Real Man

“The Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us”
(John 1:14)

Jesus was both fully God and fully Man.

  • He was born to a human mother through the Holy Spirit
    • Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35
  • His human ancestry reaches back to David, Abraham and Adam
    • Matthew 1: 1 – 17; Luke 3: 23 – 38
  • He grew and learned as a human, obeying His human parents
    • Luke 2:51-52
  • He grew hungry and needed to eat (Matthew 4:22) and thirsty and in need of drink (John 4:7). He was weary after travelling (John 4:6) and He needed sleep and refreshment (Matthew 8:24).
  • He endured Satan’s temptation
    • Luke 4:1-13
  • He had the normal human emotions of love and compassion (Matthew 9:36), anger (Matthew 21:13, Mark 3:5), He wept (John 11:35) and experienced inner agony (John 12:27).
  • He died and was buried like all humans
    • Luke 23:44-56

It is because Jesus was fully human that He could represent us on the cross and die on our behalf. And it is because of it that He is also enabled to fully understand and sympathise with us, recognise the power of temptation and minister God’s love and mercy to us as the “High Priest forever.”

“For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:16-18)

God is not an impassive observer of our little lives. He became as one of us, associating fully with us in His baptism, walking our roads, breathing our air, working our work, touching our lives and allowing us to touch His. In becoming fully man He becomes more fully real – so that John could write,

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete” (1 John 1:1-4)

He knows me because He has been me


Lord Jesus You understand who I am, the way that I feel and the joys and agonies of my life. Please touch my life with Your life and help me to receive all that You are and all that You have done for me. Amen.




But God

“In the beginning God”
(Genesis 1:1)

There was a beginning for life as we know it. When that happened God was there. In fact He existed quite independently before this beginning. He Himself had no beginning in terms of our understanding for time itself is His creation – and so the Psalmist exclaims,

“Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God”
(Psalm 90:2)

For us He is the beginning and the end. Our beginnings are in Him and our end is with Him for there is no existence without Him.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End”
(Revelation 21:6)

His eternal Being is revealed throughout Scripture.

  • “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27)
  • “For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever” (Isaiah 57:15)
  • “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. “(Exodus 3:14)
  • “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!“(John 8:58)

And finally these glorious words of mystery and revelation.

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2)

At the beginning of this new year our first foundation stone and great security is God Himself. He who was the beginning is also in the beginning of 2018. He who is also the end will be too at the end of the year. And, no matter what course the year might take, His great promise in and through Jesus Christ is this,

“And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20)

We hold on to these great truths even when the clouds are dark and all is confusion – for God is working His purpose out and His kingdom will truly come in all its fullness and glory. Tennyson had this to say,

Act first, this Earth, a stage so gloom’d with woe
You all but sicken at the shifting scenes.
And yet be patient. Our Playwright may show
In some fifth Act what this wild Drama means.

Receive and lay your first foundation stone for the year – God is!


Almighty God, I acknowledge you as the eternal One – supreme and in control at all times. Thank You that I may call You Father and entrust myself to You completely. Amen.


One Life, One Truth


“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
 No one comes to the Father except through me”
(John 14:6)

“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus. We might well hear that question being asked today.

One recent headline stated that ‘We are not living in a ‘post-truth’ world, we are living lies.’ Another tells us that a prominent politician is known for the lies that he tells. A further article states that a purpose of some international activity is not to promote an alternative truth but to so confuse us that we are not able to identify truth at all. Add to this the different beliefs and philosophies that are current and many will end up thinking that the only truth is that there is no truth.

Jesus didn’t answer Pilate’s question with words but with a definitive action. He walked into a suffering and death that He could have avoided. In so doing He underlined with His blood the revelation that He had given to His disciples – making it stand out in a way that could not be missed.

“I am the way and the truth and the life”

In a world on the verge of darkness He proclaimed Himself as the way forward. In a time when power was the ultimate authority He revealed Himself as the truth that would live through death and into eternity. In an age when life was cheap He stood out as the one and only life-giver and life-sustainer. And when they closed the door on His life in this world He opened the door into life in the next.

Truth is not a statement but a Person. We find the truth about ourselves and the truth about the way forward and the truth concerning the questions of life in Him – and Him alone. Anything else is a passing shadow.

Where others tell us what to believe – He asks us to ‘believe in Me’. Where others direct us along human paths He calls us to ‘follow Me.’ And where others tells us to grin and bear it – He invites us to ‘come to Me.”  These truths are not for this life only for in the same breath He tells us that

“No one comes to the Father except through me”

Jesus Christ is our Way through this life and our Way to the Father. He is the Truth about this life and of the life to come. And He is Life itself – the wonderful gift of eternal life that begins in this life and carries on into the endless future in the creative and glorious love of God.

As we reflect on His truth and truths under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and build them into our individual and corporate lives, we will begin to see His hand at work – for these are the ways that God will bless.

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:31-32)

What is truth? – “I AM!”


Lord Jesus please take my hand – and in every situation of my life lead me along Your Way through Your Truth and into Your Life without end. Amen.


My Dad and me

“Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me,
for I have not yet returned to the Father.
Go instead to my brothers and tell them,
`I am returning to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'”

(John 20:17)

There is a most wonderful and meaningful progression in the way that Jesus refers to His disciples. In the story of The Vine we see the first progression when He tells them that

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15)

Originally they would have been His servants. Now they have been elevated to the position of friends – which would have been very significant and a great honour. But more was to come and this could only happen after He had dealt with their sins on the Cross and brought them into a completely new relationship with God as their eternal Father. Now He could, and indeed did, refer to them as “My brothers”.

