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JANUARY 2007

A MATTER OF TRUST.
I have heard many sermons based on the story of the Lord Jesus walking on the water (see Matthew 14:22-33). I have related to every one of them. Perhaps this is because the story conjures up pictures in my mind. But I have always related to the story at a deeper, spiritual level. Here are the elements of the story:

• The disciples were on Lake Galilee fighting storm conditions

• The Lord Jesus came to them, walking on the water

• He spoke reassuring words to them

• Peter asked the Lord to invite him onto the water

• Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water

• Peter walked on the water until he took his eyes off the Lord

• Jesus rescued Peter, and the boat came safely to land.

The spiritual application is clear. Jesus comes to us in the storms of life to offer his words of comfort and strength. He rescues those who call upon him. When we trust him he helps us to overcome our circumstances. The secret of faith is to keep our eyes on the Lord, and not on our situation. It’s a matter of faith. Let’s trust him in 2007.

“TRUST in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov.4:5-6).



FEBRUARY 2007

THE WORD OF GOD?
Doctrine statements form the basis of most Christian fellowships. These include tenants concerning the Godhead, salvation, and the Christian life – present and future. Basic to them all is belief that the Scriptures, the Bible, is the Word of God. But do we believe this? I ask the question because many evangelical church services do not include the reading of Scripture.

The earliest churches followed the Jewish tradition of systematically reading the Word of God in their public services. Then the Church developed its own lectionaries, which included the Old and New Testaments. Paul reflects this early practice when he exhorts Timothy: “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim.4:13).

Many modern sermons and Christian songs give scant recognition to the Word of God. Christian worship is becoming increasingly subjective. Songs and sermons are often self-centred. Existentialism rules okay! Subjects like repentance, holiness, service, suffering, heaven and hell are outmoded.

Let’s get back to basics! We must promote Bible reading in our pulpits, using a good modern translation that everyone can relate to. And we need a revival of expository preaching.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).



MARCH 2007

TRUTHS to live by.
This month a Christian minister wrote in the Letters Column of a local newspaper suggesting society would do well to return to the Ten Commandments. The following week a member of the Humanist Society responded by saying we should not teach human values rooted in ‘ancient fairy tales’. He took the opportunity to undermine the Christian Faith.

This is a shame. If the humanist could share a better set of directives, why didn’t he? The fact is the Ten Commandments are not unique to Moses (see Exodus 20:1-17). King Hammurabi of Babylon (1810 -1750 BC) formulated similar rules based on justice (The Code of Hammurabi may be found on a stele in the Louvre Museum in Paris.) They protect family rights, false accusations, and property rights. Humanely they defend the weak, poor, women, children and slaves.

But there is a difference between the two codes. Hammurabi excludes any reference to God. The Ten Commandments relate to humanity and God - and God first. This is the fact that upset the humanist. But belief in God applies the rules relating to human relationships. Jesus Christ said we should love God and our neighbour as ourselves.

“To fear the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).



God Bless you

         Vernon                                                                     Bible



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