Reflection on John 17:20-26

Scripture

“May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Observation

This is a part of Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” on the night before He was crucified.

Jesus prays for all believers, not just the twelve with Him, but for the other disciples and or those who down the ages will follow Him.

His prayer is for unity, the sort of unity that Jesus has with His Father.

This unity will be a witness to the world that Jesus was sent by the Father.

Application

When Jesus prays for His followers to be one, in the same way that He and the Father are one, He doesn’t specify how that should happen or what it looks like.

Some people think that unity means one church, and that all distinctives of worship and life style should be removed.

Other people look for a unification at the level of denominations.

Jesus is speaking here of something more organic. He sees love for one another, flowing from God’s love for us, as the important thing. We must love one another because God has loved us. It is love that makes us one.

This unity shows the world that God sent Jesus into the world. People can only understand what love is when they see it in action day by day. How can they know that God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, when those who claim to know Jesus fight and act selfishly?

Jesus also sees unity as a sign of God’s love for us. If God really loves me then that will transform me so much that I will love other people whom God loves. This natural outflow of love will show people that we know His love and live in His love.

Prayer

Lord may your love for your church be shown in all of our relationships with one another so that those who do not know you will be convinced of your love for them. Amen.

Reflection on Acts 16:16-34

Scripture

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved– you and your household.”

Observation

A slave girl possessed by a spirit of divination follows Paul and Silas for several days calling out, “these men are servants of the Most High God who ar telling you the way to be saved.” Finally, Paul casts the spirit out of her.

The owners of the slave girl realise their opportunity to make money has been taken from them. They seize Paul and Silas and taken them to the authorities. Paul and silas are flogged and thrown into prison.

About midnight, Paul and Silas are praying and singing, when there is an earthquake that opens all the prison doors. The jailer is about to kill himself, but Paul tells him the prisoners are all still there.

The jailer taes Paul and Silas home where they shre the gospel with his family, and they are all saved.

Application

The gospel is so simple that the least educated of people can understand it.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”

There is no complicated formula or initiation process. No great knowledge is required. Just an understanding that we are sinners, and Jesus is our Saviour.

One small point needs to be stated about the word “believe.” It really means trust. To believe in Jesus is to trust Him and to accept that our lives now belong to Him. It is not about believing in some facts, but believing in a person.

If you have never put your faith in Jesus as your Saviour, do it now.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I thank you for paying the price for my sins. I put my hope in you and I trust you to show me how to live for you. Amen.

The Great Extinction Myth Exploded

A few weeks ago when the UN report about biodiversity was released, the media unquestioningly reported that millions of species were going extinct and humans are the problem.

My initial, cynical reaction was, “Gee they have discovered that nobody is listening to the climate change scare any more so they’ve found a new scare.”

It also runs counter to what we are seeing around the world. Every year more and more land is converted to national parks, and for some years now the amount of land being reforested exceeds the area being cleared. Agriculture is becoming more efficient, food is more plentiful, people are moving to cities. Even with a still increasing global population we will have plenty of potential food for decades to come.

In fact, the only bleak spots are those caused by the demands of environmentalists. For example the EU has mandated a certain amount of so-called bio-diesel to be used in vehicles, leading to massive clearing of forests in Indonesia and Malaysia to plant palm trees. The other folly is the requirement to use ethanol in petrol in many developed countries. The main source of this is from corn in North America, leading to an increase in the price of corn, a staple food for millions of poor people, of between 5% and 10%

Anyway the extinction report claims that millions of species are going extinct in our time. Here is the only graph in the Summary for Policy Makers

Scary graph, until you look at the labels on the axes. “Cumulative % of species driven extinct.” It is not clear exactly what that means, but it does seem to be adding all the previous values as you go. That curve can never go down. It’s a bit like the old “hockey stick” of Al Gore fame.

Here is the actual number of extinctions per decade recorded by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

So, it’s not quite zero, but we are heading in the right direction- the opposite direction to the one the UN would have us believe.

Oh look that decline is happening right through the period of time when so-called human caused global warming is happening.

These graphs are from a much more detailed article by Gregory Wrightson which I encourage you to read.

The so-called “Mass Extinction” is, sadly, another example of science being politicised and twisted to cause alarm.