Posts Tagged With: King James Bible

The Destructive Nature Of Anger

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Anger is an emotion that all of us have felt or will feel! A formless force that manifests itself in many ways, often in the destruction or (attempted destruction) of whatsoever crosses our path.

Now whilst there are many that struggle with anger problems, often because of deep-seated personal issues, anger is such that even the most mild mannered lady or gentlemen can exhibit feelings of intense rage. Now is this all bad? Not necessarily, in the bible we are told that Jesus Christ got angry, often times at the hardness of people’s hearts towards his words.

In other passages, we are told that due to the lack of respect shown to the temple, he proceeded to physically cleanse the temple of moneychangers & those that bought & sold in the temple with whip in hand.

Now I bring up Christ to highlight the fact that anger in itself is not a bad thing, if the anger is directed towards unrighteousness or injustices. The problem though is that many of us get angry for the wrong reasons! Even if initially our fit of rage is justified.

I picture anger like a man balancing spinning plates; whilst initially he could be successful in balancing a few, as the intensity grows of balancing more & more, he quickly finds that he cannot keep track of all the plates as they begin to smash on the ground, before he knows it, what started out as a simple (albeit complex manoeuvre) becomes something he has no control over.

It’s the same with anger, we often times open up a pandora’s box of hurt, when we let anger control us & ultimately consume us. The bible of course has much to say about this;

Make no friendship with an angry man;
and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Proverbs 22:24

An angry man stirreth up strife,
and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. Proverbs 29:22

Two verses to name a few, highlighting the dangers of allowing anger to sit within us for long periods of time.

The bible says in Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil

Showing us that anger becomes a problem when we don’t deal with it. The bible’s timeframe of dealing with anger is 1 day, but often times we harbour anger in our hearts for many days, months, years even. We allow it to fester & canker in our hearts, eating us from inside & robbing us of our joy

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The bible says let it go! In a sinful world filled with sinful men & women, the chances of you harbouring anger is extremely high, but understand that in Christ, we have a Saviour who not only took care of the anger of God towards sinners by appeasing it through his own sacrificial death, but forever lives to make intercession for us.

The sustained anger we often show towards others is the same anger that was dealt with on the cross. Can we not show the extended hand of grace to others who have ruffled us?

Is there a time to be angry? Oh yeah!! Christians should not downplay this, but there is a difference between anger at injustices, disrespect & sin & plain anger due to emotional instability (bruised ego, pride etc)

Let’s identify them both & act accordingly! A life ruled by emotions is an unstable & dangerous life to live. Choose rather to be governed by principles & grace.  Amen

 

 

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An Attitude Of Bitterness Is No Excuse.


You know it’s been a while I wrote a blog post, when I had to use my password protect app to locate my WordPress username & password to login 😕

So here I am again, with a quick thought taken from my general reading through the book of Ezekiel. Have I ever mentioned that I love the books of Jeremiah & Ezekiel?

Do I understand everything from them? No…..but the more you read, the more God opens your heart to his Word.

As I read through Chapter 3 of Ezekiel, the verses 12-17 stood out to me. In these verses, you get a glimpse of the attitude of the prophet Ezekiel! Drawing in the immediate context of what is going on at this period, we understand that the captivity of Judah had already taken place; Nebuchadnezzar has besieged Judah & rounded up the choice men & women for Babylon. King Jehoiachin who was the king of Judah at the time, was also taken to captivity, Nebuchadnezzar instilled Zedekiah as the last king of the remnants of Judah. (2Kings 24:10-15)

Ezekiel who was one of the captives of Judah is called of God to be a prophet as he & the captives are dwelling at the river Chebar in the land of Babylon (Ezekiel 1:1-3)

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. Ezekiel 1:1-3

The commands of God to Ezekiel are clear,

1: Go preach to my people

2: Warn them to turn back to me

3: Tell them I have not forgotten them

4: Warn other nations of my judgments

Now prior to Ezekiel leaving to preach to the remnant of those captive, this is what is said of Ezekiel in terms of his attitude to the command of God “So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.” Ezekiel 3:14

Now bare in mind, Ezekiel had lived through some of the rebellious years of Judah, & grew up during the reign of King Josiah to Jehoiachin, so he had legitimate reason to be upset with his people for how they had disobeyed God.

Let’s not forget also that God makes it clear to Ezekiel that whilst he will have the ears of the people, they WILL not listen to him “But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.” Ezekiel 3:7

So Ezekiel was aggrieved & bitter in his spirit towards the people, but the Spirit of God was still strong on him as he took him to the captives. Showing that Ezekiel had a heart of obedience, even though he himself did not particularly like the task at hand, nevertheless he obeyed God.

