Your E-mails- September 2021

Your E-mails- September 2021

I want to be able to find stuff in the Bible. Sometimes there’s a quote and I’m not sure it’s from the Bible and I want to check. Sometimes I just want to look what it says about things. Is there an index? THE BIBLE IS probably the most thoroughly indexed book in the world. If you know how to look it’s quick and easy to find whatever you need. The four centuries since the King James Version of the Bible first appeared in 1611 saw the publication of various concordances (alphabetical lists of important words, with references to the chapters and verses where those words occur). Perhaps the best known is the Exhaustive Concordance which was published by Professor James Strong in 1890. It  lists  every  English  word  in  the King James Bible, alongside the original Hebrew or Greek word from which it was translated, and every place where

The Maidservant of the Lord

The Maidservant of the Lord

ABIGAIL stands out in the Bible as an example of wisdom, humility and courage. There are many practical lessons we can learn from her story, and she also provides an inspiring parable of the relationship between the Lord Jesus and his followers. David had  been anointed as future King of Israel by God’s prophet, but he was on the run from the present king Saul. In 1 Samuel 25 we see David and his men in the wilderness of Carmel. They found themselves neighbours to the sizeable flocks of a man called Nabal, and they made it their business to look out for Nabal’s shepherds and keep the sheep from harm. At the time of the shearing celebrations David sent to Nabal with the request, “Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David” (v. 8). It was a reasonable request, but Nabal cantankerously

For those who have Lost their Sheen

For those who have Lost their Sheen

LOTS OF US are kind of broken. We’ve been through things in our lives we’d rather forget. If I was a car, I’d be the one with the scratched and dented bodywork and some trouble starting up. For people like us, there are words of Jesus which will come like music to our ears: “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavour, how shall it be seasoned?” (Luke 14:34). For other people, the ones with pristine bodywork and an engine that starts first time, this might go straight over their heads. If they are paying attention, they may simply think: “If salt has lost its flavour you’d just throw it out, wouldn’t you?” But it was those whose lives had lost their sheen to whom Jesus spoke: “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him” (Luke 15:1). It’s obvious, isn’t

Matthew

THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW is the first book in the New Testament. The four Gospels are separate accounts of the life of Jesus. Matthew puts particular emphasis on Jesus being Israel’s promised Messiah and coming King. Matthew the Tax Collector When Jesus was born in Bethlehem the Romans were ruling the world. An Edomite king, Herod, ruled as the puppet head of state in Israel. The Jews were allowed a measure of religious freedom, but they had to pay taxes to Rome and obey Roman rule (see Matthew 17:24–27 and 22:17–21 for the teaching of Jesus about obeying rulers). The writer of this Gospel record was Matthew (sometimes called Levi), a tax collector working for the Romans. Such men were hated by their fellow Jews, but Jesus saw his potential and called him to his service (Matthew 9:9). Matthew’s record from God, concerning the life and teachings of Jesus, concentrates

The Choice

The Choice

MOSES STARED AGHAST at the bright blood seeping into the sand. He had killed a man. For a moment he stood still, paralysed by the enormity of his deed, and then, panicking, fell to his knees and began to scrabble a shallow grave. Soon the Egyptian taskmaster’s body was covered from sight, and only the footmarks showed where they had fought in the hot sun. It had been a fateful day for Moses. He was 40 years old, in his prime, strong, resourceful and self-confident. Brought up as the foster child of Pharaoh’s daughter, he had enjoyed the privileges of his station, and a real taste for luxury and power. Lately, however, a change had come over him. Although the crowds cheered as enthusiastically as ever when he drove out in his splendid chariot, he hardly seemed to hear them. He found himself drawn repeatedly to the new cities his

The Bible and the Internet

The Bible and the Internet

THE BIBLE CLAIMS to be God’s Word—His message to us. In its first chapter (Genesis 1) it says ten times: “and God said”. Now this must be true or it must be just someone’s idea, or a group of people who cooked up these things for their own reasons in the dim and distant past. The Bible is either an elaborate fabrication, or it has been given to the human race by Someone real and all-powerful. That is what I believe: God has spoken, caused His words to be recorded, and then caused the message to be transmitted through the ages until our time. Genesis is just the beginning. There are a total of 66 books within the one volume we call the Bible. They were written over a period of at least 1500 years by many different writers, in different countries and different social circumstances. We have history, biography,

Eternal Reality

Eternal Reality

SOMEONE WAS WALKING along the street when they saw black smoke billowing from a house window. Instinctively they whipped out their phone. They took a photo, and uploaded it to their social media platform as they walked on. It happened that the secretary of the house’s landlord was cruising social media at the time. She saw the post, recognised the house and called the emergency services, who arrived and put the fire out. Life on Screen An increasing proportion of the world’s population is spending an increasing proportion of their time looking at screens— for work, for play and for conducting day-to-day life. For some this is a cause for concern. There has been relatively little research into the potential hazards of prolonged exposure to electric and magnetic fields, the physiological risks associated with spending long periods in restricted postures making repetitive hand movements, and the strain on the visual