Friday, October 31, 2014

Revenge - reward

Revenge    -     Reward

For many modern minds, revenge seems to be a bad word. True it is not for us to revenge, but God says “vengeance is mine, I will repay”. We are not qualified (John 8.7), but for a just God , this is most appropriate. 

Revelation 19.2 reads “ He has avenged the murder of His servants” (past tense in the vision of the future happenings).  Of all the things that need to be put straight, the murder of Christians, just for being Christians, will be revenged by God. To think for a minute of the many burned at the stake, the many today being beheaded, the thousands shot to death for loyalty to Christ, it is only fitting that the Lord will demonstrate who is the only potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords. His judgements are just in keeping with the character of His person – ‘Holy, holy , holy’

He will judge according to their deeds (Revelation 20.13). This is the reality that makes mercy and grace so brilliant   - that God the just one is able and willing to  declare righteous the repentant sinner who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ (remembering the price HE paid to make this possible). The book of the revelation points out that the extreme judgements of the Lamb are upon those who refuse to repent, or refuse to give God the glory, so that revenge by the Lamb is appropriate.
The book of revelation concludes with the promise of reward. (Revelation 22.12). How brilliant is the glory of God’s character, that He chooses to reward, in the good sense, those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Well might the encouragement of 1 Corinthians 15.58, encourage us to look beyond the present haze to the day of HIS glory.

“be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”

John McKee

Saturday, October 18, 2014

thoughts from Acts 11

Acts 11 – Critic or Consolation

        The first part of Acts 11 is a response to critics who were more interested in their own agenda than God’s. They even challenged the leading apostle – Peter.

        How easily we can fall into this trap and criticise others to present ourselves as superior. So many different groups of people major on insignificant detail to distinguish themselves.
These critics missed the point – God was doing something very special – reaching out in mercy and grace to all the people of the world.

        The second part of Acts 11 is very refreshing. God at work in His mission to all the people of the nations.
Believers scattered by persecution began to tell many others the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ – once crucified, now risen. Independent  of any special persons or special methods, the seed of the word of the Lord sprang to life and a great number turned to the Lord. God then used Barnabas to encourage  the believers to be faithful to the Lord. He did not institute some new religion, but encouraged them to establish their relationship to the Lord Jesus. Barnabas , the great encourager, seeks out a discarded disciple – Saul. Together they move forward for God, with God in conjunction with the Christians at Antioch.

Let us double check our commitment to the Lord Jesus – over and above all other commitments.

Let us be encourager's and evangelists, carrying the good news to those about us.

John McKee

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Good news from our compass – Acts10

I focus on the section about Jesus of Nazareth.

        Although Jesus the Christ was born a Jew and worked mostly among Jews, Peter insists that He is Lord of all ( all people ). It was God who anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. The evidence of God’s approval in His life was seen in His doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. This brilliant light shining in Jesus seemed to be the answer to the world’s problems. – but the jealous Jewish leaders rejected His claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God and condemned Him as worthy of death. The Roman rulers would not allow a rival king to Caesar or Herod so they crucified Him. This seemed like the end of God’s mercy and kindness through Jesus of Nazareth.  But God interrupted the hatred and cruelty of mankind with this triumph – “God raised Him on the third day”.

         What seemed like ultimate defeat, God turned into an eternal triumph. To verify this resurrection, God appointed witnesses. These apostles and many others saw the risen Christ and to verify the reality of His physical body, they ate and drank with Him.

   Peter then recalls the command of Lord Jesus, to go and preach – but preach what?
1 That Jesus had been appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.
2 To announce forgiveness of sins to all who believe in His name
The first statement affects us all  -  we shall all be judged.
The second presents a choice  - we will either believe in him or reject Him.
The people who listened to Peter, believed the message and received from God forgiveness of their sins
     For us the challenge remains the same – will we believe, or do we choose not to believe. We have the liberty to choose, but the consequences flow to a logical conclusion.

     Jesus the judge has nail scarred hands – scars to recall the price He paid in love to save all.  – scars to tell His true right to be the final judge of all humanity.

I call on all readers of this article today, to look up and give God their answer to the vital question  “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?”

John McKee

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Compass pointing upward


Can we use the book of ‘the Revelation’ as our guide?

       I am deeply impressed by the first page of the book. More than being very descriptive, this is the very voice of God speaking. Such has been the interruptions of God from the beginning. In the beginning was the ‘Word’, and so it was that God spoke the universe into being. God called to Adam. God spoke to Cain. God spoke to Abram, Moses and many more.  This page, in the last book of Holy Scripture, is God speaking yet again.
He identifies Himself as distinct from every other voice, as the eternal one, the almighty, the alpha and omega (  beginning and end of communication)

     Verse 17.   John sees a man, more than a man and again the voice is heard  -  “I am the first and the last”  (beginning and end of all history)
     Verse18.   John hears the distinctive identity of this glorious one “ the living one, and I was dead and behold I am alive forevermore”

Thus is established the subject of the book  - Jesus, later described as the Lamb!

I pause to   ponder,      ..   ...   ... if I accept Jesus as risen, Jesus as exalted in heaven and ruler of the kings of the earth,   ...  ....   ..  then I reflect on the time of His life on earth with deep awe   --  Jesus the Son of God, in human form speaking the word of God.

May the living one by His abiding Spirit enable  you to hear again the voice of the Lord – “ Be not afraid, I am the first and the Last”

So to answer the original question, Yes we can use this book to guide us into a deeper worship of the living God and the heavenly revelation of Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords.
For those who love Him, we may well pray
“Even so come Lord Jesus”

J. McKee