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.

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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

‘Your will be done’

Prayer can be powerful.

The prayer which starts “Our Father in Heaven” is famous. It is known as “the Lord’s prayer”, because Jesus taught it to his disciples. It contains the request “Your will be done”.

God’s will is done by angels in heaven. They never displease Him. So this begs the question. Is God’s will done here on earth?

God is all-powerful and nothing can ever thwart His plans. He oversees what is happening; He can and does control world events. If God decrees that something must happen then it does happen. So at one level His will is done.

Nonetheless despite this, and in a way that we cannot begin to fully grasp, we do have free will to make decisions and life choices. We are not programmed robots. We can influence our destiny. And so we can also mess up, and we have messed up in a big way. Consequently, here on earth it is very different from heaven: there is injustice and ungodliness. God is not pleased with the way we are. We do not do His will.

So why did Jesus tell his disciples to pray in this way?

This unhappy state of affairs will not last for ever. God has a plan for the earth. And when this comes to fruition the change will be radical: the most life-changing event ever. This is the establishment of God’s kingdom here on earth. And so in the prayer the disciples were told to pray for that.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth

 Luke 11:2

The two ideas are linked inextricably. The one cannot happen without the other. And neither of these things has happened fully yet.

There is another petition in the prayer:

And forgive us our sins

Luke 11:4

‘Sin’ is an old-fashioned and unpalatable word. It is the basic, fundamental problem with us and with our world. But God offers to forgive us and promises a time when sin and death itself will be abolished. Then the earth will be full of His glory, and His will done on earth.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain. For the former things have passed away  

Revelation 21:4

If we want to live for ever in this amazing world we need to respond now. While we cannot attain perfection in this life we can try to do God’s will. And if we do this then God will forgive our sins, and give us eternal life to obey Him for ever, as angels do now.