Christ is supreme to all things

One of my favourite passages of Scripture is found in Colossians 1:15-23. In this passage the Apostle Paul talks about the Supremacy of Christ.

He does this because the church at Colosse had been infected by some false teaching that Christ was only one of the “spiritual beings” that acts as intermediary between God and mankind. Rather than the only one.

In this passage Paul says three great statements about Jesus.

1. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God (Col 1:15) – In saying this Paul says that Jesus is part of the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This makes Him supreme to all other created creatures including angels.

2. Jesus was the Creator (Col 1:16) – Verse 16 says, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him”.

3. Jesus is the head of the church (Col 1:18) – Verse 18 tells us that Christ is the head of the body – the Church. This means He is the supreme ruler of the church.

In this short passage we see that Jesus is God, that all things were created by and for Him and that He is head over all of the Church. Jesus is supreme to all things that this world has to offer.

Paul states these things to set the church at Colosse straight. Rather than attack the false teaching, he simply states the truth about Jesus and who He really is.

Let us pause and remember today that Christ is supreme to all things.

God Bless,

Dave

Written in the Book

Having your name recorded in a book can make a huge difference to your life. Just think about it for a moment. Having your name on the book at the Department of Transport means you are allowed to drive a car and having your name on the election roles means you can vote.

No matter what we do in life it is important to be recorded in a book somewhere as it means you can get an education, receive health care when needed and even enables us to purchase a home for our families.

In the Bible it talks about an important book. It is called the Lamb’s Book of Life. The Bible tells us that this Book records all the names of the people who receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

In Revelations chapter 21 it talks about this Book being vital if you want to enter heaven. It says, “Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27).

The Bible also says that those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will miss out on heaven. Revelation 20:15 makes it pretty clear – “And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire”.

Today I want to ask you some questions. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? My hope is that you will be able to say yes to these questions.

If you are not sure or you would like to make sure your name is written in this Book and you want to be assured you will enter heaven one day. Please visit this page.

God Bless

Dave

There are no mistakes when it comes to kids

I was recently talking to someone whose parents told them they were a mistake. The person was told that the parents didn’t want to have another child and they came along as a mistake. As you can imagine they were not really happy to hear that news.

As I shared with the person I told them that there are no mistakes in God’s eyes. I wanted to let them know that God was involved in their creation and that God chose them even though their parents might have thought it was a mistake.

Here are some of the Bible verses I shared with them…

Job 10:8-12 – You formed me with your hands; you made me,…You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care.

Psalms 139:13-16 – You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous–and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Isaiah 49:5 – And now the LORD speaks–he who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring his people of Israel back to him. The LORD has honored me, and my God has given me strength.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 – The LORD gave me a message. He said, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.

As you can see from the above verses, God is intimately involved in our creation. He is right their shaping us in our mothers womb. Job 10:8-12 tells us He is right there at conception…at the very first sign of life.

If you feel like you were a mistake or you have been told you were. Know that God knew you before you were born and it was part of His purpose that you are living right now. There are no mistakes in God’s eyes when it comes to kids.

God Bless,

Dave

Slaves to sin no more

I was reading through Romans 6:1-14 this morning for my devotions. The NIV Bible heads this passage “Dead to sin, Alive to Christ”.

As I read a few of the verses jumped out at me…

  • v2 – We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
  • v3 – Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
  • v6 – For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin
  • v9 – For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
  • v11 – In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
  • v14 – For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

This passage really brought home to me afresh that we are dead to sin and alive to Christ because of His death for us on the cross.

It also made me reflect on the relationship of earthly slaves and masters. Two things really came to mind…

1. When a slave dies his earthly master has no power over him any more. He can call him or ring his bell to summon his presence, but the slave is dead and will not respond.

2. If a master sells his slave to another person he is not bound to answer or do what he asks. The slave is simply not his property any more. He belongs to a new master and lives in a new household.

This is what it is like for us as Christians. When our old master calls and tempts us a tries to lead us astray, we don’t need to listen because we are not his property any more. We belong to a new Master now.

We are truly slaves to sin no more…we are dead to sin and alive to Christ. Praise God!

God Bless,

Dave

Where is your pulpit?

The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”.

In this verse Peter is reminding the people who they are. He tells them they are chosen by God, royal priests, holy and they belong to God. He goes on to tell them to declare they praises of Him who called you.

I believe as Christians we all have the role of proclaiming the praises of God to those around us. We need to let others know the great things God has done for us and the great things He is doing in the world.

Not everyone who is a Christian is an Ordained Priest or Minister who stands up the front in church each week. But as Christians I do believe we all have a pulpit to declare God’s praises from.

Our pulpit might be in our workplace, to our neighbours in need, in a children’s ministry setting, to our friends and family, at a mid week Bible study group, on a short term mission trip or it might even be on a website like this one!

So today I want to encourage you to think about where your pulpit is. Where is the place God wants you to proclaim His greatness from? Where is the place He wants you to share His great love for others from? What areas do you move in that God could use you in?

God Bless,

Dave

How does the Bible use the term saint?

With all the news over the last few weeks about Mary McKillop becoming a Saint of the Catholic Church, I thought I would do some research as see what the Bible says about the term Saint and how it is applied to people.

The Greek word that is used in the New Testament for saint is hagios (G40). This touches on things like being “sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): – (most) holy (one, thing), saint.”

However when we look and see how the term hagios (Greek) or saint is used, it is used as a noun and nearly always is used in the plural form. It is used to describe a group of Christian people in a place ie the saints in Ephesus.

