“DOES GOD EXIST?”

“DOES GOD EXIST?”

If you are asked to prove that God exists how do you go about it? Let me put it another way. How do you prove love or pain or hate? You may not be able to prove that any of these three exist (whatever that really means) but when they are present you know it. In short, the feeling you feel is private to you – so some experiences I can’t feel or know cause you to say what you say about such happenings. In other words, the experience is valid for you – no one else can feel or know them.

And so with your experience of God. Many Christians  assert, and continue to assert, that God works in their lives. Jesus said, “Seek and you shall find”. But where ? Where and how do you start? I can only point to that essential stillness wherein you experience the quietness within. And remember Jesus also said, “The kingdom of God is within you”. He meant that is where God operates. So try it and talk to God. 

Now even Science starts with an act of faith. A chemistry student is told, “This is an acid – it will do so and so”. And he tries and  proves it. But the word “try” means something else as well as “having a go”. It also means “tests” in the sense of “test this for truth” or again, “test this for…” and so on. “Faith”, said Jesus, “can move mountains” and I know from real Life that improbable occurrences do happen – I really know it. So try it. It won’t be  always but they’ll happen at the discretion of God.

So, too, does Christianity start with a statement. Jesus said He was the real way to the Infinite Spirit which is God. He said He was the Truth when the question was asked, “What is Life all about?”, and He also said the life He offered was the real life that man was meant to have.

Well how do you go about “testing” it? Read Revelations Ch.3 verse 20, as the first step in an act of faith and see what happens when you do what it says. It reads, “Behold I (that is, Jesus) stand at the door (i.e. the door to your inner self) and knock: if any man (or woman) hear my voice and open the door (that is, asks me to come in to him/her) I will come in to him (or her) and sup with him (or her) and he (or she will sup) with me.”

Man was made for fellowship with God and chooses either God or fills that private area within with whatever else. There is no half way house. Jesus re-establishes the link for those who want to – not to prove God – but  for you to know and live in harmony with Him.

 Discuss this further with your minster or priest if it interests or intrigues you. (JSDM) 

Mother’s Day

Floral arrangement (3)Mother’s Day and the Christian Connection

This background on the Christian origin of Mother’s Day was compiled by Graham McDonald. He serves with Children of the World, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Australia.

For the full article see https//www.ministry-to-children.com/is-mothers-day-a-christian-holiday

Celebration of Mothers over the centuries has appeared in varying forms and traditions since and possibly before Roman times. In the 1600s’ the Church of England instigated Mothering Sunday in recognition of Mary the Mother of Jesus. Later this religious celebration was expanded to include honouring all mothers.

The seed for Mother’s Day that we celebrate today had its beginning in 1858 with Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis, a Christian lady who was working to heal the nation after the Civil War. Her strategy was to promote and elevate the important role of mothers and help them to create healthier and more hygienic homes. From this she instigated a ‘Mothers Friendship Day’ which eventually developed into a national movement called ‘Mothers Friendship Clubs’. At these clubs Ann would teach the mothers basic nursing and safe sanitation practices to be used in the home, which she had learned from her brother who was a famous M.D. This resulted in many lives being saved and by offering this service to both sides of those involved in the Civil War it was instrumental in facilitating the reconciliation process between Union and Confederate neighbours.

When Ann Marie Jarvis passed away after a long illness, one of her two daughters, Anna decided to dedicate her life to her mother’s dream of a Mother’s Day to honour all mothers around the world. Anna missed her mother greatly and felt children often neglected to appreciate their mother enough while the mother was still alive. As a Sunday school teacher for twenty years at her church, she was very aware of the Fifth of the Ten Commandments, “Honour your father and mother” and no doubt would have taught this to her students. She shared her desire to bring to fruition her mother’s dream and it was readily accepted by her friends. The first such service was held at her church and she handed out her mother’s favourite flower, the White Carnation. Mother’s Day has flourished all around the world.

However let us not forget the original intention as set out by God to celebrate and honour the mothers in our families, in our churches and in our society.

 

Reformation Series – No. 3 By faith alone (Sola Fide)

Justification through faith aloneReformation bd85db70166eb0ed0df29cbb0b6c2abcThe Roman Catholic Church does not like the Protestant view of justification. It has pronounced anathema upon anyone who believes or teaches this doctrine. Roman Catholic theologians argue that Luther’s doctrine of justification is a legal fiction.  They ask: How is it possible for God to pronounce righteous a person who is clearly unrighteous?  So in their view God must make a person right before He can pronounce them to be right.  It is for this reason that Rome believes justification to be a process that may be lost.  Protestants have no difficulty in answering this question. They argue that the reason God can pronounce an unrighteous person to be righteous is because He gives righteousness to every genuine believer in Christ. When God looks at a believer He chooses not to see the sin in that believer, but rather looks at the righteousness of His own Son, imputed to the believer.  

