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“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.”

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3 WAYS TO SEE HOW THE BIBLE MESSAGE CAN MAKE SENSE OF OUR LIVES: There are times in our lives when the journey we are on becomes difficult and we feel the need to seek out some meaningful answers.  Many of the answers we are looking for can be found in the pages of the Bible … but where to start? Understanding Your Bible Click on this link to go to a great new web page with inspiring ideas to understand your Bible better.  We hope you find it useful and if you want any local advice please get in contact with us…..

Promises

The world seems to be a strange place at the moment with pandemic fears, terrorism, climate crisis and social unrest. 
We are offered political promises of better times to come yet we are unsure of what these promises mean. As Rob Wijnberg 
wrote in 2019 ‘Things are too good for us to change it all, yet too bad for us to leave anything as it is. This is the 
great paradox of modern times.’
 

Promises are easy to make but often hard to keep especially in politics where events can intervene and change even the best 
intentions.  As individuals it’s easy for us to make promises and then selfishly forget them.  It reminds me of an old 
Japanese folk tale. It tells of a poor, young fisherman called Urashima. He lived with his mother by the sea and promised 
to return home each day with fish for them to eat. One day he saw some children throwing stones at a small turtle. He chased the 
children away and put the turtle back in the water where it swam out into the sea. The next day, when he went fishing, a large 
turtle appeared in the water. “Climb on my back,” it said. “I will show you many wonderful things below the sea.”  Urashima forgot 
the promise that he had made to his mother. He climbed on the turtle’s back and went with him to a kingdom far below the sea where 
he was treated like a king.
 

After a while Urashima remembered his mother and decided to go home. The turtle gave him a small box. ‘I’ll come for you if you hold 
this box and call me. But you must never open it if you want to visit us again,’ said the turtle.

Urashima promised not to open the box and the turtle took him back to dry land. But as Urashima walked along the sandy path to his 
village he noticed that everything was different. When he came to his house it was empty. Then he saw an old man.

“Where is the woman who lived in that house?” he asked.

“She died many years ago,” replied the old man. “Her son went fishing and promised to return but he never did.”

Urashima was puzzled. He did not think that he had been away for so long. He walked back to the seashore and sat 
on a rock. He forgot about his promise to the turtle and 
opened the box. But there was nothing inside. Then Urashima realised that when promises are broken things can 
never be the same again.
 

In the Bible we read how many people did not keep their promise to worship the one true God in the way that He 
asked. They chose to worship strange idols, to commit cruel acts and follow their own selfish ways. Yet God knew 
there would always be people who would believe in Him and want to follow His plan and purpose for the world. He 
promised He would send a Saviour who would show mankind the way back to God and to eternal life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life’ (John 3 v 16).
 

Through His life Jesus gave us an example of how to live and worship God but through His death He made a way for us 
to become at one with God.

Jesus made a promise to His disciples, ‘I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, 
I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also’ (John 14 v 2-3).

If we believe in God’s promises we too can look forward to the return of Jesus and be part of the Kingdom of God on earth.