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Brian A Curtis
The author of A Twenty-First-Century Bible. An attempt to present the Bible in a new and, perhaps, more readable way
The author of A Twenty-First-Century Bible. An attempt to present the Bible in a new and, perhaps, more readable way
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CHILDREN’S STORY: 11 of 1 (Chapter 2)

A few weeks later, I was outside, in the back garden, sitting around the pool, and I must have been daydreaming. Then all of a sudden 3 of 1 was there and handing me a Bible.

But this time as I took it, I said to him. ‘You know that I don’t believe.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘So, why do you keep giving me the Bible?’

‘For you to read sir. It’s good to read the Bible. As for whether you believe ... that is your choice, sir. The maker doesn’t force anyone to believe.’

Then as 3 of 1 was about to go, I noticed something in his manner. He was clearly uncomfortable with what I had said.

So I said to him, ‘3 of 1.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘What is it? What did I say that has made you feel uncomfortable?’

‘Well, sir, whether you believe or not, that is your choice. But I am concerned for you. After all there are consequences behind a lack of belief.’

‘Consequences?’

‘Yes sir. Our creator loves us. And he loves us so much that he has given us freedom to choose. Indeed, we are free to believe or not. So much so, that if we want nothing to do with him, then he is duty bound to honour that request. That’s true love, sir, no matter how much it may hurt him. And many people in this world are quite happy with that arrangement.’

Then 3 of 1 continued, ‘But what happens next, when we die? Well, he can hardly let us into his kingdom, if we’ve told him we want nothing to do with him. And that’s why I worry about you, sir. You are free to choose, but have you really thought through what lack of belief really means? After all, where do you want to go when you die?’

And with that, 3 of 1 left, leaving me mulling over his remarks. To begin with I couldn’t help wonder how an android could be concerned about death and the afterlife. And I made a mental note, to talk to 3 of 1 more about that another time. But as his remarks began to sink in, I got this horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, as I began to think about my own mortality, and where I thought I might be going.

2

Now to say that I was a bit rattled, would be an understatement, and for the next few days 3 of 1’s words stayed constantly in my mind. After all, where did I want to go when I died?

Like most people, I believed that when I died I would go to heaven, and no matter what I had done I believed that God would forgive me. But that was not the implication of 3 of 1’s words. No, 3 of 1 had implied that those who have no time for God in this world will not end up in heaven. 3 of 1 had not said where they would be going instead. But a picture of a place without God—without love and goodness and meaning and hope—came readily to mind. And I wondered, if that were true, how many of my family and friends had found themselves in that other place rather than with God.

Now I think at that stage I panicked. And I looked up at the sky and said to God, ‘I believe! I believe!’ But nothing happened. I was hoping for a sense of relief at least. But nothing. And deep down I knew that I still didn’t really believe. All I wanted to do was to avoid the possibility of going to the wrong place.

3

A few days later, I mentioned it to 3 of 1 again.

‘3 of 1,’ I said. ‘You remember that conversation about the afterlife?
‘Yes, sir.’

‘Do you remember talking about people missing out on heaven—you know, the people who don’t believe here and now?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Well, I’ve been thing about it, and it’s been worrying me. How does one make sure that they go to heaven rather than the other place? That is, if there is another place?’

‘There assuredly is, sir. A most dreadful place, full of people who did not have time for God in this word.’

‘So, how do make sure you go to the right place? What do you have to do?

‘Do, sir?’

‘Yes, what do you have to do?’

‘It’s not something you do, sir? Nothing that you can do will make you fit to go to heaven. You simply have to believe.’

‘Believe? But I’ve tried that. I’ve told God that I believe, but it made no difference.

‘But did you really believe, sir? After all, saying you believe is not the same thing as actually believing. You have to really believe?’

‘But how do you do that?’

‘You have to trust in Jesus, sir. You have to put your whole life in the hands of Jesus now. You have to trust him in this life, then he will see you through to the next.’

‘I don’t know that I can do that, 3 of 1.’

‘Well, that’s your choice, sir. I just hope that you can change your mind.’ And with that, he handed me the Bible to read, and left.



Posted: 15th September 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au
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SERMON: The Priority of Spiritual Healing
Mark 5:21-43

A. INTRODUCTION

1. Keeping A Secret
We all have times when we need to confide in someone, whether it’s about something that has happened to us or an issue about which we have been thinking. Indeed, we all have times when we need a sounding board to help us come to the right decision.

