Category Archives: gospel

Unique – but…

UNIQUE but…

Every human being is unique. You and I are a one-off. 

As such our personality has it’s own make-up.

Of course it’s formation is the result of all kinds of ‘outside’ factors also.

But (stating the obvious) we are the result of how we think. 

Our responses to the experiences of life help form what/who we are. Parental oversight and guidance or the lack of it – also effects our formation. But at the end of the day we make our own choices for the better or worse.

If we could see inside humanity totally, sovereignly, divinely, completely – as God sees, whilst remaining human beings – we could not handle it.

We have no idea of what He sees 24/7. Based on what He sees, He responds accordingly in your life and mine.

And when you consider mankind’s track record we, with the Psalmist, are quick to ask (Psalm 8):

3 What is man that You are mindful of him…?

Why should He (God), be mindful of us? When mankind is clearly – 

…lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power…

And the rest of your ‘sermon’ is?

No – that’s it.

It’s easy to conclude there’s not a lot to love, yet we discover:-

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

As a result – I fell in love with Jesus.

When believing is seeing

WHEN BELIEVING IS SEEING

Matthew 5/

37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

There is some very significant truth to digest, as we meditate on the above scriptural passage.

First Jesus The Son of The Living God – who agreed with anyone who confessed Him to be so, tells us about God His Father.

He tells us that no one has saw God the Father exactly as He is. But of course the Son of God – did.

Jesus Christ’s Heavenly Father – is also Father to those who worship Him in spirit and in truth – we are told this in John 4/23.

Jesus goes on to tells us that: You (that is we humans) have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

But is this not the very thing unbelievers set forth as ‘proof’ that there is no God (because – they wrongly reason) He has never made Himself known to mankind as He is?

Their reasoning goes something like this:-

He has never shown Himself. If He wants us to know Him why doesn’t He just show up as He actually is? And speak clearly wiping away all doubt of His existence.

Wow! What folly.

If The Son of God is telling us that we have not seen God’s ‘form’, and heard His voice, and yet He was clearly on a mission to lead mankind to God. Then there must be another way to know God without what some consider the missing requirements necessary before they will believe. Namely, the desire for God to just show up – and we shall believe in Him.

Exodus 33/20 But he added: “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”

This verse in Exodus reveals to us the fact that the nature of man and the nature of God are total opposites. So much so, that – like the proverbial oil and water – they cannot mix.

God’s nature is holiness. Man’s nature is sinful.

If man sees God’s form as it truly is – then it’s ‘good night man’!!

No man can see God and live!

So to see God the Father in actuality 100% – is out of the question.

That is until a coming day, when those who know Christ the way He has ordained for this scene of time, will come face to face with God, and then we shall know even as we are known. I Corinthians 13:

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Face to face now in this life, could only mean that man would drop down dead.

We see, or experience God by degrees. (If you like – by how much we can handle without dying).

God’s ordained way of knowing Him without seeing Him 100% as He is –  is through the instrumentality of A MESSAGE.

That message is known as The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hear Him! – And follow the instructions – simple.

So it is when we respond to the message and invite God to come into our very being, that we become those who worship the One we now know as described below:

John 4/

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Yes worshipping someone we cannot see completely, but someone who is willing to ‘manifest’ Himself to us if we come humbly and ask. Whilst waiting patiently until He shows up.

John 14/

And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 20/29

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Born a second time?

Born a second time? 

There is no doubt that approaching the things of God in a cold theological way is not enough when it comes to being convinced that you should give your life over to The Son of God, – done so – through prayer.

But what’s the difference between studying presented truth, perhaps presented in some book of theology from whatever source and coming into a Living relationship with The Christ of God?

There is no fixed way that a person must adhere to, when it comes to experiencing the born again experience. No fixed way in the sense that every personality is different and must discover God’s working in their life, as it lines up with His Word.

The term ‘born again’ is found in the gospel of John 1/1:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

So Jesus is calling all, to an experience that He calls ‘being born again’.

Unless one is born again…..

Well – unless one is – we cannot see, – experience, – understand – know the things of God as God intended us to know them.

However many have started their born again journey in the very way I have suggested at the beginning – namely: in a cold theological way.

