Tag Archives: bible

mmmm jeremiah 22 mmmm

mmmm Cake and Coffee on beautiful sunny mornings mmmm

Sydney has enjoyed stunning sunny weather even in the middle of Winter:

Perfect for cake and coffee with friends and family at outdoor cafes everywhere.

We in the Western World are extremely fortunate to live in peace and freedom.

Unfortunately not everyone on Earth lives freely or peacefully.

Let us remember the millions of refugees fleeing war and terrorism.

Let us remember the asylum seekers trapped in detention.

Let us look at what God thinks of these “aliens”:

This is what the LORD says: “Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien*, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

Jeremiah 22:3

*Alien also translated as Foreigner – a stranger/outsider from another country

 

God commanded Jeremiah to tell this message to the king of Judah.

Jeremiah lived approximately 600 years before Jesus.

God warned Judah that they faced judgement if they did not repent (turn back to Him).

Included in this judgement is a message of special care for the disadvantaged.

God showed His justice towards aliens, orphans, widows and victims of robbery.

The king and his people were to treat these poor people with fairness.

They were not to act violently or wrongly towards the alien.

Similar messages are repeated elsewhere in the Bible (see Psalms, Zechariah & James).

The principle of justice and fairness still applies today as we consider refugees.

 

My friends and I are shocked at Australia’s treatment of refugees.

Australia detains refugees offshore in neighbouring foreign countries.

Refugees on Nauru and Manus Island have experienced violence and injustice**.

Since 2001, racism and xenophobia have increased in Australian society.

Politicians have taken advantage of this “fear of foreigners/aliens”.

Harsh policies towards “boat people” have sadly become popular with voters.

Australia is a rich and affluent country with plenty of space to share.

Instead we Aussies have lost our compassion and become selfishly insular.

What happened to the Aussie concept of a “fair-go” for everyone?

Obviously the “fair-go” does not apply to refugees in our current society.

Aussies prefer to ignore what is happening on Nauru and Manus.

 

In January 2017, the Australian Prime Minister phoned to congratulate the USA President.

President Trump had just been inaugurated after winning the 2016 Election.

This was the first phone call between Australian and USA leaders.

The transcript of this call was leaked to the Washington Post in August 2017***.

This shocking transcript reveals our leaders’ callous attitude towards refugees.

They are dealing with “actual real human lives”, not commodities that can be traded.

Understandably Trump is unhappy with this “dumb deal” (see his Twitter account).

Australia should NOT be exporting our refugees to USA.

The refugees on Nauru and Manus are Australia’s responsibility, not America’s.

#BringThemHere to the Australian mainland immediately.

 

For followers, how can you demonstrate God’s love towards refugees?

 

Footnotes:

**On the day I posted this blog (7th August 2017), it was reported that a 5th refugee died on Manus Island and fellow detainees say that it was not suicide.

***The leaked transcript from the Washington Post was republished on the SBS News website (Australia) 4th August 2017.

Additional reporting from SBS News linking the leaked transcript & the refugee death on Manus Island: Was Donald Trump right? 8th August 2017

 

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm zechariah 9 mmmm

mmmm Chocolate Hot Cross Buns mmmm

As Easter approaches, the Western world goes crazy about Chocolate!

Does Easter have another deeper and more significant meaning?

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
    Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zechariah 9:9

The prophet Zechariah predicted that the King would arrive on a colt.

Jerusalem would witness the righteous Messiah bringing salvation.

About 500 years later, Zechariah’s prophecy came true:

When they [the disciples] brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people [from Jerusalem] spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

‘Hosanna!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’

‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts.

Mark 9:7-11a

Jerusalem witnessed Jesus riding a colt into the city.

They welcomed him as their King and Messiah.

This event is still remembered 2,000 years later.

Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Less than a week later, Jesus was crucified on a cross.

Three days later Jesus was raised from the dead.

Easter celebrates Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Jesus was righteous and did not deserve to die.

But he chose to die in our place taking our punishment.

The punishment for our sins is death.

Jesus saved us from eternal death and hell.

Jesus went to hell in our place.

God raised Jesus to life again on Easter Sunday.

God crowned Jesus the King of the Universe.

Jesus offers us eternal life in his heavenly kingdom.

This new life is far better than all the chocolate in the world!

Sadly 2 Egyptian churches were bombed on Palm Sunday.

More than 40 Christians were killed by suicide bombers.

Egyptian Christians have been terrorised for several years now.

This Christian minority faces violent persecution from the religious majority.

