Saturday, March 16, 2019

Telling others


Psalm 107
“Has the LORD redeemed you?
Then speak out, tell others He has saved you from your enemies.”

This verse of the song  identifies a Christian distinctive. – speaking, singing because of grace.

Many religions are the imposition of rules and regulations by some form of dominating hierarchy. In contrast , true Christianity was intended to be the expression of gratitude for grace received. It was Jesus who said to the  healed demoniac :
“Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.”

It is when love has conquered for us , and in us that we reach out to tell others.
A selfish , self centred Christian  is not really a Christian.
An interesting measure of grace at work in a believer is the ‘singing’ to the Lord.  One who lives on the level of the world has no song. The believer who enjoys  victory over sin and the world will sing,  or at least try to. (Maybe like David, to the sheep, or like me , to the Kookaburras’ ! ).

“Singing to yourselves in Psalms, Hymns and spiritual songs,  singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.”     Ephesians 5

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Loss


Loss
The loss of ‘wonder’ at God’s creation. Instead the notion of the earth creating itself.
The loss of ‘perception’ of God speaking through circumstances and events.
The loss of ‘hearing’ by failing to open and read the Bible.
The loss of ‘understanding’ when life is interpreted without the knowledge of God.
The loss of ‘love’ when the true source of love is ignored.
The loss of ‘life’ because the life giver is rejected and ‘meism’ destroys any true meaning in life.

No wonder the Lord described us as “lost” – lost sheep, lost coin, lost son.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

ETERNITY

Looking into Eternity.

In the work of teaching religious instruction at schools, one is thinking about the future lives of the children. What values do they have to make wise choices? Who can they trust when in times of need?

In the times of visiting older folks, one is constrained to ponder the great hereafter. Life beyond the grave for many is so unknown. Someone said to me recently “how can we know as no-one has sent word back from the otherside”. Well, I could write about many that have been to the otherside and have come back. I have met such. One very interesting story of this is written as ‘My descent into death’ by Howard Storm. Check the internet for details.

For me, the best hope for the great tomorrow lies in the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. If, as He claimed, He came to earth from heaven, then He ought to know.  And speak about the future He sure did.

Repeatedly He referred to heaven, the place where God is, a place untouched by the failures of earth, a place where rewards for good are eternal. He called it “My Father’s house”. And for us how reassuring that He has gone ahead to prepare that place for those who believe in Him. (John 14).
The Lord spoke of hell as a real place of eternal torment. How terrifying to think of people landing in that place, without hope, without God in utter darkness forever.

Living in denial of these things does not cure the problem. Listening to the many religions of earth only confuses the issue. How can we be sure?  - take a Bible and read the teachings of the Lord Jesus.

In the final analysis, we are left depending on the promises of God through His Son – Jesus. To gather some :-


“If you believe not that I am He (Son of God from heaven), you will die in your sins.... where I am going you cannot come.”  -John 8

A man said to me yesterday that he owed his conversion, to a  nephew of 8 years who said to him “ you are going to Hell’. He thought about and soon trusted the Lord Jesus to be saved from hell.

The positive promises are many. I select some:-

“I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me”  John 14

“I give unto My sheep eternal life and they will never perish”  John 10

“Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.”  Luke 24

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must  the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.”  John 3

The rest of the New Testament confirms the reality of Heaven and Hell along with the hope of eternal life as a gift given to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 6.23

Maybe this is being read by someone feeling how temporary life is. Thinking about eternity. Looking for hope beyond the grave.
Seek the Lord today, with all your heart, and you will find Him. Trust upon His promises. In Him you can have peace and assurance .

If you do not have  a Bible, let me know, and I will try to get one to you.


johnmckee@internode.on.net


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Signs of the times


For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.        Matthew 24.37

And it is so. People are preoccupied with eating and with marriage, so that God and His righteousness are forgotten.

 Soon the master of the house will rise up and shut the door. 

Soon the Lord will return and will He find faith in the earth? Who then is that faithful and wise servant who is watching and waiting for His appearing?


"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you" Matthew 5

Friday, February 1, 2019

God the unchanging Almighty




“I the LORD do not change”  Malachi 3:6

He remains always trustworthy. One who is outside our changing world. A living God, who is consistent in character.

To Moses was given this unveiling of the LORD

“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty...”
Much could be said about this statement. But it speaks clearly by itself of a holy God connecting with humans in mercy and grace. This remains true throughout the ages as the history of the Bible records. However I would like to point out that at various times God related to people on different terms.  Let me briefly recall this.