The reason for this is that such a person may be genuinely looking for the answer or answers regarding this born again experience.

And as I have stated before a number of times – the door of truth must be gone through or initially sought before this born again experience can take place.

Buy the truth and do not sell it—

    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

Notice I have clumped these few verses together without even giving the references – simply to say these verses could be the start of the search that will bring you to the born again experience.

Rather than elaborating on the ‘how to’ – let this be the start of your own search of the scriptures, if as yet you have not been born again.

Acts 17/11

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Him…

Colossians 1:28

28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Notice the apostle – the one writing, under the revelation of The Holy Spirit, tells us that it is not so much a message he is preaching but a person.

Him we preach….

Some other religions give some kind of respect to Jesus Christ – but do not acknowledge Him as Lord, King of kings, Lord of lords, God manifest in a human body, The Only Begotten Son of God…

They don’t preach Him.

It’s important that Christians stop, every now and again and remind themselves that we should be careful not to become ‘doctrinally distracted’ – and lose our first love.

The Holy Spirit will always witness to the paramount focus we must maintain: 

Matthew 3:16-17

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.”

The Father God, loves The Son

John3/

35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

I believe that Jesus Christ is The Son of The Living God.

Prayer:

‘Lord help me to love you more.’

Another Gospel?

ANOTHER GOSPEL? 

There are seemingly quite a few who are offering us – a more updated version of Christianity.

Challenging some of the fundamentals of the faith – confusing the fundamentals with the newly re-contextualised fundamentalism label.

Because there exists dogmatic Pharisees who want everything conformed to their image – they assume that those who hold fast to that which is good, has been good, and always will be good, are dead traditionalists/‘fundamentalists’.

…Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

That which is good is the articles of faith – long established and present in many Christian churches, from which we are never meant to depart, as per the charge of the gospel of Christ.

Those searching for a broader outlook. Those searching for a so-called more ‘enlightened’ approach – are apt to use the fact that we all cannot know all mysteries, and therefore this is a reason to alter, annul and eventually dismiss what is sound and cannot change, and has been established for centuries.

They do this act of watering down – in the name of tolerance, open-mindedness, and all-embracing love. And consider it theological progress.

The result is that they see so many sides to things that nothing ever becomes sure. But at least they reason we can ‘all get along’.

Soon they lead us to the ‘many roads to God approach’ – again in the name of tolerance and being nice.

And then slowly but surely we are meant to embrace every religion under the sun, in the name of tolerance and understanding of how the other half lives. As we partake of the ecumenical soup.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved and delivered from this corrupt generation. The God of the bible is called Jehovah and His son Jesus Christ The Lord. There is a heaven and there is a hell.

Pretty straightforward and dogmatic – but absolutely true.

To hold to this does not automatically make me an intolerant bigot, out to be rude and denigrate everyone who thinks differently.

The latest truth being tampered with – is the fact that there is a hell, there is a Gehenna.

Some so called ‘progressives’ consider the best way to get rid of hell is not to believe in it.

That way everyone is ok and marching to the promised land of heaven, regardless of what they believe or what lifestyle they practice or what god they serve.

Pan-everything-ism is the new (no, not really new – just rehashed) ‘enlightened’ way, they would have us believe.

And when someone makes a statement like my last paragraph they are perceived as dogmatic stick-in-the-mud fundamentalists who want to condemn everyone to hell. However there is only One who has the power/right/authority to do so –

Jesus said:

Luke 12:5

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

I believe in enlightenment/inspiration, or better put, revelation – but within the guidelines and confines of The Holy Bible.

As a painter/poet/preacher ‘etc’. I like to think I have some imagination. And I am open-minded enough to at least listen to those who have another slant on things other than my own.

I’m aware of dogmatism out of a heart bound-up with bitterness in the name of religion.

I’m aware that there are those who stand with Christ in doctrine, but with the devil in attitude.

But I’m also aware that there is such a thing as truth and error.

The bible is full of warnings (do a study on it – see how many you can find).

If there is no need to warn God’s true people – then there are no dangers.

Here’s a tip – Go for ‘sincere’ in people – rather than ‘nice’. And go for the bible and what it says even more than the preaching of it.

