Thursday, September 20, 2018

God is All in All

Hi All

There are many moments of despair in life and there is a propensity to let them overcome us, dragging us down into the depths.
God of course is the only constant factor in the life of the Christian and it is to Him we must always look to and depend upon.
Reading this morning from a faithful man of God's Word, J Sidlow Baxter I have been pointed to the greatest of thoughts that combat the despair of life.
Baxter's reference verse is that of Zephaniah 3 verse 5:
(5)  The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

It is the three little words contained in this verse that are an immense encouragement to the Church of Jesus Christ today:
'he faileth not'

To those who think the things of God are foolishness then you will never get the great compassion of these words.
To those who have come as the sinners they are and in Repentance have placed their Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross then there is a Peace of understanding.

My prayer is one of selfishness as regards my thoughts toward God in that I want to be the recipient of God's strength everyday of my life.
Yet my prayer is also selflessness in that I have a desire for those who have rejected the very thought of God as their Creator and Saviour to come and see that although we have failed in life, He never does.

Hope this helps someone in need today or whenever it is read.

In Jesus Name

Pastor Peter Skillen
Braehill Baptist Church
Northern Ireland

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Just a Thought

Hi All

For believers that maybe find they have failed God recently I give you this little thought:
'Its not my love for Christ that sustains me but Christ's Love for me'

Hope this helps someone

Pastor Peter Skillen
Braehill Baptist Church
Belfast, Northern Ireland

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Is God only there in times of trouble?

Hi All

Have you ever noticed that while the issues of life are at a standstill and everything appears to be right in our lives then our fellowship with God takes a back seat.
I have noticed this in many families, including my own, that when life is good and without major issue then there seems to be apathy towards the fact that trouble may well be just around the corner.

You might well be saying that no one can live their lives always expecting the worse because that would make for a real dreary existence and you would be probably be right in that thinking.
What is the thought usually?
'Live for today, for tomorrow might never come'.
The Gospel writer Luke records Jesus telling of the rich man who sought to be richer in life:
Luke 12:19-20
(19)  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
(20)  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

The Apostle of Jesus Christ, James, has a thought on this matter when he through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit declares:
James 4:13-14
(13)  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
(14)  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James is declaring to us that we can make many plans with those that we love, those that are our friends, those things that we love to do and yet nothing is certain in the planning.
Does that mean we then do not plan anything for fear it will never happen?
Most certainly not however any planning must be done in the knowledge that life is what it is - uncertain and transitory.

In my own planning I always have the thought that it is God in His Sovereignty who allows me to be what I am and go where I need to be according to His Will and Purpose.
When I do have trouble in life which can be little or much, I know that my continued fellowship with Him allows me always to have a unique access to someone who cares and loves me without apportioning a continued blame.
The Psalmist gets it right:
Psalm 46:1-3
(1)  To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(2)  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
(3)  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Psalm 121:1-2
(1)  A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
(2)  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Of course that unique fellowship that I have with God came at a price that I could never have paid.
God gave of Himself through His Son Jesus Christ on Calvary's Cross to take my place, my condemnation and pay for my failure in sin.
To many that seems bizarre especially when it happened so long ago and yet when we consider our need for redemption (purchasing) from sin it matters not when it happened but that it did happen.
Jesus did come and to make atonement for my sin and that allows me to be justified (declared Righteous in Jesus Christ) and have access by God's Amazing Grace to heavens Throne.

Do not start only to look for God when trouble comes your way.
Is it not better to have Him at your side every moment of the day, having a peace in life that rejoices in the love of God for ever and not just when things are quiet.
Trouble in life is never far away whether you are saved or unsaved, a Christian or someone who is lost to God.
Proverbs 3:5-7
(5)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
(6)  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
(7)  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

What is the only Way that we can have a unique relationship with God?
Jesus declared it to Thomas who doubted what the Way was:
John 14:6
(6)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Pastor Peter Skillen

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Our Love of God

Hi All
I was contemplating a 'Daily Reading' note from the eminent preacher and Theologian J Sidlow Baxter this morning and was touched by the teaching he sought to give.
(If you are ever looking for a Daily Reading programme then I recommend Baxters book 'Awake my Heart' (ISBN 978-0-8254-2175-4)).

The subject was Christ's interaction  with the disciple Peter and his restoration after the resurrection -
John 21.

For the Christian there is the Authority of God's Word in our lives and subsequently the obedience to its teaching by the Power of the Holy Spirit to bring about a blessed existence here on earth.
Yet if a believer has the thought of having to obey God rather than wanting to obey God then life becomes less bless.

