It’s not a matter of luck!

This is a quote I saw this morning in an email I received …

Life is fragile: Yet it is relative. It thrives only in a narrow range of temperatures between freezing and boiling. How lucky that our planet is just the right distance from the sun: a little farther, and the death of the perpetual Antarctic winter – or worse – would prevail; a little closer, and the surface would truly fry anything that touched it.

Immediately it came to my mind that it’s not a matter of “luck” that our planet is just the right distance from the sun.  Oh no, absolutely not.

Genesis 1:1 tells us: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” There was Someone who set it all up; Someone who created this amazing planet and universe of ours. And this Someone who created the heavens and the earth is Jesus … “In the beginning the Word (Jesus) already existed. The Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone”. (John 1:1-4)

I always find it ludicrous to think that highly educated and scientific folk can believe a lie which is being perpetuated day after day and fed to generation after generation.  Put in realistic terms, they believe and teach that “first there was nothing, then it blew up and then nothing became everything gradually and without direction” (that is simply what the big bang and evolutionary theory is in reality and certainly it is ridiculous to its very core – but don’t get me started!).

No, we serve an awesome and powerful God.   “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

Yesterday I posted a quote I’d recently read which said: “You’re not man-made, so you can’t be man changed”.  God created man in His own image.  He created us for His glory.  Unfortunately, the evil one caused those God had created to sin and thus the relationship with God was broken.  BUT GOD … He knew this would happen and He already had a plan in place to bring us back into a perfect relationship with Himself.   Jesus … He died in our place. He took the punishment of OUR sin on HIM (who knew no sin) at Calvary.  If we are willing to repent of our sin and put our trust in Him, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and restore fellowship with God.   AND … when we come into a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, HE makes ALL THINGS NEW.   The New Living Translation puts it like this: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor 5:17)   I love the way the Amplified Bible puts this verse … so very clear: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Saviour], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].”

John W Peterson (1921 – 2006) was a marvellous songwriter in the 50-70s. He wrote a beautiful song that sums up what I’ve been talking about.   In fact, how he came to write it was wonderful in and of itself.   He had been an air-force pilot and often flew over rugged mountains, etc.  One day as he flew and observed the rugged terrain below and the glories of the heavens above, he was overwhelmed by the power of our Creator and the glory of His creation in general. Then the thought gripped him, that the same God who created this universe with its never-ending wonders was the God who loved him and sent His only begotten Son to take his place on the cross. John Peterson then said: “I was quite overwhelmed as I began to think of these two aspects of God’s power and love; and suddenly, the words of a new song began to form in my heart. Within a very short time, I was sketching the words and melody of a new song.”   It took a miracle …

My Father is omnipotent,
And that you can’t deny;
A God of might and miracles-
‘Tis written in the sky.

CHORUS:
It took a miracle to put the stars in place,
It took a miracle to hang the world in space;
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!

Though here His glory has been shown,
We still can’t fully see
The wonders of His might, His throne-
‘Twill take eternity.

The Bible tells us of His power
And wisdom all way through,
And every little bird and flower
Are testimonies too.

 

If you want to know more about getting to know the Lord Jesus personally, CLICK HERE for free information.
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Who is to blame?

When things go wrong, people are quick to blame others … not themselves.  Many even go as far as blaming God!

Even extra marital affairs and lifestyle issues are so often blamed on God.  Just this morning I read an example of this: “If God didn’t want me to leave my wife and fall in love with (name) and marry her, why did He bring her into my life?”

I am sure you can think of many other types of examples of people irrationally blaming God for the pickle they are in or a situation that has arisen and has become an incredibly serious issue with dire consequences.

The Bible in James 1:13 tells us very clearly: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be Image result for blame imagestempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” As the New Living Translation puts it: “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else.”  God NEVER tempts anyone to sin!  Verses 14 and 15 of James one gives it to us straight: “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”   In fact, “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17)

We need to think carefully before we go blaming others, and more importantly, God.  Solomon, in his God-given wisdom, warned us to be careful about being rash with our words: “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God…” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

Image result for peace of God imagesWe do not always understand why things happen as they do.   But, it is not for us to blame God.  If you do not understand why things have happened as they have, or you want to question God, then ask Him directly, BUT do so reverently, remembering that He IS God!

