Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Written Word of God

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2Tim. 3:16).

I have noticed that many of our people, have good reference books, and quality reading material in their personal libraries. Not everyone does. According to Klaus Bockmuehl, books are “God’s tools in the history of salvation”. In a preface to Bockmuehl’s book by this title, Jim Wilson, tells of 2 things that have greatly ‘impressed’ him:
1) The life changing power of the Gospel in print.
2) Relatively few Christians will give a book to an unbeliever, even though they received Christ reading that particular book.

At bible study recently, Jim Callinan told us that the bible was: ‘the mind of God, on paper”. Not a bad definition. (Attributed to Charles Stanley). And most amazing, if the claim is true – which I think it is.

Imploring a “bible-believing” congregation, such as our own, to recognise, and have confidence in the power of the written word, may seem to be like trying to sell coal to Newcastle. But it is not. Sometimes, things we’ve known, can become just too familiar. We need to rediscover our own gospel, and the power of the spoken word, and the power of the written word.

Sharing the gospel, can take some time. That is why books and tracts, and pamphlets and signs, and invitations, can all help in leading others to know Christ. Why not pass on a book, to someone else. May the Spirit, open hearts anew, in this way.

Living Christ, Word of the Father, lead us to share the rich resources which you have given to us. Amen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pateriology: Study of the Father

In the church, we mostly pound away in the area of Christology.
That is, the study of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
We supplement that with Pneumatology.
That is, the study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

However, we need to see that the Spirit comes, to show us Jesus.
All this, is in order to lead us to KNOW the Father.
(This would lead us to study the area of Pateriology, or Patrology or Paterology)

Have we studied, meditated upon, come to know and love, the Father?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Climate Change

Global warming.
Everyone is talking about it.
And anxious.

But heavens.
That news is old hat.
It is part of the death-dealing news of the creation subject to sin and death, and under the curse.
There is a more up to date news-flash than that.

But it gets so little coverage - in the best way.
You see Christ is Risen from the dead.
He is in the race, at the finishing line, about to make all things new.

And we are looking still at yesterday's out of date news.
No the most up to date news we are ignoring is not Climate Change.
Sure, that may be happening, seriously, and it would be smart to address it.

But let's not ignore the real issues. Hope, has been given. Death has been dealt with. The promise of the regeneration of all things is secure, and at hand.
Rather, let us seek the one who said: 'Come to me...'.

There are a fair few big and small players on the human scene who demand we listen to them. But they ignore this voice, who says 'My yoke is easy and my burden is light'

He has borne the burden of the human race, and of the groaning creation.
We are not called to bear this - of ourselves!

Cease the panic, folks, and seek the One in whom the solution to every dark thing, lies clear and sure. Entrust your souls, (said the once not-so-reliable Peter) to a Faithful Creator. He had at least learned that. And that dear friends, would alter our approach from consumers saving our skins, to contributors, really caring for creation, carefully. Yay.

Up to date news!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The reason the Son of God appeared

The Reason the Son of God appeared

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1John 3:8b). Do not be mistaken - the world in which we live is full of beauty and wonder. How magnificent the sunrise lately. The fascinating life of little creatures around us is a joy to behold. Be it a garden worm chewing compost, a hawk hovering in the sky, cattle grazing, children playing, lovers walking on the beach, or old friends enjoying a yarn and a cuppa together. The Lord God’s world is very lovely indeed.

In every part of the world, however - we see corruption, injustice, war, hatred, bitterness, human communities, nations and families torn apart. We see the suffering of the poor, and the indifference of the wealthy. We see ugly crimes, bitter family feuds.

We must never forget that Jesus is God the Son, come to earth. He has come in to deal with the arch-enemy of the human race, the devil. Or Satan, or the Evil One. These names are given to this creature who’s entire agenda is to thwart the plan of God.

It is of course a cop-out, to say ‘the devil made me do it’. But it is also a sophisticated lie, and a foolish retreat from God’s Word, to deny the existence and action of ‘the evil one’. Again, people have been asking ‘why’ of the tragic events of Port Arthur some 10 years ago. One answer we must not miss is this: the Evil One! Sin is irrational capitulation to do the will of the evil one - idiocy.

O Jesus you came to reverse the horror of the fall, through your death, your grace, healing, forgiveness and eternal life. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Resurrection Implications - Headline News

Resurrection Implications

The Christian claim is that Jesus rose from the dead, and is now, assuredly, the most important person ever born.

This is headline news, not mere religious clap-trap!

The implications of the resurrection of Jesus are enormous. We need to contemplate them.

We cannot know what these implications are however, apart from the interpetation of the event, by those who were given crucial insight into the meaning of it all.

The Apostles. Who are they? They are those called into Jesus confidence, and given the secrets - or the mysteries - of the kingdom of God. These are not special secrets for a few. But they are open secrets for all to hear - if they will. The Open mystery of the gospel was, and is, to be shouted from the rooftops.

