Tag Archives: unemployment

mmmm 1 samuel 2 mmmm

Mmmm spicy Thai Green Curry with Tofu Mmmm

Sydney has fantastic Asian food 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.

‘The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and makes them inherit a throne of honour.
‘For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.

1 Samuel 2:6-8

After the anarchy of Judges in the previous blog post below, we come to a new period in Israel’s history.

1 Samuel opens with the birth of the prophet Samuel to Hannah.

Hannah was so thankful to God for answering her prayer that she dedicates Samuel to priestly service.

A portion of her thanksgiving prayer is quoted above.
But take time to read the whole of Chapters 1 & 2 in 1 Samuel.

Hannah’s prayer acts like a roadmap for Israel’s kingship history that follows.

Even though she is not a prophet, the words of her prayer are prophetically played out in the lives of Israel’s kings.

We can see that God alone is in control of the rise and fall of kings.

David, Israel’s greatest king had humble beginnings as a shepherd and God exalted him (lifted him up) to become the leader of a nation.

But sadly, David abused his royal power and God humbled him in the end with disastrous consequences for his family. But God still lovingly forgave him and promised that his dynasty would last forever.

So what does this mean for us?

God brings prosperity and also poverty to everyone on earth – Christians or non-Christians.

Some people have the wrong view of Christianity – they believe that as long as they follow the Ten Commandments, God will shower them with wealth and success in their lives.

But Christians can also experience poverty, hardship and unemployment at some point in their lives.

This is not necessarily because they are leading “bad” lives.

Bad things can also happen occasionally to “good” people or loyal followers of God.

God is reminding us that he is in control and that we need to trust him even when disaster strikes in our lives.

Whether we are rich or poor, we need to live humbly before God and not to become proud of our own achievements. We need to thank God in good and bad circumstances.

It’s not all bad news: there is a greater promise in these verses.

God has the amazing power to raise people from the dead!

God raised Jesus to life again after he died on the cross.

If we trust Jesus with our lives, God will also raise us to eternal life after we die.

This is the hope and confidence that Christians have.

Some Christians are rich, some Christians are poor.

But we all will face Jesus as our judge at the end of our lives, regardless of our wealth.

Clearly we cannot control the global economy or prevent cancer from striking.

How do you cope when disaster strikes?

Who do you trust?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm revelation 21 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with a hungry Sydney Bible College student!

Do you hunger for something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV 1984)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

What do you look forward to?

I look forward to actually meeting God face-to-face and living with him in his city.

Imagine a place where there is no:

  • War
  • Death
  • Sickness, Cancer, Arthritis
  • Pain
  • Mourning & Crying

Our current earth is only a shadow of things to come and we are only passing through. This is not our permanent home. There is something better to look forward to.

The problems of this world only serve as a reminder not to place our hope in our own abilities.

We cannot fix man-made Climate Change. Our world is dying from pollution. We haven’t cared for our world properly and face major environmental problems – erosion, deforestation, salinity & land degradation.

There has always been conflict in some part of our world as peoples war against each other. Today it is Syria & Afghanistan. Yesterday it was Iraq, Lebanon, Vietnam, Korea, Germany. There have been mass-shootings in the USA and Norway in the last few years. Recently, an innocent woman was brutally raped and murdered while walking home, shocking the city of Melbourne in Australia.

It is obvious that as humans we fail to control our world and find a solution to our countless social problems. There is crime, domestic violence, divorce, depression, homelessness & unemployment. We try to escape our problems by turning to alcohol and drugs. But this is no solution.

Wouldn’t you feel cheated if this is all the world had to offer you?

Jesus conquered death and offers us life with him. There is hope beyond this world. Our old world and its problems will disappear. It will be replaced with a beautiful new world.

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm job 28 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with a hungry Sydney Bible College student!

Do you crave something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Job 28:20-28 (NIV 1984)

Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds of the air.
Destruction and Death say,
‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.’
God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
And he said to man,
The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.’”

The book of Job in the Old Testament is about a Man and his relationship with God.

Job experiences unexplained suffering and cries out in pain.
His friends try to offer comforting words of wisdom but are tactless and foolish.
Job wonders where true wisdom can be found.

Only God is the source of true wisdom.

Man can find wisdom in right relationship with God.
We do this by humbly approaching Him and recognising that He is the Creator (and we are not!)

He creates thunderstorms like Super Storm Sandy that devastated NE USA recently.
I love New York in the Spring – one of the great cities of the world alongside Sydney.
So to see the recent devastation is heart-breaking and humbling.

When suffering happens to us, we cry out in pain.
But instead of asking, “Why did you do this, God?”

We should ask, “How can I trust God to get me through this suffering?”

God is more important than our treasured homes that can be washed away in a storm.

God is more reliable than politicians who promise but fail to deliver.

God wants us to trust Him when everything collapses around us.

He sent Jesus to give us eternal hope so that we can weather the most powerful storm.

Who do you trust when you lose everything?

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm colossians 1 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with a hungry Sydney Bible College student!

Do you crave something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Colossians 1:15-16 (NIV 1984)

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

What is the meaning of life?

Philosophers, comedians and theologians have pondered this question since time began.

Some answers include:

  • Love, Family relationships and friendships
  • Knowledge, learning and education
  • Career success and job satisfaction
  • Good food and wine
  • Money, possessions, a comfortable home in a good suburb and a fast car
  • Good health, the body beautiful, fitness and sport
  • Art, architecture, music and entertainment
  • Travel and the environment
  • Recreation and leisure
  • Humour and happiness

Colossians tells us something different and often we miss the last 2 words in verse 16.

Jesus created the universe for himself. This includes all humans – Christian and non-Christian.

We belong to Jesus. He is our “meaning”.

So what does this look like?

Jesus desires to enjoy us in close relationship to him – closer than our family or best friends.

We often look for meaning in the wrong places:

  • Family and friends come and go – we mourn when we lose them
  • Even with all the knowledge in the world, we can still be lonely
  • Redundancy can stunt our career plans and threaten our homes
  • Cancer and Diabetes can spoil our appetite for good food and wine
  • Money and possessions can be stolen or destroyed in fire
  • We are so busy in life and no longer have time for rest and hobbies
  • Worries and Depression can make our fun and laughter disappear

Jesus is eternal – he is still there when our world collapses around us

He is our food that satisfies the greatest hunger when we need it most

Enjoy him today!

mmmm Bible mmmm

mmmm psalm 88 mmmm

Come for a delicious journey through God’s Word with an inquisitive Sydney Bible College student!

Do you hunger for something more filling than yumcha?

If so, read on ….

Psalm 88:1-5 (NIV 1984)

O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you.
May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of trouble and my life draws near the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.
I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.

The writer of this psalm strongly believes that God will save him even though he is in immense pain.

Life is tough sometimes ….

Maybe you’re in a backbreaking job with a bullying boss

Or you’re about to lose your job in uncertain times

Maybe you suffer chronic pain like arthritis

Or you’re a persecuted Christian in China jailed for attending an unregistered church

Maybe one or both of your parents are dying of cancer

This psalm is written to be sung in community and maybe it’s appropriate when there is a great tragedy like the outpouring of grief over the sudden premature death of a child in a car accident

When your world collapses around you, who do you turn to and what do you hope for?

Jesus has taken our pain on himself and can be trusted to save us now and in the future

mmmm Bible mmmm