Monthly Archives: January 2017

IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICE

Dear Family
Life is all about the choices we make. Whether rich or poor, in sickness or in health, young or old, we have choices. These choices will present themselves differently at different times in our lives, but whatever station we find ourselves in on any given day, we always have choices to make. Our reality is that the choices we make determine the lives we live, positively and negatively—it’s the principle of either sowing to please the Spirit or sowing to please ourselves. Very often it appears that the choices others have to make are a lot easier than ours, particularly when our bank balance is less impressive than others, or when our health limitations are more severe than others. I cannot, for example, choose to go on a world cruise if I have no means to do it, or to run the Comrades marathon when even my walking is impeded. That’s just silly!
Joshua, when he stood before the people of Israel at Shechem (Joshua 24), called on them to decide between the ways of the world and the ways of God where the following words are recorded in verse 15: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
“But as for me…” powerful, insightful words. A decision had been made which would invoke a life-long clause to ensure that all his actions and that of his family would be subject to the will of God.
Jesus said it like this in Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The most important choice we can ever make is obviously to give ourselves completely to God and to decide to follow Jesus in a sense every single day, but there are many, many times in any given day that we are compelled to make choices that are very often either for or against what His word teaches us.
For example, do I participate in the office gossip? Do I steal my employer’s time like everyone else is by getting to work late or leaving early or spending time on social media? Do I tell those little harmless untruths in order to save face? And so the list goes on.
Make it your mission in 2017 and beyond to always choose His will above your own, knowing that eternal consequences far outweigh our temporary earthly existences.
Every blessing!

REMEMBER HIS DEATH

Dear Family
And here we are again, at the end of another year. The snowball of time has once more been relentless in its purpose and velocity. “Time waits for no-one”, a phrase without clear origin, probably best sums up our passage upon this earth. Blink, and time has gone. Blink again, and there’s very little left. Phew!
One constant that we have as believers in Jesus Christ, is the truth that God lives in us and with us, permanently. One glorious day, around 2000 years ago, the angel of the LORD appeared to Joseph and reminded him of Isaiah’s prophecy in 7:14 regarding the baby which Mary was carrying:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.”
Emmanuel, God with us! What a concept to get our heads around. Not only that the Creator of this entire universe is keeping all things together as He fills the universe with His presence, but that He is also God with us. What a gift!
Which brings me to my actual point: When we celebrate Christmas (which Jesus did not, the apostles did not, the early church did not, the Biblical record does not, the reformers did not and which I do not), then we can easily miss the reason Jesus actually came — to seek and to save the lost. We are instructed to remember His death, NEVER his birth. Surely it figures that we should just stick to what the Bible says and not be so keen to jump into a commercial con of gobbledegook mixed with a few biblical passages and celebrate a festival of obvious occultic and pagan origins? Adding a mix of the Bible to the world does not make something biblical.
I keep hoping that the church would grow up out of its slumber and realize that God is not pleased with our man-made celebration which He never instituted and which we love to use human wisdom to attempt to justify. By remembering His death, we are focused on His salvation bought for us, His resurrection and His coming again. Friends, Christmas is not of God. Do not allow the allure of nice tunes, family get-togethers or excessiveness in any area, to compromise your beliefs in our Saviour. Let’s remain faithful to His call, “Come follow me.”

TIMELESS WORD OF GOD

Dear Family
The timelessness of the Word of God continues to motivate and encourage me. I remain aghast at the way in which the Word works in and around my life in spite of the fact that nothing new has been written for nearly two thousand years. Clearly this book we have is inspired and useful for every area of our lives. When we choose to use it, to believe it, and to live it, we experience the “living and active” nature of it!
With so much insecurity going on in our country at the moment, it is easy to become bogged down in the weight of negativity that streams in from every angle. Humanly speaking, we are doomed! The politics and philosophies of this world are failing at every turn as selfish, greedy people continue to feather their own nests at the neglect of the many around them who have placed their faith and trust in them. Outside of the Word of God and the principles contained therein is only helplessness and hopelessness. However, as we gaze into the perfect law of God, we are encouraged and simply infused with hope. God has never failed, God is still on the throne, and God will accomplish His purposes with or without the co-operation of fallen man. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost—nothing has changed!
And so, as we look around and are tempted to slide into discouragement, let’s remember such simple truths as we read, for example, in Psalm 150:1 “Let everything that has breath, praise the LORD.” That’s not everything that is wealthy, or everything that is healthy, or everything that is happy, or everything that is rosy or hunky- dory. That’s simply, everything! Whatever your state or circumstances are, praise the LORD.

The most amazing thing happens when we do: our eyes are lifted off of our troubles onto His faithfulness, enabling Him to begin to work in our lives as He wants. Our Father loves us. He has promised to care for us, irrespective of our circumstances. Start today. Praise the LORD!

A WORD OF HEALING

Dear Family
Exactly what do we have if not the inspired Word of God? Could it be that the Bible is just a random collection of ancient texts which have been skilfully manipulated by self seeking individuals for purposes beyond the common man’s understanding? Perhaps there is some of it that is true, and some which has, over time, endured adulterated embellishment? Or is it possible that we have an incredible document made up of 66 books, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, written by around 40 different authors from a wide variety of professions, over a period of around 1600 years on 3 different continents? For me, the latter is true. Logic demands that any critic of the Bible needs to take a good, solid look at how it manages to bring such a unified message from such a diversified authorship over such a long period of time. Aside from the internal integrity, the shear weight of evidence stacked in its favour in so many ways, including its success in “staying alive” in the throes of the most calculated and brutal attacks to destroy it, and the irrefutable success rate of the prophecies contained therein, is for me unmistakably God!
The psalmist stated in Psalm 107:20 “He sent forth his word and healed them.” My experience exactly. Healed, healing and will be healed—as I apply His Word to my life by believing the One who had it written for me. He sent it, and He uses it for my wholeness.
I quoted the American comedian, actor and author WC Fields, a lifetime agnostic who was discovered reading a Bible on his deathbed, in a sermon recently: “’I’m looking for a loop-hole,” he explained. Clearly this is a man who needed the Word to provide solutions to his eternity which hopefully he found before he entered his forever place.
Oh saints, read it, love it, study it, get to know the Originator of it, and as you do, thank Him for sending that Word to you for your healing!