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Keith Bates
1,217 followers -
Passionately in love with God, my family, my church
Passionately in love with God, my family, my church

1,217 followers
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"Mock Heaven at Half Past Eleven" is tomorrow's Coffee with Jesus: 
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In Christian theology it is God who deals with evil, and he does this on the cross. Any other “dealing with evil” must be seen in the light of that. N. T. Wright 
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"News Fast" is tomorrow's Coffee with Jesus: 
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The cross was the moment when something happened as a result of which the world became a different place, inaugurating God’s future plan. The revolution began then and there; Jesus’s resurrection was the first sign that it was indeed under way. N.T.Wright 
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Reflection on Matthew 5:38-48

Passage: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5.38-48

Scripture
“You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evil-doer”

Observation
Jesus takes the principles of the Law and extend their application to lengths that seem (and actually are) impossible to fulfil.

An eye for an eye becomes do not resist an evil-doer.

If someone sues you, give them more than is their due.

Love you neighbour becomes love your enemy because to be like the Father we have to love those who hate us.

The people of this world can be kind to people they like. It takes the grace of God to love our enemies.

Application
How do I live my daily life in the context of the radical love of God?

Revenge, even in the limited version allowed in the Jewish Law seems appropriate to most people. The Law of Moses allowed that a person who was injured by another person could take a legally sanctioned retribution in which the perpetrator was injured to the same extent as the victim. So then you have two maimed people, and the injuries of the victim are still there.

Jesus says, “Do not resist an evil-doer.” How does this apply when your house is invaded by people who want to harm you and your family?

Many Americans, and I suppose many people from most cultures, whether christians or not, subscribe to the philosophy of “Do unto others before they do unto you.” In other words a loaded gun beside the bed is your best protection.

How does that tie in with “Do not resist evil doers”?

Jesus tells us not to meet violence with violence, but with a defiant form of non-violence. “Turn the other cheek.”

Most of us do not often face extreme violence such as robbery or assault. Our situation is more likely a daily slap in the face- contemptuous put-downs, mischievous harassment. In those situations, Jesus tells us to show kindness to those who show us hatred, to love those who do us wrong. Rather than retaliation we choose a higher path of peace and love.

When our physical safety is threatened the odds are higher. But the principle is the same- remove the threat without harming the person. I can't imagine what it is like to be a christian in ISIS controlled territory, or to go through a violent home invasion. In those situations we need the grace of Jesus to follow Him even in great suffering or at the point of death.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, you sometimes challenge our thinking on what is right and good. The standard “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” is too high for us. Help me to surrender myself to your grace in every situation. Amen.

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I rode with MapMyRide+! Distance: 23.34km, time: 01:01:54, pace: 2:39min/km, speed: 22.63km/h.
http://mapmyride.com/workout/2011160246

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On the one hand, many expound some version of the idea that on the cross God in Christ won a great victory, perhaps we should say the great victory, over the powers of evil. This is the theme many now refer to as Christus Victor, the conquering Messiah. On the other hand, many of the early theologians regularly spoke of Jesus’s death as somehow “in our place”: he died, therefore we do not. N.T.Wright 
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