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Word from Nairnshire

    by Sandy Shaw

August 6, 2013

To grow and develop spiritually, it is essential that we become good stewards of everything God so generously gives us.

A steward is entrusted with the possessions or interests of another.

Each of us has time and treasure and talents, and when these are prayerfully offered to Almighty God, we never know how He will use them, and that can be exciting.

That dispels any notion that the Christian life is dull or boring.

If you want a thrilling life, follow Jesus Christ.

There is no more dynamic leader anywhere, and Jesus never lets you down, disappoints, or fails. …  ( Click for more )

July 30, 2013

There are certain days in our lives which we remember very clearly, and for the disciple of Jesus Christ, one of these preciously remembered occasions will be when he was born again.

The apostles write about this. No wonder. It is something you never ever forget.

Peter reminds first century believers of how they had been chosen and set apart, and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Can there be anything greater than knowing that your sins are forgiven, and the past erased and removed, and your slate wiped clean?

This is the Good…  ( Click for more )

July 23, 2013

Many believers in Jesus Christ, particularly in comfortable western society, have great difficulty in accepting the inevitability of persecution.

It is not easy to come to terms with being ridiculed, rejected, overlooked, ignored, or worse, and this can cause people to become fearful, or make compromises.

In many nations, persecution of believers in Jesus Christ is exceedingly painful.

Disciples are attacked as they leave worship services. Buildings are destroyed. Arrests are frequent. Imprisonment can be lengthy.

From the beginning, whenever a man has identified…  ( Click for more )

July 16, 2013

It is never easy to be considered different, and yet from the very beginning, disciples of Jesus Christ were called to be different, just as Jesus Christ was different in so many various ways, from every other man.

Disciples of Jesus are strangers, or aliens, and very often they just don’t fit in.

Some lose their jobs when they stand for truth, and others lose their lives. Some lose their bed and breakfast business, and others lose their former friends.

Peter was aware of this as he wrote to believers in modern day Turkey. They were bathed in suffering, and yet…  ( Click for more )

July 9, 2013

“No. No. I cannot come along tonight to have skins put on me and be thrown to lions. I have something else to do. No, I cannot come and be a lit torch. I have a visitor coming, and anyway I am a bit tired.”

These first century disciples of Jesus Christ were not given the choice!

In A.D. 64 a fire started in Rome, where the houses were built mainly of wood. The fire raged for two weeks, and Emperor Nero watched from his balcony. He said the flames were as charming as flowers.

Looking for a scapegoat, he noticed a group of people called Christians, and…  ( Click for more )

July 2, 2013

Is it possible to have a plan or regime which might enable you to become healthier and stronger, spiritually? It is in the physical realm, where there is a plethora of programmes.

What about our spiritual lives? These need discipline and direction, as do all areas of life.

When it comes to the physical, diet is vital, and it is no different when considering spiritual health.

To become spiritually strong, and spiritually stronger, there has to be a regular intake of the Word of God. To develop, grow, and mature in Christ, a man must feed upon the Scriptures, as we have…  ( Click for more )

June 25, 2013

This teenager, Daniel, with royal blood in him, is taken off in chains to a land, a thousand miles away, and for the next seventy years he was an imprisoned captive, but living a remarkably rewarding life.

A despotic king had invaded his country and took off the cream of the nation first, to Babylon – modern day Iraq.

Young Daniel had everything going for him. He was handsome, intelligent, with a good education, and he is set to go to the top, which he reached, but in very different circumstances.

Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah, and destroyed Jerusalem. Now, you…  ( Click for more )

June 18, 2013

Many look all over the place for quick instant answers to life’s problems and predicaments, whilst being highly suspicious of God’s sure solutions to life’s questions, dilemmas and difficulties.

Why does doubting man hesitate to take God’s ways?

Man will struggle with unworkable attempts to resolve conflicts, running up roads with dead ends, and go on living with continuous frustration and futility.

Referring to Jesus Christ, that leader, Peter, wrote to those who believed, describing Jesus as a precious stone, and he was not meaning a gem stone,…  ( Click for more )

June 11, 2013

There is one area of the Christian life which enables you to grow stronger almost immediately, and that is, when you share your faith.

