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Friday, May 20, 2022

Evangelism

 

What a delight to find teenagers willing to work for the Lord Jesus

Young people's question 3.   

What can I do to serve the Lord?

The Lord Jesus said to some young people – "follow Me". One day they went with Him to the meeting place and there He did the Bible reading. Another day He was out in the community helping, healing, teaching. Then He led them to a lonely place where just one man needed freedom from demons. He gave them a clue to effective service – "I am meek and lowly in heart"

Young people often find it harder 'being a Christian" than "doing something for Christ". Zeal is good and often leads to experiences that develop maturity. So I seek to encourage teenagers to reach out for Jesus Christ our Lord. Some discover they can evangelise, others are better at encouraging.

Someone will ask: "Do I need to go to Bible school?" That can be helpful, but not essential. "Should I to work in some existing evangelism structure or church system?" That can be helpful but not always.  Paul the Apostle had a team. Phillip  was often alone.  George Muller involved many. Robert Chapman went alone.

As we choose to follow the master, He may lead us in unusual ways. Ours is to be ready unto every good work as Peter said:

"Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way." (1Peter 3:10)NLT

With gratitude to the Lord and others, I will tell you of my younger experiences. At age 17, away from home training  in Sydney, I helped at Sunday Schools in Migrant hostels, gave out Gospel leaflets in George Street, sat with the homeless men in the parks and invited them to the gospel meetings, purchased a printing press with my brother to print Gospel leaflets, visited a young man in the mental hospital who became a friend for life......  In my twenties I assisted in open air preaching, Sunday Schools indoors and in the parks, manufactured and distributed Bible plaques  at agricultural shows and markets.......... to God be the glory.

Oh so much opportunity there is for those willing to take up the cross and follow Jesus.

Young man, young woman in Christ, let me encourage you to live selflessly for Jesus Christ and for others, and let the Lord lead you.

Acts 20:24  " My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus' - Paul


If you need ideas, write to me johnmckee@internode.on.net


Saturday, May 14, 2022

The questions of life

 

A Job – I feel the need to write short articles to help young people find their way in this world.

Question1 " What job should I do?"

Let the Apostle Paul give us a clue

"learn to maintain good works for necessary uses." Titus 3:14 KJV

As a teenager, I passed the exam to become a telephone technician and this question presented itself – was a telephone a necessary part of life?

Paul himself was quite academic, but first learned to be a tentmaker. So he says: "Settle down, and get to work. Earn your own living" 2 Thessalonians 3:12

For some a chosen career may lead to useful service for God. For many the employment, career may change if we stumble, and if we submit to the leading of God. Trusting HIM is more important than the perfect job.

Most important is to answer the question – 'why do I want a particular job?' – for myself, for others, or for the Lord Jesus.

Remember Jesus became a carpenter, but that was not the significant part of His life. Rather, in the Father's good time, He laid down the hammer and began teaching, healing and laying down His life for others.

Pause and pray, God still speaks to those who take the time to listen.

Questions welcome johnmckee@internode.on.net


Saturday, May 7, 2022

Peter writes

 

Peter's considered teaching about Jesus and His death

1 Peter 1:2  The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is 'cleansed by His blood'.  Just as the priest in the Old Covenant set the people apart  to God by blood sacrifice, so believers today are sanctified to God by the death of the Lord Jesus.

1 Peter 1:19   Peter infers that the ritual of Torah is insufficient. Instead, the voice of John the Baptiser identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. Peter   confirms that Jesus is the Lamb of God who sets us free from the power and penalty of sin. His blood ( blood is a metaphor for a life taken or given),  is like the blood of the Passover lamb that protected from the judgement of the LORD.

1 Peter 2:22  Peter witnessed the sufferings of Christ and gives this detail:

"He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled He did not revile in return. When He suffered He did not threaten  ..........."

Peter identifies Him as the Shepherd suffering for His sheep (John 10)

1 Peter 3:18  - this is special:

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit."

Jesus never sinned, but He died for us sinners, to bring us safely home to God.

