Oct 29, 2018

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Jesus Rules Out Revenge

Jesus Rules Out Revenge

“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favour,— . • “(Isaiah 61:1-2) I want to share with you an insight which contrasts the Old Testament with the New. Take a look at Isaiah 61. There Isaiah’s idea of the Day of the Lord would be when God would bring justice for the Jews and vengeance upon the gentiles who oppressed the Jews. There had been a long history of oppression in the Bible from the Egyptians at the time of Moses through the Romans at the time of Christ. Please read 2 Kings 5 and Luke 4: 17-19. There you can see how Jesus deleted part of Isaiah 61. This was a new teaching. Luke tells us that when Jesus came to his home town of Nazareth and entered into the synagogue, at first he was honoured and asked to open the Torah scroll...

Apr 8, 2018

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Nicolae and the Villagers

Nicolae and the Villagers

“Hear the words of the Lord, O house of Jacob and the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord, ‘What wrong did your ancestors find in Me that they went far from Me?…The priests did not say ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those that handle the Law did not know Me.’” (Jeremiah 2: 4-5, 8) As we look towards Passion Week I want to share with you a very old tale*, but one that is just as relevant, if not more so, as re-cast (and arguably re-molded) by me, as a World War II story. Here is the tale: As the Nazis rolled eastwards through the Carpathian Mountains of the Ukraine they came to a village. In this village lived a young man, who was a fugitive, hunted by the Nazis. The villagers liked him well enough. In fact, they had often listened to him speaking to them. Some wanted to protect him. But as they knew (and we the readers know) protecting such a fugitive might mean death to his individual protectors, or even the destruction of the whole village. So the people went...

May 22, 2017

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When Confession is Delusion

When Confession is Delusion

“Confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16) In this month’s devotion I want to deal with the question, “Why is it so much easier to confess our sins to God than to one another?” Since God is righteous, just and without sin and hates sin -while on the other hand fellow man knows himself intimately and, therefore, knows she/he is a sinner- why do we chose to only confess our sins to God? I also ask myself, if I have confessed to God, then why do I keep relapsing into the very sins that I think I have confessed? When I ask myself these questions, the disturbing answer I get is that in such instances we may not be truly interacting with God, but are actually be confessing only to ourselves and then granting ourselves self-absolution! When that is what we are doing, what a travesty that is! Our Christian obedience is then failing precisely because self-forgiveness is not real forgiveness and can never lead to breaking with the sin “confessed.” For this very reason the...

May 22, 2017

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Begging for Bread

Begging for Bread

“He [the LORD] raises the beggar from the dust; He lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour” (1 Samuel 2:8) Who wants to be a beggar? Not many people. And that’s for sure! The modern man or woman with 2 cars and a home and a mortgage considers him/herself middle class and doing OK. Thank you very much. On the other hand the man who lives in a completely paid off $ 5 million dollar home with 3 cars and a yacht thinks the person with only 2 cars and a mortgage is socially/economically far below him. And the person who lives by dumpster–diving looks up at the person with 2 cars and knows that he/she is amongst the beggar class in North American Society. What is more, and in clear contrast to the myth of upward mobility, more and more poor and middle class people are economically trapped in place or are on a downward spiral. To-day, as in Jesus’ day, many rich people tend to despise the beggar class. Read the story of the Rich...

May 7, 2017

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Heads I Win

Heads I Win

“The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed of; but anything exposed to the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated will turn into light” (Eph. 5:12-14 italics added) “Our courteous Lord does not want his servants to despair because they fall often and grievously, for our falling does not hinder Him in loving us” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love) My friends, Satan has set a “head’s I win, tails you lose” type of trap for us and we keep falling into it! On the one hand, because we don’t want people to really see who we feel we are, publicly, we present a false self in which we pretend to be honest, hard-working, and happy people; but as a result of this deception- if we still know right from wrong- we often despise ourselves. On the other hand, internally, we often feel we are unacceptable and un-loveable to others and to God. Satan’s greatest psychological weapon is our own gut-level feelings of inferiority,...