Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Psalm 33:21

Psalm 33:21 - In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name (NLT)

Psalm 33 is all about the awesomeness of God. It talks about how he created everything with his word, and how everything is dependent on him. And then it declares that because we trust in his name - in other words, God and everything he stands for - our hearts can rejoice.

When it feels as though things are out of control, remember that everything depends on God, and that he's on your side. Then it's much easier to let your heart rejoice.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

John 12:40

John 12:40 - "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them." (NIV)

The Lord would heal people from their fallen state, if they would only turn. And yet because he has blinded them and deadened their hearts, this will never happen. I don't understand this. My human mind cannot grasp that there are those who are unable to accept Christ.

I have to assume that it's not that God has maliciously blinded these people, but rather that this is the effect that God has on people who have rejected him. And I also assume that although they cannot turn in their own strength, if the Spirit drew them, then they would be able to turn in Christ's strength, and receive the healing. I have assume there is always hope for the lost, and that is why I tell people about Christ.

There are things I don't understand about God. But I do understand that my part is to tell people about him.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Luke 22:42

Luke 22:42 - "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Philippians 4:13 is very well known - "I can do all things...". I think that's the King James Version - some more recent versions seem to suggest something more like "I can get through anything" instead. So it's not so much like "I can leap tall buildings at a single bound", so much as "I will survive." Personally, I prefer the first option.

Jesus showed us both. He healed people. He fed people. He did supernatural things. But as well as that, he coped with everything that came at him. He handled the storm, the temptation, the tricky questions. And here in today's verse, we see Jesus faced with the problem of going to the cross. He would've wanted to have said "I can't do this", but because he had the power of God within him, just as we do, he knew that he could get through it. But as well that, I think he also knew that he could do the incredible task that was ahead of him. This wasn't just something that was coming his way - it was the task that he had become man for.

When things come our way, let's remember that we can get through all things. But let's also not fear doing those things for which we may need supernatural strength.

Monday, June 11, 2007

James 1:14-15

James 1:14-15 - ...each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (NIV)

So we sin when we give into temptation. Sin is acting outside the will of God, and of course as Christians we get tempted to live outside God's will on a frequent basis. I'm not going to list the methods through which we get tempted - but I'm sure the media would be right up there. Regardless of how we get tempted, I consider that sin happens at the point when we make a conscious decision to step out of God's will.

In Romans, Paul says that he finds himself doing things he doesn't want to do. But he also says that he is no longer a slave to sin, but rather a slave to righteousness. In Romans 8, having just written about having a sinful nature which is still struggling with sin, he writes that we do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.

So live that way! Don't sin. Live according to the Spirit instead.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pyromaniacs: God's wisdom in marriage

Dan Philips posted a great peice on teampyro on responsibility in Marriage. I've also wrtten about this previously in the following posts on http://www.bible.geek.nz.

Responsibility - part 1
Responsibility - part 2
Commitment part 1
Commitment part 2

We finished a study on Marriage in our home group recently.

The long and the short is that if our spouse is not fulfilling their responsibilities as a husband or wife, it does not constitute a valid excuse for us to neglect our responsibilities.

If we got this one principle right (which is frustratingly difficult due to the nature of the flesh) we would have happier, healthier marriages which is a strong fostering support for godly growth.

Friday, March 30, 2007

John 17:23

John 17:23 - ...May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me... (NLT)

Of course, anyone who knows how the church works will probably know that 'perfect unity' is somewhat rare. But I know that when I meet other Christians, we seem to have a bond. I am still very good friends with Ryan, a Christian friend from my university days. We rarely see each other, but we're brothers. Recently he put his church website together, and that's cool. Seems that's a popular thing for Christians in IT to do.

John the Baptist recognised Jesus, before either of them born. I don't recognise other Christians quite that effectively, but I'm generally not surprised when I find out that someone's a fellow believer. Maybe trout-fishers have a similar experience when they meet other trout-fishers, but I'm not sure they do.

What can you do to promote unity? Not on a worldwide scale, but between you and those you come into contact with regularly.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

1 John 2:28

1 John 2:28 - And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. (NLT)

I recently left a job that I had held for over 4.5 years. In some ways I was glad to leave. There were certainly a few reasons for me to want to leave. Darryl has recently written that our enthusiasm for Christ's return can be an indication of our walk. Luke 12:34 backs this up by asking where our treasure is. But I want to extend this challenge, because I know some people who are looking forward to Christ's return for the simple reason that they're a little down with this world and would like an easy out! But no-one wants to have a reference which says "They didn't seem to want to be here - they had a job to do but they just sat around wishing they were elsewhere!"

So be ready for his return. Do your best in your current role, and anticipate your next career move with excitement.