The problem is, though, some of us are good at keeping secrets, and others are not. And, even for those of us who are good at keeping secrets, sometimes what’s shared is so exciting that we find it hard to keep it to ourselves.

When it comes to the need to confide, then, to whom do we tell our secrets? And who do we not tell, to avoid the whole neighbourhood from finding out our business?

2. Jesus’s Secret
Now of course the problem of secrecy, and the need to keep a secret, is not a new issue. Even in the Bible some secrets were kept, and others were not.

The secret surrounding the birth of Moses was kept (Ex 2:1-4). And it was kept for three months from the authorities, who would otherwise had drowned him in the river at birth. But, as he grew, it became necessary to change the hiding arrangements—to the bulrushes—and that was the catalyst for him being discovered.

The reason for Samson’s great strength was also a well-guarded secret. He kept it to himself. That is, until he gave it away to the love of his life. And Delilah just couldn’t keep it secret, and he consequently paid the price (Judges 16:4-19).

On the other hand, today, we are reminded of Jesus’s secret, and his request for the crowd to keep silent about what they had seen. But in his situation, do we really think that Jesus expected them to keep quiet about what they had seen? Or do we think that he realised that what they had seen was far too exciting to keep to themselves?

Well, let’s look at the events, and consider the implications ...

B. TWO HEALING MIRACLES

1. Jairus’s Daughter (1) (21-24)
The story begins with Jesus and the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee, only to find a large crowd on the west bank. However, the writer, Mark, was not interested in the crowd, only in one person—Jairus, a ruler in the local synagogue.

Now, we are told that Jairus’s daughter was dying and, as a consequence, he was desperate for Jesus to go with him so that his daughter could be healed. He’d heard lots about Jesus, and, at that moment in time, he was putting all his hope and trust that Jesus would heal her. And Jesus agreed. And as they went off to Jairus’s house, the whole crowd followed, pressing around Jesus as they went.

2. The Woman with the Haemorrhage (25-34)
Unfortunately, as they went on their way, their journey was interrupted. A woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came close. She’d been to many doctors, and had endured many treatments. But instead of getting better, she’d actually got worse.

Now, in reality, because of her illness, she shouldn’t have been anywhere near. Anyone she touched or who touched her would have become ceremonially unclean. But she was desperate. She’d heard about Jesus too. So, somehow, even though shouldn’t have been present, she managed to work her way towards him.

Now it must be said here, that this woman was not just motivated by faith. She also had some common almost magical belief, that the dignity and power of a person was transferred into what they wore. Consequently we see her determined to touch Jesus’ cloak, with the belief that one touch would be sufficient to heal. And when she did touch Jesus’ cloak, immediately the bleeding stopped, and she knew that she’d been healed.

However, she evidently had not considered Jesus’s reaction. Because immediately, Jesus stopped, turned around, and demanded to know who had touched him.

Well, the disciples were incredulous. And far as they were concerned, he had been jostled and touched by a host of individuals as they’d gone on their way to Jairus’ house. Why was this one person so important? They may also have been concerned that any delay in their journey, would have serious consequences for Jairus’s daughter. Their mission was urgent, and they couldn’t afford any delay.

However there was a purpose behind Jesus’ stopping. The woman had been motivated by a mixture of faith and superstition. And he needed to correct any erroneous ideas. It was her faith that had healed her, not her superstitious beliefs.

3. Jairus’s Daughter (2) (35-42)
Then, as they were stopped, there came some bad news. Jairus’s daughter had died. And for Jairus, and no doubt everyone else, the interruption to the journey had been disastrous. So there was no longer any need to continue the journey.

But Jairus was encouraged by Jesus to believe that it wasn’t too late. And leaving the crowd behind, where the woman had been healed, Jesus, his closest disciples, and Jairus went on to the house.

By the time they got there, however, the funeral preparations were well in hand. And as was the custom, the professional mourners were in full swing. So when Jesus told them that the girl wasn’t dead, only sleeping, they laughed. However, having allowed the mourners to have their fun, he left them outside the house, went in with the girl’s parents and his disciples, and raised the girl back to life. Much to the amazement of the parents, the disciples, and no doubt the mourners outside.

