Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Blood

D ear Family
There is so much quick and easy access to information today. For a start, one simply has to type some-thing into Google and within seconds the answer is there. It’s an exciting time to live in. We no longer have to spend hours pouring over a multitude of books in order to access information. Now it’s right there at our finger tips.
The downside of all of this is that when the wrong information is disseminated, then it gets out to every-one just as quickly. Our politicians, for example, are skilled in this art. A lie repeated often enough soon be-comes truth and it’s then almost impossible to recognize right from wrong.
In the church this wrong information also happens, often as a result of selfish people trying to manipulate others, and sometimes as a result of well meaning people trying to find more tangible facets to their faith. For example I’ve heard things like this said, “Brother, to get out of the mess you’re in, you need to apply the blood of Jesus.” “Sister, while your husband is asleep, cover him with the blood of the Lamb.” “Granny, don’t stop pouring the blood over your grandchildren for protection.” And so on and so forth. Soon this very warped concept of the blood becomes normal practice in the church. And, at the end of it all, this false information results in nothing more than an attempt to use the blood as a sort of spiritual voodoo. Nowhere is the Bible do we ever read of people doing this type of thing or anything close to it. Rather, we read of the effects of the New Covenant which Jesus instituted by His own life, death and resurrection. For example, 1 John 1:7 reads, “The blood of Jesus, His Son, keeps on cleansing us from all sin.” This is not a mandate for us to “splash the blood all over”. Instead, it is yet another promise of God’s incredible life-giving power to under-take for all our sin for all time.
We have a real responsibility in this day and age of mired teachings to stay with what we know is written and not to cling to what people (or the internet) may be saying. Go for God and stick to His Word!

Gift of Righteousness

D ear Family

I think most people like to receive gifts. I know I certainly do. For me, the best kinds are always the unexpected ones, those not tied to a date or an occasion. The element of surprise somehow seems to make the gift a lot more desirable. The worst kind of gifts to receive has to be those that anticipate a return. I’ve given you one so I expect you to give me one. When that happens the pressure is on to perform and match or even to outdo. This can’t really be classified as giving. This is more like bribery, flattery, or at least a stroking of one’s pride. There is a gift that we have been given as believers which we cannot earn, or reciprocate, or try to match. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:17 “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” The gift of righteousness—wow! Made holy by his blood without a single bit of effort on our behalf besides a surrendered will. Many spend their entire lives trying to balance the scales of their behaviour. They try to do a bit more good than bad and, in doing so, presume to be on the right side of God. Unfortunately this thinking has even invaded the church. We often lose sight of the fact that he has done it all by his blood and presented us with this inestimable gift which knows no boundary to the repentant sinner. The moment we accept that gift of His righteousness, we are set free from the power of sin over our lives. I knew a dear man once whose favourite question to those he met was always, “Are you washed in the blood?” If our answer to that question is in the affirmative, then we can know without any doubt that we have been (and continue to be) made holy by his blood. It has happened and its effects will continue for all eternity. Hallelujah! Let’s grow up and believe His word that He has completely done what He said he has done. We have no cause or time to believe the whispers of evil to the contrary. There are no strings attached to this gift of righteousness!

BUT…

D ear Family

I am so glad to be able to share with you again after my period of convalescence. Thankfully God remains unshaken in His faithfulness irrespective of our circumstances. There were times when the blues nailed me to the floor, but I am so thankful for His Spirit who is the perfect burden bearer, counselor and truth giver. I read something a couple of days ago that really sparked my interest. It went something along the lines of: “The devil whispers, ‘You can’t withstand the storm.’ The warrior (that’s us) replied, ‘I am the storm.’” The accuser of the breathen, the lord of the flies, the father of all lies often comes to us in whispers of doubt, trying to convince us that God is somehow withholding good from us—the same tactic he used in the Garden of Eden. When we choose to dwell on that it can easily lead us down a path of thorns and thistles, but when we remember to take heart that Jesus has overcome the world and that the One in us is greater than the one in the world, then we can confidently state, “I am the storm.” Have you noticed how many “buts” there are in the Bible—exactly 4029 in my translation. These appear in both a negative and positive context. For example, a negative: “A good man obtains favour from the Lord, but the Lord condemns a crafty man.” Proverbs 12:2. And in the very next verse an example of a positive: “A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.” I love the positive “buts” because they always emphasise the incredible goodness and kindness of Almighty God. Here’s a favourite from Ephesians 2:12–13: “…remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Without hope and without God, BUT now in Christ brought near!

Let your negative circumstance know today that you are filled with promises to counteract every devious demon to carry you to victory in every circumstance.