Obedience and teaching

The Bible gives us a number of clues on how to be great in God’s eyes and in His Kingdom.

In Matthew 5:19 it gives us two of them. It says, “…But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven”.

The two key thoughts of this verse are obedience to God’s laws and then teaching others to do the same. It says if we do these things we “will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven”.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts to obey God’s Word today and teach others how to do it too. It sounds like a great way to spend a day!

God Bless,
Dave

Why do we need the Holy Spirit?

I recently got asked the question “Why do we need the Holy Spirit, when I already have Jesus?” It was by someone who was a new Christian.

It was a good question and one that I asked myself a number of years ago. I decided to pull out some Scriptures and see what the Bible said in my answer.

The verses paint a broad picture and give us a number of reasons why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives.

1. Jesus promised to send another Comforter to help us (John 14:26)

2. He dwells in us as Christians (Romans 8:11)

3. He shows us when we are not living right (John 16:8-11)

4. He give us a new life in Christ (Titus 3:5)

5. He empowers us to tell others about Jesus’ love and salvation (Acts 1:8)

6. He helps us to pray and connect with God (Romans 8:26)

7. He makes us more Christ-like in the way we live (Romans 8:5-9)

8. He gives us gifts to serve God and serve others (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

9. He encourages us in our faith (Acts 9:31)

10. He reveals the secret things of God to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-16)

These are only 10 of the reasons why we need the Holy Spirit in our lives. There are a lot more when you search through the Bible.

God Bless,
Dave

Not keeping up appearances

The Bible says in Proverbs 12:9, “Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food”.

This verse touches on the idea of keeping up appearances or pretending to be something that we are not. Often as humans we will try to impress others with what we own or how we live, and to keep up our “image” we will live beyond our means.

Proverbs 12:9 tells us that it is better to be humble and live within our means, rather than put on a fake show to big note how successful we are. It is about being content with yourself and your circumstances versus being flashy for the sake of others.

So how do we avoid the urge to keep up appearances? There are a few things we can do…

  1. Pray and ask God to help you to be content with your circumstances and to help you to live within your means.
  2. Give thanks to Him for all of the good things in your life. Tell Him how much you appreciate His blessings.
  3. Ask Him to see yourself through His eyes. Once you do that then the need to impress others with what you have will slowly fall away.

God Bless,

Dave

The Golden Rule

Many people believe that the Bible is full of complex rules that we need to know and follow. However there is one verse that sums up all of the relational teachings very simply.

This verse is found in Matthew 7:12 and is called the Golden Rule. It says, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets”.

Treat people how you would like to be treated. It doesn’t get more simple than that!

I don’t know about you, but I like to be loved, encouraged, supported, respected, spoken well to, cared for, spoken well of, befriended and included.

I don’t like to be beaten up, yelled at, excluded, stolen from, spoken about negatively, discouraged and hated.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts today to treat people how we would like to be treated. And if we accidentally do the wrong thing, let’s go back and apologise straight away.

God Bless,
Dave

The right type of wisdom

James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”.

Let’s break down the words from this verse to help us to understand the wisdom that comes from heaven. I have looked the words up in my kids school dictionary.

Pure – pure means not mixed with anything else, clean and free from harmful substances, containing nothing sinful.

Peace-loving – peace is a state of calm and quiet when there is no disturbance, no war.

Considerate – someone who pays attention to the needs and feelings of others.

Submissive – behaving in a quiet and obedient way.

Full of Mercy – showing mercy means showing kindness and forgiveness and do not punish someone as severly as you could.

Full of good fruit – good fruit is the good things for others, especially being kind to them.

Impartial – having a view of something which is fair and un-biased.

Sincere – if you are sincere you say and do things that you really mean, you are honest and genuine.

As we have seen in a previous post, wisdom is about having knowledge and then putting that knowledge in to practice in the right way.

This verse shows that we should use our wisdom in a caring and considerate way that shows shows no favouritism. If we are doing these things, we will know our wisdom is the wisdom that comes from heaven.

God Bless,

Dave

Help with understanding the Trinity

When I first became a Christian one of the things I really struggled with was the idea of the Trinity. People used the idea of the apple (core, flesh, skin) and the water (ice, steam, water) to explain it to me. But I still never got the idea of three in one.