Now whilst Ezekiel left in bitterness & anger to the people, his attitude changed during a period of 7 days as he sat amongst them “Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. Ezekiel 3:15

Ezekiel, once he had been amongst the remnant, no doubt seeing the state in which the people were in, his heart softened to the cause. This reminds me of Christ’s surmisings & compassion he had for the people in Matthew 9:36 that they were scattered like sheep with no shepherd.

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36

Ezekiel would go on for 48 huge chapters obeying God, sometimes undertaking some of the most difficult tasks God had ever given to man, solidifying himself as a great prophet of God & a giant of the faith, but that was not how he started.

All of this to say this one simple fact; sometimes God calls us to obey him, when we may have our own reservations as to why we should not. Maybe a past hurt, or fear, past disappointments, disillusionment, doubts, inadequacy etc but regardless if we have these thoughts, just like Ezekiel, it should not stop us from obeying the command of God, in whatever capacity God has called us to. God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Amen

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We Had No Right (short poem)

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He drank until there was nothing left.
My guilt, his love, 3 days of restlessness.

The cup of indignation which was meant for me.
The second of the three, drank it amongst scheming thieves.

Who am I? That the Saviour should bleed? My sin, oh gracious Lord you intercede
You deserve all the glory!
All hail the King of this story.

A new chapter unfolded, the grave clothes were graciously folded.
The dark day gave way to clear displays.
The stone rolled away, you gracious Lord, are the only Way.

– Sal

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Thankful 2014 Edition (10 Things)

Thankful (1)WOW WOW WOW 2014 has been one of those years where if I were told in January, what I would experience by December, I would have…………believed it! Because that’s the way life is, but I still would have been in awe of how these random events would fit into a tightly knit puzzle called 2014.

Suffice to say that 2014 has exceeded my expectations of how I envisioned God working in my life personally! With all that has gone on, I feel it necessary to continue my tradition of writing a “Thankful Post” the end of every year just so I remind myself that above anything else. God is Good.

So here are my top 10 things that made me thankful in 2014.

  1. Health – Never underestimate the blessing of just having good health. Many of my Christian brothers & sisters have fallen ill throughout the year & my prayer goes out to them, so to take health for granted is a big mistake.
  2. Chanced Encounters  – London, my city is a place where you can meet various people at any given time. I have had the pleasure of meeting really interesting people throughout 2014. Some who have stuck around, others who stayed just for a short while. All with interesting backgrounds & from different walks of life. It really opens your eyes to the world we live in. As Christians, we cannot be closed minded, the world is crying out for truth & as bastions of truth, we have to let the light shine as Christ taught us to do.
  3. Single Vision Conference – I attended the Single Vision Conference in Florida once again this year & just like previous years, it was of tremendous encouragement to me. Not only did I meet so many other like-minded believers, but I got to hear some truly inspirational talks & sermons from people I look up to.
  4. My Heritage – I am thankful that I am made in the image of God of the melanoid variety 🙂 – 2014 has made me more aware of my heritage than ever before, both good & bad. Regardless of everything, I am thankful of who God has made me.
  5. Hobbies – 2014 had it fair share of stressful moments, but whenever I needed to let some steam off, football or running came to my rescue. For those few moments nothing else mattered, except playing for my team & pushing myself to deliver on the pitch or run further than I’ve ever ran.
  6. Missionaries To London – Thankful for those who give their lives to bring the gospel to my city. Praying for more church plants in 2015 & that God would use me to plant a church someday in London
  7. Consistency – Life is a series of mundane tasks the best of times, but it’s in the mundane that men & women are forged. God blesses those who are diligent in the mundane but necessary tasks of the day
  8. My Bible – Battered, worn out, highlighted, paper clipped, smudged, bent, ripped……it just gets more beautiful the longer I have it.
  9. My Church – My sanctuary away from this crazy world. God’s house, God’s people.
  10. Family – Life is busy, but when we get together………… 🙂

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What are you thankful for this year?

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21

Sal

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Lessons From The Piccadilly Umbrella Man

UmbrellaPiccadilly Circus is known for it’s exuberant and often comical collection of indie performers, all vying for the attention and money of pass-by tourists and regular central London enthusiasts.

 

It was then highly comical to see a performer today of which the word “talent-less” would go hand to hand with. An act consisting of holding a windswept umbrella in a position which would give the illusion of a windy day in London would hardly get the creative juices flowing neither would compel tourists to cough up their hard-earned coffers.

