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Exodus 20:25-26

“If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.” (v.25)

The altar of Jesus on the cross is enough for our salvation. Our good works (dressed stones and tools) will not save us and get us into heaven. Trying to earn our way into heaven by good works is an insult (defiles) to all Jesus has done for us.

“And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.” (v.26)

Do not exalt yourself or become self-important else you may be disgraced. To put it another way ‘pride comes before a fall’. Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought. (Proverbs 16:18; 25:6-7 and Romans 12:3).

Prayer: Father God, we thank you for Jesus and for the price paid on the cross for us. Help us to remember that there is no good work that we can do to earn our way into heaven and that Jesus is the only way to you. Thank you that by your grace we can come to you just as we are and you lovingly accept us. Forgive us Lord for our pride and help us to see you more clearly that your holiness may keep us humble. All glory to you O Lord! Amen!

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Mark 8:22-26

“When he (Jesus) had spat on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (v.23b-25).

In this story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida, Jesus put his hands on the man for a second time. Then the man’s eyes were opened and his sight was completely restored.

This held a whole new meaning to me, as I was seeking God with the verse of a song in mind ‘There must be more than this!’ For so long I have been hungry for more of God and I feel that there is a whole lot more that God wants to reveal to us, his children, than we realize. So when I read this passage of scripture it was like a confirmation that we only really see in part and that God wants to open our eyes to more.

So I pray – Lord Jesus, please open our eyes to more of you. Help us to see everything more clearly than before, that we, your children may walk in greater faith and a deeper knowledge of your power at work in and through us. Lord we desire to see miracles and healing and widespread revival. Bring us to that place where we believe you for more, that our prayers are faith-filled and powerful. May we be ‘Oaks of Righteousness’ for your glory. Amen!

LGBT and Grace!

There is a huge part of society that needs to be reached with the love of God and yet it seems to me that all we Christians are doing is telling them what we do and don’t agree with. By the way, I hold my hands up as I have been guilty of this too. But what I find interesting is that while the devil keeps us busy with our differences of opinion, there is a very large chunk of the community that are missing out on knowing the love of Jesus because of our beliefs.

‘So let us in the first instance just come to a common and mutual ground – Jesus.’

He loves us so much that he died for us all, that none may perish! God loves us so much that he would come to the earth he created to reveal his loving kindness and to pay the ultimate price for our wrong-doings. We have all done wrong in the sight of our holy Father, God, and we all deserve hell but God in his mercy gave himself up for us on that cross, so that we can live with him eternally. Isn’t that just the greatest message we could ever hear? It is the same news for every one of us – despite our differences. So now that we have found this common ground, let’s start from here.

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are looked upon by our holy Father. He knows everything about us, good and bad. Yet he welcomes us all into his loving arms (because that is what a perfect, loving parent does). He desires that we get along and understands that we don’t agree on everything. He gives us free will to make our own choices in life and some are good for us and some can be harmful to us. His word guides us, helping us to make better life choices. If we disagree with his word or choose to ignore it then we eventually have to face the consequences. This is how life works.

Many a time I have said “focus on the solution and not on the problem” and I think this is where we are going wrong. We are focusing on our differences and debating over personal interpretations of God’s word, when

‘We should be uniting and reaching out to let people know that our loving Father God wants his children to come home.’

We should be ‘loving our neighbour’, welcoming them into the church, not criticizing their lifestyle. Would you have wanted to know God if the person revealing God to you told you all that was wrong with you and how you needed to change? You would say ‘no thanks, that’s not for me.’ Jesus didn’t point out the sins of the people, and remember, we all sin. No, he met each person where they were at, and he loved them in their situation. Yes he taught, but that was more about his Father’s kingdom and the religion of the pharisees.

So what better way to reach out to people of diversity than with like-minded people who have a deep love for God and are also understanding to these particular groups in society. Whether it be through worship, preaching, prayer, hospitality, evangelizing, administration, etc, it needs to be done. There is a whole range of ministries out there where people of the LGBT community can reach the lost with the love of Jesus.

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”(2Cor.4:5).

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal.6:9).

Allow Jesus to love through you and let the Holy Spirit do his work in and through you, for God’s word says that ‘the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth’ (John 16:13). I believe this. Do you?

“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)”.

21/02/16

Since writing this blog I have come to learn of a few friends who are struggling with feelings towards the same sex. I completely understand how deeply you can love someone of the same sex and also contemplate going down that road. We all crave love and intimacy as well as physical pleasure on some levels. Also, in this day and age where there are few boundaries when it comes to sex (when it is mutual, between two adults) how can we see clearly what is right in God’s eyes when society tells us it is acceptable in theirs, no matter how contradictory it is to God’s word?

I have given this subject much thought. When we sin, we are sinning against God. I tried to see if anyone would be getting hurt in the situation because it seems to me that God wants us to love one-another and not hurt each other. So it’s easy to try to justify same-sex marriage in the sense that:

• If both are consenting adults then it isn’t hurting anyone;
• Marriage is the right thing to do, in the eyes of God, and sexual consummation may occur.

In sins such as adultery, pedophilia, incest, rape, etc; someone is always getting hurt.

