Values and Loyalty

The deal is done and we have left the EU. But we are assured that we will retain friendship with Europe because we share its values.

A few days before this, a disgraced former British MI6 spy died in Russia. He had said that he did not feel that he ‘belonged’ to Britain because he could not share its values. He believed fervently in Communism, and so was a traitor to Britain, betraying many British spies to death during the cold war.

There have been many traitors in history. The most famous in the Bible was the disciple Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus into the hands of the religious rulers. Jesus himself was accused of being disloyal. At his fake trial, the Jews said to Pilate:

“If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar”

John 19:12

In fact, Jesus had not been disloyal to Caesar at all. While agreeing that he was indeed to be a king, Jesus had already told Pilate:

“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here”

John 18:36

And later, in a letter to believers, an apostle wrote the following words about faithful men and women who shared ‘heavenly’ values and hopes.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…..But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them

Hebrews 11:12-14

So we ask the question. What are our most important values? Let our New Year resolution be to find out what God’s values are. Then we can be loyal friends of Jesus and not traitors. If we do this then God will not be ‘ashamed’ of us, but pleased to give us a place in His wonderful kingdom with Jesus as king.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

U Turns

Our government has done a massive U-turn and reversed their decision to relax the rules over Christmas, and so disappointed millions of people. How could they have anticipated the mutant strain of the virus which is spreading so fast?

We all promise things in good faith and then find ourselves unable to keep our promises. And so we often disappoint people.

The Bible describes God as sometimes changing His mind, or relenting, but this is almost always when He decides to defer or to revoke threatened punishment. This is because He is so longsuffering and merciful:

“…a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth”

Psalm 86:15

In fact He knows what is going to happen, so nothing can surprise Him or spoil His plans. This includes offering eternal life to us human beings.

“…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began”

Titus 1:2

And His promise of a wonderful kingdom on earth with a perfect king is an important part of this. As the angel Gabriel said to Mary

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus.He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of His father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

And the old man Simeon recognized that the baby Jesus would fulfil God’s promises by bringing salvation to both Jews and non-Jews.

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel”

Luke 2:30-32

This is an uncertain world where decisions are hard and often frustrated. Let us all determine to trust in God and resolutely prepare for the return of Jesus. God will not make a U-turn about this promise.

Arrow vector created by gstudioimagen –

Scarce Resources

Recently the world has received some wonderful news about the discovery of a number of vaccines which may protect us from the COVID-19 virus.  However, shortly afterwards the debate began on who should receive this scarce commodity.  Should it be all people in care homes, or just those in higher tiers?  Should the most vulnerable in higher tiers receive it before key workers in lowers tiers? And so, the debate goes on over these exceptionally difficult decisions.

Scarce resources are a common feature of the world we live in.  Earlier on in the year it was PPE which was scarce and was being sold for a premium.  Precious metals and minerals have always been scarce and sort after.  Alas on a more fundamental level, resources such as food and water are desperately needed in many parts of the world. 

But the Bible talks about a time when there will be enough of everything to go around for everyone.  In God’s Kingdom, which will be established here on earth, we are told in the Bible that at that time:

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly.

For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.

Isaiah 35:1-2, 6-7

We are also told how we humans can be changed and that there will be no need to worry about viruses or vaccines:

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

Isaiah 35:5-6

This sounds a complete contrast to the conditions which we are living in at the moment.  To find out how YOU can share in this world, why not read the Bible, to find out more.

Image by _Marion from Pixabay