Balance is so necessary in all of life, even and especially our theology which leads to daily practice. If our witness for Christ is to be effective and fruitful, 2 John 1-13 reminds us that truth and love need to be balanced. If not, the world will never hear waht we have to say, nor will they notice the reality of Christ in our lives.
When David sinned in 2 Samuel 11, he set of a chain of events that would prove to be disastrous for his family, including the son born as a result of his alliance with Bathsheba. The text of 2 Samuel 12:15-31 records how the child died, but also how God’s grace was revealed in the midst of the mess that his sin created.
The book of Acts is clear. Not only did Jesus leave this earth (as recorded in Acts 1:1-11), before he left He gave some particular instructions to His disciples to carry out. There were to be His witnesses in ‘Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.’ That was a long time ago, though. Do His words still mean anything for God’s people today?
One thing that the world constantly fails to understand is the seriousness of sin. It is rarely spoken of as something serious and usually only spoken of as if it were something light and easily cast off. The text of 2 Samuel 12:1-15 indicates that sin is not something that can be laughed at. David’s sin was terrible, but equally so, God’s grace to him was amazing. The more we understand how serious sin is, the more we will appreciate the wonder of the gospel.
History tells us that a multitude of people have fallen into temptation and sinned. Some in small ways. Others in big ways. King David was one of the latter. The story of 2 Samuel 11:1-27 makes it abundantly clear that his fall was tragic and terrible. There are lessons to be learned from it. But thanks be to God, there is also grace for the repentant.
Contrasts in the Bible abound. When Mary broke her alabaster jar of perfume over the feet of her Saviour, Judas was quick to criticise her actions. When one thief railed against Jesus, the other turned to Him and begged for salvation. When Jesus had his eyes set of his approraching death in Mark 10:32-45, James & John had their minds on other things. But…they will not be alone. Often, our eyes are on the wrong prize.
In Nehemiah 1:1-11, the Scriptures reveal how Nehemiah responded to the news that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and his people were languishing. The news cut him to his very heart and the urgency of the situation drew him to go back to his people. There are many ways in which Nehemiah’s story is a parallel to Motor’s. The need of his people in Sth Sudan, who are now mostly refugees in Ethiopia, continues to be paramount and a challenge waiting to be responded to with the kind of compassion that Nehemiah displayed.
While the search for the meaning of life continues in many ways, including the fruitless exploration of outer space, Psalm 139:1-24 gives us a far different perspective. The psalm, written by King David, is a masterful and profound piece of poetry and a leading favourite of God’s people. There are many reasons why this is so, the main being that God’s intimate knowledge of us leads us to a wonderful knowledge of Him.
The Psalms are a great source of information and encouragement to the belever and Psalm 127:1-5 is no exception. The psalm was composed by King Solomon, who simply should have put into practise what he wrote! Life is busy, very busy, with work, houses, family and sleep all part of the picture. But all of it – without the Lord – will only lead to frustration. The Psalm tells us that much and puts life into perspective, but it also points forward to the One who came from heaven for us to build us and incorporate us into His house – forever!
There are some things that are just easy to do, and being confused about Jesus is one of them! In this message Steve Blyth takes us through some of the imagery found in Revelation 1:1-20 and points us to who Jesus is according to the Scriptures.