Sunday, January 20, 2013

The news of the week and the Good News of the Word of God

I read my Bible to see what men ought to do. And read the newspapers to see what men are doing  - John Newton

What got your attention in the news this week? Oprah Winfrey's  revealing interview with Lance Armstrong - what a sad end to a once very high profile athlete;  President Obama's  ' no hitch this time"  swearing in ceremony - " daddy you did not mess up"...really so cute; the, apparent 'retaliation' killings...two so far... in Duncans Trelawny, following the shooting death of young UK born Imani Green; the shooting death of a young nurse one day and the civil servant the next day?

As I read and listened, once again, for the umpteenth time, my heart 'bled' for my country. As it never had to come to this!

I would invite you to read again, as you might have been led to read before, the prophetic Word of God, as He spoke to a people, through His servant Moses,  who He knew before hand that they would continue to disobey Him.

"Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it may go well with them and their children forever." Deuteronomy 5:29 NIV.

So why are we living in a land where murder, especially of women and children, is no longer " any big thing"? No longer the big news story for the year, or for the decade! As was the case in former times when Jamaica was a far different place.
From my perspective, it all comes down to how we view the Word of God. In that respect then, as I ponder on the many messages that have gone out from the church to this society, including this Internet Ministry, which goes out to believers as well as unbelievers, a word that I read  just this evening, can help.

" What is the word of God.........The Bible is the Word of God, only to those who are born from above and who walk in the light. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the Bible, the words  of God, stand or fall together, they can never be separated without  fatal results. A man's attitude to our Lord determines his attitude to the Bible. The " saying's of God are of no moment to him; to him the Bible is a remarkable compilation of Literature ' " that it is, and nothing more."  All the confusion arises from no knowing this. But to the soul born from above, the Bible is the universe of God's revealed will."

A quotation from Oswald Chambers, the author of the famous devotional " My Utmost for His Highest".

The prayers of the church then, and the aim of this Ministry, is not only that men and women should read and be exposed to the Bible - the revealed word of God. But more importantly, the ultimate goal is that they should be " born from above", through Holy Baptism, and then be discipled to  grow in the grace of God and to follow Christ.

Hence the under girding prayer of this Ministry  has always been:

" Lord renew thy church beginning with me. Lord renew thy church so that the church may renew the nation". 

For the reality is that unless men and women are truly born from above, they will never heed the call from God, " that their hearts will be inclined to fear me and obey all my commands always...and thus that..... it may go well with they and their children forever".

The Lord also called my attention the importance of the Word of God in two other ways. One was a message that I was first led to send to my church, and then some of the church leaders and then to other leaders in the society. The message appears below.

The Isaiah passage ( 62:1-5)  is very instructive! Not only for  Jerusalem but for St. Andrew Parish Church
Consider the promises in verses 1-5. Accept the prophecy for us in this age, as. ' Jesus is the same .....' And let us also take the instructions in vs 6-7 also as a promise and ' give the Lord no rest until he establishes Jerusalem'.

A church whose foundations are Justice and Righteousness, and where Love and Faithfulness go in front of us.

Let this call to prayer for our church, resonate in our public and private and fellowship group prayers, and trust God to send His grace on our church. 

" Test  me in this, says the Lord Almighty,  and see if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and  pour out so much  blessing that you will not have room for it". Malachi 3: 10.

The key is to begin to use the Word of God more and more in our Prayers and Intercessions as " the word of God is living and active..."
Also, Jesus " drove out the  spirits  with a word....". Matthew 8:16
Finally " The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words  I have spoken to  you are spirit and they are life." John 7:63    
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from LIME.

The other one was to be found in the words of a well known hymn. I was actually searching for " What a friend we have in Jesus, when the words below grabbed my attention.

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all would trust and obey!


Trust and obey!
For there is no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey

Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies.....

Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share.....

I would invite you to google the entire hymn and reflect on it for yourselves.
Finally we pray God that men and women in high places, whether President Obama or FLOTUS,  or others; those living  in the midst of the challenges of inner city life; those we meet a the workplace;  those next door, our loved ones and relatives and friends,;  those we meet in,  even, and  especially, the  church, we pray God that they may be born from above and thus their eyes may be open to see and obey the Word. As there is no other way for our nation and indeed the entire world to thrive and to prosper, and for " it to go well with them and their children forever",  than to Trust and Obey, the Living Word of God, even Christ the Savior of all mankind. Amen