Monthly Archives: September 2019

Peace

PEACE 

ROMANS 10/

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

My feet I think it’s safe to say – are not beautiful. Nevertheless my hammer-toes feet can take me to a place where people worship, or the highways and by-ways where I can share the gospel. My feet suddenly are saw to be beautiful if I share the gospel.

In previous posts I hope I say it like it is. Say it like it is – concerning this old world we are living in.

Affirming that we do not need to look far to see the mess.

But what do we read here (above)?

…the gospel of peace,

Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Gospel means good news. The Gospel is a message. A good news message.

A good news message offering peace. We have all heard the saying: “Peace be with you”.

And of course there is no peace without the peace-giver. No spiritual peace that is.

When the irate father rebukes his child and shouts: “Give my head peace!”, and the child subsequently remains silent. You could say the father’s head has found peace.

But of course this is not a true description of Peace.

There are other glad tidings mixed in with this message of peace. The Christian gospel is a message carried by beautiful feet to those who will listen, i.e. to those who realise there is a problem and the message is sent to cure it. Otherwise the feet of the message carriers, have an aroma of death…

16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.

Those desiring true spiritual life welcome the refreshing message of sins forgiven to all receivers of Christ. Sweet sounding feet indeed.

 There are many ways to try and acquire peace of mind, peace of spirit but only Christ supplies true peace – He gives peace to the human heart.

We are made that way, i.e. made to need this peace. It is a peace that is difficult to describe to those who are in turmoil and have not as yet experienced it – and that’s because it is a PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING’ –

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This peace comes when the conscience comes into line with Christ’s forgiveness, and by faith we take Him at His word, receiving His peace for the forgiveness of confessed sin.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This gospel of peace brings news of this peace that passes understanding. But it is to be experienced to be fully appreciated, as it is not just the understanding of it’s existence that confirms it – but actually allowing God to impart it to us.

Sin destroys and is synonymous with death. It can be pleasurable, but only for a short time, as the conscience will raise it’s objections to it, and there is only one way to silence those objections – through the forgiveness of God offered to us all, if we will turn away from sin and turn to Christ.

The conscience can operate instantly before we misbehave or with delayed reaction, after we have sinned, if ignored in exchange for the pleasure of sin for a season, it will return and smite us.

I know what it is to be ‘smitten’ for my mistakes many times, but after failing – I have turned to Christ and He has imparted His peace again, to the satisfaction of my inner need.

If we ignore Christ speaking to our conscience, we can eventually end up fitting this description:

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

But the conscience (if not seared) can also lie dormant until awakened by Jesus Christ.

With a dormant conscience, folks either don’t see there is a problem – or set about solving the problem by telling themselves “I’m a good person”.

What they mean is their intentions would be – to be good.

Other folks quickly find fault with them, find things that are not so good, and there is a vice-versa reciprocation in such exercises, and suddenly it isn’t enough to want to be a good person.

God says ‘There is none good but God…’

We are told to worship God ‘in the beauty of holiness’.

And holiness is of The Lord.

Holiness never gets a mention in the vocabulary of post-modernism. There is largely never talk of becoming more holy, except when comedians or playwrights want (as they seem to always want) to mock ‘Holier than thou’ Pharisaism. So that becomes their total perception of what Christianity is.

In order to find Christian Peace – we need to recognise where the cause of all disturbance in the human frame comes from.

It comes from that mysterious ‘virus’ called sin.

The reason that the feet of those who carry the gospel message are beautiful is [to quote scripture again]:-

Ephesians. 6/15

…and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

It is the good news of the gospel of peace to all who will receive it and it’s author – Christ Jesus Himself.

Therefore my desire is that all would know…

Ephesians 1/2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Out of the frying pan…

Out of the frying pan…

I recently listened to four individuals on YouTube sharing their stories publicly in front of an audience.

Two shared their unrelated stories about being in – and leaving – a cult

The other two shared about addiction. One guy was addicted to pornography. The other girl suffered from bulimia, alcoholism and drug abuse.

One common denominator characterised the four, they each confessed/related how they had left…

Left the cult or the habitual dependence.

