Observations on life; particularly spiritual

Posts tagged “Jesus

The Creator who entered His creation

Children playing LegoOur 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…)


Why is there a dragon in the nativity?

When John described the nativity in the book of Revelation, he included an enormous red dragonNativity 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…)


The Christmas Star

What was the star that led the wise men to Christ?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…)


This Christmas gift didn’t get lost in the mail

This Christmas gift didn’t get lost in the mailIt’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…)


Recognizing major events

France won the 2018 World Cup. The football World Cup is a major event - but it has no eternal consequences.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…)


Two reasons to praise God

God's power and loveGod 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…)


God saved the Queen

God saved the Queen“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…)


Was Queen Elizabeth II a true Christian?

Was Queen Elizabeth II a true Christian?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…)


Sin bin Sunday

NRL players going to the sin bin in Sydney on 11 Sep 2022Yesterday was called “Sin bin Sunday” by the Sydney news media. Seven players were sent to the sin bin (Appendix) in a game for the first time in Australian Rugby League history. (more…)


Be who were born to be, a child of God

Be who were born to be, a child of GodWhat would your ideal parent be like? This question may feel a bit awkward or even painful to answer, but I invite you to consider it for a moment. If you’re anything like me, your character list of the ideal parent might go something like… caring, gentle, wise, compassionate, capable, stable, fun. Then, if I was really going all out with a wish list I might add powerful, rich and well respected. (more…)


Jesus put Nazareth on the map

Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox 2007-2016Raised by a single mother in a New York City housing project, Ursula Burns worked hard at school. After graduating from high school, she earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. She worked as an intern at printing company Xerox, before being hired permanently. She rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2007-2016, earning the distinction of being the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. So her background didn’t limit her career.

A change in status

Nazareth was a small farming village between the sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. In about AD 30 when Nathanael was told that Jesus was from Nazareth he asked, “Can anything good come from there” (Jn. 1:46NIV). But why did Nathanael say this? Was Nazareth insignificant, isolated, remote and outside the mainstream of Jewish life? Were most of the people poor? Or was his skepticism, scorn and derision inter-town rivalry –  Nathanael was from Cana (6km north of Nazareth)? (more…)


Strangest thing – Jesus will return

Strangest thing - Jesus will returnThe day of reckoning – it’s an exciting moment in the movie or TV show we’re watching. Finally the wrongdoers get exposed, the evil monster is overpowered and defeated, justice is served. It appears to be a universal longing played out in film and television across cultures and time. We also hope for a judgement day in the real world as we watch televised court cases about abusers, big corporations causing harm in the interest of making money, corrupt politicians using their power for personal gain and the actions of despotic dictators. But when it comes to a universal, ultimate day of reckoning we’re not so keen. The Christian doctrine of a final judgement day is often seen as archaic, incompatible with a loving God or just plain laughable. (more…)


Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the dead

Strangest thing – Jesus rose from the deadThe existence of another dimension. A character with the ability to influence and change the physical world without physical force. A powerful evil monster out to kill. These are the elements of a science fiction narrative. But what if there is truth in them?

The message of the Bible is pretty strange. It talks of a spiritual dimension – angels and demons and an all powerful, all knowing God in control of it all. This spiritual dimension is generally unseen by us ordinary humans with our physical eyes. But the Bible records a special time in history when the supernatural burst into the world in the very natural form of a new born baby. Jesus’ birth, life and even His miracles are recorded in numerous ancient historical accounts. Turning water into wine. Healing a paralysed person with only His words. Bringing a man who has been dead for four days back to life. This is not the kind of thing we see outside of science fiction and fantasy. (more…)


Love hurts

Love opens us up to grief and painDo you agree love hurts? Should it hurt? Is something wrong if it hurts? If we understand love as an unrelenting concern for another’s well-being, love does open us up to grief and pain in this broken world. When we love, we feel our loved ones suffering with them. When we love we are vulnerable to being hurt by our loved one’s words and actions. When we love we hurt. (more…)


