Saturday, December 23, 2017

Much more

Being a Christian is much more than joining a religion,

 much more than belonging to a church,

   much more than keeping rules,

      much more than freedom from traditions, 

         much more than good moral living........


God at work means forgiveness of all sins

     God at work grants justification by imputed righteousness

          God at work includes acceptance into the family of God as  children

             God at work brings eternal life as a gift

                God at work grants the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation

                  God at work transforms a broken life into a fulfilled life  ............


And how do I become a Christian?

'Repentance toward God
and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ'      -    Acts 20.21


Today, let God make you a genuine Christian.


John McKee

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Faith of our fathers

For those of us reared in the fear of God and the authority of the Bible, the faith of our fathers is worth remembering.

It could be summed up in the words of the Apostle Paul:
“Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”

The christians among who I was raised, had an awe of God that affected the way they lived. God’s word, His commands were paramount. In an effort to ‘please God’, many things were denied as being worldly. Eg sport, TV, politics, scant clothing, working Sunday etc. Whiles some of this may have been taken to an extreme, it did limit the indulgence of the flesh and also limited the input of ungodly thinking.

The emphasis of the brethren was the attendance at meetings. Every Sunday morning, afternoon and evening we attended the breaking of bread, Sunday school/Ministry meeting and Gospel meeting. This ensured that our thinking was often about God and His word.

The preaching of the Gospel was full on. We were taught that we needed to be saved. Our sins deserved eternal death. Even the best we could do was not good enough for God. Only Christ dying on the cross could save us from  hell.

And thus our faith was directed to the Lord Jesus Christ. The learning of Gospel verses was encouraged and rewarded. The one that became special to me was Romans 10:9 KJV

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou  shalt be saved”

Thus by trusting in Him and His finished  work, I found peace with God and assurance that all was well for eternity.


So much more could be written about the ‘faith of my fathers’. After filtering out the traditions of men, I say I had a godly heritage.


Maybe you would like to share your story -
johnmckee@internode.on.net


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Proclaiming the Word of God

History records much of Christian endeavour. Some misguided, some with sinster agendas. Some as God intended. Circumstances have varied, affecting the way the messages have been delivered but the fundamental purpose remains -  to   ‘proclaim the word of God’.

Moses consistently said,    “Thus says the Lord”

I survey the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ  -  His primary service was teaching  ‘ the Kingdom of God’.  His kind healings and wonderful miracles, were all helpful, but not His focus.

When I read the Acts of the Apostles,  I discover the servants of God busy taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. After reading the messages recorded,  it is evident that they first declared the true honour of Jesus Christ.  'Jesus of Nazareth who had been crucified, was now risen from the dead and appointed to be the final judge of all people.' Their message was given in accord with the Old Testament writings – Torah and the prophets.
For the general world,  this news was not acceptable. It clashed with their selfish and satanic agendas , and so the persecution of Christians began. The people who did believe the message, found a  life changing message, but with it came the persecution.

Well, nothing much has changed. When the Word of God is made known, people choose God’s way or their own with the same consequences. Sadly , many who claim to be Christians have forsaken proclaiming the ‘word of God’. Praise God that in many other countries the Word of God is proclaimed and millions are finding “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”  (Romans 5:1).

God has spoken, and it is for us to ‘ hear and believe’.


Better still , we can know Him who is “the Word” – Jesus Christ our Lord (John1)

For anyone who does not have a Bible,  I offer one free.

contact  johnmckee@internode.on.net


Friday, November 24, 2017

Idols or God

A helpful response:

“We also are men of like passions with you and proclaim the good tidings that you should turn from these vain things (idols) , to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. Who in generations gone by suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. And yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you from heaven rain and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness.”
Acts 14

This response has some significant detail. I focus on just two.
God has chosen to let the “nations walk in their own ways”. This explains much of the Old Testament history – God was knowable, but humanity chose their own ways without God. This concurs with the teaching in Romans 1 – ‘They chose not to know God , so God gave them up..................’. History is full of  times when God interrupts the course of human rebellion, calling people to repent eg Nineveh, but the sad response prevails  :- “every man does that which is right in his own eyes”

The second point is that God did give them witness of Himself. He, unlike the idols, is invisible. Yet His power, His handiwork, His wisdom and His kindness can still be seen. This response by Paul, alludes to the ‘fine tuning ‘ of the earth. God designed the seasons and sends the rain to sustain and cheer humanity. Many other things point to the greatness of God eg DNA code, but rain remains a reminder of the kindness God.



