Jesus is the Way to True Happiness

Proverbs 15:16-17    Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.   Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

These two proverbs speak to the same thing. The incomparable worth of the fear of the LORD and love surpass great treasure and good food. Implicit in the reference is that trouble comes from a failure to fear The Lord. In the same way, it’s better to eat a meal of vegetables shared with someone who loves you, than to eat good food with someone who hates you. So why is the fear of God so important?

 
Elsewhere the proverb says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Pro9:10) “for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” (Pro8:11) Wisdom is a most valuable thing, but what is it exactly? Wisdom has been called right living. The following proverb forms a parallel structure where one thing is repeated twice using two different wordings to draw out its full meanings. “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.” (Pro 4:11). The “way of wisdom” is the “paths of righteousness”. Wisdom speaks saying “  I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.” (Proverbs 8:20-21) 

 
So how do we get this righteousness? No one is righteous (Romans 3:10). This means that none naturally can approach God. The reason is simple, we have all disobeyed God’s law (Romans 3:23). We cannot get righteousness after being unrighteous by now doing the law, because later good deeds don’t undo past bad deeds. The way to get righteousness is made available as a generous free gift with eternal life (Romans 6:23). By Jesus’ death on the cross, God demonstrates his love towards us (Romans 5:10). You can receive it today. Consider the following verse and find out more here

 
Romans 5:18-19   “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.    For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

 

Romans 8:3-4   “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

 

 

 


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Chibok School Girls: Today 4 Years of Kidnap

Today is 4 years since 276 school girls were kindnapped at gunpoint by a terroist group call Boko Haram. Boko Haram hate Western education, but targeted their school because it was in a predominantly Christian district. 

Today 112 remain captives. They are subject to an ISIS style brutality. Christians we must pray for them. 

Evidence indicates that they are undergong brutality on a daily basis. 
The others were released, ‘married’ off, or killed. 

Pray!

Dear Israel Folau: love warns

Dear Israel, 

Please accept my encouragement, as one believer to another. 
You have found yourself surrounded by controversy and name calling. The fact that you are called ‘bigot’ doesn’t make you one. 

In a time when ‘tolerance’ means affirming and agreeing rather than tolerating, it is important to remember that love warns. If danger is coming, it would be unloving to affirm the course of danger. True love warns. 

In an age when people’s opinions are changing with the times. Truth is fact and is not an opinion. Truth does not change with the sands of time. Truth is timeless. The views of time are fast changing and we are accused of being out of touch with the times. What matters is that we stand for timeless truth, not that we move with the ever changing ideas of a truth ignoring generation. 

As people are name called and shamed into silence, your voice is a blessing. Anti-Christian activists want to normalise church silence – so speaking out renormalises a church with a voice. It was silence (though not yours) that gave the November plebiscite its victory. The media was mostly silent in reporting any alternative to ‘yes’. The conservative politicians stuck to ‘religious freedom’ rather than the true merit of no. 

What we need is a voice warning in love. A voice in the wilderness of silence; prepare the way of the Lord. 

With much love and many blessings in Christ, 

Romans Road 

What does Bible say about Slavery? 

It condemns it. 

1 Timothy says

“understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”

So let this be clear, the law (Old Testament), in accordance with the gospel (New Testament), condemns “enslavers” as “lawless and disobedient“. The Old and New Testaments both condemn the enslaving of others. They list slavery with other severe sins, such as murder, elder abuse and sexual immorality. 

Why then does the Mosaic law then regulate the practice of slavery? It is important to note that the Mosaic law regulates other activities, which the scriptures condemn as sins, such as divorce. Divorce is a sin, but a process for obtaining it was provided in the law of Moses. Why? As Jesus said, because of the hardness of the human heart. Without the gospel, humans couldn’t handle such moral perfection. Divorce is a sin but was regulated by the law to make best of the worse; like damage control. Enslaving is a sin but rights of a slave were promoted to make the best of the worst. 

Why does the law then regulate rather that cure our sin? 

For a very simple reason, as Galatians 3 says:

“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”

Both the law (Old Testament) and the gospel (New Testament) condemn enslavers as lawless and disobedient. The whole Bible condemns slavery but the law (the guardian) controls the damage of the sinful activity until faith in the gospel could liberate humanity from sin. 
To be liberated, click here

Moana: What is it teaching children? 

Moana is a new Disney film displaying the heroic sea voyage of a young Polynesian girl who can navigate by the stars. By all accounts it is a charming and appealing film, however the question must be raised what is it teaching the children?

