First Steps

Not once or twice in our rough island story , the path of duty was the way to glory.” Tennyson from sixth Victorian reader

1: Christ in who He was,God eternal in the heavenly places.
Christ in who He became, a man in the likeness of sinful flesh in all its weakness.
Christ in how he came, born of a virgin in poverty and humility.
Christ in how He lived, pure, holy and sinless without home or honour.
Christ in what He taught, truth from God for all who believe.
Christ in what He did, miracles ,healing and blessing.”He went about doing good.’
Christ in how he died, a cruel painful ,humiliating and cursed death on the cross.
Christ and why He died, to atone for sins not his’ own ,which bore in his’ body.
Christ and for whom He died. lost and ungrateful sinners, giving hope to the hopeless.
Christ and His’ defeat over death and hell ,his’ resurrection
Christ and His’ triumph on high in his’ ascension to Heaven
Christ and His’ glorious return soon expected. We worship Him.

2:Most of the errors about .Christianity come from either addition or subtraction. We take things out to make it more attractive or simple and more palettable. We add things to it because the plain message of the gospel does not appeal to the wisdom and philosophy of this world. At its simplest Christianity is Christ.

3: For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it”. Hebrews 4:2 While there is some difficulty over the correct rendering of this verse, as it stands it teaches the importance of faith in our acceptance of God’s word.
We may also without to much of a stretch think of it in terms of God’s gifts and providence. The children of Israel in the wilderness received daily supply and benefit from God in the form of manna and water from the rock etc. They received temporal support but most of them by not “mixing” faith in the giver, did no good to their souls or relationship with God.
In the same way they saw the judgements of God but by their absence of faith did not learn the required lesson and later by disobedience brought judgement on themselves.
It is faith in God brought to bear in all the circumstances of our lives. Blessing Him for his’ gifts and salvation and seeing His’ hand in good and ill and living in “the obedience of faith”.
May we mix faith with all that we meet day by day

4:We may think ourselves unworthy of our salvation but God through Christ is fully worthy of our trust

5:President Harry S. Truman had a card with “The Buck stops here”, on his’ office desk. He took ultimate responsibilty for the results of his’ presidency.
It is one of mankind’s favourite if unacknowledged pastimes to play the “blame game”. From the very beginning in Eden mankind has sought to shift the blame and consequences of his’ actions on to someone else.
We blame our parents ,our upbringing or circumstances or maybe lack of education , money, some tragedy or misfortune, or plain bad luck, we are forever trying to shift , mitigate or duck the fact that ultimately we are responsible for our actions ,decisions and choices.
Even as Christians our being “born in sin”, does not excuse us from our loving it and rolling around in it. We in the church today do not like the epithet of being ” miserable sinners”. So we go about setting up our own respectability and righteousness. But the sooner we realize that we are responsible and guilty ,the sooner Christ can redeem us and make us anew and help us leave our past sin and guilt behind while dealing with present sin and keeping us in His’ grace.

6:According to Winston Churchill ,the secret of His’ long happy marriage was that he and Clementine never spoke to each other before ten o’clock in the morning.
Whatever help this was to their relationship thanks be to God we can speak to Him at any time and in any place. How little advantage we take of this liberty of speech.

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First Steps

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