But what about God, isn’t he getting hurt? Doesn’t it say in his word that not only are our bodies a temple for God but that he detests such sexual acts? We are told to flee sexual immorality. Are we again justifying our actions to meet our desires?

Thank God for his grace! I can only agree with his word and yet understand your human flesh that burns with passion. If you could refrain from the sexual relationship and love your friend without being tempted to sexual immorality then I would say “go ahead, spend the rest of your lives together.” But I doubt you could live this way.
I love someone I cannot be with and it isn’t even a lust of the flesh. By loving this person I would want to spend more time getting to know them and this would not please their partner. Actually, it is their love and knowledge of God that makes me desire to be in their company more, that I may be closer to God. Either way it hurts someone – their partner and God. So it may be deep love but I cannot act on it.

Therefore in conclusion to my friends’ struggles I want you to know that I love you very much. I accept you for who you are. We may not agree on each others choices but God’s grace is bigger than our life choices and our sin. Whatever you go through I will be there for you and will not judge you or your decisions. My advice to you would be to seek God for your answers and stay in close relationship to him because he is the only one who can guide you into all truth. I am not saying I am right and you are wrong as I really don’t know the answer. This is only a statement of what I believe to be true based on my knowledge of the bible and my own life experiences. As long as you know that you are welcome in my home, church and life and that your sexual preference will have no effect on my love for you.

Be truly blessed my brothers and sisters in Christ and know this – whatever happens, your Father God loves you and will bring you safely home to him!

(The above is written with love, in the knowledge and understanding that I have personally come to believe. Therefore it is a subjective view and is not necessarily the view of all believers in the Christian faith. It was not written to offend anyone but only to share my understanding on the subject of same-sex relationships/marriage. I welcome your comments with an open mind, whether I agree with them or not.)

God is good!

With all that has happened lately I have had many questions. I have come to the conclusion that God can only be good. Many a time I questioned his goodness but I now know that he can’t be otherwise. Jesus on the cross is all the proof we need that our God is a good God. So then the only question for people that is left is whether he is – that he exists. This too I cannot argue for he has revealed himself to me – so therefore I cannot say anything against him – for he is who he says he is and all that is written about him is true and we can only love him and trust that no matter what happens, God is in control!

Psalm 118:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever.”

You want to know me!

Me : “Father, tell me, why does my brother barely acknowledge me? Why doesn’t he say hello to me and welcome me with open arms? It is like he doesn’t care, like I don’t exist. Why does he treat me this way? it is so hurtful.”
Father : “My beloved child, I want you to know me better. I want you to know how it feels for me to love my children, so deeply, and yet have them not acknowledge me and act as though I don’t exist. Some even treat me with contempt and say many awful things about me. They have lost their way. You say you want to know me. If you know how I feel and share in my heartache then you may be encouraged to help bring my children home. So please go and tell them how much Father Daddy loves them. Tell them I love them so much and I am not holding their sins against them. Tell them I want them to come home! “

14/10/15

I saw a large and depressed young girl in her late teens – early 20’s. She couldn’t find the motivation to help herself. She was so sad and down, helpless and hopeless. The foods she kept eating were keeping her body sluggish so that she had little energy to do things. It was so much easier for her to shut herself away at home and eat comfort foods while watching ‘Jeremy Kyle’ and other programmes that displayed a life outside of her own. Such entertainment was a distraction for this girl from her own troubles, until she sees something she identifies with that brings her to tears.

She makes many promises to herself that she will try harder and each time she fails she dislikes herself even more. This adds to the vicious cycle of self-harm through comfort-eating and prolongs the depression. This is not the life she wants; the self-hate is so intense and she often fantasizes about taking her own life – “Then they’ll be sorry; then someone will love and miss me!”, she says.

Where is the message of hope for this girl? Who is the one that tells her ‘You are beautiful!’ and ‘You are made in God’s image!”? Where is our witness of Jesus Christ to her?

This is what followed:

Psalm 139:1-16 (from God)

“My child, I have searched you and I know you. I know when you sit and when you rise; I perceive your thoughts from afar. I discern your going out and your lying down; I am familiar with all your ways. Before a word is on your tongue I know it completely, my child. I hem you in – behind and before; I have laid my hand upon you. Such knowledge is too wonderful for you, too lofty for you to attain. Where can you go from my Spirit? Where can you flee from my presence? If you come up to the heavens, I am here; If you make your bed in the depths, I am there. If you rise on the wings, if you settle on the far side of the sea, even there my hand will guide you, my right hand will hold you fast. If you say “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to me; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to me.

For I created your inmost being; I knit you together in your mother’s womb. I am praised because you are fearfully and wonderfully made; my works are wonderful and known full well. Your frame was not hidden from me when you was made in the secret place. When you was woven together in the depths of the earth, my eyes saw your unformed body. All the days ordained for you were written in my book before one of them came to be.”

Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you that you are familiar with all our ways and you still love us. Help us to witness to the lost. May we give hope to the hopeless as we share the truth of your gospel. Teach them that they are chosen by you, wanted and loved by the one who truly knows them. May they come to realize that they are uniquely created and fearfully and wonderfully made. In Jesus’ name – Amen!