CONTEMPLATIONS

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Is there a God besides Me?"

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:

‘ I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’”
(Isaiah 44:6-8,)



The Book of Isaiah contains some of the most amazing passages. It is quite easy to quote lots from this remarkable book. The above passage is one filled with awe. Here the Lord proclaims He is the First and the Last and there is NO God beside Him! We as Christians worship only One God. We worship a God that there is nothing that compares to Him. The Lord goes on to say "And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me.." fully well knowing there is no other god who can say what the Lord says. This was in the context of idol worship. Where the Lord, the True God proclaims that He is God! No idol, no piece of wood, nothing can even answer back against the Majesty that is the LORD of Hosts. The Passage goes on to say " Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one." there is not anyone else who can proclaim to be the True God, the Savior, the Rock! MacArthur points out that "The Lord identified Himself as Israel's King (43:15), Redeemer (43:14), Champion in battle (1:9), and Eternal One (41:4; cf. 48:12). Jesus, in a direct affirmation of His deity, called Himself the First and the Last (cf. Rev 1:17,2:8, 22:13)." We do truly worship an amazing God!



It is passages like these and the Bible as a whole that make us think there is no god than our God!

Monday, February 20, 2006

i am here

hey all

just to let you know i am still around! I've been very busy recently doing lots of things. My whole life is being revamped by God at that the moment but I have not forgotten about this blog I will try get some more thoughts up soon!

God bless you all!

Monday, February 13, 2006

the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor 4:6)

You want to know What God is like? Look at Christ Jesus. Want to know how God would act? Look to Jesus. You want to know God's character, look to Jesus. The glory of God was in the face of Jesus. In verse 4 of the same chapter it says "Christ, who is the image of God".

We run into danger in our post-modern society. We paint a picture of God. There are two extremes as NT Wright points out. Firstly we can create a god who is so high up (transcendent) so abstract that he is not involved at all. One could argue that every so often he zaps down to shake us up. On the other hand we can create a god so low (pantheism) that he is so one with the universe that we cannot show what is god and what is universe since they are the same. Both extremes as NT Wright argues can create atheism. [1]

The Jewish God was different. He was a God who was involved with creation; He was the Majesty, yet He was very much involved. However He was not so low that one could not tell who were He and what He was not. But let us reveal something today. God has revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ! The Revelation of Christ is that He was very much God on the earth. God came to His creation through the person of Christ. This really struck me hard yesterday. It is a hard concept to grasp; it’s an area we don't wont to delve into. We as Christians every time we read the gospels always see Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity (yes He was this!). But let us look at the moment of the young Jewish man doing the will of the One whom He called "Abba, Father". He was God's agent: He was the Anointed One. Jesus was God's agent, His Servant, The Messiah. Yet He was very much Man as well as God. The reason there is so much argument over who or what god is, because we put God is the two above mention extremes. God in the person of Jesus Christ did something different. The Word became flesh! The Wisdom, God's Son became flesh! God stepped down onto our planet.

This concept is so hard to grasp because the only time we try and "back up" the Trinity is to turn to John's Gospel. We skip Matthew, Mark and Luke and turn straight to John. Let us read the full picture of God. Let us see what Jesus taught, His actions, His compassion. This is the image of God. The glory of God is in the face of Christ Jesus. He was the Anointed One of God.

You want to see God. Look what He did through His Son. His Son went to the cross. You want to know the love of God? Look to the cross. The cross says it all. We cannot say "God don't love me". Friends, Jesus God in the flesh paid the price for yours and mine sin. This is our God.

Today begin to think of our God what He has done through His Son. You want to know what God is like? Look at the full picuture of Jesus.

I will leave you with this remarkable hymn from Isaac Watts, when I survey the wondrous cross:


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.





