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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Devotionals / Stuart Rankin's Blog Welcome Guest
    Stuart Rankin's Blog
          A place where spiritual observations are exposed & aired. Working with: www.counselling4him.org.uk

    Mon, Oct 2nd - 9:05AM

    Far Ramblin's

    Good Morning all,

    I am currently reading another of God's wonderful books, Hebrews, I find it really stimulating.  Here the writer is making the point that God is still the same God who brought the Israelites out of the house of bondage & out of the land of Egypt.  In addition God is revealing to his people that the next phase in his global salvation plan has taken place, that is Jesus who is the Messiah, God's annointed one.  Confirming his love to them as well as the new inclusive Gentile nations.

    I ask the question that if God invites the Gentile nations into His Kingdom, who are we as humans & beneficiaries of the same love & grace, in saying who can, or cannot be allowed in?  After all is it not God's? Therefore is it not up to Him to decide & judge who will or will not enter His eternal rest!

    Yesterday I heard a message that beggars the question, if God wishes to save everyone, who are we to put barriers in the way? I realise that there will always be scoffers, I read about one this morning, who denies the works of Christ at Calvary. Well that is her opinion & I respect it & the right to put it.  I do not have to agree with it, but there you are.  Our head office is currently putting out to all the local church courts the reaction of the membership on same sex CIVIL contracts.  NOT Marraiges as I read in the tabloid press. This is really what is behind this post, I will be thinking about these things as my wife & I holiday in your lovely New England.

    Have we as a church become too liberal? Have we as a church taken to believing the parts of scriptures which agree with our pet theories & forgets the rest? Or is this just a evolvement of the church  to where we are today?

    I will be visiting upper NY State & Mass/Vermont  for the next two weeks & then will be travelling down to Wilmington, Delaware for the final week before returning to the UK. My next post will be at the end of the month God Willing

    May our God richly bless each one of you as you work in your own little corner of His vineyard.

    Love in His Name   Stuart

    Comment (223)

    Wed, Sep 27th - 9:13AM

    Ramblings from Hebrews

    What I like about the letter to the Hebrews is that it pulls no punches, it leaves you in absolutely no doubt where the writer is coming from.  It served the Jewish Christians in the 1st century & it serves us just as well today. The letter highlights just who the person of Jesus is & what he has done for the believer & non-believer alike.  It lays itself out proving from the OT the various offices which can be laid at the feet of Jesus of Nazereth, who is God's annointed one; The Messiah.  Greek Christos, The Christ.  Setting out from the very beginning to illume what the reader already knows & adding to that knowledge with explanations & quotes from the very opening pages of scriptures.

    Jesus is compared with Angels, God's messengers, with Moses, God's chosen leader,  with Melckezadek, the Prince of Salem meaning Peace.  Prophet Priest & King,  Jesus is  shown as being superior to them all. God's Son, the Son of Man.  The saviour of the world. That says the writer is who we follow.

    Being encouraged then, just before the great Roman sacking of the temple circa 70 AD the people of God were under persecution from all around. The orthodox Jews were hunting the down because they worshopped God through the works of Jesus on Calvary's cross.  The Romans were persecuting them because they worshipped the only living God.  Not Caeser!  What a turmoil, no wonder some were thinking about giving it all up, no doubt some did.  Here the encouragment was & is based on facts which they could all understand & were already aware of. What a magnificent work wrought by the Holy Spirit through the unknown writer.

    Today, how do you think we would react to similar circumstances of persecution?  Believers across the world today are being hounded for their beliefs. A couple in Glasgow Scotland have taken sanctuary in a Cathedral to escape being deported to Pakistan, where as Christians they fear for their lives.  What would we do if we were met with similar fates?

    I would hope that I would continue to take refuge in the arms of my Saviour, I can only pray that I would have the strength, both spiritual & physical to withstand that kind of attack.  Till now we have known little in the way of persecution, yes there are those who would decry us, but that is not the same as mental & physical hardship.

