Monday, December 17, 2018

Time for Change


The Call of Jesus

“Repent and believe the Gospel”

Repent of what?    -   I will let Him answer

Luke 6
“Woe to you who are rich”      -   self gratification
“Woe to you who are full”         -  lack of consideration of others
“Woe to you who laugh now”     -  shallow thinking
“Woe to you when all people speak well of you” – compromising truth and righteousness

His commands were challenging:
“Love your enemies”   - action for the good of opponents
“Bless those who curse you” – response to hate speech
“Pray for those who abuse you” – caring for persons beyond their  behaviour
“Give to everyone who begs”    - generosity to those in need

Shall I continue to highlight our need to repent?

He did continue:

“Love your enemies and do good and lend expecting nothing in  return”
“Judge not”
“Forgive”
“Give”
And much more----------------

Then He said:

“the one who hears and does not do........is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.”

So where does that leave me ?  -  ‘ashamed’
Is there hope?  Yes.  Repent ( acknowledge and turn from evil)
                        Believe the Gospel ( forgiveness and power through Jesus Christ the Lord)  

johnmckee@internode.on.net



Sunday, December 9, 2018


The temptation of the Lord Jesus Christ

Luke 4.1-13

I purpose to present  what I see to be the interpretation of the record of Holy Scripture.  Much application is often taken from these verses, but that is not the purpose of my writing.

The context is: The one born as ‘Christ the Lord’ (Luke2), is about to embark on the greatest life changing, world changing ministry of all time - who?  - the Son of God!

He is somebody important, He is empowered, He is commissioned,  He is approved. Now He is being tested as to readiness for this devil conquering service. A test of His priority, His purpose and His presentation.

In Luke’s record the first temptation, after the forty days of fasting, the devil comes to Him :
“If you are the Son God, command this stone to become bread.”
This is not an “if “ of doubt. It is rather an ‘if’ of challenge. The devil well knew who He was , but now finding Him in the form of a man, seeks to  change the PRIOITY from the spiritual to the natural. He succeeded with Eve, who chose what was appealing to the eye and the flesh over communion with God ( which was linked to the command). The Lord Jesus was indeed hungry, and it was no sin to turn stones into bread. It is the temptation to use the legitimate thing of human life outside the will of God or above the priority of knowing and obeying God. The answer of the Lord points to the ‘command’ of God being so much more important than the human need.  Reading Matthews record we notice that life is much more than bread – life exists and is maintained by the very word of God! The humanity of the Lord is very real, but the victory is that it remains subservient to the spirit.
If we follow Him, we too will make the spiritual connection with God, of greater importance than the necessities of life. The devil has made our world so sensual,  that many miss the greater joy of knowing the Lord.


Temptation two:
The devil is very intelligent and he knows the final agenda of God: that is to bring together all things in Christ  and under Christ. Old Testament scriptures seem to point to Satan wanting this place of honour. Now he tries to hijack Son of God on the path to this glory. The Lord well knew that the path to glory was via the suffering of the cross (Luke 24) but the devil has a smarter way. Somewhere, -- perhaps in Eden, Satan lays claim over the world  -  the cosmos of political power, the educational systems, the devotions of the religions, the kingdoms of dominance etc. He is described as the ‘god of this world’
Now he is prepared to surrender all that to Jesus, for just one thing. He is offering for Christ  to arrive at the final destination of power and glory on one simple condition  -  to worship satan  - i.e.   to take the spoil and give Satan the place of authority and glory that belongs to the Son.

The Lord Jesus ,  knowing the end and the path of suffering involved to get there, rebuffs the temptation by restating the command of God –    “ You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve”.


The third temptation:  When embarking on any new venture, one does well to consider the ‘how ‘ question.
Business people have business plans, marketing strategies. Professional people gather qualifications. Tradesmen gather references. Satan’s proposition was that the Lord embark on His public ministry by doing the spectacular. He should present Himself to the people( God’s people) in the most significant place ( Jerusalem)  from the most religious building in the world (the temple). By claiming the promise of the Old Testament, Jesus would thus be seen as the promised Messiah, showing the power of God. This way He would be an instant hit with the multitudes and undeniable in authority  before the priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes. Even the Roman governor might see this fantastic arrival of the King of the Jews.
Were the promises , quoted by the devil, wrong or unreliable – no. But they were taken out of context and out of purpose. The Lord Jesus would not use the promises of God outside the will and way of God. Scripture had predicted that He must appear as the servant (Isaiah 52), the Saviour (Isaiah 45), a the sacrifice (Isaiah 53) and the Sanctifier (Hebrews 10). My blessed Lord would not test God by calling upon inappropriate promises to achieve the mission He had been given to fulfil.



