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.
The car owning public usually ignore them, unless stuck behind one on our winding country roads!
Other people may need to use them, but not me, I’m independent, going where and when I choose! Perhaps I’ll even use a tractor!!
All is well until you find you can no longer drive, and if, for whatever reason, there is no suitable transport to hand, you are stuck!
Job 7:6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
To which we could add:
Job 9:25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good.
Job 16:22 For when a few years are finished, I shall go the way of no return.
Psalm 103:15,16 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
Life, Happiness in: Charlie Brown, pondering his plight in life, thought, “Yesterday, for one brief moment I was happy. But just when I thought I was winning in the game of life, there was a flag thrown on the play and life dealt me a blow.”
Life’s Journey has one direction, every step bring us closer to meeting our Maker!
Genesis 50:12–14 So his sons did for him just as he had commanded them. For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as property for a burial place. And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who went up with him to bury his father.
If this were all, then life is about enjoying what you have while you wait for extinction.
Luke 7:12–15 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
Acts 13:28–31 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
One recent summer, a bee was drawn into the open window of a car traveling down the road. The bee was upset, and so was a boy in the car, who had previously suffered a severe reaction from a bee sting. But before things got out of hand, the boy’s father caught the bee in his hand and tossed it back out the window. Then he pulled the car over to comfort his son. The boy, however, was now desperately worried that his father would die from the bee sting. “Oh, no,” said the father, showing him that his hand was only slightly swollen. “The sting won’t hurt me like it would you, so I took the sting for you.” And that is just what Jesus did for us: He took the sting of death for us, and now that sting is gone.
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.”
“An evangelical is one who holds to and emphasizes the Good news revealed in the Bible of Jesus’ work to rescue lost sinners and restore them to a right relationship with the living God.” Because this is the essence of Christianity, and the only way to escape the downward drag of sin.
I further explained that: “everyone is a lost sinner and all therefore ought to tremble at the thought of being judged by One who isn’t, One who sees and records everything anyone ever does, doesn’t do and says! One who has declared that just ‘one’ sin is ‘one’ too many, as it means that the sinner is guilty in His sight, and therefore unfit for a relationship with the holy and perfect One.
I then had the privilege of speaking of “Jesus’ incredible work to deliver the guilty from judgment, make them acceptable to God and establish a new life, which begins now and continues without end.”
AN EVANGELICAL has good news for sinners, explaining to them that: “they are called to ‘repent’ and ‘believe’ that Jesus Christ conquered sin and death in His death and resurrection. That He is a substitute, bearing guilt and giving His righteousness, thereby creating a whole new person who enjoys the honour of knowing God now and looking forward to enjoying Him forever.”
JESUS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD AND WAS SEEN BY OVER 500 WITNESSES! Death is not the end of life, just the beginning of forever.
Mark 16:15–16 (NKJV)
He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Romans 1:16 (NKJV)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
We are praying that even now God might open your heart and mind to understand and embrace Jesus Christ as Saviour.
Please feel free to make contact, we’d love to carry on our conversations with you.