Thus the call goes out – “turn from vain things to the Living God.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Objective of teaching

"The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

           1 Timothy 1:5

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Living with God

Living with God

The Christian life could be summarized in three words

“I believe God”

The Apostle Paul uttered those profound words when life seemed at its lowest. Yet it was by faith that not only he survived,  but also the two hundred and seventy six people with him. They had other plans, but Paul’s choice to go God’s way prevailed and no one was lost in the shipwreck. (Acts 27)

So it is for us. Beginning with God is important, but living with God is also important.

Faith accepts that God is real, that God has revealed Himself, and that He has revealed His ways for us. Faith believes that God is personal and interacts with people. Faith claims the promises of God as meaningful and powerful in ones’ life. Faith endures beyond the natural to know and trust the one who is invisible and wise.


This is why reading God’s word, the Bible, and prayer are important – hearing God’s promises and communicating to  God our dependence on Him.


johnmckee@internode.on.net  - questions welcome

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Beginning with God

Someone may well be asking - "Where do I begin, to be right with God?"

An old promise still hold good today:

"You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart"  (Jeremiah 29:13)

The Lord Jesus Christ repeated this:

"Seek and you will find"  ( Matthew 7.7)

Paul directed the people in Athens to " seek God   .... He is actually not far from each one of us." (Acts 17.27)

Let me share with you a promise 

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. "

Everyone  who believes in Him , will not be put to shame "   ( Romans 10.9-11)

In the quiet of your own soul, you can know HIM.

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Blessing of the Lord

“God blesses those who realise their need for Him”
                                                 Matthew 5.3NLT

This first line of the sermon on the mount summarises the whole discourse. Other translations use “poor in spirit” and that is good. We ought not to be conceited, haughty or proud. But I think the NLT has captured the real point of the whole discourse. It is about a relationship with God as Father, that creates a reflection of God’s character along with a childlike dependence upon Him. This creates peace and stability as well as security.

The kingdom of God is characterized by this – a people who are insufficient of themselves, who look up to God as holy and God as Saviour and Lord. These are the ones He can teach to pray. The prayer the Lord taught the disciples was not about informing God concerning what He already knew, but expressing to God Almighty how much we need Him.
The blessing of God on ‘those who feel their need of Him’, leads to a walking with Lord.  To trust Him for every daily need, in obedience to His directions . This gives stability when the inevitable storms of life arrive. Such are ‘kept by the power of God.’ (1 Peter1)

I had thought that with study and age, I might have developed a sense of capability and confidence. And at times I have tried that position, only to fail. Rather I have learned the deep meaning of the simple prayer “ Lord help me” – whether in the details of everyday living , or in service for the Master. And thus this single line from the sublime teaching of Jesus Christ the Lord, has become very precious to me. I trust it will likewise be precious to you.

It is so much like the first line of Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my Shepherd,  I shall not want”


He becomes our all sufficiency, and ‘His strength is made perfect in our weakness.’(2 Corinthians 12)

J McKee

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mystery?

If the man, Jesus of Nazareth, was truely the Son of God, why was He so slow to let people know? He even commanded the demons not to speak about Him.


This is indeed the beauty of God’s character. He wants us to know Him, not through some public list of qualifications (as is done by celebrities and prominent people), rather He wants us to discover Him through the activity of His character. This is “knowing” God through personal interaction in the present.


When John the Baptist announced the presence of the Messiah, he said ‘He is among you, whom you do not know’’. This is just like God would do (in Old Testament appearing as an angel)  - in humanity taking up servant status – “He came not to be served but to serve.” (Mark 10, Philippians 2)


Study of the scriptures is good and essential to knowing about God, but more precious is the experience of ‘knowing’ God in the interactions of daily life. He loves, He reveals, He chastises, He cares and in His sovereign power overseas our lives.(1 Peter 2)  One we can trust in the big issues and the small issues of life.