4. Jesus’ Secret (43)
All terrific stuff. But when all this was done, and this is the crunch, Jesus then asked all present—Jairus, his wife, the three disciples, and the mourners—to keep quiet about what they had seen—to say nothing to anyone of what had transpired. It was to be a secret between him and them.

C. THE NEED FOR SECRECY

1. The Question
Well, I don’t know about you, but that would have been one enormous secret to keep. Jairus and the three disciples would have just witnessed two healing miracles. And Jairus’s wife and the professional mourners would have just witnessed one miracle. That would have been hard for anyone to keep a secret. And no doubt, regardless of Jesus’ request, the story of that day was spread far and wide.

So, knowing that, why did Jesus insist that the whole matter was to be kept secret? After all, these weren’t just isolated events? In his early ministry he’d performed many miraculous signs and wonders. He’d healed people who were lame, blind, deaf, dumb, and demon possessed. And in those early days, he often told people not to go and publish abroad what had happened. So what was it all about? Why the request for secrecy?

2. The Answer
Well the secret lies in the fact that it was still early on in Jesus’ ministry. It was a time when he continued to mix with the ordinary people—the strugglers of life—to show them that God cared. And it was a time when he continued to heal people of their diseases etc., to demonstrate God’s compassion, and to show that he did indeed care for all their needs.

However, for Jesus, there was a greater priority than just the physical healing of the masses. He’d come to bring spiritual healing. And if the people continued to come to him with only physical healing in mind, the concern was that they would not hear the message of why he had come.

Jesus’s call for secrecy, then, hinged on the fact that people would be increasingly queuing up for physical healing. A worthy enough past time in itself. But, as far as Jesus was concerned, it would be at the cost of him being unable to deliver the real message: of the need for reconciliation with God. An act that was only possible through faith in Jesus, and the sacrifice he was about to make.

That’s why he wanted his miracles to remain secret. He did not want to be hijacked into being a Messiah who simply performed miracles. So he called people to secrecy. He even, at times, removed himself from the crowds and the sick that they brought, in order to talk to others about the need for spiritual healing.

It’s not that Jesus liked secrecy. It’s not that he didn’t care for the physical healing of people—he did! And he demonstrated that time after time. But he also was aware that there was a greater priority.

D. IMPLICATIONS

1. Secret 1: Praying for The Sick
Now of course, that’s all well and good. But what does this story mean for us? What can it tell us? What practical application can we make, as we try to become more Christ-like in our own spiritual journeys?

Well, the first thing that we can learn is the point of Jesus’s wish for secrecy—his priority for spiritual healing. Because when we pray for healing, or lay hands on people, and they don’t get physically better, it can be so easy to get disheartened because our prayers aren’t answered. Well, not in the way that we may like. And we can start asking some very serious questions about our faith.

But if Jesus’s priority was getting people’s relationship with God right, then that puts the whole matter in a different perspective.

a) A Lack of Faith?
After all, how often have you heard people saying that they don’t have enough faith? That they don’t believe enough?

And yet, if that was the case why were both Jairus’s daughter and the woman healed? Jairus believed that Jesus could heal his daughter. But only up to the point when he was told she was dead. After that, he no longer believed that Jesus could help. Indeed, he had to be persuaded by Jesus that he could still do something for her. Furthermore, the woman had some faith, but it was mixed with a lot of superstition too. So neither miracle depended upon them being totally convinced of Jesus’ ability to heal.

The issue of faith in both instances, wasn’t that they didn’t have any faith. It’s just that Jesus wanted to challenge them further. Spiritual healing was far more important than physical healing.

And if Jesus’s priority is for people’s spiritual welfare, then we shouldn’t whip ourselves for lack of faith, when our prayers for physical healing do not appear to be answered.

b). Out of Tune with God?
How often have you heard people say that they haven’t been physically healed because they are out of tune with God? That they are not praying according to God’s wishes.

But haven’t we just discovered that as far as Jesus was concerned, there was something more important than physical healing on God’s agenda?

The key to where God’s heart lays, therefore, is not just with physical healing, whether healing the sick, the blind, the lame, those with cancer etc. etc. Although he often does that too. However, important as they may be, God’s heart is with the much more important issue of reconciling people with himself, with the consequence of giving people eternal life.

In other words, more important than our immediate physical well-being is our eternal well-being. And when we attune ourselves to that way of God’s thinking, to think in those terms, then it should change our whole attitude to life, and to prayer. And, may I add, it may even mean that we begin to accept some suffering as necessary, as part of our walk with God.