We do tend to become worried and upset when things go wrong, but take heart and remember He has promised to help us and be with us through it all … “… do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

J Sidlow Baxter put it so well: God doesn’t want to keep changing your circumstances; He wants to change you”.

If you have never got to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally as your Saviour and Lord, please don’t delay in taking that step.  Find out more today.

Bad News? … Good News? …

I was so blessed by an article in the online version of Decision Magazine Devotional this morning, I had to share a few extracts from it with you all …

“Paul established this balance in Romans 1, saying he was not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (verse 16). But then, in verse 18, he wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.” This theological tension reminds us we’ll never appreciate the Good News until we understand the bad news. It’s the bad news that compels the Good News to be supplied. Wrath summons mercy and grace …

Image result for judgement legalGod’s wrath is the result of our sin. He isn’t just randomly angry, or wrathful by nature; going back to Eden, we have offended Him by our sinful behavior, based on our choices to do things our way instead of His. But He wants us to come back to Him—His goodness should lead us to repentance, but true repentance starts only when we fully realize that we are sinners, that we deserve God’s judgment…

The entire world is guilty before God, including any who consider themselves to be just and moral people. No one keeps every part of God’s law perfectly. Paul wrote, “We know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). God never changes; He is always perfect, holy, just and righteous. We’ve all fallen short of God’s standards, we all deserve His judgment, and we’ll never find a solution for our predicament apart from Him…

But God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). In fact, He is willing to suffer if that’s what it takes to turn our hearts back to Him. That’s where Jesus comes in. He bought back—with His own blood—the possibility that we can be in God’s favour, and when Related imagewe receive Him as our risen Lord and Saviour, God passes over our sins “that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). God paid the price we could never pay because not only is He eternally holy and just, He is also eternally loving and, until the end of this age of grace, continually merciful and forgiving. That’s the Good News—and oh, is it good! …

The Bible makes it clear that God’s wrath is coming. He has given us one way out: Jesus Christ. What He has not given us is a list of excuses for why we can’t use His exit strategy. Once we’re a new creation in Christ, He will give us what we need to overcome old habits that incur wrath and start new ones that honor Him.”

Extracts taken from the Original article published as “Bad News, Good News: God’s Wrath and Mercy” by Skip Heitzig   •   June 6, 2018
Decision Magazine –
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

5 Guidelines to find God’s Plan for our Lives

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21)

How do we find God’s Plan fro our lives?   It is not always easy, but these 5 principles were highlighted in a message I heard a few years ago.   I pray you will find them helpful too.

  1. Commit EVERYTHING to the LORD in the first instance
    The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes His steps” (Proverbs 16:9)
    Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3)
    Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and He will help you” (Psalm 37:5)
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov 1:7)
  2. Ask God for Wisdom
    Our wisdom regarding our lives – spiritual and secular – is found in Christ “… in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]” (Amplified).  As the New Living Translation (NLT) puts it … “In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3)
    If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (James 1:5- NLT)
  3. Take Advice
    It is often good to seek advice.  Just be careful who you discuss things with.   Find someone experienced in the area you are seeking wisdom – someone who is not simply talking and only interested in what they can possibly get out of the direction they are “guiding” you.   Seek someone with Godly wisdom – someone walking close to the LORD and who will also seek God’s wisdom before advising or counselling you.
    Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war” (Proverbs 20: 18)
    Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov 15:22)
  4. Accept God’s Providence
    The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD” (Prov 16:33 ESV)
    We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall” (Prov 16:33 NLT)
    We don’t always understand why things work out as they do, but we must be thankful that the LORD knows the end from the beginning and He will be with you through the good and the rough times.
  5. Remember God’s purpose for our Lives
    God IS in total control.
    We do tend to want to wait for God to show us His personal will.  This is not always possible.  It is often necessary to move forward assuming that you are in His will (having followed some of the guidelines above!), and the LORD will indeed guide you and reveal more of His will for your life as you walk with Him.
    There are times we would love to have a clear message from the LORD detailing the steps to take. We know this does not  happen.  Or, we sit waiting around for a “sign” or allow others to control our lives and make decisions for us.