If you don’t know Him, seek Him today. Discover His greatness and His interest in the small detail of your life.


John McKee

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Who is this man?

The Son of God   - the Christ

These two terms seem interchanged in Acts 9:20,22.   In Psalm 2 , they are used together. Yet they have different meanings.

“Son of God” is the term expressing relationship. This is quite different to ‘child of God’ which refers to generation – having a beginning and created by God into the family with parental and childhood responsibilities. ‘Son of God’ refers to relationship with, and representation of God.

The Lord Jesus is the perfect representation of God, so much so that He is called the ‘image of God’. He is one who proceeded out from God (only begotten) to reveal the Father. The Bible never speaks of Jesus as a child of God (except for a translation error in KJV), but many times in Old and New Testament as the Son of God. He became the child of Mary by becoming a man, but always was the Son with God the Father. Reading the Gospel by John, confirms in detail that He who was the “Word”, was manifest to reveal  God as the Father.

“The Christ” is that beautiful expression linking the Old Testament prophecies with the New Testament events and also into the future.
‘Christ’ is the Greek, ‘Messiah’ is the Hebrew. The prophets in the Old Testament times foretold of one who would come, a king who would be revealed as the Son of God and the Servant of God and the Son of man and the Saviour of the world etc. It was anticipated that the child to be born as the Christ would be anointed by God to fulfil the mission given Him. This is exactly what happened beside the river Jordan, as the Spirit of God descended on Him in the appearance of a dove. Jesus identified Himself as the Christ at Nazareth  and on many other occasions.

When Jesus stood before the Sanhedrin court, the vital question was asked “ Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”  - His answer was clear   “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven”  Mark 14:62.  Because He answered “I am”, they could respond in one of two ways – bow down and worship Him, or condemn Him to death as an impostor. They condemned Him to death. What is our response?

If He was who he claimed to be, then our reconciliation to God depends on Him. Our forgiveness depends on his sacrifice in His death. The hope of  the future is totally wrapped up in His return. Future accountability will be at His judgement throne.

How good it is that He the living Christ, seated at God’s right hand, is willing to receive, forgive, transform all who truely believe in Him.

Remember the words He said so long ago, are appropriate today:
“Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...”  Matthew 11:28

johnmckee@internode.on.net






Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Yes or No

Australia is at a crossroad  - deciding whether to redefine marriage as being between one man and one woman or between two people.

The present debate can be  quickly summarised as ;

1    “No” vote -  Accepting what God says as final    -    (see the Bible verse at the end of this article)
2    “Yes” vote  - Denying God exists or has any moral authority over humanity –    (Human reasoning without God’ moral values)

The future implications of a change are becoming clearer – to destroy the value and intention of marriage as well as open the door for the imposing other moral perversions.

....................................................................................................................

But I ask a question, a question I have not heard or read.:

“How did we in Australia get to this low moral point, that the question should ever be asked at all?”


My answer in brief:

The Christians of the last forty years have failed to fulfil the great commission given by the Lord Jesus Christ – ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel’.
Had this Gospel outreach been the primary focus of believers in the Lord Jesus, society might have been preserved by the salt of the Gospel and the light of truth. Society has descended to the policy of “What feels good” and “what is good for me”.  Why ? – because many Christians have adopted this attitude as well as the common people. I have observed change over the last sixty years, and the change has been subtle but real. Instead of a Biblical priority of eternal values, Christians are busy making this world ‘a better place to live’. This has involved the priority of education, the idolatry of affluence  and the withdrawal of Gospel endeavour into church buildings. Even there the Gospel is seldom preached.  Evangelism, as seen in the book of Acts , is very rare. The result :- the general populous ignorantly live for the pleasures of sin as if God does not exist. (eg fornication, adultery, homosexuality, greed , abuse etc)

So what am I trying to say? The present scramble about ‘marriage equality’ is the outcome of Christian failure?  In one way Yes. We Christians have become distracted by the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, and the devil has had free reign.

I suggest the answer to the present problem is a return to the public declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the public square :- a Gospel that spells out sin as God sees it with the call to repent, and the wonderful grace of God in Christ to forgive and deliver the lost .


