Saturday, June 25, 2016

Leadership

The duties of a prince   Ezekiel 45

What was the duty of a prince? 

“to make reconciliation for the people of Israel” Ezekiel 45.17

It was indeed the dedicated priests who mediated for the people, to bring them into favour with God by sacrifice. But the prince, the leader was commissioned to lead the people into an attitude of seeking God, to obey God and to worship Him only.

So it is today. A ruler is authorised by God to execute justice and mercy among the people, but also has the responsibility by example and communication to lead the people in the fear of God.
The coronation of queen Elizabeth ll (see it on Youtube) , is an interesting example of the pledge to lead the nation in the fear of God according to the Bible.


The same goes for the leader in a family. It is wrong to engage in the idolatry of marriage and the idolatry of children. God must be given first place by example and teaching. Only then will the children be reconciled to God. 

In our society today many are rightly distressed by moral decay, but the deeper cause is the rejection of God, in particular by the leaders. We need to pray.

Let us remember the Prince of peace, "who gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone"  (1 Timothy 2.6)

J McKee

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Questions

Question time again


I have been given quite a few questions from my class. Maybe you would like to submit an answer or two! School age level!

Did God make the dinosaurs?
If God made us, who made God?
What is heaven like?
Did God make the universe or just earth?
Why do people believe in God?
What’s your favourite book/event in the Bible?

What is the meaning of life?

Responses welcome

johnmckee@internode.on.net

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Love, light, life

Light, Life and love.

Many years ago the Beatles sang ‘ all you need is love’. Well is that true? No, it is not true. I know Christians who have imbibed such a deception!
The great apostle of love (John) began his gospel writings with the essential link between the life of God becoming the light of mankind. I might have thought that the light of God would have become the  light of man, but it is recorded as : “in Him was life, and the life was the light of man” (John 1:4)

You might remember that God said : “Let there be light and there was light”[Genesis 1] This happened before the sun or moon were created. Light from God has the priority as so much in creation is dependent upon light.

In John chapter 1, it is God Himself stepping into time and space  as the light. This is the distinctive of Christianity – the life and teachings and death of the Lord Jesus, the son of God are the major theme of the Bible. It is His life that brings light as well as love. The love of God is spoken of as the great motive that caused God to send His Son into the world (John 3.16)

Light is essentially from God – otherwise it is darkness
Life is only from God – outside of God it is death
Love is the reality of God in action- in contrast to the destructive work of the devil.

To take one of these without the other is an insult to the very character of God. The varying rays of God’s character may shine more brightly in varying circumstances, but the unity and fullness of God remains complete.

This is why the Lord Jesus was able to say: “I am the way , the truth and the life” [John 14]  To receive  Him, is to receive life. To know Him is to know truth . To trust Him is to rest in His love.

How sad it was that He had to say – ‘you will not come to me that you might have life!’

johnmckee@internode.on.net 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Promises

Jeremiah – his compass in difficult times

Through Jeremiah the prophet, God promised to restore Israel as a nation e.g. Jeremiah 33.26. It was not that they were worthy of restoration, rather it was because of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David . Ezekiel points out that God’s judgements and restorations are ‘for His own name sake’ Ezekiel 20.44

Jeremiah had an unusual message for the people of Jerusalem – “give in to the king of Babylon”. When the siege of Jerusalem was almost complete, God sent through His prophet a message of hope and restoration. In the long range view, God does not give up.
There were good reasons why Nebuchadnezzar was given the victory – one being the persistence of the Israelites, the Jews to practice idolatry. God had said:
“I must discipline you, I cannot let you go unpunished” Jeremiah 33.11.

The promise of Jehovah to destroy and restore Judah and Jerusalem was fulfilled. The temple was rebuilt along with the walls of the city.

Just as God kept His promises of judgement and His promises of restoration, so today His promises are trustworthy.

About 2000 years ago, Jesus looked at the city of Jerusalem and promised that the city and its temple would be destroyed. And it was destroyed in AD70 by Titus the Roman. The Lord Jesus also at that time made promises of hope. He promised that He would return  in power and great glory. As the former promises have been fulfilled , so will this one.

Many would say ‘Where is the promise of his coming? all things continue....’
This very attitude is an evidence that He is coming soon!

The old chorus put it very well:
‘Who is on the Lord’s side?

I trust that all my readers are ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1 has a very searching comment:

“The Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire inflicting vengeance on them that do not know God and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus...........................................
When He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe....”

John McKee


Saturday, June 4, 2016

God is Holy. God is love

“You shall have no other gods beside Me”

Who is this God who demands singular devotion and commitment? Who is this one who denies me the freedom of religion? To worship the god I choose?

This is the living God, who created all things. He alone is almighty and in His invisibleness is eternal. All the other gods are the product of human imagination such as worshipping the sun, or worse, they are the ingenious devices of the devil, in an attempt to deny God the almighty, the worship due to His Name. This could be from the feasting to idols to the praying to saints.

God has revealed Himself, not through many religions, but over quite a long period of history. He has spoken through prophets, been known in real life experiences and then finally in Jesus Christ. Moses, who in a very special way knew God and mediated a special communication of God, he foretold of a special prophet who likewise would speak with heavenly authority – not the budda, not Mohammed, not Krishna, not Bahaullah – it was Jesus Christ and Him alone.

Through Moses was seen the holiness of God Jehovah, but through Jesus Christ was evidenced the grace and truth of God. More than being seen, grace and truth by love divine was implemented as the means to a functional relationship with the same God who made the world, the same God whom Moses made know as holy. In a beautiful way Moses deferred honour to the Lord Jesus, and the Lord Jesus deferred honour to Moses [eg John 5] .

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”

 Was the coming of Jesus into the world, the beginning of God’s love?  NO. God loved the people of the world from the beginning. The emphasis is that the world of people had now proved themselves unworthy of Himself, unworthy of His love. Now God’s glory was being expressed in a different hue. Not so much holiness being revealed in a holy law, but, on the foundation of that, God’s undeserved love shines forth in hitherto unrivalled brilliance.

Just as the law was more than philosophical words (it was a law defined by action), so the love of God was and is more than words. “God so loved the world that He gave” – God throughout history has given much, but this is the greatest gift. This is God giving Himself. That is why the word ‘begotten’  (left out in many translations) is so significant. Out from God Himself came the Son of God (not as a child with a beginning), as the perfect representative of the Father. Much could be said of the blessing of His years on earth, but God’s love is finally expressed in this action –“God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (the cross) Romans 8.

Many treated Moses law with indifference, and today many treat God’s love in Christ with indifference. But God is not mocked. He will have the last say. God will be the final judge.
“Of how much sorer punishment will he be thought worthy who has spurned the Son of God................................vengeance is mine , I will repay says the Lord” (Hebrews 10)

What should be our response to God revealed?

In the words of another when he saw Jesus alive from the dead:
“My Lord
   My God”

“blessed are those that have not seen, yet have believed.” (John 20)

We indeed should know God and love Him forever!

John McKee