Category Archives: Love

Who am I addressing?

WHO AM I ADDRESSING?

The subject of ‘How to live the Christian Life’, occupies the ministers of God’s word in their capacity as Pastor, Minister, Padre, Teacher or whatever job description they choose for themselves.

The ‘How to’ covers the outworking of thoughts, words and deeds, rather than just the ‘academic’ aspect of bible study, which is not what it is all about.

God gives His word to change us.

To live the Christian life, is – in the eyes of most fair-minded people – to do with being good.

You profess to be a Christian – you therefore, it is assumed – profess to be good.

However “I’m a  good person”, can be an oft repeated phrase from the mouths of Christians or non-Christians, alike. It would take another post to expound and examine the scripture that tells us: They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Christian Blog posts offer encouragement in this ‘How to live the Victorious Christian Life’ endeavour, i.e. how to live as a Christian should.

How to overcome life’s problems, how to have confidence, how to think positively, how to handle adversity, overcome fear, share the faith – one could continue the list of topics. All relevant to Victorious Christian Living.

Prophesying as described in the New Testament must include edification, exhortation and comfort. (I Corinthians 14/3)

And who doesn’t need those?

Christian writing attempts to edify the believer, exhort them to better things, and provide the comfort that the Christian needs in an alien environment, where Christianity is mis-understood and maligned out-of-hand.

However, there is a saying about ‘putting the cart before the horse’. And I sometimes question that when it comes to Christian posting this can happen.

I have asked myself the question when posting: ‘Who am I addressing?’ And of course it is, in one sense, a limited audience, and we cannot answer the question exactly.

But it does need to be stated that Christian teaching apart from the preaching of the message of ‘Salvation through Christ’, is not always for everyone.

By that I mean that children in Primary school are not taught adult themes, unless the teachers are mis-guided and unwise.

There is ‘growth level’ to be considered, before many subjects can be approached. If a child asks an adult-themed question, then of course paring-it-down to their level, without too much incomprehensible detail, should be done. 

Rather than dismissing the subject and rejecting the child’s genuine enquiry. This calls for wisdom of the first order.

So when handing-out different exhortations to Christians, it might be fair to ask: ‘who is listening in?’

The Christian life can be lived on a natural plain, by good-living people. Humanists perhaps claim to be just as good as any Christian, and they don’t see the need for all the ‘super-spiritual’ stuff.

So what do they do with the teaching on ‘how to live’ from the Bible?

Leave out the supernatural aspect of Christianity and there is nothing left.

I can teach you ‘person of the planet’, alive and well on planet earth guy or gal, how to live a morally correct life, without you being a Christian!

But what a contradiction! I’m simply informing your humanist quest for good or moral living. Appealing to your sense of moral fair-play, but in all of this you remain an unbeliever, relying on your own self-effort and attempts to – be good, overcome, be positive, fulfil your dreams, be confident – all of this can be equally un-Christian as Christian, for one reason only:

You have not yet received, encountered, met or had a revelation of Jesus Christ.

So who is my audience? To whom do I address my posts? To whom are Christian posts directed?

To stand a chance of getting what is said, there must be what the scripture talks of as a starting point, a place of first principle(s):

Referring to Christians who should have matured more than they had – the writer says:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food…

First is first – we can’t benefit as we should from all the other principles ie. the second, third, fourth, fifth, and so on principle, until we have embraced the first principles of repentance from dead works and faith in Christ as Saviour.

The good news is however, that the work of conversion to Christ is not the work of man’s hand, but God’s. That means He has His own way of feeding your mind with truth, and there is no set formula, or learnt mantra that you must possess in order to grasp the things of God.

There is a progression, as there is in most things, but if you get chapter six read-to- you in a book, without the first five chapters, you may in fact still get the gist of what is being written, ie. get an idea of the story.

God can use any Christian teaching to penetrate the human heart, and there will be something, even though addressed to Christians, something in there, that He can use, to bring you to Himself. So I encourage you to read Christian posts.

But coming to first things first we read in the bible:

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Dogmatic as this may seem to the unbeliever – it is true-truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Get this and your understanding begins to flower in the things of God and Christianity.