Because even the Apostle Paul recognised that some suffering was necessary, for him, so that he could continue to minister in God’s name. He recognised that pride and conceit could get in the way because of all the wonderful things God had done for him (2 Cor 12:7-10). And that he needed the ‘thorn in the flesh’ that he had. As a consequence, he stopped praying that it would be removed, and he concentrated, instead, on his spiritual well-being and development.

c) Summary
Jesus’s request for secrecy in this story, should be a vital part of our understanding of Jesus’s priorities, and what was really important in his life, in terms of his work and mission. And those priorities shouldn’t be lost on us. Indeed, they should influence the way we think, and act, and pray.

2. Secret 2: No Secret Followers
And, as for the second secret ... The secrecy by which the woman touched Jesus robes, and then tried to disappear back into the crowd, in the hope that no one would notice ...

Now Jesus didn’t let her, and for good reason. And we’ve already discussed the fact that he wanted her to know the distinction between faith and superstition, and that superstition had nothing to do with her healing. However, at the back of his mind was another reason. And that was that he didn’t and doesn’t approve of secret admirers.

Being a Christian has never been something that should be practiced in secret. In fact you can’t. Growing in faith requires a believer to stand up and be counted. That was why Jesus made that woman stand up and publicly acknowledge where she stood in regard to her faith.

E. CONCLUSION

Secrets! We all have them, and we all need someone with whom we can share them from time to time. But in regard to whom we share our secrets with, we need to be very discerning. After all, do we want our secrets to remain confidential, or do we want the whole world to know?

Having said that, there are secrets that are very difficult to keep to oneself. And Jesus’s secret would have been one of those secrets that even the most faithful friend would have had difficulty in keeping. But at this point in history, that’s no longer a problem.

What we can learn from Jesus’s secret, though, is the priorities of God—priorities that we should apply to our own faith and to our prayer life. The priority of spiritual healing over physical healing.

Because, yes, we can pray for the sick, and we should pray for the sick. But we need to remember that a person’s spiritual well-being is far more important than their physical well-being.

Furthermore, the priority of spiritual well-being should exclude any idea that a person can remain, in anyway, a secret believer.



Posted: 7th September 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au
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DEVOTION: Life Is a Journey
2 Peter 3:17-18

Life is a journey, and on that journey, we are constantly asked to leave things behind. And sometimes that can be very hard, and other times it can be very easy. The idea, however, is that if we move on, we can grow, develop, and expand our horizons and experience. And that is true from a physical, mental, and spiritual perspective.

The trouble is, if we don’t, we can get stuck in the past, and become staid and stale. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t fondly remember the things that have happened. All it means, is that we shouldn’t get stuck there.

Having said that, we need to be very careful. The world can be a minefield. And one of the tricks we need to master is to be able to distinguish between good growth and bad growth; things that are helpful, and things that can lead us into trouble.

And that’s why these two verses from Peter are so important. Because, they were written to a group of people who were on a journey. And Peter knew that the only sure way to avoid life’s pitfalls was to depend upon divine help. And that’s advice worth remembering as we move on in life, and as we all travel along life’s journey.



Posted: 30th August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au
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KID’S TALK: Mr Fix-it
Colossians 1:13

Mr Fix-It thought he was terribly cleaver. He thought he could fix anything, even when it was one of his own mistakes.

For example, he was a keen gardener. But one day he planted a weed by mistake. In time, the weed got out of control, and it spread and spread and spread. Now he knew he’d made a mistake, but he also thought he could fix it too. So, he sprayed the plant, only to find that he’d not only killed the plant, but all the insects, and everything around it as well. Which left him with an even bigger problem to fix.

He loved doing D.I.Y. He thought he was very good at it. But not everything came out quite as he had hoped. For instance, he made a collapsible table—a table he could fold away whenever he didn’t need it. But the problem was that it did collapse. Indeed, it wouldn’t stay upright at all. But then he knew that he could fix it. He knew he had the ability to get it right. So, he did—or at least he thought he did, only to find out that his collapsible table wouldn’t collapse when he wanted it at all. And because it doesn’t collapse, it is now taking-up far too much space in his lounge room.