To note what Jesus said to Peter makes this a bit clearer:
John 21:15-17
(15)  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
(16)  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
(17)  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Note what comes first before we live our lives for the Glory of God:
'lovest thou me?'

For a believer to live their lives in the joyous privilege of being 'in Christ' He must be put first in everything because 'He first loved us':
1 John 4:19  
(19) We love him, because he first loved us.

May we all have the same desire of the Apostle Paul:
Philippians 1:21
(21)  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

The only way a Blood Bought, Blood Washed believer wants to live is with Jesus Christ as preeminent and not just prominent.

Praying for the Church in these days of Apostasy

Pastor Peter Skillen

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Joy in the Believers Faith

Hi All

I was just reading yesterday some of the Daily Devotional notes from J Sidlow Baxter (Commentator and Preacher now since 1999 basking in Heavens Glory with His Saviour) and was encouraged by his teaching on the Faith that I have as a believer on the finished sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
He states and I quote:
'Faith is the very life of man's spiritual nature'
In relation to this thought he goes on to say:
'until the mind can rest itself by faith in guaranteed certainties there is no real joy for us'

To doubt in the certainty of God's Love and Mercy to us as sinners is to be robbed of the certainty that Jesus Christ stood in the place of you and me in taking upon Himself the Wrath of God's judgement that was most certainly ours.
To think that we as mankind are free from failure in sin is to delude ourselves in a false security.
Often we hear that we as human beings are essentially good in our nature however even that promotes a sense of pride in ourselves that cannot be right.

God's Word on the matter tells us:
 Romans 3:23
(23)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 5:12
(12)  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

I am a sinner Saved by God's Amazing Grace and rejoice that I can rest on the certainty that Jesus died for me as that sinner:
Romans 5:6
(6)  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:8
(8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Praise God in His Love and Mercy that He has provided for us a certainty of sins forgiven and an assurance of Heavens Glory because of the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.

The question needs to be asked as to what you are depending upon for the certainty of your Salvation.
I pray it is totally on Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Peter speaking of Jesus Christ declared:
Acts 4:12
(12)  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Thanks for reading.

Pastor Peter Skillen

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Not accepting the lie of this world

Hi All.

Further from yesterdays post and the reference to Philippians 4:13:
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

I came across a quote from renown commentator and Bible Teacher A W Tozer:
"Anything God has ever done, He can do now.
Anything God has ever done anywhere, He can do here.
Anything God has ever done for anyone, He can do for you."

If you are reading this perhaps God is calling on you to consider the separated position that you are in with Him.
In a world that is insistent on developing more ways to move away from its Creator I urge you to consider swimming against the tide of deception and look at the Truth of God's Word on matters of life and Eternal separation from Him in death.
Isaiah 55:6
(6)  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Pastor Peter Skillen

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Surety for all who Trust in Jesus Christ

Hi All

Two of my favourite verses as a believer who on many an occasion is anxious in self doubt as to my ability to be what God wants me to be are in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Philippian Church:
Philippians 4:6-7
(6)  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
(7)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The word for careful is often explained as meaning 'anxious' however I remember it being explained by one faithful preacher as a term used in fishing 'to be caught up (hooked) over nothing'.
Most certainly we can get caught up in anxiety by what befalls us in our failed sinful life.
God allows for the Believer to come in the communion of Prayer with Him because of the mediation of His Son Jesus Christ.
That prayer in supplication means I can bring the details of those things of anxiety to God's Throne of Grace and be thankful that I have such a Father who hears me 'in Christ'.

Often the answer is not what I thought it would be but Hey who am I to question God's Sovereignty on all matters of life.
In verse seven we have the crux of why we bring all things to God in Prayer.
It is for God to give Peace to the petitioner and allow me to know that His Way is the 'Right Way'.

What a confidence that I can have in God answering prayer. Why?
Because God cannot lie:
Titus 1:2
(2)  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

If you are reading this and do not know what I am speaking of its probably because you are not saved and that's a tragedy.
The Love and Mercy of God is available to all who call upon the Name of Jesus Christ in Repentance and Faith in the fact that He standing in your place paid your debt of sin that realistically you could never pay.
1 Timothy 2:3-4
(3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
(4)  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Because of my position in Jesus Christ as my sinless Redeemer and Lord I have access to God which before my Salvation was impossible:
John 9:31
(31)  Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

Come to Christ on God's terms and be saved through His merits and not what goodness you think you may have.

As a Blood Bought, Blood Washed sinner I now have a Hope that is secure in Jesus Christ and as Paul continues in Philippians:
Philippians 4:13
(13)  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Hope this helps someone today.

Pastor Peter Skillen