By that I mean – the words themselves, because:

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Notice the EVERY word aspect.

Regardless of whether we have experienced Revelation on every word – the revelation we have already received convinces us that the potential for further revelation comes through every word of scripture.

What has been established by revelation is to be adhered to. For example ‘justification by faith’ as revealed to Martin Luther. Does that mean that he is an infallible guide because he received revelation? No – but the bible is.

Sometimes we must take the word exactly as we find it, not blindly, (i.e. without a quickened understanding) but in trust – first. This leads to more revelation of what we are reading, as God has promised to lead us into more spiritual understanding:

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

We take it on board first, and then we are free to ask God what it really is saying.

The truth has been established of old. Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God, He needs-must die on the cross to offer mankind a way back to relationship with God, there is a Gehenna to escape through Christ, there was a virgin birth and so on…

The exaltation of the intellect of man over the inspiration of scripture will produce all kinds of theories and unbiblical conclusions.

Christians beware.

30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

talking to AMSTERDAM

Talking to AMSTERDAM

Once again coming across old literature, caused me to look back on my evangelistic visits to Amsterdam.

Flying to the Netherlands, my wife’s home country.

I would ‘tithe’ a week per year, of my holidays from work, to go on the streets and into cafes etc. to engage in conversations with all kinds of people. Wherever I found a willing, listening ear.

And of course it takes all sorts to make a world.

I took an 8-person team there once for the same reason.

Otherwise I usually went with a friend or a few times on my own. I of course acquired friends who lived in Amsterdam and would sometimes work with others in local churches.

‘Gossiping the gospel’ as it is sometimes referred to.

It’s been a while since I was last there, on such a mission.

I wonder how empty Amsterdam is at the moment?

Those were enjoyable times. It appealed to my ‘hippie’ personality, (if there is such a thing).

Any Christians reading this post, might inform me, if hitting the streets (pre-covid 19) to spread the gospel of Christ, is still on the agenda?

If so, let me know of such outreaches that you know of, so my enthusiasm for the younger-generation-servants-of-Christ, can be boosted, knowing the baton is still being carried.

Putting seeds-in-motion, was my foundational  motivation, in going to the streets of Amsterdam.

The bible tells us that one sows, another waters – but God alone can give the increase of the shared message of the gospel. (I Cor. 3/6)

If there was ever a time (though there always has been), when the good news of God’s love is greatly needed in a world staggering around in zombi-like fashion, needing answers – it is now.

Now indeed is the accepted time (II Corinthians 6/2).

I enjoyed my times encountering all kinds of weird and wonderful people, and of course, had the bonus of going to visit the art galleries.😎

As the old cliche goes: ‘I’m not as young as I used to be…’

But watch me as I slap my wrists and tell myself: ‘That’s no excuse – get out there.’

Anybody want to go with me?

See you post-covid 19!

Desire

DESIRE 

Matthew 14/

But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.

And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.

(also Mark 6)

As I continue my clear-out/re-appraisal of all things on paper.😎

I came across a sermon of mine entitled – DESIRE.

I have not looked at what I have written.

Desire – have you any thoughts on the subject?

Desire – common to humankind.

The King James uses the word ‘lust’. The dictionary defines this as:-

noun [mass noun]

strong sexual desire: he knew that his lust for her had returned.

[in singular] a passionate desire for something: a lust for power.

  • (usually lusts) mainly Theology a sensuous appetite regarded as sinful: lusts of the flesh.

So even the dictionary in directing us to the term, includes theology.

But I’m guessing most folks in the 21st century reserve the word ‘lust’ for strong sexual desire.

So let’s stick to the word desire, good or bad.

We think of King’s sitting triumphantly on their thrones, with their ‘subjects’ doing obeisance. 

Perhaps the king waves his hand for all to be silent. And he offers the pleasing servant whatever he/she (the servant) – desires.

I’m sure this has happened quite a few times in history, with various monarchs.

In Herod’s case – “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” [see Mark 6]

Offered to a young lady who had pleased his other desires with her dance.

She in turn – lays aside her own desires in her desire to please her mother. (After all – a murder ‘prize’ instead of half the kingdom?!!)