What is it teaching children? 
  • Feminism: a young empowered girl, breaks with her father’s patrilineal authority and conservative boundaries to go on an adventure. The father figure is overly conservative, fearful and is benevolently yet misguidedly authoritarian.
  • paganism: a “goddess” as “creator”, a demigod, powers etc.
  • Bad theology: the “goddess” who “created the world” is destroyed by man’s mistake and must be rescued herself to save human kind and the environment. In fact the “goddess” “creator” becomes the devil and must be saved from herself.
  • Humanism: humans made the mistake but human’s rescue the “god[dess]” who has lost her heart and has become evil. Moui (the demigod/human) must learn that self confidence and initiative are the solution to human problems. Humans fix the problems, save the world and get the credit etc.
  • Environmentalism: humans have destroyed nature and must self fix the problem. The ocean, in weirdly pagan undertones, is personified and helps the young girl save the world and its creator. The ocean in fact chooses the girl for this mission.
  • Disobedience to parents: the heroine disobeys her father’s rule to cross the boundary reef  to save the world.
Some Christian reviews rave about how the film is family friendly with little violence, no sexuality and nice morals such as “believing in yourself”. The unfortunate problem is that while these “Christian” film critics consider many important criterion (such as sexuality, nudity and violence), they do not consider more essential issues such as worldview. It is disgusting that any “Christian” group would recommend such a pagan antichristian film.

Romans Road gives this the lowest rating as a family friendly film (because it’s not). Any follow up conversation you may have with your children after the film to address these things will NOT be as engaging, glamorous and stunning as the film production promoting these things. Once the tares are sown, talking about the tares is not going to remove them. 

Calling humans monkeys is a bad idea

Did you protest with the #feesmustfall movement? Did you demand that the statue of Rhodes must fall? Then you must take a stand against something much more deeply outrageous.

Calling African people monkeys is racist, actually thinking that African people descended from one is outrageous. Yet this is what most South African, and international, universities teach.  
 Darwin’s theory of ‘evolution’ not only teaches that humans descend from ape like ancestors, but also that African and Australian Aboriginals were more closely related to monkeys than white people. Darwin actually claimed this explicitly. 
This idea had success only for the same reasons that Nazi ideas were successful among academics in 1930s Germany; a convenient idea. Because the evolutionary idea arose in a time of Colonialism when people were looking for an opportunity to oppress others, it became wildly popular amongst those who had intellectual sway in the English speaking world because England now had it’s justification for colonialism. English colonialism could now throw off the constraints of the Biblical teaching that all humans descend from Adam (a single common human ancestor) and that human beings were to love their neighbour as themselves.  

Prior to the theory of evolution we see greedy colonialists muffled and restrained by the Bible. After the theory of evolution we see blatant hatred for fellow man: apartheid. 

Today, the racist theory of evolution lives on, perpetuated by greed. Corporations want you to live for immediate pleasure rather than transcendent purpose (better marketing). Universities want money donated to their research not to the church. Immoral consumers want an excuse to live like kings without care for the third world because “hey, survival of the fittest”. 

And if you think someone is more related to an ape than you, you might call them a monkey. Racism is rife. 

Every time you hear the news celebrating how humans came “out of Africa” you are hearing racism. Every time you hear that Africans are the “oldest” (hint least evolved), you are hearing colonial era racism spewed out. Each time they claim another “missing link” (really an extinct ape) to “support” their theory that all humans descend from an ape’s ancestor you are hearing the reinforcement of a wicked theory bent on treating humans as animals. 

Racists began abusing fellow humans centuries ago by likening them monkeys. Today they they just say they are more closely related to the monkeys to alleviate their conscience because in a dog-eat-dog world of Darwinism only the “fittest monkey” gets to survive. This racism must end. 

God made us in His image. 

Notes

1. Evolutionists claim that humanity descends from an “ape like ancestor” which in a rather loose way is often called a monkey. 

2. “Survival of the fittest” is a rather crude alternative phrase to ‘Natural Selection’. It is the idea that the animals most suited to their environment (fitter and stronger) that reproduce more successfully will compete effectively against rivals. While this is a truism, it does not support the idea that we ‘evolved’ from apes. “Survival of the Fittest does not explain the Arrival of the Fittest” (Carter). 

3. Although many justifications were given for the apartheid, the intellectual justification was Darwinism. Why would the more evolved share and intermarry with the less fit. With many cases people were trying to reconcile their greed with their worldview, however Darwinism logically flows to racism; the idea that different ‘races’ are inherently different is the fruit of Darwin’s ideas. 

Happy New Year

This new year, recall God’s blessings of the previous year, seek God’s blessings for this year amd trust alone in Him for 2018. 

Above all seek Him while he may be found. Who knows when you will run out of time! To learn more read here

We hope you will have a blessed and God glorifying year. 

Let us consider the admonition of James 4. 

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”   As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:13-17)

Incoherent Atheist Bias

  
Atheists obviously differ with creationists. Amusingly, they will masquerade their idea that the universe caused itself as ‘science’ and the idea that the universe was created (caused) as ‘religious’. Yet scratch the surface and their incoherency shows. 

