Sunday, July 28, 2013

Questions God Asks. #1.

God’s First Recorded Question
We can be so busy asking questions of God and about God that we fail to hear the questions He is asking us. The very first question is found in Genesis 3:9: The Lord called to the man (Adam), and said to him, “Where are you?”

Why would the Almighty do that? Does God have poor vision? Is it possible for any of us to hide from Him? Surely the Lord God knew where  Adam was and what had happened, so why the question?

As you read the account it becomes apparent the searching out by God and the seeking question was for Adam’s sake. Here was his chance to come clean, take responsibility and own up to what he had done. Instead of that Adam tries to explain his and Eve’s situation by blaming her. Then she blames the Serpent.

Humans are a funny bunch. As Adam and Eve tried hiding their nakedness with fig leaves, we do the same with the spiritual/moral equivalents. Trouble arises when we hear within our heart and mind the searching, questioning voice of God. We experience dread. The very first time we read of fear is in this account. What we sew together by our own efforts will never stop the penetrating gaze of the Lord. Isaiah 64:6 reveals how we really see ourselves when God calls out and our ‘leaves’ unravel. ‘We have all become like one unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.’

Within Society are those who seek to promote nakedness as a life style. The problem is the so called body beautiful falls apart with wear, tear and age. It needs covering for appearance sake, for comfort sake and for self respect. That which is true physically applies to the spiritual. Our opinions of our goodness when honestly assessed sag, slip and shame us. How can we stand before the questioning God in our self righteous garment of leaves or be bold in our nakedness?

“Adam, where are you” is God’s way of calling you (as the Adam of Genesis) to be truthful about your rebellion. It is also a plea to accept your inadequate protection from the mire of ungodly actions and attitudes you have fallen into. In the Genesis account you will notice that the Lord God provided a covering for the man and woman. In a similar though spiritual manner He has provided covering for you and anyone who is prepared to step out of their ‘leaves’ and cover their nakedness.

There is much to be said about how God did this. Simply put it involved Jesus Christ, the cross and the resurrection. Now the Lord offers you, me, anyone a good spiritual and moral cleansing and new garments acceptable through all eternity. This is Heaven’s designer label. It bears the brand ‘Christ Jesus, Lord and Saviour.’ Galatians 3:26-27 invites you into Heaven’s fitting room to be properly dressed for ever and a day. ‘In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.

How do you know when the Lord is asking you that question? If you are feeling a little uneasy about your standing in His presence at this moment, then He is calling you. Reveal yourself to Him. Claim His mercy and ask to be clothed eternally in Christ Jesus’ righteousness. You will never need feel naked again or hide behind the leaves of fading self effort.

(Ray (eternally dressed in Christ Jesus) Hawkins

Monday, July 22, 2013


The Dreadful Words from God

Have you ever attempted to get into a movie or some other event without a ticket? You are denied the right of entry. It has nothing to do with who you are. You haven’t a ticket. Of course there are those who have ways of sneaking in or bribing the door-keepers.

That cannot be done concerning involvement in the Kingdom of God. Sure the Lord doesn’t set up a stall and sell ‘tickets’ to His kingdom. He does however have a pass that allows the guardian angels to admit the person holding it. What does the Bible say is ‘printed’ on the pass you and I must offer for acceptance into the presence of the Lord?

Jesus defined for each and everyone of us what was needed to be written on the 'pass.' It would state that the person carrying this mark was one  ‘who does the will of my Father in Heaven’. In the context the Lord states the Father isn’t impressed by mouthing words such as “Lord, Lord”. Doing miracles and making prophesies doesn’t impress God. In fact the Eternal God doesn’t recognise them in any capacity. Without the proper certification they would not gain admission. In fact they are dismissed from His presence. (Matthew 7:21- 23) His dreadful words ' I never knew you, go away from me you evildoers' would linger in their mind for all eternity.

The question each must ask and follow through on is simply ‘What is the will of God?’ I need to limit this to the consideration of entrance into the Kingdom of God.  Once we have that assurance we will discover the Lord has other expressions of His will for us to undertake. Such obedience isn’t for entrance into the Kingdom. We would already be there. Rather it is for enjoyment in the Kingdom.