1. Death has been defeated. That can almost sound lame, or like a cliche. But it is an occasion for stunning joy to break out across the human race. What? Death defeated? Yes. Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes! The promise of the gospel is for a resurrection body like that of Jesus - truly human, yet full of glory. Glorified. No wonder there is a universal call for people to have faith. Believe it! C'mon it is stunning news.

2. A new hope has been inaugurated for the whole of creation. Not only does Jesus resurrection mean the redemption of our bodies. It also means the 'making new' of all things. This is the power at work in this resurrected man. Just as the beginning of creation was a sovereign action of God - Let there be light - so too is the resurrection of Jesus an act of God's love, indeed of his grace. The whole of creation now awaits the full outworking of Jesus resurrection effects upon the world.

3. A new way of life has been authenticated. Love. Grand triuphant love in theface of evil powers, political powers, liars, murderers, and all deceptive schemes. Jesus is Victor. Love is ultimately triumphant. His love. Now, we love, becase he first loved us. How does this change take place within angry hearts? Answer: the Spirit of God, comes to us, and indwells us, and we find our sins forgiven, our old lives transcended, and finished. We find ourselves to be loved. The outworking of that is simple: we love! Stunning. And it of course takes a little practise to see what that involves. Indeed lots of trials prove love to be true and enduring. Love now endures all things! (Always did).

4. Lordship. Yes. Lordship. Jesus is Lord, or Jesus is King, or Jesus is Mr. President, or Jesus is Prime Minister - of the nations of the world! This is the strength of his resurrection power. As David ruled Israel. The new David rules his eternal Kingdom. All nations are subjects of this new king 'David' - the son of David - Jesus of Nazareth. What this means for us is that we gladly come under his direction and rule. As the One who is simultaneously the eternal son of God, we seek now to do God's will. We are guided by Jesus. And his Father, And his Spirit.

5. Friendship. We are now included in Abraham's family as friends of God. He was said to be the friend of God. So are we. Jesus has called us his friends. End of loneliness. End of inferiority (friends of the co-Creator of the world! Friends in high places!). Friendship is now our way of life

6. Worship and service are virually the same thing in the New Testament. We serve God, Man and creation. We worship God, honour all people, and now seek to uphold and care well for the creation.

So then, what vast implications the resurrection has! There are many more, I know, that we can list.

Prayer: Risen Lord Jesus, help us to be aware of your presence this day, and to do your will in practical things.

As a wise person advised, now 'Eat That Frog'. (Sorry to all frogs). That is, do the things you need to do, first, without procrastination. The idea is, if you 'eat that frog' at the start of the day, everything that follows will seem relatively simple by contrast.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Living with Integrity in the World Today

The great Man of integrity, in all of history is Jesus, of Nazareth.

'No one ever spoke like this man'. And his deeds matched his words. However the integrity of this man was too much for the human race to cope with, so "we" - the corporate human race - got rid of him. An expedient conspiracy. A useful scapegoat. A calculated murder.

Wonderfully enough the story does not end there. On the third day, to the surprise of all throughout history, and those closest to him in that day - he was raised from the grave. Resurrection. Flesh and bones. Humanity defeating death! Integrity triumphing.

The ancient writer said: 'Keep your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life'.

It is the heart of stone, that Jesus comes to make a soft, warm palpable heart of genuine integrity. By grace, through faith, and this not of ourselves. His integrity shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given to us. His genuine motivation - agape love. A strange, yet original, self-giving love, that never ends, endures all things, and hopes all things. A mighty river. An ocean!

Friends, if you would like to meet a person of utter integrity, seek your maker, by faith. Seek to know him in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Hear his Word to you, and receive his Spirit.

People who have come to Jesus, the Christ have found such redeeming kindness and honesty, that they have begun to love their only Lord - like no other. Then the flow of relationships, and contribution to life have changed magnificently. Some gradually. Others in an open, obvious manner.

May this Christ - give you renewed integrity, as you seek him in faith, in heart, in life, in example, in worship, in service, in the daily thoughts of your heart.

Turning us away from lesser things, is his work in us.

Turning us to the great things, He, the Eternal Son of God, the Son of the Father, the Holy One, calls us to share in the great Divine plan.

And why not?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hierophants Help Humanity

I was reading David's Psalm 62 where he says of God:

"He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

I also found that in the first public address regarding the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, that one of David's Psalms was quoted (Psalm 16), in which he says there:

"I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken." (Acts 2:25).

The idea of being shaken, brings to mind my blue heeler with a little baby rabbit in his mouth. It also brings to mind many people I know, who are indeed people of faith - yet - they seem to be easily shaken.

Often we feel, in hindsight - that the Evil One has grabbed us, and we have been badly shaken.

I think it is most often guilt, for wrong living and wrong decisions, and culpable inaction, that sets us up to be shaken.

The way of confidently saying, "I will not be shaken", is to hear the Word of Christ, regularly, to see the Atoning Christ, deliberately, and to receive the grace of Christ, constantly.

In that way of things, it is a profound thing for a human being - amidst all the unsettling forces of life - to be able to say, without a shade of hypocrisy, that in communion with the Risen, Ascended Christ Jesus - I will not be shaken,