Those Christian blogs then begin to address you as a believer who has a relationship with the one who has the words of eternal life.

I pray for blessings in your quest to find Him.

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Said like it is.

SAID LIKE IT IS.

Most of us like to hear and live in good news. We all thrive on encouragement. To feel we and our efforts are worthwhile.

Accomplishing goals, perhaps in our work situation, and being congratulated as we advance the business in whatever way, is very rewarding.

We know that children thrive on encouragement, during both their formative and teenage years.

And a lot of us can look back and perhaps surmise that we should have received more of said encouragement, as we grew up. Looking back also on the fact that perhaps we should have encouraged our own children more than we did?

There’s an old doo-wop song (maybe I’ve miss-genre’d it) that goes something along the lines of: “I love how you love me”.

That’s an interesting line. Does it mean I love the fact that you are in love with me, or is it a case of  ‘I’m so glad you love me, as I love you’, ie. I love your reciprocation, or is it the particular way that the love is shown?

Everyone thrives when they are treated well.

There are many Christian ministries that make the edification of the believer their priority.

In some Christian cultures more than others – everything must be and remain positive. There is no room for the negative note. It is assumed that any negative sentence in some way negates faith.

Sometimes this lacks reality. It can drift into a sugar-coated smarmy-type message if it becomes insincere.

Conversely – other Christian messages only express what they are against. So much so that we never find out what they are for.

What I appreciate about the Bible is that it only ever ‘says it like it is’.

Both positively and negatively.

The fact that the human race has fallen, and is in need of salvation – is a negative fact. It’s broken and needs fixed.

The fact that God is Love – incorporating His Divine-love (Agape) attributes of love, such as justice, mercy, righteousness, judgement, longsuffering, joy, peace, correction, compassion, empathy, healing, acceptance, eternal life, deliverance, and so on and so on…

Should cause us to wonder why we are running away from Him? The one who is real and only speaks and says it ‘like it is’?

God is sincere.

I was recently preaching, and shared the point that most ideologies have a smattering of truth. It’s only (to use my illustration) when you lick the chocolate from the bar, you find out what the rest of it consists of.

And if it’s marzipan it’s going in the bin, as far as I am concerned.

Now there are professing Christians, who are not the real McCoy. Just as there are charlatans in every other walk of life that we can think of. From con-men salespersons, to rogue builders, from corrupt governmental officials to sport-cheats. Usually what is underneath – eventually comes to the surface, and we find out that the smattering of positives are a gloss for what is below.

Truth(s) on the surface are not enough, regardless of how ‘positive’ and ‘seductive’ they may seem. It’s what is underneath that is important, what is the foundation on which the ideology is built?

As far as the Christian message is concerned – Paul, God’s wise-masterbuilder tells us: 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

The same God who says: He so loved the world that He gave His son a ransom for many, is the same God who says He will turn the wicked into hell. (Psalm 9/17)

If He was only interested in sales-talking you into His kingdom and onto His ‘team’ as it were, He would leave the negative realities of life to the side. But He doesn’t, because He is the God of all truth.

So when you are told, for example, to follow your dreams. Stick with it and prosper in whatever you set yourself to do.

All of this kind of talk may well be necessary, and fruitful. But it can pre-suppose that there is nothing wrong in the world that needs addressed and changed.

The broken need positive love. But the negative is: life has taken it’s toll and that’s a fact. For all kinds of reasons people suffer, and not to state that fact out of some kind of perceived performance necessary in positive thinking is to live in fantasy land.

True faith confesses the positive message of Christ’s deliverance and His willing impartation of all that is spiritually positive to see us through this dark world.

So let’s hear the facts of life as they are, but let us fully and completely embrace the positive message of a Loving Saviour, who lays down His life to take it up again in resurrection power. Life-giving life-changing power to transform us internally to embrace the wonderful positives of a walk with Him.

Romans 8/31:

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

5,000+

5,000+

Matthew 14. Mark 6. Luke 9. John 6. John 6/32. Exodus 16.