    Take heart brothers & sisters in Christ, Jesus will save his people the writer of the letter to the Hebrews has left us with a legacy which cannot be beaten, promises of God which cannot be broken, reminding us of works of Christ which cannot be undone. When the time comes, when we are tempted to evil thoughts, which lead to evil actions, remember the words written that we might be reminded of the actions of God to save his people. 

    Jesus who literally pitched his tents among us, that we might in our time gain fellowship with God, through Christ, know  our voices as we cry to him in our need.  "Let us keep our eyes upon Jesus author & perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Heb.  12:2

    Simply Awesome

    Love in His Name   Stuart

    Comment (4)

    Tue, Sep 12th - 8:30AM

    Final ramblin's from Romans

    The final ramble from Romans is from chapter fifteen, with the emphasis from verse five.  Paul writes that: "May the God who gives endurance & encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart & mouth you may glorify the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ"

    What a statement, he makes here, not only does he wish for us to be unified, but he asks God to ensure that unity. Why, simply that we may as one voice glorify The Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Did Paul know that the Christians in Rome were not united?  Did Paul know that we would not be praising God with one voice?  I think that he must have understood the people before & after conversion, better than most.  After the fall outs at Corinth, see also 1 & 2 Corinthians. Paul made a judgement call through the Holy spirit to ensure unity down through the ages.  Never has there been a time when the Christian Church has been united, always there has been some breakaway schism in the offing.  Sometimes for the good & sometimes to the detriment of the Church as a whole.

    It is our task as believers to stay loyal to the scriptures, that we in our generation might pass on that which we received!  To keep the purity of the 'word'  as well as the purity of our very souls.  Both in our thinking & our speaking.

    Not always possible I hear you say!  I agree but as we err which is human, we can be forgiven when we take our mistakes to the source of our divine joy.  Our earnest prayer is for a continuance of Paul's request, that we in our time receive encouragement & endurance, in order that God may be glorified through the Lord Jesus Christ as we worship him.  In unity, with joy, may we all get to know Christ, the object of our faith, thus making our world a better place not only for now but in the years to come.  Till He comes again Hallelujah!

    That my friends is awesome

    Love in His Name   Stuart

    Comment (4)

    Tue, Aug 29th - 4:24AM

    Ramblin's after a quiet time.

    I have been keeping a low profile in the past few days as I have been trying to rid myself of an infection!  In total I have restored to a previous point about five times & getting to grips with whatever caused my system to collapse. So if anyone has had any strange e-mails which seemed to come from me, please ignore them, I have not not sent any.

    Now I continue with my reading of Romans that great treatise, Paul's logical arguement in favour of Christ & why we should believe. In chapter 8 at verse 28, he tells us that "In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose...... This a well quoted verse which in itself has helped many a Christian who may have lost the thread for a moment. I include myself in that statement.  The next piece about "Predestination" is the word which upsets most people, people can have distorted views about the word predestination in fact, whole chapters have been written about it, we can have a distorted view.  The word itself means 'decide upon beforehand'.  Clearly a decision is required before we become a Christian, but it is God's decision before it is ours, not that we did not decide on our own, but because God had first loved us that made the decision to return his love all the more sure. So God knew already that he had given his grace, all we had to do was accept. Ephesians chapter 1 backs this up by reminding us that it was God's ; Pleasure, God's will, God's plan & God's purpose. His purpose to give grace to all & he foreknew that if we accepted his grace, if we decided for Christ,  he would carry out the rest of his programme.  Verse 30 tells us that "Those that he predestined, he also called, those he called he also justified; And those he justified, he also glorified". God was entirely responsible for our conversion & is responsible for our salvation, but we had to make the decision.

    So many people get bogged down about the word predestination that some people do not know if they are indeed saved! It may bog  down the uncertain, but it a great assurance for the believer. Our security lies in the eternal predestinating will of God. Nothing else can bring such assurance & comfort to God's people.

    Jesus himself says that "No one can come to me unless the Father draws them". Jn 6:44  It is God's love & grace which brings our attention to the fact that,   'God so loved the world......