 

WHAT a surprise then to see such an act gather the crowds and bring in the money, maybe it was the simplicity of it all, or rather the nonsensical act of holding a windswept umbrella in a clearly wind-less day. Whatever it was, people loved it and it brought a smile on many children’s faces.

 

As I sat and watched, it suddenly dawned on me that this guy probably has worked hard with whatever small idea he had to perfect his act. To us simpletons watching on the sidelines, it looked so easy, one would be excused for thinking it’s just as simple as standing on a street holding a windswept umbrella, but the grace and poise by which he stood still, and carried himself, exposed a man who had finely tuned his act through hours and hours of practice.

 

This of course reminded me of all the times in the Bible, where God called many people to do great acts, people who started out with no obvious talent or skill, people who the majority would have looked upon and thought “they are good for nothing” yet turned out to be some of the greatest men and women of history. What are the underlying “keywords” for all these great men and women? “HARD WORK” and “PERSISTENCE”.

 

Much like this man, who probably went through periods where he must have thought “this is stupid” or “this is hopeless” great men and women of God fell and had to start again, constantly working and perfecting themselves through God, making mistakes yet learning and becoming the people that God could use to change the climate of whole nations and bring about changes that would resonate thousands of years on in Christianity.

 

Maybe this is all too much to draw from a man with a windswept umbrella in the middle of Piccadilly Circus lol, but according to 1Corinthians 1 v26-27 Paul wrote “ For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

 

God delights to use people who maybe are not the most talented, but have a love for him and a willing-ness to learn to do great things. If you think you have no obvious talents or gifts Christian, then you are maybe who God is looking for.

 

Sal

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The Marked Life

ScarAs I type this, I wince in pain as the fingers on my left hand tap each individual key. A movement I had taken for granted all my life, now provide a little slither of pain shooting down my left elbow, where I have been stitched up pretty tightly. Currently my arm is healing from a pretty severe cut from shattered glass; my attempt to climb through my window (I left my keys inside) seemed like a good idea at the time, but a smashed window and a deep cut prove otherwise.

I received 18 stitches to my arm to cover the gaping hole the shattered glass had left, the piece of glass somehow managed to cut through two layers of skin, arm fat and nerves, just about scraping my muscle tissue underneath. Once the wound has healed, I will be left with a scar on my left forearm for life. A little reminder of my bull headedness!

Now whilst my career as an arm model has ended before it’s even begun, I readily have a sermon illustration for the rest of my life now. The scar will always serve as a reminder of my exploits at that window. every single time I look down at my arm, I will be reminded! A mark of remembrance.

20140522_083354As I lay in bed attempting to sleep and recover the blood I lost during my frantic wait for the ambulance to come, I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians; “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” – Galatians 6:17

Paul bore marks and scars of a whole other nature to my bullheadedness. He bore the marks of Christ!! We only have to flip back to 2Corinthians 11 to read the physical scars he bore for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Now not all of us will face physical persecution, but what about the spiritual scars Paul bore and we should strive to bear for Christ’s sake?

When I mean spiritual scars, I mean marks that tell a story. Who can you point to and say I have left my mark on them in a spiritual sense. You led them to Christ or you helped them in their spiritual growth, you met a physical need or spent time in prayer for your brother or sister in Christ. Spiritual marks!!! Where can you point to and say I have sacrificed my time and energy to congregate and be with other believers, every time the church doors open for services.

If the Lord is gracious enough to give you a long life, would you have borne the marks of a life walked with Christ? Maybe physical, but more so spiritually.

Jesus himself, when he appeared unto his disciples showed them his physical marks on his body to prove to them how much he loved them and what he had just done for humanity. Beckoning with his voice, Jesus tells ThomasReach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:and be not faithless, but believing

Jesus lived a marked life, a life which showed his actions spoke louder than his words……and Jesus spoke many words, as we see in the gospels.

My challenge is this; just like how Jesus Christ and Christians who have come and gone through history did great exploits, exploits still to this day which shape our everyday living. We should also strive to do great things for a great God. Let us attempt to leave our spiritual marks on a lost and dying world and on lost souls.

Never forget the words of Christ to his personal disciples “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” – Matthew 28:19-20

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10 Reasons Why I think David Cameron Thinks Britain is a Christian Country.

 

 

David CameronSO after being inundated with posts like these – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27105023 in regards to good ole Britain still being a Christian nation, I honestly couldn’t think of one reason why Cameron would make such a claim like this. I mean, it would only take a couple of quick discussions with actual Christians (you know, like the ones who ACTUALLY believe the bible) to see that this is false. We’ve fallen a long way as a nation, and no honest to God Christian really takes Cameron’s words seriously.

