Would you forgive your brother’s murderer?

On September 6, 2018, Amber Guyer—an off-duty patrol officer in Dallas—entered the apartment of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean. She later said she thought it was her own apartment and mistook Jean for a burglar, shooting and killing him.

One year later, on October 1, 2019, she was found guilty of murder. On October 2, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Botham Jean’s brother Brandt was allowed to give a victim-impact statement, and he addressed Amber Guyer directly.

The result was a beautiful Christian testimony—truly salt and light in a dark and twisted world.

“If you truly are sorry, I can speak for myself, I forgive, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.

And I don’t think anyone can say it—again I’m speaking for myself—but I love you just like anyone else.

And I’m not gonna say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I presently want the best for you.

And I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do.

And the best would be to give your life to Christ.

I’m not going to say anything else.

I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do.

Again I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you.

I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?

Please?”

(source : findthemissingpeace.co.uk)

How do you get to heaven?

“My father was a wise man and he always explained it like this,” my friend began. I had just finished sharing the way to Heaven with him, but it was clear that the philosophies of his father were deeply embedded in his mind. Unfortunately, those thoughts were not according to Divine truth.


He went on: “My father said that going to Heaven is like going to New York: there are many ways to get there, and it doesn’t really matter which one you take. As long as you sincerely follow the way you believe, it will get you there.”


“You are right,” I quickly replied, “about going to New York, but you are completely wrong about going to Heaven. The only map to Heaven, the Bible, clearly presents only one way to get there. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” John 14.6. It is not true that there are many ways and He is just one of them. Nor is it true that Jesus plus something else is the way to Heaven.


Many people have formed various opinions and suggest there are many ways to reach Heaven. However, let us not forget that Heaven is God’s home, and He is the One Who decides who may enter and who may not. The opinions, philosophies, and religious systems which people have invented are not only uselessfor reaching Heaven, they are dangerous because they are sure to end in utter failure: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14.12.


Philosophy presents a form of moral respectability, but ignores God’s solemn verdict that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3.23. Religions of human effort promise that Heaven can be attained through good works and accumulated merit, but God says otherwise: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2.8,9.


The Word of God presents Jesus Christ, and Christ alone, as the way for ruined, helpless sinners like you and me to enter into Heaven. To cleanse us from sin, He “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” Hebrews 9.26, when He “suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” 1Peter 3.18. The pouring out of His precious blood at Calvary atoned for sin and paved the way for guilty people like you and me to draw near to God. Through Jesus Christ we can be cleansed, forgiven, and made fit for His holy presence.


This way is still open, dear reader. Jesus has already entered into the Father’s house and wants you to be with Him in that place of eternal glory. To go to Heaven, you need to do nothing more than realise your hopeless condition, repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ as the One Who died for you and rose again. This is salvation by grace through faith. This is the way to Heaven. Call upon Him today.


Following any other way, however plausible it may seem, however religious it may be, or however sincerely it is pursued, only leads away from God and is guaranteed to end in “the blackness of darkness for ever” Jude 13. Allow this article, as a signpost along the highway of life, to point you to the Lord Jesus, Who says: “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” John 6.37.

(source : findthemissingpeace.co.uk)

YOUR LIFE WILL NOT END WHEN YOU DIE

Life is constantly changing; nothing lasts for ever! This is a sad reality but one that we all have to come to terms with. It is often hard to accept that we will grow old, that loved ones will pass on and that children grow up and leave home. It’s sad but true! 
Please read on as I have good news for you. Your life will not end when you die!  At first sight that sounds like a contradiction in terms but let me clarify what I mean.

I’ll start at the beginning. The Bible teaches that when God made us he did it in two stages. Firstly he made man ‘of the dust of the ground,’ that is he made a physical body. The second stage is that ‘he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’. God put life into the body and man was called a living soul. We are more than ‘flesh and blood’ we have emotions, personalities, consciousness and memories; in other words there is a spiritual dimension to people. The Bible constantly refers to people as ‘souls’, it states that the soul is precious, that we can lose our soul and that Jesus died to provide the ‘salvation of’ our souls. As a society we also believe in the value of one soul, we launch lifeboats, send out mountain rescues teams and halt whole motorways all to rescue or save one soul.

Initially, humans had a straightforward relationship with God. There were open lines of communication. God and Adam, the first man, it would appear, enjoyed daily contact and intimate friendship but an event took place that ruined that relationship and distanced humans from the creator. Bible students and Christians often call this event ‘the fall’. It’s not a popular notion but it’s still the only rational explanation as to why intelligent people constantly struggle with moral and ethical issues. The scriptures state ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’. But, here’s the point, death is not the end. Death in the Bible is about separation. We are familiar with the concept of death as separation from the physical world. The other dimension of death as separation from God is usually ignored. At ‘the fall’ man died to God. Unless a person has repented and accepted the gift of God, which is eternal life, then they are effectively ‘the living dead’. Dead to God, dead in sins.  The Bible teaches that though the body ends in physical death, the soul lives on. The  destination of your soul (I should really say ‘your destination’ as you are your soul) is determined by a choice made in this life.

