A time to OBSERVE and a time to SPEAK


The Isaiah readings for the last few days highlighted to us God’s abhorrance of evil, which seems to be surrounded in success, but ultimately God’s perfect way will overcome.  Today there is also the encouragement that God will fulfil His plan for the world.



Paul, in today’s reading, arrives in Athens, (that great city of learning and art) and while waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him –

OBSERVED and was DISTRESSED by what he saw of these ‘religious’ people and their gods.

REASONED in the synagogue about Jesus and His resurrection

Most of those who listened did not understand and some rubbished his claim .

However, those who wanted to know more took him to the hill (Areopogus) where the Chief Council met)  so he could explain this new teaching of a God of forgiveness and grace, whom they could know.

Many still wanted to know more and arranged a further meeting, while others dismissed this new teaching.

So, what is different today?

How encouraging it is for us who live in a society that worships its ownparticular idols, and loves, not so much to debate , but to strongly express personal views and make them known – through the media in particular.  Open air campaigning, even Billy Graham type Crusades do not seem to attract sympathetic crowds any more but we can share the wonderful news of salvation as Paul did –

Being distressed over our nation.                                                                                                        Talking about the good news of salvation wherever opportunities open up.                                           Listening to others                                                                                                                           Seeking ‘follow up’opportunities and being prepared to explain our faith and hope in Christ.

This is a  passage worth rereading and pulling out applications for ourselves.

Peter and Elizabeth



JOSHUA 18 & 19.

We don’t know about you, but for us the journey through Joshua in the last few days has been a bit of a struggle!  A map is a help, especially as so many of the names of places mentioned are unknown to us.  However it is helpful to remember that the book of Joshua is probably a compilation of the accounts of the settlement of the Promised Land, from a number of sources; hence the repetition!.  Seven tribes who had crossed over the Jordan had been slow (or perhaps afraid) to take up God’s promise, so today we find Joshus urging them to get on with the job, claim God’s promise to them and settle.

Are we as slow as the Israelites to hold on to and to live out Jesus greater provision of salvation and of ‘life to the full’?

LUKE 24:13-35

As you read today’passage, did your ‘hearts burn within you’?  What an amazing event we have been drawn into!

2 people, possibly husband and wife, walking home from Jerusalem with their hopes dashed!  Hopes for the rescuing of the people of Israel, God’s chosen people (as He had done so often and so dramatically before), this time from Roman occupation.  These two knew Jesus as and hoped in Him, but now He was dead!

Then they meet the risen  Christ!                                                                                                        What does Jesus do?                                                                                                                       He listens to their troubles and then He opens the story of God’s ultimate plan of rescue for humanity by sharing the scriptures as they walked.  Following an invitation from the pair for Jesus to stay, He was recognised by them when He broke the bread during the evening meal.

For these people encountering Christ involved,                                                                         meeting Him and listening to Him open scripture.                                                                     being present when He broke the bread                                                                                   racing back the 7 miles to Jerusalem to share the good news of the resurrection.     

The way we encounter Christ may be different but will involve some of the elements of Jesus’ encounter with the two on the road home to Emmaus.

May God bless us with His presence as we journey with Him.          

Peter and Elizabeth            

Everything Changes

2 Corinthians 5:14 -6:4

What a passage to read at the start of 2018! It is a strong encouragement that calls us to have a new attitude in life. We wonder what words stood out for you, but some strong ones like – compel v14, implore v20, don’t receive God’s grace in vain ch6:1 challenged our approach to life in this new year.

Three thoughts struck us in this rather solid theological statement

1 The power of God’s love, fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection, compels us to live for Him. Once we recognise this love, which brings reconciliation and relationship with God Himself, we must live for Him and not for self. V14,17,18

2 We are new creations. Our old ways and attitudes no longer fit in Christ’s company because we are driven by His love . In following Christ we become new people in every way which enables us to see others as He sees them. This brings us to focus on others not as the world sees them but as God does. V16

3 We are Christ’ ambassadors v20 and coworkers ch6:1. To be called into partnership with the Almighty Creator of he universe means sharing in bringing reconciliation with God to those who do not yet know His love.

We’ll need to draw on the guidance of the Holy Spirit if these goals are to be ours in 2018.

Peter and Elizabeth.



Today we begin reading the message given to the people of Israel by the prophet Joel, following a devastating locust plague.  This plague was so severe that it is described as being like that of an invading army that completely destroys the good and fertile land.  

When disaster strikes, whether it is at a national or personal level, often it is claimed that God is to blame!  Here however the priests and people are urged to mourn, wail, (v 8 &13) and cry out to the Lord (v14), and to repent   because there is someone to go to and He is listening.

In our own experience, through our television sets we see devastating destruction of people and land in countries like Syria, iraq, Yemen. The Lord will listen if we ‘mourn, wail and cry’ to Him for them and perhaps even for our own land that we may repent and turn back to Him for  ’the day of the Lord is near.’


