mmmm 1 corinthians 15 mmmm

Mmmm King Prawn Bee Hoon Chinese Noodles Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

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

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

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that he appeared to Peter,and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead,
how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God,
for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.
But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since death came through a man,
the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6; 12-17 & 20-22

Christians know that Jesus died on a cross – we still celebrate this on Good Friday in Australia.

We also celebrate his resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.

2000 years ago some Corinthians denied the resurrection of Jesus.

Apparently they were too sophisticated and smart to believe in such foolishness.

They could not accept the fact that anyone could come back to life after dying.

But the resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.

Why is the resurrection so important?

The resurrection of Jesus proves conclusively that there is life after death.

Today as my non-Christian barber cut my hair, I asked whether she celebrated Easter.

She hesitated and unconvincingly claimed that there was no life after death.

I asked, “How can you be so sure?”

Can atheists prove to me that there is NO life after death?

What evidence can they show me that our souls DO NOT live on beyond the grave?

Jesus IS the proof that God has conquered death once and for all.

Our hope rests on the eyewitness accounts of 500+ followers who saw Jesus alive and well.

1 or 2 sightings could be dismissed, but how can you dispute 500 sightings?

So what is the hope that Christians have?

We celebrate God raising Jesus to life as King of the Universe.

After we die, we will also be raised into new bodies and seated in heaven with Jesus.

Death is not the end – death is the gateway to new life.

Earth is our temporary home before we join our King forever.

Are you afraid of dying in this world that is beyond your control?

Death is a certainty – so what will happen to you after you die?

Do you know the King of the Universe now and in the future?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 corinthians 13 mmmm

Mmmm Vietnamese Beef Pho with fresh chilli & mint Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

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

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

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a

This famous passage about love is often quoted at Christian weddings.

I’ve even seen this plagiarised by marriage celebrants in secular weddings!

But the original context of this passage is quite different to modern day romance.

The author Paul was addressing a serious problem with his Corinthian church audience.

Church members were fighting over the spiritual gifts of tongues and prophecy.

This dispute was causing disunity and division in this young church.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to exercise their gifts in a loving way.

Fast forward 2000 years to today.

This passage is still extremely relevant to churches and Christians everywhere.

We are not perfect and sometimes we have disagreements within our Christian family.

We are strongly encouraged to resolve our differences with love and forgiveness.

We are not to be like non-Christians who hold grudges, fight and even kill each other.

It’s OK to use this passage at weddings but it can be applied more widely in our community.

As Christians, we are known by the world for our brotherly love and care.

It is dishonouring to God if we fight and bring shame to his name.

Ultimately this passage points towards Jesus’ death on the cross for the sin of the world.

  • Jesus is patient and kind.
  • Jesus did not envy or boast or treat people rudely.
  • Jesus sacrificed himself and if we trust in Him – he won’t keep a record of our sins.
  • Jesus is sinless and is THE truth:  He is the only way to heaven.
  • Jesus persevered through immense suffering on the cross to show love for his enemies.
  • Jesus never fails.

Do you have the perfect loving relationship with your husband/wife/family?

Do you know anyone prepared to die in your place to show you love?

Who can forgive your sins and give you eternal life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm acts 2 mmmm

Mmmm Roast Duck & Orange Salad Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing fresh produce & restaurant food!

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

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

38 Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’
41 Those who accepted his message were baptised,
and about 3,000 were added to their number that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:38-47

In the book of Acts, we see Peter sharing the good news of Jesus with a large crowd.

3000 listeners decided to repent and accept the gift of salvation.

Their journey of faith did not stop there.

They met regularly in fellowship – this is one of the earliest descriptions of “church” in the Bible.

What did these new Christians when they met together (church)?

  • They listened to the apostles teaching about Jesus and how to live the Christian life.
  • They ate meals together.
  • They prayed together.
  • They shared their possessions and helped each other.
  • They praised God with glad and sincere hearts.

Fast forward 2000 years to today.