Here are a few examples of how it is used in the New Testament…

  • It is used once in the gospels (Matthew 27:52 KJV) of the saints of the former age. Hagios is translated as “holy ones” (NIV) in this verse. The other references are in the Book of Acts  and later.
  • “Much evil he has done to thy saints” (Acts 9:13);
  • “to the saints that lived at Lydda” (Acts 9:32);
  • “I not only shut up many of the saints in prison” (Acts 26:10);
  • “the Spirit intercedes for the saints” (Romans 8:27);
  • “contribute to the needs of the saints” (Romans 12:13); hagios is translated “God’s people” in the NIV.
  • “I am going to Jerusalem with aid for the saints” (Romans 15:25, 26).

It is interesting to note that the only instance of the use of the word “saint” in the singular is found in Philippians 4:21 (KJV) where it says “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus”. The NIV translates this as saints plural.

I just found this research interesting and I thought I would share it. I hope it is a blessing to you and helps you to understand the New Testament use of the term saint a little better.

God Bless,

Dave

Keeping a healthy spirit

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:14, “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”

This proverb contrasts a healthy spirit with a “crushed spirit”. The figure of a “crushed” spirit in this verse suggests a broken will, loss of vitality, despair, and emotional pain.

When a person’s spirit is healthy they are positive, alive, vibrant and are able to cope with most things that come their way. Even when facing major illness they seem to have the will to face it and overcome.

So what are some of the things we can do to maintain a healthy spirit? Here are a few that I have found helpful.

1. Prayer – keeping connected with God by prayer keeps up spiritually in tune with Him.

2. Bible reading – reading the Word of God regularly feeds our souls. It is our daily bread.

3. Confession – none of us are perfect and we all sin at times. Confession helps to lift the load when we sin.

4. Fellowship – spending time with positive faith filled people charges up our faith and lifts our spirit.

5. Rest – getting enough rest is vital to keeping a healthy spirit. We can’t just keep going and expect to be healthy.

6. Recreation – if we want a healthy spirit we need to do things we enjoy and take us away from our everyday routines.

7. Service – serving others takes our focus of ourselves. Get involved in serving God by serving others to keep a healthy spirit.

These are some of the things that help me to maintain a healthy spirit. When my spirit is healthy, I am more resilient and I am able to cope when the issues of life come my way.

God Bless,

Dave

PS. This message is available in MP3 format here

Philip’s miracles drew attention

I was reading through Acts chapter eight this morning about Philip the evangelist. It is the passage that talks about Philip preaching in Samaria.

Acts 8:4-7 says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed”.

It is interesting that because of Philip’s preaching and miracles the people there paid close attention. The original Greek word used in this verse (Prosecho) means they really paid attention and it held on to their minds. They stopped what they were doing and focussed.

As we read on we see that once Philip had their attention he preached about the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ and performed miracles. He didn’t just do the miracles in a stand alone format. The miracles got peoples attention and Philip was able to share the Good News of God’s salvation.

Let’s read on to verse 13 to see what happened. “But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women”.

So what can see from all of this? One thing is for sure that the miracles performed got peoples attention. They stopped what they were doing and listened intently. When they were listening, Philip preached the message of God’s Kingdom and people came to Jesus as a result. Even Simon the Sorcerer!

God performs miracles through us out of His compassion and mercy. However, there are a number times in the Bible we see the miracles are done to open doors to preach about the Kingdom of God and salvation through Jesus Christ.

God Bless,

Dave

All of our days are numbered

Several years ago my wife and I were watching some moles I have had on my back for a number of years to see if any of them change colour or shape. This is what we have been told to do as changes in moles can be a sign of skin cancer.

We noticed a couple of them had become darker in colour and had possibly changed in shape and size too. We decided that I should go off to the doctors just to be sure nothing is wrong. The doctor said that I should have them removed just to be sure and have them tested. I was booked in to have this procedure done.

For most of us the natural tendency is to worry and wonder if you have cancer and if you will require extensive treatment. I have to admit that this had crossed my mind momentarily. I wouldn’t be human if it didn’t! But in the midst of these thoughts I quickly realised that God is with me and all of my days are numbered by Him.

None of us can add a day to our lives by worry or by doing anything else. Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed”.

For me this thought is a great comfort and allows me to trust God. I know that no matter what happens to me in this life, that my life and all of my days are in God’s hands and I won’t go home until He calls me there.

God Bless,

Dave

Being transformed and renewed

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Recently I was thinking about different areas of my life and how God has transformed me during this renewing process.

Here are a few of the ways I have and am being transformed.

1. Self image – my self image has changed from how the world saw me to how God sees me according to the Bible. I now know that I am made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), that He lovingly knit me together in my mothers womb (Psalm 139:13) and has made me for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10).

2. More considerate of others – before I came to Christ and the transformation process began, I was only really interested in myself and how life effected me. Now God has changed my heart to more of an outward focus and more concern for those around me (Philippians 2:3-4).

3. Worrying about the future – before Christ I was always worried about the future and what bad things it would bring. Now I know that God holds my future in the palm of His hand. I trust that He will care for me and supply my needs as I serve Him (Matthew 6:25-34).

4. My speech has changed – for most of my life (and the first few years of being a Christian) I had a foul mouth. Every fourth word that left it was a swear word. God slowly transformed this speech pattern. Now the words I use are designed to encourage and build others up (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Proverbs 16:24).

So there you have it, four ways God has transformed and is transforming my life. It is amazing when you look back and see how far you have come. In saying this though, I am also very conscious of how far I still need to be transformed. Like every Christian I am still a work in progress!

God Bless,

Dave