Jesus had healed sick folk, and now they came for more.

So He healed all the sick in this crowd also. It was getting late – time for food – God knows you need food.

The crowd however were ill-prepared, it had been the excitement of seeing the miracles that drove them to this new place, seemingly without forethought for necessary natural food. So thrilled were they, by the spiritual food that Christ provided.

Andrew said – “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

How far will this blog post word-meal go? Enough for everybody?

Unless God takes hold of it – it won’t go far.

The young boy came to see the celebrity – (but more than a celebrity was here) but the boy had come prepared (food-wise) – he was one of the few, who had done so.

Was he there because he heard that no man ever spoke like this man?’

Why – that fact alone should be examined by all, to see if it is true, – as true it is!

Peter had the perfect-take on the words this God-man spoke, exclaiming that He had the words of Eternal Life’.

Think of it ‘Eternal words’.

Let’s examine the sequence of food provision.

NOTICE THE SEQUENCE –

FIRST – The HUMAN – in this case a young boy, who it would seem had more forethought and practical common sense than the adults – gives what he has to the DIVINE.

God doesn’t ask for something we cannot give Him, He only asks for all! Your body, soul and spirit in keeping with His desire for reciprocal love.

SECONDLY – THE DIVINE does something with what the human has willingly given. He in conference with the rest of the Trinity (the Triune God) (looks up to heaven) and the DIVINE influence takes hold of the natural food, and it multiplies supernaturally.

THIRDLY – He gives the influenced HUMAN PROVISION back to the HUMAN SERVERS (12 of them).

Sometimes God takes things off-us and gives it/them back super-enhanced and multiplied.

FOURTHLY – THE HUMANS give it to their FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS. This is how what the (HUMAN) preacher supplies – becomes something else in the hand of God.

So here’s the order in this instance – HUMAN – DIVINE – HUMAN – HUMAN.

There were twelve baskets of leftover fragments. Where in such a remote place did they get twelve baskets? Well – they came in a boat, usually a fisherman’s boat.

I reckon there were plenty of fish-baskets on such a boat.

But the twelve baskets were ‘waste not want not’. On another occasion (Old Testament) God sent manna (likewise exercising His supernatural influence), from heaven. But if we are to be fed spiritually we need reminded that…

…Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”

Love

Following my ‘Deluge’ post – I thought of a good follow-up in the words of the piece below:

This hymn was written by James Rowe (1912). I’m not familiar with the gentleman – nor do I sing old style classic hymns, very often, but the lyrics are solid, sound, and summarise true Christianity’s message. I’m told that Mr. Rowe was born in England worked in Dublin, and went to America, he was very prolific in his writing.

LOVE LIFTED ME

I was sinking deep in sin,

Far from the peaceful shore,

Very deeply stained within,

Sinking to rise no more.

 

But the Master of the sea

Heard my despairing cry,

From the waters lifted me.

Now safe am I.

 

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!

When nothing else could help,

Love lifted me.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!

When nothing else could help

Love lifted me.

 

Souls in danger look above

Jesus completely saves

He will lift you by his love

Out of the angry waves

 

But the master of the sea

Billows His will obey

He your saviour wants to be

Be saved today

 

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!

When nothing else could help,

Love lifted me.

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!

When no one but Christ could help

Love lifted me.

Perfection

PERFECTION

How many Times have you heard this response when someone has been caught in the act of wrongdoing and stands accused:

 “Well I’m not perfect you know!!”

What does such a response mean? Well, how about – “You don’t expect me to make mistakes – but I do!” or “Ok! Ok! But you make mistakes as much as me!” or “You expect too much from me…”

We usually equate certain types of behaviour with immaturity or childishness.

And when Jesus exhorted his disciples and us with these words:

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Or as the Amplified version of the Bible amplifies it:

48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.

We should get the picture that we all – young, middle-aged or old, suffer from the same thing: ‘immature behaviour’.

Again how many times have you heard this incredulous statement:

“Imagine a man of his age – how could he do such a thing..?” Again equating misbehaviour with immaturity.