Christians still meet together weekly on Sundays in churches across the world.

Those who only go to church twice a year at Christmas & Easter are fooling themselves.

This irregular attendance does not make you Christian or give you eternal life.

Even regular church attendance does not give you eternal life.

Only accepting the forgiveness of Jesus’ death & resurrection gives you entry to heaven.

So what is the purpose of the 21st Century church?

Church gives Christians the opportunity to share their lives together.

We are not called to be private followers of Jesus in isolation.

We are part of a wider community who love God and each other.

So those who think they can live the Christian life without church are WRONG.

  • We need the encouragement of others to keep growing & maturing as Christians.
  • We need the love & prayers of others when we face difficulties in life.
  • We thank God & celebrate together as we overcome obstacles.

Most of all, we continually remind each other of the death & resurrection of Jesus.

  • When was the last time you went to church?
  • Did you hear the Bible read & taught at church?
  • When was the last time you shared a meal with other Christians?
  • When did you last pray with other Christians?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 corinthians 1 mmmm

Mmmm Fresh Chinese Tofu at Yumcha Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

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

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

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19 
For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…

1 Corinthians 1:18-23

We have started learning about the 1st letter to the Corinthians in class.

Corinth was an important trading centre in Ancient Greece.

Greek culture was focussed on philosophy, education and knowledge.

Paul wrote to the newly established church about the gospel of Jesus.

Jesus died on a cross so that his followers could be saved from eternal death.

Christians cannot save themselves but rely solely on Jesus.

No one can earn their way to heaven by being good – it’s impossible.

Instead Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life.

This concept seemed crazy to Greeks in Corinth.

They preferred human wisdom and human philosophy.

But all their accumulated knowledge did not prevent them from dying.

Fast forward 2000 years to the modern age we live in now.

There have been incredible advances in science and technology.

Our educated society admires highly intelligent professors and doctors.

But they still haven’t found a cure for death.

Humans think they are so smart that they don’t need God in their lives.

In reality we are not in control of our lives and cannot predict when we will die.

The message of the cross and faith in Jesus seems foolish to modern scientists.

But even modern scientists are powerless in the face of death.

Christians rely on the power of God to save – this is true wisdom.

God’s wisdom gives hope and comfort in an unpredictable world.

Christians aren’t afraid of death because it is the doorway to eternal life.

Are you afraid of dying?

Will all your knowledge and education prevent death?

What will happen to you after you die?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm isaiah 9 mmmm

Mmmm Grilled Japanese Scallop Sushi Mmmm

In Sydney, we have awesome, authentic Asian food!

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

At Bible College last semester, I ate mouthfuls of Old Testament.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah was an Old Testament Prophet that lived 700+ years before Jesus.

During this period the people of Israel & Judah turned away from God to worship idols.

Isaiah prophesied the consequences of the sin of his people.

Israel & Judah were soon invaded by foreign enemies resulting in mass exile.

During this time of judgement, there was still a glimmer of hope.

Isaiah prophesied that a Messiah would be born in the future to save his people.

We read about this Saviour in the passage above.

This leader would be descended from King David as blogged about in 2 Samuel.

His government would be marked by justice, righteousness and enduring peace.

This was in direct contrast to the war and conflict that surrounded Jerusalem.

Look at the incredible titles of this Messiah:

  • Wonderful Counsellor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of Peace

It was obvious that this future leader was no ordinary earthly king or governor.

Nor was he a military warrior that would defeat the invading armies.

This Messiah is Jesus and he rules over a spiritual kingdom now and forever.

Australia recently elected a new government that has quickly caused controversy.

We will be sorely disappointed if we put our trust in earthly Prime Ministers.

Likewise we cannot find security in wealth and possessions that easily fade away.

Instead as we celebrate the New Year, let’s trust in Jesus who will never fail.

Place your hope in Jesus who has conquered death and sin once and for all.

Look forward to a kingdom where there is no more death, darkness, pain and crying.

