Saturday, December 27, 2014

Serving the Lord

“Master we have toiled all night and have caught nothing. But at your word I will let down the nets” Luke 5.5

    It appears to me from our compass, the Bible, and from fifty years of observation, that God chooses different people to serve Him indifferent ways. There is not one formula for serving God. But there is ONE MASTER for serving God. He alone knows what is best for each one of HIS servants!

    Some people are called to toil all night. Others are called to gather one draught of fish at what seems the most unusual time. Some labour all day to receive a penny, others labour for just one hour and receive a penny.
John the Baptist served well for about eighteen months while the Apostle John served for about sixty years. Dorcas was diligent  in serving the Lord with her hands for many years. Mary is recorded briefly as anointing the Lord from heaven. Paul planted and Apollos watered, but it was God who gave the increase. Many of us have yearned to know the ‘plan of God for our lives’. Some like the Apostle Paul, have a revelation right at the beginning – ‘that he must suffer for the Name of the Lord Jesus’.  For Peter, his commissioning service(John21) included his stewardship to feed God’s sheep and also how he would die. Was a similar plan given to John? Not that we know of. In fact Peter sought to draw out from the Lord a proposed plan for John, but was rebuked with most significant words – “what is that to you? You follow me”!

      To some a distinctive mission in life is clear but to the many it is a day by day devotion, following the Shepherd where ever He leads. Previously we noticed Zechariah in Like 1. He for so many years faithfully committed to the cause of God, not knowing that he would become the father of a prophet.

       The letter to the Hebrews in chapter twelve, it is filled with people of significant faith. Then it says “others................................” Obviously God calls some to prominence, but others who by faith endure, and achieve by faith, will be rewarded in the day of Christ’s glory.

           So what am I drawing from all this?
As to the eternal value of what we do  “ we work as a team with the same purpose, yet they will be rewarded individually according to their own hard work.” (1 Corinthians 3.8NLT)
As to now, there is just one Master, one Lord in heaven and there is no partiality with HIM. His calling and enabling by the Holy Spirit is as unique as we are different. His timing is wise. The stewardship given will be called to account by  the heavenly account keeper. The  outcomes may well be different to our human expectations or aspirations.

          It is loyal devotedness to HIM that will yield contentment and fruitfulness in this life, and His divine recognition in the next life.

Perhaps I have seem to have wandered from my text? Sometimes the Lord lets us labour all the night- that is not wrong and the Lord does not rebuke that. The real lesson is learned by Peter – It is not so much the timing or the labour, it is the LORD that makes the difference. Peter considers himself unworthy of the Lord’s service or the Lord’s presence. Yet this is just the same grace of the Lord of the harvest – He  chooses to use the unworthy in HIS way, in HIS time , for HIS glory.

       So then it is important to work hard for the Lord (as said Paul), but it is more important to work as a partner with the Lord (2 Corinthians 6.1 ), in submission to HIS directives and by HIS enabling grace. Whether we be a public success  or not is insignificant. Whether we walk with the Lord, being available as clean vessels for the Master’s use, is significant. It was Mary, the mother of Jesus,  who in her song, so beautifully sang, that God in His wonderful way “exalts the lowly” Luke 1.52.

                 My prayer for all who read these articles, all over the world , is that you may know the Lord Jesus Christ by faith,  that Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith, and that as branches in the vine you might bear much fruit to the glory of the living Lord Jesus.


John McKee

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recapturing the eternal perspective

A modern saying tell’s so much – “We want to make this world a better place to live in.”

      Well, nice thought, but so different to the teaching and mindset of the New Testament. No-one has more impacted the world for good than Jesus and Moses and Paul along with the Apostles. Yet they constantly had their focus on something beyond this life, beyond this world! The Lord Jesus prayed that his disciples might be with Him in the Father’s house ( John 17). Paul was longing for the day when he would exchange the present for a better condition – “We want to slip into our new bodies, so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life.”(2 Corinthians 5.4).

     In the western world, Christianity has been hijacked by the emphasis on ‘living the good life now’.      Across the earth most Christians suffer every day, as the Lord foretold “ In the world you will have tribulation, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 15). Across the world thousands of Christian refugees suffer persecution and hunger, thousands suffer discrimination for the name of the Lord Jesus, many are in prison and hundreds die for converting to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. One could mention the thousands who suffer illness and the many incapacitated in old age. For most of the suffering ones, the next life with Christ, is the only hope to live a ‘good life.’ Heaven will be a rich compensation for them. Paul paints a beautiful picture – “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later” (Romans 8.18).