One thing I noticed was that they did not spend time telling us what they had found to replace what they had left.

Just the very fact of leaving behind their situation or lifestyle, seemed to be enough to celebrate.

If someone has worn handcuffs for months – there is bound to be a great sense of relief and freedom when those handcuffs are removed. There is nothing to take the place of the handcuffs – except the freedom of release. And surely it is enough.

What they do with their free hands is now the anticipated ongoing story.

Two of these victims of cult abuse, found freedom from what they unfortunately referred to as Evangelical fundamentalist Christianity.

Why unfortunately you might ask? Well because the label blackens the true meanings of the words.

How quickly we can throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to labels.

To hear their stories produces empathetic responses from any right minded ‘common sense’ endued public – listening to such stories.

They elicited readily a similar response from me.

But there was no mention of the ‘real thing’ – true biblical Christianity.

Cults can rise from all religions, where misrepresentation of said religions can run rampant.

Anyone adhering to what is commonly referred to as a ‘religion’, will usually be very slow to doubt their ‘fundamental’ beliefs – all ‘religions’ have these foundational doctrines.

So any word can either be heard for what it really refers to  or can be heard through the biased sieve of those to whom that word means something else.

The something else being certain behaviour that they associate immediately with that word, without giving the word a second thought, and accepting that it may in fact mean something else in a different context.

Thus out goes the baby with the bathwater, and everyone is tarred with the same  brush, the brush that ‘they’ associate with a given word.

I’m thinking of such words as ‘evangelical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘christianity’, which happen to be the words used by those who were telling of their escape from a particular cult.

The immediate impression given (without them trying to present an alternative) is that all of Christianity is a cult, or that ‘evangelical’ is synonymous with manipulation cruelty and control. The things that they experienced in the cult.

Whereas nothing could be further from the truth in real Christianity. In fact true evangelicals are the first in line to empathise with what these folks experienced in the cult that gives Christianity a bad name.

Truth is – these cults were Christianity without Christ.

Without Christ, because they were ‘religious’ in the Pharisaical bad sense of the word. They corrupted the word of God – by making it whatever served their selfish ends.

The result is Christianity without Christ Jesus, and the Bible without God in it.

Rules made-up by man adding to the Word of God. Adding to it in order to corrupt it. And imposing their perverted rules in order to dominate the ‘flock’ – i.e. members of the cult.

The following Scripture must be taken in context, but I simply quote it, to emphasise that man can/does corrupt the bible, especially it is the case – in these abhorrent cults.

Revelation 22/

18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Often in these cults – The application of the bible to try to control people’s behaviour or allegiances, is done so without proper understanding of the great balance of truth found in scripture (to say the least).

Cults operate under the influence of a demonic spirit – but all in the name of Christianity.

What’s the result? Many turn-off from even considering the real thing, by virtue of it’s mis-representation by those who lead cults and have no right to call themselves Christian.

These cult leaders misrepresent Christ Jesus manifest by the fruit of their living.

People – bound by the manipulation and control of these pseudo shepherds with their own private, invented, perverted Christianity, – when they get ‘free’ – can allow (if unwise) their pendulum to swing in the opposite direction, understandably I hasten to add. But caution should be exercised that they don’t come out of the frying pan into the fire. Do not shed one set of shackles for another kind.

Don’t celebrate your freedom with a mouthful of swear words because you are now free to say what you like.

Swearing is an interesting subject. It is censored on television until a certain time of the day, yet is freely indulged in afterwards.

So it’s not right for our children to hear – but it’s ok for us to use. (Sounds like hypocrisy to me).

Swearing some will tell us is just ‘words’. But normally someone out to put down, victimise, belittle, reject, dump their anger and threats upon others, look for words suitably appropriate to describe their disgust for their fellow-man, and therefore seek the assistance of expletives. But then tell us they are just words?

Anyway – getting off the subject I realise.

My encouragement to all is to soberly consider the claims of Christ by searching the scriptures for yourself.

Realise there is the false and true in every sphere of life. Don’t settle for anything that falls short of 100% authenticity.

