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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Rest

 

“The LORD rested on the seventh day” Exodus 20:11

Someone rightly asked ‘was He tired’

In terms of science, I would say He may well have been tired! – the greatness of creation, the detail of design, the interaction of ecology, the initiation of self reproduction, the balance of the chemicals to make life possible, to produce a very, very finely tuned earth etc, He might well have been tired in human terms.

But no! It means something better. In Genesis 1:31 “God looked over all He had made and He saw it was excellent in every way.”  God rested on the seventh day because the work of creation was complete. God’s final quality control check made Him satisfied all was well.

And so in Exodus 20, the LORD God invited the Hebrews to refocus on what God had done instead of their own achievements.

This concept of resting in God’s work , is explained in the New Testament book called Hebrews. Chapter 4 emphasises this difference – God invites us to rest (by believing) in Him as creator, but now also invites us to rest (by believing) in the achievements of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life so that He could make a perfect sacrifice to take away all our sins and bring us back to God (a new creation).

Some people try to achieve forgiveness with God by praying, paying, performing good works, But God says ‘ I have done the work of reconciliation by Jesus – just believe and rest in Him’

Bible verse to read : 2 Corinthians 5:19

“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself”.

Jesus proved His sacrifice for sins was complete, by rising from death. Now in heaven He is the mediator who can reconcile God and people. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone.

God now invites all people to rest from self achievement, self sacrifice , to rest in the fullness of Jesus, the Son of God , the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Please pause and hear the Saviour say:

“Come to Me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”

Respond to Him directly today and find the peace and joy of REST in Him.

Friday, January 27, 2023

A brilliant designer

 

More Science – two mysteries of nature

A subject seldom discussed in science considerations is that of reproduction and resurrection. Whether in the animal world or much of the plant world, reproduction can only occur with male and female interaction. The simple yet profound connection of sperm and egg has no logic in evolution, but rather is evidence of an intelligent Creator at work. The profundity lies in the union of two sets of DNA to make a similar but different independent organism. It is chemical, but more than chemical – it is a living, active conception that has so many checks and balances to reproduce one of the same species, but independent ( ultimately) and unique. Let us ponder- from that tiny dot is then formed (say 9 months), all the detail of a functioning body and brain. Medical science is still trying to puzzle out how the very complex body and brain work. And to think this body evolved  in just 9 months! God has a very special kind of evolution! And just to be sure reproduction would continue, the author of DNA wrote passion, colour and beauty into the process.

What about the plant world? Some trees grow from the roots, but most are propagated by seeds. Seeds? Yes that beautiful flower has a primary purpose of attracting insects to pollinate the seed producing mechanism. Why ever would you make plant reproduction dependant on ovule, ovary, style, stigma, filament, anther, stamen, petal and then insect? Doesn’t sound like survival of the fittest to me. Rather the colourful, meticulous mechanics of an ingenious designer who enjoyed writing variety into the DNA code. And it all works!

 

Resurrection - - well that tiny seed produced by the flower appears to die. Then at the right conditions, springs forth into life to produce another plant/flower just like the parent.

         Let us stop often and ‘consider the wonderful works of God.’ (Job 37:14)

I am convinced that the LORD God enjoyed designing the mysterious reproductive capacity of living things.

The Lord Jesus said of Himself, that His death , like a seed, would lead to the resurrection blossom for Himself, and many others. (John 12)

It is the Bible that encourages study, investigation - science.

So many cultures of the world discourage questions.  God is not afraid of investigation.


johnmckee@internode.on.net

Thursday, January 19, 2023

God's power and Godhead (intelligence over all)

 

I really do love science!

Why? – it keeps on discovering evidence for God and the accuracy of the Bible!

One of the greatest evidences for a very intelligent creator, is DNA. Like the 3 billion bits of information in every cell of every living thing. F. Collins called it 'the language of God'.

I have just finished reading on common media about the ice coring on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – they have verified the drought story of Joseph in the Bible. Then another report of a scientist watching the stars from a newer telescope, reports seeing a star formed ' just like in Genesis'.

Well might we sing "Oh the wonder of it all....."


"we have not followed cunningly devise fables"  2 Peter 1

Monday, January 16, 2023

People need the Lord

 

Every day they pass me by

I can see it in their eyes

Empty people filled with care

Headed who knows where

 

On they go through private pain

Living fear to fear

Laughter hides their silent cries

Only Jesus hears

 

People need the Lord, people need the Lord

At the end of broken dreams, He is the open door

People need the Lord !


Will you go and care?

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The final invitation

 

The End :  Revelation 22

The Holy Bible ends with this beautiful word – “COME”.

The invitation is for all

Come to the Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth.

Come to the Lamb of God, the Son of God – Jesus

It does not say do some works, for our best works are not good enough. Nor can we pay.

Come to Him for free forgiveness – the death of the Lamb is sufficient to cleanse from all sin.

Come, drink of the water of life freely. The God who is holy, invites all, though unworthy to drink of eternal life forever!

Come, belong in God the Fathers great family, the assembly of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven.

I encourage you to read this last chapter of Revelation and glimpse the glory of Jesus. In Him is hope forever. Believe Him, trust Him, obey Him, love Him and be blessed.