     For those who want everything now, listen to the words of Abraham –“Son remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted and you are in anguish.” Luke 16.25. Once again it was the Lord Jesus who said to the Loadicean church – “You say ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realise that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”(Revelation 3.17) 
Such of course is the voice of the prosperity gospel. The poverty of the master , who said follow Me, along with many other scriptures, shows the fallacy of those who claim authority for their dreams, from their dreams . ( Jude 8 )

      The Lord Jesus called upon us to take up our cross (going out to die for Him), deny ourselves and follow Him. This will only happen when out of devotion to Himself we move forward with the next life as our focus. Even Abraham, who was blessed with much in this world, was looking beyond this life, looking for the city whose builder and maker was God (Hebrews 11 ).

    It is very true that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ does impact on the world in which we live (as salt and light), but this is not the purpose or the focus. The Lord came from heaven to rescue people out of this lost and fallen world. That they might be saved, redeemed, regenerated, accepted in the family of God  - not just for a few short  years in this world, but beyond the resurrection forever with the Lord.

  For so many, eternal life is the glorious prospect, begun now in knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and then forever to sing the praise of the Lamb upon the throne.


Let us all then, lift up our eyes to the glorious hope, to be with HIM and like HIM forever.

John McKee

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Prophecy of Zechariah

The Prophecy of Zechariah            Luke 1: 67-79

       Zechariah knew from experience that praise belongs to God. In this prophecy, he first praises God for the child to be born of Mary, then refers to his own son , John. He describes the child to be born as the mighty Saviour, from the royal line of David.

      This is beautiful as he sees the unfolding happenings of God interrupting the years of distress and oppression. He is not so much interested in the calendar of God (  as Simeon was ) , but rather in the mercy God in keeping with God’s character and covenant.

        God’s promises through the prophets ( like Isaiah 9.6 ) were now opening as light from heaven. Hope from above and hope for the future were  coming into focus. The covenant to Abraham, that his seed ( The Messiah Galatians 3.16 ) would bring in worldwide blessing, for Israel and beyond, was now possible .  The promises  to David, that an heir would sit upon his throne forever was now being fulfilled. The Jewish hope of deliverance from oppressing enemies was within reach. The priestly ambition of Zechariah is touching – to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness.

       The last half of the prophecy is largely about John. Yet not so much about John himself, but rather John in reference to the light from heaven ( Jesus ). John’s calling is from the Most High. His commission is to prepare the people for the Lord – Jehovah of the covenant about to appear among His people!  John was a burning lamp, but Jesus was the true light.

      “the light from heaven that is about to break upon us” NLT Verse 78.
This beautiful description of the coming of the Lord from heaven brings hope to all who sit in darkness, both Jew and Gentile.

       The last phrase of Zechariah’s prophecy is intriguing – “ to guide  us to the path of peace. Israel was inclined to fight for peace i.e. the conquest of Canaan, the wars of  King David, the rebellions of the Maccabees. Other kings tried for peace by compromise and collusion.
The coming Prince of Peace, was a new light on the path to peace. I will leave you to ponder the words of the heavenly hosts in Luke 2 “peace on earth”, the words of the master “ my peace I give unto you” John 15.
Considering the lack of peace in our day, what is the path of peace for the future????

May I encourage you to read and reread this section of Holy Scripture – Zechariah’s prophecy,    and be blessed by the Holy Spirit illuminating the hidden gems.


John McKee

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Next question please

Next Question – ‘Does everyone go to heaven or do we get reborn?

      In brief -  no, not all go to heaven.
      -      we are not reborn, we will all be resurrected.

As mentioned in the previous article, heaven is God’s home, and only those in a right relationship with God will be accepted there.

Some people choose to not believe in God or heaven – would it be right to send them there? Other people choose to worship idols instead of the creator God. Others reject Jesus, whom God sent into the world to save all people. Would it be right to send them to heaven where Jesus is the name honoured and praised? Hardly fair to force them to listen the heavenly crowds sing “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”   In our western world, most people choose to live for themselves  and ignore God and His Son Jesus Christ. If you were the judge, what would you say?

