23rd March 2020, an infamous & momentous day in England, as the country lockdown came in due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 6 months ago, we can all look back to the inconveniences and changes we faced. But what about the future? In 6 months from now – Where will you be? Remember with all of life’s uncertainties Eternity is for sure! Make plans for it, be prepared!
Read the Bible ( B.I.B.L.E – Be Informed Before Leaving Earth)
In mid-2019, an eye-catching advert appeared: “Get 20/20 vision before 2020”. It was from a company offering eye surgery, encouraging readers to have the operation before the end of 2019, so that by the beginning of the year 2020 they would have ‘normal vision’. It is now too late to have it before 2020, but doubtless the same business, and others, will continue to offer it in this New Year.
In John chapter 9 (the Bible) we read about a man who received a transformation in eyesight far greater than that offered by any surgical procedure: instantaneously he went from being totally blind, to seeing clearly. This miraculous change took place because the Lord Jesus Christ had pity on him and healed him.
This tremendous event is a ‘sign’ of what Christ can do for us. The blind man was in physical darkness, where he had been all his life, and, until he met the Lord, he was destined to remain there. His physical darkness pictures our spiritual darkness: the darkness of sin, ignorance, and Satan’s dominion. That is where everyone is, from birth, and no-one can free himself from it, but is destined to go to Hell, and be in ‘the blackness of darkness for ever,’ Jude. 13. However, God desires to ‘deliver us from the power of darkness,’ Col. 1. 13, and so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who said, ‘I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness,’ John 12. 46.
In our story, the Lord Jesus made clay, put it on the man’s eyes, and then told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, which he did, and he was able to see, John 9. 6,7. The Lord did the work, but to benefit from it the blind man had the responsibility to obey His command. It is so as far as salvation is concerned: Christ did all the work that was necessary, when He died for us at the cross, but if you are to be saved from your sins, you must obey the call of the gospel, by repenting and putting your trust in Him to save you. The Lord Jesus told Paul to preach the gospel message to people, ‘to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me,’ Acts 26. 18. Have you put your faith in Him, and received the forgiveness of sins?
While the receiving of sight was a great blessing for that man, he received an even greater blessing that same day: he came to know that Jesus is the Son of God, believed in Him, and received salvation. In this New Year, this is the greatest blessing you could receive. Unlike physical eye surgery, it is free, there is no waiting list, there is no possibility of failure, and its benefits last eternally. Accept it today, and you can sing, in the words of John Newton:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
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?
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’.
In the last week I have met a lot of people who are not prepared to think for themselves. They are following the current trend in our society to ‘rubbish’ belief in God and to ridicule the idea that there might be some validity to faith. If you are reading this blog you are probably not one of these people but you may come across them on a daily basis. Just remember that faith is only as good as the one in whom you trust. This is why it is so important to understand the integrity of the Bible and the historical basis of the facts stated therein.
The Bible states in Psalm 118:8 ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’. (incidentally this is the central verse to the whole Bible when you divide it up by the number of chapters and verses – interesting and significant!). The Bible also states that it is better that your faith ‘should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God’.
Will you dare to be different? Read the word of God today (The Bible). Start in the New Testament and read the four gospels. Discover the truth concerning the Son of God (Jesus) becoming man and dying ‘for the ungodly’ (that’s all of us, as we did not know God by nature and were disobedient to Him). He (the Lord Jesus) is worthy of your trust and he died to be your Saviour. Pray to him today, search for him in prayer and in reading the Bible. Admit your guilt before God and ‘call upon the name of the Lord’ and you will be saved.