We are not complete. We are not at that point of ‘perfect’ maturity, in our behaviour.

We don’t have it all together. We are not without fault and shortcomings. However the point is – what do we do with these shortcomings, common to us all?

Carry on as usual doing the same childish things? Or allow change to come into our lives?

There are two types of maturity-perfection-completeness.

Firstly – there is the completeness given as a gift. Secondly – the completeness we are, (and always will be), searching for in our behaviour, indeed searching for the rest of our lives.

Christ offers us His perfection to partake of. And then offers to change us from the inside, once we have sincerely accepted Him into our lives.

Christians are given the ‘Robe’ of Christ’s righteousness as a gift. This is a spiritual garment.

We can hear this indicated in the scriptural exhortation to ‘…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts’. (Romans 13/14)

My five month old grandson sat with his dad who was watching his favourite soccer team on the television. His mum dressed him in one of his dad’s soccer shirts, and there they sat ‘twins’ (early indoctrination 😊).

The shirt was obviously ‘drowning’ the child. But he will grow up into it.

That’s the gift of God – we find acceptance when we receive Christ as Lord, God The Father sees us perfect/mature/fully grown in His perfect son.

But now we need to grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (Ephesians 4/14-16).

We can look at this as owning ‘positional’ perfection, but needing to obtain increasing measures of Christ-likeness in our daily experience – outworked in our behaviour.

Getting into original greek words etc. we come across other nuances of meaning when it comes to being blameless: ‘without indictment’, ‘unchargeable’, ‘above reproach’, ‘unquestionable integrity’.

How are we doing?

Seems to me there are two types of human being: 1) Those who have accepted the gift of forgiveness and completeness by receiving Christ personally into their lives, asking Him to take over as Saviour, Master and Lord.

2) And those who either don’t care about being good, adult or mature in their character and behaviour, or who strive to be perfect without the assurance of the gift of perfection, and spend their lives failing. Concerning the completeness I speak of as a gift we read (Hebrews 10/14):

  • New King James Version
    For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
  • Amplified Bible
    For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity].

This perfection that is a gift is based totally on Christ’s finished work on the cross.

I had to come into a deep sense of my own sinfulness, in which I cried out to Jesus to forgive me. Through God’s supernatural working I came into a Revelation of The Son of God – and I knew I had been forgiven.

I am on that road – that journey – to maturity – that narrow way that always leads to spiritual life. I am still growing into this ‘robe’ of righteousness, by The Grace of God.

New

NEW

There is a sense in which, Christians, stop learning new things.

Now I will certainly need to qualify such an opening statement. Lest it be interpreted as the words of a ‘know it all’, or one who considers himself to be no longer teachable.

What I mean by the remark is this:

All truth comes by Revelation of the Holy Spirit. He has promised to lead us into all truth. So if He isn’t leading us into all truth – how can we get there? (John 16/13)

We can’t.

We must have and are promised the leading/guidance of The Holy Spirit.

Christians can drift into an intellectual comprehension of the Word of God – only. And lose their God-dependance.

Believe me – it is very easily done.

We think we know something in the scriptures and of course we may well do, – but there is always more. We don’t learn things off-pat. We shall always need fresh illumination.

Often, and this is my point, we learn the same things again and again, but at a deeper – much deeper, level.

So that it is the same truth – but in a new way, by virtue of the enlightenment supplied by The Holy Spirit.

So maybe it’s nothing new we are hearing – yet God makes all things new.

A close relationship with The Lord adds illumination to what we already know, but we find ourselves entering more fully into His eternal truth, and our knowledge of truth is increased. Not necessarily as a ‘new’ doctrine, but also as a new experience of previous truth.

We are energised to know more. We see into the things of God at a deeper level, we grasp the old in a new way. We see it more fully than before.

The love of God comes by revelation from heaven. That’s why the scripture exhorts us to increase in the knowledge of God, increase in our revelation of His Love, grow in His grace.

All this expresses ‘the more’ of God. The going-on to perfection. Growing in Grace and knowledge OF HIM. Notice the learning – the knowledge – is of a Person!