Most people don’t believe this any more. The late Stephen Hawking, British Physicist and author dismissed the notion of an afterlife. He once said ‘I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark’. 

This argument sounds very feasible especially when proposed by such an intelligent man. It does however ignore the fact that we are not just biological computers. It ignores man’s consciousness which the best of brains have grappled with but have to admit is beyond their explanation. Consciousness cannot be defined in purely physiological terms. People are not just a combination of physical and chemical properties they are people with the capacity to relate to God.

Let me remind you of why my information source is the Bible. It is easy to dismiss the Bible as the purely the writings of men but that would not be doing justice to the information it contains, its origins and the consistency of its message. The Bible has an inbuilt testing system of prediction and fulfilment which either stands or falls on the substantive evidence of archeology, science, history, geography and social development. There have been no developments to date in any of these disciplines which have produced evidence which undermines the truthfulness and probity of the Bible.

I suggest that we should pay more attention to what the Bible teaches. One of the books of the Bible (John’s gospel) specifically states that it was written ‘that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in his name’. 

My prayer is that this will be the outcome for you if you choose to read the Bible for yourself.

(source : findthemissingpeace.co.uk)

Are you frightened about the state of the world?

Are you frightened about the state of the world at the moment? Many people find it very scary, as every day seems to bring another disaster. Murder seems to be so commonplace! On a daily basis we hear of someone else going on the rampage and killing people! Individual acts of terrorism are on the increase resulting in the tragedy of people being deprived of their loved ones by an act of violence. Events of yesterday seem so long ago as we wake up to hear of another tragic evil act being perpetrated. 

I find it all very distressing and yet I, sadly, can see the inevitability of the way the world is going. The Bible teaches that conditions in society will get worse and worse as time progresses. Paul, as an old man, wrote to Timothy, a young man – ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,’ 2 Timothy 3:1-5. I think what the Bible is saying in these verses is staring us in the face. Do you recognize a description of our society?
 
If we reject the moral compass of the Bible then ultimately there are consequences. In effect morality becomes subjective and personal. There is no absolute standard of right and wrong. Everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes. This is not a new problem. It happened in Bible times, and many times since but every time is happens the results are disastrous. The old book says ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,’ Proverbs 14:12.
 
If we don’t get back to the Bible we can expect society to get worse and worse. We need to educate the next generation so that they don’t make the mistakes that we have made. The Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,’ Proverbs 22:6
 
I’m also glad to say that the Bible states that ‘But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,’ Romans 5:20. This means that the gospel of Jesus Christ can meet the needs of a wicked society. Forgiveness starts with the individual. The promise of scripture is still true – ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,‘ 1 John 1:9. Society will never change by enforcement but by the transforming power of God working in the each individual’s life through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
Are you fearful? Scripture says ‘perfect love casteth out fear,’ ‘the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’. 

(source : findingthemissingpeace.co.uk)

New Year Challenges and Changes

new year

new year

NEW YEAR CHALLENGES

A New Year brings fresh challenges and opportunities but life is so unpredictable! At times, the variety life brings can be very exciting but sometimes it’s a bit frightening. That flood in the house, the illness that took us by surprise! The speed of change and our helplessness can be disconcerting! As mere mortals, we cannot control our circumstances and have to try to cope with what is inevitable as well as we possibly can.

UNAVOIDABLE SITUATIONS

There are many situations like this in life. Illness often cannot be avoided, we are affected by what other people do, and often circumstances are out of our control. Most of the time we are quite skilful at coping but sometimes we just have to go with the flow. I am not a laid back type of person so I often wonder what it must be like to be relaxed and unaffected by changeable circumstances.

new yearDEATH

The ultimate uncontrollable event is death. It creeps up on every one of us. We may prolong life and improve the quality of our twilight years but we cannot evade death in the long term! I believe, and the Bible teaches, that there is hope in Jesus.

JESUS HAS CONTROL OVER DEATH

He is the only man who ever had control over his own death. It is recorded that Jesus brought at least three people back to life – see the accounts in the Bible in John 11, Luke 7:11-17 and Luke 8:40-56. When it came to His own death, Jesus voluntarily sacrificed His life. By this, I don’t mean only that He went the place of His execution willingly but that at His crucifixion His life did not ebb away, as it would with us. He consciously laid down His life so that we might have eternal life. Read it for yourself in the Bible, Luke 23.46. The Bible states it explicitly when it says ‘Christ died for our sins’.

THE PROFOUND MESSAGE OF CHRISTIANITY

The profound message of Christianity is this! My sinful behaviour has moral consequences. God is loving but He is also holy. His distaste of sin is such that it would be an insult to His character to allow people into His presence who have been marked by it. The dilemma is that God wants to share eternal life with His creatures but we, historically, have distanced ourselves from Him.

new yearTHE BIBLICAL SOLUTION

What is the solution according to the Bible? The Son of God became a man through a miraculous conception but a normal birth. In His life of thirty-three years, He demonstrated that He was God by His miracles and His knowledge. He proved that He was holy and flawless in character by how he lived – even his enemies stated that there were no flaws in Him. All men die because of sin but Jesus could not die as He was without sin, fault, wrong or error. His death was a voluntary payment for guilty humanity. As a result, God offers us pardon and forgiveness.

