mmmm luke 23 mmmm

Mmmm Freshly baked Buttermilk Scones with Cherry Jam Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest produce to make awesome food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.’ So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no basis for a charge against this man.’ But they insisted, ‘He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.’ On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends – before this they had been enemies. Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.’ With one voice they cried out, ‘Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!’ (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ For the third time he spoke to them: ‘Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.’ But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Luke 23:1-25

There has been debate about 2 Aussie men facing the death penalty in Indonesia.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were convicted of drug trafficking in 2006.

The punishment for this crime in Indonesia is death by firing squad.

Australia no longer has the death penalty for any crimes.

Some have argued that Indonesia should show mercy and let them live.

Others argued that they should be punished as they knew the consequences.

Interestingly, Andrew became a Christian in prison after his conviction.

He even started studying at an Aussie Bible College by distance education.

He leads a Christian fellowship inside the prison and cares for other inmates.

It is a shame if he cannot continue pastoring those who need his care.

The New Testament passage above tells of another man who faced the death penalty.

2000 years ago, Jewish leaders falsely accused Jesus of crimes against their nation.

However, they needed the permission of the Roman government to execute him.

The author Luke recorded the trial of Jesus before Roman leader Pilate.

Three times Pilate declared that Jesus was innocent and did not deserve to die.

But the Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus be crucified.

Crucifixion was a punishment reserved for the worst criminals like murderers.

Pilate gave into their demands and sentenced innocent Jesus to death.

The Jewish leaders thought they had triumphed by getting rid of Jesus.

But his death was foretold in the Old Testament as the way of salvation.

God raised Jesus to life again as King of the Universe.

Jesus now offers eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Jesus will return to judge the world.

Are you afraid of dying?

Do you have the hope of eternal life that Jesus freely gives?

Or will you be judged by Jesus to spend eternity in hell?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm titus 3 mmmm

Mmmm Aussie home-made Apple & Apricot Pie Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest fruit to make awesome food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared,
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:3-7

How can you live the good life as the New Year begins?

Will you live longer and be healthy, wealthy and wise?

There is a common misconception that you have to be “good” to get into heaven.

Some falsely believe that you “earn” your way by performing good deeds.

The Bible passage above reminds us that God saves us because of his mercy.

God does not save us because of the righteous things we have done.

Paul wrote this letter to Titus who was leading a church in Crete.

Paul reminded Titus of what Christians were like before they were saved.

We lived foolish and disobedient lives.

  • Some of us were even criminals and thieves.

We were deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.

  • Some of us were sexually immoral and slaves to alcohol, gambling and drugs.

We were malicious, envious and hated everyone around us.

  • Some of us were murderers.

No amount of good deeds can cancel out our former lives.

God cannot let our former lives go unpunished.

God punished his son Jesus for the sins of the whole world.

We were once enemies of God facing death and judgement.

God showed us kindness and love by sending Jesus into the world.

Jesus died on a cross and took the punishment that we deserved.

This is called “grace” – a gift that we don’t deserve.

God generously gives eternal life to all who trust in Jesus.

As you reflect on the previous year, how will you pay for all your mistakes?

As you start a new year, will you find freedom from death and live forever?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 2 timothy 1 mmmm

Mmmm Vietnamese Pork Roll with French-style Bread Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest farm produce to make awesome food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or ashamed of me his prisoner.
But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

2 Timothy 1:8-10

Australia was shocked by a hostage situation in Sydney 1 week before Christmas.

Peaceful Australia had never experienced this kind of ISIS terrorism before.

Sadly the Sydney Siege ended tragically with the deaths of 3 people.

There was an outpouring of grief across Sydney & the whole country.

Masses of flowers appeared in Martin Place to honour the dead.

Death is an unpredictable tragedy that robs families & friends of loved ones.

Grief is often raw and some mourners never get over their loss.

The passage above shows Jesus destroyed death by dying on a cross for us.

God raised Jesus back to life showing us that there is hope beyond the grave.

Immortality or eternal life is on offer to all who trust in Jesus.

Death does not have to be the tragic end, but the beginning of a better life with God.

The dark shadows of death are replaced with the light of life: Jesus.

This light is the gospel or good news that followers of Jesus share with the world.

No one can earn eternal life: only God gives this as a free gift – “grace”.

