Monday, 28 February 2011

A Reluctant OT Father?

In Singapore... where so many kids are brought up by maids,

one had to wonder.. how come the OT church was brought up by the law (i.e. the nanny - cf. Galatians), instead of directly by the Father Himself?

Was He the 'too busy' parent, managing the universe, that He had no time for His own children?

Was He the 'regal monarch' (think - the king's speech) that thought this was the proper way to do things?

Actually, no - the law was given as both an act of grace and an act of judgment
the managers of the law (i.e. the nannies) were the renegade angels... beings who loved to be in charge, and had yet had a weird sense of morality (think of how dictators run a country)
the rest of the fallen angels were even more bonkers... (the ones running the other nations)

The Father handed the human race over to the nannies because He did not want to unleash His wrath upon us, He made some space for us to 'screw up' under them, and to see the folly of our ways, and also to see the coming Saviour who would reconcile us to loving Daddy (whom He sent)

More interesting lessons on Christian parenting too!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A temple or a city

It seems from Nehemiah and Revelation

the 'house of God' eventually becomes the city of God, rather than just the temple

thus the living stones are those used in every building inclusive of the wall
the dwelling place of God is no longer restricted to the tiny cube - but the mega cube of Jerusalem

so we can see a progression - Christ usually dwelt in the temple
now in Nehemiah He dwells in the city
and the Spirit dwells in the temple

the temple is no longer the body - but the heart...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Understanding Trinity in Nehemiah

Some observations:

The Father - the King, the provider, the director, the one whom the wine-cup-bearer will return to and always is with

Jesus - the co-ordinator, the executor, the motivator, the one who encourages, the one who affirms the sent Spirit (good hand) of the Father, the intercessor, the defender, the purger, the soldier

Spirit - the good Hand, which comes from the Father, who strengthens the church's hands through Christ's example, motivation and foundation

The Church - the builders of the kingdom, founded on Christ, empowered by the Spirit, persecuted from outside and within, are with Christ in the building, need to follow His instruction, always weak - always need His motivation

any more?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

God is spirit

Help! What does this mean in John 4:24?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Nehemiah 4

Here's the sermon on Nehemiah 4 I did last Sunday:

here is the intro that didn't make it into the sermon:

         We began with taking a look at Nehemiah himself, whose name possibly means, the Lord, who is the comforter, or consoler of His people. Nehemiah was a man of great stature, who bore the wine-cup to the king, but greater than that, he was a man of God. From his moving prayer, we could see that he knew very well who the Living God was, and all that He had promised to His people. That because of His covenant love, no matter how disastrous the situation looked after the sin-caused exile, yet if they would turn back to Him, if they would repent and trust Him again, He would gather them back from the farthest corners, and make them His people, His children, His covenant family.

            Nehemiah although he seemed to be faultless and righteous in his own behavior, identified himself completely as one of those who had sinned against the Living God, and prayed that the Lord would restore their lost heritage. We saw that the High King of heaven, then heard Nehemiah’s continuous intercession to comfort His people, and made him the answer to his own prayer, and gave him the opportunity and resources to go and re-build the walls and gates of Jerusalem, the city of the people of God. He identified with them, interceded on behalf of them, and then decisively acted to build a home for God’s people – knowing that all this was at the very heart of the will of His Father in heaven.

            So he went with the full approval of the king, together with a small entourage, and came to the ruins of Jerusalem. Yet it was not the army of the Persian King that would rebuild the city of God, but this privilege would only be restricted to the faithful remnant of God’s people, who had eagerly returned earlier to reclaim their identity. So after a quick reconnaissance mission, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Nehemiah confronted the people, he dealt with facts of the reality of the situation that their sins had led them into, and showed them the wonderful grace of God - the “Good hand of his God was upon them”, He would lead them to rebuild what they had trampled on. As they relied on the Living God, their hands would be made strong by His Strong Hand - yet that in no way meant that there would not be very real difficulty and, as we will see more today, opposition.
        The people acknowledged the reality of their broken lives, and with one voice declared that they would “Arise and Build”, and so they immediately entered into the work of building the Lord’s kingdom. As we saw a couple of weeks ago, everyone, except a few who would not stoop down, built together, no matter what stage of life they were in, what their occupation was, in fact none of them were stated to be professional builders! Everyone with all their various gifts and talents, as given by the Lord, was involved in this historical task – despite the fact that it could have been a great challenge, they worked hand in hand together – they were One.

Now they were beginning to be a people, no longer just some disgraced individuals – no they would have a common identity, they were the family of God – they would no longer be lost, without a home, free to be taken advantage of by the nations around them – no, they would be secure in the will of God, and they had one purpose. 

Plus the fact that I think when Paul does Eph 6 - he's not really thinking of his Roman prison guard... but rather these guys...

Shall we start a new 'heresy'?

Here's one..

the prophets knew more, much more, than they wrote....

I think we should push this one for a while globally - and see what happens...