We can not live well without love. It is a universal truth as much as it is a cliche. Love lost, love unrequited, love received – these are the real events that make our lives and mark our memories. Without true love in our lives, whether it be a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or a pet, we limp along surviving but never thriving. And it is not a coincidence that as the oft- quoted Bible verse declares, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). God is love, and He has created us to exist, to thrive, in His love. (more…)
What is the purpose of the book of Genesis in the Bible? Why was it written? And why was it included in the Bible? What are the main lessons in it, both for the original readers and for us today?
When was it written? The book of Genesis was compiled and edited by Moses (Lk. 24:27; Acts 15:1) between 1446 B.C. (the date of the Exodus) and 1406 B.C. (the death of Moses). A likely possibility is during the year that Israel spent encamped in the wilderness at Sinai when Moses probably composed most, if not all, of the Books of Exodus and Leviticus. Such an assumption would place the date of composition of Genesis between 1446 and 1445 B.C. (more…)
The Australian government is promoting an indigenous voice to parliament in addition to the representation they have through the current democratically elected parliamentarians, several of which are indigenous. This proposal is based on “The Uluru Statement from the Heart (TUSH). The objective is to close the gap that still exists between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.
The ODB reading today reminded me of warfare in the Ukraine, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Afghanistan. These wars commenced in 2014 (escalated in 2022), 1948, 2018, 1991, and 1978 respectively.
In about 605 BC the prophet Habakkuk wrote, (more…)
The first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, was compiled from eleven older documents by Moses (Appendix A).
I like having titles on the paragraphs or sections of my Bible. This helps to indicate the context of a particular passage of scripture. A Comprehensive outline (section headings) of the book of Genesis is given below. (more…)
What can we learn from history? The Bible says that it was written for our instruction (Rom. 15:4; 1 Tim. 3:16). It gives us examples to follow and examples to avoid (1 Cor. 10:6, 11). And it can give us confidence from God.
The city of Shechem was in a valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim in central Israel, 55 km (35 miles) north of Jerusalem and 11 km (7 miles) southeast of Samaria. It was strategically located on the main road through the central hill country of Palestine “(the way of the Patriarchs”, or “the Ridge route”). But it had no natural defenses and required extensive fortification. Shechem was a very ancient commercial center due to its position in the middle of vital trade routes through the region. (more…)
Our children and grandchildren spent many hours playing with Lego. They used their imagination and creativity to build many things. In Genesis we are told that in the beginning of time God created the universe and all that is in it. This was greater than creating with Lego – He didn’t just assemble ready-made components, He made the atoms and molecules of all the components. And He made living creatures, which do a lot more then Lego technic or Lego robots. Living creatures make their own decisions and don’t just follow a computer code. And they can communicate with each other. (more…)
This post is a summary by MissionAssist of the main message of each book in the Bible. It uses EasyEnglish which is clear and simple English. It is suitable for those whose first language is not English. (more…)
What is your ultimate holiday destination? Dream big, imagine you have no limit on your budget or time. Are you a chalet in the Alps, sitting by a wood fire drinking cognac kind of person? A New Zealand extreme sports adventurer? A culture vulture visiting the galleries of Italy? Or would you prefer a tropical island with massages, snorkelling, and endless feasts? There are so many beautiful places and experiences to be had if you have the money and time for them. (more…)
Nativity scenes usually included animals like sheep and cattle. But what about a red dragon! That would look out of place. But when John described the nativity in the book of Revelation, he included an enormous red dragon.
The structure of the book of Revelation is given in the verse, “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later” (Rev. 1:19NIV). John had seen a vision of the glory of the Lord Jesus (Ch 1). Then he wrote messages to seven churches in Asia Minor (Ch 2-3). Finally he records future events (Ch 4-22). The future events are the rapture of believers to heaven (between Ch 3 and Ch 4), the tribulation (Ch 6-18, where the church is not mentioned), the second coming of Christ to earth (Ch 19:11-21), the millennium (Ch 20), and the new heaven and earth (21:1 – 22:5). (more…)
What was the star that led the wise men to Christ? Was it a conjunction of planets, a comet, a supernova, a moon, an angel, or something else? Opinions abound, but many of them do not fit the details of the biblical text. What does the Bible have to say about this star?
This post is based on an article with the same title by Dr Jason Lisle of the Biblical Science Institute. Dr. Lisle is an astrophysicist. (more…)
It’s particularly upsetting when a Christmas gift gets lost in the post – one that you’ve carefully chosen and wrapped and sent with love to that special someone you can’t be with over Christmas. With Australia Post making over 2 million deliveries a day it’s no wonder some Christmas parcels go missing. Such as the fruitcake that 3 year old Beau baked with his grandma and sent to his great grandparents. That lovingly made fruitcake only had to travel 150 km and should have taken about a week to get to Beau’s great grandparents. But because of an old barcode left on the re-used parcel box, Beau’s fruitcake travelled approximately 7,000 km and took almost two months to arrive. (more…)
Jesus was born into the world like any other baby. Two people recognized that His coming was a major event.
