Sunday, February 20, 2011
We need to be wise in our dealings with others. A good attitude will result in less stress and attract the support of those who are blessed by our words and ways. Put in another way, they will respond to us.
A bad attitude will result in people reacting to us, creating tensions that can shorten life.
By loving those around us
we show the world that we
belong to God Who bound us
to Him eternally.
When we hand our lives over to the Lord we must believe that He is going to deal with our enemies. Apart from Satan and his demons, and natural enemies in the world, it is about overcoming the carnal nature in us, the nature that keeps on wanting to degrade us. As we get the victory over inbred sin we will more readily rejoice.
'Tis in a life surrendered to
God's cleansing of all inbred sin
that He is able to renew
His mighty power within.
- John's baptism was by using water after confession and repentance for the forgiveness. The implication of v.8 was that his baptism required water, but not so with that of Jesus, Who would give us (baptize with) the Holy Spirit. Nothing else was needed. Once Jesus had been baptized by John He had fulfilled one of the law's requirements so it was not required of His followers. That is the significance of Jesus saying: It is finished. Nothing needs to be added to what He has done.
- Twelve disciples responded positively to Jesus' call. How many did not? We don't know, but the lesson is: if Jesus calls then it is best to respond (and don't turn back like Judas).
- 'Follow me' says Jesus; He will enable us to succeed as Christians. We are never to follow any man.
- With the Holy Spirit within, teaching us, we must learn to teach the Gospel with authority and power.
We know of twelve disciples who
responded to His call;
one stayed not true so never knew
That Christ was God of all!
- God knows what He wants - in minutest detail. That applies to us, too.
- Only the best is acceptable, in materials or our service.
- Service must be dedicated to God before it will be honoured by God.
SERVICE FOR GOD
When God calls us to service
we should not hesitate;
there's no need to be nervous
or get into a state.
For He knews we are lacking
in talent, power and skill;
so He gives all the backing
we need to do His will.
We only need be willing
to do whate'er God asks.
He'll work through us, fulfilling
the most demanding tasks.
We must learn to fear the Lord. That is the word of Wisdom - Wisdom starts with the fear of God. That is being smart, for the fear of God will cause us to want to know what God wants of us through His word; and obedience to God’s revealed will brings security, joy and peace.
(Based on Psalm 34:11 and Prov 9:9)
David knew the perils that life could bring each day
That is why he sought God’s help when he ran away.
Having Saul in hot pursuit wasn’t really fun,
well aware that he’d be dead if he didn’t run!
So he ran, but ne’er forgot: God was on his side,
And was always there for him; in Him he’d confide.
That was smart, for knowing God meant that he was sure
of God’s promise: ‘You’ll be king!’ This made him endure!
On his own he had no chance, but with God as Guide
He would always be secure – he on God relied!
That is why he urges us: ‘Learn to fear the Lord;
Here’s the smart thing you can do; take Him at His Word!’
We are to make disciples. This is the command from Jesus to all the disciples, i.e. not only the eleven. The lies about Jesus' death and resurrection are still perpetuated today; but those in whose hearts He dwells KNOW that He has risen from the grave and is alive today!
‘Make disciples!’ that’s the word
From the lips of Christ our Lord.
For if sinners we can bring
to the feet of Christ our King
where they full salvation claim –
victory in Jesus’ Name –
then He will be magnified,
worshipped, praised and glorified!
God puts into us the skills, talents and abilities that we need for the work He calls us to do. No work He calls us to do is beyond our ability to handle. To get the job done we simply need to respond to God's call and get on with it!
Thus, in my case, I must get on with writing for the Glory of God! And it must line up with 2Ti_4:1-5.
THOSE GOD CALLS HE EQUIPS
God gives us all the powers we need
to do the work He calls us to.
All we must do is pay Him heed
when He tells us what we must do.
For all He wants of us is – us;
obedient, yielded to His will;
and if we do not stray or fuss,
He’ll use us for His work until
we grow in faith and inner strength
as He makes all we do succeed.
So give your all, for God at length
Will use you
upon a cross was slain for me
that I, through all eternity
will see Him face to face.
Within the ambit of His love,
enjoying His great treasure-trove,
I'll dwell with Him in heav'n above,
a sinner saved by grace!
