Friday, 15 August 2014


What a tragedy it is that, even though so many of us are rich in the Word of God and in knowing Christ, that so few share what w'eve been given to help benefit and refresh others. So often our first concern is, "How will this benefit us?" instead of focusing on the fact that even the smallest morsel of spiritual truth can nourish our brothers and sisters in Christ in extremely valuable ways:
Mark 7v28: 'She replied, "That's true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children's plates."
Christ gives the truth as a living seed, and as such he requires the sower to scatter that seed in order to give it a chance to fall on the soil of open hearts, and then grow from there thanks to the Holy Spirit. He also gives the truth as light, and as such He requires that we shine forth that truth by crying out and speaking publicly those words He's given us:
Prov 1v20 'Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. 21 At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks…'
Matt 10v27 What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.
Is 45v19: 'I have not spoken in secret…'
If we reject this, we really just consult with human reasonings as to why we should wait to reveal and speak about the truth. The truth is always healthy and beneficial for people, because it is the Holy Spirit that we are sharing with others. We have all been given many talents because we have been given His Word, and to hide this is an awful thing, and it is to be disobedient to the Lord and to His will for us.
However, as we follow His will for us here, by faithful serving others by feeding the His Word, He makes sure to feed us richly ourselves as well:
John 4v31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

WISDOM CRIES OUT (Matthew Henry Commentary)

Prov 1v20 'Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. 21 At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks…'

Matt 10v27 What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.

Is 45v19: 'I have not spoken in secret…'

'He calls himself Wisdom, Lu. 7:35 .II. How he calls to us, and in what manner. 1. Very publicly, that whosoever hath ears to hear may hear, since all are welcome to take the benefit of what is said and all are concerned to heed it. The rules of wisdom are published without in the streets, not in the schools only, or in the palaces of princes, but in the chief places of concourse, among the common people that pass and repass in the opening of the gates and in the city. It is comfortable casting the net of the gospel where there is a multitude of fish, in hopes that then some will be enclosed. This was fulfilled in our Lord Jesus, who taught openly in the temple, in crowds of people, and in secret said nothing (Jn. 18:20 ), and charged his ministers to proclaim his gospel on the housetop, Mt. 10:27 . God says (Isa. 45:19 ), I have not spoken in secret. There is no speech or language where Wisdom’s voice is not heard. Truth seeks not corners, nor is virtue ashamed of itself. 2. Very pathetically; she cries, and again she cries, as one in earnest. Jesus stood and cried. She utters her voice, she utters her words with all possible clearness and affection. God is desirous to be heard and heeded.'


Acts 17v16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then[a] certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”

Acts 17v19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

One way the enemy loves to try and desensitise Christians to the truth, and to curb their desire to continue to grow in it, is to flood the society where we live with as many ideas, ideologies and perspectives on life and living as he possibly can. If the enemy can cause an avalanche of these things to continually rain down on Christians, he can wear us down and cause us to put up a shield, not only to the world's ways, but also to Christian ways and Christian truths, because we simply are tired and scared of learning the wrong thing.

This is also how the enemy can silence Christians, as they no longer think that shining the 'light' of truth is important or beneficial in any way. Whereas Christ said to shine our light on a hill, we hide it in a bushel and become ineffective with the talents He's given us. The Christian has been given many hills in today's society; these come in many forms, including the hills (opportunities and platforms) we get in our work places, in times with our friends and families, and yes, even Facebook. Shining the truth is always beneficial, because we are, in effect, sharing the Holy Spirit with others, for '...the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.' (Heb 4v12). We have been given so much, and yet to not share it is to not believe in its power, and to not believe in the purpose it has because of the one who first gave it:

Is 55v10: 'As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.'

The enemy also wants to set up as many hills and as much communication as he can to try and block and frustrate the communication of the Lord. And he has done all he can to make this happen through nearly every form of technology and media and voices that our world has and speaks with today. However, the simple fact is that, when the Word is shared, the Lord's purpose for that word will not be frustrated, but it will always be effectual, whether we see it or not. That is why, not only is this walk a walk of faith, but also actions that come from that walk are faith based. That is why it is always an act of faith to share the Word, for you will not often see its effect, but you must still believe it has one. If our sharing of the truth is done only according to the effect that we see it has, we'll rarely share it, because the truth often comes to people as a seed, which is obviously something so small and seemingly insignificant. But like Jesus said, even though that seed may be so small, and even though it may be hidden, when the Lord grows it and makes it fruitful, it will end up being the biggest tree in the garden of men's hearts and lives. Never underestimate the effect truth has, and never become discouraged at our lack of ability to make anything happen in the natural. God wanted to teach Paul that in himself, he was weak and only a vessel, and so it is with us. Though, from what we know, it is likely that Paul was martyred by wicked men, God has shown us since then what the result of Paul's shining forth of the truth was, and no doubt the full extent of it will not be known till we all as Christians reach Heaven one day.

Our society is now an information super-highway, and it looks so busy and seems so much larger than life, and yet, in reality, people are starving for Words of life that nourish and give life, and only Jesus has those Words. And we, as His people, have been entrusted with them, not so that we can hoard them away and hide them, but that so we can be generous with what we've been given. As we have been freely given the truth, so must we freely give that truth, without shame or thought for ourselves, for the light of life is not just for us, but for all men. Shine your light on a hill! Let people know the truth, and shine the light of the Word for your fellow Christians so that we can continue to learn and grow in it! We all need each other in this, we all need each other to share, for Christ made us a body for a reason, and this is one of the main reasons for it.