This explanation of the death of Jesus changes  the narrative from tragedy to triumph. Jesus Christ by dying, makes believers forgiven and fit for heaven.

1 Peter 3:22 The happy ending according to the plan of God

"Jesus Christ has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers having been made subject to Him"

 

And there is so much more – read the letters written by Peter and Paul and John, and highlight the mentions of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. – you will be blessed.


JRM

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Old Testament speaks

 

The Old Testament predictions of Jesus:

Is it important? – Yes – Peter speaks (Acts 3) "What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled." In these prophecies we find many secrets as to why Jesus died. Please look them up in your Bible.

Deuteronomy 18 – Moses foretold the character of the coming Messiah – one whose word was final and to be obeyed.

Psalm 2 – David prophesied of the coming King – God's Son

Psalm 22 – graphically describes the sufferings of the crucifixion

Psalm 110 – previews the exaltation of the Messiah

Isaiah 53 – explains very clearly the cause of Jesus sufferings

I quote "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities....

"The Lord laid on Him the sins of us all

"When His soul is made an offering for sin..

"He was numbered with the transgressors, yet He bore the sins of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors."

 

The whole crucifixion story takes on a new meaning when we read Isaiah 53 – it is God at work reconciling people back to Himself.

The song is good

"Bearing shame and scoffing rude

In my place condemned He stood

Sealed my pardon with His blood

Hallelujah , what a Saviour"

Many more Old Testament places tell more about the Lord Jesus. Try reading Zechariah (9:9, 12:10 13:6-9 14:4)

For the many who do not read the New Testament eg Jews, this OT teaching is very relevant.

If you don't have a Bible let me know at johnmckee@internode.on.net

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Peter explaining Jesus

 

Peter speaking again. – Acts 3

Peter's second message to the people is similar but different. After healing the lame man, Peter explains:

An extract - "......  you denied the Holy and Righteous one, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you. You killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead."

This message is full of special titles for the Lord Jesus. As you read the chapter through , highlight them:

3  verse 13  -- God's servant Jesus

        14  --  Holy and Righteous one

        15  --  Author of life

        18   --  suffering Messiah

        22  --  the Prophet

On the basis of Jesus raised from the dead and glorified in heaven, Peter assures the Israelites that God can forgive, and could restore the promises of restoration for the nation. But as Peter finishes, he goes to the root of the problem:

"God, having raised His Servant (Jesus), sent Him to you first, to bless you by turning everyone of you from your wickedness." (Acts 3:26).  Before national restoration could happen there needed to be individual turning from sin, turning to God through His Son.

The sad history of this book, Acts, is that the Jews (Israelites) refused the offer, and eventually their very precious temple was destroyed and the land occupied by Gentiles.

This message is full of links to the Old Testament – more for next time.


JRM

Friday, April 22, 2022

Jesus Christ from God's perspective

 

Peter preaching – Acts 2

On the day of Pentecost, when so many people were focused on Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish worship, God demonstrated that He had a wider agenda. The disciples of the Lord were enabled by the Holy Spirit, to speak of the wonderful works of God in many different languages. God was reaching out beyond Jerusalem, beyond the Jews, to save people of every nation.

So Peter explained the life of Jesus:

"Listen carefully...............

In the last days God said :'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people ........'

Peter continues: " People of Israel listen. God publicly endorsed Jesus of Nazareth by doing wonderful miracles, wonders and signs through Him, as you know. But Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. With the help of lawless Gentiles you nailed Him to the cross and murdered Him. However God released Him from the horrors of death and raised Him to life again, for death could not keep Him in  its grip."

Peter concludes his message:

"Know for certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah (Christ the anointed one)."

My summary of this is  -  God at work

The end of the message brought promises of forgiveness, salvation, the Holy Spirit.

Read this account in Acts 2 again and remember Peter is speaking , not from himself, but by the Holy Spirit – speaking for God.

And many did respond in repentance and faith, showing their change of mind by baptism and joining with the disciples in commitment to the risen Lord and one another.