Tag Archives: jews

mmmm esther mmmm

mmmm Mum’s homemade Apple Pie mmmm

Mum lovingly baked an Apple Pie for my family

Tastes delicious when served hot with ice cream

This pie is gluten-free for my coeliac nephew

He had 2 servings because he was extra hungry

Mum bakes many gluten-free treats for him

This reminds me of special food mentioned in the Bible

I have been reading the Old Testament book of Esther recently

This book is set in the time during the Babylonian exile of the Jews

Mordecai and Esther were Jews from the tribe of Benjamin

They eventually settled in the Persian capital of Susa

King Xerxes was looking for a new queen

He ordered that many young girls be brought to his palace

Esther was one of these young girls

The young girls received beauty treatments and special food

The king was attracted to Esther more than any of the other women

He crowned Esther queen and gave a great banquet in celebration

Later on, a royal official named Haman plotted to destroy the Jews

He persuaded the king to sign a decree to exterminate the Jews

The king agreed not knowing the Esther was actually a Jew

This decree caused much mourning amongst the Jews

Mordecai asked Esther to speak to the king about this decree

The Law stated that anyone who approached the king uninvited must be put to death

This is how Esther responded to Mordecai:

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me.

Do not eat or drink for 3 days, night or day.

I and my maids will fast as you do.

When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.

And if I perish, I perish.”

Esther chapter 4 verse 16

Esther risked her own life to save her people

She approached the king and her life was spared

Esther told the king about Haman’s evil plot

The king was enraged and ordered Haman’s execution

Esther persuaded the king to sign a new decree

This decree gave the Jews the right to protect themselves against persecution

The Jews successfully fought against their enemies and won

Even though the book of Esther does not mention God:

God used Esther to save his people

This Easter, we remember an even greater saviour

At great cost to Himself, God sacrificed his own son Jesus to save us

God did not spare his own son from death on a cross

He spilt the blood of his son to cleanse and purify us

God opened up a new way for his people to have a relationship with Him

Through Jesus we now have forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life

This forgiveness and eternal life is now available to all who trust in Jesus

We do not earn salvation through good works

God graciously forgives us and adopts us into his family through Jesus

This is truly amazing grace!

This Easter, who do you trust to save you?

Is Jesus your Lord and Saviour?

For believers: how is Jesus the king of your life?

mmmm bible mmmm

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mmmm joshua 1 mmmm

Mmmm yummy Chinese Rice Noodles with Chicken, Fish Tofu & Fresh Coriander Mmmm

Sydney has the best Chinese Food in Australia!

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

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ 10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 ‘Go through the camp and tell the people, “Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.”’

Joshua 1:9-11

Here we have the amazing encouragement of God’s presence with his people.

Joshua succeeded Moses in leading the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt.

The previous generation were too afraid to claim the land that God promised them.

The new generation of Israelites now had a choice:

  • Would they trust God and follow Joshua across the river Jordan into the new land?
  • Or would they give in to their fears and continue wandering in the desert?

God sent Joshua to save the Israelites.

God sent a greater saviour Jesus to bring everyone home and give us rest.

This home is not the physical nation state of Israel and the disputed territories of Palestine.

This home is heaven where we can finally rest from all our worries.

  • Is that what you hope for at the end of your earthly life?
  • Or are you too afraid to trust in Jesus?
  • Are you worried about your own security and whether you have enough money?

God offers a life where we do not have to be terrified.

Do you want to have reassurance that God is with you in this life and the next?

It’s an amazing relief knowing that God cares for you and is walking beside you every step of the way.

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm deuteronomy 6 mmmm

Mmmm Enjoyed delicious Aussie Seafood at Sydney’s Palm Beach on the weekend Mmmm

Sydney has amazing seafood that is so fresh!

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

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.

 Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Recently, I was talking to my Jewish workmate about the Shema or verse 4 above.

It struck me how impersonal his relationship with God was.

It’s possible for Jews to follow all the Laws in the Torah (1st 5 books in the Bible)
and not really know who God is.

They can robotically observe all the Laws without having any real love towards God.

These Laws are an inconvenience as Jews get on with their ordinary lives.

These Laws are open to abuse as Jews try to find loopholes to avoid obeying them completely.

Jews probably view God as some anonymous “cosmic policeman”
who spoils their fun and enjoyment of life.

As Christians, we have a completely different view of the Torah.

Jesus summed up the whole Law with verse 5 above and
“Love your neighbour as yourself”.

Because we have a real relationship with Jesus, these Laws reflect God’s holiness
rather than repetitive rules and regulations.

Our sole purpose is to Love God as our Father with all our whole being
he is number 1 in our lives.

We view these Laws as a general guide in our lives, not as an inconvenience.

Jesus has freed us from the punishment and consequences of the Law.

Unlike Jews who are culturally bound by the Torah,
Christians do not robotically observe the Law.

Instead our lives are characterised by Love and wanting to please God because he first loved us.

Jesus has superseded the Law and the New Testament has replaced
all of the Food, Ceremonial & Sacrificial Laws and Rituals.

Yet the Ten Commandments reflect our love for God.

We do not have to worry if we accidentally break one of them.

Instead our relationship with Jesus means that we are forgiven.

Christians are known for their love for God, families, friends, neighbours and strangers.

Do you have a close loving relationship with God as your Dad and Jesus as your brother?

If you are a Christian, can people around you see your love for God and others?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm numbers 9 mmmm

Mmmm Enjoyed delicious Japanese Sushi & Sashimi today Mmmm

Sydney has amazing Asian food!

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

At Bible College, I’m eating mouthfuls of Old Testament this semester.

And the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying,“Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did.

Numbers 9:1-5

Just before Easter, a Jewish workmate went around our office
telling everyone that it was Passover.

He shared his unleavened bread (bread without yeast) and made us all taste it.

Jews celebrate Passover by remembering how God saved their firstborn sons and animals prior to the Exodus from Egypt.

This is also the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with his disciples prior to his death on a cross.

I talked with my Jewish mate about the Old Testament and showed him this Blog on my SmartPhone so he could read the Gospel message in the previous post.

My Jewish mate is not Orthodox and does not observe the Sabbath,
but he does observe cultural celebrations like Passover and Yom Kippur.

He is not particularly religious but identifies himself as culturally Jewish.

This reminds me of many Aussies who are nominally Christian –
they only go to church at Easter and Christmas.

They think that this minimal attendance will get them into heaven.

As long as they lead a “good” life – they’ll be right mate.

God does not want us to just pay “lip service” and observe cultural events.

He wants us to have a real relationship and spend every day with Him.

A real relationship is characterised by daily conversations, not just twice a year encounters.

How often do you talk and listen to God?

mmmm Bible mmmm