These recent attacks occurred on an important Christian day.

Australian leaders have condemned these as an attack on freedom of religion.

These terrorists tried to disrupt Easter celebrations.

Terrorism highlights that our world needs Jesus’ salvation more than ever.

The importance of Easter will never be silenced by terrorists.

Followers wait for Jesus to return to judge the world.

Followers know that Jesus will judge these terrorists.

So there is no need for Christians to take revenge against terrorism.

Instead we join the world in opposing radical terrorism.

We condemn the lies told to suicide bombers by radical preachers.

As Christians, we forgive our enemies just as God forgave us through Jesus – the real meaning of Easter!

Jesus will also judge those who have not accepted his gift of eternal life.

Are you ready to face Jesus’ judgement?

Do you have the hope and assurance of eternal life?

For followers, how does Jesus reign in all aspects of your life?

Recent news about Egyptian church bombings on Palm Sunday 9 April 2017

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 3 john mmmm

Mmmm Aussie Asian Food Mmmm

Australia has a great variety of food because we are so close to Asia.

But that’s not the only delicious food on offer.

There is food in world news and current affairs.

What is truth?

Journalists seek the truth when reporting the news.

But how do we know they are telling the truth?

The USA government has challenged traditional news channels.

An official spokeswoman presented her own “Alternative Facts”.

The USA President complained that traditional news channels spread “Fake News”.

He prefers that we only follow his Twitter account instead.

But he was caught out spreading his own Fake News about Sweden.

He claimed that a terrorist attack occurred in Sweden.

The Swedish government confirmed that there was no terrorist attack.

A senior USA senator claimed that the President was trying to control the News.

This is reminiscent of news channels being controlled by dictators like Hitler.

Democracies rely on free and independent news channels.

Traditional news channels are competing with Social Media for our attention.

We increasingly rely on our smartphones for information and news.

Journalists need to write sensational headlines to attract more click-throughs.

How trustworthy and reliable is your source of news?

Celebrity gossip pages have infiltrated traditional news channels.

News editors have discovered that gossip attracts attention and sells newspapers.

There is a fine line between the truth, embellished facts and celebrity gossip.

The following Bible passage tells of a different truth that is more important:

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

3 John 2-4

The author of this letter wrote to a leader of congregation, possibly a small house-church.

He calls them his children and prays for good health for them.

He expresses joy that this church is continuing to walk in the truth.

He encourages hospitality to support the work of the truth.

He warns against troublemakers spreading malicious gossip.

He hoped to see them again face-to-face.

So what is this truth that is so important in the church?

This truth is a person.

This truth is Jesus.

God lovingly and mercifully gave us His son Jesus.

We deserved to die for our sins.

Jesus died in our place and took the punishment we deserved.

Through Jesus we can be at peace with God.

Jesus graciously offers us forgiveness and eternal life with him.

This is the eternal truth that shapes the lives of Jesus’ followers.

Ultimately celebrity gossip is meaningless.

Fake News and controversial governments will soon be forgotten.

They will all be replaced by eternal truth.

Can you differentiate between Fake News and the truth?

Do you know the truth that offers forgiveness and peace?

For followers, how does the eternal truth shape your daily lives?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm jude mmmm

Mmmm Fresh Aussie Seafood Mmmm

Australia has the freshest seafood to make awesome Asian food!

But that’s not the only delicious food on offer.

There is food for thought in what we read.

We know Christmas is near when tinsel appears in shops and supermarkets

These decorations appear earlier and earlier each year as retailers try to maximise profits

December is the most important time in the retail calendar

But is there more to Christmas than retail profits and gift giving?

I heard a radio announcer asking about the real meaning of Christmas

He honestly had no idea

He asked his audience to call in with their opinions

Many callers mentioned spending time with family and friends

Other callers mentioned a well-earned holiday break

Only one caller mentioned Jesus

So who is this Jesus?

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Jude 21

God showed great love by sending his son Jesus to save his enemies

We were his enemies because we chose to reject and ignore God

We were dead in our sin with a hopeless future

We could not save ourselves

God showed great mercy by giving us a second chance at life

Jesus died in our place taking the punishment that we deserved

God raised Jesus to life again as King of the Universe

Jesus has conquered death and now offers eternal life with him

We can enjoy peace and rest with God

This is the real meaning of Christmas – the hope of eternal life

There is more to Christmas than retail profits and holidays

What will happen to you after you die?

Do you have eternal hope and peace?

