Monday, 14 January 2019

JESUS?? Really??

We have a son named Daniel and a daughter named Rachael. We have five amazing Grandblessings. Sue Ann my adored has one brother and two sisters. I Have two brothers and one sister and another sister who was a twin unfortunately died when she was just 12 months old.

It's amazing what you don't know about people even when you have known them for quite a while isn't it!  Some people feel they know our family well yet I can tell you what we are really like because I know them all so well.

Most people have at least heard about Jesus - they may have even formed a mental picture in their minds as to what he looked like, what he wore, where he went, where he was born even how he died and for the majority of people out there that's about it.

To get to know Jesus better check out the gospels - here we have the facts from the people who knew HIM better because they actually lived their human life here on this amazing spinning ball we called earth with Him during the three short years of His ministry.

Most people that I have talked to assume they know Jesus, yet I wonder at their complete lack of knowledge regarding Him. They readily tell me that he was a great teacher or that he came completely from left field, or even that he didn't exist. Some tell me he was the founder of Christianity some even tell me he was the son of God.

Knowing about Jesus intimately nearly always brings surprises - he is the SURPRISING JESUS.

I think the most surprising thing about Jesus is His complete trust in the Father - He knew he was born to die and die horribly for us - for example if Jesus had died peacefully in his sleep one night then I doubt the impact of the life changing and incredible sacrifice for our sins wouldn't have had the impact it had on that terrible but beautiful day on Calvary all those years ago.

Do you know the real meaning of the cross? many people wear crosses with no idea what they are adorning the necks with and how the REAL cross saves people even today.

The REAL Jesus can change your life!

John R W Stott asks in his book THE CROSS OF CHRIST why the cross emerged as the symbol of Christ? Why did the early Christians not choose a crib where he was born, or a boat where he preached, or towels with which he washed dirty feet, or the stone rolled away from the tomb where he rose?

Stott goes on to say that while Jesus' birth and life and preaching are all so vital - It's his crucifixion and resurrection that are absolutely central to really knowing him.

I truly believe at his death on Calvary and that last cry IT IS FINISHED was a shout of victory not a cry of resignation - Jesus had finished the work he was destined to fulfil.

The Father's will was completed - Jesus had paid the price for you and me to know Him fully. It is really really sad that many people don't grab hold of the incredible truth and apply it to their own lives - if they did they would notice a HUGE change

The resurrection of Jesus of course is the very climax of the life of Jesus and being raised he is again with the Father, It is really THE most important event in the history of world,

One amazing day the heavens will open wide like a huge scroll and then everyone who has gotten to know Him not just on paper but intimately known Jesus and invited Him into their hearts to rule their lives will be caught up to meet Him - an amazing event indeed.

Jesus came to earth to save sinners like you and me. If you are one of those people who couldn't care less about what happened 2019 years ago then I urge you to take a bigger and better look at who Jesus really is then sit down and really think about what you have learnt - it could have wonderful unimaginable or disastrous consequences of your life.

Once we are dead it is far too late to come back - there really are no second chances after that but let me tell you this one important fact about Jesus - he died for your sins. The sins you committed before you knew him, the sins you have committed since knowing him and even the sins you will commit in the future,

All you have to do is come before the Lord, confess your sins - ask Him to rule your life and to truly repent asking him to forgive you.

Once we have given our lives to Him - then His very spirit will come in and take up residence in your life, then when you do mess up His spirit will prompt you to come back ask forgiveness again - it really is that simple.

It is really simple but is THE biggest decision I made such a long time ago. Did I ever mess up since making that decision? Of course I did and still do BUT the most amazing part is that God in his mercy and because of what Jesus did on that cross is so willing to forgive me.

Of course it doesn't mean that I can live my life doing exactly what I want and when I want to do it - my whole demeanor changed that day and I really want to live for Jesus. He always ALWAYS prompts me and helps me to confess and restart when I mess up.

Come to Him today.

Do you know JESUS???   REALLY??

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Preventing Bush Fires

WOW!!! the fires in California are so devastating - we live in and love Australia and have been watching the devastation from way over here.

We also live in this amazing country where it is summer at present and what happens?

Snow down on the alps - floods in NSW - unimaginative disaster, and to top it all off major bush fires in Queensland - So our hearts go out to the people in California for their huge losses - words can't describe how these people who have lost everything are feeling and coping.

Fire, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and typhoons etc are really distressing and so painful. Personal belongings lost forever and worse still the loss of life..... Well words just cannot express how you feel.

Hurtful words can have the same effect and impact - I have been reading James lately and going on my life's past experience, I am left pondering this question WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO CONTROL THE TONGUE?

In James 3 the brother of Jesus tells us that "NO ONE can tame the tongue".  Powerful words indeed. James has lot to say about the tongue - He may have had the same problem I have had - I have lost count of the time I have lost control of the tongue.

He goes on to say that the tongue is such a small part of our bodies yet it makes HUGE boasts - worse than that he says it can be like a fire a world of evil that defiles the whole body - set on fire from the very gates of hell itself YIKES!!!!

Hiding inside all of us I feel is the horrible ability to flare up all sorts of 'fires' including hatred, jealousy, envy, judging and the list goes on and on

Our tongues can destroy someones reputation by simply one or two words. We can be taken out of context and the rumours can  spread just like wildfires in the Aussie bush.

It doesn't seem that long ago that something I personally said in a concerning and absolutely innocent way was misinterpreted by another person and next thing I knew I had a young lady phoning me wondering why I had said such a thing which in her opinion was so so wrong.

So you see we have to be so careful with what we say and even how we say it. As I have shared before I have had to let a friend of long standing go because of what he called my 'banter'. We have to be so careful with how we present ourselves to others. Not everyone thinks or talks like we do.

Our tongues are capable to lying on one hand and being sarcastic and patronising on the other. It can flatter and malign even in one sentence.

Our tongues can criticise  in such a destructive way that it can cause suicides and the power to change minds, situations and ideals. WHOA!!

On saying all of that our tongues can be soothing in times of bereavement and crisis it can even encourage and bless - so how come James is insistent in saying that 'no one can control the tongue'?

James explains in chapter 3 verses 9 to 12.  'With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in the likeness of God, Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this SHOULD NOT BE. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.' (NIV)

So we see here that even though we love to flatter and 'be nice' we can also be completely the opposite and James reminds us so clearly that this is so wrong!

What is to be done then to tame this tongue of ours that James even likens to a rudder in a ship, controlling what we do and what we say and even where we go?

We always seem to bang on about being ' the master of our own fates - the captain of our own souls' how subtly we convince ourselves that we control our own lives.

It often takes a crisis or even death itself to convince us otherwise. James goes on to tell us ' you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes'.

Our lives are so transient. We really do not have full control of our lives at all. Our tongues can set us on paths of destruction that we just cannot change or undo.

There is only one who can control the tongue. It is only when God comes onto our lives that we have any hope in controlling our tongue. Even then we have to keep focusing on Him at all times.

When we have God's spirit living inside of us he convicts  us when we sin with our tongue. When we are focused on Him, we know immediately what we say is wrong and we repent and pray earnestly for a refreshment of God's spirit so that we can put things right and avoid getting further into the sin-hold that our tongues can bury us in.

The further we rely on God to captain our lives we will find that he will control our wayward tongues as well which has to be a good thing considering all the damage it has done and continues to do.

Let's ask God today to make our tongues a source of life rather that a source of destruction.

God bless you this week as you ask God to control your tongue and help you to be so aware of what you say.

The Return of the king

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