My explanation may well seem deficient. We need to recognise that this represented something of the conflict of the ages – Satan against the Son of God. Two spiritual beings, conflict in the heavenlies. Like Job I cover my mouth and adore only Him who did no sin, who knew no sin, in whom there was no sin.

I conclude with a special reference to Luke 24 

“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory”
Just like Philippians 2 describes the path of Jehovah’s servant down before up, so we now worship Him who for the joy set before him, endured the cross and despised the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. He has and will destroy the works of the devil by saying “Not my will, but thine be done”.

As we take our place to worship HIM only, I hear an echo – ‘ follow Me’


JRM

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Rejoicing in God

Many years ago, a song was written:

"O God you are my God, earnestly will I seek you.
My soul thirsts for you........"


"He only is my Rock and my Salvation
He is my high tower"

"To you O Lord belongs lovingkindness"

Getting to know God is the greatest occupation for any person.

Wait for Him alone.

"Be still and know that I am God"

JRM

Monday, December 3, 2018

Danger


The voice of rebellion

“The fool has said has said in his heart : ‘there is no god ’ ”

“They say : ‘who hears? ’ ”
                                        Psalms


This underlying disease is destroying our society and taking many people down to hell. To deny God exists removes the restraint of responsibility to God and His creation. Laws are then framed by what is popular and humans behave like animals without care, without culture and without consideration of final accountability. ( happening in Australia right now).

To deny God as able to hear, is more subtle. Many religious people who maybe believe God exists, behave as if He is weak and does not hear nor take account. Once again the fruit of the tree (acceptance of sin as normal) is evidence of the deeper problem.

The day is coming, when God will judge all humanity by Jesus Christ. The proof of this lies  in the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.. The present decay of human morals and political responsibility is just as the Bible said it would happen – more evidence that the coming judgment is not far away

Jesus said :  “Watch and be ready” .  He calls to all individuals :

“Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and will open the door. I will come in to them and will eat with them and they with me”   (Revelation 3.20)

  The opportunity for anyone to believe in Jesus Christ as Savoiur and Lord, remains just as real today as it was when His feet walked the roads of earth. To know Him is the great joy and hope of the Gospel.

John  McKee

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Priority


Two Bible verses have spoken to me this morning:

“Man who is in honour, and does not understand, is  like the beasts that perish.”

How futile to live without understanding and knowing God.



“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”

Our years come and go, and what do we have to show?


JRM

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The lawmaker


I recently asked one hundred people this question:
“Who should decide what is right and what is wrong?”

The common answer was      -   “me”

Some answered     -  “God”

Herein is identified the great cause of confusion. The religion of ’ME ism’ has claimed greater authority than God. An example -The tenth commandment condemns covetousness as sin. The Lord Jesus Christ exposed greed as evil.
Yet our world promotes selfishness and greed as a virtue!

In the same questionnaire I asked ‘what is the meaning of repent.’
 Almost no one knew.

‘Expressing sorrow for doing wrong’    ...  is the only path that leads to God.

There is a way back to God
From the dark paths of sin
There is a door that is open and all may go in
At Calvary’s cross is where you begin
When you come as a sinner to Jesus.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

JESUS


‘Jesus is the sweetest name I know’

Well that is true, but what does that name truely represent?

I would like to list some unique highlights of His life and ministry

He revealed the Father.
He unmasked the devil.
He restated very clearly existence after death.
He insisted on final judgement at His return
He taught the resurrection of the dead.
His expression of love was not only in words but in action.
He spoke truth with more authority than Moses.
His exposure of sin was direct
His claims to be the Christ, the Son of God were unmitigated.
He prophesied His death and resurrection.
He predicted the destruction of the temple, just as it happened.
His passion for forgiveness and restoration of the lost was obvious.
The curse of hypocrisy He denounced.
His care for children and other demeaned ones was obvious.
His commission to the apostles was clear – to speak about HIM

I write this because many people young and old have imagined a Jesus of their own liking. Some like ‘gentle Jesus, meek and mild’, other try to copy him as the healer. Other limit Him to being a prophet.

