Why I Am A Christian

I’ve been talking to a lot of people because of this blog. Some are Christian, some are from other faiths, and some are atheists.

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The majority of the time, the atheists are militant, aiming to only proclaim their own faith (in themselves – a foolish option). I tried to answer their questions and spread God’s word, but I was left wanting. I felt broken inside. Over and over again I would answer questions, until I realised that these people didn’t want answers. They only wanted to fight. They never listened, and I felt like I was letting God down.

Then God put a  single verse in my head.

For everyone who asks receives, the
one who seeks finds; and to the one
who knocks, the door will be opened.
MATTHEW 7:8

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Image found HERE

These people weren’t atheists because I hadn’t answered them. They were atheists because they WANTED to be. If they would truly seek God, He would reveal Himself to them.

During this time, I asked myself: Why am I a Christian?

CHILDHOOD
My mother raised me to believe in God. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know He was up there. But with early childhood not being an easy time for my family, I could have blamed God. I didn’t. I understood.

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Image found HERE

RESEARCH
It was when I entered university that I decided I needed to learn more about God. I wanted to know the TRUE history of the world; I wanted to know why I was created; and I wanted to know how I would be spending eternity. All those answers are found in the Bible. As the years have gone on, I have done research, research, and more research. Everything continues to point to God.

question
Image found HERE

So, why am I a Christian? I’m a Christian because I have listened to what God has told us about Himself, I have prayed that I would be filled with the Holy Spirit, and I have faith that Jesus died and rose from the dead to pay for our sins and defeat death.

Why are you a Christian? What is it about our Lord and Saviour that first called to you? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Facts About Christianity

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*Not suitable for children*

It seems like everyday I come across another misunderstanding on the internet about our Dear Lord Jesus. I thought I would address some of these today.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

1. Jesus wasn’t a tall, white man with long hair.

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The New Testament gives no description of Jesus. We can only figure out what Jesus would have looked like by looking at the time and place in which he lived.

Isaiah 53:2b says: “he [Jesus] had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Common Jewish traditions meant men had beards – and were humiliated to have a shaven face.

His hair would not have been that long. Not only does Paul says many did not like it that way, but, as a carpenter, it would have gotten in the way.

He probably had a lot of muscles, as working with the wood and stones would have been very laborious.

His family were not rich, so his robe would have looked like all others.

As we read in numerous verses, Jesus looked much like all other Jewish males of the time, and we need to remember that looks have nothing to do with the power and majesty that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is this so bad? Personally, while I think it’s important to know the truth and understand his appearance doesn’t mean anything, we can also view it as

2. Magi, Wise Men, or Kings?

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Almost every Christmas carol mentions either three Magi, three Wise Men, or Three Kings. But who were they?

We don’t know how many there were. It is commonly thought to be three because they gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but it could have been two, or numerous.

They were not Kings. They would have been scholars who were fluent in the Old Testament and knew the signs to look for. They came from the East (the orient), which was possibly Persia or Babylon, etc.

3. The Wise Men were not at Jesus’ birth.

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In Matthew 2:1-12 we read that the Wise Men came looking for Jesus after he was born. They approached King Herod, who then proceeded to call together all of his “chief priests and teachers of the law”. From here, the Wise Men went all the way to where Jesus was. This could have been back in Nazareth since time had passed, although it was probably in Bethlehem because when Herod had the babies killed, it was the cry out of Ramah.

Herod’s order decreed the death of the children under two years old, so time must have passed.

4. They counted the days differently.

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If Jesus was crucified on Friday, and rose again on Sunday, how could he have been dead for three days? The answer lies in how the days were counted back then.

We can read more in-depth about it HERE, but there are two ways to calculate Jesus’ death and resurrection as three days.

1.

DAY 1 DAY2 DAY 3
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“The solution is simple when we learn that according to Jewish custom any part of a day, however small, is included as part of a full day. “Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the ‘three days and three nights’ could permit a Friday crucifixion.””

2. 