RECEIVING FORGIVENESS

So how do you get this forgiveness? God treats His creatures as thinking individuals. He has given them the capacity to choose. The offer is still on the table. Consider, grieve about and admit your sin to God, not a religious person or organisation. Believe and depend on what the Lord Jesus has done and accept Him as your Saviour.

NEW YEAR CHANGES

I cannot describe the change that you will find when you come. It cannot be defined in words. It does not guarantee a problem-free existence. It will bring about changes in your lifestyle, not enforced change as a result of rules but changes in interests and desires for better things. It will mean your guilty status before God has been resolved. You will be saved forever.
Read the Bible and seek the Lord while He may be found.
Images Courtesy of:
2019   – Covi
Cafe – Pexels
Cemetery – TazzAnderson
Woman and clock  –EnginAkyurt
Article Courtesy of:
findthemissingpeace.co.uk

Come unto me… and I will give you rest

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11v28

The Absence of Rest

As dusk settles on our city all seems peaceful. But, under this appearance of rest, turmoil and struggle abound. From day to day, the burdens, the disappointments, and sorrows of life bear down upon us, and in the darkest hours of struggle we can feel helpless, even hopeless.

Yet, in this helplessness there is hope. There, we realise that the source of our burden is our separation from God.  We begin to understand that rather than rest in our God and trust in Him, we have sought to follow our own path, to our own hurt. And there, we realise our own responsibility – that our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2).

At first, this seems to increase our helplessness. We wonder how we could ever be reconciled with God, knowing it is impossible for us to ever do enough to make things right with Him (Romans 3:10-20).

The Hope of Rest

But, in this darkest of hours hope appears, and descending into our darkness, Jesus Christ, ‘the Light of the world’ (John 9:5), invites us to find reconciliation and rest in Him.  Truly, these are words of hope:

Come unto me … and I will give you rest

This rest is not the kind of temporary rest we experience in this life.  Rather, it is a complete and eternal rest. A rest that knows the work of reconciliation is finished, once and for all, and this was accomplished through Jesus Christ, when God ‘made peace through the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things unto Himself’ (Colossians 1:20).

This rest has its source in God alone, yet Jesus Christ said, ‘I will give you rest’. There can be no other explanation than to understand that Jesus Christ is God – not another God, for there is only One God, the Creator, who having completed His work of creation, ‘rested on the seventh day’ (Genesis 2:2).

The Restoration of Rest

Now Jesus Christ, the author of rest, has come ‘to be the Saviour’ (1 John 4:14), the restorer of rest. He has come to ‘bare our sins in His own body on the tree’ (1 Peter 2:24); to make reparation for our wrongs.  For God ‘hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is a real and eternal hope, for it is based in the finished work of Christ.

Now, when we come in our helplessness to Jesus Christ, and repent of our sin, He lifts us up saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven … go in peace’ (Luke 7:48,50).  This forgiveness brings us to have peace with God (Romans 5:1), and as we come into His gracious presence, we come to enjoy the peace of God (Philippians 4:9). This is the rest Jesus Christ invites us to.

The Invitation to Rest

We have seen that the provision of this rest cost God a great deal. But for us, who ‘labour and are heavy laden’, this rest is free.

All our obligations have been paid in full by Jesus Christ, and all He asks of us is to come. He wants us to trust Him: to accept His provision and His promise. It is when we fully trust Him that we find fulness of rest.

‘Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls’.

Come to Jesus Christ now, and be at rest.

 

(source : forwardinhope.com)

CHRISTMAS IS NOTHING WITHOUT CHRIST

If there is no Christ – there is no Christmas! Why are Christians are so convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Why you might ask, it’s an excellent question.
Our belief is laid on a very solid foundation. First of all we believe in divine revelation not just human discovery. In fact to learn about something outside of our sphere of experience we all accept we need information from a trustworthy source. If you are serious about discovering the truth – check the Bible out. It is a trustworthy source. Read it, check it’s sources, speak to those who believe it, look at it’s accuracy in every sphere it touches. There can only be one answer to the question of the origin of a book that was written over one thousand five hundred years by forty different authors, many of whom did not even know each other. The Bible is God’s message to mankind.
Secondly check the facts concerning Jesus Christ. There are over three hundred signposts (biblical predictions/prophecies) which point to him. The chances of them all being fulfilled precisely in the life of one person, at the right time, in the right place are mindblowing odds apart from this fact – God planned it and implemented His plan in a person – His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible predicts the mode of his conception, the place of his birth, his exile into Egypt, the slaughtering of the innocents, the gifts from the magi and lots more.
Finally look at the prediction about the way that Jesus would die. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52 describe the horrific death of God’s Son on a cross. Death by crucifixion was unknown when Psalm 22 was written about 1000 years before the death of Jesus but God knew that was the way that His Son would die.
In closing please listen again to the words of the angels who announced the birth of the Lord Jesus ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord’. Is he your Saviour? He died ‘for our sins’. He suffered ‘the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God’. Will you rest by faith on what the Lord Jesus did to save your soul?