 LUKE 12 : 49 – 59

Jesus talks a lot about peace – blessed are the peacemakers Matthew 5:9, peace I leave with you, my peace I give you John 14:27, I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace John 16:33.  The good news that He brought produces that peace with God that comes from forgiveness and a restored relationship.  But in today’s passage Jesus warns His disciples that His reason for coming to earth is SO impacting on lives that even families will be split apart as those who reject Him will also reject believers.  

While we know that people who commit themselves to Christ from other religions receive strong opposition or even death, it is a very sad development in our current Australian society that vehement opposition to the Christian position is growing fueled largely by the media/internet.

Warnings are positive – Bluebottles!

                                    Crocodiles swim here!

                                    Stand behind the yellow line

These can save us pain or even death if we heed them.  

Jesus’ love for people meant He gave clear warnings of a future judgement on His return.  Are we listening?

Peter and Elizabeth



Today’s readings – Numbers 30-31.    and Luke 6:27 – 36.

What a message we have in today’s reading from Luke!

The foundation principle of the gospel is LOVE – God’s immeasurable love for us and therefore the expected response of love by us for Him, and for others.

Today’s passage is bookended by – ‘love your enemies’ v 27 and 35.                                                     Of course we all experience and desire love in our everyday life – husband/ wife, parent/children, extended family, friends                                                                                                              BUT Jesus’ ideal is also that we ‘love our enemies’  which includes those who mistreat us in any way.  He even gives us the steps to take to make this a reality –                                                                       ‘Do good to them’‘  v27.                                                                                                              ‘Pray for them’  v28.                                                                                                                        because this is the sort of love God extends to us   –  (once His enemies).

Isn’t it ironic that He also says ‘do to others as you would have them do to you.’ v31.  and                         ‘ be merciful as your Father is merciful.’  v36.

I find that it happens that I can treat others as I think they deserve and to often seek mercy for myself and hand out judgement for others – not a good way if following Jesus is my aim!

Lord in your mercy, help,us to delight in your ways of love and mercy and please guide us in growing to be more like Jesus.


Today’s passages are Leviticus 10 – 12 and 2 Corinthians 5:11 – 6:13.

We are sure the readings that we have been following last week from Levitcus needed the encouragement that the passages from 2 Corinthians have given us  since Thursday.

Those chapters in Leviticus (5-12) cover in great detail the ceremonial regulations which the developing community of Israel needed to follow, in order to stay in relationship with God.    Sin and guilt had  to be dealt with and though the practices seem quaint and exaggerated.it does remind us that GOD IS GOD, AND IS NOT TO BE TRIFFLED WITH.  ‘I dd it my way’ does not hold credence when God has set out the procedures to follow – the ordination of Aaron’s sons and their decision to add their own touch to what God required as regards their sacrifices,   (Leviticus 10:1 -3) demonstrates the importance of trusting what God says.  

Chapters 11 and 12 cover health and social regulations which must have been appropriate for the wandering tribes.

However, like Iris on Thursday, it has been a relief for us to turn to the Corinthian passages and discover again the assurance that GOD HAS DONE ALL THAT IS REQUIRED FOR OUR SALVATION AND RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.  No ceremonial is required on our part but instead, BELIEF, as He has done all that is required.  It is a bit overwhelming, but worth the effort, to sit and read over again passages like

 5:15  and He died for all, that those wholive should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.

5:17-18  Therefore if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come.  The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ

6:1  as co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain –       –  just enjoy with thankfulness what we’ve read.

No more sacrifices, or fear we may not have covered all our misdoings.

Join us in taking some time today to let these promises sink in and then let’s all go out and live in love and thankfulness as though we believe it is true and that the BEST IS YET TO COME.

Peter and Elizabeth.


Judges 14

 The story of Samson continues – this promised child has now grown up.  In God’s plan he was to be the one to confront the Philistines – those constant enemies of Israel who were now ruling them. Today’s passage shows  Samson only following his own way – not God’s  at this stage. Samson was spoilt, self seeking and by his behaviour it would seem that he was either ignorant of or ignoring God’s way (he married a Philistine woman v2). So we will have to read on. 

Maybe this is a reminder for us all – how easy it is to satisfy our own desires in this busy world rather than remembering the verse – ‘be still and know that I am God.’  

May we look to God and take time with Him so we can  know and follow His way. 


Matthew 26:57-68

As we turn to the beginning of Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedren we are faced with an amazing picture of people who had known God’s purposes for humanity from the beginning of time, and who had decided HOW this would occur.  When the fulfilment of prophesy was not in line with their ideas they stubbornly rejected the evidence of Messiah from Jesus’ life with them and his claims to be the One.

To ensure their purposes were not discounted they were willing to resort to lies and false witnesses resulting in supreme injustice (but mercifully for us our salvation.)  Their method is not unknown in the world today.

Perhaps today is a strong reminder to us all to be very careful that we do not decide for God and expect Him to fit in with our ideas of His purpose for us all.  A reminder to listen to His word and to be guided by his Spirit.

Peter and Elizabeth