It may take time I know. But seek and you will find!

Unfinished Point

UNFINISHED POINT…

Now what is the sum total of the population’s mindset

As we drift and drift further from the truth?

What comes all-out into full view by the bleatings of the lips?

What manifests itself with one accord in disagreeing diversity?

These and many more questions could be asked

What is the fashion of things in the twenty-first century?

Let’s take a pause and just make a list of worthwhile attributes

But even in this we cannot agree

Some see no madness – some – nothing but

Am I trying in a roundabout way to make some profound point?

Profound? – You couldn’t spell it…” – says she to me

Well it’s P_R_O

“Save your breath – I’m being sarcastic – you obviously didn’t know?”

“Anyway get back on track – I think you have a philosophical turn of mind…”

Yes and no – that’s for me to know and you to find out

I will leave you now – as my ‘diatribe’ about the state of affairs is not appreciated –

I can sense your vibe

Let me close with a quote:

‘Et tu brute then die…’ all reason and normality must not be allowed to run amok or influence society and get it back on track

 

Unbelief

UNBELIEF

Do you want God to change you

Is change the order of the day?

Do you think God is amused by you

Amused in any way?

Is He deeply disappointed

At your distracted mind?

Does He see your knotted head?

Do you turn to prayer instead?

Pray once – pray twice

Have another go – a cloud

The size of a man’s hand

comes into view and let’s you know

That prayer works when you persist

Don’t strike it from your ‘to do’ list

The blogger said – “no point in prayer”

He prefers his own despair

So he tries to pull down others

Knock them from their perch

He sees their faith as a rickety post

On which they commit to stand

‘Balancing’ – or so it seems to him –

Precariously –

But he doesn’t understand

His mindset needs a debrief

As his prayer gets nowhere

in his resolute unbelief

Poetic Muse III

POST-MODERN FUN 

I don’t know what way it goes together

I fiddle and bump and cajole

I stop for a brake

Go for a stroll

Come back – back at it

Fiddle and footer and make another attempt

Can’t get anywhere – time ill-spent

Will I give up?

One more try

That leads to ten more

My oh my!

 

Tell you what – leave it for now

There’s bound to be a solution

It’s not good for the constitution

 

“No don’t touch please…” – to my son

“What have you done?”

Only gone and fixed it –

All part of his agenda

Of post-modern fun

Wisdom responses

(see John 4)

WISDOM RESPONSES

It’s an interesting study to note Jesus’ response to various situations and scenarios.

We see Him speaking to a Samaritan woman at a well. Not the done thing – as 

…Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

So He cut across the socially accepted norms and prophetically gave insight into this woman’s life

She was never the same again – so accurate was the information He gave her. We are not told all that He said to her. Did He in fact give a comprehensive history of her life – so much so that she exclaimed?: 

“Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

Was she so overwhelmed by what He said regarding her lack of marital status – that it seemed He had insight into everything to do with her life? (And of course He had – as He has with regard to our lives).

Was she so astounded – she exaggerated her message? She would not be the first person to be astounded by what Christ did for her. I too am in that company of people.

40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

Notice the Samaritans response to this demonstration of supernatural knowledge, that could not have been known, any other way – it started them on their quest to find out more.

Then having heard Christ preach – they became believers in The Son of God, The Messiah, themselves.

They wanted Jesus to stay with them. So He stayed another two days.

On another occasion the disciples went to prepare a place for Jesus as a stopover on a fuller journey. A stopover place amongst the Samaritans. But these Samaritans refused to receive Him.

The disciples acting wrongly and ‘inspired’ by the devil – wanted the Samaritans destroyed in response to this refusal to receive The Messiah:

Luke 9/54

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

They had a scriptural precedent, (so they thought) to repeat history. But Jesus pointed out how wrong they were. Teaching us that it is not what we say – but the spirit by which we speak.

We must discern what is behind and inspiring religions, or cults. By their fruits we shall know them.

55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

It was all right for Elijah – why not them? Many twist the Word of God, and use it as the letter that kills, because they are moving in their unaided understanding or are demonically inspired to adulterate The Word of God.

