A good servant of Jesus Christ

In 1 Timothy 4:6-16 we find some good advice on how to be a good servant of Jesus Christ. In this passage we see four things that will help us in service to God.

1. Be spiritually fit – Verses 7-8 tell us to spend out time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. It goes on to say that while physical exercise has benefits, spiritual fitness lasts into the next life. So read and study your Bible, pray continuously and interact with others who share your faith.

2. Be an example to others – Verse 12 tells us to be an “example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity”. Other people see that our faith is genuine by our words, our love and our actions. We need to ensure our lives match our words.

3. Use your spiritual gifts – Verse 14 says that we should not neglect our spiritual gifts, especially the ones recognised by our church. It goes on to say that we should throw ourselves completely into our tasks so everyone will see our progress. Finding and using our God given gifts is vital to be good servants.

4. Monitor your progress – The passage closes in verse 16 with a reminder to monitor ourselves and keep a check on how we are going. It warns us to watch our teaching and to stay true to what is right. It gives us a great promise that if we do the people who hear will be saved.

In this short passage of Scripture we can draw some simple things to help stay on track spiritually and to help us be good servants of Jesus Christ.

God Bless,
Dave

PS. This message is available in MP3 format here

Four ways God reveals Himself to us

Many people search for God at some time in their lives. They ask and question if God is real. Many ask God to reveal Himself to them, especially during the hard times that life brings. Here are four ways God has revealed Himself to us all.

1. God has revealed Himself through creation

The Bible tells us in Psalm 19:1-2, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known”. This magnificant world that we live in point to a God who created all things. As the above verse says, His creation reveals God to us.

2. God reveals Himself in mankind

The Bible tells us that we are all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). This means God has imprinted His DNA into ours. When we live in loving relationships, or when use our God given gifts to work, or we creatively make a masterpiece, or when we make choices for good, we are reflecting God’s image and making Him known.

3. God reveals Himself by intervening in our world

In the Book of Exodus we see that God intervened in the life of the people of Israel (Exodus 14:1-29). The people were up against the Red Sea with Pharaohs army approaching. There was no hope until God intervened and parted the Red Sea. God is a God who loves us and is interested in intervening in our lives. He is not a far off and distant God as some people think.

4. God revealed Himself in Jesus Christ

The Bible tells us that God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:15 says, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation”. If you have ever wondered what God is like, then look at the life and person of Jesus Christ.

So there you have it, four ways that God has revealed Himself to us all. From these things we see that He is not a distant God that is far removed from His creation. He reveals Himself in His creation, He reveals Himself in us, by His intervention in the world and in the life and person of Jesus Christ.

God Bless,
Dave

Real love

When we watch TV or go to the movies we get all sorts of images thrown at us telling us what real love is. Some see it as attraction, lust, sex or other things. The Bible tells us what real love is.

In 1 John 4:9-10 it says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins”.

Real love is not so much a feeling or an attraction, but something that sacrifices and longs for a true and deep relationship. It is something that looks to the long term best of the other.

Just like what God did for us in sending Jesus to die to take away our sins. It was sacrificial, for our long term eternal best and all about relationship with you and I. To me that is real love!

I pray that you will know the love God has for you today.

God Bless,
Dave

Whom did Jesus appear to after He was raised?

One of the key foundations of the Christian faith is that Jesus died and rose again. As Christians we believe in the Bible’s account that Jesus rose bodily. He wasn’t some sort of ghost or spirit, but flesh and blood.

One of the reasons we believe this is because of the many eye witness accounts of seeing Him after He was raised. Here are a few…

1. To Mary Magdalene at the Tomb (Mark 16:9-11, John 20:11-18)

2. To Mary and the other Mary (Matthew 28:9-10)

3. To Peter (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)

4. To the Disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-35)

5. To the Apostles in the Upper Room (Mark 16:14-18, John 20:24-29)

6. To the Disciples at the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-22)

7. On the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:6-11)

8. To more than 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6)

9. Many times in the 40 days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3)

10. To James (1 Corinthians 15:7)

As you can see Jesus appeared many times to His followers in public and in private. Both the Bible and other historical writers at the time mention the resurrection of Jesus.

I believe that there is too much evidence to show Jesus was raised in bodily form before He returned to heaven.

God Bless,

Dave

The two shall become one

In the Mark 10:7-9 the Bible says, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Today there are so many marriages breaking down and people are being divorced. There are many and varied reasons for this happening. Drugs, alcohol, violence, health issues, unfaithfulness to name a few.

But one thing I often wonder for the rest of the marriages that break down is because they are not really becoming one flesh or seeing themselves as one flesh.

The whole idea of marriage is to live with someone and share your lives together. To see yourselves as one moving forwards and staying together no matter what life may bring – until death do you part.

I wonder today if many people do not really understand this oneness that God intended for marriage. We have separate banks accounts, separate possessions, separate goals, separate holidays, separate faith.

We even have our own private business that we need to share permission with government agencies to talk to our partners about!

In marriage God intends for us to really become one flesh. He wants to us to surrender ourselves to Him and to the other person. He wants us to stay the together until death do us part.

