Friday, September 28, 2012

An excerpt from William Barclay's "The Parables of Jesus"

"If we are ever to know God we have need of humility. Two things are necessary in real religion. (i) First we need a sense of our own inadequacy. When people complained to Abraham Lincoln that he wasted time in prayer, he answered "I would be the greatest fool on earth if I thought that I could carry the burdens which are laid upon me for one day without the help of one who is greater and wiser than I." We need the realization that we cannot cope with life by ourselves (ii) We need the sense of sin. The astonishing thing is that it was the best of men who were most conscious of their own sin. Paul can write of himself that he is the foremost of sinners (1 Timothy 1: 15). Francis of Assisi can say of himself "no where is there a more wretched a more miserable, a poorer creature than I"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I picked up an old book in the library, Dr. D Martyn Llyod-Jones’ “From Fear to Faith” It is a small little book, simple yet profound. Dr. D Martyn Llyod-Jones runs through Habakkuk. I enjoyed the book so much; I purchased copies for myself and others. Today, many question the state of morality of our country, the audacity of prominent leaders in acting the way they do, knowing that they are able to get away (from the law) with it.  (What hubris?!) Christians and I am sure people of all other religions pray for a country that is free from corruption, nepotism, discrimination, ( and plain stupidity) to name a few. We pray because we know that ultimately God is in control and because He is in control, all that is bad will fail, will fall, will not be able to stand for long. This is evident not only in the Bible, but in our human history. Still for those of us who still have this question lurking at the back of our minds “God how can you allow the “badness” to continue?” “How long more before you act?” “How can bad prevail?” “From Faith to Fear” provides some answers. We can apply the simple suggested solutions even to questions in respect of our personal matters. 

The suggested solutions in summary
(1)            Think before we react and before we jump to conclusions. It states the obvious but we do tend to  forget this simple principle. In all things in fact, we should think before reacting.
(2)             How are we to think? or how are we to ponder? First we set out the eternal and absolute principles. Principles which are absolutely certain, beyond doubt. I would suggest writing them out and meditating on them. The Bible provides plenty. This will assuage any anxiety and anger or any irrational reactionary emotion.
(3)             Set out the problem in the context of those firm principles.
(4)            If we are still unclear after steps (1) –(3), PRAY and leave the problem with our Lord. Remember He is ALL GOOD, JUST, FAITHFUL to His Covenant, ALMIGHTY, HOLY- ABHORS EVIL.

Martyn Llyod- Jones sums up clearly “Once we have the right method we can apply it to any problem: to God’s strange dealings with a nation, to problems in the world or equally to personal difficulties. Whatever the problem, stop to think, lay down the propositions, bring it into that context and then if still in trouble take it to God and leave it there”

How shall we wait for His answer?
(1)              Detach ourselves from the problem and just wait for His answer expectantly.
(2)          We are not to pray and state that we have left it with Him but the minute we cease praying, we are anxious again. No matter what our views or our thoughts, we can decide to choose to live in faith, cleaving to His immutable, certain principles or withdraw ourselves from them. Live by faith or not. Take the Word of God and live it Or not. 

At the end of the day, we know God’s justice will prevail. Good will happen. We live by faith. Focus on Him. We are to pray, humble ourselves and examine ourselves. Are we closely walking with Him? Perhaps the “badness” is used to teach us or chastise us or humble us. We are to continue to obey Him, to reverence Him, to be in awe of Him (could we just read the Bible or books to admire Him and not to look for “what’s in it for me?”). Imagine if each and every one of our sisters and brothers walked closely with Him, this great Almighty sovereign God who made heaven and earth, we could move mountains- make changes.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How Can We (believers) Love the unlovable?

How Can We (believers) Love the unlovable?

(And we know there are many…). Let us dwell on these:-

(a)    By the grace of God, we have become alive with Christ. [“even when we were dead in our transgressions [He]made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” Ephesians 2:5]

(b)    How did we become alive with Christ? Through God’s spirit who dwells in us “ [But if the Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” Romans 8:11] We are no longer in the flesh, the Spirit of Christ dwells in us [“However you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” Romans 8:9]

(c)    We are now new creatures with the indwelling spirit of Christ.[ “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature the old things passed away, behold new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17]

(d)    If we cannot love, this new creature with the spirit of Christ can. Because God is love, this spirit  enables us to love. This spirit loves. “Lord I cannot. You can. Help me” [“and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5: 5]. The love of God dwelling in us will pour out to the unlovable. We shall surely be fruitful and be able to love as we walk with Him and call out to Him. [“I am the vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him he bears much fruit for apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15: 5]