What creationists and atheists may agree to

  1. The universe had a beginning. No one who seriously engages with the evidence really disputes this. 
  2. All things that begin to exist require a cause. Science presupposes this, reason does too and everyday experience agrees. 
  3. Thus, the universe had a cause. 

The unnecessary controversy

It is logical to believe that something was caused by something that preexisted it. On the other side, it is incorrect to think that something could preexist itself in order to cause itself. 

It is illogical to believe that the natural world managed to preexist itself in order to cause itself. That is ridiculous. 

The universe (all of nature) must have been caused something, or someone, beyond nature. Since the universe is all time, space and matter, the universe must have been created by something other than itself, ie timeless, spaceless and immaterial. 

It is incoherent to say that the natural world was caused by the natural processes, that are themselves derived from nature. Yet this is exactly the claim of atheism. 

It is correct to say that the universe was caused (ie created) by God. 

The Bias

If you take one look at the Wikipedia article for “creationism”, you will find that the numerous internet atheists will argue differently. They will tell you that the logical idea that the universe could not have made itself is a religious idea. They will then boldy proclaim that the universe did in fact somehow make itself, which would have required it to exist before it existed to act as its own cause. They will argue that this is ‘science’. Whatever they mean by this science, it’s not what put planes in the air or men on the moon – it’s just incoherent atheist bias. 

The universe was created by God (Gensis 1:1). 

Find out how to know God here. 

Nabeel Qureshi – a modern-day example of faith and steadfastness

On 16 September 2017, Nabeel Qureshi, a Christian author and apologist passed away a year after being diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. He was 34. An excellent overview of Nabeel’s conversion from Islam and his life’s work is outlined here by the Gospel Coalition. Eulogies in written form and a video from his memorial by his mentor and friend Ravi Zacharias give a powerful picture of Nabeel. 

When Nabeel got his diagnosis last August he posted the news on Facebook and I remember reading it in disbelief. “Not Nabeel”, I thought, “he is so young, he has a baby girl, he is doing so much for the kingdom”. As his Facebook post says, he shared his journey with the world via a YouTube vlog. This article is based on his courageous vlog and his sermons after his diagnosis among other sources.

The Bible gives us many examples of people of faith and steadfastness. The example that I think most closely resembles Nabeel, is Job. James 5:10-11, “As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” In Job we see a man who was very blessed by the Lord and Satan accuses his faithfulness to God as merely coming from his blessings. Job 1:9-11, “Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” Satan also accused Job of fearing God because he had his health, “Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” (Job 2:4-5). And as we read the book of Job, we know that he did not curse God even though he lost his possessions, children and health. Hence he is such a great example of faith and steadfastness for us. But how does that look like today? Do we see or know of such examples in the modern world? A tangible example, someone we know or know of, our own peer. Such an example is Nabeel Qureshi. 

Nabeel shared in sermons and talks that he gave after he received his diagnosis, that at the time of his diagnosis he was pursuing his dream PhD program at Oxford University, had a 1 year old daughter and a baby on the way, was a New York Times best seller and spreading the gospel throughout the world. He emphasised how well things were going for him, how everything he was doing was succeeding. But then he needed some tums for his stomach, that’s only how bad it had gotten and to find out it was stage 4 stomach cancer was a shock. To say that Nabeel was hated for leaving Islam is an understatement and when he announced his diagnosis he was told by some that he was cursed by Allah for leaving Islam. Some went as far as to claim that if he went back to Islam he would be healed. An enormous amount of pressure was applied but he stayed steadfast. He was steadfast when he first got his diagnosis until his death. In his vlog he explained why he wouldn’t go back to Islam regardless of what people were saying and he did this with love, gentleness and precision, like he always did. In one sermon, Nabeel stated that he believed God would heal him, as He’s a healer, but if not he doesn’t care if people laugh at him. Reminds me of Daniel Chapter 3, where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were facing death by a fiery furnace for not worshipping king Nebuchadnezzar’s god, “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18). No, he would not turn away from the Lord.

As time went on and the treatment didn’t work, Nabeel held fast to his faith even when the healing didn’t come and the pain got progressively worse. In a sermon 3 months prior to his death he said, “I will not forsake His name in the face of any pain, in the face of any suffering, I will not forsake His name”.

Eating caused him pain, which, as something his friends attested to (one example is Abdu Murray’s piece here) that he really enjoyed prior to stomach cancer. An enjoyment he had was taken away, in fact his enjoyment turned to pain at every meal and the time it took to digest that meal. But he did not complain. In fact, he prayed to thank God on behalf of those who did not feel pain when they ate. At Nabeel’s memorial, his mentor, Jim Tour, who had been with Nabeel nearly daily in the months leading up to his death, spoke about how he didn’t complain about the pain (and that he did not deny Christ). That he only knew of it when the nurse would ask Nabeel to rate the pain he was having. He had been through multiple surgeries, including the removal of his stomach on top of the pain caused by the cancer and yet he didn’t complain. Didn’t say, “why me”?