Friday, 8 August 2014


 Often as Christians we love grace and go on and on about how God isn't good to us (or our relationship to Him doesn't change) based off what we give him and how much time we spend with Him (He loves us freely), and then we are still people who hold strict accounts with our friends. Whereas He loves us freely and unconditionally, we sometimes act with others as if they're in our debt and they must work in order earn our love or maintain it. While giving of ourselves to others in friendship is important, we are all imperfect friends, and cannot have friendship with others based off of whether they are seeing us or imputing to us as much as we'd want, because then the friendship isn't one of grace, love and freedom, but one of debt, burden and guilt. 

Jesus has given us a good example of how to relate to each other in family and friendship and it is based off of grace, love and freedom, so we should be inspired to mirror the same thing, otherwise we'll always be disappointed with others (and get frustrated and angry) and relate to them out of manipulation for what we want. This is no way to relate to others. We should let God be sovereign in friendships and family (let Him make the connections He sees as good and beneficial, and also allow Him to close doors that aren't), and be free with each other, realising our own shortcomings, and in that way we'll guard against being hurt, and let His love be that which sustains us, and blesses others. 

Sometimes God establishes strong connections with others in our lives, and at other times ones that aren't so strong. Sometimes there are seasons for certain friends, and sometimes those seasons come around again or never happen again, but each have their purpose and place, and times. What is great though is that no matter what happens, each Christian friendship, no matter how it is experienced in this life, will be reunited one day in heaven and so is not experienced in vain! The Bible tells us that all else in this life will fade, but love never fails! Love doesn't pass away, so He will ensure that all relationships to do with friendship and family last in the way that He sees as good! An encouraging thought!


One of, it not my favourite chapter in scripture is found in Hebrews 10. This scripture is the single greatest comfort for the Christian and it is found in the fact that all our sins have been forgiven, once and for all. In the cross of Christ, not only were our past sins forgiven, but also our present and all our future sins as well. There is nothing now left for the Christian to be forgiven. While we may at times need to turn from a willing practice of sin, and while we still may feel regret and sorrow at what we have done (as we are human and the Spirit within us can still be grieved), this being called 'repentance' in the Word, we never again need to have our sins forgiven by Christ.
If you doubt this, think this way. If we still need our sins to be forgiven, at what point do we ask for forgiveness? We would have to ask for forgiveness, not only at the smallest act of sin, but continually ask for forgiveness because WE ARE SINNERS (our actual state is sinful, not just the acts we perform). After all, we all still have a sin nature and the fallen nature with us (the flesh), even though we are to consider ourselves dead to sin (the flesh) and alive to Christ. If, at the smallest act of sin, our relationship with Christ was damaged, then we would have to live in a constant state of having to ask for forgiveness in order to maintain our relationship and closeness with Christ. This would make us live in a constant state of fear and this would give us a constant burden. This is completely against what the book of Galatians tells us about our salvation, as the writer tells us that it is by faith alone that we have been saved and even that faith is a gift of God:
Gal 3v15:
We who are Jews by both and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.'
v17: "If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not!
For further proof of this truth, lets look at Hebrews 10. In this chapter, the writer compares the sacrifices of the Old Testament, to the New Testament Covenant, to see the difference in our relationship with God. The writer reveals that no matter how many sacrifices were made, the worshippers in the Old Testament that gave them could never be made perfect, once and for all, so they had to keep on giving them:
Heb 10v1-3 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
Notice that the writer here says that if the sacrifices that had been given could have made the offerer PERFECT, they would have stopped being given. But because they weren't made perfect and because they weren't PURIFIED ONCE AND FOR ALL, they had to keep being given. As such, they were REMINDED of their sins each year. But notice one of the most crucial aspects of this passage is found at the end of it. The writer says that if the sacrifices they had made purified them once and for all, THEY WOULD NO LONGER HAVE BEEN CONSCIOUS OF THEIR SINS. This is crucial. While we still can recognise sin and when we sin at times, we should never, from that, believe that we need to be purified from those sins again. In Christ, THEY HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, ONCE AND FOR ALL:
Heb 10v10: 'And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.'
It is extremely clear what the writer is saying here. We have BEEN MADE HOLY (past tense), and this is ONCE AND FOR ALL (for all time and for all of our lives). So because this has already happened, and we have already been forgiven, we do not need to be forgiven again. The Old Testament sacrifices had to be made again and again, but Christ doesn't need to be offered again and again; once was enough. And verse 14 reinforces this again. One offering has perfected us (made us completely Holy in His sight through Christ), and has sanctified us (past tense). There is no more perfecting that needs to be done in our salvation, it has been completed. Yes, our practical reflection of that life that has been placed in us may change from time to time, but that doesn't alter our salvation in any way.
This new covenant means that Christ will no longer remember or hold our sins against us:
Heb 10v16: "This is the covenant that I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.' '…"Their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more." And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.'
If we have accepted Christ and accepted the gift of faith, and received the one sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, then all our sins, for our whole life, have been forgiven at that one point in time. That one sacrifice was enough, and all our sins were placed on Him, punished, and then forgiven.
This is the greatness of the sacrifice Jesus made for us! How great is His love for us and how great is His name! Thank you Jesus!