Tag Archives: king

mmmm lamentations 3 mmmm

mmmm Chocolate mmmm

We know Easter is coming when supermarkets are bursting with chocolate.

Chocolate Eggs, Bunnies and my favourite: Chocolate Hot Cross Buns!

Some may complain that combining Chocolate & Hot Cross Buns is not traditional.

But you have to try this yummy combo before dismissing it entirely!

So what does Easter mean to you?

In Australia, it is the longest national public holiday besides Christmas.

Many Aussies make the most of pleasant Autumn weather and flee the cities for the coast.

Thanks to Climate Change, Sydney will have a mini-heatwave during the 4-day long weekend.

This March, there has been unseasonably scorching weather resulting in devastating bushfires.

We remember the NSW South Coast bushfire victims who lost homes 2 weeks ago.

69 homes were destroyed and a further 39 were damaged in the beachside town of Tathra.

Mercifully no one died, as residents escaped to the beach with the raging fire behind them.

There was little warning about this impending emergency and people just ran for their lives.

They returned a few days later to see the smouldering ruins of their homes.

The shock of losing everything is all too real for those suddenly made homeless.

It reminds me of something I was reading recently:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-26

This was written by an Israelite who witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC.

The Babylonians invaded this important Israeli city and burnt everything to the ground.

They devastated the surrounding countryside and even ransacked the holy temple.

The desolation was overwhelming for those who lost everything.

There was much weeping and lamenting recorded in these “lamentations”.

However, there was still hope for the hopeless.

This hope is not found in money or material possessions.

The writer acknowledges that Lord God is faithful to those who trust in Him.

His steadfast love is everlasting and mercies are never-ending.

If we look carefully, we can see new mercies from God every morning.

Even when we have lost everything.

How can this be?

Because God is my portion.

His grace is sufficient and satisfies my deepest spiritual need.

We are promised that God will be good to those who wait for His salvation.

His ultimate salvation is freely given through his son Jesus.

Jesus died on a cross and that’s what we remember at Easter.

God sacrificed his only Son to pay the price for the sin of the whole world.

We deserve to die for our sin, but Jesus died and went to hell instead of us.

God saves those who seek forgiveness from Him.

Forgiveness is only possible by trusting that Jesus died in our place.

We are helpless to save ourselves and our good works cannot save us.

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

This is what we celebrate at Easter:

New life with Jesus in His eternal kingdom, here on Earth and in Heaven.

This gives us “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”

Great is God’s faithfulness!

This is the greatest mercy we can see every morning.

Who do you trust when you’ve lost all your money & possessions?

Google?

Facebook?

May I suggest that God will outlast all imperfect, human-made technology?

God’s love lasts forever!

For followers: are you waiting for real salvation or relying on your career/wealth instead?

mmmm Bible mmmm

I do not endorse or receive payment for the advertisements above & below my blog. WordPress is the sole beneficiary and responsible for advertising on its own platform. Thanks.

Advertisements

mmmm micah 5 mmmm

mmmm Celebrating Christmas with Festive Food from All Nations mmmm

Sydney is enjoying sunny days and warm weather in the first month of Summer.

Perfect for Christmas parties with family, friends and colleagues.

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

Unfortunately not everyone on Earth lives freely or peacefully.

Let us remember the victims of terrorism and persecution.

Earlier this week, a Christian Church in Pakistan was bombed by IS terrorists [1]:

A sad & constant reminder that innocent Christians still face persecution this Christmas.

Recently, President Trump announced that the USA recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital [2].

This provocative statement sparked immediate protests across the world [3].

Even Bethlehem (in Palestinian territory) was the scene of violent protests [4].

What’s so special about Bethlehem?

Bethlehem was the birthplace of the Messiah* as prophesied by Micah in the Bible:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach the ends of the earth.

Micah chapter 5, verses 2 & 4 (5:2,4)

*Messiah (translated as Christ in the New Testament):
A future king of Israel descended from King David (former shepherd and author of Psalm 23).

This verse is quoted in Matthew – the 1st book in the New Testament [5].

The famous Christmas story reveals that Jesus was born in Bethlehem [6].

The 3 Wise Men asked King Herod, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” [7].

King Herod asked the Jewish chief priests and the teachers of the law [8].

They replied, “Bethlehem” and referred to Micah’s prophecy quoted above [5].

The 3 Wise Men travelled to Bethlehem in search of the Messiah [9].

When they found Jesus, they bowed down and worshipped him [10].

The New Testament clearly identifies Jesus as the Messiah.

Matthew begins with a genealogy linking Jesus with King David [11].

This family tree traces the ancestors of Jesus all the way back to David and Abraham.

Jesus identified himself as the Good Shepherd looking after sheep [12].

This bears striking resemblance to Psalm 23 and the Micah prophecy above.

Jesus said that he was willing to die to protect the sheep [13].

Jesus did actually die on a cross to bring salvation for the whole world.

So the Christmas story is not limited to the Jewish people in Israel.

Christmas is Good News for everyone in every nation on Earth!

God loved the world & gave us Jesus so that we may have Eternal Life [14].

The promise of Salvation is what persecuted Christians cling to.

God’s love shown through Jesus gives comfort to those who are suffering.

