Scientists have captured a flash of light that occurs at the moment of conception
Read passage: Link
“See! I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
John describes the new Jerusalem.
In the new Jerusalem the presence of God is so strong that there is no need for a light such as the sun and moon because the glory of God lights the city.
The nations will walk by the light of the city and kings will come to bring their glory to it. Nothing unclean can come into the city, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The river of life flows from the throne of God and the tree of life grows on both sides of the river. The tree bears fruit all year long, and its leaves bring healing to the nations.
Our first impulse is to read this passage as relating to the end times. In one sense this is true, but we need to see that this city is on earth not in heaven and it is here and now not in the future.
The city represents the church, the body of believers around the world. The light of the glory of God shines from us into the world. We are the temple of God and so there is no need for a physical temple. The river of life flows from us into the world bringing life and healing to all who will receive Christ.
Wherever I am today is somehow a part of God’s plan of transforming the world by bringing people into a living relationship with Him.
And this is now, not one day in the future.
Lord you have called me into your glorious kingdom through the death and resurrection of your dear Son. Let your glory shine through me into the nations. Amen.
Read passage: Acts 16.9-15
When he had seen the vision, we immediately turned to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.
Paul and his apostolic band are travelling, but, as they attempt to go to various places, the Holy Spirit blocks them. Then Paul has a vision in the night, seeing a Macedonian man pleading with him to come to them.
The group travels to Macedonia, ending up in Philippi, a leading city in the region. On the Sabbath they go to the river bank expecting to find a gathering place for the Jews. There they find some women meeting for prayers. They share the good news with them and at least one of them, Lydia, is saved. She and her household are baptised.
It is clear from the text that the Holy Spirit was determined that Paul travels to Philippi, resisting other plans that Paul has. When he goes to the place directed by the Spirit, the ministry there is fruitful.
There are many times when God allows us to make decisions based on our own wisdom and thinking. There are other times when the Lord narrows down our options until we pick the way he wants us to go.
All of our planning and deciding needs to be done in sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. The bigger the decision, the more we need to pray and listen for the still small voice.
Help me Lord to grow in sensitivity to your voice. Amen
From “My Utmost For His Highest”
The usual predictable dire warning that surround Earth Day have been somewhat overshadowed by the celebrations of the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Stupid humans we are too busy living to notice we are supposed to be dead.
Here are some of the predictions made at the time of the first Earth Day in 1970- and this was even before they invented Global Warming.
Australia sometimes gets dragged into America’s perennial gun law debates and the claim is often made that our laws made no difference to homicide rates. Well here are the figures and they are pretty impressive.
From The Land:
Deputy Premier Troy Grant says no changes are flagged for NSW gun laws
April 21, 2016, 11 a.m.
Last week John Dickson, a prominent Christian commentator, reported that a post of his had been removed from Facebook. He had written a respectful commentary on the push for same sex marriage and someone had complained. After Dickson protested to Facebook the post was restored.
Other Christian commentators have also noted from time to time that their posts mysteriously disappear from Facebook, especially when they write something contrary to the “establishment position” on sexuality issues.
Facebook is a private company and so they can regulate the contents of their web-site any way they like. They can delete posts they don’t agree with and promote ideas that they like.
It is ironic that destructive media such as porn can publish almost any vile or perverted thing with impunity, but those who call for traditional values on sexuality often find their appeals stifled by providers.
Here is the good news- you don’t have to be on facebook. Many platforms for promoting ideas exist outside of facebook and are not censored. Some of them require some work to get up and running.
Blogs are great. A blog is simply a collection of articles produced by one person or group over a period of time. This article is written on a blog. Most browsers allow you to subscribe to various blogs (sometimes via extensions to the browser). You read the content you want uncensored by any corporation. This wikipedia article on blogs is very interesting.
A blog (or RSS feed) usually has this symbol on it. Some browsers show the symbol in the URL bar. Subscribe to the blog and you can automatically receive articles as they are posted to it.
If you use a variety of devices, and want to read blogs in more than one place, then an aggregation service might be the thing for you. I use feedly.com. Rather than subscribing to each blog on every computer, phone or tablet you own, you just log in to feedly and enter your blog details there. The nice thing is that feedly has an app for mobile devices, and many desktop and laptop web browsers have extensions that will notify you of new posts and allow you to look at a summary list without going to the feedly page.
If you want to produce your own blog, there are many providers who will let you set up your own blog for free. WordPress.com and blogger.com are the best known of these, but there are thousands of them. In a matter of minutes you can set up your own blog and be publishing your ideas to the world. Often these free services put ads on the bottom of your posts and offer a premium service where for a small fee you can have the ads removed. If you want your thoughts to be posted on other social media sites, most have buttons that allow you to link to facebook etc.
The other under-recognised social media platform is Google Plus. Whereas Facebook is where you link up with friends and acquaintances, G+ is a place where you can quickly meet up with a huge community of people who share the same interests you have- the friends you would like to have in real life. I find that generally people are more positive, respectful and have more useful things to say on G+ than on FB. Google have done a great job in fostering communities of interest and in allowing people to control who they share with than facebook. As far as I know there has not been the kind of censoring that takes place on facebook.
I am finding that, after a number of years on social media, I am tending more to turn to the blog if I have something substantial to say, Google Plus for short comments or specific interests and less involvement on facebook except for local, family and church-related things.
So even though it feels like facebook is universal and everyone is on it, there are other media for communication.
Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
A new heaven and a new earth are created, and the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven.
The home of God is now with men. He dwells with us and wipes away every tear. All death and its accompaniments of grief, crying and pain are gone.
Those who stand firm in Christ will inherit all things, but those who oppose God’s ways will be sent to the lake of fire.
In many ways this passage is already true although for now we see partly and in the future we will see it clearly.
The New Jerusalem is the church, the bride prepared for her husband. Death has been conquered, and Christ is on the throne. He is making all things new and He gives us His living water.
All of this is the inheritance of the saints now.
There will be a future judgement, and we must be ready for that. The children of God, the disciples of Christ, will be ushered into an eternity of grace and life.
What a joy is given to those who walk with Him- in this life and the next.
Thank you, Jesus. You bring such hope and joy in this life, but the best is yet to come. Hallelujah! Amen.