Thursday, August 30, 2012
Am I proud of my Godly acheivements? Really?
Thu, August 30, 2012 | link
Winners compare achievements with their
goals, while losers compare their achievements with other people. ~ Nido Qubein
Goals! Results of directed effort!
As Christians what is our ultimate goal?
For many it is doing God’s
work, achieving for God! The question to ask is this... whether we should be attempting to achieve this since there is a hidden
problem with this goal.
When setting the achieving of God’s goals as our target and
ultimate objective, we set ourselves up for a hidden failure. The problem is that evaluating our success is so difficult.
God’s goals cannot be clearly understood in this life, so the temptation is to compare our activities with that of another.
In so doing we can introduce one of two enemies into our life.... either pride or disillusionment, ... as we compare ourselves
to others. Comparing our performance to others in order to evaluate it is a failure point.
Only God can evaluate what we achieve in this life and since God does not always see fit
to reveal the outcome of this evaluation during our lives, targeting doing God’s work as our ultimate objective can
leave us on shaky ground.
This does not mean we don’t do what God wants us
to do, or that we don’t compare our performances against others, only that the results of this should not be our ultimate
Our ultimate objective should always be “Love the Lord your
God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”
This is the superior goal! Notice it has no reference to comparing ourselves with anyone else.
objective is increasing relationship with God.
This is the ultimate goal in life!
If we want purpose that is pure and
directed as well as eternally valuable, then this is it!
There is no risk of getting off course
by comparisons with others in our life’s works. There is however, the ability to evaluate our effectiveness at all times,
under all conditions.
Performing under God’s directing power, we are not at the mercy of
opinions of others or even ourselves. We can be confident neither pride nor disillusionment can take us down! The only comparison
we can do is against God’s glory! We know we are nothing but we are worth plenty due to Jesus’ great gift of forgiveness
and grace! With that in our lives, we can float within the glory of the love of God, bask in the light of his forgiveness,
and grow deeper and deeper in love with our amazing God each day.
We can do this with no
risk of failure! God is always there to hold us up and catch our mistakes as part of that ultimate relationship with Him.
Agape love of God is wonderful!
Today let’s realise it’s not
“what we do” that is the objective of “what we do”, but rather, it’s the “increase in
relationship and understanding of God” that we achieve as we do the activities God puts our way that determines our
That way, we will not fail to honor God with the glory for the things he does!
a wonderful God filled day
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Wed, August 29, 2012 | link
Infant baptism and true baptism have less
in common than oil and water
More than half the world cannot distinguish
between christening (the giving of a name to a baby within a church ritual) and infant baptism and almost as many have no
idea of the difference between infant baptism (linked with confirmation) and adult or mature baptism.
Isn’t it sad we get
embroiled in these rituals that are traditional in nature without even understanding whether they are really biblical?
Maybe we should try to find some biblical basis for each of these and then evaluate which of these
fits the facts and intentions of the early Christian church the best. We are so far away from that initial church times, our
traditions so distorted by time and ability to understand what the intent was that only the bible can give us any true idea
of where to go.
Infant baptism is mainly tied to the words of Jesus when he said in Luke 18:16,
also confirmed by Mathew 19:14 “Let children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs
the Kingdom of Heaven” (ESV).
Yet try as I do when I read the
bible in this area, all I see Jesus doing is placing his hands on them and praying for them at the request of their mothers,
nothing more. No baptism!
This means babies can be dedicated to God by prayer and
being held, but hardly can be used to show that they need to be baptised.
Now there are a lot of
other verses we can look at on baptism, but to finish our review of the biblical basis for infant dedications before we continue,
we probably need to look into the bringing of Jesus to the temple to be dedicated.
be correct around christening first. Name giving occurred in the Jewish culture on the 8th day when the child was circumcised.
That’s the biblical name giving ceremony (see Luke 2:21 for a biblical reference). Other name giving ceremonies are
simply tradition, not biblical. Check it out!
