Monday, 29 February 2016

A back to front world

Isaiah 2:22. Stop trusting in human beings, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?

It’s not that human beings can’t do, or are not capable of doing good things. The words of God preached by Isaiah are not challenging our ability to live as a society or community. The challenge or question is…What are you building your life upon & why. After all that I have done, after all the care I have provided, why wander, why forsake my great love for something that only leads to distortion & destruction.

We love our instructions & warnings, we want our stuff to function properly lest it doesn’t operate properly or breaks down totally… a good & reasonable concern or fear. God gives us revelation but we often seem to want more pushing the boundaries not realising the repercussions. Individuals, families, communities, corporations & civilisations have or are building on something. We may think life is what we make it but we didn’t make ourselves. Life & nurture was given to us.

Isaiah 29:16. You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me?” Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing?”


God reasons with us in the modern world just as much as He reasoned with Israel & Judah. Today also there is much, much captivity & oppression as we seek to follow our own groove believing ourselves to be free & autonomous.







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Thursday, 25 February 2016

We the often wandering people



It’s been a while since I have studied the book of Isaiah the prophet. There is not a lot I could pull from the top of my head or memory bank but the Lord God’s dialogue in chapters 40 & 55 would be considered classics for me.By the end of the day I may have a few more chapters that are classics streamimg through my mind...God truly understands our rebellious & wandering ways. He calls out to us to take courage, warns us & comforts us.

Many paint a picture of God as the narcissistic avenger but you have to redact a whole lot of Scripture to come to that false conclusion. In God alone do we find perspective, scale & depth of meaning for our hearts, minds & daily living.

The politics of Isaiah’s day vary slightly to our own but many of the predicaments remain the same. Political pressure & oppression in their different forms seek to undermine faith & trust in God.


Introduction to The Study of the Book of Isaiah






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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

A robot cannot do this


The Bible, although considered ancient, is a book for the modern world. It was written long before the dark ages, its scenes pan from the beginning of time(humanly speaking) through to eternity & its message is for everyone & everything in-between. Inward struggles, outward behaviour, technology & medicine all need guidelines lest they rule society & our lives.

Central to the Bible is the person of Jesus, God in the flesh. His purpose filled life & death speaks to all that is wrong & right with humanity & the environment. Many allude to the gore (which is just as much part of modern living- if not more).But don’t forget God instructed that land & animals be rested & cared for. Respect for human life & injury was paramount (Leviticus). Jesus took on human flesh & bone fully. Like a beast of burden he came to carry the load which was for us, butchered like a lamb & his blood poured out. The crucifixion resembles the Old Testament sacrifice…an atonement has been met & a price has been paid at great cost.

Not so much a big bang reliant on cosmological assumptions but something much more grand that can be traced through time & space as its effects tear through a spiritual darkness starting in the temple where the curtain is torn in two. Matt 27:51. The Gentile world will experience the power of God & His grace, love & peace far beyond whatever this present nature has to offer. The Creation will be restored, Humanity will be restored, Zion will be restored.





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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Survey



God gives us volume, not nature. Many talk about the vast expanse of lifeless space in terms of wonder & awe. And how much more wonder again is there in living things on one planet that shares its volume amidst the land, sea & sky.

God gives us love too, in terms of volume or cost it cannot be fully measured or appreciated, but by grace we begin to survey God’s mercy across time & space. Scripture reveals judgement & mercy to the human family. Redemption comes, we are not alone in our suffering.

We cannot deny that the world is corrupted by the weight & intrusion of sin, nor should we deny the Saviour who came at great cost to save us from its deadly grasp. Only Jesus can truly save, for now & all eternity.


How Deep the Fathers Love for Us - Stuart Townend





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Saturday, 20 February 2016

waterworld & fluidity


We have become very accustomed to large scale catastrophe within nature but nothing the size of the immense catastrophic event that affected the world at the time of Noah & his family (apart from the fall & curse). Christians are often mocked regarding the alleged impossibility of the event, meanwhile secular science buffs soak up the non-living matters miraculous transformation into life without a shred of hard evidence.

Large scale structure was common in the ancient world, civilisations achieving grand things. But as we know grand things are not limited to the good but also the evil. At that point in time God initiates a judgement upon the world but here is also a picture of salvation & peace with God. 1 Peter 3:20-22.


