Saturday, August 17, 2019

This week's verse:
If riches increase, set not your heart upon them... power belongeth unto God. Psalm 62:10,11

Friday, August 9, 2019

Gentile inclusion


Hello to all my dear friends around the world.
 I have been reminded from Zimbabwe that a new article is overdue.- thank you. I have been very busy doing a course in TEASOL – to teach English as a second language. If I was much younger, this skill would enable me to travel many places teaching English, however I shall be content to help the many migrants in Toowoomba.

Now for something I have been enjoying from John 12:

This chapter concludes the public ministry of our Lord. It has some very serious conclusions about the final judgement of all who have rejected Jesus Christ as the Lord from heaven. But the part I find encouraging is the inclusion, by the writer, of the inquiry of the Gentiles to see Jesus. On several occasions John the writer highlights the grace of God embracing the whole world (John 3:16).
Some will remember the chorus
            Jesus loves the little children
            All the children of the world
And so He does.

Gentile philosophy was about triumph by strength of might or argument, but the Lord by contrast says His path to triumph is through humiliation and His death on a cross (Lifted up).
On several occasions the Lord made it clear that “he who humbles himself will be exalted” and most important is for this exaltation to be done by the Father. Glory here and now is very temporary. Honour in the next life will be forever.

May the risen Lord keep you all in His love.

“Even so come Lord Jesus”

John

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Gospel by John


John writing:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
“The Word became flesh..................”

John the Apostle identifies his purpose in writing – to convince us that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing we might have life through His Name.

The opening statement focuses on the unusual title of the Lord Jesus – the Word. And right through the gospel , the emphasis is on His Word and Words.
As the Word, He is the full and final expression of the mind of God. As the communicator of God to mankind, He is the Alpha and Omega.
His creation control is seen when, by the command of His lips, water is reconstructed into the best wine!

At the end of chapter three, this statement is made “ for He speaks the words of God”
The man lying sick by the pool was healed by His command – “rise up and walk”
John 5:24 is that powerful promise “whoever hears my words, and believes on Him that sent me has everlasting life ....”
As the narrative continues, the significance of His words develop.
“My sheep hear my voice and they follow Me”
Then a moment of power “Lazarus come forth”

The power, promises, pronouncements of His word reaches a special importance in chapter 12. They will be the measure of judgement against all who do not believe Him!

The references to His words, continues among the disciples. E.g.
“He that has my words and keeps them, he it is that loves Me”
Again in his prayer to the Father “I have given them the words”
How meaningful then, that He should say on the cross “It is finished”

All this becomes so meaningful when we choose to receive Him, to listen to Him, to follow Him, to love Him.

For my Muslim readers, please refer to Sura 3:45

May I encourage all my readers to read through the Gospel of John, watching for the repeated mention of HIS WORDS.


johnmckee@internode.on.net























































Sunday, June 16, 2019

Jesus Christ the LORD


The Glories of our Lord in the Gospel by Luke

Doctor Luke presents much detail surrounding the life of Jesus – external evidence and internal evidence. It would seem as though he interviewed many people and then correlated the biography of Jesus in chronological order. This includes dates, rulers and places that have been ratified by archaeologists and history.

The account of an angel appearing to Mary is most significant. It tells of heaven’s involvement in the appearing of Jesus and the character of the child to be born.
The record of His birth brings in many different persons as witnesses – Angels, Shepherds, Simeon, Anna etc.

Luke records the incident in the Temple when the boy Jesus astounds the doctors of law with His questions.

Again Luke gives much detail about the adult life of Jesus. His baptism,  His temptation in the wilderness by the devil, His visit to Nazareth where he was rejected. He moved to Capernaum, where the people praised Him, but the Lord Jesus moved on to the many villages around the sea of Galilee. Over and again He is presented as the dependant man, who spent much time in prayer to God. His journeys were marked by compassion for the needy. His words brought life and hope to perishing people. He was seen as one who was not obsessed with money, but instead gave much, even Himself for others.

The glorious Names attributed to Him by Gabriel remained ever true, but  His claim to be the Messiah was vindicated by His humble service to God and mankind. Miracles He did for others. Recovering the lost was His priority.

In His connections with His disciples He was both demanding and compassionate. Taking up the cross to follow Him was fundamental, and yet as He understood how fickle they could be, He showed love and forgiveness.

Luke takes us deep into the holy suffering of His sensitive soul as in the garden of Gethsemane  where He prays in agony. The perfect man (the last Adam), is seen to understand the pain of rejection and crucifixion. The record of the cross is graphic and the grief real.