Join with me in asking ourselves:

…what manner of spirit you (we) are of…?

On another occasion Jesus responded to a Samaritan woman and gave her what she requested even though…

John 4/22

22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Mark 7:27-29

27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

If we pray, we trust that as we move wisely the Son of God will be impressed by our requests, as He was with this woman and we shall (believing) receive the answer to our prayers.

When the Samaritans refused Jesus although He would not sanction ‘the fire from heaven’ destruction of His rejectors. Nevertheless we note the weighty consequence, in contrast, to the Samaritans who responded to the woman at the well:

And they went to another village.

Jesus looks for one thing above all – our acceptance of Him into our lives. He must have a welcoming embrace from us. He will not force Himself into our lives. He will influence us, draw us, speak to us, work in our conscience, all to bring us to Himself.

But that’s it – unless we embrace Him wholeheartedly –

He will go…

to another village.

Poetic Muse II

ALL SMALL

Doesn’t matter how big a man

Big bolstering impressive frames

 

Doesn’t matter a dicky bird what

A man might say

swinging ball and chains

Raising shoulders to ear line

Flexing muscles and gasping aloud

 

Doesn’t matter

No answer to be found

In his brain

 

‘Cause the final curtain to all must come

The stepping over – out of range

The hereafter beckons – the call goes out

We are leaving the planet there is no doubt

 

Big confident mentor to you

Whose got it together in mouth and tongue

Money in the bank – and having fun

 

Film star smile – and intellectual bent

Doesn’t matter – when it comes to – good-bye

Where’s he headed for – beyond the sky?

Big as King Kong – or dominant stance

Been round the world and back to France

 

Doesn’t matter if alcohol fuelled

Macho man or Mr. World

He’s as small as a bird –

a robin’s territory

may be his domain –

but ruling roosts is no gain –

when it comes to the departure lounge

 

You feel safe when he’s around

Sitting with your smile at his performing rant

You’d be like him – but admiration

says you can’t

Don’t put your trust in got-it-together-guys

They are as clueless as you –

why are you surprised?

 

So take note and remember the final line:

The shortness of our sparkly fuse

And start to ponder what we all have to lose

 

It’s time to take stock

(Have a vitamin C drink)

Men are less impressive than you think

 

So envy no one – be yourself

Accept your smallness on a day of grace

And you will find the answers

For what lies beyond outer space

Poetic Muse I

THE STREET IS NOT FOR SALE

The street is not for sale

Even though progress claimed it

Even though I left it

The street is not for sale

Even though I need the money

Even though it isn’t funny

The street is not for sale

It goes beyond the pale

Spiders, smells, and the odd snail

The street is not for sale

Best memories keep intact

You prise ‘em out with a jack

It’s all my front and all my back

My rearview and my heart-beat attack

My ancient recall and all

Reference to better times

Memory and emotion intertwine

The street is not for sale

It could have been somewhere else

A thousand streets in Paris or Rome

A back alley at the Picturedrome

A spontaneous sneeze before I leave

Taste the street at my feet

You can see now – why I think it’s neat

A special-any-old-asphalt surface

Always my purpose…

To return again and again – but

Times change – we move away

We have less to know and more to say

About the childhood street I do picture

It emerges at the end of my finger

Hung up on the wall

– pencil, pen and ink – fountain or ball

No price tag – not for sale

Price too high on the Richter scale

So –

The street is not for sale

  

The Real Deal

THE REAL DEAL

There is either such a thing as sin – or there isn’t.

And quite clearly there is such a thing.

It’s as plain as the nose on your face. We can see the results of sin all around us. Often in epidemic proportions.

Sin is one of the most obvious phenomena on the planet. And yet it is explained away under many guises.

The problem for preachers is – they too are subject to and can be guilty of – sinning.

So how can they stand in pulpits and preach against what they themselves are engaged in? Or so the commonly held view is expressed, by some.

“Is this not hypocrisy?” reasons the person who tries to say – no one should ‘judge’ others.

They perceive preachers as hypocritical Pharisees who love to castigate everyone but themselves. Bringing people under their rule and control, as ‘holier than thou’ – potentates.

