Images of God and mankind

Just now I was reflecting on how as humans we have been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). This means we have God imprinted into our DNA.

As I reflected on this I began to think about Christ and what image He took on when He lived amongst us. Let us have a look at what Philippians chapter two says…

Philippians 2:5-8
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

I find this incredibly amazing that when God created us it was in His image. And when Jesus came to earth He took on our image.

There is something profound in this Divine and Human circle. The Creator made the created, then became like His creation to save us and bring us back to the Divine.

It makes me feel loved and it makes me feel special. And it makes me love God even more.

God Bless,

Dave

Living for Jesus, dying to be with Him

I was reading Philippians 1:20-26 this morning. This is where Paul is in prison for preaching the Good News about Jesus Christ. This is what the passage says…

“20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. ”

Paul realised that this life is not all there is. He lived with an eternal mindset and with eternal values. He was in prison and could easily become depressed and inward thinking, yet he was still thinking about proclaiming about Christ and people growing in their faith in Him.

Paul really believed to live is all about Christ. Jesus was his whole existence and his whole reason for being. His whole life was entwined in proclaiming the Gospel. And though he longed to “depart to be with Christ” he realised he still had work to do here in serving Jesus.

I love Paul and the words of verse 21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more these verses ring true and become part of my life calling.

God Bless,

Dave

 

A Popular Survey of the New Testament book

A few weeks ago I purchased a book from Koorong. It is titled, “A Popular Survey of the New Testament”. Here is the description from the website…

“If you’ve ever wondered what the doings of Philippians, Corinthians, and Thessalonians have to do with your life today, or whether we can know for sure that New Testament events really happened, then this is the book for you – easy-to-read and packed with full colour illustrations that bring the 1st century to life!

Illustrated with photos, charts, and maps, and written in an easy, informal style, this survey will be enjoyed by all Christians who want to enrich their understanding of New Testament people and events. 384 pages worth of value, and a complete revision.”

I found it to be really great value at $12.95 (normal price. I got it for 20% off on sale!) for a hard cover book.

God Bless,

Dave

Two more free audio sermonettes

Hi all,

I have added two more free audio sermonettes to my main website today. They are called “Contrasting the humanity and deity of Jesus” and “The parable of the talents and abilities”.

If you are interested you can find them on my audio page here – http://www.passionaustralia.org/audio.html.

If you would like to subscribe to our Podcast you can do that here – http://www.passionaustralia.org/audio/passionaustralia.xml

God Bless,

Dave

Do not let sin reign

I have been reflecting on Romans 6:12 today. It says, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” As I have been reflecting on this several things have come to mind…

1. The “do not let” implies to me that I have a choice to let sin reign. I must chose to do right. It must be a conscious  decision.

2. I must not let sin be my king. The Greek word in the text for rule is basileuo? (pronounced bas-il-yoo’-o). It means to rule, be king or reign.

So how do we not let sin reign or be king in our lives. Here are a few thoughts that may help.

1. Identify our weakness – what type of sin do we struggle with?

2. When – when does this happen? Is it when I am with someone? At a certain time? Or when I am tired?

3. Boundaries – put safe boundaries in place which would make it harder to do this sin.

4. Practice restraint – realise we are dead to sin and alive to Christ (Romans 6:11) and we need to “do not let sin reign”.

5. Divert ourselves – when this temptation arises try to do something else. Read the Bible, call a friend, pray.

6. Share your struggle – the Bible tells us to “confess our sins to one another so we can be healed (James 5:16).

7. Lean on God – we need to lean on God’s strength and the help of the Holy Spirit. We are not in this struggle alone.

God Bless,

Dave

He is Risen!

One of the key tenants of the Christian faith is that Jesus died on the cross for our sin. Another key aspect is that on the third day He rose to life.

Matthew 28:5-7 says, “5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Jesus’ rising from the dead gives me hope. It gives me hope in knowing that Jesus has conquered death. It also gives me hope and assurance that when I die, I will rise to life too.