Rome’s big mistake is to confuse justification and sanctification.  Justification is a one time event that takes place the moment a person believes in Jesus Christ. It cannot be improved on and it cannot be lost. Sanctification is most certainly a process that takes place in every justified person.  You cannot separate justification and sanctification – they are two sides of the same coin.  When God grants faith to a person so that they come to faith in Jesus Christ, He also gives them the gift of sanctification.  Every true believer has the Holy Spirit living in them.  The Holy Spirit enables the true believer to grow in holiness and Christ-likeness.hfig001s

Reformation Series – No. 2 By the grace of God alone (Sola Gracia)

SAVED BY GRACE Asaved by graceLONEReformation bd85db70166eb0ed0df29cbb0b6c2abc

John Wesley was one the greatest church leaders in the history of the church and was used mightily by God in His reviving work in England in the 18th century. How do we explain the great legacy that this man left the church?  Had it not been for his friends insisting on him attending a religious meeting in Aldersgate Lane in London, where he heard the preface of Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans read, John Wesley would be unknown to the world today. John Wesley had returned from the Colonies of America a broken man. He had gone to America with the view of converting the Red Indians. His missionary efforts proved to be a terrible failure.  He arrived back in England a broken man realising that he was not even a Christian, because he trusted in his own works to save him. Upon his return to England he wrote this in his journal.

All the time I was at Savannah I was thus beating the air.  Being ignorant of the righteousness of Christ, which, by a living faith in Him, bringeth salvation to everyone that believeth, I sought to establish my own righteousness; and so laboured in the fire all my days….. In this vile, abject state of bondage to sin, I was indeed fighting continually, but not conquering.  Wesley’s Journals p.32

John Wesley’s mistake was a mistake that many people make, he presumed that he could earn his salvation by good works.  There was a time in Paul’s life when he was seeking to attain salvation by his own good works. God brought him to a point where he realised that salvation is from beginning to end a gracious work of God.  Paul, in his letter to the Church in Ephesus wrote:

NIV Eph. 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

 If you are trusting in your own good works to save you then you have been deceived by the devil.  If it were possible to be saved by one’s own good works then Jesus Christ died needlessly on the cross. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. 

Reformation Series – No. 1 The Bible is our Highest Authority (Sola Scriptura)

SOLA SCRIPTURA – The Bible 

What is the Reformation all about? Some have suggested that it was primarily a political movement. Others have suggested that it was primarily an intellectual movement.  Undoubtedly the Protestant Reformation was both a political movement and an intellectual movement.  However, it was much more it was primarily a spiritual movement.  It was a movement that brought the bible back to central place in the Christian church.  Just about all church historians are agreed that the Protestant Reformation really started when Martin Luther pinned his 95 theses to the door of the Church in Wittenberg. 

Why did he do this? He was protesting against the Roman Catholic practice of selling of indulgences.  The pope at the time was very concerned to build up church funds and he was doing this by means of selling indulgences. Why were people interested in buying indulgences?  If they gave money to the Roman Church they could get one of their relatives out of Purgatory.  Martin Luther was horrified at this practice and so wrote his 95 theses hoping that the authorities in the Roman Church would stop this wicked practice.  Instead Martin Luther was told to retract his teaching.  As time went by Martin Luther continued to study the Bible intently since he was a professor in the Wittenberg University teaching the Bible. Increasingly Martin Luther came to see that the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church was inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible.  He did not intend to break away from the Roman Church but he was forced out of the Roman Church because he was not willing to accept the unbiblical teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther was utterly committed to the final authority of the word of God.

Rev. Paul Seilerbible77

Protected Against the Distracting Waves of Worry

Some years ago a submarine was being tested and had to remain submerged for many hours. When it returned to the harbour, the captain was asked, “How did the terrible storm last night affect you?”
The officer looked at him in surprise and exclaimed, “Storm? We didn’t even know there was one!”
The sub had been so far beneath the surface that it had reached the area known to sailors as ‘The cushion of the sea.”
Although the ocean may be whipped into huge waves by high winds, the waters below are never stirred. The Christian’s mind will be protected against the distracting waves of worry if it is resting completely in the good providence of God. There, sheltered by His grace and encouraged by His Holy Spirit, the believer can find the perfect tranquillity that only Christ can provide.

Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Why celebrate the Lord’s Supper?

Why celebrate the Lord’s Supper?

by the Rev. Paul Seiler

On the evening before the Lord Jesus died on the cross He met with His disciples in the upper room. There the Lord Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples.

It is no mere circumstance that God chose to offer up His only begotten son as a sacrifice for our sins at the time of the Passover. The Passover was a time when the Jews remembered with  thanksgiving how God had miraculously delivered them from bondage in Egypt. The Passover was a memorial feast to remind the people of Israel of the great and mighty works of the LORD and also a time to give thanks to God for His many mercies. Just as the Passover was a memorial and thanksgiving for God’s great salvation from the bondage in Egypt, so the Lord’s Supper is a memorial and a thanksgiving for God’s great salvation from the bondage of sin.

In the upper room on the night before His death Jesus broke bread and gave it to His disciples and said, ” This is My body, which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me;” (Lk. 22:19) He then took the cup and gave them to drink and said “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood’ (Luke 22:14-22).

Why do we celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Because Jesus gave us this command, and in doing so we give thanks to God for our great salvation from sin and the gift of eternal life. The Lord’s Supper is commonly referred to as the Eucharist, which is the Greek term for giving thanks. We have much reason to give thanks to God for His great salvation.

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A Proper Perspective On Thanksgiving

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Wedding Sermon

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