In times of trouble people often ask for answers, they question everything trying to make sense of it all. One of the main stumbling blocks preventing people from believing in God is their human reasoning which says that if there was a God then why does he allow suffering, pain and evil? Some may give glib replies in their endeavour to persuade people to place their faith in God but the truth is first of all He exists. We are His workmanship and we have been given free will. God tells us what is right and what is wrong but we don’t listen and the result is the sinful world in which we live. Because we are unable to change and be sinless we separate ourselves from Him but He did make it possible for our sins to be wiped away. He sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins and by believing in him we can be saved, we will be saved. In the meantime we still have to remain in this sinful world and the suffering that goes with it….
You may need to pause the video occasionally to read the text……
Those then are the reasons why God allows certain things to happen. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care for quite the opposite is true. He loves us so much that He sacrificed Jesus so that we could be set free from our sins and focus our lives on Him. In Jesus we have eternal life and sin will exist no more.
Quite often in life we make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes offend someone. Sometimes the ‘mistakes’ are intentional but often they are not and we haven’t realised our error. How can we make amends when we act this way? In the Old Testament we read how the Israelites made restitution for their sins. They sacrificed an animal to shed its blood as an offering, an atonement for their sins (to God). These sacrifices were accepted by God but later He made the ultimate sacrifice for each and every one of us through Jesus Christ. His blood was shed for us all, paying the price for all of our sins. He became our sacrifice and it is only through him that we can be forgiven. Nobody now has to sacrifice an animal if they place their hope in Christ Jesus. Praise The Lord.
Don’t-Mean-It Sins (Leviticus 4:27–35)
Everyone roared with laughter at Maggie’s story about Brad’s klutziness in fixing the car. Brad was mortified.
Thad had been paying bills online and then, without ever really planning to, he found himself deep in pornography. Melanie walked in and found him viewing images he had no business seeing.
Arthur and Gabriela thought they were just getting together with some friends from church, but then they found themselves caught up in an angry coup to get rid of the pastor. Six months later, the church was in shambles, and Arthur and Gabriela were wondering how they let themselves get involved in the mess.
Sometimes we sin without meaning to. We aim for righteousness, honour and wisdom, but we miss by a mile. Leviticus 4:2 introduces a Hebrew word for sin that means “to miss the mark.” George R. Knight, professor of church history at Andrews University Theological Seminary (Berrien Springs, Michigan), explains, “You have missed, not because you are wicked, but because you are stupid, silly, careless, inattentive, perhaps lazy, or more probably because you do not possess the proper aim in life.”
Add to that Hebrew word for sin the word “unintentionally,” and it suggests someone wandering away like a silly sheep or someone who isn’t thinking. We sometimes feel we ought to be given a break if we didn’t really mean to sin. But the Bible doesn’t cut us any slack. Whether we mean it or not, sin damages our relationship with God and with others. Anyone who is married knows that unintentional hurts, such as teasing about someone’s weaknesses or being chronically late or missing a birthday, can do a lot of harm.
Leviticus 4 shows that God takes unintentional sins seriously. Forgiveness is available, but it doesn’t come cheap. No quick, “Oops, sorry. Guess I wasn’t thinking.” Specific instructions were given in Leviticus 4 for how different groups were to deal with these kinds of sins. While the details differed a little from one group to another, the basic corrective steps were the same for each situation: bring an offering, then have it sacrificed to atone for the sin.
Today, we who confess Jesus Christ as Saviour are grateful that we don’t have to go through the laborious and gruesome atonement rituals of the Old Testament. Still, as we read through the requirements in Leviticus, we realize how the sacrificial system illustrates the seriousness of sin. These sin sacrifices did not over-dramatize the sinner’s situation; rather, they under-dramatized it. The blood of animals could never pay for sin, whether unintentional or not. God mercifully accepted such sacrifices until his plan could be carried out to give his one and only Son, Jesus, as the complete sacrifice for sin.
Sin is terrible—even when it’s unintentional. Praise God that Christ’s death provides forgiveness for us and that his indwelling Spirit gives us the strength to aim straight at godliness.