However, have you noticed that those who say: “we shouldn’t judge”, are also those who can lose their temper and hit out with swear words, at the unknown person whole stole their car? They wouldn’t be trying to ‘judge’ them would they?

Quite clearly proper judgement is necessary in life. Else why not close down all the courtrooms throughout the land, and allow anarchy to rule ok!

The fact that unjust judgements are made, and hypocrites can be found in places of moral responsibility, does not negate the need for proper, sound, just judgement.

Problem is, at a time of increasing moral decay – the hypocrites seem to ‘rule ok’ in responsible positions, rather than the sincere just-persons, who should take up these roles.

Those preachers, who have moral integrity, are automatically lambasted by those who don’t want their sins found out. They tar these preachers with the same brush,  branding them as hypocrites. Condemned usually without trial or examined evidence.

The result of accepting or listening to no-one – is confusion (and often every evil work).

So in societies – corrupt officials take bribes, and the unjust sinner goes free for the right price.

The almost automatic way to portray anyone of ‘the cloth’, in drama productions on television or cinema – is to create a character who has a snivelling, hypocritical, judgemental, narrow minded, self-centred cowardly personality. Such types find their way onto the playwright’s script  when a character is needed to ‘represent’ the church.

And the non-believing but ‘good’ villain who spares a dime for the beggar in the street – is the ‘real deal’. Even though he has killed and robbed.

So society relieves itself from any responsibility to take notice of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Cause after all ‘they are not hypocrites’, like those religious types.

They don’t ‘pretend’ to be good or religious, or better than others. And so in all of this they spend their lives missing completely the ‘real deal’ of the Gospel.

So who is going to tell us we are sinners when all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?

Well the answer is – God Himself.

The Holy Spirit’s job is to make me aware that I, who write this post – am a sinner.

And to be always talking about sin, without the rest of the message that makes the messenger’s feet beautiful (post on beautiful feet to appear later) is to get out of balance in presenting the whole gospel.

The whole gospel summed up is – we can have our mess (sins) removed. We can know God the Father through Jesus the Son, and we can know the ‘real deal’ of fellowship with God.

To be liberated inside – in a way you have never experienced before is the result of receiving and obeying the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve just summed it up briefly, (to accommodate the need for a short post).

REAL DEAL GOOD NEWS:

…Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

….Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

And so on….and so on…and so on….🙂

Poetic Pause XVI

THE MAN IN THE CHAIR 

A nice safe life

A nice safe wife

An over-exuberant cat

A slippery mat

Life’s admixture

And all that…

 

A big old-fashioned car

That would never start

The grass on the front lawn

Uncut with weeds in every part

 

Each day – past the window I went –

peering just to check

 

He sat in that chair

I could see his back

He never seemed to move

From that spot

Curtains opened

Showing all that he’d got

In his sparse living room

Of ancient wallpaper

And atmosphere of gloom

 

Except for the telly

That bright glowing antique

He seemed spellbound – quite unique

TV kept from time-immemorial

It seemed to give an uncanny glow

As though

Each ray had caught his head

Saying:

“Stay here until you are dead”

 

And then one day – on my way

Habitually passing and sideways glancing

I was stopped in my tracks

His back was no longer there

And the glowing TV – extinguished

 

This stranger I saw each day

Had died and gone away

Authority

AUTHORITY

The Son of God – Jesus Christ – walked and talked like no other (God) man.

Compared to the religious leaders of His day – ‘never man spoke like this man’ – because He talked as one who had authority. (John 7/46).

So did that mean the religious leaders – the Pharisees, Sadducees etc. – didn’t have authority? After all they were in positions of leadership.

Positions of leadership – but many of them, if not all, did not have the authority He had.

The authority with which Christ spoke, is divine authority.

That authority and power of God is not readily shared with men or women. There is no willy-nilly distribution of this power, given at random to whoever happens to be in leadership. Certainly not if only appointed by man.