For those who do not like my rebuke I ask:-
What appears in your church newsletter about real evangelism?
When did you last hear a message that focused on people being lost and needing Christ as a Saviour?
How is it that we have so many mediums of communication, and yet the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ is seldom broadcast to the world.?
Why are Christians so afraid to publicly declare allegiance to His name or stand as witnesses to His word.?

Or shall I make it more personal:

When did you last give an unbeliever a Gospel message by words, by letter, by leaflet??
When did you last give a Bible  to a lost person?
When did you reach out to a Muslim person with God’s truth?
When did you last seek out a homosexual person, to win them to Christ?


Well I actually think the problem is deeper than these questions:-    -so few people actually “know the Lord” !

Shallow, half hearted, ritualistic church going has replaced the Holy Spirit inspired obedience to the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Self centred sermons that pick out the verses  to suit the comfort zones of the audience. Denying God ‘time alone ‘ with Him and His word. Reinventing doctrines from the perspective of men, instead of the Word of God.
I think you get the point – sure the general populous has strange moral values,(partly through the promotion on evolution), but who is it that has failed to be the ambassadors for God in the world . 
Hebrews 12.4 is a strong rebuke: “in your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood”

I finish with the words of the Master to His Father in heaven:
“As you sent Me into the world,  I am sending them into the world”
 (John 17)

-      And they killed HIM, but His mission, given by God the Father to seek and to save the lost, was fulfilled and we reap the benefits.
-       
Qualifying comments.

1 Corinthians 15
The Gospel – “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that He was buried, that  He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.”

The effect – 1 Corinthians 6:9

“the unrighteous will  not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

“Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed, you were made holy, you were made right with God by calling on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and  by the Spirit of our God.”


John McKee


PS  Are there any reaching out in the public arena?  Yes

I have a friend from who goes to the local market to give away Bibles. Another operates a Gospel cafe in the CBD. Others go into the public schools to teach the Bible. Yet another goes out with Gospel tracts. But after reading Acts 3,4,5,8, how we fail to rise up to the call of the Lord to be ambassadors for Him.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Choices

The Lord said to the People,
  "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls
 But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'"  (Jeremiah 6:16)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Is God taking any notice

God’s response

Psalm 2 from the song book of the Bible is so old yet so very up to date. I could say very much about it, but better to let God speak:

Why do the nations rage?
Why do the people waste their time in futile plans?
The Kings of the earth prepare for battle
The rulers plot together against  the LORD,
And against His anointed one.
“Let us break their chains “ they cry
“and free ourselves from slavery”

But the one who rules in heaven laughs.
The LORD scoffs at them
Then in anger rebukes them
Terrifying them with His fierce fury.

For the Lord declares:
“I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, my holy city.
..........................
.............................
Submit to God’s royal Son, or He will become angry
................................
But what joy for all who find protection in Him.”

This psalm is so true to the events of 2017 and the final promise of hope in Jesus Christ God’s Son.


Read the psalm through and find rest in what God has planned. They did in   Acts 4 and likewise for all today.

John McKee

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Your point of reference

A Reference point

The ancient sailors used the stars as their reference point to guide them on their journeys. Our journey of life has a reference point. It directs how we live, why we do things, what gives fulfilment in life  and determines the final destination of our life’s journey. It also gives us identity.

“What is your reference point?”

A lost reference point can frequently be seen in history, summed up by this saying –“Every man did that which was right in his own eyes”
Does that sound familiar in our world today?

Some have referenced life on Darwin’s theory of evolution – survival of the fittest – and thus in the 1940’s, thousands of disabled people were exterminated. Yet others used communism as the reference point and millions of academics and religious people were eliminated. All governments have a reference point – some in Islam, some in Marxism, some in Christianity, some in monarchy, some in capitalism  etc.

The modern reference point of the western world is,  “ if it feels good do it” and thus the selfish, self focused  mind, works, votes, acquires, defends only short term self interest.

Is there a better way?
Yes  - having a reference point outside of our self, from the hand of our creator. God has revealed the “user’s manual” – the Bible.

