Tag Archives: kingdom

mmmm nahum and hosea mmmm

mmmm Chicken Rice this Easter mmmm

Mum lovingly cooked Chicken Rice for our family

Coronavirus has closed down most hawker stalls in Sydney

So instead we enjoy this South East Asian dish at home

This Easter we are at home as the government has banned travel

Many Australians usually travel on holidays at this time of year

But this year we are all in lockdown thanks to the coronavirus

I have been reading the Old Testament recently:

The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;

The LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.

The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.

The LORD is slow to anger and great in power;

The LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble.

He cares for those who trust in him.

Nahum chapter 1 verses 2,3 and 7

 

Come let us return to the LORD.

He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us;

He has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

Hosea chapter 6 verse 1

Both these Old Testament books are prophecies of God’s judgement

But there are also glimmers of hope for salvation

How are we to view the coronavirus in the light of the Bible?

Is this a sign of God’s judgement on the world?

Many have become sick and some have recovered

Friends have lost their jobs due to the lockdown

The world is gripped with fear and anxiety

The Bible verses above include hope

God is good and cares for those who trust in Him

He will heal us if we return to Him

The coronavirus reminds us that the world is temporary

This is not our real home

We long for the day when we enter heaven

A place where there is no more sickness and sin

The coronavirus reminds us that we are not in control of the world

Only God is in control of the world and He is trustworthy

So despite all the bad news about the coronavirus

We can find peace with God through Jesus

He is a source of comfort for all those who trust in Him

We can pray and know that God listens to our prayers

Who do you trust this Easter?

Can your government stop coronavirus?

How does hoarding toilet paper make you feel secure?

For followers: how do you explain the coronavirus to your friends?

mmmm bible mmmm

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mmmm clouds of heaven mmmm

mmmm Celebrating Christmas with Fruit Mince Pies mmmm

This year I am sharing these delicious pies with family in Sydney.

This pie traces its history back to 13th century Britain [1].

The pie spices apparently symbolise the gifts that the wise men gave to Jesus.

The original pie shape symbolises the manger that Jesus was born in.

There’s even Gluten-Free pies for my coeliac nephew!

Sydney has been smothered in bushfire smoke for the last 6 weeks.

The prevailing wind blows the ash from bushfires across the NSW coast.

Thanks to Climate Change, Australia’s experiencing severe bushfires in several states.

Sydney’s air pollution levels are amongst the worst in the whole world at the moment.

What appears to be cloudy weather is actually bushfire haze on the horizon.

I have been reading about different kinds of clouds this Christmas:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel was an Old Testament prophet who was given the ability to interpret dreams by God.

He had a dream about 4 beasts and interpreted these as 4 kingdoms.

He also dreamed about a king that looked like a son of man – a human king.

This human came from heaven riding the clouds like a chariot [2].

This man approached God – the Ancient of Days.

This king was given authority, glory and sovereign power.

People from all nations will worship this king.

This kingdom is eternal and will never be destroyed.

Contrast this with our current world with changing world leaders in different nations.

Elections in different countries result in new politicians promising prosperity to win votes.

Ordinary people are protesting in the streets against unpopular politicians and their policies.

Allegations of corrupt politicians and impeachment fill our TV screens.

So who do you trust in a world of uncertainty?

Daniel prophesied about Jesus – an eternal king who will return to judge the world.

This prophecy is echoed in the New Testament:

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So it shall be! Amen.”

Revelation 1:7

Christmas is about Jesus and the beginning of his eternal kingdom.

Jesus was born into a human family 2,000 years ago.

He preached that his kingdom was near and called people to repent.

He was pierced by nails on a cross where he died to save humanity.

God raised Jesus to life again as king of the universe.

He will return triumphantly and all nations will bow down to worship him.

Jesus is not promising prosperity but promises eternal life instead.

World leaders cannot cooperate to combat Climate Change.

The bushfire haze shows us that this world is only our temporary home.

Our permanent and real home is in heaven with Jesus.

Personally the smoky clouds in Sydney remind me that Jesus will return.

Questions to consider this Christmas:

Do you trust human politicians to save you from Climate Change?

Are their promises trustworthy?

How is Jesus different from human politicians?

For followers: do your family & friends know about eternity in heaven?

 

Footnotes:

[1] Wikipedia article “Mince Pie”

[2] Longman & Dillard (2007) An Introduction to the Old Testament (Inter-varsity Press)p396.

mmmm bible mmmm

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I do not endorse or receive payment for the advertisements that you may see above or below my blog. WordPress is the sole beneficiary and solely responsible for advertising on its own platform. If you see any inappropriate advertising, please report this to WordPress directly. Thanks & Merry Christmas!

mmmm matthew 6 mmmm

Mmmm Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken with Tomato Rice Mmmm

In Sydney, we have delicious Asian Food thanks to multiculturalism!

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.

No one can serve 2 masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

Matthew 6:24

There is an old saying “Money makes the world go round.”

Many people watch their bank balances & stock markets closely.

Everyone is worried that we don’t have enough money.

We just want more and more money.

Even when we are wealthy, we are never satisfied.

Our wealth and livelihoods are at the mercy of global stock markets.

We cannot predict with certainty when the next crash will occur.

The Bible passage above is a challenge to all who follow Jesus.

Jesus was teaching his disciples about how to live in his kingdom.

A large crowd was also listening to his teaching.

Jesus’ teaching was revolutionary and counter-cultural 2,000 years ago.

His teaching is still relevant and a stark reminder to us today.

It is impossible to serve 2 masters because they have conflicting demands.

Anyone who has ever worked for 2 bosses knows this.

1 boss wants something & the other wants the complete opposite at the same time.

Money can be very demanding if we constantly worry about our financial security.

Pursuing wealth through workaholism can damage our health & family relationships.

Instead Jesus reminds everyone to be fully devoted to him instead.

We are to trust him with our lives instead of worrying about money:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

We need to ensure that we are actually in his kingdom.

Do you know him as your King and Saviour?

He promises that if we follow him, he will look after us.

He knows that we need food, clothes and shelter in our daily lives.

So where do we place money in our lives?

  1. God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit occupy No. 1 place in our lives.
  2. Our relationships with family, friends and other followers are in 2nd place.
  3. Money is in 3rd place.

So if we trust Jesus, what does it mean to “seek first his kingdom”?

Here are some suggestions:

  • We spend time ensuring that our family & friends know Jesus.
  • We encourage other followers to pursue righteousness.
  • We may even give up our careers to tell the world about Jesus.

How are you seeking God’s kingdom?

Do those around you know that you are in His kingdom?

How can others see that God is in No.1 place in your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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