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The PASSION Blog
The PASSION Blog is a place where I share reflections on faith, life
and the Bible. They are quick thoughts that grow out of my morning
devotions and reading. I hope you enjoy them.
I usually have about a month or so worth of posts on this page. If you
would like to read my older blog posts back to 2006, you can visit my
We ARE new in Christ
August 2, 2015
the first memory verses I remember is 2 Corinthians 5:17. It says,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has
gone, the new has come!”
As a new Christian back in 1989, and
even today, I love the fact that we are completely changed on the inside
the moment we come to Christ.
The Bible tells us in Titus 3:5
that, “…He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life
through the Holy Spirit.” We are washed internally and have been born
We are completely new. We are not reformed, we are not
rehabilitated, we are not re-educated – we ARE re-created in Christ. The
old really IS swepted away!
I really love facing life knowing
that I am completely new on the inside. I love knowing that the creator
of the universe re-made me. I love that He turned me back to His
original blueprints for me.
I also love that it was a work that
He has done. It is not done by human effort, it is ALL His work. It is
done completely and perfectly. It is finished.
If you are in
Christ, you ARE a new creation!
A verse to quiet gossip
July 25th, 2015
When someone starts to share gossip with me I always ask if they have
read 1 Thessalonians 4:11 lately?
If they say no, I tell them to
look it up and come back and finish what they were saying.
for interest sake 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “Make it your goal to live
a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands,
just as we instructed you before.”
Most people don’t come back
and finish telling their story. Wonder why?
Listen and gather all the information
July 20th, 2015
Three verses from Proverbs 18 gives us some good advice on listening
and gathering all the information before we make decisions or make
comments about news.
13 Spouting off before listening to the
facts is both shameful and foolish.
15 Intelligent people are
always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination
The notes in my Life Application Study Bible put it simply…
concise statements, there are three basic principles for making sound
(1) Get the facts before making any decision;
(2) be open to new ideas;
(3) make sure you hear both sides of
any story before judging.
All three principles center around
seeking additional information. This is difficult work, but the only
alternative is prejudice—judging before getting the facts.”
any area of our lives it is important to listen and get all the facts
before making a decision or passing on the information to others.
Getting all the facts is especially important for us as Christians
as we often share what we hear online or in the news and make comment.
So listen, do your research, check all the facts and then ask God if
you need to share it or make a comment online.
Four significant events at Jesus’ death
July 15th, 2015
I was re-reading the Death of Jesus this morning for my devotions. I
read from Matthew 27.
In it there were four significant events
that took place after He died. They are found in verses 45-56. We see
1. Unexplained darkness fell over the earth for three
hours in the middle of the day.
2. The curtain in the Temple was
torn in two from top to bottom. This signified that all people could
approach God without a Priest.
3. There was a major earthquake
that shook the region.
4. Graves opened and the godly people were
raised to life and started walking around the city.
Any one of
these amazing events would have been significant, but put them all
together and it is miraculous.
The death of Jesus was a
significant event and everyone in Jerusalem would have known something
major was taking place.
Three days later something even more
significant happened too… but that is tomorrows devotion for me!
Listening and spiritual growth
July 13th, 2015
There are a number factors to spiritual growth, but one is pretty
important. Let us have a look at Hebrews 5:11-14…
11 There is
much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to
explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to
listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be
teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic
things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot
eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and
doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are
mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference
between right and wrong.
One key for spiritual growth is
contained in verse 11 – listening.
Often we talk too much and
don’t leave space to hear or we are listening to the wrong things.
We need to listen to God when we pray, we need to listen to the
words of the Bible as we read and we need to listen to those around who
are mature in the faith.
If you want to grow in your faith and
move on to solid food (v14), then listen more.
The full 10 Commandments
July 5th, 2015
As a part of my Bible reading plan I had to read the Ten Commandments
this morning. I found it refreshing to re-read the whole section as
often we quote only the 10 main dot points.
It gives a fuller
meaning when we read it in its entirety rather than just what fits on a
bookmark. I have pasted them below and highlighted the parts we
Exo 20:1 Then God gave the people all these
Exo 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from
the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
Exo 20:3 “You
must not have any other god but Me.
Exo 20:4 “You
must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of
anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.