In John 6 is a most wonderful message from Jesus. Verse 40: ‘This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life…’ Therefore to enter the realm of God depends on your relationship with Jesus. Is he your example? No ticket there! Is he one of many ways to God? No ticket there! Is he simply a myth or a misrepresented historical figure? All those views are a slap in the face to the Father’s integrity; the Bible’s accuracy and the defaming of the person and work of Jesus the Christ. In fact according to 1 John 5:10 by doing such things you are calling God the Father a liar! Then people with such attitudes and belief systems wonder why the righteous Lord burns with anger and will bar them from His Kingdom.

As you can realise it isn’t who you are or what credentials you have that impresses God. What He looks for is whose you are! Actually your ticket into God’s kingdom, which is open now is in reality the person of Jesus Christ. It is as you are accompanied by Him that the grace of the Eternal Father envelopes you, embraces you and accepts you.  To feed your heart and mind on this read the 1st letter of John found near the end of the Bible.

Jesus becomes your Lord and Saviour by a commitment of faith based upon the knowledge of Him presented in the Bible. By such a decision you are doing the will of God. In the mind of the Father you are accepted into His Kingdom. The spiritual reality will, in His appointed time, become a tangible reality. What lies ahead until then is to get to know the Lord Jesus through His Word, worship and witness.

To let unbelief rule your heart will keep you out of the Kingdom. Why? It is such an insult to  the Lord's grace and you are actually calling Him a liar. All that awaits such a person is to experience the Lord God's dark-side. Not a pleasant prospect. 

2 Corinthians 6:2  reminds us: Now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation.' Escape from God's darkside now! Call out to the risen Lord Jesus to be your Saviour, Lord and companion in life, through death and into His Father’s Kingdom.

Ray (who obeyed the will of the Father) Hawkins.

This completes the series.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All in 2 Night
By Lynne Burgess. Printed by EBP.

Reviewed This 140 page book is designed with activities for Christian families.
So why am I reviewing it? I’m retired and have a small cottage with my wife Mary. We are however grandparents! Therefore such a book can be a useful resource for when the children visit or stay for an extended period.

Also, I cheated a little! I gave it to my Daughter–in –Law. Rachelle and Craig have six children. Rachelle told me she appreciated this one even better than the first one (which I haven’t read). She found one or two sections very helpful.

For me I appreciated the first chapter. It was a simple and frank sharing of the author’s heart and the motivation for developing a program for her children. (This has since spread and been used by a wide cross section of people and a school program).

Chapter two is an honest account of her life’s journey. I found it both sad and reassuring. Sad because of her experiences which far, far too many have experienced. Encouraging because it put before the reader the grace and faithfulness of Jesus Christ along the rugged road!  I’m sure that many will be blessed by just reading  ‘The Importance of Breaking the Generational Cycle.’

Lynne is unapologetic as she encourages stay at home mums to be comfortable with their calling. She does add however ‘I would encourage any stay at home mums of babies or preschoolers to have other interests in their lives.’ Lynne then offers some ways by which this can be achieved. (Page 17)

I liked the following quote: ‘Jesus collects all the pieces of our lives and makes sure nothing is wasted. It is like looking at a stained glass window. It’s just a bunch of fragmented pieces of glass but,  when viewed through the sunlight, it becomes an amazing tapestry of colour and beauty. God wants to take the broken fragmented pieces of our life and create something beautiful with each of us.’ (page 19)

For those with young families this book will be a fine resource. There are suggestions for 40 weeks, one ‘time out’ per week. However, it isn’t a book of magical prescriptions. To make it work will require more than good intentions. A husband and wife must agree to share in it and persevere for many it will be new territory. However the outcomes hold much family enjoyment, memories and gratitude from the children as they grow in a family nurtured by love, faith and fun.

Ray Hawkins author of ‘Children –God’s Special Interest; From Eden with Love (on Marriage).

15 - 19 July

is Introducing

(Even Before Publishing March 2013)


Lynne Burgess

About the Author
Lynne and Chris have raised five children who are now adults. Lynne's practical experience comes from the quality time spent with her own children. She successfully implemented her All-In Night for over 16 years using simple yet productive activities that included the whole family. She now shares these ideas at speaking events and through her book.