We do well to let all the words of Christ dwell in us richly – Colossians 3


John McKee

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A song in the night, a song in the day


“Let all those who take refuge in you, rejoice”  Psalm 5

Many Psalms express personal troubles and grief. But the reason it has become a song, is the final victory is in the LORD. Trials and stress cause us to cling to God Almighty. Our strength is insufficient. His strength and favour and kindness enables us to overcome.

As we take refuge in Him, we are caused to rejoice.

The Psalm is set in a time of conflict and difficulty. The writer points out another secret to his overcoming.  Each morning he seeks the LORD. He asks that the LORD  prepare and make clear the way. And in the midst of confusing situations, that God will vindicate His own righteousness.
We do well to follow this example – begin the day with God. Let Him take control. And when difficulties persist find answers in God , not self.

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Why read the Bible?




Truth is too good to be viewed as a list. The word of God offers a faithful description of reality. The difference between a flourishing and a failing life frequently hinges on where we have made the effort to discover and live in reality. This is why we want to understand Scripture.

ML

Friday, September 28, 2018

The return of Jesus Christ


Most Christians are happy to think that the Lord Jesus Christ will return and put things right.

But I ask the important question – what do we want to see achieved by His coming?

I will give a list and you can decide:

1             Set Christians free from pain and suffering.
2            Establish justice in the world.
3            Take revenge for persecuted Christians.
4            Raise those who have died.
5            Restore Israel to faith in the Messiah.
6            Remove all unbelievers.
7            Establish His throne in Jerusalem
8            Vindicate God as creator and judge.
9            Reward faith and faithfulness.
10         Declare to all, that Jesus is the Son of God.
11          Wipe away all tears of grief and sorrow.
12         Judge all sin, violence, blaspheme, rebellion etc
13         .......................................
14         ................................................................

Each one of us should stop and consider the answer – is it ourselves we are thinking of, or is it others, or is it the Lord!
My personal answer is :- I long to see the rejected Lord Jesus vindicated as the Son of God, the true Messiah, the only Saviour for the world.

“Amen ,  even so come Lord Jesus”

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Mark 12


Mark 12


In chapter 11, the Lord has presented Himself to Israel at the right time   (Daniel 9),   in the right place (Jerusalem),   in the right manner ( on a donkey).
A crowd rightly received Him, but the leaders of the Jews rejected Him saying ‘Who is this’. Likewise they rejected His forerunner  - John the baptiser.

Mark 12:
1   By a  parable He identifies Himself as the “Son”.

2   In answer to the tax question, He presents scriptural wisdom.

3    Responding about the resurrection – He unveils His intimate knowledge of heaven.

4   The response to the question of the scribe, brings to the fore His full knowledge of the Old Testament scripture  and the ultimate meaning of life.

5   By quoting Psalm 110, He claims to be greater than king David, yet heir to David’s throne , yea rather a greater throne. King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


I recommend you read this chapter through and see the objective teaching of the glory of the Lord.

John McKee

Friday, September 7, 2018

Who is God


Who is this God that has loved the whole world?

In the book of the Revelation His glory and grace are beautifully combined:
Alpha and Omega  (the beginning and end of Divine revelation)
Beginning and end  (the original cause and final culmination of all created things)
Who gives the water of life freely (the only source of true life and eternal life)
“I will be his God and he shall be my son” ( Although so great, this God chooses to connect and relate to us creatures as family)


Much more is revealed of His holy judgements, His brilliant throne, His multivaried attendants, but the most breathtaking revelation is the mighty one coming out of the throne -  the Lion who appears as the Lamb. He indeed is the representative of God to us humans. He is God’s Son, the Word, the Christ.  He said of Himself “I am Jesus”!


Trust Him today

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Peace


..
There is a peace that comes after sorrow
   Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled

A peace that looks not upon tomorrow
   But calmly on a tempest that is stilled.

A peace that lives not now in joys excesses
   Nor in the happy life of love secure

But in the unerring strength the heart possess
   Of conflicts won while learning to endure.

A peace there is in sacrifice secluded
    A life surrendered, from will and passion free

Tis not the peace that over Eden brooded
    But that which triumphed in Gethsemane

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The world


For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.       John 3.16

This precious verse from the Bible, here quoted from the ‘Authorized version’, remains forever relevant.

