Reason 2 for being a Christian

Hi

There is something called Germinal Life. This really explains that life develops gradually into the mature product. We have seen and evidenced this through exact observation and correct thinking.

As the Bible identifies in Marks Gospel chapter 4 verse 28, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear”.

This development is governed by fixed laws. Laws of nature God has put in place. We cant change them they simply “are”.

One such law is that this germinal life ( like humans start out )  is never reproductive. Reproduction only comes from maturity so an embryo or a germ can only come from a mature product. Embryos do not multiply into embryos do they!

Eggs don’t hatch eggs. Apples don’t produce apples. It takes a tree to produce an apple. Do you see?

Even babies don’t produce babies thought they have developed far beyond the stage of an embryo.

Without God as creator, one has to state that germinal life without the power of reproduction  has over millions of years evolved into the mature product. This statement drives us right back to the pre Sir F. Bacon era. Trying to fit a belief into facts that are simply not there in science. Crazy!

Saying an egg evolved and then evolved further during millions of years into an Eagle with no power of reproduction seems rather odd to me – no, more than that,  it seems impossible from the facts we have.

Based on the facts I see and the facts we teach, my conclusion has to be that the creator designed and created the eagle for it to then be able to reproduce. And the same for me a human being.

My problem is made much more difficult if I wish to accept the “No creator” position when we add to this the provable fact that germinal life can not by itself improve. If I want better apples I don’t work on the apple but I have to get better apple trees. Better eggs don’t come from working on the egg but by getting better hens and so on.

So claiming that germinal life came into existence without being able to reproduce or improve and try to claim that simply over time the better and mature product arrived… well I simply don’t buy it and it is impossible.

The creator God is the most logical answer to the facts we see before us.

Have a great and safe week

Mark

Why chose Christianity

Hi folks

I thought I might deviate from my usual style in this blog and run a short mini series on why I am a Christian and believe in the creator God of the Bible. This is focussing on why I chose Christianity in the first place rather than why I am remaining a Christian because why I remain a Christian has all the reasons I will state in this mini series that will go on for a few weeks but so much more, as now I have a personal relationship with God the creator of all things. My relationship is through Jesus who was in fact God revealing himself to mankind in the flesh.

So remaining a Christian following Jesus is much easier actually than finding God in the first place. At least, it is for me.

So my starting point is science.

Up until the late 16th century/early 17th century the scientific world would formulate a view and then look to try to find ways in nature to prove the view that had been formulated before evidence .

Then came the great Frances Bacon who stated that we should sit at the feet of nature and see what it tells us. In other words “get knowledge by gaining and verifying it by exact observation and correct thinking”. This is now how science works. Getting the facts and then seeing what they tell us to formulate an opinion. Simple! And correct!

This however causes the atheist view huge problems. Science in the 1960s caught up with Scripture when the evidence observed and verifying confirmed that nothing material has been eternal and in fact everything came into existence having a beginning. It was called the big bang.

So now we have the evidence and the formulated view that everything we know had a beginning but we have another view called cause and effect which we all know through observation and verification means that everything in the material world has had something to bring it into existence.

Putting these two facts together leaves the atheist with a problem. How and why did NOTHING decide to become SOMETHING. This of course is impossible and so you may not be surprised to know that the atheist is trying to change the meaning of NOTHING into meaning that Nothing includes SOMETHING! This goes back to the pre Lord Bacon thinking – change the facts to match the view point!

Even the late Steven Hawkins tried to explain away something form nothing and made a real hash of it – he couldn’t do it!

This is my first reason for accepting that God is the creator of all things and why I am a Christian. There must have been a creator sitting outside of our universe to create it all from Nothing.

Next reason next time is all about Germinal Life.

Have a great day.

Mark

 

Keep busy

Hi there

1 Timothy chapter 5 and verses 11-13 says this: “But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not”.

This is similar to my own experiences regarding people who are unemployed. If they are unemployed for any period of time, if they do not have strength of will, it sounds hard to say but they learn to be idle. “Learn to be idle” is a difficult Greek construction, though the New International Version makes it clear I think: “They get into the habit of being idle.” It is not that they sit down and study how to be idle, but over a period of time—even though they may start out looking for a job and using their spare time in a profitable manner—inertia sets in. It’s tough and I know as I have been there! It becomes hard in my experience to avoid being idle even though “idle” is a tough word.

Notwithstanding their good intentions, the out of work start getting out of bed a little bit later, taking their time doing this or that. They find over time that it is far easier to sit around and drink their tea, call their neighbours or family, chew the fat, and talk about this or that person. For example:

“How is X doing?”

“Oh, fine!”

“But you know he has a problem.”

“Oh, does he?”

“Yes. His marriage is not going well.”

