60’s weekend in Pickering, between the showers we had showers of blessing.
The number of older residents means there’s a higher than average number of disabled drivers for whom double yellow lines are a parking space. Add to them delivery vehicles and those who think the highway code is for other people, and scenes like this become a daily event.
The sheep was lost because it was silly, the coin through someone’s negligence, but the boy is lost because he chooses to get far away from all who love and care for him.
Luke 15:14–16 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
He’s fallen out of the good life, into a world where pigs eat better than he does! He’s in a jam!!
Matthew 4:17 (NKJV) From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 5:32 (NKJV) I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Luke 13:3 (NKJV) I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.To repent is to change your mind. However, this only defines the word, not the concept, for you need to ask, Change your mind about what? … If repentance is understood to mean changing your mind about your sin—being sorry for your sin—this will not necessarily save. There are plenty of criminals in and out of jails who are repentant in this sense. They are sorry for making certain mistakes, but this does not mean they give up a life of crime. People can be sorry for their sins without wanting to accept the forgiveness of a Saviour. But if repentance means changing your mind about the particular sin of rejecting Christ, then that kind of repentance saves, and of course it is the same as faith in Christ. C. C. Ryrie Repentance isn’t feeling. It is turning from sin to God. One of the best definitions was given by a soldier. Some one asked him how he was converted. He said:
Believing his father would receive him, he’s ready to consign himself to the most menial tasks necessary – To his great delight and benefit – When he reaches home there’s a welcome and he’s embraced as a long lost son.
Luke 15:21–24 (NKJV) And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Romans 1:20–21 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Here they learned that all are equally sinners, that God holds each individual responsible for their sin, and that unresolved sin would mean eternal separation from God in hell.
Then they heard the great Good News of God’s resolving the sin of believers through the work of Jesus Christ, whereby He paid our penalty and now sets free from sin and judgment all those who will take Him at His word, repent and believe on Him as Saviour. So Simple, yet So Hard to Accept.
Romans 6:23 (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Free Gift
Remember, salvation is a free gift, and it is a free gift for us. Can you buy it? It is a free gift, presented to “whosoever” will accept it.
Suppose I were to say, I will give this Bible to “whosoever” will take it; what have you got to do? Why, nothing but take it. But a man comes forward, and says:
“I’d like that Bible very much.”
“Well, didn’t I say ‘whosoever’ will can have it?”
“Yes; but I’d like to have you mention my name.”
“Well, here it is.”
Still he keeps eyeing the Bible, and saying, “I’d like to have that Bible; but I’d like to give you something for it. I don’t like to take it for nothing.”
“But I am not here to sell Bibles; take it, if you want it.”
“Well, I want it; but I’d like to give you something for it. Let me give you a cent for it; though, to be sure, it’s worth about five dollars.”
Suppose I accept the cent; the man takes up the Bible and marches away home with it.
His wife asks, “Where did you get that Bible?”
“Oh, I bought it.”
Mark the point; when he gave the penny, it ceased to be a gift. So with salvation. If you were to pay ever so little, it would not be a gift.
D. L. Moody
Romans 2:4-6 do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
I was weeping in the most bitter contritition of my heart, when I heard the voice of children from a neighbouring house chanting, “take up and read; take up and read.” I could not remember ever having heard the like, so checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book and read the first chapter I should find. Eagerly then I returned to the place where I had laid the volume of the apostle. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: “Not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not is strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” No further would I read, nor did I need to. For instantly at the end of this sentence, it seemed as if a light of serenity infused into my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away. – Augustine
Romans 13:14 (NKJV) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. God.
Romans 5:10 (NKJV) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 3:26 (NKJV) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Mary had a little pig and it was white as snow,
That is when it had had a bath, as you of course might know.
But Mary had an awful time to keep the piggy clean,
For it was just the dirtiest pig that one has ever seen.
She’d wash him and she’d scrub him, till he would squirm and squeal,
As if he wanted her to know it was an unfair deal.
And then inside his green backyard he’d plan from morn to night,
Unless he happened to sneak out and lose himself from sight.
And then when Mary found him he’d be blacker than ere before,
So Mary’d get the soap again and scrub the pig some more.
Poor Mary thought and wondered much what she could ever do
Until she figured out a plan, and this she carried through.
She took him to a doctor who put the pig to sleep, and then he
Took his heart right out, but not of course to keep.
And then he took a little lamb and took his heart out too
And put it in the little pig before the piggy knew.
When little piggy did awake he had no more desire
To wallow in the mud again or ever in the mire.
