A real page turner!

While I have downloaded several E-books and read a lot online, I still find that nothing beats turning the page of a book.

Also you lose the serendipity of opening a book at random and reading something you may not otherwise find.

Electronic Bibles may have their uses but I do wonder what wonderful truths are being missed by not having an element of peradventure, (Look it up) in our Bible Reading as well as methodical study.

When a book is in regular use it tends to open at the same page consecutively, so you are constantly reminded of something you regularly read.

I have an old children’s King James version which when opened tends to land in the same place so that my attention is always turned to some particular verse. Thus I am reminded constantly of the same truths.

The drawback of being a bibliophile is that you can only read so many books at a time and in the meantime the un-read remainder are gathering dust or worst of all they are being attacked by silverfish or some other creepy crawly.

I suppose that those parts of our thinking that rarely get an airing will tend to go moldy and when we do reach for them they will fall apart and be found illegible.

So in our Christian those scriptures, promises and commandments we neglect will make our profession lacking in some important pages and more difficult for others to read.

The problem with one of our local library is that the collection of hundred plus year old books looks as if they are never opened from one year’s end to the next. What a waste?

Who knows what life changing and vital information, fact or truth lies neglected in a book that is never opened and may in fact be soon unreadable through the ravages of time and attack.

So while we still have the liberty and opportunity of accessing and studying the word of God let us not permit it to become a closed book or deprive ourselves of the comfort and power of what it has to say to us.image11

They do’nt preach sermons about that nowadays!

How often do you hear older Christians say this in a conversation? The fact is that many of the truths and teachings of scripture are seldom spoken of from the pulpit and others are never mentioned at all.

The preacher of today it is true has less time in your average church service to preach on any subject at length. Also the prevalent worship style and general program of many church services tend to take much of the time that could be used in Bible teaching and exhortation.

(Fifteen to twenty minutes getting everybody to greet somebody else when it could be left to after the service, is time that could be spent in Biblical exposition.

Repeating the line of a praise and worship song for what seems like an eternity probably does not help either.)

It is also a fact that no preacher can cover the wide field of Scripture and deal with everything all the time. There must be in ministers a fundamental attempt to meet the needs and speak against the sins of the times and not baulk at any part or teaching of God’s Word

I think that the problem’s cause is far more serious. There does not seem to be the will among preachers to come to grips with the Word of God and set forth its desperately needed teaching.

It seems that one of the deleterious side effects of the “seeker sensitive“ model of church worship is that, in its opinion, the bold proclamation of the Word of God, especially its most, to “modern man “ , offensive and misunderstood teaching is counterproductive to growing numbers in your church.

This is why you never hear the Bible read at any length in our modern services. You do not hear prayers of confession or people praying at any great length because pastors and leaders are afraid of putting the un-churched off or making them uneasy.

Churches don’t even have prayer meetings, Bible studies or Sunday Schools, now they label them as small groups or some other catchy name.

A.W Pink in writing of Christ’s commandment not to be anxious and overly concerned with food and clothing points out that this also applies to those who make keeping up with the latest trends in fashion a high priority.

28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:28-34

They waste extravagant amounts of money on luxuries and being immaculately and stylishly clothed, when simpler and reasonably price items would do just as well.

They regale their homes with all the latest gizmos and labor saving devices and in many other things deny themselves nothing their hearts desire even if they could well do without it.

The fact that Christians very often see no spiritual harm in such obsessions should prompt the minister of the gospel to remind them of Christ’s teaching on this subject.

Pink feels that the reason for this blind sightedness and neglect on the part of preachers is the fact that they see this behavior among their own families and this silences them.

However this may be, many practical and vital truths found in scripture are not being dealt with by many who claim the title “minister of the gospel “.

They must answer for themselves to their Lord and Master as to why they saw fit to ignore and fail to address so many vital elements of Biblical truth and Christian behavior through the full and faithful preaching of the Word of God.

Christ exalted

There have always been those who throughout the history of the Church have tried to bring Jesus Christ down to man’s level and comprehension. They have sought by any means to remove any suggestion that Christ is one with the Father and thus “very God of very God”.

Why they do this is hard to understand. That God should humble Himself for the salvation of mankind from sin upon the Cross is perhaps galling to their pride and conception of self worth.

They approach this task of “de-God-ing Jesus Christ” in many ways. It invariably involves playing one part of the scripture against another; attribute other meanings or interpretations to it or ignoring it altogether.

 

They may say that Christ was a mere man although greatly gifted and ahead of his time. Others have said that he was a super human being but although greatly exalted still less than God himself. The Cerinthians in the early church said that Jesus was a mere man indwelt by the “Christ who left Him when He died on the cross.

That He was truly God made truly man without ceasing to be God has been a pill some could not swallow.