"This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent"

  John 17

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Jesus - The Lamb of God

 

Meditations for worship:

In Revelation 19-22, the Lord Jesus Christ is identified as "the Lamb". These visions of future glory also point back to the "Lamb that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1) That promise from John the baptiser, will be fulfilled when all sin and sinners are removed from God's new creation.

Holy Scripture identifies Jesus as the Lamb without blemish and without spot, whose blood shed has purchased eternal redemption. (1 Peter1) The Old Testament sacrifices were specified as to be without blemish and spot. Only Jesus Christ was without sin, so He only could become the sacrifice to take our sin  away.

 Well might the multitude in heaven sing:

"For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood,

Out of every tribe, language and people and nation" (Revelation 5)

It is just one Gospel for all people.

And again:

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!"

At the end of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Lamb is mentioned seven times:

19:7 "wedding of the Lamb" - Bride

19.9 ' wedding feast of the Lamb" - Blessed

21:9  'the wife of the Lamb" - Behold

21:23  "the Lamb is the light" - Brilliance

21:27  "the Lamb's book of life" - Belonging

22:1   "water ... from the throne of God and of the Lamb" - Blessing

22:3  the throne of God and of the Lamb, and His servants shall worship HIM"

Let us begin that heavenly occupation today, and worship HIM in spirit and in truth.


johnmckee@internode.on.net

Friday, December 30, 2022

Activity of Holy Spirit

 

The activity of the Holy Spirit

Genesis one – the Spirit of God hovered, surveying the scene, then spoke into being the world in which we live. Then God communicated with Adam in the evening breeze.

Genesis six – In Noah's day it was the Spirit that sought to turn the people away from sin.

Genesis fourty one – of Joseph, who retained trust in God despite suffering, of him it was said "a man who is obviously filled with the Spirit of God".

And it continues in the Old Testament – God's Spirit enabling people to speak for Him and do special things for Him.

The sad end of the Old Testament is recorded:

Zechariah 7:12 "They made their hearts hard as stone, so they could not hear the law or the messages that the LORD Almighty had sent to them by His Spirit, through the earlier prophets.".

2 Peter 1:21 " It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God"

 

In the New Testament, it continues to be the Holy Spirit,that communicates God's truth. In John 16, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would complete the revelation of God the Father revealed in Jesus Christ, using the Apostles and NT prophets. They spoke and wrote the truth as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 2:10. – "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, and His Spirit searches out everything and shows us(the Apostles)  even God's deep secrets." – how blessed we are to be able to read the New Testament, and know it is inspired by God!

Acts 2  This communication of truth was so evident on the day of Pentecost, when the once afraid  Peter, stands before a great crowd and delivers (spontaneously)  , a brilliant message . Peter had been confused and disappointed, but now by the Holy Spirit he clearly reveals that God was doing something special by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The people were convicted their sin, and sought forgiveness. Peter boldly issues a promise – "Repent and be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"

This was a very special day, for the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven had sent down to earth the Holy Spirit to fill all believers. They were thus enabled to communicate in many languages the wonderful works of God.

Peter's message was from God, and the effect was by God the Spirit. About three thousand people believed and were baptised in water. What follows in the chapter, shows that they were also immersed by the Holy Spirit (baptised) into one body. Thus began the great work described in the letter to the Ephesians – 'one body by one Spirit '.

But I have missed so much. Let me briefly mention the life of the Lord Jesus.

-         Miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit –Matthew 1:18

-         Anointed by the Holy Spirit for service – Matthew 3:16

-         Led by the Holy Spirit to the place of temptation – Matthew 4:1

-         Casting out demons by the Holy Spirit – Matthew 8:16

-         He offered Himself, through the eternal Spirit , without blemish to God –Hebrews 9:14

-         He is declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of Holiness by His resurrection from the dead – Jesus Christ our Lord! –

-         Romans 1:4

-         He promised to send the Holy Spirit –  Acts 1:8

And so it is that we have the assurance of who Jesus is ,by the Holy Spirit.

 

In the book called 'Acts', let us trace the continuing activity of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2 – the Spirit gave utterance.

Acts 5 – Peter discerned a hidden lie by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 6,7  Stephen evidently served and spoke by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8 – Phillip was directed by the holy Spirit.

Acts9  - Saul was promised Holy Spirit fullness  for his service.

Acts 9.31 The disciples were comforted by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10.19  The Holy Spirit communicates to Peter.

Acts 10.44 The Holy Spirit came to the Gentile believers as a gift, enabling them to speak in other languages as proof to the visiting Jews that the Gentiles were cleansed by grace as much as Jews (Acts 15.8,9).

Acts 13.2 The Holy Spirit  gave directions.

Acts 19.2 The Holy Spirit's presence is directly linked to the Name of the Lord Jesus.( not outside that authority)

Acts 20.28 The Holy Spirit appoints overseers.(Shepherd  to care)

Acts 28.25 The Holy Spirit interprets and applies the Old Testament

 

I pause here and ask you to note the multivaried functions and activity of the Holy Spirit. Note well that the Holy Spirit came from above,  communicated and acted through whom He chose. It was always to the glory of God through Jesus Christ. It was not for the glory of men, nor was His presence focused on subjective feelings. Rather as one of the trinity, He was communicating for God.

Next – The Holy Spirit in the teachings of the Apostles.