The most God glorifying moment (in my view) of his vlogs was the one he announced that he was placed in palliative care. In it he said the doctors had given up on treating him and that he was told that his body was in the last stages of life. At the end of the video he prayed and asked for healing and then said, “If it’s not your will, if it’s not your sovereign will at the end of the day… I trust you and I love you anyway”. What an example of faith.

In one of his earlier vlogs Nabeel described a dream he had about Jesus and through it he realised that Jesus was cleansing/purifying him through his trial. I am reminded of James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Nabeel’s trials that he graciously made public for us to witness and his example of firm faith and steadfastness is so needed today as it becomes more and more harder to see real faith in action. May we all also be faithful to our Lord. I am grateful that in the sermons and talks he gave during his final year of life he encouraged the Body of Christ to believe God’s word and to have faith in all of what it says.

Nabeel suffered through the loss of his family due to his conversion and suffered in the end due to cancer but he never wavered once in his faith and love for his risen Saviour. He remained steadfast under trial and received his crown from God. I will close with probably the most quoted Nabeel Qureshi quote, from his book “Seeking Allah, finding Jesus”, which fits his passing perfectly, “All suffering is worth it to follow Jesus. He is that amazing”.

Click here for the gospel. 

The secret of satisfaction

People everywhere seek satisfaction. Despite this, very few have found the secret of satisfaction. People look for satisfaction in relationships and experiences that make them happy or jobs and enterprises that make them more wealthy. Finding the secret of satisfaction, is something so critical in people’s minds that they invest much of their life in doing it.

A philanthropist is a wealthy person who discovered wealth does not satisfy.

Wealth does not satisfy. Ask a philanthropist. They have spent their days seeking to have ‘more’ wealth, until one day they discovered it was not going to satisfy. Think about how ‘wealthy’ changes meaning depending on who you ask. If you ask a person living in a hut and a person living in a two story house they own with a car and job what ‘wealthy’ means to them and they will give two different answers. Each will explain ‘wealthy’ by describing someone who has ‘more’ than they do. There is no standard for wealth, no point at which you can say ‘I made it.’ The rich man always wants ‘more’. The real meaning of wealth for someone who wants it is ‘more’. It never satisfies and the rich man who finally kept getting more with no satisfaction realises that wealth is a false promise. A philanthropist is a wealthy person who discovered wealth really doesn’t satisfy. 

Happiness is an enigma. When you are looking for it, you cannot find it.

Happiness is an enigma. When you are looking for it, you cannot find it. Someone said that seeking happiness is like looking at a distant star. If you look at it directly, it is so hard to see, but if you look at the darkness just next to the star, it shines so brightly. The pursuit of happiness is a dead end because happiness is not found in seeking it.

A person already satisfied tends to find wealth and happiness more easily, through he or she does not care for it. A person already satisfied does not spend their resources on the latest care or gadget because she is not filled with a craving for ‘more’.  Because they are not busy spending, buying and amusing, they wast their resources. A person satisfied is not constantly trying to make themselves happy, and thereby being disappointed.

The pursuit of wealth and happiness are mutually exclusive. A person seeking wealth will work, save deny themselves for the sake of ‘more’. A person seeking happiness will play, spend and indulge themselves for the sake of ‘more’ happiness. Proverbs 21:17 says “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”If you seek one, you must forsake the other. Another proverb says, “The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”. (Proverbs 30:15)

The secret of satisfaction is not found in the pursuit of wealth or happiness. These things can only be a by product of some other pursuit, but will only offer an empty vacuum of a wasted life if sought. Satisfaction is found elsewhere.

James 1:11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

The Secret of Satisfaction

The secret of satisfaction is found in a far different place.

God has made us to be satisfied in Him. A the psalmist pleads, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”(Psalm 90:14) The steadfast love of God offers us the satisfaction that will fill us with gladness and rejoicing for ‘all our days’. Real satisfaction leads to lasting joy.

The satisfaction we find in God’s steadfast love impacts how satisfaction in life. As Proverbs 13:25 says, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.” James exhorts us, “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (1 Timothy 6:8) The righteous is satisfied with what he has, but the wicked man always wants more. The righteous is satisfied and filled. He says “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Philippians_4:11) But the wicked wants more and steals. The want of the wicked is called in the Bible “covetousness”; It is sin.

We are warned “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5) The “love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). But Jesus who is the steadfast love of God “will never leave you nor forsake you” (John 3:16).

Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mathew 6:33)

The secret of satisfaction is simple. The steadfast love of God is lasting satisfaction. Seek His Kingdom. Everything else will happen as needed. Find out more.

 

 

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