Many still hold to this line and make Christ a great teacher and example with may be an extra divine spark but that is all.

Any thorough and impartial reading of the New Testament shows that the writers and early believers hold an opposing view and exalt Christ as God. They are forever describing His Divine nature as exemplified by His life, teachings and saving work.

They not only refer to the exaltation bestowed upon Christ upon completion of His atoning work but refer to the exaltation and glory that was His from all eternity with the Father before the world was John 17:5

The truth is no less than Divine being could meet the needs of sinful men and women, The angels themselves who are mighty in power are not sufficient to deal with the weight of sin and could not for a moment bear it.

That God could become man and yet remain God is a mystery that all eternity will puzzle out but nothing less can satisfy the sinner who needs a more than sufficient Saviour.

Christ as our Lord and our God is all seeing and all hearing. No cry or plea for help and mercy goes unheard or unanswered. He is all wise and is not perplexed or non- nonplussed by the complexities of life but can deliver and guide in any and every exigency.

What comfort, these deluded people get from a less than scriptural Christ I do not know. I know certainly they have no conception of the sinfulness of sin. They twist themselves in knots to make the Work of Christ on earth little more than a goodwill mission.

They rob the cross of all but the merest symbolical meaning and sometimes not even that.

There is very little left of Christ by the time they are finished with Him. I, for one would not like to be in their place when they find themselves appearing before His eternal throne Heb 12:2

 

Still others try to reduce the work of Christ to a less than scriptural task devoid of saving significance. Where else does this merely “therapeutic” presentation of Christianity come from?

The error also goes to the other extreme. There were those who believed that Christ was not flesh and blood at all but merely a man in appearance and thus feigning human compassion and weakness.

Either way it prompts us to ask ourselves “Who is this Jesus?”  Is He the One the Scriptures portray and declare to be as God incarnate? Is he indeed willing and able to save us and keep us to the end.

Any Genuine hope of salvation and peace with God depends on the true answer to this question.

Has God Forgotten to be gracious?

“Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favourable? Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are His promises at an end for all time? Has the Lord forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His compassion?” Psalm 77:7-9

I wonder how many reading this have at any time come to the point of their lives when they would echo the words and sentiments of these words of the Psalmist.

When we have fallen into sin and seek to be restored to the joy of our salvation by repentance or found ourselves in dire circumstances and have reached a very low ebb we then wait upon the Lord to be gracious.

It very often occurs that we find that the Lord delays His return and the relief we seek is long in coming.  If so we experience something which is common to many of God’s people.

As when a loved one is late returning home and we have no news of their whereabouts or certainty of their welfare we imagine the worst and go over the various eventualities that may have occurred to prevent and delay their return.

When we feel that God is angry or displeased with us we attribute the feelings we ourselves would have if in His place. It is then we have hard thoughts and dire premonitions of how God will act toward us in response to our sin and disobedience. If we have any understanding of the holiness of God and the sinfulness of sin we know that we deserve the worst that God sees fit to send us and we can blame only ourselves if He leaves us to our just deserts.

The psalmist was dealing with a corporate sin of the nation but it also has an application to the individual.  We all look upon God with spectacles coloured by our feelings at any given time.

When we feel that we have pleased God we hold out our hands for an extra blessing. When we have fallen into failure and sin we expect God’s displeasure and chastisement but then hope for speedy restoration when we ask for forgiveness.

Thus when our restoration is delayed and we feel that God has distanced Himself from us we wonder whether we have pushed Him too far and exceeded His patience and the capacity of His mercy.

God never utterly forsakes His people although to our poor perceptions He may seem too. God is not bound to our timescale and operates with a wisdom that we may only fully appreciate only when we are looking back from eternity.

While the psalmist and we ourselves are feelingly asking these questions in the face of God delayed return and hidden mercy, we can only pray that we may arrive at last at the answer of faith.

The Lord will turn again to His people, He will again be favourable to them, His love is steadfast and will never cease towards His own. His anger with His children is of short duration while His graciousness, compassion and mercy are over all His works (Psalm 145:9) and will endure forever.

Jack & Cic.

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 1.02.38 AM

images jackJack Hulbert was a very popular actor and singer during the 1930’s. Even though His popularity on the screen waned in the 40’s he entertained on the stage. He was married to a comedienne called Cicely Courtniege and often appeared with her in films and  on the stage .underyourhat

In contrast to the many of marital scandals of the age they were known as the “the happiest couple in show business”, their marriage lasted 62 years.

Their marital fidelity stood in stark contrast to faithlessness and fickleness of many others in the glitz and glamour of show business.

540785059In like way Christians in all they believe, say and do, must stand in Christ-like faithfulness and scripturally obedient contrast to those round about them.

 

 

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A real page turner!

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