The Lord’s Supper – until Jesus returns

General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore during initial landings at Leyte, Philippine Islands - 20 October 1944When General MacArthur was forced to leave the Philippines before Japanese forces conquered them in 1942 during World War 2, he said “I shall return”. On Oct. 20th, 1944 he fulfilled his plans and stepped ashore and said, “People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people.” (more…)


Meet your maker

Meet your maker before you meet your makerThough we don’t live like it, death is a sure thing. I often take walks amongst the beautiful gardens and graves of the cemetery I live near. Thousands and thousands of headstones and memorial plaques lay quietly in various stages of abandon. Each represents another human who was once living and breathing like me. Right now death seems like something that happens to other people, but one day the sum of our lives will also be etched on a headstone for others to pass by. And then? (more…)


Jesus is even better than Bluey’s dad

Jesus is even better than Bluey's dad“You’re as good as Bluey’s dad”. It is the highest compliment our young children can give my husband. I’ve given a similar compliment to one of our humorous friends and father of four. Bandit, more commonly known as Bluey’s Dad, is an animated Australian cattle dog daddy who has captured the hearts of children and parents the world over with his dry wit, playfulness and love for his two doggy daughters. The show has won an Emmy and Bandit has been declared a dad-idol by celebrities and dedicated fan groups. (more…)


The Trinity is unique to Christianity

This post comes from Dr Tom Murphy who lives in Sydney, Australia.

What feature most differentiates Christianity from any other religion? What makes it special? Is it the crucifixion? The resurrection? The belief that Jesus was divine? Or something else?

What makes Christianity special? (more…)


The Lord’s Supper is a memorial, not a transubstantiation

Christ the Redeemer monument, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilWe celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a memorial or a remembrance of what Christ did on the cross, but it can be different in some other churches.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, at the Lord’s Supper the bread and the wine mystically change into the actual body and blood of Christ. However, the outward characteristics of the bread and wine remain unaltered. This miracle (called transubstantiation) is believed to be brought about by the priest’s prayer. After this they believe that the bread and wine are holy and sacred. (more…)


You are welcome here

You are welcome hereIt was Christmas Day. I was in Kathmandu 10,000 kilometers from home. I knew no one. I didn’t understand the language everyone was speaking around me. The food, the gestures, the smells were all new and strange to me. Yet I clapped along to the songs, in which I understood only one word, with a sense of belonging. The word was Yesu – Jesus. Because of Jesus these strangers were also my brothers and sisters. They welcomed me. They shared their Christmas lunch with me. They invited me back to their homes with warm smiles and enthusiasm. (more…)


Joy to the world, the Lord has come

If Jesus’ birth was the advent of joy for all people, where is this joy? None of us have to search hard to find life is still riddled with hurt, sickness, resentment, rejection, violence, broken relationships… You could keep the list going I’m sure.

The birth of Jesus doesn’t seem to have made much difference to the suffering of this world. Where is joy to the world? (more…)


The original context of the Lord’s Supper

"The last supper" by Leonardo Di Vinci in 1498 Paul described the Lord’s Supper as follows, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor. 11:23-26NIV). (more…)


Are you protected?

Are you protected?The older I get the more I understand how fragile human life really is. The COVID-19 pandemic is just one example of how something seemingly small can change the lives of the entire world’s population. As advanced, intelligent and resilient as humanity is, life can be lost in the blink of an eye. For this reason we spend a lot of effort trying to protect ourselves and our loved ones… from buckling the back-arching, screaming toddler into her seatbelt, to spending hard earned cash on insurance policies, to getting the COVID jab. (more…)


Forgiveness – Easier said than done

Forgiveness – Easier said than doneForgiveness is hard. It is painful. It can be slow and gruelling. Yet there are no relationships in which forgiveness is not necessary.

The forgiveness the Bible speaks of is not turning a blind eye to the wrong committed against you, it is not pretending you are OK, it is not convincing yourself you deserved it or that the wrong doing wasn’t that big a deal. On the contrary, biblical forgiveness looks the offense in the eye, names it for what it is, acknowledges all its painful consequences, weeps over what has been done and lost, and in so doing says, “I love you still”. (more…)