CANDLE OF HOPE

Romans 15:13

Image result for House decorated for Christmas

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are now into December and the season of Advent . However this year shall we say has been literally knocked sideways thanks to The Coronavirus with Lockdown’s, Businesses & Health suffering.

Who would see the day when places of worship have been closed for almost a year. Most People in the current situation have stuck to the guidelines and kept things as normal as possible.

Today is th first Sunday in advent ‘The Candle of Hope’

Isn’t it strange how at the lead up to Christmas you start to see adverts for donations to several charities whilst at the other end of the spectrum you see a house decorated like the one above.

Though having said that there used to be a person who lived in a nearby village to me decorated his house at Christmas to raise money for a ward in the local hospital.

Little Children

Ephesians 6:1-4

1Children, obey your parents in the LORD, for this is right. 2″Honor your father and mother”-which is the first commandment with a promise- 3″so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD.

Matthew 19:14

14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”See the source image

Many moons ago ( I say many moons as I am 60) having being brought up in The Salvation Army I decided to get saved on what is known in the Army as commitment Sunday at the very young age of 7yrs and I have committed my life to Christ ever since.

I have had my up and down’s in my Christian life since then but who doesn’t? The main thing is I have kept my faith and still attend The Salvation Army as my church.  In fact with the various things that have happened in my life health wise or other, if anything it has been my faith that has kept me going.

Something in a Name

Philippians 2 The Message

He Took on the Status of a Slave

1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

You may recall I had the exact same reading to a different translation the other day. The reason for the reading appearing again is it matches a chorus written by Bill & Gloria Gaither.

Jesus Jesus Jesus, there’s just
Something about that name
Master, Saviour, Jesus, like the
Fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and
Earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will pass away
But there’s something about that Name!

Being renewed day by day

 

2 Corinthians 4 New International Version

Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this Image result for Corinthians 4 16 -17treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side,but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak,14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

Name above all names

Philippians 2New International Version

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

1 Jesus, the name high over all,
In Hell or earth or sky;
Angels and men before him fall,
And devils fear and fly.

Refrain:
We have no other argument,
We want no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that he died for me.

2 Jesus, the name to sinners dear,
The name to sinners given;
He scatters all their guilty fear;
He turns their Hell to Heaven.

3 Jesus the prisoner’s fetters breaks,
And bruises Satan’s head;
Power into strengthless souls he speaks,
And life into the dead.

4 O that the world would taste and see
The riches of his grace;
The arms of love that compass me
Would all mankind embrace.

5 His glorious righteousness I show,
His saving truth proclaim;
‘Tis all my business here below
To cry: Behold the Lamb!

6 Happy, if with my latest breath
I may but gasp his name,
Preach him to all, and cry in death:
Behold, behold the Lamb!

The music of Kenneth Downie

Isaiah 26 New International Version

A Song of Praise

26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city;
    God makes salvation
    its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
    that the righteous nation may enter,
    the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.

Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
He humbles those who dwell on high,
    he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
    and casts it down to the dust.
Feet trample it down—
    the feet of the oppressed,
    the footsteps of the poor.

Like nearly evone else I know I have a Facebook account and as part of that account I am administrator to a group called Christian Music,Devotions & Poems.

Now when I noticed the other day that a famous composer of Salvation Army music (Kenneth Downie) wanted to join, at first I thought Wow! Kenneth Downie. Needless to say it was hesitatation I accepted.

Here is the wonderful New York Staff Band playing ‘In Perfect Peace’

THOU wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on Thee.

He is Lord

Philippians 2 New International Version 

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Image result for he is lord

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Although sometimes used in prayer times this chorus can also be used as a testimony when we think of the words;

He is Lord, He is Lord

He is risen from the dead and He is Lord

Every knee shall bow every tongue confess

That Jesus Christ is Lord

Prayer

Ken's Devotions

Prayer is one of the most important tools of our Christian life next to the Bible and there’s no doubt about it the most common prayer is The Lord’s Prayer and even though there is slightly  different translations depending what church you belong to, when it comes down to it, it all means the same thing. The Lord’s Prayer  is also the prayer a child is taught to say before he or she goes to sleep at night.

The Lord’s Prayer
King James Version (KJV)

9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

 11 Give us this day our daily bread.

 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power…

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To Be Free

Romans 8:1-4

Life Through the Spirit

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

There are many songs I can think of that speak of freedom, another one being ‘Would you be free from your burden of sin’.  What a testimony this song is Especially in verse 3. Though we are human we can strive to be ‘Whiter than white’ with the Lord’s helpImage result for life through the spirit

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

Would you be free from your passion and pride
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

Would you be whiter,
much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

O LIGHT FROM LIGHT – HYMN

responsorialpsalmcatholic

O LIGHT FROM LIGHT

HYMN

I

O Light from Light and image too

Of God most High, unfaltering,

To you, O God-redeemer, be

All glory, honour, kingly pow’r.

II

Lawgiver and most tender priest,

You show inscribed, and in your blood,

“The Prince of princes and of kings

The King most high”, upon your cloak.

III

All glory, Jesus, is your due;

The rulers of this world you rule,

While ages on the ages turn

With Father and kind Spirit one.

Amen.

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