughts
I meditate, absorb and dwell on your commands
I receive your instruction
For it makes me wise.
You made me, Lord
You know how I work
You know what is good and right
My heart is full of love for you
I just want to please you.
Thank you for your Word
The Way of holiness.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:36:48 AM
“No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, 'Know the Lord', because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest”, declares the Lord
The Lord is going to restore Israel and Judah just as he pulled them down.
Better than this, the Lord will being in a new era where people are responsible for their own sins, because there will be a new covenant. In the new covenant, people won't need to instruct or exhort each other to obey the Lord, because the covenant will be written in their hearts and minds.
All will know the Lord from the least important to the greatest. The Lord will forgive all and will no longer remember sin.
We live in the era of the new covenant which Jeremiah looked forward to. The Lord has written His ways in our hearts through the person of the Holy Spirit.
In a sense none of us needs anyone else to teach us about the ways of the Lord. The Spirit and the Word are enough.
Yet we continue to sin. Our hearts are not always soft towards the Holy Spirit. We refuse to listen to the Lord and to read the Bible faithfully.
So we continue to rely on pastors and teachers to remind us of the ways of the Lord. They are valuable and precious, but no substitute for a personal, continuous direct connection with the living God.
Father I thank you for the gifts of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Please help me to rely more and more on this provisions and to allow you to speak directly to me each moment of every day. Amen.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:12:51 PM
Then he said to him, “Rise up and go; your faith has made you well.”
As Jesus travels towards Jerusalem. He meets ten lepers at a certain village. They call out to Him, and He tells them to go and show themselves to the priest.
Along the way to the priest, they are healed. One of them praises God out loud, returns to Jesus and thanks Him.
Jesus asks, “Were not all ten healed? Why has only one come back to praise God?”
Ten were healed but only one thanked Jesus.
When Jesus said to the leper, “Rise up and go; your faith has made you well”, He was talking of more than physical healing. The Greek word actually means “Your faith has saved you.”
Many people receive blessings and favour from the Lord, but not all are saved.
This man, a Samaritan, recognised that God's grace is more than physical. He recognised that Jesus was divine not merely human, and so he returned to worship Him.
Our ongoing relationship and worship of Jesus is what saves us.
Lord Jesus, Son of God, I recognise that I need you as my Saviour. Please help me to return to you daily to worship you. Amen.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 12:09:15 AM
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Paul exhorts Timothy to warn people against quarrelling over words and godless chatter which only causes people to be ungodly.
Timothy is to be a good workman proud of his work in correctly handling the word of truth.
Rather than allowing idle speculations about doctrine we must ensure our lives line up with God's word.
Paul mention godless chatter and quarrels over words which lead us away from God. We need to make sure that we are focussed on Christ- both in the Scriptures and in our ordinary conversations.
False doctrines can lead us astray so it is important to know what is trith and what is fantasy.
We can only do that through a close knowledge of the word of truth- the Bible.
Father please give me a deeper love for your Word for in it I discover you. Amen.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 1:19:33 AM
Seek the peace and prosperity of the city into which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it for if it prospers you will prosper.
From Jerusalem, Jeremiah sends a letter to the leaders, priests and people of Israel in exile in Babylon.
The letter carries the word of the Lord for the people in exile. They are to settle down, build housed and plant gardens, marry and have children and arrange for their children to be married. They are to seek the prosperity of the city for as it prospers they too will prosper.
Being in exile must have been hard on the people of God. Had God abandoned them? Would they ever return home?
Jeremiah encourages the people in exile to make the city their home and to continue to trust the Lord.
We are in a sense strangers in a strange land. This world is not our real home. Yet we are called to live here to the glory of God. We live out our daily lives, but always with the hope that one day we will be in a better place, our true home.
Thank you Father for the assurance that you have a true home for me with you. Help me to honour you in my daily living. Amen.
Sunday, October 6, 2013 1:01:51 AM
The sermon for October 6th 2013 is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on Luke 16:19-31, I talk about Eternity, Heaven and Hell.
Click here to listen
Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:59:01 AM
The Lord said, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea' and it would obey you.”
The disciples ask Jesus to show them how to increase their faith. Jesus responds that even a small amount of faith would be enough to command a tree to throw itself into the sea and it would be done.
A servant who comes in from working outside all day doesn't get to eat with the master. Instead he must serve the master first. He does this without expecting any thanks for his efforts.
The life of faith requires that we take our eyes off ourselves. We must look to what God is doing and act accordingly.
Faith is not a measurable quantity. It is a binary quality- either on or off, positive or negative. When we believe that God is who He says He is then great exploits are possible- but only because we are in tune with what God is doing.
We need to have the heart of a servant, seeking to obey God's commands. As soon as we start thinking that our service for God or our great works of faith carry any great reward then we fail.
Lord help me to see that my life is all about serving you. Cure me of consumer christianity and the desire for a self-centred life. Amen.
1 2 3 4 5 ... 43 Next »