Monday, March 23, 2020

God is our Refuge in times of Trouble


Hi All. 

Hope you are all well. 
In today's daily reading by J Sidlow Baxter there is profit in what he declares for us today in a dire situation. I won't write it all but consider these few points. 
He considers Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is Higher that I.  David was fleeing the danger of Absalom his son and was well away from the usual security of Jordan. Baxter points out about this prayer of David that: 
1. Prayer is never invalidated by geographical position (where you are)  
2. Prayer is never in validated by extremity of circumstance (how bad your situation is)  
3. Prayer needs firm resolve ('I Wills' of David).  

David is overwhelmed as we are today with saddened hearts that we cannot worship as we should, together in His Name. But that of all times is the time to pray. Lead me to the Rock - most certainly that is Jehovah (The Great 'I AM' self existent and never changing) - is David's cry in the trouble he is in and that is or should be our cry. Lessons to learn are these: 
1. God in Christ is our immovable Rock of Refuge - our hiding place  
2. this Rock is Higher than we are and high above all storms.  
3. we need to be led there - that is the Holy Spirits power.  

David was the Lord's Anointed and as such you would think he should have no trouble. David's troubles of course where the result of his own ill doing and and so may ours often be. As Christians we are not exempt from harm in the physical but most certainly we are assured that nothing will change our redemption status in Eternity. 
God is Faithful in that our eternal future is secure in Jesus Christ and most certainly not in anything we try to do here on earth to conjure up that assurance. 

May our prayer be 'Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I' resting in the everlasting arms of our loving and merciful God  
Hope this helps someone  

God Bless 

 Peter Skillen (Pastor)
braehillbaptist@gmail.com


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Place where Love is


Hi all

I was just contemplating that I had neglected my blog for a long time.
Its not that I did not have anything to say but sometimes there is an overtaking of time and then comes neglect for the things we love.
I love God's Word and always look to impart it to whoever would listen.
I hope you have found the past blogs helpful and I look forward to writing some more in the coming weeks and months.

Below was a message spoken to those who are saved with the desire to help in the sense of the Church being a family were the Love of Christ is cherished and not neglected.
There are so many today who continue to neglect the authority of what God's Word instructs us to be 'in Christ' and then there is a wonder of why we are dissatisfied with life.
The search for peace always ends when we surrender to what God wants and not what we want in the flesh of our emotional mind.

Praying this helps someone 🙏

Peter Skillen (Pastor)
braehillbaptist@gmail.com
A Place where Love is

Luke 10:38-42



Two family supports that the believer has.

  1. Physical Family
  2. Spiritual Family



My home when growing up was:

A place of comfort
It was a place of Security
It was a place that had a great bed.
It was a place where I never went hungry. 



When you think about it there is no place like home.
It’s also a place where we are loved.
Well ? Most of the time.



In our reading we see that Jesus was a welcome guest in the home of Mary and Martha – He came there to have fellowship with them – and like all homes that anyone visits there was tea and food on the go.
That was a sign of welcome – that was a sign of acceptance.

There was a time when it seems that both sisters sat at His feet (v39) and then Martha got distracted.
The honour of sitting at the feet of Jesus Word is something that we must be experienced in.
Gathering together in Prayer and Praise and reading His Word is something that we need to have a love for.

The desire for every Pastor or oversight should be one that promotes this and yet there is always a frustration when it doesn’t come to pass.
The Pastor cannot of course make anyone do anything – nor should he wish to.
The desire for Christ from the believer must come from within.
A love for Jesus as the head of the family and a love for each other as the children of that family.

Our true spiritual family is one that is unique and invisible to all but Christ.
No genuine repentant sinner who has come through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can ever be expelled from that family.

Remember the attitude of Martha v40 Finally after much mumbling and grumbling she blurted it out.

Can you not see Lord that I am doing all the work and this lazy sister of mine is doing nothing?

We should be about family in this Church of Redeemed brethren.
This was a family that these three people in this house had a close relationship with Jesus Christ.
God loves families – that's why His Word has so much to say about the family.
That why He has to say so much about the Unity of His Family – as we are.

Let us be of one mind and one purpose and that is to present ourselves before Christ faithfully and honestly.
Supporting those in our family that need help both physically and spiritually.

God will bless the Church and you as an individual.

To God be the Glory


AMEN

Peter Skillen (Pastor)
braehillbaptist@gmail.com

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
braehillbaptist@gmail.com

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
www.braehillbaptist.org
braehillbaptist@gmail.com

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
braehillbaptist@gmail.com




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
braehillbaptist@gmail.com

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
braehillbaptist@gmail.com