Sunday, December 23, 2012

Reconciliation

God's desire is that all people be on good terms with Himself.  Someone may ask - is there a problem ? - Yes there is a problem.

We listen to the voice of doubt about God. We turn away to please ourselves. We ignore, yes more, we reject the rules of God and knowingly or unknowingly are against  God. Lost in confusion of mind,  guilt of conscience and loss of connection with the on who designed and made us.
     So the call goes out - "Be reconciled to God"

Is there a way back? by religious design - no,  By education- no   By best effort -  no

Sin has shut the door and only God in  love has opened the door through Jesus Christ.  He paid the debt of sin and now invites all to be reconciled to God.
        While the door is open, come to Him

Read  2 Corinthians 5

J. McKee

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meditation 1 Corinthians 8.6

'For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom  we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things and through whom we exist.'

    This gem of a verse, located in a somewhat obscure section of the Bible, unlocks some of the most profound questions of life  -  why am I here?, where am I going??

    The first pronouncement is that of a supreme being, outside of our small world. One who chooses to connect with us as a Father relationship.  Everything has come from his architectural,  powerful and loving design, so that the highest purpose for our existence, is FOR HIM.

     Just like the teaching of John, Paul here declares that Jesus Christ as the Lord from heaven was and is the one through whom God the Father makes all of creation happen. ( no surprise then if Jesus could operate outside the laws of nature and walk on water)

The most significant part is that our intended , intelligent part in the design of God, comes into play only through Jesus Christ.  This is the purpose of the ages, that in all things, all people  should find their significance, their fulfilment in Jesus Christ, the Lord now in heaven.
     Independence from God is an insult to God.  Rejection of Jesus the Son of God is rebellion against the very purpose of our existence.

How blessed are those who find Christ as their all in all,  and we in Him

JRM

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Great God / small God

      Yesterday I was watching a debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox (www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0ulbd0eLxw ) .  The point was made -  how could so a being so great as to make the spectacular universe, be interested in a speck of dust on distant earth?  The point is reasonable enough, but this is just the wonder of it all - He is!

We mere mortals measure so much by size.  God measures so much by intelligence ( knowing about ).  Intelligent about the created universe, intelligent and involved  in the operation of the world, intelligent and responsive to the people of the world, intelligent and concerned for the future  of humanity. 

    This was the teaching of Jesus - that even the hairs of our heads are all numbered, and not a sparrow falls but that He knows. This of course becomes mind boggling - but so does the capacity of a modern computer and more mind boggling is the capacity of the human brain to process so much so quickly, to store so much for so many years, and then to recall the sights, the smells, the words, the music, the emotions  the information, the calculations etc etc etc - all this and more stored on a gluggy mass of grey matter maintained by eating carrots !!!
   Well, if our capacity is so extreme, how much more the mind that designed the brain. Neurosurgeons may discover or repair, but none can make a brain. And more amazing is the reality that the original code writer put the details of the development of the brain into the almost invisible code of DNA

       Jesus in his teaching insisted that God clothes the grass of the filed so as to present a beautiful lily, and insisted at the same time, that God was intimately interested in the well-being of each creature. He encouraged us to call this mighty , intelligent God  "our Father"  !!

         " Big enough to make a universe, yet small enough to live within my heart"

John McKee

                         www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS5-YJacjal

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Risen

Luke brings his record of Jesus to a beautiful conclusion:

If Jesus was truly risen from the dead, then the world would never be the same again - and so it was, and so it is!  His resurrection  vindicates His claim to be the Son of God.  Now by God, He is declared to be Lord and Christ (Messiah).  He is appointed to be the future judge of all. By Him alone is made available justification from guilt and condemnation.
       As He  came to those floundering disciples with His peace and blessing then, so today the living Lord Jesus comes to His own as the risen Shepherd and overseer of their souls.

         The implications for the future are enormous  --  He will gather His followers into the Fathers house, He will come as King of Kings, He will make all things new.....................etc

What should be our reaction?  The Bible as our compass takes us to one place  worship and obedience.
              Luke's record of Jesus concludes with Jesus blessing them as they worshiped Him.  So may we!

J. McKee

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last words

            First and last words seem to hold a deep significance.  Let us survey the last words of Jesus, as recorded by Luke.

"Peace be to you"   In the midst of turbulent times, he blesses them with peace! Counselling people in distress does have value, but real peace comes through faith in a person who is greater than the disturbing  waves of  distress. - not that he takes us out of it, but rather gives direction, discernment in it. Then best of all , He goes with us through the valley.

"Touch Me and see...."    One might wonder how unbelief could linger when He Himself stood before them. Such is the potential of all our hearts, to unbelief.  He does not leave them to their doubts, nor does He perform a miracle to prove the point. He just shows Himself,  with the scars of crucifiction to verify His identity. Today we cannot see Him in the flesh, but  a brief journey in the Spirit to the cross and to the empty tomb, quickly ignites devoted faith.

