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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

John3(4)

September 1st, 2017
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Why doesn’t everybody believe the good news? It is good news!

Why don’t people come? Why was Jesus himself so controversial – finally put to death with the support of the crowd goaded on by the religious leaders?

John 3:19-21

19 This is the verdict: light has come into the world,

That’s good isn’t it? When you are stumbling around your home you are relieved to find the switch to put the light on.

But people loved darkness instead of light

But Jesus sees a different response. Why?

because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

I remember I had the privilege of going to a very expensive restaurant. It was bright with light. Why? To show off the quality of the place.

Cheaper places hide their stains and imperfections by the clever use of shadows.

In one of the business ethics classes people are given the SMH test. How will this action or decision look on the front page of the SMH? Not hidden away with a compliant board room but out there in the light of day.

It is very hard for the evil in our human heart to want to be exposed in the light and to have others really see what we are doing. People will lie, do almost anything to cover up being found out. In fact one of the great mistakes is that the cover up or lies can be worse than the original mistake. People can build a deeper pit to fall into as they avoid being found out.

Jesus is not saying that no sins happen in public. Many people flaunt their sins in public. But they only do this where the light of Christ is so banished that they can get approval from the people that matter to them. In other words, where darkness abounds publicly, you can sin publicly without coming into the light.

And yet the miracle of the new life is described

21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

That last part can be translated in a number of ways: in God, through or by God.

Those who live by the truth see true freedom as escaping the slavery of self to live in, by, before God. God is our all in all.

The rule of self seems at first to be a wonderful statement of freedom. But when you think about it, it place an enormous pressure on us to be the measure of our life. My business reputation and success, or what sort of father/mother or husband/wife I am, or how financially well off I am. And when we see our own failures or inadequacies, we can at first blame others and become paranoid, seeing people conspiring against us. But if we lose hope in our selves, then we can be in real trouble – a darkness can descend.

How wonderful to know that it is not really about us, but God : all of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Our hope is in him. Our wisdom, strength, identity is in him. We are not boasting about what we are, but what he is. He is the true head and bridegroom of our marriages, he is the true Father of our children, he is the true minister of the church, he is the true comforter, counsellor, guide, he is the true faithful friend. This is true freedom.

There is no life apart from him. It is life that comes from above – where light means there is no slippage – no shadows – between who God is and says and what God does.

There was no darkness, no contradiction, no slippage between Jesus words, his deeds and who he is.

There is no darkness or slippage in the ministry of the Spirit.

We live out of this, not out of ourselves. As we read 1 John 1:

Think how this life -with no shadows or darkness – was revealed in flesh amongst us.The eternal life of oneness with the Father.

Reflect on how radiant and consistent is the light that shined from this life.

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

We are able to confess our sins, because who we are is not determined by our sins. Our fellowship with God, our walking in his light, living out of his truth, trusting in his purification through the blood of the Son is where we are.

And this is so wonderful – because in our most painful reality checks we don’t have to deny, hide, justify the self, but can always walk in the fellowship of that light and receive forgiveness. We are not defined by our inadequacies or mistakes.

Why do people not believe on Jesus – it is such good news?

Now this raises a challenging question? How do we understand unbelief and belief?

Read more…

Message for the Day

Resting in the Faithfulness of Christ (19)

July 12th, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: 1John 4:17-21

In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (NIV)

 All of this God-centred – it is not self -centred. It is not on how strong our human character is or how bad or weak our human character is: it is about knowing God as revealed in the sending of his Son to be the Saviour of mankind.

Elmer Colyer: Is it not interesting that the incarnate Son in his humanity is such a human being – more human than all of us are. So, God’s presence in our life, the grace of God never negates our humanity, it frees our humanity. We become more personal, more human. And so a 100% God doesn’t lead us to live a lackadaisical Christian life, it actually leads to the very opposite. It leads to the kind of freedom in the gospel that sets us free to be in love with God and neighbor in a way that we can’t otherwise.

Message for the Day

Resting in the Faithfulness of Christ (18)

July 11th, 2009
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Scripture of the Day: 1John 4:12 -16

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him
.(NIV)

 Not our love. His love.

Recently we described Jesus as becoming a life giving Spirit. He is the receiver and giver of the Spirit. If you have the Son you have the Father. If you have the Spirit you have Christ. Thus if you have the Spirit you have God present in you.

Again notice that we rely on the love God has for us. We are not relying on ourselves. We are relying on the gift of his Son whom the Father sent to be the Saviour of mankind.

Thus our humanity is free from the old Adam, we are able to live in the humanity of which Jesus is the firstfruits. It is a humanity that has at its centre the love of God – the relationship of the Father and Son in the Spirit.

We are walking in this new humanity able to be free as Jesus was to embrace all people even when they are sinners.

Message for the Day