This was their, and is now our, true and complete relationship with God. We are His eternal sons and daughters and Jesus is our eternal brother. So complete is this adoption that we have now become joint heirs with Christ of all that God is and has.

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:15-17)

This must affect the way in which we think about God and relate to Him in our thoughts and prayers. I am no longer on the outside – looking hopefully in through the window. I am now forever entitled to be in His presence, freely and welcomed, honoured and blessed. I am the son/daughter of the Living God and His Son is my Brother.

And note that Jesus puts us on the same level as Himself when He refers to “My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.” We are not second class family members we are there at the top with our Lord Jesus – from the moment that we give our lives to Him as our Saviour and Lord.

Let the truth sink in  – and thank and praise God for the wonder of it.


Father, my Father, my Abba, my Dad – thank You so very much for loving me back into life and bringing me home to You. You are so amazingly wonderful!


Lord at all times

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth”
(Philippians 2:10)


A great many people battle with invasive thoughts. Appearing to come in from nowhere they are unwelcome and intrude into our prayers and into our lives. They may be angry, fearful, negative, critical, lustful and even insulting to God. No matter how hard we try to ignore them, push them away or concentrate they seem to find a way through. We may end up feeling guilty, angry with ourselves and inadequate as Christians. We may despair of ever overcoming them.

The first step towards healing is to realise that this is a spiritual battle. As such it cannot be fought and won in our own strength of mind – which is what we so often try to do. What we need is the power of the Lord which He makes available to us.

  • “For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
  • “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
    On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
  • “and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:19)

The second step is to use the weapons He gives us. It is at the name of Jesus that every knee must bow. Repeating that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ is a statement of faith and a statement of His power. When they meet it any foreign spiritual activity must give way.

People have found this to be immediately helpful in two ways. Firstly, when entering into any activity where there has been a problem in the past – such as praying – it helps to start by saying to oneself a number of times, “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Repeat it again if you sense that you are becoming vulnerable or if any unwelcome thoughts come through. The difference it has made has been remarkable – Praise God! Secondly, if you find yourself under attack at any time during the day in any way repeat again “Jesus Christ is Lord” a few times – silently or aloud.

Use the resources and power that God makes available – don’t try to live without them.


Father thank You so much that You make available to me all that I need for my life with You. Help me to walk in Your love and power and to know the freedom that it brings. Amen.



Look to Me

“What kind of man is this?
Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
(Matthew 8:27)


The disciples had been on an amazing journey with the Lord. They had listened to the awe-inspiring Sermon on the Mount, watched Him cleanse the lepers, heard Him heal the Centurion’s servant from a distance, looked on as he healed Peter’s mother in law, drove out demons and healed the sick.

Now when their boat was in danger of sinking in the storm on the lake He ‘got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.’  If all that had gone before was not surprising enough this display of power and authority stunned them. Amazed they asked,

“What kind of man is this?”

What kind of man is He to us – this ‘Son of God’, ‘Son of Man’, ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’, ‘our great God and Saviour’?

In the strange world in which we live He has become to some a pale and distant figure, a casual acquaintance, a legalistic judge and a lifeless word. And yet He is a vibrant reality. He is the revelation of the Father, the One through whom all things were made, the bearer of our sins, the risen and ascended Saviour and the King eternal. He is the One –

“God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
(Philippians 2:9-11)

He is the Father’s response and solution to every single situation and condition of humankind – both corporate and individual. It is no wonder that He said Himself,

“Apart from me you can do nothing”
(John 15:5)

Whatever challenge we might be facing or burden we might be carrying or sin we might be battling the Way forward, the Truth that sets us free and the Life that lies ahead is to be found in and through the Lord Jesus and our relationship with Him.

Honour Him, worship Him, pray to Him, trust Him and obey Him.


Lord Jesus I turn to You in my need and the needs of those dear to me. You alone are everything that I seek and desire. Please help me Lord through Your great love and mighty power and authority. Amen.


Lift your head

“Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
 let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us”
(Hebrews 12:1)

We are not alone in this life. We know from His promise that the Lord is with us, and the Holy Spirit within us, at all times. But there are more. There are the living memories of those who before us were faithful witnesses to the truth and glory and salvation of God. Some of them suffered enormously but they held on to their faith and trust in God to the very end.

However it seems that the writer also presents them as being now witnesses to our lives and living. He portrays them as former athletes filling a great stadium and cheering and urging the present athletes on as they strive with every fibre of their being to successfully complete the race for which they have been selected. It is a magnificent picture and one that should fill us with hope, faith and encouragement.

Then of course there are also our fellow athletes. Life is not a competition against them but alongside our fellow believers against the distractions and prejudices and participants in a fallen world. The encouragement we receive along the way from someone running next to us, and the encouragement we can give to others by our words and example, are of inestimable value.

So as you face the future don’t give up or ease off. No matter the dark clouds around you or the sense of isolation that comes and tempts you with hopelessness – keep going. Lift you head to the whispered encouragement of the Lord, turn your ear to the calls of encouragement from Abraham, Joshua and David, Mary, Mary Magdalen and Peter and press on.

There is no going back, your starting point does not exist anymore. You are a pilgrim well into your journey and the goal gets closer every day.

With God’s help I can


Lord help me to be aware of you as I run my race, to know that You are always with me and that You will give me the strength and encouragement that I need and can pass on to others. Amen.