Now dedication of the baby in Jesus time is described
in Luke 2. Joseph (Jesus foster dad) and Mary (his mother) took him to the temple to be dedicated according to purification
rites of the law of Moses (Luke 2:22). This refers to Exodus 13 where God says “Consecrate
to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”
So consecration of firstborn was biblical. Then later it says “redeem
every firstborn among your sons” which meant offering sacrifices to God to redeem them.
was linked to remembrance of the Passover and God saving their nation. It was to bring home the truth of how precious God
considered his chosen to every family. The ritual was to evoke emotions that showed us how much God loves us, and to force
consideration of this fact in relation to the Passover(which is linked to Jesus death and resurrection)
what dedication of a baby was! Now Leviticus 12:1-14 indicates circumcision at 8 days after birth and that dedication should
take place forty days after birth.
This suggests that a dedication around the fortieth day after
birth of a son is applicable. If we follow the rules for a daughter, it should be around the eightieth day.
we ignore these periods nowadays! Mainly because we believe Jesus came and made all things new. However if Jesus’ parents
complied with them, should we? You will obviously decide for yourself, but perhaps we should not be so quick to ignore these
I think that is all I can add for infant baptism validations.
Basically infant baptism is not supported anywhere, but dedication and redemption is.
Now, where is baptism advised by God?
start with John 3:5 where Jesus says “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God
unless they are born of water and the Spirit”
Now this is in the context of Jesus
talking to Nicodemus about spiritual birth. So this could be referring to baptism, but it is more likely referring to the
breaking of a women’s water when she starts the birthing process. Nicodemus thought Jesus was talking about real birth(John
3:4). The start of life for the baby! It may in fact have nothing to do with baptism. Again, you need to consider what you
believe in this regard!
So what does is there to back baptism.
important scripture is Jesus great commission where he says
go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching
them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19 NIRV
This is a direct
instruction, linked to understanding teaching, and so assumes ability to accept teaching and therefore cannot be as early
How can an infant understand Father, Son and Holy Spirit at any level?
is linked to repentance. See Acts 2:37-41 where Peter says “Repent and be baptised every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of Holy Spirit.”
means understanding our sin (selfish, nasty and ignorant things we do). This also means that each person needs to be able
to understand these things and request baptism for themself.
It seems biblically, that understanding
what baptism is about, what sin is about, and the concepts of Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit are part of the process of
baptism that is expected of early Christians, isn’t it?
that leave us?
I know where it left me. I was Anglican and had been christened
(or infant baptised) as a baby. When I later understood who God was and accepted Jesus as my saviour and God, I got “confirmed”
in the same church.
As a result I resisted getting “baptised” thinking I had already
Yet, now in a baptist church (I select church denominations based on their alignment
with Gods word and not on tradition so I have no specific alignment with any specific "brand" of church) when I
really investigated, I found that the Anglican church will also baptise a person if you request it. Why?
led me into looking at the bible and find out that baptism is actually commanded by Jesus and strongly supported elsewhere
by the apostles writings.
I decided to get baptised and I feel I gained spiritually from
We will each have to decide for ourselves regarding baptism now that I have provided some
of the scriptures backing this.
What will you do about this in your life today? Now that you know
some more of the facts!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Life is out of control, how do I carry on?
Tue, August 28, 2012 | link
“We’ve poisoned the air, the water, and the land.
our passion to control nature,
have gone out of control.
from now on has to mean something different.
We’re running out of
resources and running out of time.”
In Africa, I have been walking along the coast line where I walked about 30 years ago and I am appalled!
There is almost NO life in the rock pools along the seaside. A seaside that teamed with life a few years ago!
What have we done?
we had sea urchins, star fish, octopus, plenty of small fish, crabs and sea plants in the pools.
year I walked along about a kilometer of beach and rock pools and saw one small two inch fish in one out of the hundreds
of pools I visited.
