Thursday, October 15, 2009

Improving the Rescue

Read Romans 5:20-6:2

First, a story:
George sat in the chopper, struggling to catch his breath. He struggled to comprehend what had happened to him. Only moments ago, he had been floating in the Pacific Ocean - just - a hundred and fifty kilometres from the coast, clinging to the EPIRB beacon from his recently sunken yacht. Now he sat in the Capricorn Rescue Helicopter, hovering above the sea.

George began to realise just how great his salvation had been. What made it so great, he realised, was how much trouble he had been in, and the consequent effort that had gone into the rescue. Being rescued this far out at sea was a big deal. He was so thankful for what had been done for him, he felt like bursting.

Then, he thought, if his rescue was a big deal now, how much greater would it be if his predicament only got worse? How could he do that? There was only one way. Before the other men in the chopper could react, he crawled to the door of the chopper and jumped back into the sea.

I enjoy writing fiction, but that was beyond belief, wasn't it? If the greatness of our salvation is proportional to the greatness of our sin, why don't we make our salvation even greater by sinning more? By no means! It's a nonsense - it's ridiculous - just as ridiculous as my little story. But then, don't we think that way sometimes anyway?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stinking, Rotten Meat

Read:Colossians 2:18-19

Are you impressed when people deny themselves food, drink or comforts in the name of spiritual growth? Some people are, obviously. Is God impressed? I think perhaps, not.

These people are happy to go on at length about their spiritual experiences with angels, visions, voices, messages, words and tongues - and probably many more things I've forgotten, or not yet heard of. These people make their own experience and "faith" the new standard, and come down on others that don't measure up. They will try to disqualify you. They insist that unless you do [fill in the blank for the crazy things they do] you're not a real Christian.

Don't be deceived: these are not Super-Christians. They're just full of themselves. That's what "puffed up without reason" means: they're full of themselves. They're certainly not full of Christ, anyway. They're disconnected from Christ, who is the head of the body: the church. Body parts that are disconnected from the head aren't really part of the body at all. They die, rapidly. Soon, they begin to smell.

Don't let the stinking, rotten meat within Christ's body convince you that your simple faith and simple worship are not good enough for God.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Which We Have Heard

Read: 1 John 1:1-3

Present day intellectuals are very proud that their post-modern rationalistic brilliance is above the primitive fairy tales of the Bible. This is nothing new. This mindset has been around a long time, and was in the world that Christ's apostles went out into.

Christ's coming, his teachings and his actions were real things, that happened to real people. John used his senses of hearing, sight and touch to make observations. Observations from which he drew conclusions about who Jesus Christ was. And then, he was compelled to share his observations: to proclaim it both verbally - and most importantly for us - in the written form.

Peter, another of the apostles, responded to the scornful reactions to the apostles' message when he wrote, "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16).

In the documents of the New Testament we have well verified, historical accounts of the man named Jesus, called the Christ. The information at your disposal is reliable. What you do with it is up to you. Try reading it first, before you reject it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A not-so-new Commandment

Read: 2 John 1:5.

Have you ever noticed that it can be easier to get along with non-Christians in the world than the Christian brothers and sisters in your own church? As you love your Christian 'siblings' more and more, you get closer to them. Your lives become intertwined, the barriers come down and pretenses are dropped. Subtlety and diplomacy give way to frankness and honesty, with often brutal consequences.

How do we love our Christian brothers and sisters? There are a thousand ways. If you have a problem with someone, go and work it out, on on one (Matthew 18:15-17). Don't go and tell everyone else instead: that's gossip. We should forgive each other, then do it again, and then repeat this seventy times seven times (Matthew 18:21-22).

Why is it so important to love one another? First: we are told to. That's what commandment means. It's not an optional extra.

John said this was not a new commandment; but, it was a new one, once, when the Lord Jesus gave it. He said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35).

The second reason it's important to love one another is that it is our mark of identification as Christians. It's not the cross, and it's not bumper stickers. People should know we follow Christ because we love one another. It should be that obvious.


The Bible is the written record of God's dealing with mankind from the beginning of time (2 Timothy 3:16, Genesis 1:1). It is God's word. To live our lives the way God wants us to, we must be directed by His word. Our lives should be not only Bible-based, but Bible-permeated.

The purpose of this blog is to challenge both you and me with small parts of the Bible and a few comment on the implications of those passages for how we live our lives. I am a fallen human, like you. What I write will contain errorrs. Evaluate what I write, and make comments if you think I'm wrong, or right, or irrellevant (1 John 4:1). I hope that you might be encouraged by what you find here (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11).

First Post

Every blog needs a meaningless first post, just to check that everything is working. It's not really meaningless then, is it? Perhaps there's something we can learn about life in that. Perhaps not.