Outcome of these whimsical desires? – A godly upright man is beheaded.

As any man would – John must have wondered if God would deliver him from his imprisonment? Instead of deliverance he was left with a returned greeting from Christ.

Luke 7:21-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And that very hour He (Jesus) cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

22 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Many wonder at the loss of the lives of stalwarts, self-denying front-line workers in this pandemic. Laying their lives down in service to others.

I wonder too. God help them all.

The tragedy of lost lives in a Pandemic – into the thousands.

See also below The tragedy of lost lives at the hand of another sinful tyrant called Herod…

At the time of Christ’s birth, Herod, insecure in his position of authority, commanded that all the male children, under a certain age, be put to death:

Matthew 2/

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

18 

“A voice was heard in Ramah,

Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children,

Refusing to be comforted,

Because they are no more.”

For many this Pandemic has brought great loss and great pain.

Today is it true to say – society mourns that bit more for the loss of children than adults? I think so.

Usually because they (children) have their whole lives before them. Herod’s desire was power and pre-eminence.

Amidst this pandemic, we desire all tragedy to end. Many desire their loved-ones to recover.

Amongst God’s desires, is the desire, that mankind would listen to Him.

And that we would return to Him and turn from sin that produces the actions of a man like Herod – to mention only one aspect of the manifestation of rebellion against God and His ways.

What do we desire?

We desire this pandemic to go away. And I pray to that end.

We desire comfort for the loved ones who have lost relatives – for this we pray.

We desire a better world.

But what else does God desire?

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Familiarity breeds…?

Familiarity breeds..?

NB: There is much speculation and differing views theologically regarding the exact connection between Jesus, and those who are referred to in scripture, as his brothers. I hold the view that Mary had a normal married relationship with Joseph giving birth to further children, after the virgin birth of Christ.

Concerning the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

we can only speculate how his brothers viewed Him. 

We can only surmise that they all eventually came to the spiritual revelation that He was indeed ‘the only begotten Son of The Living God’.

Literally and ‘metaphorically’ initially his brothers represent all unbelievers (like myself), who then become believers.

We know that one brother named James certainly came to the revelation of who His half-brother really was. It is the same James who wrote the canonical book, or epistle, of James in the New Testament.

If the rest did believe in Jesus as the Christ, it would certainly not have been before a certain time or period in His (Christ’s) manhood.

As they were all younger than He – how they viewed Him in the years that they grew up together, we have no description.

But we are told in the gospel of John:

John 7/5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

The old saying: ‘familiarity breeds contempt…’ comes to mind. Although I would imagine ‘contempt’, would be too strong a word.

He performed many miracles. He was moved with compassion for the needy. He supplied food for thousands. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and suffered all kinds of contradictions against Himself. 

Suffering also His brothers spiritual indifference

However we are not certain exactly, how His brothers saw Him as they gazed upon their eldest (half) brother, whilst growing up together as children, seeing Him work with his ‘stepfather’ in His capacity as a carpenter.

We extend the query to His half sisters – how did they view him?

Extending the query further we ask how He was viewed by His local community?

We learn that they did not believe in Him. The few that did – received a miracle of healing!

54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, [h]Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.

His local community was offended by Him. Why?- because (we can safely surmise, they thought): ‘who is this ‘local boy’ that many outside this community are claiming to be someone special?’

We see that they were offended at Jesus, highlighted by the fact that in such a short number of verses we notice there are 6 question marks. Plenty to go around, summing up the consensus of opinion.

No faith – just questions. They had it all figured out – based on His ordinariness – just a man – just a carpenter’s son and so on.

They leaned on their own understanding and ability to figure things out. Even spiritual matters.

Do we realise that the consensus of mankind, means nothing when it comes to accepting Christ as the Son of God? You and I have to make up our own minds, regardless of majority or minority opinion.

Dare we say that the majority of mankind has rejected Him? This fact by no means makes them right. The majority have been wrong before.

The few that did believe, in His local community of rejection – received healing, as a result.

There is no way God wants us to accept sickness. If sickness comes into your life or mine you can own it or reject it.