The Bible makes it clear that the present and future focus of God’s plan is to make Jesus Christ supreme. Among the astounding claims that the Lord Jesus made, one seems very relevant  I quote “I , if I be lifted up will draw all men unto Me “ John !2.  As a result of Him being lifted up on the cross, everyone becomes accountable to Him. Not only the living nations when He returns to judge the world, but all others as well. They will be raised from the dead and will be judged before the judgement throne of Christ. He has the official right to judge as  God’s Son (John 5) and He has the moral right to judge because He paid the ransom for all, that all might be delivered from condemnation. Some are drawn to Him as saved, the others will stand before Him in judgement.

“God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”  (John 3)
“This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”  (John 3)

It seems rather clear that acceptance with  God is directly connected with our acceptance of His Son.
The Apostle John summarised it this way  “Whoever has the Son has life, whoever does not have the Son does not have life.” 1John 5
The Apostle Paul and Peter wrote of the “hope laid up for you in heaven” ( Colossians 1. 5  1Peter 1.4 )
Paul looked forward to the day when he would be absent from the body and present with the Lord ( 2 Corinthians 5 ).

By contrast, Peter asked, as I have done, “what shall the end be of those who obey not the Gospel of God?” ( 1 Peter 4.17 ) Peter answers  his own question –“the Lord knows how to keep  the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgement” (2 Peter 2.9 )

Some people would rather not think about final accountability, and turn to the sermon on the mount as a way of life. However the same sermon on the mount concludes with the following warning:
“On that day many will say to me ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare unto them ‘I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness’ “ Matthew 7.22

So much more could be written, and I welcome any request for more, but let me conclude  - heaven is not attained by what we do, or what we have or what we pay.  Heaven is only for the family of God and acceptance by God is for all who receive His Son, Jesus Christ our only Saviour and Lord.
We have the free will to ignore God, choose to continue in the habit of sins, choose to reject Jesus – but the consequences are tragic.

“Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts”

May God grant every reader faith to believe in His Son, and thereby have the assurance of acceptance with God, into the family of God and into the home of God.

“ to be forever with the Lord”!!


John McKee    johnmckee@internode.on.net

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

More Questions

"What is heaven like?"
This is a big subject , but I will answer briefly.
The Lord Jesus told us to pray to 'our Father in heaven' . He described it as 'My Father's house', and the  detail of things is insignificant. It is a place of holy, happy relationships. The Father , Son and Holy Spirit bring all the inhabitants into perfect harmony . Angels delight to proclaim the glory of God in heaven. The Lord referred to it as the true source of good authority, and peace is the outcome for all who yield to the Kingdom of heaven.
The apostle Paul considered it a place far better than this present world and Peter looked forward to entering that heavenly kingdom.
According to the book of Revelation, Heaven is the majestic Throne room of God and the Lamb. There is no night there . The song of praise to the Lord Jesus resounds the victory of the cross and describes the multitudes of people that will be gathered into the Fathers house through the blood that was shed at Calvary.
Only those whose names  are written in the Lamb's book of life will be granted entry there and they  will be identified  forever as His.

Is your name written in the Lamb's book of life?

John McKee

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Answering Children's questions

It has been my privilege to teach several classes of children, 'religious instruction', at the local schools.  The following  questions and answers may be  a blessing to others.

"Will the devil take over the world ?"     He has tried, and according to the Bible will try again. Although he is clever in deceiving the nations, the final triumph will be for  the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to finally destroy the works of the devil. Until then , the Lord waits, to grant time for people to repent of the devil inspired rebellion, so that they might be saved -2 Peter 3

"Do you have a second life?"    Not in the sense of reincarnation, but yes in the sense of life after death.  The Lord Jesus in particular taught about life beyond this present life. He taught about heaven where we can lay up treasure for later. He taught about resurrection, some being raised to life everlasting and others being raised to eternal judgement. He warned of the danger of hell. To the repentant thief He promised to be with him in paradise that day they died.  Much more could be said, but I encourage you to read the Bible yourself and mark the many , many references to the life to come.

To be continued

John McKee

Friday, November 14, 2014

Grace

Grace – what is it and what does it do?

A very brief glance at grace at work in the book of Acts.
Does grace accept me as I am or does grace change me to be what I should be?

             I surveying the book of Acts, I think the better answer is  --  grace calls me wherever I am, and enables me to become what God intends for me.

Acts 2. The Holy Spirit through Peter, calls the very ones who had crucified their Messiah (grace), to turn again (demonstrated by immersion) and be changed by the incoming of the Holy Spirit. Some 3000 did so and what a change it effected.

