Reflection on John 3:19-42

Reflection on John 3:19-42

Scripture

“Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have now heard for ourselves. Now we know that he is the Saviour of the world.”

Observation

The woman turns the discussion to where is the right place to worship. Jesus tells her that the time has already come that the Father does not care about where we worship God but that we worship in spirit and in truth.

The disciples return and urge Jesus to eat something. Jesus replies that His food is to do the will of the Father.

Many of the Samaritan villagers believe in Jesus because of the testimony of the woman, More importantly they believe He is the Saviour because they encounter Jesus for themselves.

Application

The woman believes in Jesus because she recognises He is a prophet. He told her her life story then gave a new account of a God who loves everybody and not just the Jews.

She tells her friends who come to see for themselves. They believe in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. Meeting Jesus for themselves is a different, deeper experience.

John’s story of the expanding kingdom of God is about people encountering Jesus and then taking their testimony of that experience to others who come to see for themselves who Jesus is.

Our personal testimony of Jesus is the greatest tool of evangelism that we have. Nobody can argue with our experience.

Secondly there is an invitation, “Come and see this man who told me everything I have done.” At their own meeting with Jesus He becomes more than an abstract theory but a real person.

People are not saved by hearing a personal testimony but it is a great place to start. Having shared that testimony, we need to pray that they will move on to their own encounter with Jesus,

Prayer

Thank you Lord for saving me from sin. Please help me to share my story and to invite others to come and meet Jesus. Amen.

Reflection on John 3:22-36

Scripture

“No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.”

Observation

Jesus spends some time baptising people. Some of John’s disciples come to John and say that Jesus is getting more baptisms than John is. John replies that Jesus is the Messiah. He, Jesus, must become greater while John becomes less.

Jesus is from heaven and testifies about heavenly thing. John, on the other hand, is from the earth and testifies about earthly things.

Application

When people pursue spiritual gifts or ministries, there can be a tendency to forget that they are gifts or callings given by the Holy Spirit, They can run off at a tangent, chasing an experience of God rather than chasing God Himself.

John’s disciples missed the point about John’s ministry, a mistake made by Jesus’ disciples later. It was not about the number of people being baptised by their group. The point of John’s ministry was to pave the way for Jesus.

Whatever we seek, it only comes as a gift from God, whether we recognise that or not.

This apples in families and businesses also. The top entrepreneurs in the world get to be rich and famous because they worked hard and because God gave them a particular gifting.

Every good gift comes from our heavenly Father. We can do nothing unless God allows it.

So when we pursue something from God, we need to make sure the gift or ministry is not an idol, that is something that becomes more important to us than God Himself.

If we remember that everything is a gift from God, our hearts will be filled with gratitude and thankfulness- a much healthier state than the anger and sense of entitlement that mark much of our society.

Prayer

Than you Lord for every good gift from your hand. Amen.

Reflection on John 1:35-44

The Brick Testament

Scripture
Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).

Observation
Two of John’s disciples meet Jesus, and John declares that Jesus is the Lamb of God. The disciples follow Him and remain with Him. One of these disciples is Andrew, who goes off to find his brother, Simon, telling him, “We have found the Messiah.”

The next day, Jesus goes off to Galilee, where He meets Philip and tells him, “Come and follow me.”

Application
There are many ways in which people find Jesus. One of them is when trusted teachers, perhaps a pastor or other father in the faith, explains that Jesus is the “Lamb of God” for us.

Another way is to be introduced to Jesus by a friend or relative. They may not have all the answers, but they know Jesus is the Messiah. In their excitement they share the Good News about Jesus,

Some people find Jesus through a direct call from Him to “Come and follow me.”

Over and over we read in John’s gospel of people testifying to their experience of Jesus, and many people come to faith as a result.

When we think of evangelism it can seem to be a daunting task. What if I say the wrong thing? What if they don’t want to listen? What if they ask questions I can’t answer?

All we have to say is “Come and find Jesus the Messiah.”

Jesus’ message was also very simple. “The kingdom of God is here. Turn away from your sins and follow me.”

We don’t need classes to do this; we just need to do it!

Prayer
Lord, many people have come to faith through a simple invitation. Help me to be like Andrew and tell people, “I have found the Messiah.” Please show me the people you are already working on, and give me boldness to speak for you. Amen.

Eight Billion Reasons

From wikipedia

Gillette, the world’s biggest purveyor of men’s shaving accessories, decided that it needed to jump on the “progressive” (i.e. crazy leftist) bandwagon.

First it thought it would be cool to insult its customer base (i.e. mainly men) by accusing them of being accessories to bullying and domestic violence by letting it go on right under their noses and being afraid to confront their mates.

Not content with insulting their customers, they turned up the dial to complete revulsion with an ad featuring a transgender person learning to shave his/her face.

I’m not sure whether these ads were confined to the USA or whether they made their way to Australia. Where I live the TV ads are mainly local companies, agricultural products and junk food, so I don’t know what city people endure.

I do know that people all over decided to dump Gillette and buy products by other companies, such as this one.

So the big reason to revisit this is Gillette recently revealed their financial results for the last year.

A LOSS of $8 billion.

They put it down to people shaving less frequently,but that has been a fashion trend for several years now, which a normal commercial entity would work around.

$8 billion (US Dollars, that is)

That is $1 for every person on the planet.

Yet another confirmation of the saying: “Go woke, go broke.”

Jacinta Price: Power, inclusion and exclusion; my concerns about a ‘Voice’

Is the so-called “Voice” to Parliament a way to real Aboriginal reconciliation or is it just another good but wasteful idea? Were the people who came up with the idea representative of the general Aboriginal community?