[1] Check out this unofficial site for more lectures and books from Wright: http://www.ntwrightpage.com/

Friday, February 10, 2006

Count the cost


Jesus said ""If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-- lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'" luke 14:26-30


Have we really counted the cost? Have we really counted the cost? Ask yourself that question "have i really counted the cost?". When looking over my life and wondering am i submitting fully to the will of God, I have to be honest i don't fully. Today that has really hit me (yet again). We need to give God everything we have. Our families, houses, cars, computers, church the lot!God wants it all. What is really worrying in our western Churches is that we are so bombarded with material status, society satus, the false law of tolerance that we forget what Jesus really said.


When we read the above verse it does not fit nicely in our church package. It is sort of arkward, doesnt "feel good". We read over these verses, power through them. We argued it was a social context or even imply that we are doing that. What sounds so extreme, so well... life submitting is the fact our Lord and God wants everything of us. The above verse stikes a problem because of the word "hate" we sometimes can't image Jesus actually saying those words! The word hate in this context does not mean "be angry, avoid, mad" etc for that will contradict other Scriptures. The word "hate" simply means "lesser love" as in Jesus has to be number one and everything else number two. Jesus Christ has paid for us in full with His own blood. Our dear Lord has given us everything He had in order to purchase us with his blood! Today, for me, for us we sadly fail to give it all back. The Bible repeatly warns we must surrender our all to Him.


Friends this is a challenge, it is a huge huge huge challenge. I have fail to do this, and i personally need to submit it all to Him. It is a time thing. It can take time to give it all over. I can see in my life the Holy Spirit has been working on me to give it all over to Him.


If your feeling discourage with this post, please don't. We have a loving Heavenly Father who will do everything in His power to get you over to Him fully. If you cry out with a "i believe, help my unbelief" He will honor your prayer.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

added a poll

on the right hand side is a poll please feel free to answer yes or no. Thank you :) just testing it out may do some more questions in the near future :)

If the Lord is God, follow Him


"And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word." 1 kings 18:21



This verse has hit home for me. What a powerful verse that should be a wake up call for anyone. In this context Elijah was just about to confront the prophets of baal and give them a challenge. To present a sacrifice and which ever God sends fire from Heaven is the true God. As we all know the Lord won hands down, this baal never ever responded.



So what does it mean for us? Well this verse was written in a time where the people of God were seeking other gods including baal. Baal worship had increased all the more and to find a prophet of the Lord was rare in those days. Praise be to God that when a nation or a people starts to forsake the Lord, God raises up people who seek after His heart! While darkness goes over the land the people of the Lord will rise up. But what about this question. How would you answer this "How long will you falter between two opinions?". We cannot serve two masters. Either we are following the Lord or not. We and especially me like to compromise so many times. We like to hold onto two viewpoints, two status. Have you ever tried to go up and down the road at the same time? I personally have not, but let me tell you, it will be impossible. To serve the Lord and to serve something else i.e. another god, viewpoint, contradiction, money etc will not work. You cannot serve two masters. Jesus said this "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt 6:24). As a Christian we need to decide which way are we serving. Friend i know the path is difficult, its not going to be easy. But worth while serving the Lord will be far better than the temporary pleasures of this passing world.



God wants to raise up a people that is serving Him alone. How long will we choose between one or other. I am not talking about perfection here, but in your life, is their evidence you are following Christ? That daily you are drawing closer to Him? Lets repeat the verse in question today "And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word."

Which side are you on?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Tell the world that Jesus lives"

"Tell the world that Jesus lives"


This song from Hillsong United called "tell the world that" has been stuck in my mind for the last few days.The Lyrics as follows:



Don’t want to stand here and shout Your praise
And walk away and forget Your Name
I’ll stand for you if it’s all I do
Cause there is none that compare to You

Cause all I want in this lifetime is You
And all i want in this whole world is you

Tell the world that Jesus lives
Tell the world that, tell the world that
Tell the world that he died for them
Tell the world that he lives again

No longer I but Christ in me
Cause it’s the truth that set me free
How could this world be a better place?
But by thy mercy and by thy grace

C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You

Tell the world that Jesus lives
Tell the world that, tell the world that
Tell the world that he died for them
Tell the world that he lives again