REMEMBER THIS …  Each one of us was designed to fulfill a unique purpose whilst here on earth – one that not only glorifies our Heavenly Father, but also brings us great joy and fulfillment.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

 

 

 

 

How to get the most out of your DAILY Bible Reading …

When people rush around, grabbing a bite to eat as they go from one place to another, or gulp down food because they don’t have time to sit down and enjoy their meal, they are hardly likely to have tasted the food or drink, leave alone digest it properly.  Many skip meals because they are “too busy”.

If one tries to live one’s Christian life in that manner, your spiritual growth will be stinted and you will not discover the incredible things the Lord has for you in His Word!

In 1901, Professor James McConaughy of Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts, wrote a little book on Bible Study.  He suggested the following:

To get the most good from your daily (Bible) reading keep in mind these key words:

  1. Think. Keep the mind fixed on the passage. If it is difficult, read aloud.
  2. Pray. The heart must be taught as well as the mind. God’s Spirit only can do this.
  3. Obey. God’s Word is more than history, more than literature. It is a revelation of His will, a message to the reader… Only those who do what is written in it are blessed.
  4. Share. The Gospel is not private property. The things which have been seen and heard must be spoken…The privilege of following a course of Bible study brings with it the responsibility of using the results for God.”

These are brilliant and practical suggestions.  The Bible is such a precious Book and “… is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Tim 3:16). Who wouldn’t want to find out more?

As someone recently said: “We should anticipate Bible study as those seeking light and truth, for His Word “is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105)”. 

And furthermore, we must remember and understand “… that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21). And as the Amplified version puts it so clearly … But understand this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of or comes from one’s own [personal or special] interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  It is the infallible Word of God!

Make sure you have a daily appointment with the Lord and His precious Word!

 

Bible study differs from all other study in this respect;
it is profitless unless the Guide is ever present and leading into the Truth. 
(
James McConaughy)

This Book has the Power to Change Your Life!

One of the very well-known and largest online bookstores has more than 3 million book titles for sale.   But, despite many claims some of those books might make, only the Bible makes this claim about itself: it is alive!

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12 – NLT)

This simply means, the Bible is not merely “words”.

In Jeremiah 23:29  “Does not my word burn like fire?” says the LORD. “Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?”  God’s Word is Powerful!   It is purifying!

When the Lord joined two of His followers on their way back to Emmaus following His death and resurrection, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.  When they realized it had been the Lord who had spoken with them, they said: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32- NLT)

“All Scripture is inspired by God (God-breathed) and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16 – NLT). As a result, these words can find their way into the heart and lives of all those who read them – right down into the inner and deep parts of our life.   His Word can also enable us to see what the true intentions of our thoughts and desires are.   Because it is ALIVE, it is able to produce life, as we read in 1 Peter 1:23 “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God” (NLT)

So I encourage you to read His Word, life-changing Word, every day.  It is not like any other book, it has the power to change lives!

(The inspiration for this devotional came from part of my quiet time with the Lord earlier today, including the reading of Dr David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Devotional (available online or by snail mail)

Calvary’s Love

CALVARY’S CROSS

Calvary is such a beautiful word and it signifies such love, the love of God for a lost and sin-sick world.   That love which knows no limits!   This short article, written in the style of a mnemonic, will help you understand more about the  love that drew salvation’s plan, the grace that brought it down to man and the mighty gulf that God did span, at Calvary!

The “C” in Calvary stands for the Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us Cross with soft cloud backgroundfrom our sins. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23) “…… You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts & actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault (Col 1:21&22)

“A” is for Atonement. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us (Rom. 3:25)

Calvary’s “L” stands for the incredible Love with which Jesus loves us. And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends (John 15:13). For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16) The greatest expression of the love of Christ is seen in His self-sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and in His blood that flowed from His wounded hands and feet.