We can be aware of these weightier matters, but need ongoing, increased awareness of them, not as something never encountered before, in other words ‘new’, but rather as things we become more deeply affected by.

These truths deepen, as they come to us in God’s renewal by The Holy Spirit.

Now of course we can experience both, ie. things we have never seen before, and brought to us by The Lord. But again, things we have known before, brought to us in a new way.

It’s not easy to match up our desire to be certain of the things of God, with the lack of know-how of how to obtain that certainty. There is only One who can supply deep assurance.

Colossians 2/2

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Notice with understanding there comes fuller assurance.

I Thessalonians 1/5

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

And notice who supplies the ‘much assurance’!

Do you know anything about much assurance regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I’ve got news for you – only He can supply that knowledge and that assurance.

Still listening?

STILL LISTENING?

The saying goes like this: “It takes all sorts to make a world”.

No doubt you have heard that saying?

There are sweets (candy) you can buy that go by the name of Liquorice AllSorts.

Guess what? Everybody has a different favourite.

And we all have our favourite ‘kind-of-person’.

Some folks we warm to immediately.

With others, – in our tolerant desire to embrace all – we have more of a struggle.

There are those who are so full of their own opinion, that they can’t hear yours. There are those who have had an academic grounding far beyond your limited sphere of study. Sometimes however, they don’t have the lessons that can only be learnt from life-experience(s).

We can have favourite friends. Friends we more readily confide in, due to their proven track record.

We automatically listen much more attentively to certain individuals, because we have observed their life for years perhaps, and have admired the way they live their lives.

Others because we have observed their shortcomings, will rarely be on the receiving end of our private thoughts.

So we switch-off much more quickly from listening and really taking-in what they say.

At this point I am asking myself to stop and think over, what this blogger has said up to now.

And I am calling myself to alertness – and to revisit the whole idea of hearing. Remember (I am saying to myself, and therefore to you), to switch your hearing mechanism up to its fullest capacity.

Perhaps you have a hearing aid? Well it’s the inner ear of heart and mind I am referring to. It is easy to switch off and to not pay attention.

God has been speaking since the beginning of creation. His voice is not in the flowers or the mountains, even though He could make the stones cry out, or sing His praise.

He has chosen to speak through men – that’s His chosen method.

Not my idea – His.

Hebrews 1:

1.God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

The difference in the New Testament is that His final way of speaking is through His own Son. He took upon Himself the ‘form’ of a man. He walked the earth and spoke His words, recorded by other human beings, specially chosen for the task.

How’s our hearing?

The Lord Jesus,  is my favourite person, and the strange thing is, sometimes even though He is, I begin to stop listening. Now to raise the volume in my heart and head.

How about you?

Philippians 2/ (Amp.)

but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man].

Tap into the Rap

Tap into the rap…I want to say :

‘ZAP !’…to every crazy idea

that’s been buzzin’ around

since the start of time…

Well you’re a non-conformist…that’s fine…but get your head around…

THE INVISIBLE, THE INDIVISIBLE, THE GREAT SUPREME CHAMPION OF THE UNIVERSE…

Though some may say : ‘He doesn’t seem to be…’

Listen, He’s still the Operator…the Instigator…the Proclaimer…the Creator…of all that there is !

Now you’re a non-conformist…no time for anything…no time for status quo everywhere you go…you say : ‘Don’t want no governmental corruption, no society dictation, don’t care about inflation, no need for explanation’…you want to fly like a pigeon but don’t need no religion…you’ve thought about your situation, you’ve thought about the nation, you’ve thought about all your losin’, might try some seclusion. You’ve thought your head would burst ‘cause there is no conclusion.

THE ANSWER TO LIFE ?…well you’ve only got confusion…disullusion…you think maybe its Buddha, Mohammed…it could be Hare Krishna or some denomination.

The cries, the cries, the many voices raised : ‘follow us, pay your money’…deceiving words…lips dripping like honey.

So your on the daily grind because you cannot find, thinkin’s such a bind…so shoot up some junk, get into some funk, drown the minds emotion…kill by self-destruct…just blast yourself away…no freedom…everyday…no plan, no purpose, no-where, no scheme, no dream…hopeless situation ?