“Well, you know, I went through a problem like that back a few years ago. Maybe I’ll give him a call and give him some advice. It is tried and tested because it worked for me. If he needs me to, I’ll go over and watch his kids for him.”

Pretty soon they are fully involved in somebody’s marital crisis when they should not have even known about it! It is evident that being a busybody is linked with gossip, tale-telling, and spreading scandal. They all usually go hand in hand.

Once a person starts messing in other people’s business, before long he is telling his friends what is happening and how wonderfully he is advising and helping these people. Soon all sorts of rumours are flying back and forth about so and so and this and that. Like a law of nature, it is only a matter of time before a relationship conflict erupts. We can see this in the church too sadly? War and disunity!

Experience shows that it often comes back to bite the meddler! The Old Testament provides a graphic image of what happens to such a person: “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears” (Proverbs 26:17).

Just a few inches away from those dog’s ears are big, sharp teeth! When we meddle in other people’s affairs, it comes back to hurt us. No one wins when meddling happens.

So this is just a short word and thought if we find ourselves furloughed, not working, or on a long sabbatical and for us in such circumstances to be wary of this easy trap into which anyone can fall.

Every blessing

Mark

We have a choice

Hi all

Mark records in his Gospel and in chapter 8 verse 26 this “Then He sent him away to his house, saying, ‘Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

He says, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town,” another command to keep quiet about the miracle. This was not a universal rule but was limited to Bethsaida. Why? Christ had done many mighty works there, but the townspeople had rejected them in unbelief. As a result, He had pronounced a woe upon them (Matthew 11:21). In Jesus’ command to the healed man, Bethsaida received a mild but significant judgment for not responding to His works.

Rejection of spiritual blessing causes loss of spiritual privilege. If we do not want God in our lives, He will let us follow our free will, and He will leave. Today, the descendants of the ancient Israelites, who should know better, should beware as their legislators and courts ban God from their nations. If they continue to reject God, He will surely respond with a stern rebuke. If that happens, woe to Jacob’s descendants!

We must all contemplate this judgment on Bethsaida and on all those who fail to honour their spiritual privileges. It is never too late to turn to God in repentance which is truly wonderful and there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.

So as we go about our daily activities at work (or play) may I encourage all of us to reflect on the wonderful privileges we enjoy as Christians and not to become complacent. Also I encourage those reading this who don’t follow God and who have not accepted Christ as Saviour to re consider carefully please, as one day God will simply leave you alone!

Every blessing

 

Mark

 

My Position

Morning

In the book of Job in the old testament that takes us through the life of a man called Job ( pronounced “Jo” with the sound of “b” at the end ) we read this:

“Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that You can do everything,
and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, “Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?” Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, “I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

The images Job held both of God in His relationship with Job and of himself in his relationship with God and fellow man are shattered into an unrecognizable mass of gunk. Above all, Job now knows that God owes him only what He determines that He owes him. God is not beholden to mankind for anything.

Will we claim that God owes us anything because of our good works? God does not owe us a thing, even if we do obey Him perfectly! Our agreement and relationship (known as a covenant) with Him is not made on that basis. The covenant is made knowing that we owe Him everything. We have nothing to bargain with. Do we receive salvation because we trade keeping the first day of the week for Him or paying tithes?

Job is truly humbled. Do we recognize humility when we see it? Do we know what it really is? Humility is an internal matter, one of the heart, not one of outside appearance. Moses was a humble man, but he also had a commanding presence. However, a person’s humility greatly affects what those watching him or her see and hear emanate from him.

Godly humility is not a giant inferiority complex, as some believe it to be. Man by nature is not humble; by nature, we are well-pleased with ourselves and insane enough to think that we deserve something good from the hand of God. This describes almost exactly what Job thought of himself in his relationship with God. Men think that as long as God allows them to conduct their lives in a civil way, keeping themselves from the grosser sins, then everything is fine in their relationship with Him. The important reality of true humility is far from what men think, as Job certainly discovered.

So I guess for me this means I need to daily take time to remember how wonderfully God loves me, since I am so underserving, and remember everything I have including my intellect, energy, skills and so on , all come from Him.

Every blessing

Mark

 

Why is it happening?

Hi

James writes in his book after his own name and chapter 1 verses 2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”.

  1. Trials should produce growth. Just as we prune a shrub or tree to force it to grow into a more perfect form, so God does with us.

Notice that trials should produce growth, rather than that they will produce it. Sometimes, we just do not learn the lesson; we fail; we regress; we sink into self-pity. This leads me to another lesson learned.

  1. The fruit we produce depends on our outlook. This does not imply that anger and depression are not normal human emotions. They are. With any trial such as the challenges of Covid-19, you wonder why. You evaluate your actions, your mistakes, your sins. You repent, fast, and pray. You cry out to God with more emotion than you knew you possessed. If you are normal, you have moments of anger, perhaps even doubt.