First, an elderly man Simeon was waiting for the promised Jewish Messiah to come and rescue Israel from the Romans and restore them as a nation (Lk. 2:25-35NLT). He went to the Jewish temple when Jesus was there as a 40-day old baby and declared that He was the Messiah that they were waiting for. The Bible says that on “that day the Spirit led him to the Temple”. Simeon praised God for keeping His promise and he told Mary that the baby “has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him. As a result … a sword will pierce your very soul”. This is a reference to Christ’s suffering and death. (more…)
I was brought up on a farm near the town of Forbes in central New South Wales in Australia. In the past week many people had to evacuate their homes in Forbes and other towns due to a flood in the Lachlan River. This flood reached similar heights to the record floods in the 1950s.
In the last few years we have had major droughts, bushfires (wildfires), pandemics, and floods in Australia. People’s lives and livelihood have been devastated and there has been a financial crisis. Disasters like this are unexpected – they can catch us by surprise. The Bible says that disasters are warnings (Appendix).
God deserves our praise and worship because He created the universe and everything in it (Rev. 4:11). This should be obvious (Rom. 1:19-20). Creation is huge and complicated. Scientists will never understand it all. It looks like it’s been designed. And God not only created matter and energy, He also created the laws of science and mathematics. So, He’s the source of everything that’s good. (more…)
Tsunamis, floods, and bush fires are no joke. In 2021 it was estimated by Deloitte that natural disasters cost Australia over $38 billion a year and this will nearly double by 2060. The real cost, however, is more than a financial one, many people and animals lose their homes and even their lives when a major disaster strikes.
So what should we think about the weather? Is God really in control? Most of us are comfortable asking God for good weather for our next sports game or outdoor event – we may even thank God for a perfect sunny day. But when it comes to bad weather, who’s to blame – infamous weather systems like El nina or God? And who can we go to about these disasters? (more…)
Racism is discrimination or prejudice against a people group. “People group” includes grouping according to skin color, nationality, citizenship and ethnic or national origins.
Racism has justified slavery, colonialism, apartheid, forced sterilisations and annihilations of peoples. It has been the basis of the Nazi ideologies and of the programmes to exterminate Jews and other “inferior peoples”. According to Wikipedia, “Racism has played a role in genocides such as the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the Genocide of Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia, as well as colonial projects including the European colonization of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the population transfer in the Soviet Union including deportations of indigenous minorities.” (more…)
A message from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby.
“The Uluru Statement from the Heart” (see Appendix) is an invitation to the Australian people from First Nations Australians. It asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling. (more…)
A message from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby:
The “Acknowledgement of Country” has exploded in workplaces, public places and events right across Australia (see Appendix). How should we respond to it? There are many more serious practices associated with indigenous cultural recognition like smoking ceremonies, calling up spirits (which has been happening at some public events) and all that kind of thing. Presumably people can see on the whole that those are bad ideas and best not to participate in. But “Welcome to (or acknowledgement of; see Appendix) Country” is less clear. It’s not immediately apparent to everybody, but I have given it quite a bit of thought and those thoughts have led me to the point where I have now made a conscious decision to avoid saying it. Some will say I’m over-cautious, but let me explain to you why I’ve made that decision. It’s not out of any prejudice to indigenous people. Quite the contrary, it’s because I’m not convinced that it’s the right thing to do and if it’s not right, then it’s not right for anyone. That’s the whole point of finding out what is right and what is wrong. It’s for everyone. (more…)
“God Save the Queen” has been the anthem of Britain for the last 70 years; the phrase used as an expression of patriotism and royal support. But what did the Queen need saving from? Did she need saving from republicanism, from the decline of the Commonwealth, from foreign invasion, or the collapse of her own family? In her own words, Queen Elizabeth II explained she needed saving from something far more insidious and universal than outside enemies. “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves—from our recklessness or our greed,” Queen Elizabeth said during her Christmas message in 2011. This remarkable woman, who has since her passing been described as dutiful, faithful, servanthearted, forgiving and stable, recognised that she still needed saving from her own sin. (more…)
Queen Elizabeth was the world’s most famous woman. She was depicted in award-winning films such as The Queen and the popular Netflix series The Crown.
One of the prayers at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral service began, “We give thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth’s loyalty to the faith she inherited through her baptism and confirmation, and affirmed at her coronation; for her unswerving devotion to the gospel; and for her steadfast service as Supreme Governor of the Church of England”. But are these indicators of a true Christian? (more…)
The State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Extracts from the Order of Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September 2022. The service paid tribute to the Queen’s “remarkable reign and lifetime of service”.
Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (Jn. 11:25-26NIV, see Appendix A). (more…)