Are we prepared to let God speak?  Or do we pick and choose the Bible verses that make us “feel good”?  Do we let the Bible rebuke us, correct us, lead us, encourage us? Do we accept it as God by His Spirit speaking to us or is it too inconvenient for the Bible to be our reference point?
The Lord Jesus said of some religious people
“ You have not the word of God abiding in you!”  They were LOST.

Some object that the Bible is not relevant and out of date. Is God the creator without understanding of what is BEST for His creatures? No – It speaks very clearly about our condition before God, about marriage, about loving our neighbours, about teaching young people, about greed, about life after death, about the real meaning of life,  about social responsibilities  etc etc.

If God and His word (the Bible), are refused as the ultimate reference point, then we are lost, wandering in the quagmire of self destruction.
Today is our day of opportunity to return to the Lord (as individuals and communities and nations).  God has spoken, and through His Son Jesus Christ, righteousness can prevail for the good of all. The promise is to all who have ears to hear:
“Whoever will call upon the Lord will be saved”  Romans 10:13

Let us today pause to consider the reference point that controls our thinking, directs our decisions, shapes our attitudes, determines our eternal destiny!

How privileged we are to be able to read the Bible in our own language.  If you do not have one and would like to read it, send a request for one today.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

The priority of life

"Martha Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion which will not be taken away from her." 

Luke 10:41

Our priority??    To know the Lord Jesus??

or is our life choked with many things?

JRM

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Does Life have meaning?

The meaning of life?

I have been challenged (again) by the repeated question from my grade six school children –
    “What is the meaning of life?”

This is a good question, yet on a human level, so difficult to answer. Is life designed grow and then be snuffed out in death? Perhaps dedication to a good cause will make life meaningful? Should we live for our family?  Why not just live for self? Could it be that the greatest purpose is to evangelize the people around us?

Evolutionary thinking supports the idea of the survival of the fittest – so that by every means possible we should to be better and stronger than others. (sport fosters this notion). The atheist proposition is pointless, presenting humanity as animals who are the result of meaningless chance. 
This gives no cause to be here and no hope for the future. I could comment on other religious and philosophical perspectives, but I forebear. Ultimately we find all is vanity and meaningless unless we account for a supreme being with creative power and genius, sufficient to give purpose and meaning to history, to the present existence and future hope.

As we turn to the Bible as our compass, what is the answer? Many scriptures speak on this subject. I will select a few.

The Bible book of Ecclesiastes records a wealthy, prominent, skilled king trying everything available to solve this problem. It is worth reading through his writings to see his search in science, social order, lust of flesh and eyes, work, construction etc etc. His first conclusion:-

     “There is nothing worthwhile anywhere”  
        “All is vanity and vexation of spirit”

His final conclusion :- “Fear God and obey His commands, for this is the duty of every person.”


The Lord Jesus identified one of the  great purposes of His life :- “I came here not to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many”  (Mark 10.45)”
For those who follow Jesus Christ as Lord this does give real meaning to life.

I come to a great speech given at a university in Athens many years ago:-

Acts 17.24  “ God who made the world and everything in it. Since He is Lord of heaven and earth, He doesn’t live in man made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs – for He has no needs.  He Himself gives life and breath to everything and He satisfies every need there is. From one man He created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall and He determined their boundaries.
His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him – though He is not far from any one of us.  For in Him we live and move and exist.”

How clear this is  -  the meaning of life is to  seek and know God!

I turn to the last book of the Bible (Revelation 4:11)

“You are worthy O Lord our God
To receive glory and honour and power
For you created everything
And it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”

If then it is true that all things exist for God, then we exist for God – what meaning does that give to life as individuals?

Ours is the opportunity now to know God, the only true God and Jesus Christ, the one He sent to reconcile the world back to Himself. (John 17.3)

I say from 50 years of Christian living, there is no greater joy or sense of fulfilment, than to connect with God through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The greatest form of identity in the vast universe is to discover that I am “the disciple whom Jesus loved/loves” the true meaning of life.

Have you settled for some lesser purpose in life?

Sure there is much more to be done in life, but I do think we should get our priorities sorted.

This is for all – rich and poor, slave and free, male and female, child and adult, educated and illiterate.

