Thought for the Month


Unusual Weather!

Yorkshire is having the best summer for many years, hot sunny days follow one after another. But gardeners and farmers are looking anxiously at the sky looking for signs of rain which flowers, vegetable and grains desperately need. Rain is essential for plant growth upon which our food supply depends.

We can admire the dramatic graphics of the weather forecasters but do they really explain why the weather is as it is?

The Bible teaches that God is in control of all things including the weather.  Eliphaz in the book of Job says “He (God performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted ….He bestows rain on the earth,. He sends water upon the countryside” (Job 5:9-10) Elihu also in Job describes the rain cycle which results in “abundant showers that fall on mankind”

Of course sometimes we see the consequences of too much rain, floods, houseswashed away and crops ruined.  So we may wonder what is God up to.

The Bible is quite clear that God manages all things so we have to accept with grace what God sends. Job says “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the Lord be praised” (Job 1) so whatever the weather we can have total confidence that God is in control. Putting our total trust in God can change our attitude to life, we don’t need to worry God will send rain and sunshine in sufficient balanced quantities.

But God’s control is not limited to the present.  He has promised to create a new heaven and a new earth.. the sound of weeping will be heard no more (Isaiah 55) This will be when Jesus will  rule in righteousness and at that time the weather will be perfect every day!


Love

I think it’s fair to see we all enjoy a good wedding, and last month the country was able to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and his fiancé, Meghan Markle.

 

The pastor at the service spoke of the power of love, quoting the French Philisopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire”.

 

The Bible has a lot to say about love. The writer Paul emphasises its importance in Galatians 5, saying “in Christ Jesus… the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” and urges people to “serve one another in love”.

 

Love needs to be our motivation, and should fill our lives, guide our thoughts and actions.  Love will make us into the person God hopes we will be.  The bible says that the two greates commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3v 16).


Hope of Summer

The month of May is when we see the flowers and blossoms coming to abundance around us. The apparent deadness of winter, the cold and grey skies, the short days and long dark nights all are behind us and we look forward to the long warm days of summer to come, the sunshine and the blue skies.

Jesus spoke of the Springtime. He was telling his disciples about the future time when he would come back to set up God’s Kingdom here on earth. He gave a number of signs to look forward to so that we could recognise when the time of his return was near. Then he said:

“Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:29-31 ESV)

Just as we can look at the flowers and blossoms blooming around us and understand that summer will soon be here, so we can look at the signs in the world that the Bible talks about and understand that the Kingdom of God is near.

There are signs all around us in today’s world so we can be certain that Christ’s return and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on the earth is very close.

For more information about this, contact us by clicking the link below.

http://www.doncasterchristadelphians.org/contact-us/

There are also some links to videos and web pages giving more information.

Video talk – Ezekial 38 and signs of Christ’s return: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV7x5IdF6QQ

Video talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udPqNBZDWd0

Signs from the Bible – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E83KGQdPftQ

Olivet prophecy signs – http://www.christadelphians.com/biblebasics/app03nearnessofchristsreturn.html

Luke 21 online lesson – http://www.cbm.org.uk/cbm40lesson08.pdf

‘Christ is coming!’ book – http://www.thechristadelphian.com/christ_is_coming_online.htm

 


Sleeping in Death, Waking to the Resurrection

Sleeping in Death, Waking to the Resurrection

Like many older people I don’t sleep well these days, I wake often during the night and have vivid unsettling dreams; fortunately I can’t remember them when I wake up. Nights are often not restful times for me!

Yet the Bible describes death as a sleep for disciples of Jesus’ disciples and I used to be puzzled about this as death surely could not be anything like my sleep experiences!

Then I remembered the two occasions on which I had been into hospital for an operation. Each time I had a general anaesthetic and each time I was amazed at its effect. One moment I was laid on the operating table chatting to the anaesthetist and the next moment I was waking up in a recovery bed. I was not aware of ‘going under’, I had no memory at all of anything that happened to me during the operation; I did not know how long I had been asleep. This must be the picture we are meant to see when we read of the sleep of death. For the dead in Christ time does not exist, however long we wait for his return and the resurrection does not matter, in one sense his coming is never more than our lifetime away. But there is no continuing existence, no awareness of anything amongst the dead, no part of them continues at all.

It was Jesus himself who first spoke of death as a sleep. He was approached by an elder of the Jews whose twelve year old daughter was dying. ‘Please come and heal her’ he begged of Jesus. Yet by the time Jesus arrived at the house she had just died and the ruler’s message was that he was too late. ‘She is not dead but sleeps’ the Lord said and all who heard him ridiculed him until he gave the girl her life again.

We learn more later in the Lord’s ministry when he raised Lazarus back to life. This friend of Jesus had been dead and buried for four days and people at the tomb were horrified when Jesus told them to remove the stone covering the entrance to the tomb. ‘He stinks!’ they cried, knowing that Lazarus was not only dead; his body had begun to decay back to dust as do all dead people. But Lazarus came out of the tomb, alive and healed to resume his life. These people lived again for a while but then died and remain dead. Like all who lived in faith they await the return of Jesus when the dead in Christ will be resurrected, not to a resumption of mortal life, but to be made like their immortal Lord.

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep…

But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.”


The words we choose

the-power-of-words

Once a king dreamed that all his teeth had fallen out. Immediately he sent for one of his soothsayers to interpret the meaning of the vision. With a sad countenance and mournful voice, the soothsayer told the monarch that the dream meant that all his relatives would die and that he would be left alone. This angered the king and he drove the servant from his presence.

 

Another was called and the king told him of the dream. At this, the wise man smiled, and replied, “Rejoice, O King; the dream means that you will live yet many years. In fact you will outlive all your relatives.” This pleased the king a great deal, and in his joy he gave the interpreter a rich reward.

 

The two men had said, in different ways, the same thing.

The power of words is illustrated in the account of creation in the first two chapters of Genesis where God speaks the world into existence. As he spoke words, stars were formed, oceans appeared and planets took shape. He spoke and rivers teemed with fish, flowers bloomed and galaxies began to spin.

As humans created in his image, we too are given the power to create worlds with our words. We speak and reality changes. Through positive truthful words, people are renewed and healed. Through criticism and lies, people are damaged and destroyed.

The apostle James writes of the power of the tongue in James 3.

“3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”

“8 …no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”

The power of our words is immense. They have the power to change lives: to build people up, and to knock people down. How will you use your words this week?