  • Who do you trust?
  • Where do you find hope?
  • What do you look forward to?

Consider Jesus in this new year and stop worrying about financial security and materialism.

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm psalm 146 mmmm

Mmmm Fresh Seafood at Cantonese Yumcha Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

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

At Bible College last semester, I ate mouthfuls of Old Testament.

Praise the Lord.Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life;

    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
    in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,

    the sea, and everything in them –
    he remains faithful for ever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
    and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the alien
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns for ever,

    your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

Psalm 146

Recently I was reading this passage in my personal Bible reading session.

Many of the psalms were written to be sung by the Israelite community praising God.

Many of the psalms were written by King David as blogged about in 2 Samuel.

But the author of this psalm is anonymous with a surprising statement about kingship.

The psalmist tells us not to put our trust in princes because they are only human beings.

Kings eventually die like everyone else and cannot save us.

Australia has just elected a new government who asked us to trust them.

But they will eventually pass away in time.

Instead we must trust in God alone – the creator of Heaven and Earth.

God sent his son Jesus to save us and conquer death forever.

God raised Jesus to rule as King of the universe.

Jesus can be trusted as our King because he lives forever.

Only Jesus can save us as governments will surely disappoint us.

But that’s not all: this psalm also reveals that God cares about the oppressed and the poor.

This includes asylum seekers and refugees who are aliens in Australia.

God cares about the refugees even when our “Christian” politicians try to “hide” the problem.

The number of refugees coming by boat to Australia is tiny compared to those fleeing Syria.

2 million Syrian refugees are fleeing into surrounding countries to escape civil war.

Instead of cruelly turning them back:

Syria’s neighbours are trying hard to accommodate these traumatised people.

So why are Australian politicians complaining about our asylum seeker intake which is a measly 2.5% of what Syria’s neighbours are dealing with?

Why doesn’t the Australian community show more compassion towards vulnerable refugees?

What you can do:

Watch this recent ABC Compass documentary about Refugees in Australia

Write to the Prime Minister about Refugees

Donate money to help the Syrian refugees

Share and pray about this blog with your friends

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 2 chronicles 20 mmmm

Mmmm Malaysian Popiah with Chilli Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

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

At Bible College last semester, I ate mouthfuls of Old Testament.

And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said,

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it for ever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgement,or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ 10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy— 11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgement on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

2 Chronicles 20:5-11

Recently I was reading this passage in my personal Bible reading session.

Jehoshaphat was a minor king in the period after King Solomon in 1 Kings.

It is rare that a prayer from a minor king is quoted in the Old Testament.

Yet the author of 2 Chronicles thought it was important to include.

Notice the language and the childlike tone of this prayer.

This king was the supreme leader of a nation, yet he humbled himself before God.

He admitted that he and his nation needed desperate help and salvation.

Australia has just elected a new Prime Minister who happens to be a devout Catholic.

Just before the election, a Non-Christian journalist asked him about his faith.

She asked how God played a part in the ups and downs of his life.

He avoided the question and just replied that he would like to attend Mass more often.

He continued inferring his private religion did not have any bearing on his public politics.

This was a surprising admission from a man who previously trained for the priesthood.

Unfortunately the leader of our nation does not involve God in his government.

He has had a colourful history with less than godly behaviour at times.

Disappointingly, his faith does not extend Christian compassion to the plight of refugees.

We hope that governments are wise and we have even higher expectations of Christian leaders.

This election neither major party got my vote because both Christian leaders failed to impress me.

Sadly I’ve met many Catholics similar to the Prime Minister.

They worship God on Sundays and then put Him in a box for the rest of the week.

God has no bearing on their jobs or the rest of their daily lives.

Their faith is invisible and no one would know how important God is to them.

Their friends and colleagues have no idea about their hidden faith.

God calls us to be Christians 24/7 and visible to everyone around us.

Do your friends and colleagues know that you are a Christian?

Are you humble enough to seek help and salvation from Jesus?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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