Thursday, 15 October 2015

Humanity and deity of Christ seen together

I was thinking recently of some occasions when we see the humanity and the deity of the Lord Jesus brought together. It brought a smile to me and encouraged me so I decided to share it briefly 'on the blog'... I hope these simple thoughts are of benefit to us as we think about the Lord Jesus together.

  • Remember when he sat on that well in Samaria, weary with the journey and thirsty. In this he shows us he was still subject to tiredness and to thirst as He was a man! He could say to the woman, "give me to drink" but then later demonstrate his absolute deity by displaying his omniscience - he knew everything about her! She would say "come see a man who told me all things that ever I did, is not this the Christ?" (John 4:4-29)
  • Recall when he was crossing the Sea of Galilee and the storm raged yet He was asleep in the hinder part of the boat? Incidentally I love the detail that the Word of God adds, that it was upon a pillow, or cushion! Just as you and I would appreciate a comfortable spot to get some rest, so it was with our blessed Lord. He found a cushion and slept while He had the opportunity, such humanity! But how wonderful it is to recognise that the one who slept was also the one with mastery over the very elements that rocked that boat from side to side! The Lord awoke and with just a few words from his lips quelled the storm - "Peace be still"(Mark 4:35-41) The disciples would remark "what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" They saw something of his deity now!
  • Finally I think of that sad scene in John chapter 11 where we see that "he whom thou lovest is sick"... and the death of Lazarus. The Lord Jesus arrives at the graveside and we read those lovely words "Jesus wept". What could be more human than weeping at the graveside of a loved one? I think this is most precious indeed. I realise that these tears could well be attributed to the Lord witnessing first hand the effects of sin upon the life of one whom he loved so dearly, I believe that there is a sense in which this is true as well. But I also think that these tears were simply because he was moved and saddened that a dear friend had died! Verse 38 says he was "deeply moved" in other translations which I think would lend weight to this. I don't think this is a wrong way to look at these tears, there is nothing wrong sometimes with the simplest interpretation! In this regard it is interesting to note the reaction of the Jews who were eyewitnesses to those tears - They would say "Behold how he loved him!" Even they could recognise in their uncaring and hard-hearted natures, that Jesus was moved to tears that one He loved dearly had passed into death, even though He had the power of life and death. The word used for weep is interesting as it carries with it the idea of weeping silently or quietly and comes from the word "tear-drop". I picture a tear making it's way down the lovely face of the Saviour, as he stands by that graveside. How dignified, how human! It reminds me of those verse Hebrews 4:15 "we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin". He was saddened and so he wept! Just as he was tired so he slept, and he was thirsty so he drank. But we recall that he would cry with a loud voice "Lazarus come forth!" and the dead one was raised at the Lord's command! He could say "I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die." 

Think about these words - Such encouragement for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ! Any who die shall live forever in His presence, absent from the body and present with the Lord. And we who live have the prospect of being caught up together with the Lord, and so we shall live forever with Him! What a blessed prospect we have, and what a Saviour we have - let us worship Him together.

Yours in Christ, Mark

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Why should I read the Word of God?

Sometimes it worries me that a lot of Christians aren't reading the Word of God, let alone studying it. This can be detected particularly by a believer's speech, actions, behaviour and their usefulness and effectiveness to God and within a local church. Of course a lack of time spent with the Word will also have a negative impact on our testimony outwardly as well. I include myself in this challenge and so I read through Psalm 119 and noticed a series of fundamental reasons why ANY and ALL believers should be reading the Word of God as much as possible. These are just a few to challenge us with, there are many more I assure you!

  1. IT CAN KEEP US FROM SIN (By keeping God's Word close to our hearts and obeying it. So important in today's world - v9-11)
  2. IT HAS A CLEANSING EFFECT ON OUR LIVES (v9. Of course, obedience to God's Word in the first place will keep us from sin, see point 1 above.)
  3. IT SHOWS US 'WHERE WE ARE' (Light for our feet, or our current condition is my particular application here. We may not like it but as we read the Word, the Holy Spirit will show us what is wrong in our lives, and what is right according to His Word - v105)
  4. IT SHOWS US 'WHERE SHOULD GO' (Guidance for our pathway - If we are reading it diligently for guidance v105)
  5. IT GIVES LIGHT AND UNDERSTANDING TO THE SIMPLE (Amazingly profound but simple truths revealed to those who are newly converted perhaps - v130)
  6. IT GIVES US SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING (Growth and development for Christians, and let's face it, we all need that! - v98-100)
  7. IT WILL HELP US THROUGH BAD TIMES (Never forsake reading the Word of God, no matter your circumstances, for God will bring you through and reveal more of himself to you through His Word. Also it stands us in good stead for the future, as believers who have spent time with God's Word will be able to take encouragement and comfort from it, even when they are no longer able to read it perhaps - v92-93)
  8. IT GIVES US JOY AND PEACE (Do you know any 'joyless' Christians? Maybe this is why! Reading the Word and hearing God's voice speak to us brings joy! v162 and 165)
  9. IT GIVES US HOPE (In Christ, a better thing that this world cannot give us! v81, 114, 147, 74)
  10. IT AFFECTS WHAT COMES OUT OF OUR MOUTH (Ok I have perhaps broadened the application here, but I think the lesson still holds true. If we regularly read and meditate upon the Word of God, our speech will be changed or affected for good. I mean this in all senses - our day to day speech with our fellow men, our spiritual conversation with our fellow believers,and perhaps mostly our praise and worship that we present to God - v13)

Of course hand in hand in hand with reading and meditating on the Word comes obedience to it, and further in depth study of course!

I hope these simple scriptures and thoughts will be of benefit to us all as we seek to grow and develop for God day by day.

Yours in Him, Mark

Thursday, 23 July 2015

I've been enjoying this song recently...

I believe it is called 'Oh how He loves you and me' and I just love the simplicity and beauty of the words as follows;

"Jesus to Calv'ry did go,
His love for mankind to show!
What He did there,
Brought hope from despair,
Oh how He loves you and me!"

If you're going through difficulty or are feeling discouraged fellow believer, remember the Cross and be encouraged!

Yours in Christ, Mark

We're back!

Well apologies for the long absence readers, the last 12 months or so have been extremely busy and challenging! My employment situation changed (I left my previous employment to start a new business) and we had another child (a baby boy who is now nearly 1) and something had to give!

Life can sometimes be challenging like that, but despite not having the time to sit down and prepare posts I can honestly say that life has changed for the better and God has blessed us greatly over this time. We are very thankful!

However I've been challenged about returning to the blog and so we will endeavour to post shorter articles for encouragement. Hopefully people are still getting some benefit from the site and enjoying what they read!

Watch this space fellow believer...

Yours in Christ, Mark

1 Kings 19: Elijah and God

I was listening to a podcast the other day which was speaking about 1 Kings 19 and it reminded me of how very relevant this passage is to ou...