Here is where we can produce fruit or destroy it. With God’s help, we must forcibly evict these wrong thoughts from our minds. We cannot allow seeds of doubt to germinate, and if they do, they cannot be allowed to grow. We must look forward and deal with the situation.

Paul writes:

. . . we know for certain that He who raised the Lord Jesus from death shall also raise us with Jesus. We shall all stand together before Him. All this is indeed working out for your benefit, for as more grace is given to more and more people so will the thanksgiving to the glory of! God be increased. This is the reason why we never lose heart. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. (2 Corinthians 4:14-17)

So it is good advice that we actually don’t resent our trials or moan about our fate or the state in which we find ourselves. As James says, “Count it all joy,” which brings us to the next lesson.

  1. Joy comes after, not before, the trial—and often not during it. No sane person sits around, wishing he had a trial. That is absurd. No one is ecstatic to find himself encompassed in pain. Only when you have faced your troubles and started to fight can you begin to see even a glimmer of a positive result at its conclusion.

James’ advice is to count or consider our trials joyfully. Another study on this subject says: “Realise that they come to test your fait and to produce endurance” (James 1:3). These words reflect a passage of time. Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus endured the cross “for the joy that was set before Him.” He thought nothing of the pain and shame because of the joy He knew would follow His suffering. Joy came afterward.

Verse 11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Here is convincing proof that joy is primarily post-trial.

Yet even this joy is not the ecstatic. As an example a lady with a long-term illness once wrote about her trials. As she came slowly out of her personal struggle, she passed on to us several things that we found to be true. One line she wrote is very true: “I never realised how wonderful it is to be able to do ordinary things until I couldn’t do them.” She had “never realised.” Yet now, because of her trial, she counted or considered her situation and found joy in a simple act.

By sharing this, she gave us hope and encouragement. This is fruit borne through testing. It is God’s refining process at work. He is removing impurities.

As hard as it seemed, after giving them much prayer and thought, I believe that each trial is specific to us. It is what we need to make us more like God. We do not see this initially, but through perseverance and growth, it may become clear.

This is why we are happy that God has chosen us to suffer whatever trials He may allow. As James goes on to write:

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

So let’s press on towards this wonderful everlasting crown, clinging on to Him, Jesus, helping one another with our various trials and focusing on eternity.

Every blessing

Mark

The right focus

Greetings folks

1 Corinthians chapter 2 and verse 12 says this: “ Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

As the apostle Paul begins his first letter to the Corinthians, knowing that he is writing to a congregation divided among itself, he patiently explains to them what makes them different from those in the world yet at the same time unites the members of the church. He, of course, refers to God’s Holy Spirit, given to all Christians at conversion. The apostle John calls it “the anointing which you have received from Him” (I John 2:27), implying that Christians have been ordained, and thus set apart or sanctified, to a task or office that others have not been given.

This sets up a challenge. On the one side are Christians who have freely received God’s Spirit, and on the other are all other human beings who, Paul says, have received “the spirit of the world” (see also Ephesians 2:2). Thus, there is a clash of spirits, a collision of motivating forces, at work between the Christian and the world. The apostle writes in Galatians 5 that the two spirits are diametrically opposed, one producing “the works of the flesh,” while the other bears “the fruit of the Spirit” (verses 16-25). In fact, he declares in Romans 8:7 “The carnal mind is enmity against God”; the worldly person, imbibing of the spirit of this world, lives in hostility to God and cannot do what God commands.

The Spirit from God, though, removes the human hostility and allows the Christian to know—that is, realise, understand, and use—the gracious gifts of God. These gifts are predominantly spiritual blessings rather than physical ones. Jesus advises His disciples not to worry about food, drink, and clothing because God knows that physical human beings need such things to live (Matthew 6:25-32). Instead, He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (verse 33). The Christian’s mind not only during Covid-19 but all the time is to be focused on God’s goal and godly things that will propel him along the way there, and he can do this only by the many gifts bestowed through God’s Spirit.

Take care all and I hope these simple thoughts help you and encourage you along your path.

Every blessing

Mark

Standing out

Hi

May I encourage you to have a quick read of a short event recorded for us in Johns Gospel, the fourth book of the new Testament of the Bible, chapter 9 and verses 12-31?

It is about a blind man made to see and it is clear from the events recorded for us by John that knowledge plays a part in the man’s healing. This theme is suggested by the fact that each of the parties claim both to know and not to know something. Since the claims and the reasons for them differ, the contrasts highlight their various types of knowledge. By their questioning, the Pharisees try to discredit the man’s testimony, attempting to find a cause to brand the healing a fraud and to attack Jesus (verse 19). They imply that the parents should stop lying and come clean (verses 20-21). Yet, the parents affirm two facts: that the healed man was indeed their son and that he was born blind. They knew this, and they were not afraid to confirm it publically.