God knows the hearts of men. And only the hearts that He knows are in love with Him, will He allow his authority and power of the authoritative Holy Spirit to dwell with or upon them.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

The man who loves God we are told – is known of him

God knows us all. He knows exactly where we are-at in our relationship with Him. And He not only has the facts of our walk or lack of walk with Him.

But He knows how intimate our relationship is with Himself. He knows putting it simply – who really loves Him.

God cannot share His secret things with just anyone.

He cannot reveal all the intricacies of His plan for mankind and the unfolding of history to be played out before and after the Second Coming of Christ. It is all there, but hidden in the pages of the scriptures. And unless He chooses to reveal these things, we cannot know them.

In other words man cannot contain the infinite insight God has, because he (man) has not the capability within himself to be able to carry it.

Man’s nature cant comprehend the things of The Spirit of God. God however will reveal secret things to certain men and women. But it calls for an intimate relationship with God first, before He will unfold the things of His Spirit.

We talk of trusting God – but can God trust any of us?

God’s nature, His plans, His truth, His wisdom, His understanding of future events can only be partaken of, rather than owned 100%. Because man is not able to hear these things or handle them. It is too much for human flesh. And he can only know glimpses of the totality of God’s counsel.

Only those who have received Grace enough to enter into that deeper relationship – of loving God – will begin to have insight into the mysteries of God.

We (as true Christians) are allowed to partake of the divine nature of God. It is God the Holy Spirit who is the authority. And to receive Him into our lives as we accept Christ Jesus as Lord of all, is how we partake of His authority.

To as many as have received Him to them He gave this authority (power/right).

John 1/

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Amongst the things we could say about the ‘talking authority’ that He carried – is the fact that His words were perfect and pure. Pure in the sense that they were not contaminated by sin, not weakened by the flesh, not tinged with lying subtlety.

They were not just words of ‘theology’ but words spoken in demonstration of God’s power to heal and deliver.

These were the same words that He released before the world was fully formed, calling into being the planet as we know it.

Needless to say – He was not a man at that time of beginnings. But was in situ with His Father, as it is written –

He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

When He spoke 

Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

He was 100% different than anyone else who ever walked the planet.

Sinful man tried desperately to ‘catch Him out’ but His superior wisdom could not be successfully spoken against or resisted.

They tried to latch on to the  things that came out of His mouth, so that they might accuse Him falsely, or prove Him wrong or prove Him a deceiver, which of course He was accused of being.

When they could find nothing against Him – they had to start inventing things.

We have only an inkling of how perfectly Christ was able to judge a situation. The depth of His wisdom and knowledge is phenomenal. How perfectly He knew what was in men’s hearts and minds. Think of it – able to say the perfect word every time.

I stand back and marvel at this – and yet those who run from His light, preferring their own pride and self-righteousness – will still try to pick holes in His words, even today.

Matthew 22/

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.”

So they brought Him a denarius.

20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”

21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.

You and I have our own lives. Our own stuff. It is in the power of our own choice – what to do with it.

(Of course some have had that privilege taken from them by tyrants of one kind or another e.g. people traffickers)

But as we hold fast to our own lives, free to make our own decisions, free to look after our own families. Will we in rendering to Caesar the things that are his, – and the government – the things that are their’s…

…Will we render to The King of kings and Lord or lords the things that are His?:

The worship He is due. The obedience we know He asks for. The love and honour due to His name?

Prayer – Lord help us to render to you as a Loving Saviour who moves in the authority of His love – the things that are yours. Let it be our hearts first, – that we give.

Poetic Pause XV

THIS TOWN

On blue sky so high

Crimson sun all watered down into a frown

Never stopped-over this town

Romance blossomed somewhere else

But lost it’s way never to be found

When hitting the outskirts of this town

Cold impersonal community steeped in self

Suspicion ran rampant causing love to drown

Flailing about and dying in the waters of this town

Poison of asps distributed freely

In wild glances and backbiting melt-down

Division rampant to the extreme – in this town

They lived in houses but not in homes

Barbed wire frozen-in-time-citizens of renown

But all for the wrong reasons – living in this town

So no brochure will direct you here

No holiday to be had in this mental breakdown

Best to avoid at all costs – the place known as ‘this town’