Does it cause some consternation if the man says:

THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, THE LIFE, THE TRUTH, THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, THE WAY.

…’who said that ?’ you might say – Hey !

…was it Karl Marx, Alfred Marks, Groucho Marx, was it Gandhi or Andy Pandy…will we turn around when we know…at the end of hopelessness…when in distress…will we face the loss…and turn to one they put upon the cross… ?…’cause He’s the one who said it…the one who paid it…

He’s the non-conformist that you…thought you might be…

HE’S THE INVISIBLE, THE INDIVISIBLE, THE GREAT SUPREME CHAMPION OF THE UNIVERSE…

Though some may say : ‘It doesn’t seem to be’…still He’s the Operator, He’s the Proclaimer, He’s the Instigator, He’s the Creator of all that there is.

…so lets not conform when we can be transformed…confusion…?…well He is no illusion… He came…He saw…He conquered every devil that there is…He sits upon a throne until our time is through…then rises to welcome…to appear and say : ‘I’m true’…meantime – waiting…as an omniscient might…to deal with all death…until there’s only life…look how quickly minds close to Him on no other basis…than that His name is Jesus…it’s no crime to take a look as a non-conformist should…to the only man who was different from this world…’cause the other world was where His mind was…bringing His power to bear…upon the funky junk, the self destruct confusion, the hypocritical pride, every excuse that helps prop the illusion…that there is only eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die…

Tomorrow we die…that’s for sure…but wrap your thoughts around this rap…cry ‘ZAP !’… to all the crazy unbelieving ideas that don’t come up to scratch…there’s no match…for the ‘Altogether Lovely’… the Holy untouchable…that let’s Himself be touched…by the feeling of man’s infirmity…you hear what I say ?…so listen let’s all hit the dirt and cry out for mercy…cry to Jesus the Son…the only one…who gives His mercy freely to the broken hearted man…to the disillusioned person…without any coercion.. He’ll take you as you are…to be with you every hour…through His eternal power…now why don’t you conclude, you know you really should, deep inside you’re crying for the Jesus of the cross…cause there is no satisfaction till you experience Resurrection…brought to you today…in no uncertain terms we say…

He’s the Truth, The Life, The Way…that’s – Jesus – here to stay…

For further help contact Heaven or ken.riddles@btinternet.com

Lost friendship

A Scenario…

A true friend indeed. One you have known from childhood. Then came the day when your friendship was tested. It was too painful for him to remain loyal to you.

In his own eyes – he would have suffered much loss while attempting to be true to you and your friendship.

Nevertheless you expect him to be true. And now you are devastated that you separated, and your friendship was split apart.

You couldn’t agree. You couldn’t forgive his actions. You can’t continue to argue to no avail. He did what he did. He did what he reckoned he just had to do.

Such is the human drama – the storyline differing from scenario to scenario, but the emotional conflict the same.

Write your own story to the tune of these words.

The script consists of – friendship – longstanding, conflict, disagreement, damage, hurt, separation, unforgiveness, and loss.

Human weakness that couldn’t handle the challenge of remaining true, couldn’t take the resultant disadvantage to the self, couldn’t embrace the ‘friends at all costs’ ethos.

The ability to disagree and lose the unity of friendship is common to man.

The sombre notes of dissension set in. On and on go the wrangling words trying to solve the situation.

The bickering eventually only stopping by separation and a long distance put between the persons involved.

It all comes from a nature man is born with. But many – don’t even accept this concept.

James 4/

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war…

The wars come from our desires, the old word is lust, – an uptight defensive, verbal hitting out at others – that catches alight – further, to sometimes awful consequences resulting in physical violence.

How is man capable of such friendship-destroying episodes?

He is  capable because it comes naturally.

These words I found in a Christian song, by DC Talk:—

Tell me what’s going on inside of me – I despise my own behaviour –This only serves to confirm my suspicions –That I’m still a man in need of a Saviour

I could end the post here.

