Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebrating God' Goodness

Today I celebrate 49 years as a Christian. I celebrate God’s love, goodness, mercy and grace. He alone is worthy to be praised now and forever.
     Of the many things that could be said of the journey of 49 years, I would like to highlight the deep pleasure I have found in God’s word  - the Bible. From a child I was taught to respect it. At seven years, I could recite Psalm 23 and early I was given my own KJV Bible.
The assurance of forgiveness from God and peace with God, came through a Bible verse – Romans 10.9   “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead , Thou shalt be saved.”

      For many years I listened to the Bible read at home, expounded and preached in Christian gatherings. I am so thankful for the appetite to read and search, given to me by the Holy Spirit.. At age 16 I left home to get employment in Sydney and my closest companion was my Bible – and the Lord revealed to me in the Holy Scriptures. In my spare time, I would spend hours with a Strong’s concordance pouring over the sacred pages. This was not just an introvert preoccupation – at 17 , with my brother , we purchased a printing press and began distributing Bible messages to the unbelievers around us.

      As life moved on, I constantly consulted God’s word for guidance – where to be, who to marry, how to live, what to preach etc. Perhaps more than anything I was endeared to the book by its constant unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament along with the New  Testament.  “to know HIM” was an ambition implanted in me  by the Apostle Paul as well as other preachers. This has been the most stabilizing and satisfying thing in  those 49 years.

       I  want to testify that God has been faithful in good times and bad times. A little plaque hanging on our bedroom wall has often given strength and hope:
          “Trust in the Lord,
          He faileth not 
         and forsaketh not His saints”

      Of all the disappointments of life, God is not a disappointment and His word is a sure rock for faith and living.

May God bless all  my readers with the same joy of “Knowing HIM”  Philippians 3.10


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More than a compass

More than a compass

The Bible is a songbook, an atlas, a medicine book, a history book, a futures book, a doctrine book, and more, but above all it is spiritual food.
Peter, who was reared with the Old Testament read often in his hearing, encouraged the people to have an appetite for the ‘word of the Lord’. By regular feeding upon this pure spiritual milk, he said we would grow – grow in many ways. Grow in understanding, in wisdom, in the salvation that changes our inner self to become more like God’s own Son.

But better still, Peter writes that by the word of the Lord, we “come to Him” and we are enabled to offer spiritual sacrifices to God ( in contact with God !). This is our most noble occupation now and in the life to come.

This is my brief meditation this morning from 1  Peter 1:22  to 2:5. Read it and be encouraged to seek the Lord, to know the Lord, to feed, trust and worship the Lord.


John McKee

PS Two weeks ago I met a lady who said she was a Christian, but did not read the Bible because it had too many contradictions! I was dumbfounded. Tell me how can you be a Christian and refuse to read the Christian message??

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Joseph the buyer of land

Concluding meditation from the life of Joseph

    Genesis 47.20 “ So Joseph bought all the land for Pharaoh.....................”
This is a small picture of God’s claim upon the whole earth, and in particular through the redemption wrought by Christ, all belongs to HIM.

   Much strife and warfare has proceeded from the efforts of men to conquer land for a possession, land for agriculture , land for mineral wealth, land for power over people, land for security etc.
           How different it would be if all peoples recognised what the Bible teaches  -- we are all tenants on God’s land (Leviticus 25.23). Really no one has ‘land rights’ except the Lord Jesus. He as the creator (John 1) has the ownership of the earth. He as the final judge will call to account what we have done with the stewardship of earth. Presently political leaders rise, ruin and run away, but in the day when the books are opened, each one, great and small will be judged according to the responsibility granted.
   
      As one put it recently at a conference ‘ours is not so much to save the planet, but rather to be good stewards of what we have’
    Joseph did not operate by self attained wisdom or even scientific knowledge – rather he acted under the revealing hand of God and thus saved more than one nation. May present day leaders do the same. ( I have met some who do seek to take orders from above.)

    Of course we have a stewardship of more than land. How wise we should be with our time, money, relationships, children , skills  etc

        It is interesting reading to see what happened when another king rose up who did not know Joseph   -  the nation turned to oppression and was basically destroyed by self indulgence – how like today when people refuse to know and yield to the heavenly Joseph.(  Jesus Christ the  Lord)



J McKee

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Joseph

One of the most God exalting biographies of the Bible is the story of Joseph. Just to read Genesis chapter 39 to 48 , is most satisfying. It is to see how God turns a bad situation into a good outcome.

          Joseph had many reasons to become bitter and wayward, but two comments stand out:
Genesis 39.23 “Whatever he did, the Lord made it to succeed”
Genesis 41:38 “a man in whom is the Spirit of God”

And so the nation of Egypt is saved from disaster, and so the wayward sons of Jacob are brought to account, and so weary old Jacob finds rest in his submissive, sovereign son. This story  is compelling reading. Maybe you know it well - read it again. Maybe you don't know  this story - read it today.

The value of the story is manifold – I mention some  -First it confirms the historical nature of Genesis as being relevant to the real world in which we live. Second – it has great moral value for all people today. Thirdly – it is a beautiful illustration of God the Father moving in God the Son by God the Holy Spirit to bring about the salvation of those in desperate need (in need of food and those in need of forgiveness). It is an intriguing story of estrangement and reconciliation.

It demonstrates:
The sovereignty of God eg giving Joseph the dream of stars bowing before him. The under the providential scheme of God it happens so.
The all knowing of God (omniscient) bringing these sons of Jacob to account for their sins against Joseph and Jacob and God.
The forgiveness of God is expressed in Joseph – letting them go free after they are brought to repentance.
The grace of God is seen in the plan of providing a saviour for Egypt and Israel in the time of famine.

I will not recount the story – it is so easy to read and interpret  ---- read it again today.

If you do not have a Bible, email me today and I will see what can be done to provide one