Acts 8 . The Spirit sends Phillip on an unlikely mission – explain the Gospel to an Ethiopian . Something of grace happened in the heart of this man, so that when the Word of God was explained about  the Lord Jesus,  he wanted to show his faith by requesting immersion in water.

Acts 10.  Peter learns the great truth, that in every nation , God accepts those who fear Him and do what is right (v35) This is different to the notion that God accepts people even if they continue in their  self indulgent rebellion. When Peter sees the sheet let down from heaven, it includes reptiles, so abhorrent to Mosaic food laws. What is it that makes them acceptable in this vision? The answer is clear – “ what God has cleansed”.  Peter confirms this point of ‘grace’ in Acts 15.9  -  “cleansed their hearts by  faith”!      Grace reached Cornelius in his circumstance as an uncircumcised alien. Grace brought light to shine into his heart in the Gospel message through Peter and grace responded to the faith of Cornelius by the giving of the Holy Spirit.  Thus he received illumination, cleansing, assurance and courage to be what God wanted him to be.

Acts 8 describes a man who received grace but was not changed – Simon ‘received the grace of God  in vain’ Read this tragic story of one ‘in the gall of bitterness’.

Acts 9 records the story of interruptive grace. Paul gives his own commentary “ I am unworthy.. I persecuted the church  of God.....but by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain........I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I , but the grace of God that is in me.”  ( 1 Corinthians 15.9,10 ) . This is a very telling recount of grace at work – grace picking up the most unlikely , changing mind and attitude of the individual then effecting the work of God , not now on the principle of law or seeking to merit God’s favour, but the active response of gratitude  and love imparted by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 16 sees  the grace of faith imparted to a devout Lydia, and grace changing the hardened jailer so that, they being so different can be one in Christ!


Amazing grace that saved a wretch  like me!


John McKee

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Covenant of Grace

New covenant

            I was thrilled again this morning to read 2 Corinthians 3:11,16,17,18. The surpassing glory of the new covenant brings freedom, boldness, enlightenment and transformation.

            For those who are living under the control of law, living by the principle of good works to please God, living primarily in the light of Moses – ponder these scriptures written by the apostle who was once a champion for Moses law, then transformed by faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Verse 11   Glory is usually an expression of the attributes and activity of God. The brilliance of God is so much clearer in the new covenant in Christ ( read John 17 ).

Verse 16 The old system gave hope “IF” – a very big “if” – if it  was obeyed, if the rituals were carried out.

Verse 17 Now by the out poured Holy Spirit, freedom from the very big “IF” is granted by the mercy and grace  in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Verse 18  The veil of obscurity is removed though faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and as He reflected, and continues eternally to reflect the glory of God, so as we are led by the Spirit, we too can be transformed to reflect His glory!

2 Corinthians 4:6  ‘This is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The hymn puts it well
‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace’


John McKee


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Friday, October 31, 2014

Revenge - reward

Revenge    -     Reward

For many modern minds, revenge seems to be a bad word. True it is not for us to revenge, but God says “vengeance is mine, I will repay”. We are not qualified (John 8.7), but for a just God , this is most appropriate. 

Revelation 19.2 reads “ He has avenged the murder of His servants” (past tense in the vision of the future happenings).  Of all the things that need to be put straight, the murder of Christians, just for being Christians, will be revenged by God. To think for a minute of the many burned at the stake, the many today being beheaded, the thousands shot to death for loyalty to Christ, it is only fitting that the Lord will demonstrate who is the only potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords. His judgements are just in keeping with the character of His person – ‘Holy, holy , holy’

He will judge according to their deeds (Revelation 20.13). This is the reality that makes mercy and grace so brilliant   - that God the just one is able and willing to  declare righteous the repentant sinner who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ (remembering the price HE paid to make this possible). The book of the revelation points out that the extreme judgements of the Lamb are upon those who refuse to repent, or refuse to give God the glory, so that revenge by the Lamb is appropriate.
The book of revelation concludes with the promise of reward. (Revelation 22.12). How brilliant is the glory of God’s character, that He chooses to reward, in the good sense, those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Well might the encouragement of 1 Corinthians 15.58, encourage us to look beyond the present haze to the day of HIS glory.

“be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”

John McKee

Saturday, October 18, 2014

thoughts from Acts 11

Acts 11 – Critic or Consolation

        The first part of Acts 11 is a response to critics who were more interested in their own agenda than God’s. They even challenged the leading apostle – Peter.