Even if it doesn’t go away – don’t own it. It is part of the reward of rebellion and disobedience – it is part of the consequences of the fall of mankind. As a Christian you are to receive a full reward, which doesn’t include sickness.

Watch yourselves, so that you do not lose what we have accomplished together, but that you may receive a full and perfect reward [when He grants rewards to faithful believers].

Be careful Christian that you don’t side with the principalities and powers that Christ made an open show of – and over whom He triumphed.

Will we see Jesus Christ through the eyes of his brothers – or through the eyes of faith?

Faith that is convinced by the Word of God that He is the Christ.

Faith that is convinced that His stripes and suffering on calvary and before, represent the total reconciliation of man to God.

If God in Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world, that means He took the penalty of sin, and the fallenness that included resultant sickness.

I Peter 2:

24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose [a]stripes you were healed. 

Not blind unquestioning faith – but faith that is convinced by the sharp two-edged sword of God’s Word.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (including present or eternal healing).

Christian or non-Christian do no accept sickness as something that God happily allows. But see it as part of the characteristics of a fallen race.

We see a bunch of folks who did not believe He was the Son of God, and a few that He was – we read the result of so believing – they were healed.

As our minds operate and try to grapple with the contradictions our senses present us with (the old debate about how some get healed and others don’t). 

Let us look away in this to what the Word of God says and hold on to it all.

Proverbs 30/5:

Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Matthew 24/35:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

The Presence of God

The Presence of God

One of the possible problems (it’s ‘kind of’ a nice problem to have) certain preachers of the gospel, or teachers of biblical truth, may have to face, is the fact that others can conclude that they are somehow of a different kind, other than ‘human’-kind.

Paul was looked upon as weak in appearance: “… his bodily presence is weak,”

lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

However his preaching, his letters, and his exhortations to the churches, his spiritual revelation communicated in his epistles were weighty and powerful.

When someone carries that kind of spiritual authority, it is the presence of God that others sense, and as a result sometimes, they can want to run and hide.

We read concerning Peter the Apostle:

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

A great sense of unworthiness at the manifest presence of God (in this case in miracle supply through the Son of God) can take hold of us if we are truly in the Presence of the King of kings, in Peter’s case after a miracle.

Then we read of how Peter was on the receiving end of unusual behaviour, after God had revealed to Cornelius that Peter was chosen by Him to deliver a message.

Cornelius responding to the Revelation of God through a supernaturally given vision in which an angel spoke to him, concluded that Peter was something more than human.

Acts 10:25-27 King James Version (KJV)

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

“Stand up; I myself also am a man…” was Peter’s correct response. The man was awed by The Presence of God, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with Peter being other than human.

So sometimes when we read the revelation of God in scripture, as written via dictation from God – we don’t know how to respond, it can be overwhelming.

This does not happen every time, but this sense of God’s presence is given that we might know what we stand upon – Christ the rock of revelation!

People can withdraw and feel their unworthiness in the Presence of God, if a preacher happens to carry that Presence.

So it is the Presence of God, that leaves us strangely uneasy, it is not that these ministers, are somehow superior to us. Or are somehow more than mere mortals.

There are other ‘presences’ that are not of the Only Living and True God, – these too can cause us to feel uneasy.

But this is a different experience entirely.

Alas some do not know the difference and end up deceived into following some cult.

Spiritual discernment is a given portion to true Christians. However, even they – can make mistakes, demonstrated in the rebuke of The Lord Jesus to his wrongly discerning disciples: But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9)

The reality of both the existence of God and the experience of His unseen Presence, is lost because of a veil of unbelief that is over the minds of the unbelieving.

When we turn to Christ opportunity arises for the veil to be lifted and the reality of God to dawn upon the soul and spirit of mankind.

II Corinthians 3/

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

In these days of falling away, we can nevertheless be sure that God working all things after the counsel of His own will – will manifest Himself to spiritually hungry hearts. The extent of this manifestation will be determined by The Lord Himself.

There was a time in Samuel the prophet’s day when there was what the scripture refers to as a time of ‘no open vision’. Here is how different bible translations express it:-

And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

Living in such a day not dis-similar to what is described above – what is to be our response?

Well, Samuel was specially chosen to change the situation in as much as he had prophetic revelation, against the tide as it where of it’s absence.