Exo 20:5 You
must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am
a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I
lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is
affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who
Exo 20:6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand
generations on those who love Me and obey My commands.
Exo 20:7 “You
must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will
not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name.
Exo 20:8 “Remember
to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Exo 20:9 You
have six days each week for your ordinary work,
Exo 20:10 but the
seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On
that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you,
your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock,
and any foreigners living among you.
Exo 20:11 For in six days the
LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but
on the seventh day He rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath
day and set it apart as holy.
Exo 20:12 “Honor your father
and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land
the LORD your God is giving you.
Exo 20:13 “You must not
Exo 20:14 “You must not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 “You must not steal.
Exo 20:16 “You
must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
Exo 20:17 “You
must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your
neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else
that belongs to your neighbor.”
R.E.L.A.X. in Christ
June 25th, 2015
Sometimes as Christians we struggle with our identity in Christ. We
forget we are saved, loved, accepted and made right with Christ. Some of
us even feel we need to strive and work hard to receive approval from
God. In these times I try to R.E.L.A.X.
R – Rest
the finished work of Christ. You don’t need to strive to be accepted by
God. If you have accepted Christ. It is finished and decided upon. You
are loved, cherished and accepted by God.
E – Examine
Examine areas of your life or situations that happen when you feel
condemned, unworthy or not accepted by God. Know what makes you feel not
right with God so you can overcome them.
L – Learn
Scriptures that talk about who you are in Christ. Read and meditate on
them daily. Memorise them and share them with others. Put them up in a
prominent place in your house.
A – Apply
Scriptures to your life. When you feel condemned, unworthy and the need
to strive for acceptance, stop and recite your Scriptures that tell you
otherwise. Then continue what you were doing.
X – Christ
is the Greek symbol for Christ. Trust in Him and what He has done in
saving you, growing you and keeping you in the palm of His hand.
Remember no-one can snatch you away from Him.
God knows us inside out
June 17th, 2015
Psalm 139 is one of my favourite Psalms. I have written about it before
on my blog here. This morning as a part of my devotions I read verses
1-6. It says…
O LORD, You have examined my heart and know
everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my
thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I
rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place
Your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for
me, too great for me to understand! (Psalms 139:1-6 NLT)
read this today I was reminded of some wonderful truths about God and
His knowledge and care for us. Here is a few…
1. God knows
everything about us (v1)
2. God knows our every movement (v2, 3)
3. God knows our thoughts (v2)
4. God knows our unspoken words before
we speak them (v4)
5. God goes before us and He follows behind us
6. God’s hand of blessing is upon us (v5)
things gives me great comfort. God knows me inside out and He still
loves me. He also loves you too.
A prayer for others and ourselves
June 12th, 2015
In Philippians 1:9-11 Paul prays a prayer for the Philippian church.
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and
that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want
you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and
blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be
filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced
in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise
to God. (Philippians 1:9-11 NLT)
Let us break that down and
see if it can help us in our prayers for our family and friends.
1. He prays that their love would overflow more and more
growing in your knowledge and understanding of Christ
they would understand what really matters
4. That they would live
right so it brings God glory
I think we can learn a lot from this
prayer. Imagine the growth and blessings that would flow if we prayed
this for those around us?
Maybe we could even pray it for
ourselves? Maybe we could pray both help us to grow in these things
Lord, and also to help me Lord?
Living as children of light
June 5th, 2015
In Ephesians 4:17-32 Paul encourages us to live as children of
light. He implores us to put off our old way of living and truly follow
Christ in the way we live.
This passage has three main sections
and a motivational reason to live this way.
1. Don’t live like
This may seem obvious, but we should not live like
non believers. In verses 17-19 it describes gentiles as people who
wander far from God, have hardened hearts, have closed minds, live for
lustful pleasure, have no sense of shame and eagerly practice every kind
2. Put on the new nature
Verse 20-24 says
these things are not what knowing and following Christ is all about.
Verses 23-24 says, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and
attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly
righteous and holy”.
In these first two sections we see real
contrasts of living the worldly way without God and living the way God
wants us to live. He wants us to live with a new attitude with the new
nature that leads to righteousness and holiness.
things to put off
The next section verses 25-31 talks about some
practical things to put off. Here we see some real measurable things.