Let us each one seek Him today.

John McKee

Saturday, July 29, 2017

God has something better

"God provided something better for us,  that apart from us they should not be made perfect"   Hebrews 11:39


This verse seems to say -  our individual lives do matter, but the overall, long term plan of God is more significant .  God does respond to individual faith and sets the reward of faith into the jigsaw of an eternal, complete picture. God has something better than the present order. He is building a city in a better country where there will be complete fulfilment and true honour to His glorious name. 

In Hebrews chapter 11 , each person in history, and each person now has a part in His great plan.  He is the divine architect and to Him be the praise and the glory forever and ever.

Faith is just believing
what God says He will do
He will never fail us
His promises are true

If we just receive Him
His children we become
Faith is just believing
God's mighty plan gets done

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Timely warning

"See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven."

Greater privilege brings greater responsibility.

JRM

Friday, July 14, 2017

MOSES

Moses making choices

So much could be said about Moses – the culture of Egypt when he was  a child, his opportunity in Pharaoh’s palace, his mistakes as a young man etc.
I focus this article on one Bible verse that explains so much :-

“ he endured as seeing Him who is invisible”.

Many people only believe in what they can see. Whether it is science or religion, people love tangible and visible evidence. Moses could see in his mind things greater than the possibilities in Egypt. He trusted one greater than the king. He yielded to the voice of God whom he could not see.  His vision of hope was not limited to this world. By means of this perception he made decisions – deciding for Christ, deciding to suffer with God’s people, deciding for the eternal reward.

Much pressure is applied to us to live for the here and now, but God calls us to evaluate all things in the consideration of the life to come. Moses believed in a God who was and is invisible. Yet He is one who rewards all those who seek Him.

Moses refused the fleeting pleasures of sin. Moses refused the fame of an idolatrous king. Moses chose the reproach of belonging to Christ rather than the treasures of Egypt. Moses obeyed the command of God and kept the Passover. Moses prayed to God when things seemed impossible. Moses conquered evil by faith in God.

What choices do I make?


What choices do you make?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Strength for the Christian life

Philippians chapter 2 verse 1

Let me draw you into the precious Christian blessings mentioned in this Bible verse . Different translations use differing words, but the blessing is the same.

“Consolation in Christ” -  to find the answers to life and eternity in the once crucified and now risen Lord Jesus Christ. The big questions of our standing before God, the small questions of serving  Him each day. The exhortations from the Lord makes life worthwhile and comes from the Lord at God’s right hand!

“Comfort of love”  -  Since God has loved us, we find the extreme loneliness and alienation as part of the fallen human race, has been overcome.  God loves us in spite of our unworthiness and this enables us to love others. These ‘bonds of love ‘ surpass liking people – rather love (agape) that loves when all else fails.

“Participation in the Spirit”   -  The wonder of God’s unmerited favour, that we can participate in the instruction by the Holy Spirit. And so much more – to be led by the Spirit, comforted by the Holy Spirit, gifted by the Holy Spirit, used as channels of blessing by the Holy Spirit. What a distinctive blessing to those walking with the Lord.
“Affection”   -  By contrast to the world which is given over to criticism, blame and dissent for those different . God’s people were originally honoured as people of affection. Practical affection for one another was a reflection of The Father’s affection for His children. Christians from very different backgrounds were named “brethren” – members in the family of God.


“Sympathy”   --   God is not a bystander or some distant critic when problems set in. He steps into the situation with care  to lift the fallen, to heal the battered, to console the broken hearted, to comfort the disappointed   -   and so should we.


Read Philippians 2   today and  discover these beautiful  things in the life of the Lord Jesus.

JRM

Saturday, June 10, 2017

God's Love

God’s love is so much more than words spoken. 

It is a modern idea that we should say to each other ‘I love you’. The Bible concept of love is that it motivates one to do something, to give, to sacrifice, to work for the ultimate good of the person loved. God did not send the Lord Jesus into the world to tell us He loved us.  Rather He gave His Son to show us that He loved us. The coming of the Lord from heaven was not to make us feel good, it was rather to save us and make us good.