        How easily we can fall into this trap and criticise others to present ourselves as superior. So many different groups of people major on insignificant detail to distinguish themselves.
These critics missed the point – God was doing something very special – reaching out in mercy and grace to all the people of the world.

        The second part of Acts 11 is very refreshing. God at work in His mission to all the people of the nations.
Believers scattered by persecution began to tell many others the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ – once crucified, now risen. Independent  of any special persons or special methods, the seed of the word of the Lord sprang to life and a great number turned to the Lord. God then used Barnabas to encourage  the believers to be faithful to the Lord. He did not institute some new religion, but encouraged them to establish their relationship to the Lord Jesus. Barnabas , the great encourager, seeks out a discarded disciple – Saul. Together they move forward for God, with God in conjunction with the Christians at Antioch.

Let us double check our commitment to the Lord Jesus – over and above all other commitments.


Let us be encourager's and evangelists, carrying the good news to those about us.

John McKee

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Good news from our compass – Acts10

I focus on the section about Jesus of Nazareth.

        Although Jesus the Christ was born a Jew and worked mostly among Jews, Peter insists that He is Lord of all ( all people ). It was God who anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. The evidence of God’s approval in His life was seen in His doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. This brilliant light shining in Jesus seemed to be the answer to the world’s problems. – but the jealous Jewish leaders rejected His claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God and condemned Him as worthy of death. The Roman rulers would not allow a rival king to Caesar or Herod so they crucified Him. This seemed like the end of God’s mercy and kindness through Jesus of Nazareth.  But God interrupted the hatred and cruelty of mankind with this triumph – “God raised Him on the third day”.

         What seemed like ultimate defeat, God turned into an eternal triumph. To verify this resurrection, God appointed witnesses. These apostles and many others saw the risen Christ and to verify the reality of His physical body, they ate and drank with Him.

   Peter then recalls the command of Lord Jesus, to go and preach – but preach what?
1 That Jesus had been appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.
2 To announce forgiveness of sins to all who believe in His name
The first statement affects us all  -  we shall all be judged.
The second presents a choice  - we will either believe in him or reject Him.
The people who listened to Peter, believed the message and received from God forgiveness of their sins
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     For us the challenge remains the same – will we believe, or do we choose not to believe. We have the liberty to choose, but the consequences flow to a logical conclusion.

     Jesus the judge has nail scarred hands – scars to recall the price He paid in love to save all.  – scars to tell His true right to be the final judge of all humanity.

I call on all readers of this article today, to look up and give God their answer to the vital question  “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?”


John McKee

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Compass pointing upward

Revelation.

Can we use the book of ‘the Revelation’ as our guide?

       I am deeply impressed by the first page of the book. More than being very descriptive, this is the very voice of God speaking. Such has been the interruptions of God from the beginning. In the beginning was the ‘Word’, and so it was that God spoke the universe into being. God called to Adam. God spoke to Cain. God spoke to Abram, Moses and many more.  This page, in the last book of Holy Scripture, is God speaking yet again.
He identifies Himself as distinct from every other voice, as the eternal one, the almighty, the alpha and omega (  beginning and end of communication)

     Verse 17.   John sees a man, more than a man and again the voice is heard  -  “I am the first and the last”  (beginning and end of all history)
     Verse18.   John hears the distinctive identity of this glorious one “ the living one, and I was dead and behold I am alive forevermore”

Thus is established the subject of the book  - Jesus, later described as the Lamb!

I pause to   ponder,      ..   ...   ... if I accept Jesus as risen, Jesus as exalted in heaven and ruler of the kings of the earth,   ...  ....   ..  then I reflect on the time of His life on earth with deep awe   --  Jesus the Son of God, in human form speaking the word of God.

May the living one by His abiding Spirit enable  you to hear again the voice of the Lord – “ Be not afraid, I am the first and the Last”

So to answer the original question, Yes we can use this book to guide us into a deeper worship of the living God and the heavenly revelation of Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords.
For those who love Him, we may well pray
“Even so come Lord Jesus”


J. McKee

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Love does matter

Ephesus – privilege brings responsibility

We have briefly noticed in the last few articles, some important truth conveyed to the believers at Ephesus. Now I would like you to notice the situation many years later as the Lord in heaven monitors the condition of the believers.

