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