It is a great feeling to know that this life is not all there is. If we trust Christ for our salvation we know without doubt that we will spend eternity with Him.

To me that is the great hope of the Easter message. That Jesus died and rose again so we could be with Him forever.

God Bless,

Dave

The challenges of the Easter message

As I have been preparing for Easter 2012 I have been reflecting on the challenges that come with the Easter message. There are two that really stand out to me – one for the unbeliever and one for the believer.

1. What are you going to do with your sin?

For the unbeliever, the message of Easter can be quite challenging. The Bible tells us that Jesus left heaven to live amongst us and die for our sin on the cross. He took our punishment that we deserved upon Himself. He died in our place.

As human beings we all sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards”. We also read that our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). What then will we do with our sin?

The Good News of the Easter message is that we can have our sins forgiven because Jesus came to die in our place. He took our punishment so we can escape what we deserve (Romans 6:23).

In accepting what Jesus has done for us – asking for forgiveness and receiving Jesus into our lives as Lord and Saviour – we receive forgiveness, acceptance from God and a new beginning. We are born again.

The challenge for the unbeliever is what will you do with your sin and will you accept what Jesus has done for you?

2. Will you live out the Easter message everyday?

For the believer, the challenge of Easter is a call to live wholeheartedly for the Kingdom and its cause. Just like a believer can be a “Sunday only Christian” and only really live the Christian life at church, we can be an Easter only Christian too.

The challenge of Easter is to carry its message everyday. We need to live and breath the Easter story. We need to carry the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus everyday.

Wherever we go and whatever we do, Jesus’ name needs to be on our lips, His love in our hearts and His work in our hands. We need to let streams of living water flow out of us and His love must impact the world around us.

The Easter challenge for the believer is to live a life of true devotion and true commitment to His cause – the salvation of all mankind.

Two Questions

Today I want to ask you two questions. Will you accept what Jesus has done for you in the Easter message? And if so, will you live with total commitment to Him, His will and His cause in this world?

Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that You died for me on the cross. I thank You that You took the punishment for my sin. Right now I ask for forgiveness of all I have done wrong. I am sorry. Please come into my life as Lord and Saviour, please guide me and lead me in all I do. Help me to live my life in a way that lives the Easter message out each day. Help me to live my life for Your Kingdom and its great cause. I pray that from this day forward I will follow You wholeheartedly and never look back. Thank You for saving me, for giving me eternal life and adopting me as Your child. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Courageous the movie resolution

I watched another great movie with my wife and kids the last few days. It is called Courageous. Last night I watched it with my wife. Tonight we watched it with the kids too.

It is about being a true man of God, about living God’s way and being the best husband, father and man you can be.

One part that really impacted me was the resolution the men made. Here is a copy of the words…

THE RESOLUTION

I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honour her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honour authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honour God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfil this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15

The compassion of Jesus

The Bible tells us in numerous places that Jesus was full of compassion. Psalm 103:8 tells us that “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love”.

As I dwelt on this compassion I came to realise that compassion needs to have action attached to it. It can’t just be a noun or describing word, it needs to be a verb or a doing word.

As I looked through Scripture I found four ways in which Jesus showed compassion to those He came in contact with. Here they are…

1. He became people’s teacher – Mark 6:35 says, “When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd that was like sheep without a shepherd. He felt sorry for the people and started teaching them many things”.

2. He fed people – In Mark 8:2 Jesus said, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don’t have anything to eat.” He then multiplied the fishes and the loaves.

3. He raised people to life – In Luke 7:13-15 we see that Jesus had compassion on a widow who had just lost her only son. He walked up to the young man, raised Him to life and gave him back to his mother.

4. He healed the sick – Matthew 14:14 says, “When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick”.

Jesus had compassion in all of these examples. His compassion was not just in thought, but in deed. He was moved to action.

It is my hope and prayer that I will not only have Jesus’ compassion in my life, but it will be a compassion that moves me to action.

God Bless,

Dave