But before I do (having highlighted the problem) – the closing statements are –

God is not the author of confusion. It is Christ’s desire that all believers in Him as the Son of God – be one in Spirit – one in The Lord.

If there must be a parting of the ways – then forgiveness must be that choice of the will, and from thenceforth no abiding return is to be made to the former hurt and disagreement.

And when the person or persons find themselves re-visiting the hurts – they/we must consign these thoughts to the cross by faith.

Ideally all should reconcile as Christian brothers and sisters. But unfortunately the floor of the church is littered with broken relationships, and we can’t pretend differently.

We can only exhort each other to reconcile in humility, laying aside the right to be right.

Finding, and returning to what we all hold dearly, holding The Head from which all the body is supplied and knit in love.

If the other party(ies) won’t come with you to the foot of the cross again. Then you/we must keep our own hearts in the choice of forgiveness.

(see Colossian 2/19)

Divine Intervention

Divine Intervention

Superman never fails, or so the illustrated narratives would want to show us.

He comes to the rescue – swooping into a situation and exercising his muscles to save the day.

God can ‘sweep’ into a situation with ‘Divine Intervention’ .

Whether in given situations or in people’s personal lives.

Divine intervention – What is it?

According to Wikipedia:

Divine intervention is a purported miracle caused by a deity’s active involvement in the human world.

I think it is true to say that in accessing Wikipedia I have accessed a source of information that most – if not all – accept as authoritative (?). 

For the Christian, however, the first source of reference for information of this kind, is of course the book we call The Bible.

Notice – Wikipedia uses the word: ‘purported’.

Here we go defining again:

purportedly:

as appears or is stated to be true, though not necessarily so; allegedly:

Notice the injection of doubt? – ‘not necessarily so…allegedly…and the first mentioned: ‘purported’’

All statements worded in this way, are written to suit the compiler of definitions himself, or to satisfy the skeptical agnostics or unbelievers.

I guess its an attempt to please all the people – all of the time. But it fails, – as it doesn’t please me.

There are many examples of divine intervention in the Bible. God – dividing the Red Sea. God consuming Elijah’s water-soaked sacrifice, Mose’s revelation of the burning bush, burning but not consumed, the conceiving of children when it was past the age of conception for the woman, angels appearing to a bunch of shepherds, a donkey talking to a man, five loaves and two fish feeding 5,000 plus and so on. I will add an etc. etc. here.

For some these are divine fairy tales.

For the believing Christian it is truly – divine intervention, and I have listed only a few.

God intervenes in major and minor ways.

He intervened in my life in a powerful and unmistakable way. I am extremely thankful for this intervention, It was so powerful and real I will never forget it, and it is the foundation upon which my faith is built, being a Revelation of Jesus Christ.

I do not experience this the same way or to the same degree every day.

That is how it is meant to be.

God doesn’t need to intervene, or introduce Himself in the same manner, as He is an abiding presence in my life, already.

But I am so thankful for His unique introduction in the first instance.

He can intervene miraculously if He so chooses, but not to convince me of His existence, He has already done that.

How many of my friends and I would love to see that Divine Intervention again in our nation and the nations of the world. We, as Christians, have put the title ‘Revival’ upon such interventions.

Elijah once considered himself the ‘only one left’ but God had secret plans, revealed in response to Elijah’s ‘I only am left’ – complex.

God revealed to Elijah that He had reserved for Himself 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to worship the false-deity called Baal.

Are you among the 7,000+ who have not bowed the knee to false gods?

Romans 11/

…Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant…

I almost feel like starting a survey and getting you to sign it – if you have experienced the divine intervention of Jesus in your life, and you are therefore ‘all-time voting for Him!’

As God intervened in the life of the world taking upon Himself the clothing of flesh in a virgin’s womb – and we have allocated this time of year to remember Him doing so – remember also that this was divine intervention – Jesus Christ has come in the flesh!

II John 1/7

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

 

snow n sun
A Peaceful Christmas to all – Enjoy the Season!

Weakness

Weakness

Deuteronomy 31:6

6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Ephesians 6/

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

A call to all Christians – to be strong.