Jacinta Price writes:

Power, inclusion and exclusion; my concerns about a ‘Voice’

Jacinta Nampijinpa Price

20 JULY 2019 | NITV SBS ONLINE

The Uluru Statement of the Heart proposes a ‘Voice’ representing Indigenous Australians be enshrined within the constitution, to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be formally consulted on legislation and policy affecting their communities.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt has suggested such a ‘Voice’ could be legislated rather than embedded within our constitution.

However, before we debate how, and in what form a ‘Voice’ might be implemented, we need to discuss some important aspects.

The first matter of concern, who was representing me when the all big decisions were being made?

Going back to 2017 when the First Nations National Constitutional Convention was held at Uluru, the representatives in attendance were invited by nominees of the Referendum Council; and not elected by Indigenous people.

Much of the media attention has ignored the fact that there were and still are dissenting – and unheard – Indigenous voices throughout the entire process of the development of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.

Secondly, for far too long Aboriginal people have been portrayed as being one homogenous group of people who all think the same; and the Uluru Statement has now further entrenched this idea. The reality is, this could not be further from the truth.

We don’t have one voice and we never have. This has been a construct that undermines us.

The Palawa of Tasmania have real, genuine problems that need to be addressed. At the other end of the country, the Tiwi also have real, genuine problems that need to be addressed. And in the middle there are the Warlpiri, with their own set of real problems. And many other group with their own problems as well.

To try to put them all in the one basket and to treat them as if they are all the same is a grotesque denial of their rights to see themselves as different and distinct linguistic and cultural groups, with their own distinct histories of contact with Europeans and experience of colonisation.

We would not want to send Tiwi and Warlpiri to Tasmania to sort out their problems for them and we wouldn’t expect Palawa to come to the NT to sort out the problems of remote communities. Each of these groups are the only ones who can solve their own problems in their own unique way.

And what of our non-Indigenous loved ones and relatives. A clear majority of those who identify as Indigenous now have children with those who don’t. In the southern cities of Sydney and Melbourne, over 80% of Indigenous  people are coupled with non-Indigenous partners and have children. Roughly the same percentage of their children identify as Indigenous.

Do our non-Indigenous loved ones have no say in the future of their own children and grandchildren?

Thirdly, as Indigenous people, we all know that those with powerful positions within our communities tend to have most of the resources and most of the control. Those who have managed to take advantage of the plentiful resources available in the Aboriginal industry have done so without effecting much change for the most vulnerable.

Do we imagine that a ‘Voice’ will empower the marginalised or will it entrench those who already maintain control of the resources that flow into Aboriginal disadvantage? While there are many community controlled organisations working tirelessly to stem disadvantage, we are acutely aware of those embedded within some Aboriginal organisations and institutions, who are there for their own personal and financial gains.

Will yet another bureaucracy such as a legislated ‘Voice’ simply give more power to those who haven’t yet demonstrated that they can solve the critical issues our marginalised Australians are faced with?

Truth telling is as much a responsibility we should put upon ourselves as it is for our entire nation in understanding our combined history. The real question — which did not appear in the Uluru Statement — is ‘what are we going to do for ourselves?’

In practical terms, stripping back bureaucracy to support grassroots decision-making from community to community suggests real empowerment — as opposed to an umbrella ‘Voice’ that we will never truly gain consensus on, because we are not simply one people.

These issues require robust debate so as not to push this process along blindly, and then suffer the consequences later.

What Is A Man?

Matt Walsh: I Asked A Left-Wing Doctor To Define The Word ‘Man.’ He Couldn’t Do It.

Jose Miguel Lisbona / EyeEm via Getty Images

By MATT WALSH @MATTWALSHBLOGJuly 17, 2019

As I have argued in the past, left-wing gender theory can be entirely dismantled and debunked with one simple question: What is a man? All of the talking points, all of the sermonizing, all of the stuff about “transgenderism” and “gender fluidity” and “gender spectrums” — all of it is blown to pieces by a question that my six-year-old could answer. No leftist who espouses gender theory can provide a coherent answer to this question. Few will even attempt it.

It is a classic double-edged sword. If “man” has no objective definition, then it is meaningless for a woman to identify as one. A statement like “transmen are men” is hollow and absurd if the word “man” has no meaning. But if it does have meaning, then we must admit that the meaning of the word stands independent of anyone’s feelings or opinions on the matter. If the word “man” means something, then it is possible for someone to wrongly identify as one. We can, in that case, compare their identity claims against the objective meaning of the term and determine whether their claim is correct or incorrect. Leftists can’t have that, of course, but neither can they have the alternative. If “man” has no definition, their position is destroyed. If it does, their position is destroyed. They lose either way. And they know it, so most will simply avoid the question and continue using words they can’t and won’t define.

But this week, a relatively prominent leftist made the mistake of not avoiding the question. Best of all, this particular leftist is a doctor. Dr. Eugene Gu, a self-described “surgeon-scientist,” made a decidedly unscientific claim on Twitter:

Eugene Gu, MD✔@eugenegu

It’s a scientific and medical fact that men can get pregnant and also have abortions. Trans men and non-binary individuals are human beings who deserve to be acknowledged by society. They choose their own identity—not me, not you, not any doctor, and certainly not any politician.

Rather than mock this superstitious nonsense, I asked him the unanswerable (for a leftist) question:

Matt Walsh✔@MattWalshBlog

Doctor, what is a man? Please provide a definition. Thank you.

Read the rest of the article here