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Stormy whether

Christianity

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Matt 8:23-26, NLT)
I am very aware of the fact that the Bible is a living word that speaks into the situation that you find yourself in. So often I read a passage and it means something different or something more than it ever did before.
Sometimes, though, I think this is often the case because I don’t think deeply enough about it – I just scan read, just as I have always skimmed the passage in the past, and I miss something, or put something in that was never there. This passage in Matthew is one such story.

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Does a Pharisee see far?

Christianity

The Pharisees get a roasting in the New Testament. They first pop up in Matthew 3 and John the Baptist lays into them immediately.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? (Matt 3:7, NLT)
He doesn’t see their fine robes or their importance – he just sees a brood of snakes. From there on it doesn’t get any better for them. They just don’t seem to be able to see what is happening in front of them. Many people see the miracles of Christ; they only see the works of Satan. Many see a Saviour; they see a threat to peace.

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A sign of things to come

Christianity

For most of my life IT has been a very prominent feature. Information Technology has improved exponentially during the last few years, and we can get the information we are looking for at the touch of a few buttons. But we get loads of information without pressing buttons. Just look around you – it’s everywhere! I don’t know how many signs there are in the UK. It must be a huge number. Everywhere you look there is one in front of you, probably more than one.
During World War 2, the UK Government removed all the road signs so that if the Germans invaded they would get lost – or it would at the least slow down their advance. Can you imagine the chaos that would happen if they did that now? If every sign suddenly disappeared, there would be total disaster. Think about it – all the road signs, street signs gone in an instant! It would be OK for the locals, but others would get lost in no time. There would be jams as cars go the wrong way up one-way streets, accidents as drivers go straight across without giving way. Just imagine the house numbers being removed from people’s homes – how would you find anyone?

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Setting the world right

Christianity,General

One lazy Sunday afternoon, a father was dozing on the sofa. His wee girl shook him awake, “Daddy, I’m bored!” He looked around for something to do, and noticed that the Sunday newspaper had a photo of a map of the world. He showed her the picture, then tore it into pieces, and told her to put the world back together again. Since she was too young to know where all the countries were, he thought the rest of the afternoon was his to doze in.
A few minutes later she shook him again. “I’m finished, Daddy!”
“You can’t be!”, but when he looked he saw that the world had indeed been put back together. “How did you do that? You didn’t know where all the countries are!”
“Well,” she said, “there was a picture of a person on the other side, and when I got my person back together, the world got back together too.”
We are like that. Too often our lives get ripped to bits. Our person is in pieces, and because our lives are in pieces, our world is too.

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Perfect sense

Christianity

I have blogged before about perfection in Being Perfect and it is one area where I tend to get into disagreement with other Christians, even Pastors. Most people I talk to say that it is impossible to be perfect. Bearing in mind my own track record, I tend to agree with them. But – and it is an almighty but – we are told to be perfect by Jesus himself :
You must be perfect — just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, TEV)
It doesn’t seem to matter what translation you use. I looked at 15 different versions, and all of them, with the sole exception of The Message, used the word “perfect”. In all of these translations, it wasn’t a request, it wasn’t a suggestion. It was a command.

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