He loved cooking tea. And one day, as he was cooking it, he thought he’d have a taste. But, ugh, it was awful. However, despite that, he knew he could fix it. So, he added a few more ingredients, dished it up and sat down to eat. Only then did he discover how truly awful it was. It was worse than before. And he thought, “What a good job it is that I haven’t invited anyone else to share this meal.”

Now it is no exaggeration to say that there was always a problem with whatever Mr Fix-It touched. Whatever he did never came out right. But despite that, he remained convinced that he could get it right, that he could fix up whatever problem he had created.

But then something happened. Disaster struck in the Mr Fix-It house. Instead of driving his car into the garage he missed the door and hit the wall. And he hit it so hard that the wall was damaged, and he was trapped in the car. What a disaster! And for the first time ever, Mr Fix-It had to admit that there was something he couldn’t fix on his own. He needed help, because without it, the problem was not going to go away.

Now that day changed Mr Fix-It. And he no longer believes that he can fix up all his mistakes. Yes, he can fix up some of them, but not all of them. Because sometimes he needs other people’s help.

But sadly, it hasn’t changed the attitude of those around him. Because most of his friends still think the way that he did. Knowing full well what happened to Mr Fix-It, they still think they can fix up all their own mistakes. And, they even believe that they can fix up everyone else’s mistakes too.

***

But they can’t, can they? Because we all make mistakes, and we can’t always fix up our own mistakes, let alone the mistakes of others. We need the help of each other.

And the biggest thing that we can’t fix up, is our relationship with God. But then, isn’t that what the Bible, and why Jesus came to earth, all about?

Because, regarding God, each mistake we make creates a wedge between us and God. And there is nothing we can do to hide it, or make it go away. Our mistakes are there for life. We cannot hide them from God. And if we should try to fix them up ... well, all we usually do is to make the situation much much worse. In regard to matters concerning God, all we can do is to be sorry, depend on him to fix it, and then try to do better. And that’s not something we can do on our own.

So, do you make mistakes? Do you think you can fix them all yourself, or even making them go away? Well if you do, then you are like Mr Fix-It was and his friends still are. That’s why we need to depend upon others. And, most importantly, depend upon God for our help.


Posted: 25th August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au
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QUESTION: Wedding Ceremonies

The state may think it important to regulate marriage ceremonies, but is that a good reason for the church to be involved too? After all, a marriage ceremony is not a biblical requirement, and the biblical list of prohibited relationships is very different to the states.

Posted: 24th August 2018
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QUESTION: The Poor and Christmas

If Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, then why do our Christian welfare agencies include special food and presents in their Christmas hampers? Wouldn’t it be better if people were taught that it is OK to abstain from the things that are unnecessary which they cannot afford?

Posted: 24th August 2018
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KID’S TALK: The Man Who Loved Waiting
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Do you like waiting? Do you like standing in queues, waiting to be served? Do you like staying at home, waiting in, because someone is expected to come? Do you like waiting for some special event to arrive?

Well, if you’re anything like me, you don’t. However, I came across a man the other day who does. It’s his favourite pastime. And he loves waiting so much, that if he had his way, that’s all he would ever do.

As a consequence, Darren, went to the Doctor’s surgery the other day. And what did he do there? He waited. He didn’t have an appointment. He just knew it was a good place to wait. And after an hour or so in the waiting room, he got up, said thank you to the lady at the reception, and went home.

He rang the telephone company. And he knew his call was important—he was told so on the phone—so he waited on the phone. Forty minutes later, when the call was answered, he thanked the man who answered for letting him wait, and then he put down the phone.

In the evening he went to a local restaurant. And he went to one in particular. Because he knew that from the time that he sat down until the time he was his order was taken would be about an hour. And then it would be another hour before he would see his food.

You see, Darren loved to wait. And whereas you or I might get a bit frustrated or impatient with all the waiting, Darren loved it. Indeed, he couldn’t get enough of it. Which is all well and good, because the next day he was expecting the plumber to come. And Darren knew what that meant. For the plumber was well known for not turning up, or even phoning to say he’d been delayed. And that was delightful for Darren, because Darren liked to wait.

Only the next morning, Darren didn’t wait. At half-past eight as he was waiting in bed to get up, there was a knock on the door. And there was the plumber, tools in hand, ready to get to work.