The end – a man who did not fail,  now raised up from death to be seated at God’s right hand, honoured at the highest place in heaven.

Read the account of Luke for yourself. If you have no Bible, send me an email - I have spares

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Friday, June 14, 2019

Must

You MUST be born again (born from above) 
                                   John 3.7

Even so MUST the Son of Man be lifted up  (on a cross)
                                      John 3.14

He MUST increase, but I MUST decrease  (The Lord preeminent )
                                           John 3.30

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Reading the Bible


John Wesley, who here makes six key practical points:

If you desire to read the Scriptures in such a manner as may most effectually answer this end, would it not be advisable,
(1) To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose?
(2) At each time, if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of the Old and one out of the New Testament; if you cannot do this, to take a single chapter, or a part of one?
(3) To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of God, and a fixed resolution to do it?
In order to know His will, you should,
(4) Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith, the connexion and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines, original sin, justification by faith, the new birth, inward and outward holiness;
(5) Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used before we consult the oracles of God; seeing ‘Scripture can only be understood through the same Spirit whereby it was given.’ Our reading should likewise be closed with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts;
(6) It might also be of use, if, while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts and lives….
And whatever light you then receive should be used to the uttermost, and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve begin to execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the power of God unto present and eternal salvation.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Servant of the LORD


Mark’s biography of Jesus

The writer begins with the greatest glory of Jesus :-
“The Son of God”    
 -   In this  title lies the greatest expression of God represented in the person of the Son. No greater glory is seen in Jesus. This is the one who could look up into heaven and say “Father... the glory that I had with you before the world began.....” (John 17).

But from this point, Mark’s gospel describes the very active servant of Jehovah. In chapter one He is the servant promised in the Old Testament. Then He is the servant identified with a sinning people by baptism (He did no sin, but gave His life as a ransom for sinners). At this beginning His voice is clear – “The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the Gospel.”
As the servant of the Lord moves forward,  many wondered at His miracles.

 Perhaps his greater glory lay in this – He did not claim or seek glory for Himself. Proud humans claim the glory of success for themselves, but not the Lord Jesus. Mark, the failing servant, highlights the frequent calls by the Lord to sacrificial service.

For example  “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (8:6)
“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
This humility was exemplified in the Lord Himself:
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

In one sense there was good reason to question whether He was the Messiah – no human glory, no human credentials, no army etc, Yet His claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God was so clear :
Mark 14:62  “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven”

Wherein was the problem – they knew not the scriptures (eg Isaiah 53) nor the power and purpose of God.

 In true form to the ‘Servant gospel’, it concludes thus – “ He was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” (16:19)
Well did the prophet say “Behold My servant”  (Isaiah 42)

Read it for yourself and discover the glories if the Servant King.

johnmckee@internode.on.net

note: you can receive these articles as a regular email by filling in the  'subscribe ' box on the right column

Friday, May 3, 2019

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Our glorious Lord


Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie
Although He was abused, He never tied to get even.
And when He suffered,  He made no threats.
Instead, He had faith in God , who judges fairly.
Christ carried the burden of our sins.
He was nailed to the cross,
So that we would stop sinning and start living right.
By His cuts and bruises you are healed.
You had wandered away like sheep.
Now you have returned
To the one who is your Shepherd and protector.

1 Peter 2.22 CEV

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Jesus the King


The glories of our Lord

His glories are many. As I outline some, may you be inspired to search the Bible for more.

Matthew (1st book of the New Testament) introduces the glory of the King. He presents the family rights of Jesus as the ‘son of David, the right to sit upon the throne of Israel as promised to David one thousand years before. God kept the line of heirs intact and now the wise men come seeking the ‘King of the Jews’.

Some of His moral glory shines in this – Jesus knew He was destined to sit on David’s throne, but instead of grasping for that recognition, He waits for the appointed time, He submits to the path of the Father’s choice, He let’s scripture be fulfilled – both in terms of suffering and ascendancy.


The record of Matthew would appear, to human reasoning, as a record of failure – the king wearing a crown of thorns! The king of the Jews dead at 33 years! The warriors of the King hiding in fear and Satan’s grip establish over Jew and Gentile.
Herein lies the unusual glory of God –
out of defeat He makes victory,
out of poverty He makes riches,
out of weakness He makes strength, 
out of darkness He makes light,
Out of nothing He makes everything!