V” is for the Victory won at the cross of Calvary when Jesus shed His precious blood for us. He paid (a ransom) for you with the precious life- blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God(1 Peter 1:19) For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us the victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor.15:56 & 57)

The second “A” stands for the Assurance we have that if we have confessed our sin and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we can know our sins are forgiven and know that we have eternal life.If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong (1 John 1:9)

”R” reminds us that Jesus is Risen from the dead. We serve a risen Saviour!And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4) This gives us hope indeed.If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless …. but the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again (1 Cor.15:17& 20)

When faced with such love, such sacrificial love … the “Y” stands for Your decision (and mine). What will you do with Jesus? Neutral we cannot be.Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, …. (Rev. 3:20)

And now a prayer…

Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to understand how much you love us. Help us to to respond The Crossand seek to know you as our Risen Saviour. In these difficult days when Christ’s blood and atoning sacrifice is hardly mentioned, help us to realize anew what it cost You to purchase our salvation and deepen our understanding of the meaning and power of your precious blood. Amen.

[This is an extract from my book “Moments of Encouragement”, published 2011]
(* New Living Translation used throughout)

I close with the very meaningful words of a song written by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty:

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God, slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!

 

The Reason Why …

Have you ever stopped to think about this?… Why is the Easter period so important and so precious to true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ?

To me, remembering the death of our Saviour (on Good Friday) and His resurrection from the dead IS the Gospel Message.   The Good News.   It has changed my life and the lives of countless others.  Let’s look a bit closer

I could go back even further, but for now, let us go back to the Garden of Eden.  God created ALL things perfect, including man, and He was pleased with all He had made.   Then the enemy came and deceived man and sin separated us from God, because God cannot look on sin.

But God, in His foreknowledge, knew what would happen and He planned a way to unite us with Himself again.   Initially, in terms of the Old Covenant, God instituted animal sacrifices.  As His Word says: “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” of sin. (Hebrews 9:22).   But, it wasn’t possible to continue these sacrifices as this could never provide permanent forgiveness.

BUT THEN … when the time was right, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, to die on the Cross of Calvary.   Jesus, God in the flesh, was sinless. “This High Priest of ours (Jesus) understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).  He was the perfect sacrifice.  His blood, shed on Calvary, made atonement for our sin – once and for all!

There is NO OTHER WAY to be saved from eternal separation from God, except through Jesus!

There are so many enemies of the Cross and the Truth out there.  Some blatantly deny it all together.  Others come with the story that all roads lead to God.   That is a lie!   Others are teaching the lie that Mary can save you or that she is the co-redemptrix.   Do NOT follow that teaching folk … it is part of the great deception that the Lord says will occur in the days just before His return for those who have put their trust in Him for salvation!

Let’s make this for the here and now …

Have you ever wondered WHY one needs to get to know Jesus… or HOW to get to know Him?

First of all, let me tell you what the Gospel or Good News is:
“It is this Good News that saves you … Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (1 Corinthians 15:2-4)

The bad news is that we’re all born sinners which is why we need to be born again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We were all born with the death penalty over our heads because we were all born sinners.

The Good News is that your debt has been paid in full by the Lord Jesus Christ!  Jesus went to His death in our place!     “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

I close with some of the words from this beautiful and meaningful hymn written by Isaac Watts:

Not all the blood of beasts
on Jewish altars slain
could give the guilty conscience peace
or wash away the stain.

But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb,
takes all our sins away;
a Sacrifice of nobler name
and richer blood than they.

My faith would lay her hand
on that dear head of Thine,
while like a penitent I stand,
and there confess my sin.

If you want to know how to get to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, CLICK HERE to find out more.

THEREFORE … You need to know what it is there for!

Regarding the Word of God, the Bible, I’ve heard it said a few times over the years, that “whenever you see a ‘therefore’ in the Bible, you have to see what it is ‘there for”!!  I agree so totally with that. The word “therefore” indicates the transition from what is being said or what has been said and the results or consequences thereof.

Recently, a friend of ours in South Africa, Don Liebenberg, shared an outline of his study in the book of Romans, and more specifically, the use of the word “therefore”.   I have his permission to use his outline and notes with some personal editing along the way.      Be blessed!

Don writes:  The apostle Paul often uses the word “Therefore” in his letter to the Romans.