About the book
All-In Night is a family routine. For one night of the week everyone stays home. By spending ten to twenty minutes together, you can learn and talk about the things that matter. Following on from Lynne's original book this set of new activities is designed especially with Christian families in mind. An activity or discussion point each week. The book includes 40 weeks of activities, designed as 1 per week of the school year.Activities include love languages, listening for God, self-esteem, the fruits of the spirit and many more. These fun and simple family activities provide an opportunity to grow values, goals, hopes, feelings and the foundation for a Christ led life. All-in Night works with two kids or ten. Let it become the heart of your family's life.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Darkside of God #4


Various words are used to describe the anger of God. Each one builds on the other to present a rather frightening revelation. It is described as ‘heat, fury, fierceness, and wrath’.  Once again we are confronted by the Lord God who is Love, Goodness, Patient and Merciful having a ‘dark side’.

Why would the Lord ‘lose His cool’? What would make the Creator Redeemer God cross the line from tolerance to wrath? The Judeo–Christian Bible holds the key to understanding this problem. The reason the Lord gets angry is to call Him a liar. 1 John 5:10; ‘Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life

The Lord God of glory spent a lot of time and effort in preparing the World for the coming of the Promised One of Genesis 3:15. Throughout the Judeo–Christian Bible is woven this promise. Hints to His birth (Isaiah 7:14) His character (Isaiah 9:6-7) His mission (Isaiah 53) His birthplace (Micah 5:2) and many, many others references also. Through faithful unknown men and women the scriptures were preserved. When Jesus came into our World He pointed to the Scriptures to verify His credentials. (John 5:39). After the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension the disciples of Christ summed up their message and authority in the words ‘It is written!’ (Read the sermons in Acts 2 onwards).

Therefore when a person deliberately disparages, distorts or denies these testimonies of the Bible they call the God of holiness and truth a liar. They fail to realise that in essence they are saying God has taken on the character of the Devil.  (John 8:44) God is patient. He does give time for a person to apologise and ask for forgiveness. If this isn’t done then the righteous fury of the Lord overflows.

Across the globe today a religious/political system is promoting their view that God has no Son. It also states that Jesus didn’t die on the cross but someone else. It means there is no resurrection or second coming. Other issues of the Bible are also denied or tampered with thereby saying God’s word and therefore God is a liar. The sad thing is that so many weak kneed church goers in pulpit or pew appease such a system. That is apostasy, written about in 2 Thessalonians 2.

How does it describe the ultimate liar? ‘Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? (That is the promised One) This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also.’ (1 John 2:22-23)

The Bible says God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19. Titus 1:2).

Ray (who believes the testimony of God about Jesus, the Son of God) Hawkins

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Dark Side of God #3

Woe to you

‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild’ is a nice warm fuzzy prayer taught to children. Nice sentiment. Tells only a fraction of the truth! As we mature we need to add some deeper wiser insights to that prayer. Only then will we save ourselves from sliding into spiritual apathy and Biblical ignorance. There are those who imagine they can play with the Devil and when they cross Death’s divide they’ll feast in God’s heaven. The Bible has news for them as summed up in ‘Woe to you!’ Three passages outline this aspect of God’s nature.

In Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus present a frightening assessment on cities who saw and heard Him yet scorned His teaching, miracles and essential being. Jesus said to Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum they were in for a severer judgement than three other well known cities. Why? Because if such places as Tyre, Sidon and Sodom had seen what the other three cities had seen they would have repented! If those Old Testament cities had been overthrown because of their unbelief what was in store for Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum? Greater knowledge of who Jesus is and more verifiable testimony to what He has achieved offers great blessing of if rejected, terrible judgement.

Children have a special interest to God. (See my Devotional ‘Children – God’s Special Interest’– in all good Christian bookshops).  Abuse them, exploit them or destroy them is to place oneself in eternal jeopardy. Jesus said in Matthew 18:6 ‘If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you it a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Jesus was revealing His dark–side. In other words, don’t corrupt or destroy the life and destiny of children.  As I read the papers, watch the news I tremble for those especially in religious garb who will find a millstone more inviting than God’s wrath.