It is an interesting study to consider the occasions that the Lord Jesus talked about love.  He called upon the disciples to love God, to love one another , to love their enemies.

John’s Gospel highlights God’s love :- God’s love for the world, the Fathers love for the Son, Jesus love for His own disciples  and God’s love for those who obey Him.

Some say that Gods love is unconditional – this is an ambiguous and only half the truth. Love is much more than an emotion or feeling. It is a powerful motive that sets in motion action for the good of another. It works to achieve a mutual relationship of oneness in holiness. Love is the inner spring to mercy and grace. It is here, in the word ‘grace’ that  the blessings of God are given to the unworthy and undeserving. Grace is God’s love reaching out to us in spite of sin and rebellion. (Please note – God does not accept us as we are. He only accepts us because Christ died for us, and our faith in HIM gives us a new place in God’s family as ‘accepted in the Loved One’)

The apostle John develops the theme of love in his letters. God’s gracious love has been poured upon us, and that love should be abiding in us so that we love , not in word, but in deeds of mercy and grace.

The apostle Paul expounds the character and activity of God’s love. Love is kind, love is patient etc.  God’s love accounts for sin, and does something about it – Christ died for us.  Paul states more than any other writer , that the overflow of God’s love to us and in us by the Holy Spirit should flow out to others in mercy, forgiveness and grace.

I would encourage all my readers to use a concordance to study the many occurrences of the ‘love of God’ in the Bible.

If anyone would like me to back up my statements with Bible verses, I would be happy so to do :- email me at 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Do or done

Do or done

The one fundamental difference between true Christianity and all other religions and denominations is this :- they all say do , whereas  God says it is done.

The one issues commands, rituals, observances to appease God and win credit in the day of judgement. The other enables a desire to obey, to serve, to rejoice because God has been appeased by the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Acceptance now and in the day of judgement is secured by believing in the risen Lord Jesus Christ.


Thus fear is replaced with peace. Uncertainty is replaced with hope. The burden of doing is replaced with the motive of love . The relationship of distance is replaced by the joy of intimacy with God as Father!


How good that we can come and rest in HIM today and every day.

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trust in the Lord

Trust is a good response to God’s words of warning, words of salvation and words of hope.

The opposite is described in Proverbs 1:24-33
“I called and you refused”        -     this attitude of rejection, or in modern form, indifference leaves a person independent, vulnerable and lost.

Trust does involve some knowledge ( of the one being trusted) along with wisdom, understanding and commitment. But the final element of trust is in the heart .
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and depend not on your own understanding”.    Proverbs 3:5

The value of trusting God has value beyond silver or gold. It has promise for this life and the life to come.
Ponder for a moment the meaning of trust:
Ø  It honours God as good, right and wise
Ø It accepts God as all powerful
Ø It depends on God in a personal way
Ø Trust puts well being into the hands of another
Ø Trust takes the place of humility
Ø Trust is established on evidence and promises

Proverbs 16:3  “Commit your way unto the Lord”    -  The action of trust is to the wisdom, understanding, power and kindness of an all powerful, all wise, all loving God.  Trust commits to Him in dependence and obedience.

Proverbs 16:20  “Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he”
The stress of self achievement is removed and the peace of being in greater hands becomes real.  For Joseph, when everything seemed to be going wrong, his trust in the wisdom of God was finally rewarded.

Like many, you my reader likely agree with all this in theory.
   Are you now trusting God to forgive your sins through the Lord Jesus Christ?
   Are you depending on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from hell?
    Are you committed to Him – to save you, to keep you, to guide you?

Peter the Apostle wrote much about hope and trust. Please read 1 Peter through three times.

“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls”  chapter 2:25

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will, entrust their souls to a faithful creator while doing good.   4:19

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that in the proper time He may exalt you.  Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you”  5:6

The beauty of these promises is this  - God almighty is a God who wants to be involved personally in our lives.   Will we let Him?

‘Just as I am without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God I come.

Just  as I am tho’ tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fighting’s within and fears without
O Lamb of God I come

Just as I am Thou wilt receive
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve
Because Thy promise I believe

O Lamb of God I come , I come.


Comments welcome at  johnmckee@internode.on.net