The hope of Eternal Life reminds us that life on Earth is only temporary.

Whatever pain we’re currently experiencing will not last forever.

The joy of Christmas is knowing that we’re on the journey to our real home.

Our real home is with Jesus in the New Jerusalem – the heavenly city [15].

The earthly Jerusalem is currently divided and a flashpoint for conflict.

This city is being bitterly fought over by the Israelis and the Islamic world.

The REAL Jerusalem is in Heaven with Father God where there is eternal peace.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

Are you looking for Peace in a world of terrorism and war?

Have you discovered the Joy of Salvation available exclusively from Jesus?

For followers: do those around you know about the Good Shepherd you trust?

 

Footnotes:

[1] SBS News (17/12/17): IS claims deadly pre-Christmas suicide bombing of Pakistan church

[2] BBC News (06/12/17): Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, says Donald Trump

[3] Reuters (10/12/17): Anti-Trump protests in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco & Indonesia

[4] NBC News (07/12/17): Tear Gas fired at Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem

[5] Matthew 2:6

[6] Matthew 2:1

[7] Matthew 2:2

[8] Matthew 2:4

[9] Matthew 2:7-10

[10] Matthew 2:11

[11] Matthew 1:1-17

[12] John 10:11-16

[13] John 10:11 & 15

[14] John 3:16

[15] Revelation 21-22

mmmm Bible mmmm

I do not endorse the advertisements you may see above or below my blog. WordPress is solely responsible for advertising on its platform.

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

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

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

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

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

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

mmmm philemon 6 mmmm

Mmmm Chinese Noodles Mmmm

In Australia, we have the best multicultural food from all around the world!

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

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

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

Philemon 6

I join with many other Chinese in celebrating Chinese New Year.

  • What do you hope for in a new year?
  • What new good things would you like to try?
  • How would you like to actively change your life?

The Bible passage above was written by Paul to a fellow brother.

Paul was asking this brother to change his attitude towards a friend.

He encouraged this brother to forgive his friend.

Paul hoped his friend would be given a new chance and beginning in life.

What is this “good thing” we have in Jesus?

Followers of Jesus have been given a 2nd chance and a new beginning in life.

Once we were condemned and facing eternal death.

We had no hope and no way of saving ourselves.

But at great cost, God saved us by sending Jesus to die in our place.

God demonstrated great love by giving us a 2nd chance that we did not deserve.

We can never earn salvation or pay God back for this gift.

Can we ever fully understand the enormity of God’s love for us?

How do we respond to God’s love?

  • By accepting His gift of love with humility and thanks
  • By trusting Jesus to save us and putting our lives in his hands

God’s love is such great news that we want to tell everyone.

By telling others, we are sharing God’s love and light in our dark world.

  • What do you hope for in the new year?
  • Do you know the love of God?
  • Would you like to be given a 2nd chance and new beginning in life?

For followers:

  • How often do you pray for others?
  • Can those around you see that you are different to the mainstream world?
  • Have you ever shared the source of your hope with others?
  • Can others see that this hope is at the centre of your life?
  • Have you experienced forgiveness?

How do we actively share?

  • By praying for others regularly
  • By loving others so that they may ask why we are different to the world
  • By telling others the source of our hope
  • By showing others that this hope is at the centre of our lives
  • By giving others a 2nd chance in life through forgiveness

mmmm Bible mmmm

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

mmmm hebrews 1 mmmm

Mmmm Chinese Stirfry Mmmm

In Australia, we have the freshest produce to cook awesome meals!

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.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Hebrews 1:1-3

Would you like to predict the future?

Why are some people fascinated with astrology and tarot cards?

Some people look at ancient prophecies for guidance and wisdom.

We have a strong desire to control our destiny and remove uncertainty in our lives.

The Bible passage above was written to those wanting to know about the “last days”.

In the past, God spoke to people through prophets or messengers.

Old Testament prophets predicted that a Day of Judgement was coming at the end of time.

Naturally, many people wanted to know when and how this would happen.

In these last days, God spoke to us most clearly through his Son: Jesus.

God created the universe through Jesus and appointed him king.

Jesus is the exact representation of God.

God chose to enter the world in the form of a physical man: Jesus.

The world remembers the birth of Jesus at Christmas every year.

However, Jesus was no ordinary man and different to the prophets from the past.

So when people saw Jesus, they were actually seeing God Himself.

Jesus’ words and actions revealed God directly to the world.

This was much clearer than any previous or subsequent human prophet.

Jesus turned the Jewish world and their Law upside-down.

His powerful teaching and actions were unique showing that he was God.

Jesus claimed to forgive sins, something only God could do.

Why did God choose to enter the world?

God demonstrated great love in saving us.

We could not save ourselves by our own efforts.

Only Jesus was perfect enough to offer us purification for sins.

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

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

Jesus has completed the task of salvation and is now seated at God’s right hand.

Through Jesus, God has spoken the most important message in the world:

Eternal life is on offer to all who trust Jesus’ death & resurrection.

Followers of Jesus can look forward to a bright future in His kingdom.

We can be assured of our destiny after the end of the world and Judgement Day.

This is far better than career success, money, sex and any other temporary pleasure.

What do you hope for in your future?

What will happen to you after you die?

For followers, are you living in a way that shows your future hope?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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