Conversely, they denied knowing how he came to see and who did the miracle. Why do they not acknowledge what they know of Christ’s role in the healing? They knew what had happened!! The answer is that “they feared the Jews.” They knew that the leaders would excommunicate anyone who confessed Jesus as the Messiah. The parents simply did not want to get involved. They were afraid to acknowledge what had been revealed to them.

This is an accurate picture of many today in my experience, particularly at work where, because of us all being at home and “private” I am having lots of conversations which due to their natural privacy lead the caller to raise these subjects remarkably. The wonderful facts and truths of Christianity have been proclaimed to them—perhaps by parents, friends, nature or the church. Intellectually, they know and some even believe these truths, but they will not admit them. They are afraid to acknowledge Christ for fear of the consequences. The fear of the face of man as it is referred to.

Our role in all of this as Christians is to show just how easy it is to publically admit to the knowledge and faith we have in Jesus Christ both in what we say and how we live. After all when one interrogates all the facts we have then the only logical conclusion is that there is a creator God who revealed himself to the human race in the person of Jesus. So as a Christian I hold the logical position and world view not the other way round! At work I am finding that being confident in holding this position is absolutely imperative to help those around me during Covid-19.

Every blessing

Mark

Together

Good morning and welcome to Monday

Hebrews chapter 10 verses 24-25 says this “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”

The New Testament stresses that Christians need the fellowship of others of like mind. An identifying mark of the true church is that the members have love for one another (John 13:35). Indeed, one of the criteria by which Christ will judge us is how we treat our brethren in the church (Matthew 25:31-46).

We seem to go through seasons in our lives don’t we? At the moment it seems my family and I need to spend a little more time with Christians in other areas and not so much with our own local church ( who have loads of opportunity to fellowship all be it remotely) but these dear folk need fellowship too.

God has given us ample instruction regarding how we should relate to other Christians. It is His purpose to teach us how to get along with each other so we can teach others about these things. We are to be unselfish and concerned for the needs of others (Philippians 2:4). God wants us to learn patience and forgiveness (Colossians 3:13), striving to be “kindly affectionate,” humble, and self-effacing in our dealings with one another (Romans 12:10). We should be giving and hospitable to our brethren (verse 13).

The New Testament is loaded with various admonitions on how we should interact with our brothers and sisters in the church. Obviously, God views our interaction with other Christians as vital to our training to become members of the God Family and qualifying for a position in His Kingdom. He wants us to develop interpersonal skills that equip us to deal with occasional differences of opinion. These are life skills but clearly are also needed in the church family.

Our fellowship should be a source of encouragement to one another. We should use this time to show love to our fellow Christians and to motivate them to perform acts of kindness and service for others. All of these exhortations show a clear need for us to be part of an organisation of God’s people. The spiritual food that God’s true ministers prepare for Christians keen to hear and learn from God is vitally important for our spiritual growth and development. The Apostle Paul talks a lot about this.

I trust these thoughts are stimulating for you all.

Every blessing

Mark

The battle rages on

Hi folks

A slightly complex looking passage from scripture today but as we all slowly but surely find our thinking changing due to lock down and “new rules” towards how we are living and the changes in “church” activities I believe there is a risk to us. the risk of upsetting folk or being upset.

2 Corinthians chapter 2 and verses 6 to 8 say this: “This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”

When put together with II Corinthians 2:11, the apostle Paul is saying that a godly sorrow that leads a person to repentance can actually give Satan the opportunity to turn a person’s feelings about their sin into an abnormal self-pity, which will destroy that despairing person’s relationship with the church and with God. He can turn such a person into a bitter cynic. The Devil is that clever.

It does not end there. In addition, as we make mistakes as surely we will, he can turn the righteous indignation of those who are offended by another’s sin into bitter self-righteousness if they do not forgive and forget and move on. He gets people going and coming unless they are aware that he can turn something good into a ploy to destroy a person’s relationship with God and the church.

These are not the only weapons that Satan has in his arsenal. Remember, we are involved in a war, and a general will employ every kind of ploy, device, tool, or subtle plan to beat and / or confuse the enemy. He will use decoys, infiltration, subversion, propaganda, rumours, misleading leaks of information, and sometimes a frontal attack with diversions on the flanks.

Satan is no different. However, God makes sure to warn us of his subtlety. The Devil creates distractions and illusions to deflect us from reaching our goal. He has the ability to make things that are in God’s purpose unimportant (for instance, material things or vanity) seem important, while eternal, spiritual things he makes seem unimportant, unnecessary, and unrealistic.

So let’s all remain on guard as we press on together

Every blessing

Mark