Rom 5:8 'God shows his love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Quiet Time thoughts: 12 February 2011)
Elsewhere Jesus said: 'I and My Father are one'. (John 10:30). This I also believe, for it ties in with Isaiah 9:6: 'For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son os Given; ... and His name will be called ... Mighty God'. This clearly tells me that about 700 years before the birth of Jesus it was prophesied that God (the Son) was to be born. I have no problem believing this too, for in Micah 5:2 it was prophesied that Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was to be 'Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting'. It all adds up to Jesus and the Father being one. And Paul wrote in Romans 8:9 about the Holy Spirit indwelling the believers. So, in such verses found throughout the New Testament we find references to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Who indwells every believer as ... Father, Son and Holy Spirit! This confirms my belief that it makes no difference how the indwelling God is described, for all Three Persons indwell me ... as God!
Let's look at this matter of God being three Persons from another perspective. Both the Old Testament (Ezekiel 36:27 and others) and the New Testament mention God being present in every believer. When Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church (3:19): '... that you might be filled with all the fullness of God', he is saying that every believer has the fullness of God in him/her! Now that fullness is definitely not a billioneth part of God, divided between all the believers; it is the FULLNESS - the everythingness, the wholeness - of God. And that, to me, means Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One mighty God.
Add to that the many references that speak of God upon His throne and dwelling in heaven (Isaiah 6:1; Matthew 5:34 and others) then I am reminded that God controls everything in the universe, and does so while simultaneously giving attention to the prayers and needs of every believer! I believe that at all times God is giving PERSONAL attention to every believer, no matter the needs of the universe or the billions of others in the world. Every believer is given God's undivided attention! And the wonder of it is that God never mixes me up with some other believer and sends him/her the answer I am praying for. That is because nothing is impossible for Almighty God Who knows everything!
In 2 Chronicles 6:18, Solomon acknowledges that if 'heaven and the heaven of heavens' cannot contain Almighty God, how could the earthly house (Temple) that he had built contain Him? I don't have Solomon's problem about that. To me it is no trouble for the Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent God to occupy heaven, the universe, the Temple, and the hearts of billions of believers simultaneously. Nothing is impossible for Him. And there is no need for Him to split Himself into billions of parts. He is able to function fully in all these spheres of activity that fall upon Him. Being a Trinity comprised of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is how the One Lord, Almighty God, deals with matters relating to the universe and the people He made.
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY HERE IS SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!
To me it is truly humbling that while God occupies earth and the entire universe far beyond the furtherest reaches of the most powerful of earth's telescopes He is also spending time with me! Put another way: even now, while God is active in the lives of His children throughout the world, I am very aware that He is giving attention to my needs. And He is not divided up into billioneths so that each believer can enjoy at least some small part of Him. No way! ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD indwells me even while He fully indwells all other believers.
We must not limit an Infinite God by our finite thoughts! If we can readily accept and believe that His universal attention to all believers is possible, why not also believe in the Trinity? Why is it impossible to believe that the One God Who can simultaneously relate to millions is also able to project Himself as Three Persons?
All glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
About the love of God: I still remember something of the sense of wonderment I experienced when I listened to one of my Sunday School teachers, Miss Milly Dudley, as she told Bible stories about God's love. Love for God seemed so natural to her that I had the feeling she was in contact with Him all the time. I wondered why such a loving person had never married and had children. It was only years later, after her death, that I learned that she had been engaged but her fiancé had gone up north (i.e. from South Africa to Europe) during WWI and was killed during one of the many futile charges across no mans land that so wastefully cost many lives. I like to believe that when he died his one thought was that he was doing so out of love for Miss Milly, to protect her from their enemy.
That is what Jesus did. Out of His great love, He gave His life to protect us from Satan whose one desire is to deceive us and ruin us in every way. As a tribute to Miss Milly I have written the following poem in the words of a child.
GOD'S LOVE (A child's view)
God's love is like a blue, blue sky
that makes our spirits soar.
We never have enough of it
so God gives more and more.
God's love is like much needed rain
that cools the thirsty land;
and, like all other precious things,
is what for us He planned.
God's love is like a myriad stars
that twinkle in the night.
The darkened corners of our lives
He fills with heavenly light.
God's love is like a golden sun
that warms us through and through,
inspires our hearts, and joy imparts
like nothing else can do.
God's love is like a breath of air
which we all need to live.
It guarantees that we will have
the best that He can give.
God's love is seen in nature's charms,
proclaimed from earth to sky.
It sends His glorious message out:
Come! Dwell with me on high!
(8 February 2011).
For various reasons, not only to do with my health but also because I was busy with other writing projects that I plan to put on the web, I have not contributed anything to my blog over the past year. I am hoping to be able to share much more in the year ahead.
The writing project that took up much of my time is a Christian adventure story for teenagers. It is set in a future time and carries some clear Christian teaching about things that teens come up against. It should be available for downloading within the next three months. I will post info here so watch this space!