Paul wrote this letter to Timothy – a young worker leading a church.

Paul reminded Timothy that grace was the meaning & purpose of his life & work.

Gospel work was challenging but eternal life with Jesus was worth suffering for.

Fast forward 2000 years and Jesus is still at the centre of his followers’ lives.

Followers are saved by grace and called to live holy lives that reflect the light of Jesus.

Followers confidently know there is life after death – giving great hope & peace now.

Death is no longer a tragedy for those trusting in Jesus.

Followers will see each other again in heaven and genuinely rest in peace (RIP).

Those who die not knowing Jesus will not rest in peace – they are lost forever.

How do you face the tragedy of sudden death of a loved one?

Will you see your loved ones again after they die?

Is Jesus at the centre of your life, family, church & work?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 timothy 6 mmmm

Mmmm Warm Lobster Salad with Chilli Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest seafood & farm produce to create amazing food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you
14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 which God will bring about in his own time – God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might for ever. Amen.

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

1 Timothy 6:3-19

For many people, the “love of money” is the most important goal in their lives.

To them, money is a liquid form of power giving people “security and control”.

Recently the Global Financial Crisis shattered this security showing we are not in control.

Millions lost their jobs as major countries went into recession.

Everyone lost money as this Crisis affected investments across the globe.

Some lost their life savings and homes showing the uncertainty of wealth.

In the Bible passage above, Paul contrasts “contentment” with the “love of money”.

Paul was teaching a young man Timothy about how to lead a church.

Paul gave up a promising career and devoted his life to sharing Jesus with the world.

He had no permanent home, little money and few possessions.

Yet he found the secret of contentment by trusting God to provide his daily needs.

Paul was happy with basic needs: food & clothing.

He warned Timothy against the “love of money” as a trap to avoid.

Fast forward 2000 years later and Paul’s teaching is still so relevant today.

An Australian bank’s slogan several years ago was “Whoever dies with the most: Wins”.

How stupid?!? We cannot take our accumulated wealth with us when we die.

Money does not prevent us from dying either – we cannot buy eternal life.

Wealth gives us a “false sense of security” as we nervously watch global stock markets.

So what is the alternative?

Trust God with your life and build up treasures in heaven instead.

Place your hope in Him and nurture spiritual relationships that are everlasting.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness and take hold of eternal life.

Be generous with your money and share your possessions with others.

Money itself is not evil, but we are always tempted to be greedy and want more.

God knows that we need money in this world and provides everything for our enjoyment.

But the “love of money” is so insidious causing us to be discontent with our lives.

Society attitudes & pervasive advertising pressures us to buy more in order to be happy.

Don’t believe the lie that money buys happiness.

Experience God’s love now so that you can “take hold of life that is truly life”.

What do you love in life and where do you find happiness?

Who will you trust when you lose your wealth and/or job during the next economic downturn?

Are you living life to the full?

Is God challenging you to give up wealth/security so that you can share Jesus with the world?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm galatians 3 & 4 mmmm

Mmmm Chinese Char Siew (BBQ Pork) Mmmm

In Sydney, we have delicious Roasted Chinese Meats as good as anywhere in Asia!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba Father”. So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

Galatians 3:26 – 4:7

We have just celebrated “Father’s Day” in Australia.

Christianity is unique in describing God with the familial term “Father”.

Other religions depict their gods as distant, unknowable and impersonal beings.

In stark contrast, we see in the above Bible passage that Christians are called “sons of God”.

Christians are part of God’s family and enjoy a close relationship with Him.

Christians call Him “Abba” which is an affectionate term like “Daddy”.

Followers of other religions would never dream of calling their gods “Daddy”.

So how do you get to call God “Daddy”?

How do you get to be in God’s family?

2,000 years ago a person’s place in religion was determined by race, class and gender.

The New Testament passage above was revolutionary and counter-cultural at that time.

Amazingly, Christianity was not limited to a particular racial, cultural or social grouping.

This remains the same today: anyone of any race, class or gender can become Christian.

Christianity is not a “White-man’s religion” or an “Upper-class religion”.

Christians are male & female coming from all races on Earth and classes in society.

We are all one and the same in Christ Jesus.

Anyone who accepts Jesus as Lord and Saviour can be part of God’s family.

God sent Jesus into our world to free people from the slavery of sin.