Some of the strongest opponents to the ministry of Jesus were the religious orders of the day. They put on a great show and ritual for being outwardly spiritual. Jesus however could see their hearts and read their minds. In Matthew 23 you will read the Lord’s assessment of their inner workings. It is chilling. The moral and spiritual descendants of these play actors are with us now. Jesus would say the same thing to them.  ‘Woe to you Scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!’

Across the Scriptures comes the warning it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. How then can any of us escape from falling under the Dark side of God? How can we cross over into His realm of Light?

The key word is ‘repent’. Don’t make excuses. Don’t downplay the things perpetrated. Don’t try and bluff the Lord God by promises to be a better person. Confess the horror of your deeds; repent, which means asking God to help you change your ways as they now make you sick; and believe what Jesus Christ has done for you at the Cross and through His resurrection. It is only by a personal conviction and act of faith in Jesus that you will be carried by Him out of God the Father’s dark side and into the light of His glory. Then fear is transformed in forgiveness and acceptance.

Maybe then we could add to our childlike prayer: ‘Almighty Jesus, fearsome in wrath and true in judgement look on me through your grace and cross. I admit my dishonourable inner and outer behaviour but plead for your mercy and forgiveness to save me from your dark side and bring me into your life and light. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.  Amen.

Ray (dwelling now in the Light) Hawkins

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Darkside of God #2.

The Dark Side of God #2

What God Hates

Hatred is so corrosive to the human heart.
The first murder stemmed from Cain’s anger over his brother’s sacrifice being accepted whilst his was rejected. Anger festered into hatred. Hatred killed. (Genesis ch.4)

Why then does the Bible tell us that there are things within the human heart and experience He hates? Could I suggest there isn’t any comparison between the heart of God and our hearts. He is Holy, we are corrupt. He has no cause to feel threatened by anyone or thing. Our hatred usually stems from  some selfish motive, perceived or real hurt, fear or greed.

The Lord does not hate certain things because they are a threat to Him. Rather it is because of what such hatred does to His people, His creation and His beauty within a person. Consider the following passages in the light of how serious the Lord God of Hosts views the pernicious matters raised.

In our previous blog we saw how idolatry was an abomination to God. This is reinforced in Deuteronomy 12:31: ‘you must not do the same (as the nations do) because every abhorrent thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods.’

The Psalmist asserts that the God he knows has a hatred for evildoers and lovers of violence. Stop for a moment. He hates those who do such things and yet! An yet it was for just such people (and all others) His Son, Jesus, died for on the cross.  Therefore while God hates the actions and their results He has done all in His power to deliver people from out of the promised judgement.

In Proverbs 6:16-19 are listed another six we considered in  the previous blog. In chapter 8:13 the author records four more attitudes of the heart offensive to the character of God. Pride, arrogance, the way of evil and perverted speech make up issues we would all wrestle with from time to time.

Over and over there is a theme in the prophets of how God loathes meaningless, faithless and corrupt worship. People with hearts far from God yet put on a show for onlookers are scorned by the One they profess to worship. We must always remember that the Lord sees the heart, weighs the motives, not how precise the ritual is performed. Amos 5:21: ‘I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.’ In verse 24 He called for the priests and people to cause a flood of justice and righteousness to fill the land. A cry I think can still be heard today.

In the climactic book of the Bible, Revelation we are confronted with what must sum up the cause of God’s hatred. In chapter 2:6 and 15 we read of Christ’s hatred for the works of the lawless and their teachings. How do these two bundle up all those listed above, and more? Because the corrupt human heart rejects the righteous and holy Law of God and replaces it with their own views, prejudices, ways of worship and morality!

The hatred the Lord God holds towards such motives and actions is only overcome by His grace. He has provided forgiveness and cleansing from such self destructive and eternally damning residents in the soul. That is the wonder, the power, the thrill for us about the cross of Christ. God loved us so much He has dealt with the things He hated within each of us. However to make His love effective personally requires a personal handing over of your life to Him through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Ray (no longer hated) Hawkins