Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Christian

Our connection to God is by faith in Jesus Christ the Lord.  

      The Jewish people did and still do have much faith in Moses and the law (Torah) given by Moses. Their zeal is admirable, but misdirected faith and ignorant zeal leads to disaster. God has fulfilled His promises by sending His Son to be the object of faith.

      In the mind of God there is no distinction between Jews and all nations (Romans 10:12), for the same Lord Jesus, is Lord of all people. He bestows His riches on all who call on Him.

          Becoming a Christian is very simple with profound consequences (for good), as described in the Bible (Romans 10:9)

‘ If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (the Lord who came down from heaven) and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (having died for our sins on the cross), you  will be saved.’

This is one of those great and precious promises that we can believe and hold onto. God is trustworthy and He will keep His promises.

       Recently I gave a half hour explanation of Romans 10, but just now I want you the reader to be sure you are a genuine Christian, not by means of religion, good works, zeal, ceremony or knowledge. God who knows the hearts of all,  reaches out to all in good faith, with the promise of eternal life, for all who will receive Jesus Christ for who He claimed to be (the Son of God from Heaven) and genuinely believe that God has vindicated Him (in His sacrifice for our sins in His death), by raising Him from the dead.
Or as Paul put it so simply – “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16.31)


       The outcomes are extensive in this life and the life to come, but for now let us be sure to take this step of faith that gives us a place in the family of God.

I pray that you will take time to seek the Lord today.

John McKee

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Self esteem or God esteem

Search the scriptures

      Bible illiteracy is very real. In society in general, most have no accurate knowledge of the Bible – its stories, its history, its truths.

    Perhaps more tragic is the number of people claiming to be Christians yet don’t know the principles of the Christian Gospel. So many have imaginary concepts of God and some have unknowingly imbibed error.

One example: The problem of low self esteem. The world would say- ‘Focus on your strengths to build up your self image’, ‘don’t let others put you down’, ‘ be yourself’, ‘ you can do whatever you set your mind to’  etc. Some self made people are “successful” , but I find so many depressed, disillusioned failures often coved by a cloak of silence.

    Some Christians say ‘we need to get up and give it our best effort’ ( God helps those who help themselves). Others preach that ‘we should love ourselves as we love our neighbour’ and so pride is well established.
The compass of the Bible points in a different direction. – total distrust of oneself followed by total trust in the Lord.

      A careful reading of the book of Romans, opens our eyes to the hopelessness of trying to please God by our own effort, and clearly shows the hopelessness of self recovery without God. (see my previous articles on Romans).  The victory is described in Romans chapter 8 “Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” What has this to do with victory over discouragement?
       In spite of my unworthiness and inabilities, God loves me. (the Bible tells me so). This creates true identity – I am not some random collection of atoms without direction or purpose! I am loved intelligently by my creator, loved individually by Christ, the Saviour who died to make me one of His own special children. This love comes with His imparted talents, wisdom and motives. God’s love is not just a feeling. God’s love is first intelligent (He knows me). His love is spiritual ( He wants the best for me eternally). His love is sacrificial (He gives me the best at His cost). His love is practical (not pie in the sky theory) His love is holy ( not always just as we though it should be), His love is life changing ( to become like God in character, motive and action).

        So how do we know about God and His love?  -  not through a wandering imagination or from some clever orator, but rather through revelation. The Bible presents the many sides of God’s character – holy, just, commanding, forgiving, loving etc So we do well to read it, read it intelligently to know God.
John the apostle was very close to Jesus. He wrote from close experience the detail of the Son of God who showed us what real love was by dying for us (1 John 3.16) . Paul the apostle had much zeal to be busy for the Lord, but his greatest ambition was to know HIM (Philippians 3). Moses might be set aside as a lawgiver, but beyond many he was a prophet revealing God.


Let us search the scriptures again to find Christ revealing the true heart of God.  Instead of being self focused, be God focused.

You will not be disappointed


johnmckee@internode.on.net

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Unity

The Unity of the Spirit.

      Many centuries ago, the Holy Spirit of God made clear the intention of God, to gather out  of the nations a people for Himself. For example – Acts 2 – the great wonders of God expressed in many languages was an indicator that the Gospel was to reach to all nations, to the ends of the earth. And so it was that the Holy Spirit led many of God’s servants far beyond the commonwealth of Israel, and a new company of people came into existence. Both Jews and Gentiles found equal acceptance by God through the cross. These peoples from diverse nationalities, from diverse languages, diverse cultures found common ground in the humiliation and redemption of the cross of Christ.

         By the Holy Spirit, believers can look up with this unified purpose – to thank and praise God the Father in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This holy occupation brings together people from all over the earth to be part of the dwelling place of God, His temple of praise. Whether it be one of His precious ones in prison, or a singer leading a large congregation, together in Christ we have joy by the Holy Spirit to sing unto the Lord.

      The Holy Spirit would teach us of the unity of God – as the Lord prayed in John 17 – that His disciples might be one even as the persons of the godhead are one.

      By the work of God, all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, are united as part of one body, members of one grand assembly whose names are written in heaven.

      The word of God in Ephesians 4:3, calls upon us to ‘maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’.
Someone might well ask – how?
Reflect again on the truths above (many gleaned from the letter to the Ephesians). Read again the book of Acts to see ‘God at work’  and ‘go and do likewise!’ This will affect my attitude to others, my interaction with others, my reaction to others. To see every Christian as a fellow member of the family of God, intended and fitted by the Holy Spirit, to be as living stones in God’s great temple of praise, is a key to maintaining the unity of the Spirit.



Let us build up, let us build together, in harmony with the Holy Spirit.

JRM

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Peter's reminders

Reminders

       How we need reminders. The forgetfulness of our minds. The distractions of life around us. The sicknesses of our bodies. The overload of information. We need to remember the things that matter most.
In 2 Peter 1 , Peter reminds us of the great and precious promises that God has given to lead us into true Christian maturity. He also reminds us of the reliability of the Holy Scriptures.

      Chapter 2 is a reminder that we still live in a fallen world with deception and deceivers still abundant.
      
      Lastly the Apostle Peter would remind us of the sure hope of the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ. He bases the assurance of this hope, on both the holy prophets ( I suggest the Old Testament) and the teaching of the Lord through His apostles (including the Gospels).

The past interruption of God (Genesis 6) is evidence that God can and will judge the world again.  For the believer,  the hope of eternal life includes  participation in a new heaven and a new earth. This brings into our lives holy living and peace.

       My observation of the last 30 years has been the subtle change from this long range view to the short range view. In the world of politics, the world of business , the social world, the religious world, so much is just concerned for the present. God always works in the long range view and so Peter would REMIND us to do the same.

     May I remind all readers of the promise, long range promise of the Good Shepherd for all who choose to trust His care


“I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish”   John 10


johnmckee@internode.on.net