It wasn’t until I saw a copy of the attached image that I really got it and was able to process it properly. It changed how I saw the Trinity and it was no longer the “mystery” as many people called it.

The key thought of the Trinity is one God in three persons – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Three distinct persons, but they are one in love, one in purpose, one in unity, one in relationship and so on. All are equal members of the Godhead and all are eternal.

The diagram shows that God is actually the sum total of the three person. You can see that it shows Father, Son and Holy Spirit as the three members of the Trinity. Then it says the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. But they are all God.

So when I talk about God on this blog, I am talking about the total of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Trinity. At times I will talk about the individual members but will always refer to them as the Father, Son or Spirit.

I hope that helps you if you are having troubles with the idea of the Trinity.

God Bless,

Dave

Peter’s mother in law healed

In Matthew 8:14-15 we see an interesting healing that involved the Apostle Peter’s mother-in-law. It says…

“When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him”.

This healing was just after the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus healing a number of people of leprosy and the healing of the slave of the Roman Soldier.

The thing I like about this healing is that it was not a public healing to show that God’s power was with Jesus. It was a private healing to restore Peter’s mother-in-law to health. Jesus saw she was sick and brought healing.

This simple healing can give us confidence to pray for our own families in times of illness. The healing power of God is not just available to crusade type events to bring people salvation. It is also personal and for the ones closest to us.

God Bless,

Dave

Jesus’ words are eternal

The Bible says in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”.

Jesus said these words at the end of a section the NIV titles “Sings of the End of the Age”.  He talks about things happening before He returns.

He talks about things like wars and rumours of wars, people falling away from faith, Christians being deceived, people claiming to be Christ and more.

In other places the Bible also tells us that our world is going to be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:7-13) and a new heaven and earth will replace it (Revelation 21:1).

The thing I find interesting in this verse is the thought that even though this world will pass away, Christ’s words ARE eternal!

I find it comforting to know that even though Jesus spoke these words some 2000 years ago…He backs them up eternally. They are forever words!

God Bless,

Dave

A kind word cheers him up

One of the great things I love about the Bible is that it prompts me and reminds me of certain things as I read it.

Today I read Proverbs 12:25. It says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”. It is a short and simple verse, but it has a great reminder.

If someone is anxious about something or not feeling the best, a kind word can cheer them up. It is simple, practical advice that can make a difference to someone’s day!

How about you? Who can you cheer up today? Why not look around as you go about your day and see if someone needs a kind word. Let them know you appreciate them or something good they do. It might just make the world of difference.

God Bless,

Dave

Money and possessions

In Matthew 6:19-34 there is a section titled, “Teaching about money and possessions”. This is part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. In it Jesus shares four key things about our money and our possessions.

1. Store your treasures in heaven – verses 19-21 talk about earthly treasures versus heavenly treasures. We see that earthly treasure can be damaged or stolen, but heavenly treasures are safely locked away with God. We need to build “eternal superannuation” by supporting God’s work with our finances.

2. Let God be your only Master – verse 24 says “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other”. As Christians we need to let God be our sole master, we can’t focus on building wealth and possessions to the detriment of our relationship with God. God must always come first in our hearts and in the way we live.

3. Don’t worry about daily needs – verses 25-32 looks at our daily needs of life like food and clothing. These things can cause us great worry if we allow them to. However the text tells us that God supplies our needs like He supplies the needs of the animals and birds. It says that we are of far more value to Him that they are (v26). We can trust Him to supply our daily needs because He loves and cares for us deeply.

4. Seek first the Kingdom – in verse 33 it says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”. As Christians our primary focus needs to be on God’s Kingdom and what He wants us to do with our daily lives. God promises that if we seek His Kingdom first and live right, that He will give us everything we need to live both now and into the future.

We can see from this passage that we don’t need to worry about money and possessions. God wants us to focus first and foremost on His Kingdom. When we do that He promises to take care of our daily needs as we trust and follow Him. God loves you and I very deeply and He knows what we need daily to live. He will supply all.

God Bless,
Dave