Archive

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Today I wish to talk about a real world issue that the media seems to cover on a daily basis because it now exists on a massive scale. We are all familiar with the war going on between America and Afghanistan that started with a deadly act over ten years ago.

The sad thing is that people are using the word of God to justify their actions, yet this is not at all what God asked them to do. I would first like to Pray in for the teacher and children in France who were recently killed through an act of terrorism, May God help guide their families through these difficult times and bring eternal rest to those who lost their lives.

It does sadden me to see the brutal actions take the lives of innocent people and this sort of thing is happening on a daily basis. There are often reports of car bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq or the death of soldiers helping to defend our countries. I do believe that the Government has some part to play in this but I want to point out yet again, I am not here to judge that job will be done by God, I am just disheartened by the act of cruelty and disobedience.

As always I want to take a look at what the scriptures say about terrorism as this is the word of God. The first one sums this topic up nicely and comes from Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

There is another quote that calls out to what the Government is doing and shows their wrongdoing. It comes from my favourite book Romans at its at 12:19-21 and it reads Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Some may fight this quote because the word of God is telling us not to retaliate which would make many believe we are letting people get away with their crimes to humanity however again we are not here to judge and we are not here to gain vengeance. There are two small quotes I want to bring in together from Matthew 5:38-39 and Psalms 34:14 and they read “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. whilst psalms says Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

We need to remember that God does love us all and he too would be saddened by the heartless crimes that people commit to but even to them he offers forgiveness “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Advertisements

Today I wish to talk about forgiveness. I think this is important as we approach Easter the time of which Jesus Christ died for our Sins. The subject of forgiveness is often not an easy one, there is often a cloud floating over us and it can be a very emotional time. There can be times of great sadness and anger towards others that have done wrong by you and this can often lead to a harsh judgement of them.

With that in mind, I would like to start with a verse from Romans 2:1 which says “So you have no reason, whoever you are, for judging: for in judging another you are judging yourself, for you do the same things. This certainly speaks for itself, but I do not wish to talk about judgement today it is about the forgiveness of others.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as being the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. This can be seen as being intertwined with our own free will which again does not leave us when we are baptised. Through this we can still Sin and we can still stray from the Lord but our faith and love for him helps us stay on our path.

In talking about our own sins and moving forward towards baptism, a quote comes to mind. It comes from Colossians 3:13 and it says bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. I think that this is quite powerful because it shows that the Lord has forgiven us for our past sins and welcomed us into his Kingdom and if he can do that then how can we not forgive others?

Philippians 1:6 also portrays a powerful message through saying “and I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. It is also considered that forgiving is not an easy task for us but we must continue forgiving until the matter is settled in our heart and this is important to the Lord. This can be seen in Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”

In Luke 6:37 we are given another message about forgiveness “Do not judge, and you will not be judged, Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. forgive and you shall be forgiven. This tells us that we shall continue to be forgiven for our sins as long as we are able to forgive others

The most well known prayer also shares this message of us forgiving others for ourselves to be forgiven. The Lord’s prayer says “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Today, I wish to speak of a subject that will have affected most people. In difficult situations many turn their head to the Lord for a answer or a solution to a problem. The question that follows is usually, did God really listen to me? Is he answering my calls? The answer is most definitely, yes.

I was once told that it does not matter where you are, wether it be the worlds largest cathedral or a small storage cupboard, when you talk to the Lord he will listen. The sad thing is that this occasionally turns peoples faith, questioning God’s existence and asking why does he do these things.

It is important in these situations to stay strong to your faith for there is no partiality with God, you can not half-heartedly have faith or you are indeed treasuring yourself up for wrath in the day of wrath and revelation (Romans 2:11, Romans 2:5)

The first reference to point towards confirmation that God listens to us is John 16:24Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. We usually over expect a certain answer from the Lord though, the answer many sometimes be no or something we fail to understand.

The answer that is given is always what is best for us and works towards what we need and not necessarily what we want. In order for God to hear us we need to be his, again through repentance and baptism for he who belongs to God hears what God says” (John 8:47).

Unconfessed Sins also act as a barrier for God hearing us. In having these Sins unconfessed God can not even hear our prayers. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)

It is also important that we put God first, Ezekiel 14:3 says Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them? An Idol can be anything that you are putting before God and consider more important than him. This will also act as a barrier to him.

The final point I wish to make is in regards to worship and reading your Bible. It is important to be reading it frequently for If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you” (John 15:7)

 

I think that the most appropriate place to begin with this blog is to discuss the concept that one must be born again to enter the Kingdom of the Lord. It is considered that we are born into sin through conception, this is discussed in psalm 51:5 which states “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

This is also covered in Psalm 58:3 which says that the wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth speaking lies. In my own studies I have learnt that we did not ask to be born, nor did we ask for the sin that has been put before us although it exists. These sins act as a barrier between us and God. There are a few points also where there is a calling for us to repent our sins and welcome God into our lives.

The first being Matthew 3:2 which calls to us to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, this means that the Lord is indeed calling to us and wants to welcome us into his Kingdom. Acts 2:38-39 also calls for us to repent, In his sermon on the pentecost Peter says “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for allwho are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.

I wanted to particularly talk about being born again because it was covered in the reading at todays service. It is indeed a well known passage where Nicodemus, a man of the Pharisees came to Jesus. Through this meeting Jesus Christ our Lord spoke of the importance of being born again. Of course for reference (before I continue) the passage comes from John 3:1-21

So Jesus told Nicodemus that unless one is born again, he can not see the Kingdom of Heaven to which Nicodemus questions asking how can this happen when one is old. The reply came back that unless one is born of water and the spirit he can not enter the Kingdom of God. This is followed by an important point; “that which is born of the flesh, is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. This means that when we are baptised in water we no longer walk in the flesh, that part of us is deceased, from that point we walk in the spirit of the Lord.

So through repenting your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and accepting the Holy Spirit you will be entering into the Kingdom. It is important to remember that it is necessary to be born again because we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) It is also considered that through the sins and trespasses you are spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1)