Jesus

Jesus, Jesus Come, second coming, Theology

Ready: Introduction


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What’s This All About?

Most of you who read Firebrand Notes on even a semi-regular basis will know that about eighteen months ago we produced a film/music project called Jesus Come. Not only were Mairi and I really pleased with the way the project turned out, we passionately believe in the message that it carries: that the world is in a desperate, desperate mess (more than we can see) and people are hurting (beyond our capacity to understand); Jesus Christ is the only hope to bring justice and order and He is coming again.

For generations, the church has flitted between the excessive polarities of, on the one hand, talking about the Second Coming too much (while doing very little) and, on the other, focusing on an ‘attractional’, ‘relevant’, seeker-sensitive model of church (while failing to teach disciples to live in the reality of His coming).

In both cases, the gospel is generally more of a fix-my-life-make-it-better prescription than it is an invitation to surrender, suffer, die and live in the evangelistic power of the early church.

Houston, we have a problem.

What Is The Problem?

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God, Jesus, Love, Theology

The Hardest Lesson I’ve Ever Had To Learn


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Broken-down World

The sting of injustice is never pleasant. Like an incurable disease plaguing the entire world, all of us can see injustice functioning on a global scale every single day. We witness Robert Mugabe, corrupt Bankers, terrorism, famine, Rogue Traders, lazy Landlords, disallowed goals that have crossed the line, recruitment processes that look legal but that are internally rigged, false imprisonments, false biblical teaching, the ivory trade, endangered tigers, abuses of power, human trafficking and a whole other nightmare of unimaginable dysfunction that, somehow, manages to endure.

Despite the rare pockets of glory, our best efforts to act justly and the promises within the redemptive mission of God, we still live in an unjust, broken-down world.

Global becomes Personal

Global injustice like this is meant to provoke us into faith-filled action and to woo us into the caring shelter of God, but, like a nauseating hors d’oeuvre before our eventual main course of numbness, it has a nasty habit of shutting us down. (more…)

Culture, emotions, Jesus, Mental Health

In His Wings


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A Process of Healing

‘But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.’ Malachi 4:2

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Four years ago I started praying for answers to major family difficulties that Nick and I had been facing at that particular time and that now, years later, seem ridiculous to still be praying about. I had (and still have) quite a naïve view of prayer and was holding out firmly for the moment when it would all make sense, when there would be full resolve and I could finally say “this is why this and that happened”. (more…)

Jesus

Be Born In Me


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Happy Christmas, Everyone!

Especially if your experience of life going into Christmas (*Festival of the Christ*) this year is one of ‘manger mess’ be encouraged by this supreme song.

With love & blessings

Nick & Mairi

“Be Born In Me”

Everything inside me cries for order, everything inside me wants to hide
Is this shadow of an angel or a warrior? If God is pleased with me, why am I so terrified?

Someone tell me I am only dreaming, somehow help me see with Heaven’s eyes

And before my head agrees, my heart is on its knees…

Holy is He; blessed am I.

Be born in me, be born in me

Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me

I’ll hold You in the beginning, You will hold me in the end

Every moment in the middle, make my heart Your Bethlehem

Be born in me

All this time we’ve waited for the promise, all this time You’ve waited for my arms

Did You wrap yourself inside the unexpected, so we might know that Love would go that far?

Be born in me, be born in me
Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me

I’ll hold You in the beginning, You will hold me in the end

Every moment in the middle, make my heart Your Bethlehem

Be born in me

I am not brave
I’ll never be

The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy

I’m just a girl

Nothing more

But I am willing, I am Yours

Be born in me, be born in me
I’ll hold You in the beginning, You will hold me in the end

Every moment in the middle, make my heart Your Bethlehem

Be born in me

 

Bible, Jesus

Look at the Lamb (Day 20)


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Day 20 – Nick

Summary of Chapter 20

Verses 1-10: Mary Magdalene was distraught with grief and couldn’t sleep so she goes to be as near to Jesus as she thinks she can. Even being near to a dead Jesus is surely better than no Jesus at all. But the stone rolled away and an empty tomb? Mary’s anxious mind first jumps to further insult to injury rather than a miracle of God in her midst. (more…)

Bible, Jesus

Look at the Lamb (Day 19)


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Day 19 – Nick

Summary of Chapter 19

Verses 1-16: The first 8 words of this chapter take one second to read. Scenes from Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ come to mind as we can only imagine what this ‘flogging’ looked like. Isaiah (52:14) gives us a better idea, approximately 760 years before, who details the Lamb for us,

But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human and, from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.

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Bible, Jesus

Look at the Lamb (Day 18)


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Day 18 – Nick

Summary of Chapter 18

Verses 1-14: Two gardens are separated by a dark valley – sound familiar? Jesus leads His men from the scene of the Vine discourse, through the Kidron Valley, to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus would be arrested. It was a place that the company often went to because Judas knew it well (verse 2). The betrayer Iscariot led a detachment of Roman Soldiers to their secret lair, complete with weapons and torches. It was night time and they evidently expected a fight. (see verse 36). (more…)

Bible, Jesus

Look at the Lamb (Day 17)


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Day 17 – Nick

Summary of Chapter 17

Verses 1-5: It’s good to continue to hear the echo of 16:33 as we start with 17:1 because this unique window into Jesus’ prayer life starts with,

After Jesus *said this*, he looked towards heaven and prayed…

The ‘said this’ is of course the knock-out verse from the previous verse and chapter,

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

This short section teaches us to have a faith-filled confidence in the completed work of Christ when we approach God in prayer, a victory that demolishes any trouble that Satan, or any evil group, can muster. (more…)

Bible, Jesus

Look at the Lamb (Day 16)


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Day 16 – Clair

Summary of Chapter 16

Verses 1 – 4a: Chapter 16 sees Jesus offer words of comfort to the disciples, although they may not have seen it that way initially. He wants His followers to know that they most definitely will face opposition.  He doesn’t try to pull the wool over their eyes by painting a rosy picture of the kind of life a true disciple of His would face.  He wants them to see that following Him carries a high cost. He is completely honest with them so that their faith in Him would not be shaken when opposition came their way and they would not fall away as a result. (more…)