Many years ago there was a western, and the theme tune included the lines: ‘Brave courageous and bold…’, referring to the cowboy hero.

Suppose Paul The Apostle was leaving on a train, and he had to exhort us with a quick shout from the train window, wanting to communicate the secret to being a strong Christian, faithful to God and Our Redeemer.

What would he shout with so little time? What would he give us as a key to strength? 

I believe it is found in the following scripture:

II Corinthians 12/10

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

“That ol’ steam train is pulling out Paul – you won’t  even have time for a full verse – what can you tell us?”

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God loves to strengthen the weak. But we all need to learn the restful waiting of weakness.

They that wait on The Lord – we are promised – shall renew their strength.

As someone once pointed out – ‘some only know the struggle of perfect weakness, whilst others know the rest of perfect weakness.’

Therein lies the secret. Weak, unable, feeling unspiritual, had enough, battered, worn out, discouraged…?

Rest…

Expect that these conditions of weakness you are ‘fulfilling’ – will prime-the-well of God’s strength.

How come?

For when I am weak,…(condition met in your life?)

…then I am strong. (condition when God touches you).

Expect the power-of-His-might now – as you are fulfilling the condition necessary for God’s strength to triumph!

…for My strength is made perfect in weakness. (Saith The Lord!)

Humility

HUMILITY

Matthew 18/1. At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus used a little child as an example of what we need to become, was He not simply saying ‘become small’?

The child was little.

Innocent – in the sense that they have not matured enough to join the fray of obnoxious behaviour.

However, they will – throw a tantrum without being taught to do so. And if it is not managed correctly, they will grow up as spoiled brats – a description we hear quite often today.

The bible teaches that we all without exception, are birthed in the same way and condition as the Psalmist:-

I was brought forth in [a state of] wickedness;

In sin my mother conceived me [and from my beginning I, too, was sinful].

That’s why we don’t need to teach kids to throw a tantrum when self doesn’t get it’s own way. The nature within automatically rebels and wants it’s own way.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

But the child He placed in the midst hadn’t yet learned to lust for the power of position.

Why was – ‘who would be greatest’ – on their minds at all?

Jesus goes on to confirm His point: 

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Humility then, is the lesson.

As far as we know the child didn’t enter into any kind of outward show of humility.

But there the child was – with all those adults staring at him/her. But that was ok – because the child was with Jesus!

Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to His Heavenly Father even unto death. (Phil. 2/8).

I was praying one day in my bedroom, and as I bowed before God, I was suddenly aware-in-spirit of the character of Christ just how full of humility He is. And so I in turn was humbled when this revelation came to me.

He is humble – not in some Uriah Heep, conjured-up, lip-service kind of way – but within His very nature.

He could throw His divine-weight around and sort-out a rebellious world, with judgement – instead His attributes make Him the God of Grace and the God of many chances.

…the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;

(II Peter 3/15)

He is The Lamb before He is The Lion.

When Jesus was at a feast on another occasion – He taught the lesson that we are to choose the lower seat first, not the higher one.

Saint Augustine said:

The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.

Humbling self is firstly a thing of honest appraisal.

When Peter denied Jesus, slipping into the bind – that self puts upon us, enabled by the devil – one look – from The Master was enough to send him to his knees, in humility, as self was exposed in hurting The One he loved dearly.

Luke 22

Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster [i]crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

We learn two things regarding how God works in our lives:

  1. The look of God
  2. The voice of God

When God looks upon you – you must notice it. When we notice it – we then remember what He has said.

Or if we reverse this we can find God’s revelation when we listen first to what he says (Bible) and in prayer notice His eye upon us – the result.

In Peter’s case a humbling of the self-life – and a searching for God’s forgiveness. In Peter’s case – Jesus called this conversion. Or a returning to God in prayer.

KJV: Luke 22:

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

NKJV: Luke 22:

32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

His eye is upon us – we can receive the benefits of this or ignore it.

His voice is speaking to us – we can receive the benefits of this or ignore it.

May we all (like Noah) find Grace in the eyes of The Lord.