Reflection on John 15:18-27

Scripture

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.”

Observation

The world system hates Jesus, so it will hate His followers. We have been called out of the world by Jesus, therefore the world hates us.

The world rejected Jesus and therefore the Father. They would not be guilty, but He came and taught the Good News and did many miraculous signs to testify to who He is. They saw these hings and rejected Him anyway.

Jesus will send an Advocate, the spirit of truth, to testify to the disciples about Jesus.

Application

The world system hates christians because we are not of this world.

Every day christians are persecuted in various ways– torture, beatings, prison, even death. The media will highlight Muslims or Hindus being persecuted, but they wilfully ignore the many more christians who are persecuted.

Why is this?

Governments are of the world system. The media are of the world system. Academics and other commentators are of the world system.

The world protects its own, but refuses to acknowledge christians who are, by definition, not of the world.

At the point where we decide to follow Jesus we are lifted from the tribe called “people of the world” and placed into the tribe called “people of the Lord.”

The world is offended by christians who offend its empty morality. We offend their empty philosophies and world views. We offend their desire to be self-sufficient and controlling of all things.

We should not be surprised that the world hates us. But we must also learn to love those who oppose us and call us enemies.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please help me to love those who the me for your sake. Help me to testify to your great grace, that they may see you in me. Amen.

Reflection on John 15:1-17

Scripture

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener.”

Observation

Jesus is the true vine. The Father is the gardener who prunes the vine, cutting off the fruitless and pruning the fruitful branches so they produce even more fruit.

To do anything, we must remain in the vine. Without Jesus we can do nothing. If we do not remain in Him, we will be thrown away. But if we remain in Him, we can ask for anything, and it will be granted to us.

We must remain in Jesus’ love. Then our joy will overflow.

Application

Jesus is the true vine, and we are the branches. Our ability to bear fruit for Him depends on our commitment to Christ. We must remain in Him.

What does it mean to remain in Him? I think this is about an abiding relationship. We pursue Him in order to be with Him, not for what He can do for us. We seek to go deeper in Him because we love Him. We bring Him into every facet of our lives, because He is the source of our life.

When we abide in Christ, we do not have to strive to bear fruit for Him. A grape vine does not worry about how to make grapes. This is in its nature.

Our Father is the gardener. When He sees that something is awry in our lives, He proceeds to fix it. We are not responsible for it all.

When I surrender my heart to the Lord, I give Him permission to take out of my life everything that hinders the relationship. This is called pruning, and sometimes it hurts. We trust that He knows what He is doing, and that He will make us fruitful.

Prayer

Lord Jesus please help me stay deeply connected to you. Help me to remain in you and to trust you fr every step in my life. Amen.

Reflection on John 14:15-31

Scripture

“If you love me you will obey what I command.”

Observation

If we love Jesus we will obey Him. He will send the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor, to be with us.

Because Jesus is alive, we too will live. Anyone who loves Jesus will obey Him, but if anyone does not love Jesus they will not obey Him, and the Father will not dwell with them.

Jesus will soon go away from them. Satan has no power over Him, but He must go to the cross to show the world that He obeys the Father.

Application

If we love Jesus, we will obey all His commands. If we do not love Him, we will not obey Him.

This is not legalism! This is not performance christianity!

Those who love Jesus find that they want to do the things that He wants. Gradually, out of love for Jesus, they become more like Him.

It is not, “Obey my commands to prove you love me.” No, love comes first and then a promise. “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”

In the next verse, He gives us the key. “I will send the Counsellor.”

We don’t do this alone! Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and helps us every day to live for Christ.

We say, “Yes”, to Jesus when we get saved. The Holy Spirit comes in and shows us what that means. We listen to the Spirit and find, over time, that we love Jesus more and more.

Eventually, all those sins which once were so enticing to us, lose their appeal because we love Jesus more than the pleasured of sin.

Prayer

Lord Jesus I love you! Help me to love you more. May my heart so be full of love for you that your commandments become a joy not a burden. Amen.

Why The Green Transition Is Doomed In One Graph

Tackling climate change and transitioning to so-called “green power” are foolish aims.

In the developed nations, like Australia, we are busily rising power costs, driving out manufacturing and wondering every summer if we will have enough power to get us through. We are rationing power, paying large users of power to curtail their use in peak demand times, and generally turning our advanced grid into third world status. The total OECD energy consumption is steady.

Meanwhile, in the developing nations, like China, India, Brazil etc, they are embracing cheap fossil fuels to enable their rapid economic development. They don’t care about the evil CO2 molecules heating the world, they just want to lift their people out of abject poverty.

Some Sermons

Big apologies to everyone who hangs out for our weekly sermons from New Life. I just have not uploaded them to the internet.

Today’s sermon is based on John 13:31-38. Click here to listen in your browser, here to download the mp3.

Last Sunday, I talked about Two Cultures, from Revelation 21,22. Click here to listen in your browser, here to download the mp3

The 3rd was our church’s 23rd birthday. Click here to listen in your browser, here to download the mp3

I will try to return to my former pattern of uploading sermons every Sunday afternoon.

Reflection on John 14:1-14

Scripture

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s house. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”

Observation

Jesus encourages the disciples not to be troubled. He will come back when He has prepared a place for them in the Father’s house.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him.

Philip says, “Show us the Father.” Jesus says that anyone who have seen Jesus has seen the Father.

Anyone who believes in Jesus will do even greater things, and anyone who asks for anything in His name will receive what they ask for.

Application

The gospel of salvation is available to every person who puts their faith in Jesus. There is plenty of room in the Father’s house.

Salvation is not limited to a certain group or nationality or the 144,000 of Revelation.

God desires that all people should be able to receive salvation. There is plenty of room in heaven.

The reference to going and preparing a place and then returning is part of the Jewish wedding process. After the engagement, the groom- to- be would prepare an extension at his father’s house. When all was ready, the marriage itself would take place, and the bride would be taken to the place prepared for her.

Jesus is using the analogy to compare the way of discipleship to the covenant of marriage- an intimate, life-long relationship.

His love for us is never ending. He loves us passionately and eternally, and He will never let us go.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, thank you for your great love for all people, especially for me. Thank you for the assurance that you will never let me go or abandon me. Amen.