Taken from NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible
I don’t know about you but I do know about me and a few others close to me. I, like them, sometimes find it difficult to keep wrongdoing and wrong thoughts as far from me as possible. It is an ongoing and daily battle I strive to win. Taking control of bad habits and attitudes isn’t easy sometimes but it is so easy to let my guard down and then find myself where I ought not be. If that happens and I am aware of it I stop and chastise myself, aiming not to do it again. It isn’t easy being perfect and that is why I am not! In fact it is impossible to avoid sin, it is part of everyone. All we can do, I can do, is keep on with the good fight….
“Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might”
by John S.B. Monsell, 1811-1875
1. Fight the good fight With all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength and Christ thy Right.
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.
2. Run the straight race Thro’ God’s good grace;
Lift up thine eyes and seek His face.
Life with its way before us lies;
Christ is the Path and Christ the Prize.
3. Cast care aside; Upon thy Guide
Lean, and His mercy will provide;
Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its Life and Christ its Love.
4. Faint not nor fear, His arms are near;
He changeth not, and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is All in all to thee.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: 1 Timothy 6:12
Author: John S.B. Monsell, 1863
Arranged by: Samuel Dyer, 1828
The Fight Within (Romans 6:15–23)
In his book of semi-philosophical and satirical stories titled Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: “There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. But then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.”
Isn’t that like most of us? We figure it’s easier to pay the bully than to learn how to defeat him. Sadly, in the same way, we often continue to live in sin rather than to wage war to destroy it. We allow sin to reign rather than dethroning it. We succumb to defeat rather than learning the countermeasures that lead to victory. Before we beat ourselves up too much, we can find comfort in the apostle Paul’s confession that he too struggled with sin. He recognized that he couldn’t escape being a sinner. Yet because sin ultimately leads to death, if he didn’t deal with it his sin would destroy him. He had a fight on his hands, one he waged daily.
How can we win the fight and defeat the power of sin? Honestly, we can’t. We possess neither the strength nor the moral completeness to win such a monumental battle. For victory we must, like Paul, rely solely on Jesus Christ. His sacrifice on the cross, bearing the sins of all human beings, provides our only hope for dethroning the power of sin. Sin is too serious to face alone. Victory over sin requires calling on Jesus, the Victor, all day and every day.
Taken from NIV Men’s Devotional Bible
All very nice but something is missing. The songs says that heaven is a place on earth and although in the beginning that was true now it is far from that. As soon as sin entered the world heaven was lost. Sin keeps us out of God’s presence and would do so forever unless something could be done about it. The problem is we can’t do anything ourselves but there is One who did. There is One who paid the price on our behalf and has taken away our sin and if we believe on His name and put our whole faith in Him Heaven will be our destiny. He is Jesus Christ. The Saviour of mankind. So if you are looking for heaven on earth you may find glimpses of it around you but the real place is found in Christ Jesus.
Things Above (Colossians 3:1–2)
Do you look forward to heaven? Explain.
Give an example of how a person might set their mind on earthly things. Give an example of how a person might set their mind on heavenly things.
Before a person becomes a Christian, it’s natural for them to have an earthly outlook. We can’t really blame someone for pursuing wealth, fame, popularity, fun and everything else this world has to offer. After all, from their perspective, what else is there? Life is short, so grab everything you can while you can.
When a person makes a decision for Christ, though, the perspective changes. We shift our eyes away from this earth and toward heaven. We see things with an eternal view. We shift our priorities to reflect what’s really important. We recognize the things of this world for what they can be: distractions, wastes of time, empty pleasures.
We turn our attention to heaven. We consider the possibilities. If heaven is where God is, and God is the source of all joy and happiness, what does that say about our eternal life there? What kind of place has Jesus prepared for us (see John 14:3)? What will it be like not to have to worry about pain, sickness, sorrow or death? We may not know a lot about heaven, but we know enough to get our curiosity going.
Dear God, thank you for giving us an unimaginable future beyond this life. Help us keep our minds focused on heavenly things, not earthly things. Fill us with an excitement for heaven. Amen.