Jesus died on a cross and rose again conquering death which was the penalty for sin.

So those who trust Jesus with their lives are no longer slaves, they are sons of God.

Since we are now sons, we are now heirs of God’s Kingdom and eternal life.

We have bright hope for the future and look forward to our inheritance.

Christians speak to God as Dad when they pray.

Christians listen to God as Dad when they read the Bible.

Christians have a real relationship with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Do you dare to draw close to God and call him “Daddy”?

Are you part of God’s family?

When was the last time you had a close & loving conversation with God?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 2 corinthians 5 mmmm

Mmmm Spicy Moroccan Eggs with Haloumi Cheese & Coffee Mmmm

In Sydney, we have a vibrant cafe culture with great coffee & yummy food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:the old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21

2000 years ago the city of Corinth in Greece was world famous for sexual immorality.

The ceremonial worship in Temple of Aphrodite (goddess of love) involved prostitution.

Ordinary citizens were often promiscuously infatuated with unnatural sexual relations.

Even some of the Corinthian Christians were boasting about their sexual exploits.

Fast forward to today and nothing has changed: our World is obsessed with Sex!

Paul wrote this letter to remind readers of the gospel message.

Many of us have read the Bible or heard that Jesus died on a cross.

But why did he have to die and why is this significant?

The Bible passage above is a great summary of the Good News that Christians celebrate.

From the Old Testament, God required a perfect spotless lamb to be sacrificed every year.

This sacrifice allowed humans to atone for their sins and be declared righteous before God.

In the New Testament, Jesus took on this role of the sacrificial “Lamb”.

When Jesus lived on Earth he led a perfect sinless life.

So he was the only one on Earth able to die for others providing atonement.

We deserved to die for our own sins but Jesus took our sin on himself and died in our place.

So in Jesus, we can be declared righteous before God and have a relationship with Him.

God no longer counts our sins against us because of the cross of Christ.

Jesus died for all Christians once and for all.

So we don’t have to go through the Jewish ritual of atonement year after year.

Our old self has been crucified with Jesus and we have been given new lives.

So if we now trust Jesus, why would we return to the sins in our past?

If we were sexually immoral before, why would we choose to return to this promiscuity?

The cross of Christ is at the centre of every Christian’s life.

We are now his ambassadors telling everyone we meet about this Good News.

As God’s representatives on Earth, it is our mission to make Jesus known to everyone.

Are you confident that God will declare you righteous when you meet Him?

Is Jesus at the centre of your life and how has he transformed your life & actions?

As a Christian, are you still involved with sexual sin?

How are you going with sharing the Good News with your family, friends & neighbours?

mmmm Bible mmmm

I do not endorse the advertisement you may see below my blog:

mmmm philippians 2 mmmm

Mmmm Spanner Crab Tagliolini with Chilli Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, fresh seafood!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating the delicious New Testament.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to death –
        even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

Remember there was this craze several years ago for “WWJD” bracelets.

WWJD” stands for What Would Jesus Do?

Teenagers would wear these bracelets to remind them to make godly decisions in life.

Last week my lecturer rightly pointed out “WWJD” should be “WDJD”.

What Did Jesus Do?

The Bible passage above shows exactly what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago.

Jesus is God and enjoyed the perfect relationship with his Father.

He gave up this relationship to be born into our world as a Man.

Compared to his relationship with his Father, he became “nothing”.

He was not born in a luxurious palace, instead he was born in a farm shed.

He took on human form with all its sickness, hunger, pain and disappointment.

He was a King in Heaven and became a Servant on Earth.

Instead of being served as a King on Earth, he came to serve us humans.

He humbly obeyed his Father and died a humiliating death on a cross.

Crucifixion was the lowest form of punishment reserved for the worst criminals.

Jesus died in our place taking the punishment that we deserved.

Because of his obedience, God raised Jesus back to life again.

Jesus has conquered death once and for all.

God made Jesus King of the Universe again.

Jesus will come again and judge all human beings.

At that time everyone will acknowledge that he is indeed the Lord of everything.

Jesus offers eternal life with him for all his followers.

But those who reject him will face eternal death.

Do you have a real relationship with Jesus?

Do you have the eternal life that Jesus offers?

Can those around you see your actions reflecting that Jesus is LORD of your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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