C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
Tell the world that
Tell the world that
C’mon, c’mon we’ll tell the world about You
Tell the world that
Tell the world that
About You





This song is filled with the passion that we as Christians need in order to tell the world about Jesus! If when reading this we're more concerned with the "c'mon"'s and the theological structure of the song then we've missed the point entirely. We have a Savior and the world needs salvation we "Don'’t want to stand here and shout Your praise And walk away and forget Your Name ". We as a Church need to be mission focused. It is so easy to fall into the Sunday Morning trap of singing praises to God and at work on monday forget about it all. We play the silent Christians. We shout about it all and then keep silence after Church. I am much convicted as much as you are. I fall into this gross trap. People its time to step out and tell the world about Jesus! We do need to step out on the path of faith. Lord break your people especially your sleepy hollow western Church!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Spend time with God

It is important to spend time with our God everyday. Statistically it is very shocking how much personal time Christians spend with God alone everyday. It is a battle out there; I know personally I don't get it right. It is so easy to get our mind so crowded with other things that it can be hard to find that peace just to stop and to spend time with our Savior. We as Christians must get into the discipline of spending time with God every day. During this day and age we are going through one of the most intense persecuting known to any Christian in any generation.



What is even more alarming with this attack is it does not come through just the visible but also through the invisible. We are bombarded 24/7 with filth, where sin is glorified daily via TV, Internet, billboards, magazines and newspapers. We are under constant attack. Yet many of us study these items even more intense than the Bible. It is a sad state of affair where one knows the TV guide better than the books of The Bible. Countless of Christians are conforming themselves to the world's ways, its thinking and viewpoints. We trust in the word of man rather than the Word of God. If its on the 10 o'clock news it has to be right, if its on Genesis chapter one we are told to approach with caution. What is happening to us?! Why are we so quick to follow the latest world fables and not so quick to trust in the unchanging Word of God? Christians this needs to alarm us. I know myself included it can be so hard to grasp a Christian concept or truth, yet I'll happily read a news item and trust it straight away! This is not good!



We in this day and age must ground ourselves in the Book of books! We must know it and moreover believe it! Oh what will happen if Christians started to believe the Book of books! What happens when Christians start to pray and to believe that God is able to answer our petitions! We need to spend time with God ever so more in this day and age. We get told even through preachers "that its too spiritual", "come back to Earth" "God don't do things like that anymore". Oh let us wake up from the Spiritual famine and return to our kneels!

Monday, February 06, 2006

name change

I have change the name of Blog. The other name may of been misleading for some people so in order to avoid error I decided I would change the name to something nicer. :)

Reflections: The 'thin silence'

Reflections: The 'thin silence'


Great Aticle by Dan which is worth to check out. Dan recaps the Elijah experience where he's tries to find God's voice in the earthquakes and the fire then it comes as a small quiet voice. He concludes his post with "How will we hear God's whisper if everything around us sounds like earthquakes and fire?!" read more on his very good blog!

Don't Look Back


"But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."(Gen 19:26, nkjv)



Its verses like these we love to bounce around in our theological arguments. Did Lot's wife turn into real salt? Was it a symbol? How is that possible? Why? Doesn't God just love anyway? The Truth is, The Bible offends. When something twists against are theological framework we reject it. This dangerous attitude should be the other way round, we should allow the Bible to question our structure not vice versa!