" Thus it is written........."   His recorded words are most significant. He was indeed about to start something new,  but as in Matthew 5, He insists that the authenticity of His person was linked to the Old Testament scriptures.  The purpose of God for Him revealed in the O.T. must needs be fulfilled.  Whilst the old order was to be discarded, the former voice of God was fulfilled, not rejected!  His beautiful references to the O.T. encourage us to know that we have a speaking God.

"And that repentance and  forgiveness of sins should be preached in His Name..........."
This great commission could occupy our thoughts for a long time. A very good book written on this is 'The great commission' by C.H. Mackintosh. I must read it again myself.
This record of the Lord's words is amazingly complete - 
1.  The foundation of the gospel is in the death and resurrection of Christ.
2  The message is concerning repentance and forgiveness of sins.
3  The means of making it know - preaching in His name.
4  Scope of peoples given the opportunity of mercy and grace -  all nations
5  Power to effect the evangelism- promise of power from above.

As we ponder such wonderful words, let us be blessed and challenged today.

John McKee

Friday, September 28, 2012

Change - Yes it is possible

             The works of the flesh, evidences of sin in our nature are listed as follows:  sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.(Galatians 5:19 )
       God wants this list changed to the following:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control .

How can this dramatic change be effected ?
        Self-discipline ? education ? reward?      --    no

   History records the varying behaviors of many different kinds- gorilla warfare waged for communism, gassing of the disabled in accord with Darwinian evolution , communal suicide before surrender, humanitarian relief for damage caused by religious bigots, conservation efforts to combat the forces of greed...etc

            The Bible compass points to the enabling power of the Spirit of God.

Let me explain - Through the death of Christ, we are accepted by God.  By the operation of the Holy Spirit with our spirit, we are changed by God.  The ignorance that pulls us down is replaced with the intelligence that builds us up.  The rebellious will that  fights God is replaced with a new heart to please God. Thus we know what is good and are given the new life in Christ, to choose the good even if we are tempted to do evil.
        While still in human bodies we pray " keep us from temptation", but as we submit to the constraining Spirit of God we proclaim " we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us"

   Change is possible :-
 let the light of God fall upon you
   let the life of God empower you
     let the love of God motivate you  !!

And then all the glory be to our great God

John McKee

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Change ??

The story of life seems to be - a good beginning, a wandering independence. a reality check and then the hardening of the clay according to the attitudes, habits and direction taken. Occasionally some peoples' lives are turned around to change track. Most people however, follow the instinct of their genetic makeup and conform to the world in which they live.

Would you dare to be different ? Would you let the compass of the Bible change your attitude, your devotion, your motives, your goals, your direction of life?  I hear some-one interrupt and say : ' I thought being a Christian was intended to make my life better,  not different! ' - well yes and no.

     The preaching of Jesus insisted on 'repentance' ( to change ). This of course begs the question - change what , and how , and why ?  So many people make the mistake  of changing their words, their ways in an effort to cultivate religious habits, all the time missing the priority of first being changed on the inside. Most of all God wants to change our attitude to Him. It may not seem natural to worship an unseen creator, yet this is our highest privilege . Many refuse to accept Jesus as the Son of God, yet it is this that determines the order of our life and our destiny in eternity. The rebellious nature of humans, objects to yielding to Jesus Christ as Lord, but this is the very change that cures our many woes.

         I trust that you can see that these internal, fundamental changes are essential to  a good life, and an eternal relationship with God, that will give us hope beyond the grave.

          Take time out today to bow both your knees to God Almighty, believe in your heart that Jesus who died and rose again is indeed the Son of God, and let  Him, his word, his example, his love, his commands etc take control in your life! Then you will be able to sing -
          " What a wonderful change in my life has been has wrought
                        since Jesus came into my heart"


Contact for seekers -  johnmckee@internode.on.net


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Compass

    The interesting thing about a real compass is that it works without batteries, without a computer etc. It  is effective because of invisible magnetism!

      So the Bible makes sense when  read with the assistance  of the Holy  Spirit.  --  pray today for His guidance and you will not be disappointed.


JRM

Compass

On the sea of life, for dark days and bright, we need  a compass to direct our way!


       The advice of others is helpful, the experience of older people may yield wisdom but the only trustworthy guide  is the Bible.


Did you consult it today ???


Maybe you don't have  a Bible, or need help to understand  -- 
 email   johnmckee@internode.on.net

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bible study

Our approach to the Bible will often decide the outcome of our reading. If we come to it, hoping to justify our present thinking, we will only look out for the parts that suit. I do not use the expression 'open mind',  but rather "let the Bible speak for itself".

A prayerful attitude - "Lord teach me"  is most  helpful, and sometimes the answer may come through some relevant experience.

'Rightly dividing the truth'  is very important, largely achieved by comparing scripture with scripture.  Taking verses out of context, or verses that belong to another time, has caused enormous problems over the centuries. Some have suggested that one must know Hebrew and Jewish culture to understand - well it may help but I am convinced that the Bible is the inspired word of God and the Holy Spirit is able to lead any genuine seeking believer into the truth.

