God has defeated death!

This week we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and we must ask ourselves, “Why is this so important, and what is the relevance to us?”  Why is a reported event that took place nearly 2000 years ago so earth shattering?  If we believe that Jesus was who he said he was, nothing could bring more hope to the human race than God himself dying as a human being but defeating death and promising the same for us.

For centuries death has always been mankind’s final enemy. Frankly, we are all mortal and will, one day, die. But something within us rebels and says , “There must be more to it than that”. As a christian, and follower of Jesus Christ, I have a hope in a future resurrection. Is this hope well founded or is it just wishful thinking? I hope, in this article, to state why I can be so convinced that my hope in a future resurrection is based on the reality of what happened to the one I follow, Jesus Christ.

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All creation waits on tiptoe

What is in store for this wonderful universe which we call home.  Some scientists say that eventually the stars will be so spaced out that our sky will be dark and that the stars will dim as they run out of energy. eartrise2All matter will approach absolute zero in temperature, all life will have long since disappeared.  Everything around us decays. Life ends in death.

And yet the Bible gives us a very different picture.  Apparently there is hope for creation itself to be delivered from its bondage to decay. What does this mean in practice?  This slightly speculative article seeks to explore the possibility of a new or renewed act of creation that gives us, and all of creation with us, a hope for a better and glorious future.

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Resurrection. Truth or Lie?

heisrisenFor centuries death has always been mankind’s final enemy. Frankly, we are all mortal and will, one day, die. But something within us rebels and says , “There must be more to it than that”. As a christian, and follower of Jesus Christ, I have a hope in a future resurrection. Is this hope well founded or is it just wishful thinking? I hope, in this article, to state why I can be so convinced that my hope in a future resurrection is based on the reality of what happened to the one I follow, Jesus Christ.

[Read more…]

Love God, Yourself and Neighbour

lovegodandneighbour

(But the arrows need to go both ways!)

Love is the most powerful force in the universe.  Love is the only way of fulfilling a relationship. Without love, relationships cannot exist and without  relationship, there is no need for love. For love to change the world, three relationships are necessary:

  • Loving God
  • Loving ourselves
  • Loving our neighbour

Jesus was asked the question: “What is the most important commandment?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘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 mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NIV)

God’s plan is to change the world in which we live.  Not through exercising his power, not by commanding us to live better lives, not through fear of punishment but by using his love, enabling us to love him, to love ourselves and to love those around us. [Read more…]

Tell the nations that love has won

carillonChristine and I belong to a choir.  We have just held a number of Christmas concerts and we sang this carol among others. It starts with typical words about Christmas bells and “Peace on earth”.   The carol goes on to say:

“Tell the nations that love has won”

But then suddenly comes this verse:

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth”, I said,
“for hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, goodwill to men”.

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Jesus breaks religious rules

redXAs we live in an imperfect society we need some rules and laws to combat the worst forms of evil.  Religion has its own sets of rules, but Jesus showed us that if we follow his way, love transcends rules. He was born into a Jewish society which had built up a complex set of rules to moderate and control how people lived their everyday lives. We will see in this article how Jesus broke many of the rules and traditions that religion imposed. [Read more…]

Faith: a window to God

sun room windowFaith is like a window. We can think of a window in many ways.  We could concentrate on the construction, the design, the curtains, the glass but fail to realise that the purpose of a window is to actually look out and enjoy the view.  A window brings the outside in and exposes the inside to the outside.

Faith is a window which enables us to see God clearly and enables us to have a direct relationship with him.  God can also see us clearly and yet because of his great love for us does not look upon our imperfections.

Religion, on the other hand, can prevent us from really seeing God.  We argue about the window style, and say that unless our window conforms in construction or rituals it is inferior or even not a window at all.  Religion puts obstacles in the way of seeing God.  It makes rules and regulations and says that unless we conform we cannot know God. [Read more…]

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