So why this verse? This verse is a warning for us, who think if we can dabble into a bit of the world and a bit of God hoping to avoid judgment. This is a pain staking verse and shows that we must be for God or against Him. We laugh and mock and say "surely not, because everything is brand new in the NT". Is it? Let us turn to the Message of our Wonderful Messiah. In the context of the Future judgment (Which Peter describes in 2 Peter 3:10) and His Second Coming, Jesus said "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it."(Luke 17:28-33). Is this verse hard to swallow? It's certainly is for me! However it is so easy to put on our theological caps, read the context, the Greek, the manuscripts, trying to find away out of it. Let us stop this and allow the Word of God to challenge us. We must ask ourselves seriously today, whose side are we on? Let us draw near to our Loving Father who has promised to protect us from this Divine judgment if we trust in His Son. What a wonderful promise that is. But let us not forget Lot's wife and carry on pressing forward.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Praise in Heaven


"You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made them* kings+ and priests to our God; And they* shall reign on the earth." (rev 5:9b-10, nkjv, *my corrections to M-text, +NU text is "Kingdom" here)




One can only imagine the Majesty behind this text! Revelation for many is a book of puzzles, wonders, symbols and well quite frankly a book we find ever so hard to get our heads around. No matter where one stands on his or her theological foundation in viewing this book of wonder, one cannot deny that some of the best hymns are sang in this book. Imagine the awe in this verse of the Lamb taking the scroll from God and then the twenty four elders, the four living creatures started to sing a new song of final victory. These words struck me today. Our Savior Jesus Christ, who was slain has redeemed us to our God by His very own blood! He has chosen many from each tribe, tongue and nation to enter into this unimaginable joy of spending eternity in His presence. The song that we read here, is a song of victory, salvation, final deliverance. Jesus the Messiah is Only Worthy alone to take this scroll most likely the title deed for the earth. The seven seals meant it was a highly important document. Jesus alone was worthy of this. Our great God whose plans are wise and high above understanding showed victory through Jesus. Thus the Heavens break forth into amazing praise for the Lamb WHO IS Worthy! He has chosen us and made us into His Kingdom and priests. As priest we can now live in God's very presence because of the blood Jesus shed for us. Imagine the glory of that. Us mere humans, redeemed by the greatest Love Story ever, can now live in the presence of God Almighty! This is something we must not take likely. Let us give our great God and Savior Jesus His due respect!


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Friends, do you know Christ as your Lord and Savior? Want to know more please email.

Friday, February 03, 2006

rss



Just to let ya know i do have RSS on this site. So feel free to subscribe. If you use Safari or Firefox your browser will already have detected the feed. If not, scroll down to the bottom of the site and you will see a link for your reader or click on the RSS button on the right hand side.

Reflections: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Reflections: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

My friend Dan has written a good aticle on Psalm 23:4. He makes an interesting point in saying "This passage of the Bible is quoted all the time and has been a support and comfort for many people in many situations. But for some reason whenever Christians get into sticky situations we fall right back into our insecure ways of thinking." which i totally agree with his comment. His summary on the matter that must be a must to all Christians to grasp is this "But above all, remember that we have a God who is there at both times: when you are comfortable AND when you are in the valley.". Thank you Dan for your good comments. For your information Dan is a student at London School of Theology and is thinking of doing an MA next year. You can reach him on his blog.

His Grace Never Fails





"For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again" (Prov, 24:16a, nkjv).



God's grace holds onto us strong. Nothing, not one thing can seperate us from His unchanging love. Sometimes we as Christians get afraid of loosing His grace. Sometimes we are fearful that we have somehow done the crime of all crimes and that we're no longer "allowed" His grace. Friends the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that this grace is here to the full that we are saved to the uttermost. Jesus said it was finished on the cross and I don't think he was lying. Rest assured that if we confess our sins to Him and repent our trangressions have been removed, as far as the east is from the west. God's love, His grace does not stop. Somtimes in my life I have mucked up so badly but God just keeps pouring His life love on me. I'm not preaching a water down everyone is okay gospel here. Jesus is Lord and He will come back to judge the world soon. But we must commit ourselves fully into His grace and trust on His death and ressurection alone. Don't struggle with God, let Him win you over with grace.

If you want more information on what it is to be a Christian please do email me and I'll be more than happy to chat you.

Hello

Hello this is my first ever post so thought I see if this works and all. How are you all? Let me introduce myself. I am a committed Christian living in the UK. I am getting Married in July and currently well just sorting life out in general. How are you all?