And try as hard as ere he could he never understood,
How such a pig as once he was could ever be so good.
And so you see, dear friends of mine, you need a new heart too,
Just like the little piggy did, the old will never do.
If you’ll receive a brand new heart, well, here is how you may.
Accept God’s son as Saviour now and let him in today.
It began with a comment and complaint that people had no idea that this was ‘Whit Week’! And developed into a discussion of how to be ready to meet God.
The lady was so disillusioned with the ‘Established Church’ that she’s been meeting with ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ for a long time.
We touched base on their familiar shibboleths: Jesus isn’t god, the Holy Spirit is just God’s energy and that God’s Name is Jehovah.
When I explained that the JW’s were a man made cult with just c.150 years of history, and that they’d gone so far as producing their own version of the Bible to pass off their views as Biblical, she began to listen.
“Ah”, she said, “you’ve got to have hope”, so I pursued her line of thought to show that what the JW’s call hope is no hope at all – just ‘I hope so’, and so they are no different from every other religionist on the planet, ‘hoping’ that when the meet their Maker and Judge, He will review their ‘good works’ and approve them as worthy of a place in His eternal world.
The Christian’s hope is very different, it is a person – Jesus Christ, who as our representative and substitute, has completely covered our sin and made us acceptable to God, here, now and forever.
So desperate is our state by nature that we need rescuing, not another set of rules which no one can keep. Jesus Christ is that Saviour, those whom He saves have the ‘blessed hope’ that He will bring them into the eternal world by His strength, and His alone.
The People of Pickering, and every other place on this planet, need ‘hope’ not the ‘hope so’ of man made religion, but the ‘Living Hope’ which God has Established through the Death and Resurrection of His Son.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) is a heritage railway in North Yorkshire, England. First opened in 1836 as the Whitby and Pickering Railway, the railway was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby. The line closed in 1965. It was reopened in 1973 by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd. The preserved line is now a significant tourist attraction and has been awarded many industry accolades.
The NYMR carries more passengers than any other heritage railway in the UK and may be the busiest steam heritage line in the world, carrying around 350,000 passengers in 2009. The 18-mile (29 km) railway is the second-longest standard gauge heritage line in the United Kingdom and runs across the North York Moors from Pickering via Levisham, Newton Dale, Goathland and terminating at Grosmont. Some heritage rail operations continue along Network Rail tracks to Whitby.
You buy your ticket, take your seat, then enveloped in oily clouds of steam and smoke you enjoy the scenery along the way, but all too soon it’s over and you return to the hum drum routine of life.
A highlight of the train journey is the arrival of the ticket inspector to check the validity of your ticket, you mustn’t travel without one. You may have to buy it yourself, or perhaps enjoy the benevolence of a generous friend, parent or companion, but not to have a ticket is to contravene the railway’s regulations. Those who break the rules must pay up, immediately or find some generous soul to bear the cost.
Do you have one? We begin this journey by just being born, using the amenities and consuming resources day after day after day, no one has a ticket, yet everyone needs one to exit on the right side of the track at the end of the road.
Offer them a timetable or details of what to expect at the terminus and they foolishly brush you aside with a curt, ‘No thanks I’m OK’ . What a tragic mistake, for it’s not a train they miss but the privilege of knowing God and the provision He has made for all who can see their need and accept His ‘gift’ of the full and free cancellation of all charges incurred enroute, with a guaranteed welcome into His world of beautiful peace and joy at the end.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Acts 13:38–39 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 16:30b–31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Luke 12:20–21 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
In Her own words, there is something more special than her well earned success as an athlete.
"In my teenage years a local worker in a church challenged me about where I stood before God. Despite going to church and praying every-so-often I knew I needed to accept Jesus into my life. I needed to say sorry to Him for the wrong in my life and ask Him to forgive me, change me and be King of my life." "I knew that I couldn't fool God - He created me - and there were things in my life that were far from what God would want. God the Judge said there has to be a penalty for the sin in my life." But Jesus died for me and paid the sentence for my sin. Asking Him to become my Lord and Saviour is something that no Olympic success could bring. He has given me more than any Olympic medals could. However sorted my life might be, without Jesus it means nothing."
It Was Our Privilege to hand out this leaflet, and many gladly received it:
Inside you will find a description of the One whom Debbie, and many others, depend upon to deliver them from sin and to give meaning and purpose to life. The One to whom you must turn in repentance and faith if you would find the kind of peace which she has found.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
John 11:26 whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Hebrews 11:6 he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.