I desire to highlight just one word  -  ‘world’

Most religions promote the idea that God loves only a select people. Jews, Muslims, and some Christians try to limit God’s love to a favoured few. John, the writer was privileged to grow up as a devout Jew, but after travelling with Jesus, and being taught by the Holy Spirit, said  - “God so loved the world

This may well include the thought that God loved the whole ‘cosmos’, for He made it perfectly and for a purpose. But I think the focus here is on the fact that God love all the people of the world – the good , the bad, the rich , the poor, all nationalities, all tribes, everyone!   His love is all embracive in spite of our unworthiness.  His love is more than general, it is particular, as He knows and cars about each individual.  He certainly does not love the wicked habits or sinful deeds done in defiance of His standards, yet He loves.

His love is not going soft on sin. His love is expressed best by what He did to win back wandering humans to Himself  - He GAVE His ‘Only begotten Son’ - Jesus Christ. This is a subject for another day.

I want you the reader to catch the truth that God loves you.
You may not feel it, but if you believe it you will be blessed!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Apathy

Laodicea

The church of Laodicea presents a vivid picture of the age in which we live. Luxury living abounds on every hand while souls are dying for want of the Gospel. Christians are wearing crowns instead of bearing a cross. We become more emotionally stirred over sports, politics, and television than we do over Christ.  There is little sense of spiritual need, little longing for true revival. We give the best of our lives to the business world, then turn over the remnants of a wasted career to the Saviour. We cater to our bodies which in a few short years will return to dust. We accumulate instead of forsake, lay up treasures on earth instead of heaven. The general attitude is “ If I don’t pamper myself who will? Let’s get ahead in the world  and give our spare evenings to the Lord.” This is our condition on the eve of Christ’s return.

William MacDonald   “Believers Bible Commentary”

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Politics


Is the Bible interested in politics?

For sure – the history of Israel is so much about political establishment and demise. The book of Daniel is almost all about politics in Babylon and beyond.

The involvement of Jesus or rather the non involvement, in the politics of His day is outstanding considering the circumstances of that time. The last book of the Bible is like the writings ofDaniel – almost all about the conflicts of world powers.

Please notice this preface to the last book of the Bible (Revelation):

“To Him who loved us and loosed us from our sins (His priority) in His blood (by sacrifice, not by poltical power), and made us a kingdom (apart from the kingdoms of this world) of priests to His God and Father (unselfish function in the spiritual realm), to HIM be the glory (the honour of a monarch), and the dominion (when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God and His Christ) unto the ages of the ages. Amen”          Revelation 1.

This preface statement sets the purpose of the book and the agenda of God for eternity.- the final political triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me put it another way like Acts 15:
‘God calling out of the nations a people (washed, sanctified, justified) for a priestly function now, but in His own future time, these same people raised up under one king (of the house of David), are to rule and intercede over the whole earth.’
Thus the Christian has this very high calling, to represent as an ambassador   God’s exalted king. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth. Earthly politics and politicians are so fickle. We as disciples of the one true Lord, are to represent the enduring King – the eternal one who became dead and now lives forevermore.


My involvement in present politics??  Just like the Master, my priority should be rescuing people from sin and Satan,  reconciling the lost to God. (2 Corinthians 5)

It is an interesting study, to review the life of Christ relative to the Roman oppressors, the religious zealots and the Jewish leadership of His day. He like the Maccabees could have  pursued political freedom, but to the disappointment of His followers, He chose victory by the path of sacrifice.


‘Take up the cross and follow Me’ is not the language of a political warrior. It is the language of an obedient servant, doing the Father’s will.


John McKee

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Book of books


The Bible
The Bible comes to you as a gift. Take time to read it often.

Much of it is history— God making the earth and people. It gives details of God relating to people and nations. Some of it is God’s rules for the
Israelite nation.

In the centre is the songbook that speaks much about the experiences of the songwriters along with praise to God Almighty. Often we can relate to this.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are records of the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The accounts should be read and reread. By these we learn much about who Jesus is and what He has done.