God Bless,

Dave

Working out your own salvation

In Philippians 2:12-18 there is a great passage of Scripture that looks at working out our salvation as Christians. It talks about a number of things we should think about as Christians and a number of things we should do. It also gives us some reassurance.

Here are a few reflections from the passage…

1. Paul tells them to be obedient – In verse 12 Paul tells them to keep being obedient to God’s commands. He stresses this is important whether he is with them or not. Obedience is not about someone watching over us to keep a check on us, but doing the right thing regardless. It is about being faithful and obedient wherever we are, with others or alone.

2. Work out your own salvation – Verse 12 also says to work your own salvation with fear and trembling. Paul is telling them to stay the course of faith and take responsibility for your own faith and growth. He is not saying to work for you salvation, that is done by Christ. He is saying to work on the things that you should do to keep you moving forward.

3. Stand out like the stars – Verse 15 tells us to shine like the stars in this depraved generation. Verse 14 says to do everything without arguing of complaining so that we will be blameless and pure children of God. People should see we are living differently if we are being obedient to God. We should be like a light as Matthew 5:13-15 talks about.

4. Both God and us do the work – Verses 12 & 14 talk about us doing the work of being obedient, being blameless, not complaining or arguing, being pure children of God. However, we must remember that God is also at work within us too. Verse 13 says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose”. He is working in us to bring about His purpose for our lives.

So working out your own salvation is about being obedient to God, taking responsibility for you own faith and growth, living blamelessly before God and man and being a light to the world. However, we also get some assurance that while we play our part, God is also playing His part to bring His plans to pass in our lives.

God Bless,

Dave

PS. This is available in MP3 for free here

Restoring wandering believers

One of the things that God prompts me about every now and then is to remember those who have fallen out of regular fellowship with other Christians and those who have left their faith behind. Recently God has brought this to my attention again by highlighting two passages of Scripture – Luke 15:3-7 &  James 5:19-20.

The first passage from Luke talks about the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep to go out into the pastures to find the missing one. When the shepherd leaves the 99, it shows just how important a lost person is to God.

The second passage from James says, “you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins”. This shows it is vitally important to bring people back to faith who may have fallen away completely.

These two passages have reminded me of the importance of caring for those people in your life that has maybe fallen out of fellowship with God and others. We need to take some time to think about the people we haven’t seen for a bit and follow them up.

How about you? Have you got someone in your life that has fallen out of fellowship with other Christians? Or have you got someone in your life who has walked away from Christ altogether? Perhaps a visit, a quick phone call or email today might be able to help them today?

God Bless,
Dave

Understanding saving faith

A lot of people I speak to as I go about my daily life tell me they have a belief in God. They say that they believe there is a God who is in control of things.

However when you go a bit deeper you find that it is a very vague understanding and “faith” that there is a God somewhere out there. As we talk I try to explain to them that to have a saving faith in God, you need to have more than a vague belief that God exists.

The Bible tells us that faith it is about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, understanding who He is and what He has done for us.

Here are some of the things we need to understand about saving faith. If you read the dot points and then hover over the Bible verses you will be able to read what the Bible says.

  • We need to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (John 20:30-31).
    • We need to accept that we have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards (Romans 3:23)
    • We need to believe that He came to earth to die on the cross for our sin that separated us from God (1 Peter 3:18, Romans 5:8) .
    • We need to believe that God raised Jesus back to life (Romans 10:9-10).
    • We need to confess our sin to God and ask for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
    • We need to ask Jesus into our lives and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour (John 1:12, Revelation 3:20).

    Saving faith is not about what we do to save ourselves. It is about believing in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. Our part is to receive Him into our lives and then live our lives for Him.

    If you would like to receive Jesus into your life today and find peace with God (Romans 5:1), you can pray this prayer right now.

    Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God. I believe that You came to earth to die on the cross for my sin and that God raised You back to life. I apologise for all the wrong things I have done in my life and I ask for Your forgiveness. Please come into my life and be my Lord and Saviour. I pray that from this day forward I will be able to live for You. Amen.

    If you prayed this prayer it means that Jesus is now in your life. Your sins are forgiven and you will spend eternity with God! I would encourage you to visit this page on my website to find out what to do next – What next!

    God Bless,
    Dave

    Seek Him by prayer and worship

    I was reading Deuteronomy chapter 4 the other morning. When I got to verse 29 I had to pause and reflect.

    It says, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul”.

    As I reflected I really wanted to understand what God meant by seek. How did He want me to seek Him? This caused me to look at the Hebrew word for seek that was used in the passage. It was “baqash” (baw-kash).

    When you look up the meaning it says to search out by any method; but specifically in worship or prayer. It also has implications of striving after or to ask, beg, beseech, desire, enquire, get, make inquisition, procure.

    I found it interesting to note that the same word “baqash” was used in Jeremiah 29:11-13 where it says to seek Him and we will find Him when we seek with all of our hearts.

    If you want to find God today. Seek Him by prayer and worship and seek Him with all of you heart. He promises to be found by you.

    God Bless,

    Dave