Eden’s Garden – God connected with Adam as one innocent.
Before the flood- God held the people responsible to the voice of their conscience
In Abraham, Isaac and Jacob  - God related to them on the basis of promises.
To the Israelites – God promised blessing for obedience to the Law
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ – God rescues Jews and Gentiles on the principle of pure grace.
When the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled – God will bring all to righteous judgement  by the man He has ordained – the risen Lord.

When all humanity has been subdued to  confess Jesus is Lord, then He will display His grace in the redeemed church and shine out among the nations through a converted and restored Israel.

This survey of history and prophecy is very uplifting for believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. It demonstrates that God is still in control and He is working towards a glorious end – Christ over all.

I encourage you to read Psalm 2.

The last verse is so appropriate to all ages:
“Kiss the Son ( Lord Jesus Christ)
Lest He be angry, and you perish in the way,
 for His wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in Him”

To Him whom God has appointed as the true King, we do well to give his hand the kiss of submission and loyalty. Better still, in our hearts to yield to Him our undivided love and obedience.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A song so true today


Psalm 73      As presented in the Believers Bible Commentary(W. MacDonald)

“I know for a fact that God is good to Israel, and to such as are pure in heart.

But there was a time when I actually began to wonder. My stance on the subject became very wobbly and my faith almost took a temporary tumble. You see I began to think how well off the wicked are – lots of money , plenty of pleasure, no troubles – and soon I was wishing I was like them.

Everything seemed to be going their way. They don’t have as much physical suffering as believers do. Their bodies are healthy and sleek (naturally they can afford the best of everything) . They escape many of the troubles and tragedies of decent people like ourselves. And even if troubles should strike them, they are heavily insured against every conceivable loss. No wonder they are so self confident. They are proud as a peacock and ruthless as a tiger. Just as their bodies seem to overflow with fatness, so their minds are spilling over with crooked schemes. And are they arrogant! They curse and scoff at their underlings and treat them as if they were dirt, threatening them continually. Even God Himself does not escape their malice. Their speech is punctuated with profanity, and they brazenly blaspheme Him. Their tongue swaggers and struts through the earth, as if to say “Here I come; get out of my way”.

Most of the ordinary people think they are great. They bow and scrape and show utmost respect. No matter what the wicked people do, the people find no fault with them. And this only confirms the oppressors in their arrogance. They figure that if there is a God, He certainly doesn’t know what’s going on. So they feel safe in pursuing their careers of crookedness. And there they are  - cushioned in luxury and getting richer all the time.

Well I began to think “What good has it done me to live a decent, honest, respectable life?” The hours I’ve spent in prayer. The time spent in the Word. The distribution of funds to the work of the Lord.  The active testimony for the Lord, both public and private. All I’ve got to show for it has been a daily dose of suffering and punishment. I wondered if the life of faith was worth the cost.

Of course I never shared my doubts and misgivings with other believers. I knew better than to do that. I often thought of the man who said “ Tell me of your certainties: I doubts enough of my own.” So I kept my doubts to myself , lest I should offend or stumble  some simple , trusting soul.
But still the whole business was a riddle to me: the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer. It seemed so hard to understand. In fact it wore me out trying to solve the problem.

Then something wonderful happened. One day I went into the sanctuary of God – not the literal temple in Jerusalem, but the heavenly one. I entered there by faith. As  I was complaining to the Lord about the prosperity of the wicked in this life, the question suddenly flashed across my mind “Yes but what about the life to come?”  The more I thought about their eternal destiny, the more everything came into focus.
So I spoke to the Lord something like this. ‘Lord now I realize that despite all appearances’, the life of the wicked is a precarious existence.  They are walking on the slippery edge of a vast precipice. Sooner or later they fall over to their destruction. In a moment they are cut off- swept away by a wave of terrors too horrible to contemplate. They are to me like a dream when one awakes in the morning – the things that disturbed the dreamer are seen to be nothing but phantoms.

I now see that the things that were causing me to be envious were mere shadows. It was a bit stupid of me to become bitter  and agitated over the seeming prosperity of the ungodly. In questioning your justice I was acting more like  a beast than a man. ( Excuse me for behaving as I did).
Yet in spite of my ignorant behaviour, You have not forsaken me. I am continually with You, and You hold onto me, like a father holds his child by the hand. Throughout all my life You guide me with Your counsel, and then at last You will bring me to glory!

It is enough that I have You in heaven: that makes me fabulously wealthy. And now I have no desire for anything upon earth apart from Yourself. Let the ungodly have their wealth. I am satisfied with You and find my all-sufficiency in You. My body may waste away and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my life and all I’ll ever need or want throughout eternity.

Those who try keep as  far away from You as possible shall perish without You. And all those who desert you for false gods will be destroyed. As far as I am concerned, I want to be as near to You as possible. I have committed myself to You for protection and I want to declare all Your wonderful works to anyone who will listen.’