The resurrection of Jesus, is just the beginning of many new glories. Matthew’s biography of the king does not finish in defeat. The real story is just beginning – the king ‘lives forever’, the king is exalted by God to ultimate authority, in a dominion greater than Israel, His subjects number millions beyond the Jews and His glories are seen, not only in Himself, but also in the multitudes who follow Him.
The King gave a promise – “ you shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”  Matthew 24:30

‘even so come Lord Jesus’



JRM

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Good news


Our greatest need
We live so much for the present. We pray so much for our comfort and health and wealth . When the Lord Jesus was here, He cared for people in their human needs, but pointed to the greatest need – to be right with God.
He identified our troubles as coming from Satan and ourselves. This means instead of seeking remedies for our discomfort, we rather need to be right with God.
The beginning is to repent:
- to be honest about our wandering ways,
- to confess our sins
- to admit that we listen more to the Devil’s media than we do to the word of God
- to own up to the reality that we have not given God the honour and worship He deserves.

Our greatest blessing
To anyone who takes this humble place of saying “God is right and I have been wrong” – to all such the blessings of God flow like a river.

-         Forgiveness is given to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

-          Eternal life is a gift for all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ

-          A new kind of life is commenced for all who choose to follow Jesus.

-          The Holy Spirit lives in all who yield to Jesus Christ as Lord

-          Hope and purpose are real in life and eternity for everyone who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ.

-         And His present help in all the stresses and troubles of life is very real.  He does not promise a  trouble free life, but He does promise to be with us so that we can be overcomers.

Please notice that His blessings are not what we earn – they are free gifts of His love, paid for by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Start reading the Bible in John chapter 1

“To as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believed in His Name.”  John 1.12

A Bible free is available if you do not have one

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Songs in difficult days


The Psalms of David.

David the Shepherd became a soldier and then, after many years , was crowned King.
One would have expected his songs to be filled with times of victory and triumph.( He did defeat the giant, he did win many battles, he did rule well). Some were songs of praise for God’s blessings, but most were the outpouring of grief and pain as He calls out to God for wisdom and strength to overcome the difficulties of life. In fact, some seem to be asking the question of God – Why?

Psalm 143 is one of these. I recommend that you read it.  David admits his unworthiness, his depression and his fear. Yet in it all is his longing to know and enjoy the presence of the LORD.

So often we seek for great things, thinking that happiness comes from wealth or easy times. God knows our hearts, and He wants to use broken vessels from which the light might shine.

Paul caught the meaning of this :
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” –therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
                      2 Corinthians 12:9

Let me summarize.

Being a Christian is not a measure of how much one knows, or how successful one is. It is rather knowing God more and more through Jesus Christ the Lord. This is then lived out as servant, as a son, as a steward dependant upon and directed by the  living Lord in heaven.

The last Psalm attributed to David – Psalm 145 has a beautiful conclusion:
“My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord
And let all flesh bless His holy Name forever and ever”

johnmckee@internode.on.net

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Love of Christ


Love beyond feelings - love in action

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

— John 15:9-13


Our one real chance at loving others is if we fully receive the love of God for us and let it change our entire perspective on our relationships with others. But this won’t happen by a casual remembrance of the love of Jesus. When Jesus said, “Remain in my love,” he meant we are to dwell there. We are to be conscious every hour of the day that the bedrock truth of our lives—the core of our identity—is we are loved by Jesus the Christ. Keeping our focus on the cross is the way to remain in his love.
Ponder This: What do you have to say to Jesus who laid down his life for you?
M.L

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Telling others


Psalm 107
“Has the LORD redeemed you?
Then speak out, tell others He has saved you from your enemies.”

This verse of the song  identifies a Christian distinctive. – speaking, singing because of grace.

Many religions are the imposition of rules and regulations by some form of dominating hierarchy. In contrast , true Christianity was intended to be the expression of gratitude for grace received. It was Jesus who said to the  healed demoniac :
“Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.”

It is when love has conquered for us , and in us that we reach out to tell others.
A selfish , self centred Christian  is not really a Christian.
An interesting measure of grace at work in a believer is the ‘singing’ to the Lord.  One who lives on the level of the world has no song. The believer who enjoys  victory over sin and the world will sing,  or at least try to. (Maybe like David, to the sheep, or like me , to the Kookaburras’ ! ).

“Singing to yourselves in Psalms, Hymns and spiritual songs,  singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.”     Ephesians 5