The letters written by Peter, Paul, John etc are the explanations about Jesus  and what His followers should believe and do. The Lord promised the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles to teach us truth.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth” John 16:13

Some Bible verses stand out as golden gems
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”     John 14.6

The New Testament provides abundant instructions on what it means to ‘follow Jesus as Lord.’ - e.g. ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”

One of the themes that runs through the Bible is the recurring evidence that all of humanity is inclined to do wrong and by this offend God. Along with this is the theme of God seeking the wandering people and making it possible for all to be forgiven. The teachings of the Lord Jesus are bright with the hope of eternal life in heaven for those who believe in Him.

To understand how God relates to us today, carefully read twice the letter to the Romans.

Recommendation:  Read the history of Genesis (much of which is distressing)
Then read the Gospel of John (God revealed in His Son Jesus Christ).

Clue to enjoying the Bible  -  Before you read, ask “LORD help me to
understand today”  and as you hear His voice to you, remember the words of Mary -”Whatever He say to you, do it!”

Bibles are available to those who do not have one
johnmckee@internode.on.net


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Our Great High Priest


The Lord , our Great High Priest and what we have in Him.

Hebrews 4:14, 2:17  7:25   8:6    10:19
In these verses we find what we have in our Priest and what He alone can do.

Life’s greatest joy is to respond to God’s love in praise and worship
Life’s greatest privilege is to walk with God
Life’s greatest opportunity is to serve God.
Life’s greatest comfort is to trust God.

For this to be maintained, we must have the priestly work  (take it for ourselves) of the great High Priest. His work means that we can immediately be restored to fellowship with God, and it makes us fit for worship and praise. It brings us to God and it means that we can be comforted  and restored if we fail. Whenever we are tempted we cannot resist in our own strength, but if we have a genuine heart and desire to overcome it, we can lift up our hearts in faith to our Priest and He will give us grace and strength to overcome. When we have a problem, any problem we can take it to the Lord in prayer. There is not a problem He cannot meet if we fix our eyes and heart on Him, We must in every circumstance come with full assurance of faith and with a willing, humble and genuine heart.

When we are right with God, obedience is done gladly, but when cold in heart it will be a duty. People are not prepared or able to let guilt go. We must confess our sin immediately ( and not save it up till the end of the day) and let all guilt go immediately.
When we pray or worship we are standing in the throne room of heaven and the mighty God of the great universe bends to hear us, weak and frail that we are. If we are to continue in growth and joy, we must find our everything in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must get our eyes fixed on God and look at His glory and love  so as to worship and praise Him.

James McKee

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Riches

The very real danger of riches.


Many parts of the Bible refer to the  dangers of riches - Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Gospels, teachings of Paul and James. It has often been  said that being rich is not a sin, but wanting to be rich is a sin.

I ask you to read though the Gospel records and note the discipleship teaching of the Master. He knows best: for example

"How hardly shall those who have riches enter into the kingdom of God"


Our western culture pushes us very hard to be rich and independent of God. My Lord said:

"Verily I say to you, whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall nowise enter into it."      Mark 10


again 

"Blessed are you who are poor"     Luke 6.20



How can this be?   because He who was rich, became poor!   2 Corinthians 8


JRM

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Signs and miacles


The Sign
The Pharisees came  to Jesus seeking a sign. He responded:
“Why does this generation seek a sign?  Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Why?  - because of their unbelief?
-      Because of His hidden purpose of dying as a sacrifice?
I rather think it is because the ‘word of God’ had been consolidated and made available. He Himself referred to the Torah, the Psalms and the Prophets as His source of authority.
“Moses wrote of me”  Deuteronomy 18
“ David’s son”   Psalm 110
“”Numbered with the transgressors” Isaiah 53
Many miracles and signs were done, and John the baptizer was referred to this as the as proof of His mission.  His primary goal in serving the people was by teaching, to bring the people to God in harmony with the Old Testament scriptures (to repent and believe the gospel).  He sure did bring new teaching to the ears of the disciples, but as a matter of convincing them of His authority, He directed them to the Old Testament scriptures.
So today, in situations of illiteracy and ignorance, God may choose to use signs and miracles, but where the Bible is so readily available, the revealed truth is the issue. For example in India, miracles are often the means to bring people to Christ. In the Middle East, dreams are sometimes God’s initial point of contact. In the west, where Bibles are so abundant, God is speaking through His word (Old Testament and New Testament).
Hence my purpose, to direct people to the Lord Jesus Christ via the Bible.

If you do not have a Bible, please send me an email and I will endeavour to send you one.