Sunday, February 7, 2021

Lord - Jesus - Christ

 

The names and titles of the Lord Jesus Christ - a cause for praise.

Jesus – His human name expressing His mission – The LORD saving His people from their sins.

Christ – The anointed one, promised in the Old Testament to save       the world by sacrifice and judgement.

Lord – The disciples always spoke to Him as Lord or Master

or Teacher- and so should we. "God has made this same Jesus     both Lord and Christ."

Son of God – He said " I came down from heaven"

The Father said ' This is my beloved Son" and so we  should worship Him.

Saviour – He didn't come to judge the world, but to save –"thank you Lord"

Redeemer _ He paid the price to set us free from Satan, sin and self

Reconciler – He offered Himself as a sacrifice to bring us back to God.

Advocate – each day He intercedes before God for us.

King – Born King of the Jews, now exalted at God's right hand, He is waiting for the day when He will be revealed as King of kings and Lord of lords. – 'even so come Lord Jesus.

Shepherd – The almighty always was caring for those who trusted Him. This is seen in the tender love of the Good Shepherd.

 

And much, much more:

Let us  receive Him

    "    Trust Him

       "   Serve Him

        "    Love Him

          "    Worship Him

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Faith that rejoices to do good

 

The writing of James is very uplifting

He begins with joy and ends with singing praise. In between is a commentary on the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The sermon on the mount was wisdom teaching and James calls on us to seek, ask and live by wisdom which is from above. Like that recorded in the Gospel by Luke, Jesus and James have a low opinion of riches. Both describe the snares that come with seeking to be rich or clinging to riches.

Faith is central to James's praise. Jesus was his half brother and as boys and younger men, James did not have a high opinion of Jesus.  But now after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, James calls Him the Lord of glory. But James's faith was much more than theological, to him, to believe, was to obey and follow. Jesus did good works, and so every one who genuinely believes in Him will do the same. James points to the care of orphans and widows and at the end of the letter, the faith that turns an unworthy sinner back to God.

The Lord Jesus spent much time on the mountain top praying. So James exhorts – "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!"

The NLT has a beautiful rendering of Matthew 5:3

"God blesses those who realise their need of Him"

James restates it his way:

"When you bow down before the Lord, and admit your dependence on Him He will lift you up and give you honour."

May I encourage you to read this letter from James, read it right through highlighting to links to the teachings of the Master, the Lord of Glory.

 

John Mckee

PS You may notice that I seldom give references – Purposely I am trying to encourage you to read the whole letter and see these truths in context.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Heaven in Hebrews or Hebrews in heaven

 

I have recently finished reading the Bible book called 'Hebrews'. I was deeply impressed with the continued presentation of heaven as a place of reality, a place of reward, a place of rest, a place of rich relationships and so much more.

Most importantly, it is the place of His throne – the Lord Jesus Christ, sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high. His active functioning there is beautifully described. He is the Great High Priest for His people . He waits for the day when He will come again. What rejoicing it will be when the exalted Lord Jesus  rewards His faithful ones. He will lead the songs of eternal praise as the angels join the saints in praise to God eternal. What a glorious city it will be, composed of all the believers of all time, beginning to end.

In contrast to the glory and hope of heaven, stands the sober warnings to those who fall away, turn back or trample underfoot the Son of God. Our God is a consuming fire and to come under His fierce just judgement is terrifying. Yet this very judgement spells out the fullness and sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once for all. To rest in HIM by faith dispels all fear.  It is the joy of God to welcome to Heaven , to Himself, those who trust His Son.

This letter to the Hebrews concludes with this triumphant note:

"Jesus is the great Shepherd

by an everlasting covenant,

signed with His blood.

To Him be glory forever and ever.  Amen."    (Chapter 13)

I encourage you to read again this book of the Bible and shade in yellow the mentions of heaven.


johnmckee@internode.on.net


Saturday, January 2, 2021

A new year

 
Looking Ahead
The word of the Lord to my soul this morning was:
"Strangers and pilgrims in the earth"  Hebrews 11
Along with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in company with Samuel, David, Isaiah and Daniel,  we are pilgrims passing through to a better land with our eyes fixed on things above (Colossians 3), looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12). He has promised to bring us to the heavenly Jerusalem where thousands of angels join in joyful assembly. (Heb 12.22) Many will count it strange that we are not living for the profit and pleasure of the present. Indeed we are different if we take our instructions from an unseen, living God.   So much of our human culture has descended to less than animal behaviour. We with Abraham and Jesus, are to be  light and salt in a world destined for judgement.
So  chapter twelve  ends -  "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
 
In a world so brilliantly created by God, in a world so spoiled by man -  let us live for Christ. Let us look up waiting for Christ.  Let us yearn for the day when He will be revealed as King  of kings and Lord of Lords.
Hebrews 13  -  faith responds :  "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.....for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever"
 
2020 has many lesson to teach us, and for the world in general 2021 is uncertain. Let  the word of the Lord bring hope midst despair and the love of Christ enable us to reach out to others.

