Don’t focus on the absence

The is what I call ‘the messy shelf’. It’s a space on my bookshelf reserved for all the books I’m currently reading.

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The Jesus Story Book Bible usually finds its way here. Today I used it to at our local pre-school to tell the story of Zacchaeus and his life changing friendship with Jesus.

The next book along is John Stott’s Through the Bible Through the Year. It’s a great devotional book that takes you through the Bible in a year, with a Bible reading and a daily reflection each day. I’m almost at the end and I’ve loved reading it. I thought that sharing part of today’s reflection on Revelation 4:1-6 would be a perfect return to blogging after a rather long absence.

It is immensely significant that, when John peeped through the open door, the very first thing he saw was a throne, symbol of the sovereignty, majesty and kingly rule of God.

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We seize on the assurances of the Revelation that one day there will be no more hunger or thirst; no more pain or tears; no more sin, death, or curse, for all these things will have passed away. It would be better and more biblical, however, to focus not so much on these absences as on the cause of their absence, namely on the central dominating presence of God’s throne.

 

 

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John Stott on sexual purity

One of the things that I found hardest to get used to at college was chicks’ chapel. I can’t really explain why – I just found it a bit odd.

But I have grown to really love it. Because there’s not heaps of girls at college 2nd, 3rd and 4th year girls all get to preach at some point which is great. I love being taught by those I study along side of.

For the last 2 weeks Jane Tooher, who is on faculty at college, has preached a 2 part sermon from 1 Thessalonians 4 on sex and sexual purity. Towards the end of part 2 she shared a John Stott quote about sexual purity taught in the Bible and how we respond to it as single people. I thought it was so good that I would share it too.

“We too must accept this apostolic teaching, however hard it may seem, as God’s good purpose both for us and for society. We shall not become a bundle of frustrations and inhibitions if we embrace God’s standard, but only if we rebel against it. Christ’s yoke is easy, provided that we submit to it. It is possible for human sexual energy to be redirected both into affectionate relationships with friends of both sexes and into the loving service of others. Multitudes of Christian singles, both men and women, can testify to this. Alongside a natural loneliness, accompanied sometimes by acute pain, we can find joyful self-fulfilment in the self-giving service of God and other people.” (Stott, The Message of Thessalonians 84-45).