The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The Race of Life

The Race of LifeThe world of the First Century, when the New Testament was written, was in many ways very much like today’s world. For example, people loved to watch athletics and First Century athletes were stars, just like today!

Bible writers often used pictures from everyday life that were designed to catch the attention and make their readers think. One of the pictures that’s often used is the picture of life as a race.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:24–25). Read more

The Real Jesus

THE REAL JESUS

THE REAL JESUS

The Real JesusTrue Christian faith is centred around the work of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. His life, death and resurrection form the basis for God’s plan of salvation.

It is vital to understand the real reason for Jesus Christ, his true status as Son of God and how we can benefit from his work. Jesus prayed to His Father just before his cruel death:

“This is eternal life, that they (true believers) may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

The Virgin Birth

Over 2000 years ago the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary with this message:

“You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest…Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I do not know a man? [i.e. she was a virgin]. And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:31-35).

Through the Holy Spirit (God’s breath/power) acting upon her, Mary conceived Jesus while still a virgin. Thus Joseph was not the true father of Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit acting upon the womb of Mary, Jesus, the Son of God, could not have come into existence.

Jesus was “begotten” by God (John 3:16), rather than created as Adam was originally. This explains the closeness of God’s association with Jesus and also helps explain his natural aptitude for the ways of God his Father. Read more

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of LifeThroughout time, men and women have asked the big question:

   What is this life all about?

  ❖  Is there a purpose or meaning to it?

To answer these questions, we can turn to the Bible message and see that it is still relevant to us living in the 21st century. We will look at what the Bible tells us about the meaning of life, then go on to consider the Bible message to us personally.

We will consider the meaning of life in three sections:

❖  Where did we come from?

❖  What is life all about?

❖  Where are we going?

Then we shall look further at God’s plan and the promises which He has made.

Where Did We Come From? Read more

The Logic of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith

The LOGIC of Faith – The Inspiration of Scripture

The Logic of FaithInspiration
The Evidence of Peter
The Evidence of the Prophets
How God revealed Himself through Prophets
Balaam – Jeremiah – Amos
Visions and Events
Style
Conclusion

Inspiration
To anyone studying the Bible it is of vital importance to know where the ideas in the Bible came from. If they are merely the opinions of ancient clerics then they are of historical interest but there is no need to take them especially seriously today. If, on the other hand, they represent the words of a higher authority, then they provide a guide to life that must not be ignored.

The Bible makes claims for itself. For example:
2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This passage tells us that the Bible is inspired by God. However, to understand this claim it is necessary to decide what is meant by the word inspiration. Read more

Time to Stand Still

Finding the time to Stand Still?

Finding the time to Stand Still?

It isn’t easy to find time to think. Life is so busy and there is always such a lot to do. Even when on holiday there are places to go, things to see,Time to Stand Still shops to visit and meals to eat. It can be exhausting! Just sitting and thinking is seldom an option.

Stand still

Sometimes we need to find time to take stock, especially when we are really stressed and times are hard. Fleeing refugees were once being pursued by their erstwhile slave masters when they came to an impassable barrier. What were they to do? Fortunately they listened to their leader and he gave them this startling advice:

Time to Stand Still in Awe of God“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever’”(Exodus 14:13).

As it happened the fleeing Israelites couldn’t do much else. The sea was in front of them and the Egyptian army was behind them, so they had to stand still. Then it was that God opened a way across the sea which enabled them to escape. Thus it was that Israel moved forward as a nation and reached Mount Sinai where God declared them to be His special people, through whom He would communicate to all nations.

Kadesh Barnea

Less than two years later, the infant nation assembled on the edge of the Promised Land and hesitated. God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey and now they had to possess it, under His guidance. But they asked for a scouting party to be sent in first, so they could see what they were up against, and selected twelve men – one from each of their tribes – to go and spy out the land. Read more

Getting to know God

Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?

Do YOU KNOW who GOD IS?

Getting to know GodHow do we get to know anyone? Is it possible to know someone you have never met? For example, can you get to know an artist just by studying his or her artistic work? Starting with these questions, Anna Hart explores how we can get to know God, who we have not met.

Artistic Work

You may get some clues about the type of scenery an artist likes, by studying his portfolio. But what can the paintings tell you about his moral standards, his likes or dislikes? It is unlikely that you would be able to deduce much useful information.

Or think about a musical composition.  Some composers have set scriptural words to pieces of music which are so moving that a listener can be reduced to tears. We might imagine that a composer able to do this would have a strong religious faith. However, this is certainly not always the case, and some very popular religious music has been composed by self-declared atheists.

So a person’s body of work does not, of itself, help you to know the individual. Even people we have met and think we know can react differently from how we expect, for people are unpredictable by nature. It is only when they tell us about themselves that we can start to understand them.

God’s Handiwork

It follows that whilst we can learn something about God by studying His creative handiwork, we cannot conclude that we know what He is like just because we are keen students of nature. We need something more if we are to get to know the God who made the universe. The Bible says this:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

When we look at nature we certainly see beauty, and many people would argue that there is clear evidence of design. There is majesty in high mountains, peace in a babbling brook, glory in a fiery sunset and excitement in a roaring sea. But what does this tell you about the character of God? Nature also gives us earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, storms, hurricanes, beasts of prey, suffering and death.

What do these things tell us about God?

Wrong Assumptions

We often hear people say things like ‘I can’t imagine a God who would disapprove of …’ or ‘I am sure that God would not mind…’ or ‘God would like that’. Read more

The Centre of the Bible

THE CENTRE OF THE BIBLE

THE CENTRE OF THE BIBLE

The Centre of the Bible

The truth is there are 31,102 verses in the King James Bible.  Therefore there is no single middle verse.  You cannot have a middle verse with an even number of verses.  However there are two middle verses. These would be verses 15,551 and 15,552 (Psalms 103:1-2.) 

PSALM 103:1-2

BLESS the LORD, O my soul:  and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

These are the middle two verses of the King James Bible.  Both verses start with “Bless the LORD, O my soul”.  Verse 1 continues – and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Verse 2 concludes with – and forget not all his benefits.  These are powerful words coming from the two center verses of the Book.  

Now let’s count the words in these two middle verses.  There are twenty-eight.  That’s seven quadrupled (7 times 4) instead of seven doubled (7 times 2.)  Here we have seven compounded twice as much.

Now let’s see if we can find some middle words in the center of God’s middle verses.  Yes, I see four (bless his holy name.)  There are twelve words on one side of this phrase and twelve words on the other side.  So the King James Bible has bless his holy name right in the center of the two middle verses! Read more