They are things that we can reflect on to see how we are going at the
1. Stop telling lies to our neighbours (v25)
2. Don’t let anger
control the way we live and respond (v26-27)
3. Don’t steal, but work
4. Don’t use foul or abusive speech (v29)
Verse 31 emphasizes this when it says, “Get rid of all bitterness,
rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil
What is our motivation to do this?
Our motivation to live as
children of the light in this passage is so we don’t bring sorrow to the
Holy Spirit. Verse 30a says, “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy
Spirit by the way you live”. It should motivate us to live right as the
Holy Spirit dwells within us.
There really are two
ways to live. For the Christian it is about putting off the old worldly
ways, and putting on the new nature by allowing the Holy Spirit to renew
our hearts and minds.
Paul’s suffering and commitment
May 31st, 2015
I was looking at the suffering of the Apostle Paul recently. I was
amazed how much he went through in his years of ministry. I was also
amazed by his commitment to preach the Gospel in the midst of his
In 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 we see some of Paul’s
hardships. On a number of occasions he was beaten by mobs, put in jail,
worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights and gone without food.
Also in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 we read he was also whipped nearly
200 times, beaten with rods, faced death again and again, was
shipwrecked three times, was stoned, faced danger from fake Christians
and nearly drowned from swollen rivers.
This does not even
mentioned the “thorn in Paul’s flesh from Satan” mentioned in 2
Corinthians 12:7-10. A thorn that he was able to bear by God’s grace.
Bible scholars tell us that Paul was converted about 36 AD and he
died in Rome in 68 AD. So this means he was in Christian ministry for
about 32 years. As 2 Corinthians was written about 57 AD these listed
sufferings only record about two thirds of his ministry time!
how was Paul able to stand firm and keep going in his ministry mission
in light of all this suffering? Here are some of the reasons I think.
1. His amazing conversion on the road to Damascus where he spoke
with Jesus (Acts 9:3-19)
2. He knew he was called by God to reach the
Gentiles for Christ (Galatians 1:15-16, Acts 13:2-3)
3. He knew he
could do all things through Christ who was his strength (Philippians
4. Paul saw his mission as a race he needed to run with endurance (1
Corinthians 9:24-27, Hebrews 12:1)
5. He knew he had to keep his eyes
fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)
6. Paul saw that he was no longer
living, but Christ living in and through him (Galatians 2:20)
knew he would receive a crown of righteousness from the Lord (2 Timothy
8. Paul saw his life as a drink offering being poured out to the Lord (2
I am really inspired by the life of Paul. I have
been through a lot of suffering and it has made me stronger, but it is
nothing compared to what Paul suffered for the Gospel.
If you are
suffering for the Gospel today I hope you can draw strength from God and
the example of the Apostle Paul.
A quiet place
May 26th, 2015
A number of
times in the Bible we see that Jesus withdrew to a quiet place. It was
something that He did regularly.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off
by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because
there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles
didn’t even have time to eat. (Mark 6:31 NLT)
In the above
Jesus gives us some reasons…
1. To find rest
2. To get
away from the crowds
3. To eat
Some times Jesus drew aside
alone to spend time with His heavenly Father in prayer (Luke 6:12). This
was just before He chose the 12 disciples.
I think it is an
important reminder to have a quiet place where we can recharge both
physically and spiritually. A place where we can find rest.
you got a place like that?
Unless You go with us
May 24th, 2015
week I have been reading and reflecting on Exodus 33. For me it is one
of the important chapters in the Old Testament.
One section that
really has stayed with me in verses 12-16. This is where Moses asks God
to go with them on their journey. Earlier on God said He would not go
because of the rebellious people (v3), but God agrees to go with Moses.
I like that Moses did not want to go if God did not go with them. It
was a huge task that could only work if God was with them. Moses knew
his inability to get the job done without God.
Moses knew it was
the glory of God that would made them stand out from the surrounding
nations. It was His power and presence that made the impossible
As I have dwelt upon this chapter this week I have been
reminded that we need to have the Moses attitude as Christians. We need
to ask for God’s glory to go with us too. We need Him to make the
impossible possible too.
Sometimes I wonder if we try and go it
alone too much? I wonder if we would be better off waiting on God and
asking for Him to go with us? Or perhaps we should look to see where God
is working and go with Him.
Just a thought.
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