Someone is talking to you about a massive problem in their life, or a difficulty they are facing, and you pluck up the courage to speak about Jesus, or ask if you can pray for them there and then.

It is not enough to have an inflow. There must be an outflow too.

“But what words would I use? No, I could never do that!”

Words will be given you when the situation arises, and after you have spoken and shared what God has…  ( Click for more )

June 4, 2013

What can music do to people? On this occasion where did it come from? What was its source? This tyrannical despot, Nebuchadnezzar, ruled over what is modern day Iraq.

He had overrun Jerusalem and taken the inhabitants of Israel captive.

Being top dog, he aimed at becoming top god. That is never a successful goal.

To underline his superficial supremacy and fragile authority, he had a 90 feet high image of gold built.

Because of the flat plains, this statue would be seen for miles, glinting in the sunshine. The Angel of the North is 66 feet high.

Nebuchadnezzar…  ( Click for more )

May 28, 2013

In any serious search for spiritual health, and spiritual maturity, the area of confession and forgiveness must be examined and confronted.

When we do wrong we must own up to God, and confess our sin and sins.

It is never enough simply to acknowledge our sin. There will be times when we have to spell out our sins, specifically, if we wish to be cleansed.

How many would want to live their life with a clean slate?

Spiritual wounds can fester if they are not cleared up and cleaned out.

Confession can lead to being healed and rescued from various unnecessary painful…  ( Click for more )

May 21, 2013

Is not the supreme purpose for the birth of Jesus Christ so relevant and significant this year, as we appear to be facing storms of increasing intensity? The main reason is always important.

When Mary informed her fiancé Joseph that she was carrying a child, Joseph was on the point, quite understandably, of breaking off the engagement. He thought she had been playing around with some other man.

An angel appeared to Joseph and explained exactly what was happening.

Almighty God was breaking through into this broken, pained and suffering world.

God was coming…  ( Click for more )

May 14, 2013

One further area we consider in our search to become spiritually stronger and healthier, is that matter of perseverance.

It means, constant persistence, or having the steadfast pursuit of an aim.

If there is one thing we see in the lives of men like Moses, David, Isaiah and Jeremiah, it is perseverance, or endurance. Each knew what God wanted him to say and do, and they fulfilled their calling.

Paul speaks about going into strict training, controlling the body, and running so as to win the prize.

Near the end of his earthly life, Paul explains how he had fought the…  ( Click for more )

May 7, 2013

A wheel is three centimetres beyond the limit and there is a penalty to pay. A foot is where a foot should not be, and an athlete is disqualified.

These are tough lessons to experience, especially after all the gruelling preparations.

In the letter to Jewish disciples of Jesus, we read that there is a race marked out for us, and the word ‘race’ is the Greek word for ‘agony’. It would be more accurate to translate it as ‘contest’. Do we not find that is what life is at times?

Using the athletic metaphor, we are in the sports arena…  ( Click for more )

April 30, 2013

Questions arise at times which spark off profitable searches, producing satisfying answers.

How can we survive life’s troubles? By looking to Jesus Christ, and fixing our eyes on Jesus Christ.

What motivates God’s discipline? It is His love for us.

As a father disciplines his children, so God applies a discipline which is always just.

Godly discipline is for our good, enabling us to share in His holiness.

Seldom do we hear someone being described as godly or holy. Why?

When the writer to the Hebrew Christians is seeking to encourage these believers…  ( Click for more )

April 23, 2013

The Chancellor was not long into his Budget address when there was raucous reaction from both sides of the House of Commons. It was embarrassing to observe men in positions of responsibility and leadership behaving in such an immature manner.

What if the Chancellor had begun with these words? Godliness with contentment is great gain. We brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.

Paul then pens these appropriate words to young Pastor Timothy. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith…  ( Click for more )

April 16, 2013

If we change their names, we can confuse their identity. If we give them Babylonian names, that will encourage them to feel like one of us. If we send these four clever fellows to university for three years, and teach them Babylonian science and astrology, grounding them in our literature, they are bound to forget their heritage.