“The verses above tell us that the Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish Calendar year. This corresponds to our months of March-April. It is possible, then, that this Passover could have occurred during the week with the Saturday Sabbath following. Since Lev. 23:5-7 tells the people to rest on the first day (not the last day Saturday), this is a type of Sabbath occurrence. Therefore, perhaps the following chart could represent a Thursday crucifixion and a subsequent set of three “night and days” before the Sunday resurrection.”

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
13th of Nisan 14th of Nisan 15th of Nisan 16th of Nisan
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Passover/Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“Something worth mentioning concerning this is that in the Greek in Matthew. 28:1, it says “Now after the Sabbaths [PLURAL], as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” It is possible that there may have been two “sabbaths” during that week. The first may have been the Passover related “Sabbath” and the second may have been the Saturday Sabbath.”

5. Jesus had brothers and sisters.

You’ve probably heard about Jesus, human-father Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. But did you know Jesus had brothers and sisters born after him? In numerous places in the New Testament, we read about Jesus’ siblings. These would have been his half-siblings, as Joseph was not his father (God was).

There is a great website, HERE, that explains it perfectly. Excerpts include:

“Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in several Bible
verses. Matthew 12:46Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say
that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The
Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James,
Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also
tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named
or numbered (Matthew 13:56).”

So, hopefully you’ve learned a bit about Christianity. I will be adding more Facts About Christianity, so make sure to subscribe and check back.

Away In A Manger – A Christmas Carol Study

Welcome to my second Christmas Carol study.

Yesterday I published my first, about O Little Town Of Bethlehem (which you can check out HERE), and today I’m looking at Away In A Manger.

Have a listen, read my thoughts, and leave a comment.

Let’s jump right in.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

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When you think of a King, you think of lines of royal parents, being born in a palace, surrounded by powerful people and adoring subjects. This was not the case for Jesus. Despite being the Lord, Creator, and Saviour, Jesus was born to a humble virgin, surrounded by animals, a handful of admirers, and no real bed.

A manger, also called a trough, is a wooden construct used to hold food for farm animals. It was definitely not a place for a baby, let alone God. For God to choose for his son to be born into this environment, shows how much he loves us, and that Jesus was right in saying he came to serve, not to be served.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

Among the stars shining bright in the night sky, was the Star of Bethlehem.

Prophesied many, many years earlier, God placed a star, brighter than all the others, above the place where Jesus was. This led the Magi (not Kings, and there are no records of it being only three) to him, where they knelt down and worshipped him.

Seeming almost unaware of his Godly status (although it could rightly be argued that there was never a time when Jesus didn’t know he was God), the newborn baby Jesus slept peacefully.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

This is a very well-known part of the story of the first Christmas. However, there are no records of baby Jesus not crying. Jesus came to Earth, not just to die and rise again so we can spend eternity with God, but so we could have a close relationship with him.

How could you talk to someone (which is what praying is – a conversation with God) who had had no experiences like you had? You would have a hard time. This is why God came down to Earth; to connect with us. This means he probably would have cried as a newborn baby.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

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The second half of the song takes us forward in time, to after Jesus died, rose, and returned to Heaven to reign.

From his place in Heaven, we know Jesus is watching over us (I don’t know if Heaven is physically ‘above’ us), and that is worthy of our love and devotion.

It also shows that while God is above us, looking over everything in his creation, he is also close to us, standing right by our beds.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Matthew 19:14 records Jesus’ words:

“Let the little children
come to me and do
not hinder them, for
to such belongs the
kingdom of heaven.”

Not only do vulnerable children mean a lot to God, but we are all his children, and we all mean a lot to him.

This last line is what it is all about. When Adam and Eve sinned (essentially telling God to take a step back) we separated ourselves from eternal life with God. God promised he would not just let us go, and he came down as Jesus to give us a second chance. If we put our faith and trust in Jesus and acknowledge that he took our penalty of death, then we get to spend eternity with him in heaven.

This Christmas carol focuses on two great things about Jesus: his birth, in which he lowered himself to be born as a lowly human; and his position in Heaven. Jesus is part of the Holy Trinity, and holds a supreme position in Heaven. He loves us, looks after us, and deserves all the songs of praise we write.