The Lord said "knock.......
                       seek and ye shall find."


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prophecy

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" Revelation 19.10

This statement of prophetic purpose - to reveal Jesus Christ - is very much akin  to the purpose of the Holy Spirit as described by the Lord Jesus himself.
     " He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it unto you."  John 16:14

Peter wrote of the purpose of the Old Testament prophets - that they were searching for the detail of the coming Christ - His suffering and glory     1 Peter 1.10

To the Bible proud Pharisees, Jesus said "you search the Scriptures because you think in them you have eternal life : and it is they that bear witness about me"  John 5.39

Again He said " If you  believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote of me"  John 5.46

    Let us not forget - the vital compass direction  in Bible reading  -- the  Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two Testaments

It is evident to every person who reads the Bible , that it is divided into two sections - the Old Testament and the New Testament. This may at first seem only to be a historical division, but no. The old is distinctly divided from the new, by the appearance on earth of Jesus the Christ and the sending forth of the Holy Spirit. It would be better understood as two covenants. Although there are more than two covenants in the Bible, the division represents the distinction between the covenant instituted by Moses and the last one instituted through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.


Let me summarize some of the relationships between the two. An understanding of this is fundamental to understanding the Bible.
     1 The Old Covenant describes a gracious God reaching out to reconcile rebellious and lost people. This covenant includes the law, which is holy and good in itself, was designed to expose sin and the inability of humanity to attain the righteousness for acceptance with God. Yet this same law that condemns also provides a remedy in redemption   i.e.  the means to overcome failure and return to God the judge and saviour.
           It is good to observe throughout the old testament that God is seeking the hearts of the people i.e. true devoted worship of himself as the true God. To many nations the call of the prophets rang out - 'Repent - turn back to God'
            For the Israelites, many ceremonies were given to show the deeper meaning of the offence  of sin ( the slaying of an animal instead of the guilty), and the deep meaning of substitution whereby the guilty could be set free by the value and suffering of another (animal). A few people of the old covenant days comprehended and believed this message from God, but the greater part chose unbelief and carried on in ritual only, or in distinct rebellion.



      2  When Jesus arrived, this is just what he found. The ritualistic religion of the Jews and the idolatry of the Gentiles. He himself made it clear that he had no intention of destroying the old covenant purpose, but rather to fulfill it - that is - God reconciling the world unto himself.
         The great difference in the new testament is this: God now revealed as 'Father', calls the people, not to enact ceremonies but rather to believe in a person as the full and final expression of his holiness , grace , and love. This person is Jesus. And so the new testament is all about  this person. Four gospel writers record the history of his  life on earth. The Apostles by the Holy Spirit give the detail of his deity, death, resurrection ascension and present place in heaven. The last book presents this person as triumphant over all evil and the blessed hope of him as head over a new creation. 


    And so we discover that the Old Testament pointed forward to the messiah, Christ Jesus, and the New Testament reveals the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!


     What is the point of this? It is life changing to know that God is reaching out to us, not in the terms of Law Covenant, but reaching out to us in the person of His Son. Acceptance and reconciliation with God is based on our faith in a person, not how well we may perform under rules and regulations.


One could go much further making comparisons, contrasts and give many Bible references, but may the enlightening Spirit of God bless you all with understanding of things that differ.


John McKee

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Making sense of the Bible

        In the quest to make sense  of the Bible, it is so important to see God acting.  Many people are preoccupied with ' what does it say for me'  and miss the real story-line.


      When our mind is open to this perspective, we read so often of God  - - creating, speaking, redeeming, reconciling, saving, judging, sanctifying  etc.  It may be to a wandering person, a wandering nation, or a wayward church, God is seen as proactive. He is the initiator and the sovereign operator as Jesus said to Pilate " You could have no power at all against me, unless it be given you from above" John 19


           This highlights His holiness and righteous judgments, and also His love and grace.
It is true we must respond to the entreaty of God, but let us not read the Bible with the blinkers of self improvement. We are challenged often to change, but this is only possible by God's grace.


John McKee

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Searching for the purpose

 It is most helpful in studying the Bible,  if we can discover the purpose of the writer. This is not a matter of imagination, but a simple yet careful observation of what the writer says.
        For  example John wrote his gospel, not as an historical record but as he says himself  "these things are         written that you might believe that Jesus is  the Christ..."  John 20.
       Again  he begins 1 John  " these things I write that your joy might be full".
        Peter gives his purpose at the end of 1 Peter 'exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God wherein you stand.'
           Luke ' sets in order' the narrative of Jesus.

The real danger is adding to the holy Scriptures as much as taking away from them!

J . McKee
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

compass

The bible is to be the compass to direct us the right way!!
Sometimes we need a compass to find our way through the bible !!

Let the compass point to north ( ie upwards )  -When we read this book with God's honour in our minds, it is a safe starting ground.

Let us learn to read it on our knees and find the sweetness of God revealing himself.

jrm