Revelation 2:3,4 “....you have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.  Yet I hold this against you  :  You have forsaken your first love......”

The lesson of this account is quite obvious  - we may have much of good, godly things in place, but if we miss or lose first love, all else is vain. The believers had so much commendable, yet they were threatened with removal of the lamp stand. Let us catch the significance of love, devotion, adoration to our risen, living Lord Jesus Christ. Without this motive, this response of heart, all service becomes hollow.

Chapter 3.19 puts it another way   “ Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline .” Here HIS motive is revealed – His actions toward us are motivated by love (so undeserved). How much more should we love Him who first loved us!

Rather than explore the detail of this little letter, let us first take time out to search our hearts, our motives, our agenda, our devotion  - is it love to the Lord?

I conclude my meditations on Ephesians with the last verse

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus  Christ with an undying love.”


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Armour in times of conflict

In a world where Satan and his servants are busy at the high levels of society and also roaming as a lion attacking at the personal level, the believer is to stand firm. Ephesians 6 does not portray the soldier as aggressively conquering the enemy, but rather to stand firm with the armour of God. The progress of light overcoming darkness, is not dependent upon cunning or conflict, but rather as the  rising sun dispels the night, so truth conquers by its declaration (Ch6.9). God’s love, mercy and grace received by faith result in good works to replace the characteristics of this world.
As we by faith are built up into Christ, we become the objects of Satan’s hatred and his schemes to bring Christ down (in us ) are many. What do we have for protection? – the armour of God.

1      Truth – this is the revelation of God, in particular in Christ. This is the focus of the devil’s attack – to diminish the glory of Christ.

     Righteousness – I suggest this is referring to God’s righteousness imputed  to the believer in Christ. So much of this letter is about God’s actions on our behalf for our acceptance with Him. If our defence depended on our own righteousness, the we would be bound to fail under the cross-examination of the accuser of the brethren
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3     The Gospel of peace – in keeping with the teaching and characteristics of the Lord Jesus Himself, we who bear good tidings for all mankind, should be walking in peace.

4     Faith – reasoning and debating has a useful place and time, but in time of conflict, faith in God is the best shield. Like Job when under attack we can say “if He slay me , yet will I trust in Him”.

5     Salvation – What God has done and is doing in Christ on our behalf – yes , and as we understand what God has saved us from, and bringing us to, our minds can then hold true direction and clear our thinking.

6     The word of God. God’s revelation through Moses, the prophets, the Lord Jesus, the apostles remains a unique yet abundant enlightenment that neither time nor human ingenuity can  erase. God’s word is reliable and the Spirit of God still chooses to use this to bring people to God.


7     Prayer and perseverance.  We remain vulnerable unless we maintain connection with God in prayer. Prayer sharpens our alertness to the real dangers and letting God by His Spirit communicate to us , brings the strength and purpose to persevere.

          This presentation of God given armour is concluded with these words....."prayer...for all saints".  we do well to stand with those saved by God's grace. We are in the common cause  with all saints including the apostle Paul. Let us discern the real enemy and stand for HIM who was faithful unto the end.

            johnmckee@internode.on.net



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today in turmoil

Our world is presently in turmoil as not seen for some decades. In younger years we were encouraged to believe that education, the United Nations, democracy, the advances of science, the use of technology etc would have established an harmonious, peaceful, prosperous world. What has gone wrong? Some blame religion, some blame communism, others blame capitalism. And so the blame game goes on.

Our compass, the Bible, has a different answer. A casual reading of the letter to the Ephesians identifies the source of the problem:  Chapter 2 – the course of this world is following the prince whose characteristic is disobedience to God. (How often does anyone today refer to Satan? The Devil’s smartest ploy is to convince the world he does not exist! Neither the politician nor the preacher seem mention him anymore.) The evil one works through the fleshly passion, unbridled minds displayed in nonsensical anger. Chapter 4 portrays the evidence of dark thinking as lacking understanding, being sensuous, greedy , and impure. The falsehood, deceit, anger, theft, foul mouths etc are  natural to the fallen human nature spurred on by the devil .

