Love the sinner…

Advertisements

Reflection on Matthew 17:1-9

Transfigurationbloch

Scripture

While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him.”

Observation

Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a high mountain. While they are there, Jesus is transfigured, his face shining brightly and his clothes dazzling.

Suddenly Moses and Elijah appear and talk to Jesus. Peter offers to build three shelters for them.

A cloud comes over and a voice speaks to them announcing that Jesus is God’s beloved Son.

The disciples fall to the ground in fear. When they look up Jesus is alone.

Application

What we see with our physical eyes and interpret with our brains is only a faint shadow of reality. Often we need that blinding revelation to see things as they really are.

Christians find it easy to fit into a comfortable groove. We operate with a devotional routine, say the easy prayers and fail to see what is really happening around us.

We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, learning to listen to Him and depend on His wisdom.

We need to learn to see the Lord as He really is, not the safe image we prefer to worship.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, reveal yourself to me again. May I see your glory, the reality of who you are. Amen

Reflection on 2 Peter 1:16-21

Transfigurationbloch

Scripture

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Observation

Peter did not preach about human myths and theories because he was an eyewitness to Christ’s glory. He saw God’s glory come down on Christ and announce, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

So Peter’s experience confirms the prophetic words of the Old Testament. No prophecy of Scripture can be a matter of our own interpretation because it comes to us through the Holy Spirit.

Application

The difference between the Bible and every other religious book is that it is not human theory, but an historical record of God’s dealings with people. Even the claims of Jesus to be the Messiah go back to historical prophecies confirmed by contemporary eyewitnesses.

The great claims of the faith rely on a chain of eyewitness accounts coming down over 2000 years. My testimony is a vital part of that chain, just as the apostle Peter’s was.

The story of God is shown today in lives being changed one day at a time by the gentle unstoppable pressure of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Thank you Jesus for saving me and revealing your glory to me. Now reveal your glory through me that others can see your saving power. Amen.

Reflection on Psalm 99

psalms

 

The Lord reigns!

Everyone rejoice!

He sits in the glory cloud

Fire and smoke hide Him

 

The Lord is mighty

He rules over the earth

Come on, let’s worship Him

Come let’s praise His name

 

Teach me Lord

To seek your presence

Let your glory fall

Here as on Mt Sinai

 

Reflection on Exodus 24:9-18

Scripture
Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.

Observation
Moses and Aaron and the elders of Israel approach the mountain, and they see God. The Lord tells Moses to come to the top of the mountain, so he takes Joshua and they ascend.
As Moses goes toward the summit, the glory of God covers it. The Lord calls to Moses from the glory cloud which appears to be like devouring fire.

Application
Words cannot describe the glory of God- it’s a cloud, smoke, devouring fire.
The presence of the Lord defies our minds to describe. To the believer it is a cause for wonder. To the unbeliever it is a cause for fear.
The presence of God was what drove Moses on. His heart’s desire was to know the Lord ever more intimately.
That same desire should drive us also. Prayer, Bible study, and other disciplines are dry and deadly unless we are pursiong the presence of the Lord. But when we truly meet with the Lord- what glory we find and what joy.

Prayer
Lord make me like Moses who desired above all the be in your presence. Give me that same passion. Amen.

Flat earthers or real scientists?

Jo Nova writes:

Almost everything the media tells you about sceptics is wrong: they’re engineers and hard scientists. They like physics too.

In the mainstream media, skeptics are called Flat-Earthers, Deniers, and ideologues who deny basic physics. So it’s no surprise that they are exactly the opposite. A recent survey of 5,286 readers of leading skeptical blogs shows that the people driving the skeptical debate are predominantly engineers and hard scientists with backgrounds like maths, physics and chemistry. Which group in the population are least likely to deny basic physics?  Skeptics.

I asked Mike Haseler for more details:

  • around half of respondents had worked in engineering and a quarter in science
  • around 80% had degrees of which about 40% were “post graduate” qualified.
  • Respondents were asked which areas they had formal “post-school qualification”. A third said “physics/chemistry. One third said maths. Just under 40% said engineering. 40% said they had post school training in computer programming.

Furthermore, the media “debate” is nothing like the real debate. Four out of five skeptics agree our emissions cause CO2 levels to rise, that Co2 causes warming, and that global temperatures have increased. In other words, the mainstream media journalists have somehow entirely missed both the nature of the skeptics and the nature of the debate.

The so called “experts” (say like Stephan Lewandowsky, and John Cook) either don’t understand what drives skeptics, or they know but do their best “not to accidentally discover it” with irrelevant surveys, loaded questions, poor sampling and bad methodology. (I’m going with incompetence). Lewandowsky, after all, tried to figure out the motivation of skeptics by asking people who hate them if they believe Diana was murdered. Not surprisingly he didn’t find out that about half of skeptics are Engineers, but he did find 10 anonymous people on the Internet who said the moon landing was faked. This is the kind of result only government funded science could achieve.

The big question this survey doesn’t answer is why no government funded groups seem to have done this obvious research long ago. The climate is supposedly a high priority, so understanding skeptics would seem “sort of” useful. Then again, it’s only useful if you wanted to figure out whether there was a consensus, or if you wanted to reach one. I guess that’s not the aim…

Mike Haseler has done a great job here on a much needed task. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the results in future.

Full credit to all the other skeptics who didn’t need the hard science training to see the flaws. They sagely picked the correct side of the scientific debate. Congrats to those lawyers, farmers, doctors, taxi-drivers, and pool shop owners (I spoke to one yesterday) plus kids, and countless other sane brains who are not easily fooled.

Science, of course, is a philosophy, not a certificate.

There is much more in the full article