The significance thereof is that the word is strongly used to convince the reader of the importance of a particular spiritual truth and thence to urge the reader to apply in practice what he has so taught.    The recognition of the importance of this word and an unhurried meditation on that Scripture portion, brings a fresh appreciation of the greatness of the glory of the Gospel in all its aspects.

Romans 1:24 – Therefore … God gave them up
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Romans 2:1 – Therefore … you have no excuse
“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, …”
(It is important to have read chapter one of Romans and to read through to Romans 2:11 to get the verse in context and to really be blessed by the reading of God’s precious Word).

Romans 4:22 – Therefore … it was credited to him as righteousness
“He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.””
(Read the full account of Abraham and Faith in Romans 4)

Romans 5:1 – Therefore … being justified by faith, we have peace
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:9 – Therefore … we have now been justified by his blood
Romans 5:12 – Therefore … Just as through one man

Romans 5:18 – Therefore … as one trespass led to condemnation for all men
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned….    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men
, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5 6-19)

There are many more verses to share, but I will not write them all out as above…

THEREFORE …

Here are the other verses that Don provided.  Work through in your quiet time with the LORD.   Spend time reading, meditating and praying through these verses.   It will be such a blessing.

Romans …
6:4          We have been buried with Him through baptism into death …
6:12        Do not let sin reign in your mortal body …
6:21        What benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed?

7:4          You also were made to die to the law through the body of Christ
7:13        Did that which is good become a cause of death in me? …

8:1          There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus …

12:1        I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God

13:2        Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God
13:12     Let us lay aside the deeds of darkness
13:5        It is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath …

14:13     Let us not judge one another
14:16     Do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil

15:7        Accept one another just as Christ has accepted us …

Thessalonians … The Model Church

AN INTRODUCTION TO 1 THESSALONIANS

(1 Thes 1:1-10)

The first letter to the Thessalonians was probably one of the earliest of Paul’s many inspiring writings. He wrote it from Corinth very shortly after he departed from Thessalonica.  Tremendous persecution had broken out there and he was sent away for his personal safety.

Subsequent to leaving Thessalonica, Paul had sent Timothy from Athens to visit the church. Following Timothy’s great feedback about them, Paul wrote this letter in which he commends them for their steadfastness and reminds them of the various truths he taught them while he ministered to them for just under a month.

The theme of 1 Thessalonians can be divided into 4 sections:

  • To help and confirm the new converts in the foundational truths he’d already taught them
  • To exhort or encourage them to live a life of personal holiness, pleasing to the Lord
  • To comfort them concerning those who had died
  • To instruct them with regard to their own hope of the Lord’s return

An interesting feature of both first and second Thessalonians is that teaching on the coming of the Lord is very prominent throughout both letters, and forms part of basic doctrinal teaching which is sadly lacking in the church today!

It is also very interesting that even though the time spent in Thessalonica was relatively short (just less than a month), many great doctrines of the Christian faith are referred to in his first letter to them. This would indicate that they would have had more substantive teaching on these doctrines whilst Paul was with them.   Here are the doctrines he alluded to:

  • The Trinity (1:1, 5 & 6)
  • The Holy Spirit (1:5-6; 4:8 & 5:19)
  • Christ’s second Advent (1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:14-17 & 5:23)
  • The Day of the Lord (5:1-3)
  • Assurance (1:5)
  • Conversion (1:9)
  • Resurrection (4:14-18)
  • Sanctification (4:3 & 5:23)
  • Christian Behaviour (2:12 & 4:1)

The commentator’s (Scofield) sub-heading for verses 5-10 is “The Model Church”.  Paul said about them “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers” (v2)

In our next study, if the Lord tarries, we will look at the three “tenses” of the Christian life

Now a prayer

Precious Father.  We come to You in the Name of our Risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We thank You for Your Word which is alive and active and that speaks to us.   Thank you that Your Word is Truth and is our Guidebook for living.   Thank you that by Your Blessed Holy Spirit You help us to live a life that is pleasing to You.   We know too that if we do sin, “we have an Advocate Who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous”.  Help us to live each day for You and to Your glory.  Help us to watch for Your appearing.   Help us to tell others about You while we still have time.  We ask this all in the matchless Name of Jesus. Amen.

“… looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment” (1 Thes 1:10).