The Christian is not only delivered from this snare, but is to confront it as described in chapter 6
Ephesians 6
Verse 11  - indicates our world is in turmoil because of the schemes of the devil. These evil forces are operating at every level, in particular, high end influences. I suggest this is means the area of politics, education, media, finances, religion, social standards. Many of us live as uninfluential members of society, but even in our small corner, we are to be a light in the midst of darkness, soldiers standing for truth..
God has called some to higher places of influence and for them we should pray that they will take their responsibility seriously in combat with the schemes of the devil. One small decision in high places can make such a difference for good or evil in the world in general.  One could quote the impact of decisions made the United Nations organizations, or the worldwide effect of decisions by the pope, or decision in parliaments that can damage  a whole nation. What then is the influence we are having in our small corner – in our family, our community, our city, our world??
Most of humanity is hoodwinked by the media to believe what they are told. Those who dig deeper find some rather sinister schemes at work in our world and many of these schemes are against Christ Jesus our Lord. ( I do not refer to foolish conspiracy theories) The evil one has one supreme agenda -  to attack and crush anything that exalts the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of his most successful ways is by corrupting religion.

So what are we to do – do what Paul did – be faithful to , and proclaim the true mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6.19)
“for which I am an ambassador in chains”

Next article may be on the armour of God

John McKee



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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Let God speak for Himself

Let’s learn from The Bible. The letter to the Ephesians.

What is God like?  This good question continues to be asked by the children at the local schools. We often think of Him like the wind – invisible yet powerful. Sometimes blowing gently as the still small voice, sometimes blowing fiercely to show us His mighty power. In nature we can learn very much of God, but better is to learn from His communications  through His Prophets and Apostles.

Ephesians chapter 1 the character of God  is described rather clearly.

He is our Father
He is blessed and blessing
He chooses
He loves
He redeems
He forgives
He is gracious
He reveals
He is the Father of glory
Chapter 2:
He is rich in mercy
He is great in love
He makes alive
He operates in revealing grace

I have deliberately left out the Bible references, so that you might reread these two chapters and discover the character of God for yourself.

If you do not have a bible, I may be able to help supply one.

If you would like a different language or translation Bible – try www.biblegateway.com

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interuptions

The Interruptions of God
I would like to highlight an important observation from our compass – the Bible. People like to think and some say ‘all things are continuing as they were from the beginning’. History and geology tell a different story.  Biblical history records the interruptions of God.

Genesis chapter one, describes God interrupting with His voice  “and God said”.   His voice of power, His communication of intelligent information (eg DNA), His impartation of function and purpose (Logos), all this is repeated as God brings order into the heavens and the earth. As we scientifically discover the wonders of God’s intervening genius, we are caused to wonder, and worship Him.
Genesis chapter 7 records another interruption of God – judging lawlessness with a universal flood.
Genesis  chapter 12 records another change to world history – God calls Abram to leave Ur and promises to him ‘the promised land’ ( and even today many are fighting over that precious piece of ‘promised land’!)
Exodus  chapter 3 and 12 reveal a very powerful God judging the gods of Eygpt and in Exodus 20 the same holy God changing the course of humanity through the nation of Israel. The impact of Moses receiving the law, is still impacting our society today.

Has God interrupted again??
He sure has – in the birth of a King – Jesus the Son of God. Over and again God speaks from heaven saying  of Jesus “This is my beloved Son,.....”
That one solitary life has changed the face of the earth (morally and spiritually) more than any other.

The book of Acts, is replete with God interrupting yet again.  Acts 2 records something significant on God’s calendar  - the sending into the world the holy Spirit to indwell all believers.
Acts 9, God interrupts the wild ambitions of Saul of Tarsus
Acts 10 God pulls down the prejudices’ of Peter to include the Gentiles in the wide embrace of grace abundant.

Will God interrupt again?  -Peter the apostle puts it this way  “by the same WORD the heavens and the earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly” 2 Peter 3.7  God does have plans and a calendar and we do well to be alert and watching .

May the Lord help you to see that God has been active, still is and will yet interrupt in a very  public way.

J. McKee

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Gospel

The Gospel
Good news is always welcome – well it should be.

The coming of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God was the best news. The Lord from heaven came to reveal  God the Father and bring eternal salvation to the estranged human race.

When the Lord Jesus began to preach, H e announced “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the good news”.       And so he preached, and so He healed, and many believed and were saved.     Yet many refused to believe and were condemned..

As the Lord commanded, the gospel has been preached throughout the world and millions have believed. Strange as it may seem, many suffer and many die for the sake of the gospel. The significant value of believing the gospel is it’s eternal blessing. The Lord Himself taught ‘man may destroy the body, after that we are in God’s hands for eternity’

The question then revolves upon this Bible verse:
“Whoever has the Son has life, whoever does not have the Son does not have life”  1 John 5.12

Let us all be sure we saved by faith in God’s Son, lest unbelief leave us condemned under God’s wrath for all eternity.