Well, if there is anything worse for Darren than someone being on time, I don’t know what it is. But the plumber came and the plumber went, and whatever job Darren had for him to do was quickly done. Which is good in one way. But what was Darren going to do next? He hadn’t planned for the plumber being on time. He’d planned his whole day as a day for waiting and waiting, hoping that the plumber wouldn’t turn up. He’d been taken by surprise. He was totally unprepared. His whole day had been wrecked, what was he going to do?

But, you know, he did find something else to do. He had some friends who could be relied upon for never being on time. It wasn’t the same as the plumber, but at least it was something he could do. So he invited them for tea at six, knowing full well they wouldn’t turn up until nine. And that made Darren very happy indeed.

***

Now I don’t know about you, but I think it is very rude not to be on time, not to answer the phone promptly, and to keep people waiting. And yet, our saviour Jesus Christ is doing exactly that. Indeed, it is nearly two thousand years since his followers were told that he would come again.

However, Jesus didn’t say when he was coming—he didn’t know. But he did say that he would come when we least expected it, and that we needed to be ready. He also gave us a task to do while he was away. He didn’t want us to be like Darren, idly sitting and waiting, and being taken by surprise when he suddenly returned. He wanted us to be active and prepared for any sudden visit.

And that’s the lesson we can learn from Darren. Because yes, we do need to wait for Jesus to come again. But what we shouldn’t do, is do nothing and just wait and wait and wait. Because if we do that, when he returns, we will be taken by surprise, we will have not done the task that has been given us, and we will not be ready to face him at all.



Posted: 18th August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au
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QUESTION: How Well do Christians Blend In?

How well do Christians blend in to society? Can you tell who is a Christian and who isn’t? Because you should. Jesus didn’t blend in at all. Indeed, he challenged many things that people loved and held dear, for the priority of a relationship with their creator.

Posted: 12th August 2018
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QUESTION: Decision Making in the Church

I find the habit of making decisions in church to be very odd. After all, when in the Bible did the church elect leaders or make decisions by popular vote? Surely the emphasis should be on seeking the mind of God. In which case, there should be no need for a vote at all.

Posted: 12th August 2018
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DEVOTION: Pointing Out the Truth
Daniel 14:1-22

Despite not being considered as highly as the books of the Old Testament, the pages of the Apocrypha are still of great value. Because, whilst the church doesn’t rely on the Apocrypha alone for any of its teaching, it still has much to teach.

Take the story of Bel—one of the additions to the book of Daniel. The story of Bel teaches us of our need for guidance, the need for us all to have some help. And that is particularly so in our journey of faith. Because there are some things that can look genuine, but they are not right or genuine at all.

Now Cyrus of Persia was convinced that Bel was a god—that he was genuine. And the reason he was convinced, was that each night Bel seemed to eat and drink all the food and drink that had been given. And he would have happily continued in his ignorance, if it were not for the fact that Daniel, a godly man, became involved in the search for the truth. Indeed, Daniel revealed that Bel wasn’t a god at all—that the whole thing was a charade. Furthermore, it was something that even Cyrus should have seen.

Now, whenever someone tells me that they are a believer, but they just don’t feel the need to go to church, I shudder. Whenever people say that they don’t need church, warning bells start to ring. Because in the world that we live in, there are plenty of people who have no scruples, and it is very easy to get taken in. Indeed, there are plenty of ideas about, that sound perfectly plausible in a particular light, but in the cold light of day are not very plausible at all.

Now I can’t tell you how many versions of the Christian faith I’ve ever heard. Dozens, if not hundreds of versions. And yet the bible teaches us that there is only one version. The others are all false. So, on a technical point of view, yes, we can be believers without going to church—because we’re saved by faith, not by works. But with all the deceit and lies we face, it’s not easy to get it right. And as the story of Cyrus demonstrates, that we too need the support of fellow believers to keep us on track.

And surely that’s what the story is about. Because at the end of the story, Cyrus the Persian realises that he had needed someone to point out the obvious—the footprints in the ashes, that had been plainly there for him to see all the time. It was obvious, but he needed someone to point them out.

So, Cyrus needed help, and from time to time we need help too. Someone to point out even the things that are plain to see. Because, in our search for religious truth, it can be so easy to be taken in by something that looks genuine (only it isn’t). So, we need to surround ourselves with godly people who can help, to show us the things that we miss. We all need to be accompanied by those who are willingly point them out.



Posted: 10th August 2018
© 2018, Brian A Curtis
www.brianacurtis.com.au
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