Today the gospel message is sent out to all who will come unto Christ for salvation.

Those who receive Him become part of a priesthood of all believers and all receive this spiritual discernment, and enjoy fellowship with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though they still live in an evil society in which there is no spiritual revelation, because of the rejection of the gospel, they are given God’s grace, and He will respond to them, when they come to Him.

Whether they are overwhelmed by the river of God’s Presence or they take a drink of the Water of Life, they belong to The One to whom they yield their lives.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Christ’s spiritual reality!

Gospel and Distraction

GOSPEL AND DISTRACTION

No one notices their own distracted mind

Lay out the plan from God’s hand

And watch how distraction takes them away

You look them in the eye – (oh preacher man)

And notice they again avoid your gaze

Can’t listen to this’ – their demeanour portrays

‘I half-hear what you say’ body-language reveals

But it’s time again to go astray’

I want you to stick with the programme

And study this through

‘No sorry I have too much to do…’

You cannot grasp that there is a distracting influence?

You say ‘you don’t believe in influences’

Are you influenced – not to believe?

You don’t like being corrected

Which is why you are distracted

The Word must find good ground

Your ground needs fertilised with the gospel sound

But you turn-off the rain

By walking away

Distracted again

for another day

True disciples

TRUE DISCIPLES

John 8/31:-
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Christ Jesus is The Word – we must invite Him into our innermost person if we are to abide in Him, – His words abide in us, – and His life giving Holy Spirit is to occupy our innermost being.

So abide in the Word. Best to – read it consistently and often – for that ‘abiding in’ to take place.

Abide in the Word – better stay focussed on this word in order to live it. Allowing it to determine our thoughts, words, and deeds, that too is abiding in it.

Meditate on (not just read) – by so doing the word becomes inwardly digested and gives spiritual strength.

Disciple means learner. Keep reading/meditating, and by so doing, become enabled to- keep learning.

Not just a learner-disciple, but INDEED a true disciple – the real thing. A disciple indeed!

Learning the truth in the word we are abiding in – and the result of all of this – we get to know the truth and that truth sets us free.

A true learner who finds truth and true freedom in Christ the Word.

You search…

You search…

Someone shared a story with me, some time ago. I will probably get the details wrong, but remember one part of the story. I’m sure someone out there could relate the actual story better than I.

To summarise – it went something like this: Someone bought a piece of land and spent a number of years drilling for oil. All to no avail. So they gave up and sold the land.

A new owner, not long after the purchase, drilled once more and struck black gold, immediately.

Preacher’s could use the story to teach us to ‘never give up’. Others could tell us ‘anything worthwhile takes time and effort’. Yet another could bring out the truth ‘that we need to get below the surface and the obvious – to find the true riches of truth buried in the bible’.

I like that one best.

Proverbs 23/23: Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

The amplified version of the bible gives us this helpful footnote:

The ancient rabbis routinely assumed “truth” to refer to the Torah (Law), and they interpreted the first part of this command to mean that a student should pay a teacher to teach him the Torah if he can find no one to teach him for free. As for the second part, they said that if the student had to pay to learn, he should not view this as grounds to charge for teaching others, but should teach the Torah for free.

But it is possible to be taught the truth and ‘entertain’ it in our lives on a superficial level, rather than giving ourselves – to it – in prayerful meditation, so that we do not fit the category of those described by The Lord Jesus: 

John 5:38-40 King James Version (KJV)

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Such students find all kinds of truth on some level, but fail to realise that all scripture points to Jesus Christ as the Son of God – to be believed and received as the personification and embodiment of all of God’s truth, and indeed the Saviour of The World.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

All scripture points to the author who revealed it to the hearts of chosen men, who in turn penned it under God’s special visitation and influence.

But also it has the redemptive thread throughout it’s pages from Genesis to Revelation. And to search these books and fail to discover by a living encounter, that Christ is The Living Word, and the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – is to search and miss eternal life. 

Again Jesus said: You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;…’

The point being that this is not enough. But the true searching of the scriptures as God intended – is to encounter Christ:

‘and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

We must come to Him and not just the pages of the book to find eternal life – in/through the pages of the book.