Such was the superficial thinking of tyrannical Nebuchadnezzar.

What might Daniel and his three friends have said privately? Nebuchadnezzar may attempt all this ‘education’ but he knows nothing of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! …  ( Click for more )

April 9, 2013

Well, the Cardinals have certainly blown off the lid, bringing a vital topic to the surface.

The enormous economic problems we have fallen into through irresponsible financial trading, lending and borrowing, resulting in critical and catastrophic debt, will pale in significance, compared to the mess society will end up in if the nation pursues the road of same sex marriage.

We have ignored what God has said regarding debt, and the price now being paid is high.

What an expensive penalty to pay for rejecting Almighty God and His ways.

Think of Greece and various other…  ( Click for more )

April 2, 2013

One topic we hear very little about today, even in Church circles, is the matter of fasting. This was part of the normal spiritual life of the early disciples.

Like the seasons, certain emphases tend to come and go.

A few years ago, we had significant teaching on fasting.

When Moses received the Ten Commandments, he fasted, and his face was radiant.

Jesus Christ fasted, after He was baptised in the Jordan River, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, and He was severely tempted, but was able to overcome victoriously.

The Roman Centurion, Cornelius, fasted and was…  ( Click for more )

March 26, 2013

Having looked at reading the Bible regularly, and prayer, with the goal of becoming spiritually stronger, the next area is worship, where we acknowledge God’s worth, and where we exalt Him, and regard Him as being worthy of praise and adoration.

Although we can do this on our own, it is important that we worship along with other disciples of Jesus Christ.

That has been the pattern since Jesus birthed the Church, and there has been no change.

The early disciples of Jesus were faithful in worship and would participate in the times of prayer.

Are you aware of any…  ( Click for more )

March 19, 2013

“We are committed to a fair and equal Scotland. We believe that this is the right thing to do.” Even when 64% of those responding to your consultation wish there be no change in the traditional view of marriage?

So it is a matter of faith and belief!

Leaders are making history, but not in a good way.

Rejecting biblical values that have guarded the well-being of society for centuries, and defying Almighty God, and opposing godly morality, can only result in dire consequences.

Does not man’s recent attitude to debt sound a warning? Be careful when…  ( Click for more )

December 4, 2012

Could you imagine any public building being opened today with such words indelibly engraved?

Above a statue of the sower, representing the root meaning of broadcasting, is written this inscription.

“To Almighty God, this shrine of the arts, music and literature, is dedicated by the first Governors, in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director General.

It is their prayer that good seed sown will produce a good harvest, that everything offensive to decency, and hostile to peace, will be expelled, and that the nation will incline its ear to those things…  ( Click for more )

November 27, 2012

It had to be taught again in Nairobi and Mombasa, but not in Kisumu where these principles had been put into practice.

When people came forward for prayer for a whole variety of needs, I always asked how they came to faith.

My questioning would go something like this, "Do you believe in Jesus?" "Yes."

"Did you turn from your sins to God when you came to believe in Jesus?" "Yes."

"Have you been baptised in water?" "Em, no."

At that point I would call over the pastor to deal with this serious omission. …  ( Click for more )

September 25, 2012

Not even a man with the calling, anointing, qualities, and characteristics which David enjoyed could triumph on his own, and it was when he was low and down that his enemies attacked.

As we study his testimony we learn who was behind it all.

That demonic rascal is behind every onslaught upon those who are Christ’s, and this needs to be taught and understood.

It is not very nice to be hated, but King David was hated, and disciples of Jesus Christ have been hated and persecuted, starting immediately after He birthed and launched the Church. This is why fellowship…  ( Click for more )

September 18, 2012

A reformer is not only a man who lives by faith in the Word of God, but he is also a man to whom God gives wisdom for the leadership of others.

When spiritual circumstances are dark and confused, and when so much is in turmoil, reformers give light.

Reflecting on what happened across Europe four hundred years ago, it has to be said, and said clearly, that the Reformation was of God.

It was God who revealed truths to men, who were open to revelation, in the same way as God revealed to Peter who Jesus Christ was.

Spiritual truth normally comes through revelation. It…  ( Click for more )

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