    So God has made us his people, not that we are favourites, but that we are to be his witnesses!!!  This promotes humility not arrogance, promotes security, not undecisiveness, assurance not apprehension, responsibility not apathy & most of all I think that it causes a holiness in us & not complacency. 

    This is not to say that we do not have problems, but we should know where to take these problems, to Calvary, that is where burdens are lifted.

    Finishing off with the famous verses: If God is for us, who can be against us? 

    What a wonderful pasage this is, a perfect foil to all those little darts that the evil one throws at us, a perfect encouragement, that in God through Christ we have all things which work out for the good of those who love him.

    The Holy Spirit using Paul's knowledge of the scriptures used him to pen these mighty words.

    That my friends is Awesome,  may each one of us know that our Saviour will take us right into that eternal Glory to be with our Father & each other.

    Love in His Name   Stuart

    Comment (7)

    Thu, Aug 17th - 4:08AM

    Further Ramblings

    With all the problems that are around today I sometimes wonder where when it will all end, I know that God is in control, but where will the current, future troubles take us?

    The Patriarch of the three involved religions is the same person, Abraham is Father to the Hebrews, Father to Christians because he trusted God's promise & it was credited to him as righteousness, through Ishmael he is the Father of Islam.

    I say this because the happenings in the world do not bear out these facts. Islam is fighting Islam, they are all fighting the Jews & hate the Christians for all they stand for. Nothing west of Suez is worth having one would think.

    But they all recognise Jesus as a great teacher & Prophet. They do not recognise him as the Son of God, but they hold him in higher esteem than some people I know. So why the emnity?

    My morning readings in Romans, remind me of these facts & yet I realise fully that Jesus said,  "there will always be wars & rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed, such things must happen for the end id still to come".  Mt. 24:6

    Although we as Christians must pray for peace, it will be God's peace & not the cease fires of man which will prevail. God has promised to all who believe the same as he promised to Abraham & by default all his followers. So the way I see it is we should unite through our common heritage & not diverge through our differences.  Where did it all go wrong? 

    For the love of money is the root of all evil, 2Tim. 3:2 & Jesus again said, "you cannot serve two masters, both God & mamon.  Mt. 6:24. "You know that the rulers of the gentils lord it over them......Not so with you, ..........  The son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransome for many"   Mt. 20:25ff

    Blessed are  the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God.   Mt. 5:9  Thats God's peace as I said above, its God peace that should rule in our hearts, through the works of His Son, Christ our Lord.

    Therefore there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.....    Rom. 8:1ff  So again I ask where is it all going?

    This is not meant as a political rant, but a genuine simple trying to understand, what we as Christians should do in the circumstances we find our world in today.  The ceasefire in the Lebanon, (a land which had the great cedars which were used in the Temple at Jerusalem), is currently holding. It is our desire that God's peace should come, a permanent peace that will hold.  That son's & daughters of men & women will no longer be brought to a violent end on each side, or faction.

    I fully realise that perfection will only come with the second advent of Christ, but I believe with all my heart that we should do our bit, as collective prayers rise to our heavenly Father, through Christ the Prince of Peace.

    May the rabble rousers & trouble makers be brought down, may the States in conflict come to know lasting peace, as through knowledge they each come to understand, the route to uncertainty & failure is the way of all wars.  May those who misuse power for their own ends be doomed to failure, may the way of Christ prevail.  Would that not be awesome, in our time!

    In adavance I apologise to anyone I may have offended, that is not my intent.

    Pray for peace my brothers & sisters in christ.

    Love in His Name   Stuart

    Comment (9)

    About Me

    Name: Stuart Rankin
    ChristiansUnite ID: shar
    Member Since: 2005-09-07
    Location: Livingston, United Kingdom
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I am a retired Pastor, I still preach in any Church that invites me, although it is usually Evangelical independant ones, I am licensed to preach in the Church of Scotland, & often do. My background in Christian Brethren & I took my training at Glasg... more

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