We are often called upon to wait patiently for God, not to rush ahead in our own strength & wisdom. This is for our own good & wellbeing, God cares about the state of humanity, it is why He came to redeem us. As Moses relays, Noah built an ark on the promises of God, today we build upon the rock…Jesus. One & the same in many respects amidst the anarchy.











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Friday, 19 February 2016

Three wise men



Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not follow the status quo…There is only one God who made heaven & earth. Dan 3:1-30. It’s no different today for Christians either. The political forces are just as much anti Jehovah Jireh. Vindication is not always as obvious, nor was it in the Old Testament, the New or in these Last days, but God’s everlasting arm is just as mighty to save. The people may have changed but God has not.

The world subtly says bow before me, at times it loudly beats its drum expecting us to dance to its perverse tunes, and moreover it will turn up the heat for a desired effect. Secular evangelism intertwined with political punch & the church of modern myth, church & state two. Behind it lays a spiritual battle of unseen magnitude just as it has been for a long, long time.


The talking snake (spirits enter in) is just as much a roaring lion looking to devour.
 1 Pet 5:8-9.








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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Unnatural




How can something in nature be unnatural. Well we would probably say that a woman can love her son in an unnatural/sexual way. We would deem this to be unnatural & harmful in more ways than one.


So it can’t be just about love & consent can it. Holy matrimony finds its roots in created order. For thousands of years the family unit although imperfect in measures, finds its dynamic in the man, woman & children relationship. A biological unity founded in the image of God, intelligence in nature & nurture with boundaries & limits.

To think that messing with this unique relationship & distorting it more will create something better for humanity is to deprive or distort marriage of its true meaning & purpose leaving it hollow.

A dark & shadowy reality of what it really is in the light of day.


Wiki
unnatural
ʌnˈnatʃ(ə)r(ə)l/
adjective
  1. 1.
    contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal.
    "death by unnatural causes"
  2. 2.
    not existing in nature; artificial.
    "the artificial turf looks an unnatural green"
    synonyms:artificialman-madesynthetic, manufactured, fabricated, fakefalse,fauxsimulated, not found/existing in nature
    "the tractor passed in a flash of unnatural colour"

Monday, 15 February 2016

Pilgrims progress vs Peoples progress



Just as our origin is called into question so is our identity. It’s a big thing at the moment in the politics of the people…it has been since the birth of modernism which also has roots in Babel & Eden for that matter…Did God really say?…. Modern humanity embraces a new idea that becomes another idea & so on. But is it evolution or devolution, change equals both as we mutate in our spiritual death & natural state.

We sure are good at making mountains of trash & garbage too, Oscar the grouch would be proud of modernism where we get to stay in our swamp mushy muddy. Apparently Oscar’s colour was originally orange but he turned green after visiting swamp mushy muddy.

Many people like to identify with a world lost in sin & wrong doing…there is a huge consensus there but that doesn’t make something right does it & Oscar doesnt give a stuff for consensus either.

God himself came down to identify with humanity, to show us that the slimy pit of mud & mire is no place to live a life. God in the flesh willingly went to the cross, painful & gory as it was, not for himself…but for a lost humanity.

Oscar went from orange to green & thought he had found an ultimate happiness. In Christ we are transformed from sin soaked darkness into pure white. Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Psalm 40:1-17. John 1:35-37.










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Friday, 12 February 2016

Rich in Love


Its Valentine’s Day this Sunday, historically the day goes back to the middle ages. These days it seems to be Romance Day. There are many romance & love stories in the Bible. Love & romance can take you up higher than the clouds & it can bring you down into the depths of despair. Just look to the life of Samson, the long haired lover from Mahaneh Dan. Judges 14, 15 & the not so sweet 16.

There are good reasons why God places boundaries on our relationships, not to spoil our fun but to enrich our lives with His blessing, timing & wisdom. Love is like Algebra, it has angles & degrees, brackets & divisions. But it’s more than a concept & its greatest & purest measure can be found in God. Ps 63:1-11.

Romeo & Juliet & Samson & Delilah are both pictures of love, so is Jesus & Joshua, David & Bathsheba, David & Jonathon (not romance & sexual but friendship).In God’s book love & sexuality have limits lest we be overcome & lose our way. The Apostle Paul was single but knew of God’s great love shown in Jesus.

Faith reminds us God’s love is better than life & stronger than death.