 

For some of the lessons of 2020 write to  johnmckee@internode.on.net

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Question: How does God keep us alive?

 

How does God keep us alive?

What a wonderful machine the human body is! Well it is not a machine but rather an organism. So wonderful that you can feed it carrots and this is converted into superfast electrical signals to store information (vast amounts of it) in a guey thing called brain, which in turn controls the hands to put more food into the mouth. Then the stomach asks for minerals and fibre and sugar and vitamins. Some how along with the intestinal tube, it sorts out the useful elements and discharges the waste. Of course transporting the vital molecules to the various working parts is done automatically through the blood stream so that the body cells grow, no, multiply by dividing!  This amazing cluster of dust molecules is able to see, hear, speak, sing, think, decide, love or hate etc etc etc .

Maybe there is something more than a well organized cluster of dust .

Anyway God seemed to invent something very special, but at the same time something rather frail. If the food fails, or water fails, or any vital component fails, the whole castle crumbles to dust!

Since God invented such a wonderful organism, we do well to care for it well. But beyond all that muscle, nerves, blood and bones, beyond that is mind and feeling, spirit and soul, personality and purpose. It is more important to care for this part of our being than the body. We need to feed our minds with good things, our souls on healthy attitudes, and let God direct our purposes.

 

Jesus said : "I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly."  John 10

How does God keep us alive? He oversees our wellbeing but leaves many of the choices up to us.

Read   Jude 21

Friday, December 25, 2020

Question - do you want to know God personally?

 

This question from a child surprised me.

The answer is ‘Yes’

 

When the Israelites encountered God at Mt Sinai, they became afraid and asked Moses to communicate with God personally. God’s awesome presence terrified the people.

King David responded differently. He admitted to his sin and need, but went into some place of solitude to wait on the Lord. And the Psalms testify to the value of that experience.

Philip the follower of Jesus was interested to know God the Father – “show us the Father and it is enough for us” 

Jesus said to him  “ ………. Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father”   John 14

Paul the apostle understood God as revealed in Jesus Christ and made it his life ambition :

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.” Philippians 3

 

God still speaks to those who take the time to listen. Thousands have proved this true.  He speaks through the Bible, He speaks through the Holy Spirit, sometimes through nature, and sometimes through other people.

The Lord Jesus Christ said in His prayer:

“This is life eternal, that they know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent”      John 17

 

This will be the happy life of believers forever, so let begin now – knowing God personally.


Take time out to seek the Lord - like an hour or more - and get to know Him today.


johnmckee@internode.on.net



Thursday, December 17, 2020

Why did Jesus die for us?

 

A question so important!

For those who go to church, this should be easy to answer, but many have never been taught the reason why- for them I write.

Jesus was born of Mary. According to the angel Gabriel, He was a perfect baby, given the title by the angel as Son of God. At age 30, He visited John the baptizer at the Jordan river. John affirmed the title Son of God, but added another – “The Lamb of God ,” with this explanation – ‘He would take away the sin of the world.’ You can read this in John chapter 1.

       John knew that sin prevented people knowing God, so he got them to confess, admit, repent of their sins. However, John realised that Jesus could set the people free from their sins, change their bad habits and connect them with God.  To do so He must die for our sin (not die like us, for He had no sin)– sin is like a debt we owe to God – someone pays.  Ignoring God, disobeying His commands, upsets God, offends His justice and someone must take the punishment. ( like upsetting the policeman by breaking the law). Living our own selfish way breaks friendship with God and so we need to be reconciled to God.

      John had learned from his boyhood days, that the way back to God was by a lamb dying in his place. John understood that the wages of sin is death, and for that reason he should die. But now a perfect man, like a precious lamb was appointed to die for us – Jesus the Lamb of God.

Jesus Himself told the people that He would give His life as payment for their sins.

Jesus described us as wandering sheep, but He said He would die for the sheep.

The Lord Jesus told His followers it was necessary for Him to suffer on the cross, so that people could turn back to God and be forgiven.

       Peter summed it up so well – 1Perter 3:18

“Jesus Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God”

 

      SO much more was achieved when Jesus Christ the Lord, died on the cross. Keep reading the New Testament and the Old to discover what God has done and will do through Jesus dying for us.

Just now let us say:

‘My sins deserve eternal death, but Jesus died for me.’

 

Bible references are freely available at johnmckee@internode.on.net