There have always been those who are disobedient in society but is there anyone who does not sin? No. We all have sinned but there are those among us that determine not to, though we all fail at some point. However, the majority of people strive to live a moral and upright life. For others crime is a way of life and there seems to be more adopting that way too. Below is one very small sample of what we read in the newspapers or see on the television almost every day………..
There has been a report that a male knocked on doors of houses in Merepark Drive Southport and stating he was from the Council and was collecting soft toys. Enquiries were made with the Council and they were not aware of anyone collecting toys in the area. The male is described as white, approximately 50 years old, bald, wearing a black coat and scarf with a lanyard around his neck saying ‘Sefton Council’.
We have received reports of 2 males knocking on house doors claiming to be from BT and stating that they need access to the property immediately to fix a phone line problem.
These males do not represent BT, have no ID cards on them and appear to be targeting vulnerable individuals who are living alone. A card has been pushed through a letterbox promising to return.
Please make your loved ones aware and remind them that they do not need to let strangers in to their house. Always ask for ID, and if in doubt, call the company which they claim to represent (But don’t call any phone numbers they give you themselves).
If you have someone trying to gain entry to your property, you can call the Police on 999, or report any other suspicious sightings on 101.
Man arrested after injury shooting in Southport town centre
04 January 2018
Update – Friday 5th January
The man has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Detectives are continuing to appeal to anyone with any information on this incident or any gun crime issues, to please contact the Merseyside Police gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600 or speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Merseyside Police detectives investigating an injury shooting in Southport in December have arrested a man today, Thursday 4 January.
This morning, two warrants were carried out in the Southport and Walton areas.
At an address in Wyresdale Road, Walton, a 21-year-old man from Walton was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and Section 18 assault. He has been taken to a police station for questioning by detectives.
The arrest is in relation to an incident in Eastbank Street on Thursday, 21 December in which a man was shot in the head and a member of the public received a back injury.
Don’t these offenders realise there is a price to pay? Ask them and they will probably not care, they have lost all sense of moral standards, all they think about is themselves.
1 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us – whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter – asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
‘They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.’
Yesterday I wrote about health issues, today I write about spiritual health and well-being. We often forget that we are spiritual beings inside our bodies of flesh and some of us don’t even believe that. We will some day live outside of the bodies we are born into. Those bodies will see decay but our spirits live on. Many has been the time when I wrote about Jesus Christ here on my site and many has been the time when I urged those who don’t know him as their Saviour to earnestly seek him. I will continue doing this as I am led to do so but it will continue to be an occasional post for fear of driving people away. I don’t wish to turn people away from God and Jesus Christ by attempting to ram the information down their throats, that would be wrong and in any case final decisions are made by those who wish to respond or not. I was watching a televised lecture or teaching if you will by a prominent Christian Pastor who was talking about the true nature of God as our Father in Heaven.
When God chose a group of people out of the many there are in this world to be an example for the rest He chose the Israelites or the Jews as we know them today. He laid down Laws for them to follow, laws meant for their well-being if they chose to follow them for God wanted His people to live in accordance with His will. If they failed to adhere to the laws (sin) they were expected to offer a sacrifice by way of atonement and this they did by offering the blood of an animal, an ox, a lamb, a goat or even a pigeon. God required the shedding of blood as a sacrifice. It meant that the Israelites had to own thousands of cattle, sheep and other animals in order to pay the price for their wrongdoing or sinful ways. Had they been obedient there would have been no need for the vast quantities of livestock but sin was in them just as it is today in each of us. God, our Father loves each of us with a love that is incomparable to any other. The Pastor related this observation in his teaching…..When his three-year old daughter cries out to him in the night because she is frightened of the dark or that she believes there is a monster beneath her bed she doesn’t cry out ‘Oh Father who is married to Mommy and who supplies us with food and shelter and who looks after me’ but she shouts ‘Daddy, I am frightened’ (paraphrased throughout). This is who our father in Heaven really is, a loving daddy whom we can rely upon and who genuinely loves and cares for us as any daddy would do (should do). We approach our Father as little children knowing He won’t reject us but is always there for us at all times. Our cries of help do not go unnoticed. He is Abba, Father our loving God. If we do wrong, and we all do wrong at times, He is there to comfort us and to chastise us but He does it for our own benefit. What loving father doesn’t chastise his children? That is how they learn good from evil. Following God isn’t a punishment, something we have to endure else be damned but rather it is the most natural thing in the world to want to please our Daddy, Abba Father. It is because of His great love for us that He came in the flesh as a human being, Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the sins of the world, even our sins, mine and yours. We don’t need herds of cattle to offer as sacrifices for our wrongdoing for Jesus has already paid that price on our behalf. Jesus shed his own blood, he became our sacrificial Lamb. All we have to do is repent and accept that free gift of life in His name. This is how much our Daddy loves us…….Make sure you don’t miss out on His love…..