Psalm 63 by Sons of Korah






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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Money for nothing & bands on the run








It’s what we humans really are, a picture of death & decay, wearing out even before we are born. The sting of death is at home with us & time is sort of on our side until it’s not. “For dust you are and to dust you will return”. Gen 3:19. Welcome to our nightmare, welcome to our breakdown (Alice Cooper). One door closes & another opens into eternity says Scripture.

It’s not to say we don’t experience purpose, joy & happiness here on earth, some things are ecstatic & euphoric & that’s not just the sex, drugs & rock n roll that eventually takes its toll. Yes there is plenty of satisfaction but it’s not guaranteed like death & taxes oh sinner man.


The words of God himself in the parable of the prodigal son call us to come home to the Father’s love & provision through Jesus. His ever mindful heart & loving arms alone can restore us. Luke 15:11-32. 




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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Metropolis of life & death



For many, Darwin as in Charles or Chuck is a hero, a free thinker who managed to crack the code of humanity, an accidental super star who just so happened to come up with a bright idea…a scientific super hero is born.But as often is the case, things are not as simple as they seem or are presented, particularly in mainstream media. Charles was greatly influenced by those around him. http://creation.com/darwinism-it-was-all-in-the-family

Evolution would have us believe nature is the reason for all the diversity we witness on this unique planet as it alludes to deep time, the big bang & the primordial beginnings of stuff unknown to science. Often presenting natural selection as proof, which is far from the case, things are not as simplistic as that, even if someone has some initials before or after their name. http://creation.com/natural-selection-evolution.


Yes we all have birthdays & death days…but it wasn’t always like that, things really have changed & history has a place in knowledge also.http://creation.com/living-for-900-years








Charles Robert Darwin, FRS FRGS FLS FZS (/ˈdɑːrwɪn/; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) 







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Monday, 8 February 2016

Passing through


On the weekend we did a road trip out into the country. I tend to draw towards rustic & weathered subjects. The memories or reminders of how we used to live seem more prevalent in the smaller towns plus there seems to be more space for things to be able to sit undisturbed.

There were some horse sales on so there were a lot of horse people around with cowboy/cowgirl boots, hats, belts & jeans & four wheel drives. Right in the middle of town was a surf shop. 

We had the opportunity to worship God & fellowship with some Christians from the country, chatting & sharing a cup of tea. The sermon was on the annointing of David by Samuel. 

David was considered the least of the least being the youngest. It's not often that we think of David that way given our knowledge of his life overall. Yet David, the after thought or who would of thought country kid becomes a noble King of Israel, serving God & leading His people where ever that road may take him.












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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Life is like a box of pastels




God doesn’t colour our world with sunshine every day. The purpose filled life of the Christian is one where we can be hard pressed. 2 Cor 4:1-18. Everybody suffers & everybody hurts at some time or other but there is nothing based on luck or random happenings in the life we live in the body ransomed by Christ.


Yes we are wearing down & worn out with aching at times, fragile even, but there is the bigger picture to remember & the all sustaining Grace & goodness of God. All things coming together to a great & glorious day, a day when even the sun cannot match the brilliant splendour of the King. God's children are assured of God's fatherly & motherly care & the home sweet home of heaven.











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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Not left for dead & slaves to sin



The other day I wrote a little on the connection between the commandments (Exodus 20) & how they reflect holiness or God’s moral & spiritual character.
So the law is reflecting something about God, things that are pure & good.

However when we use the law like a mirror & put it upon ourselves it shows us up to be failures, which is actually a good thing when it comes to standards & measures etc. Let truth be truth & lies be lies. The purpose of the law is not to demoralise us (we already are & probably happy with ourselves - to a point). It is in a sense a wakeup call or diagnostic tool.

So the law (not Leviticus-which is no longer binding) can be twofold depending on where we stand in relationship to God…In Christ,under Grace & walking in holiness or not under grace & still in a spiritual state of deadness & opposed to God.

The Heidelberg Catechism : Lord’s Day 2. Q & A 3

Q. How do you come to know your misery?
A. The law of God tells me.

1 Rom. 3:20; 7:7-25.











Deliver us from evil wherever it may be. 








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Monday, 1 February 2016

Alpha & Omega



Zeitgeist  & Zen moments may come & go but God who inscribes & inspires remains the same. He has no need to change or depart from omniscience. He is sufficiently able & in control in all circumstances in all of time & space & spirits.








1John 4:1-3. Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

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