So in light of such a bold face lie of a statement, here are my top 10 reasons why I think our Prime Minister thinks otherwise.

1) Our national anthem still contains “God” in it.

2) Our flag has a huge red cross across it

3) We have many tall church buildings

4) Westminster Abbey

5) We are living in the present but, thinking of the past

6) Britain is part of the western world. Western world = Christianity

7) The first English bible was from England.

8) Christmas & Easter are still bank holidays

9) Being religious = being Christian. Christianity = religiosity

10) He lives in a bubble.

Yep so those are my 10 reason, most of them are nonsensical, just like David Cameron’s claims. If you would like more serious reasons why Britain has fallen away, including the moral degradation that is eating our country up, take a read of this insightful post. – http://www.john-stevens.com/2014/04/letter-to-editor-why-does-david-cameron.html

Sal

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I Am A Christian! Short Poem.

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I am a Christian!

I look like you, I walk like you.

My Hair can be black, my eyes maybe blue

You walk by me, you walk next to me

You talk to me, you even woRk with me.

I eat, sleep, drink like you

I even talk & think like you.

I can be black, or whIte like you

I can be a Sister, I can be a brother

An aunt or a mother

A poliTician a policeman

I’m tall, I can be short like you

I wonder do you know me………

 

Diverse Group of People Holding a Sign - Isolated

 

I make Jokes like you, I laugh like you

I have passions like you, I like fashion as you.

I Educate with you, I graduate like you

I cry like you, I die like you……

So where is the severance, or who makes the difference?

A man that I proclaim, Who bore all my shame

He bore yoUrs too, he cares for you too

I wonder do you know him, he sure knows you!

He is the Saviour, he saves sinners…….like you!

 

Sal

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This Will Literally Make Your Blood Boil

Do you know what I randomly read the other day? The boiling point of liquids at different pressures! Now you might think “hmm how random”…..to which you would be right, but it got me thinking about the the world we live in, and the way in which God orchestrated this world with all it’s nuances to be liveable and sustainable.

Steamears

Onto my shameless habit of reading random topics now; I read that the boiling point of liquids is linked to the given pressure around the said liquid. Lets say we take water for instance, water boils at 100 degrees celsius. At 100 degrees celsius, the vapour pressure of water equals the pressure in the air surrounding the liquid thus the water boils and starts turning into vapour or steam.

Now you might think alright, what’s so interesting about this, or why write a blog post about it? Well think about it…….we live in a world where the air pressure is just right for us to live in. Allow me to elaborate! If we were to say visit the planet Mars, where the air pressure is significantly lower than it is on Earth, the temperature at which liquids will boil would be much lower in relation to Earth. Thus meaning that we as humans who are filled with liquids would only survive literally minutes on Mars without appropriate space gear. With the pressure being so low, the boiling point of liquids wouldn’t have to be high as it is on Earth for it to start boiling, even room temperatures would be enough to make the liquids reach boiling point on Mars. So our bodies which have all encompassing liquids like blood would start to boil until we are cooked from the inside, or until it explodes out of us like blood pudding.

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This just goes to show how Earth was specifically designed for us humans to inhabit. Qualities like what I’ve just discussed could not have come by chance. What are the chances that all minute changes in the world would all coherently work together to make living possible? This is the sign of a designer, and that designer is none other than Jesus Christ.

The bible tells us in John 1:3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made

We are also told

in Colossians 1 that “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist

Everything that exists, whether visible or invisible was made by him, and He is the one who sustains life. To think that there are millions of processes which work for us every single day to give us the sustainability of life, all sustained by the all Sustainable One.

It boggles the mind that people would really think that all this came by chance. The world is too complex for chance to have any say. It has evidence everywhere of a designer. To think otherwise would be foolish – Psalm 53:1

Sal

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Slaveholding Religion vs Biblical Christianity.

 

 

chainsHere is an excerpt from the Appendix of Frederick’s Narrative. The reason I posted this is to highlight the stark difference between the Christianity that was purported during the times of slavery to support the inhumane acts of slave masters on their slaves, and true biblical Christianity which is against such practices. Douglass, who himself witnessed the misconstruction of scripture by slave masters in order to keep their slaves in check as if their plight was a divine act from God, writes and makes it very clear that this could not be further from the truth.

Douglass in his own words writes “I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion. To remove the liability of such misapprehension, I deem it proper to append the following brief explanation. What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference–so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.

Paul writes in Galatians 3:26-29For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise

Biblical Christianity is not the religion of slavery, on the contrary, biblical Christianity IS the answer to slavery. There is only one race of people that God made in this world, the human race!

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