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
We live in a culture that thinks hard work gets us what we want or what we think we deserve. This is especially true in the workplace. If we work hard enough, we get a raise, bonus, or promotion. And if something goes wrong, we can usually work hard enough to make amends. We live in a meritocratic culture.
But God’s kingdom functions differently. He has given us something we don’t deserve: right status before him.
The doctrine of justification tells us that we are considered righteous before God, not by our obedience to the law—for no one can fulfill the law’s requirements—but because of the perfect work of Christ. He alone lived perfectly according to the law and fulfilled it. Because of Christ’s work, God no longer sees us as sinful or guilty. He sees us as righteous and holy. Therefore, we do not have to fear God’s wrath, because our sins are forgiven and the weight of our guilt has been removed.
In his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion, reformer John Calvin says that no sinner could ever justify himself. Not only that, but wherever there is sin, there also “the wrath and vengeance of God show themselves.” Conversely, a justified person is one “who is reckoned in the condition not of a sinner, but of a righteous man; and for that reason, he stands firm before God’s judgment seat while all sinners fall.” This happens when we trust not in ourselves and our own works—because we will find nothing righteous within us—but in the righteousness of Christ through faith. That’s good news!
As human beings, we are constantly trying to justify ourselves before others. Fearful of our inadequacies and sins being exposed, we work tirelessly to prove ourselves. This leaves us only exhausted and joyless. But when we begin to grasp the truth that in Christ we are wholly accepted by God regardless of what we do, we experience a peace that allows us not to be preoccupied with ourselves—our successes or failures. Further, we can have confidence as we perform the work God has set before us, even with all of our human limitations. The doctrine of justification brings an incredible freedom in our work, because if God, the ultimate judge, has already deemed us righteous, then no one and nothing can steal our security or status in him.
Why does anyone need redemption is saying why does anyone need salvation? For those who are not believers in God the words are meaningless and they are meaningless to them because they have no conception of sin. If you are an unbeliever for you there is no such thing as sin and therein lies the danger. Let’s get one thing straight, we are all sinners. Believers know so but unbelievers do not know they are sinners. Then what do they believe? They have no need of a creator God, they are all sufficient and in control of their own destiny. Most haven’t a clue about God and Jesus Christ because their minds are closed books yet they will most certainly form their own opinion about such matters. Their fate is sealed in their ignorance, they condemn themselves. They remain in their sinful state oblivious to the danger. ‘Nothing happens when we die’, is what they say. How do they know that? The same question is levelled back at the Christian, ‘How do you know’? The answer is as true as it is subsequently disbelieved. The Christian knows they are redeemed, forgiven and their sins no longer can condemn them because God’s Spirit is in them.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Why? Because Jesus took the punishment for the sins of mankind upon himself thereby setting free those who believe and accept this free gift of life. God now doesn’t see the sins that cover us because Jesus has set us free, washed us clean and we have been redeemed and saved for all eternity. What about the unbeliever? Whilst there is breath in them they have the opportunity to repent and have that same assurance. The alternative is total separation from God forever! Do you really want to take that chance because of your refusal to turn to God? Reach out and take the hand of Jesus……
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.
10 As it is written:
‘There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.’
13 ‘Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practise deceit.’
‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.’
14 ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’
15 ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.’
18 ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.
(For the director of music. Of David.)
1 The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good,
not even one.
20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.
Some realise these things and endeavour to do something about it but the truth is they cannot. By ourselves we are helpless but for those who trust in the Lord God and in Jesus Christ there is hope. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Jesus is the Name.