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Claims of Christ

The claims of the Lord Jesus Christ
“I am the bread which came down from heaven”   (John 6.51) to believe in Him is to have eternal life
“I am the light of the world”  ( John 8.12)  to follow Him is to walk in true wisdom
“ I am the door” (John 10.9) to trust Him is to be safe in His care
“I am the good Shepherd” (John 10.4) we can live because He died.
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11.25)  To live now and forever because He lives.
“I am the way the truth and the life”   (John 14.6) to know God by knowing Jesus.
“I am the true vine” (John 15.1)  to be fruitful for God by abiding in Him

“I am the first and the last.. the living one” (Revelation 1.18) to worship the eternal Son of God – the joy of eternity.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Which way, which voice, which site??

In these days of information overload, and misinformation overload – where do we turn for truth?

My answer in brief – let your compass in life be the Bible. Many religions claim to go by the Bible, but do they really? Many philosophies outside of the Bible have good appealing features, but what do they achieve of eternal worth? Many Australians just live by their own natural instincts.  Thus confusion reigns supreme in the social world, the religious world, the political world, the educational world ... etc.

The Bible has endured for a long time. It is wonderfully available to many (not all) in our own heart language. Best of all it can be a true compass to guide us if we ask God to show the way. It is not limited to scholars and clerics, but since the Holy Spirit has been sent from God our Father, all may seek and find!
It remains forever a book deeper than the deepest student, yet at the same time a light of truth for the most uneducated. Peter put it so well “ great and precious promises”  along with “things hard to be understood” (2 Peter)

For example:
The Lord Jesus said:
“ whoever believes on Me has eternal life”  John 6.47
This uncomplicated promise of eternal life is for all who sincerely believe in Him – for who he claimed to be – the Son of God from heaven.
So many have believed, have claimed the promise and been blessed. This is not adopting some religion , but rather trusting in a living person.
For the deeper truth, for those who want to know more, a thorough study of the meaning of eternal life will yield a rich reward.

And so I point again to the precious promises of the once crucified, now risen Lord as the means of salvation and blessing. Read the Holy scriptures for yourself  and be among those that have believed. The compass will guide you closer to the Lord Himself, so that you can truely follow Him.


John Mckee

Saturday, July 26, 2014

True humility- Philippians 2

The call of Philippians chapter 2 is much deeper than most imagine. The humility of the Lord Jesus is often explained with great feeling – He was so great becoming so low.

      But what about us, since this is presented as an example for us.
From children we cling to things that make us more and more significant  -- our family, our school, our education, our job, our business, our marriage  etc and thus is build our self esteem with our reputation and identity. We could add to the list our spiritual status   --  children of God, called to represent the King, proclaiming the greatest message ever told, changing other peoples lives for good. It could all build reason for the believer in Jesus Christ to be confident and assertive.

       The Lord Jesus leads a different way. He was inherently greater than we could ever be  - the unique Son of God. His mission to rescue others might have been approached from the vantage point of a ruling king.  Rather He steps down to serve.  The form in which he served was not like that of an angel (who are ministering, serving spirits), but rather He stooped lower than angels to the form of a man. Thus He voluntarily lived within ( most of the time) the laws of nature ( as we know them) and the confines of time. For special reasons He did break free from these limitations occasionally.
    The most significant step was his submission to the will of God, even to the going to the cross.  For the SON there never was a conflict with the Father’s will, but this deliberate step indicates the surrender of His ‘decisions, desires, deliberations’ to the will of another. This is the real meaning of humility in the Bible ( see 1 Peter 5). He could truely say
 “ Not my will but thine be done”

How do we relate to this in our lives?
   Willing to surrender our will, our opinions, our wisdom......?
    Willing to be seen as much lower than we are?
      Willing to lose our status in creation order?
        Willing to be busy doing that which seems to destroy us?
          Willing to be for others instead of self.
            Willing not to promote ourselves, but leave promotion and recognition in the hand of God?

How many have said  ‘ I want to be like Jesus’
 How few are willing to be like Jesus – are you, am I  ?????

Please take the time to read again Philippians chapter 2 and see if my thoughts are true in the life of the Lord and also seen in the lives of others mentioned in the chapter.


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