What have we done?
is horrific evidence of what sin and drive for money can do if we let it run uncontrolled. Bigger ships, more oil, more commerce,
all amount to less protection of our planet! I don’t need scientists to explain it, it’s obvious with my own eyes.
The desolation reminds me of the contrast between Hobbiton and Mordor in Lord of the rings. Vast, almost impossible to correct,
and needing a miriacle.
Yet our God is a God of miracles! Our prayers and repentance and trust
in Him is all that is needed to turn the tide.
If every Christian on this earth
prayed about this disaster, turned their hearts to doing right, and allowed Holy Spirit to lead, this situation would be changed
almost overnight. Of that I am sure!
What I have concern about is that righteousness,
humility and performing Godly actions is becoming so limited among us Christians that we often don’t seem to understand
what they mean, never mind applying them in our lives!
The environment is an extension of our
lives in many ways.
many of us are disillusioned, and instead of turning to God, we blame others aggressively (or sometimes we do nothing passive
We see ourselves as a failure, our world as failing, and our society
as unyielding. In the face of this we either give up or build and angry resentment, neither of which is what God wants for
God said he provided us his joy. Joy is not happiness, it is an internal positive trust in
God that energizes and fills us with positive energy in the worst of circumstances. It originates from knowing Jesus died
to enable us to control sin in this world and that we can, by relinquishing our lives into God’s hands, overcome the
most dire of circumstances.
Today, if we are to make a difference, we as the Christian
“world” need to give ourselves to God, take the hard steps of life by choosing the right thing in every situation,
and influence our world for good.
There is never a time when we are not in God’s
will, and if we are doing what he desires, we are living a purpose filled life. That makes a difference! That changes our
Have you thought it is us
that the miracle that saves this world may reside?
Have a great
purpose filled and Godly day!
Monday, August 27, 2012
So what is an idol....today?
Mon, August 27, 2012 | link
“A god who let us prove
his existence would be an idol” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” 1 John 5:21 and the last words John wrote in
“Keep yourselves from idols” is not
something we even really get today right?
Firstly we don’t make
little statues and believe they have powers do we, or do some of us still do this?
of the statues of Budda, and other religions. Some of us think that a statue of the cross itself is powerful. Think of how
the movies depict the cross being held up to ward off vampires!
Some people think these objects
have power. I am sad to say they are metal, plastic, pottery, ivory, wood, stone and other material items that have absolutely
no power in themselves!
The ancients also made mistakes like this. There was this bronze snake
Moses made because God told him to. (see Numbers 21:9) Then during that time anyone who was bitten by a snake simply had to
look at it and then they lived.
Later on we read in 2 Kings 18 that Hezekiah,
a man who loved God, had to break this snake into pieces because people started to idolize it!
Ever thought why our God never gave us an image of him and we cannot even find one of Jesus?
was because we are so drawn to worshipping these types of things, we could end up worship the image and not God who made and
sustains everything (including all images).
Basically if we want to know what an idol is we simply have to see what
we put more faith in than God himself, and if we can see, touch, smell, taste it, then it’s become an idol. Sometimes
it’s our car, a great musician, the newest game on the market, our ipod, ipad, or iphone, or a multitude of other things.
are the simple idols.
More complex ones are trusting science to the extent that
we exclude God, that’s idolizing science. Trusting a guru, more that God of the universe, that’s idolising!
often are we willing to trust God’s words from the bible against our cultural norms. Do we idolize those norms?
would be hard to say we have never idolized something isn’t it? Yet God demands “You shall have no other gods
before me” Exodus 20:3
We can believe in science, but not before we believe
in God! We can appreciate the musician and the music, but not before we appreciate God. That game is great, but should not
absorb our time before we give glory to God and pray to him.
today, as we enjoy our life tasks and the things around us, let us be sure to check that we have faith in God before we put
our trust in other things.
That’s the way to remove the
power of idols, because idols do have one power, they remove us from the power of the living God. That’s something I
want to avoid, don’t you?
Have a great day