I was watching the appalling events which took place on Monday evening last week when a suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of many around him, injuring many more too. It was considered an act of terrorism by the perpetrator as with many other acts of a similar nature which have taken place in these past few years. ‘All done in the name of religion’ is a frequent expression used by those who pass comment. Probably true but based on a false religion and totally against the will of God, the Only True God, not a god of wickedness and evil but a God who is loving, kind, merciful, faithful, righteous, holy and who gave His Son to save all those who repent and turn to Him. I pray for those who have suffered because of evilness in this and other ways but I pray more for the lost souls who follow a false god in the hope they will be rewarded for their evil deeds. They will face their Creator and have a lot of explaining to do.
Through Jesus we are saved and we turn away from and resist the evilness that is sin………
I was at home all day today and during the afternoon watched television for a brief time, However that turned out to be longer as news came in of a suspected terror attack in Westminster around the Palace of Westminster and on Westminster Bridge nearby. As I write this I have just learned that a policeman on duty there who had earlier been reported as stabbed has just died. I had already heard about a group of French students having been mowed down by a motor vehicle and a woman had also been killed in the same incident. Many of the students sustained horrific injuries during the incident. The police reaction was swift and we are told that the man who had stabbed the officer was shot dead at the scene.
It is a worrying sign of the times. There have always been people who for some reason are willing to commit offences like these and there is only a limited amount of precautions that can be made to prevent them. What can be done is being done as far as it is possible. Fortunately these incidences are few but even so they cause much suffering by those directly involved as well as the friends and families of those killed or seriously injured.
I pray for all those who have been affected by this horrible incident.
Whatever some people might say this world is in a sorry state and it is going to get worse despite our attempts to prevent it. It is the very fact that we are all different that we have people bent on anti-social activity for whatever reason that may be. People talk about what can be done but in real terms it is down to every individual to look at their own heart and see there is something missing, love. We are all sinners, it is just that some sins affect others besides ourselves. Judgement will come for all those who sin…………..
I pity those who now face the prospect of repaying their debts or those now having to cut back on their expenditure as a result of being extravagant for the Christmas holiday. What is really sad is why they feel the need to do it in the first place. Peer pressure, tradition, going with the flow, pick one, any could apply. Following the course means counting the cost later for so many people but they cannot be persuaded otherwise. This is how ridiculous the whole affair is becoming, people actually wait until the ‘January Sales‘ before buying gifts for others! Some go as far as to sleep outside their chosen retail store as early as Christmas Eve to do so! They miss the Christmas Day celebrations for the privilege! How stupid is that? It proves what a mockery it has become. The headlines in a local free newspaper hereabouts read, ‘The greatest gift anyone could receive’ but they weren’t talking about the birth and gift of a Saviour, they were talking about the gift someone was to receive from their sibling, a renal transplant. It is good to make gifts like these whereby someone’s life might be saved but the greater gift is an eternal one. That kidney may extend the recipient’s life for a few years, ten, twenty or more but in the end death awaits. Think about an eternal gift that saves the soul, wouldn’t you rather receive such a gift rather than one which extends your physical existence for a few years?. You will live forever one way or another. It will be too late to count the cost or repay the debt once you die. This gift has no monetary value, it cannot be purchased. It cannot deteriorate as your flesh does therefore it will last forever. Most of all it is freely available to everyone, yes everyone, no-one is excluded. It doesn’t matter how rich you are or how poor, what gender or race, it is free to all who ask. Many things in this world seem desirable but once obtained soon become forgotten and we look elsewhere, we are always looking for something new that will give us some pleasure yet we are never gratified. With this gift you will never need to seek another. The gift came humbly as a baby and died humbly and painfully as a man and by doing so made it possible for all to live forever. All we have to do is receive it. Jesus Christ is that free gift for he bore the sins of the world upon himself and paid the penalty for them all, even your sins and mine! It means that the punishment we should receive was endured on our behalf. If we believe that God sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for us and if we repent and turn to Him that gift will be ours, eternal life. Jesus didn’t count the cost before he died for us, he did it willingly. This is one debt that has been paid for those of us who believe.
John 3:18 Whoeverbelieves in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.