For followers, how does this eternal hope shape your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 2 john mmmm

Mmmm Sydney Desserts Mmmm

Sydney has great patisseries, bakeries and cafes with great desserts.

But that’s not the only delicious food on offer.

There is food in public thought and conversations.

2016 is a year of political elections.

Australia held its federal election earlier in July with a cliff-hanger result.

USA is currently in a long and bitter battle between Clinton & Trump.

There is endless news coverage of their verbal sparring & tweeting.

Both claim to be speaking the truth.

Both claim the other is speaking lies.

How do we know who is speaking the truth and who is lying?

Is the American public tired of their claims and counter-claims?

Ultimately their claims will be forgotten as the 24-hour news cycle reports wars & disasters.

The following Bible passage tells of a different truth that lasts forever:

The elder,

To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth – and not I only, but also all who know the truth – because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us for ever:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

2 John 1-3

The author of this letter wrote to another congregation, possibly a small house-church.

He expressed joy that this church was walking in the truth.

He warned against false teachers preaching lies.

He hoped to see them again so that his joy would be complete.

So what is this truth that lasts forever?

This truth is a person.

This truth is Jesus.

God lovingly and mercifully gave us His son Jesus.

We deserved to die for our sins.

Jesus died in our place and took the punishment we deserved.

Through Jesus we can be at peace with God.

Jesus graciously offers us forgiveness and eternal life with him.

Jesus lives in the lives of his followers giving them meaning and purpose.

His followers love one another because God first showed love to them.

Politicians come and go and their claims are soon forgotten.

Are you tired of political spin?

Do you know the truth that lasts forever?

For followers, can those around you see the truth that lives in you?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 2 peter 1 mmmm

Mmmm Fresh Japanese Sushi & Sashimi Mmmm

Australia has the freshest seafood to make awesome Asian food!

But that’s not the only delicious food on offer.

There is food for thought in what we read.

What book has been influential in your life?

Is there something you read in school that opened your mind to new ideas?

Was there a text you read at university that shaped your morality and behaviour?

Most followers of Jesus view the Bible as their ultimate authority in life.

Followers believe that God is speaking to them through the Bible.

But you may ask, “Wasn’t the Bible written by ordinary men?”

“How can God be speaking through words written by human authors?”

One of Jesus’ followers, Peter answered these questions.

He was writing to counter false teachers who had infiltrated the early church.

These false teachers were challenging the Old Testament prophets & authors.

Peter wrote,

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

2 Peter 1:20-21

Prophets wrote down exactly what they heard from God.

They did not interpret or write from their own imagination.

This is the same for the New Testament writers.

Many of them were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life including Peter.

They wrote down what they saw or heard from Jesus.

Some authors were not actually eyewitnesses including Paul.

The Holy Spirit enabled these men to see and hear God speak.

So the Bible is not a collection of fairy tales and mythical stories.

The Bible can be trusted as the Word of God.

When was the last time you read the Bible with an open mind?

Have you heard God speak through the Bible recently?

For followers: are you listening to God daily through his Word?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 peter 1 mmmm

Mmmm Chocolate Hot Cross Buns Mmmm

Aussie supermarkets desperately try to boost their profit margins:

Hot cross buns & Easter eggs appear earlier and earlier each year.

This year in January, supermarket shelves were already full with Easter food.

Christmas had only just finished and Easter was a distant 3 months away.

Retailers don’t waste time when money and sales are involved.

Beyond the chocolate, what is the real meaning of Easter?

Is there a deeper meaning behind the commercialisation of this season?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

1 Peter 1:3

The bible verse above encapsulates Easter so brilliantly.

God the Father of Jesus showed his love to the whole world.

He mercifully sent Jesus to save us from the mess we were in.

We were powerless to save ourselves.

Jesus died on a cross – the cross in Hot cross buns.

He died in our place and took the punishment we deserved.

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

The resurrection is proof that there is life after death.

Those who trust Jesus have new birth into a new life now and in the future.

The Easter egg symbolises new life and a new beginning.

The offer of new life is for everyone no matter how big a mess we have made.

We now have a real and living hope for eternity beyond the grave.

Death is not the end for followers of Jesus.

It is the gateway to life with Him in heaven.

At Easter we remember the sacrifice of Jesus dying to save us.

We also celebrate his resurrection and look forward to being raised to life in the future.

What will happen to you after you die?

Would you like to have a 2nd chance at life after the mess you’ve made?

For followers, can family, friends, neighbours & colleagues see Jesus in your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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