Perfection’s Liberty

A poem on Galatians 2:16-21

Perfection’s Liberty

No law by which to measure sin,

In Christ it was dissolved!

His righteousness now mine within,

The laws demands, resolved!

For better than my death by law:

With Jesus Christ, I die;

There in the grave, no more to war,

For Christ now lives my life!

My life by faith, eyes on the Son,

He loved me, gave His all.

The Law that kills, has been undone!

And justified, I’m called!

My daily life, no longer mine,

But Christ now lives in me.

For at the cross, you’ll daily find

My life laid at His feet.

Not I who strives, not I alive,

But God alive in me!

The Law aside, for Christ provides

Perfection’s liberty!

Giving Thanks

Philippians 4 New International Version

Closing Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Final Exhortations

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Whilst Sharing this reading with you I am reminded in verses 4 – 7 that thanksgiving in the USA is coming to an end, a time where the American’s give thanks for the harvest i’m told.

We must remember though that giving thanks to God doesn’t just apply to a certain time of the year, it applies all the year round. So today if you have something to thank God for, no matter what it is THANK HIM!

A Quiet time

Philippians 4 New International Version

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Do you ever get those days where all you long for is a bit of ‘Me time or Quiet time’. I know I do.

In my case, on Saturday night we had my daughter, her husband and 2yr old granddaughter round for tea, and let me tell you granddaughter takes after her mum. (A real live wire).

Sunday we attended our local Salvation Army in the morning but managed to grab a bit of ‘ Me time or Quiet time’ before heading to mother in law’s for tea that night

Please listen to The International Staff Songsters and follow the words of In this Quiet moment

In this quiet moment, still, before your throne,
Conscious of your presence, knowing I am known,
In this quiet moment, set my spirit free,
In this quiet moment, make a better me.

What the Christmas tree means

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

The Christmas tree is a symbol of the holiday season and a tradition that has been around for centuries. It’s roots come from pagan traditions, but it became a Christian symbol in the 16th century.

The Christmas Tree symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a representation of the tree in the Garden of Eden and it is also a reminder that we are all children of God who should love one another. Read more in detail here: what does the christmas tree symbolize in the bible.

We all adore Christmas, and what is one of the most important aspects of the holiday season? Of course, there’s the Christmas tree! But what does the tree that decorates our home during the holidays really represent? What is the significance of the Christmas tree?

What Is the Origin of the Christmas Tree?

Winter celebrations were associated with the use of evergreens and greenery, since they were plants that lasted all year and were thought to protect the home from bad spirits, witches, ghosts, and diseases.

People thought that since these plants remained green throughout the year, particularly throughout the winter, they would be protected; it was not only a symbol of protection, but also of health.

What is the Christmas tree’s real origin?

Originally, the Christmas tree was a pagan religious emblem of festivity. It is mostly recognized as a German custom.

If they couldn’t locate a plant to symbolize the tree, the Christmas tree became a pyramid tree. People would make a tree-like pyramid out of wood and adorn it with nuts, gingerbread, apples, paper, and candles.

On Christmas Eve, the trees and pyramids were typically paraded throughout town to display to the other families as a symbol of good health, to ward off bad spirits. Throughout the 16th century, it grew in popularity, eventually becoming very popular among aristocracy and royalty.

Is there a religious significance to a Christmas tree?

For the Saturnalia festival, Romans used evergreens to adorn their temples, while Ancient Egyptians used green palm rushes to decorate their temples as part of devotion to the God of Ra.

It is said that a guy named Martin Luther brought the first recorded Christmas tree inside and decorated it in the 16th century. He was reported to have seen the stars through the evergreen trees on his way home and returned home to tell his children that it reminded him of Jesus. People began to decorate trees with candles as a sign of inviting Jesus into their homes after he wrote a sermon for his church about the event. For Christians, the Christmas tree symbolizes Jesus and the light he gives to the world.

Where did the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree originate from?

It originated from the custom of covering the tree or ‘Christmas pyramid’ with gingerbread, candles, and other decorations to resemble/replicate Jesus’ birth narrative. This was done so that as individuals went about presenting and showing off their Christmas trees/pyramids, they were encouraging others to come to the church to see their nativity play based on the Christmas narrative.

Though, as time passed, it became increasingly usual for households to retain their trees inside to adorn as their own, rather than as community showpieces.

Could you image trying to lug a Christmas tree around your block? It’s no wonder that we now keep our Christmas trees in our homes for our family to enjoy.

Why do we decorate our Christmas trees with ornaments?

Nowadays, decorating the Christmas tree is such a significant occasion for families; it is the time of year when they all gather together to decorate the tree, which they then sit around and put gifts beneath as the centerpiece of their holiday celebration.

However, the root of why we place ornaments on the tree may be traced back to the 16th century. Europeans would use apples to adorn their trees to represent the paradise tree in the tale of Adam and Eve, as well as to remind people of the forbidden fruit Eve ate.

Christmas trees were subsequently adorned with delectable delicacies such as gingerbread stars, angels, and holly, as we know them today.

The very first Christmas ornament

Glassblower Hans Greiner is believed to have developed the first glass ornament because he couldn’t afford to purchase apples and chose to manufacture his own. Others started to purchase his glass apples and other glass decorations that resembled fruit and nuts to symbolize the Christmas holiday after seeing his works.

Now, I’m not sure about you, but these glass apples and nuts sound very similar to the ornaments we purchase now, so it’s no surprise they were popular.

Why do we decorate a Christmas tree with lights?

Putting lights on a tree harkens back to the concept of the lights symbolizing Jesus as Light in the Dark. The stars and planets in the sky were represented by the lights and decorations on the tree. Many Christians would put a manger beneath their trees to represent Jesus Christ’s advent under the stars.

However, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that Americans and Britons began to adorn their Christmas trees! After Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, brought the custom over from Germany, it became popular. (For additional information on how to celebrate Christmas Victorian style, see How To Celebrate Christmas Victorian Style.)

In America, however, putting lights on Christmas trees (candles) needed buckets of water and sand since it was not unusual for the trees to catch fire, which they did often.

It wasn’t until 1882 when Thomas Edison’s colleague Edward Johnson adorned his Christmas tree with electric lights, earning him the moniker “Father of the Electric Christmas Tree.” The tradition of adorning Christmas trees with electric lights spread from there, and by 1920, electric Christmas lights were available in every shop.

Why do we adorn our Christmas trees with tinsel?

Tinsel was invented in the 17th century in Europe, and it was made by pounding silver alloy until it was paper-thin and then cutting it into strips. It was used as a Christmas tree ornament to reflect the flickering and glistening candle flames. They seemed as if there were sparkling stars in the sky, but they were on their trees.

Obviously, we can now buy tinsel in nearly every color conceivable, but the combination of tinsel and lights can produce a sparkling star appearance, making this time of year even more wonderful for you and your family.

More Than Conquerors

Romans 8 New International Version

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I would love to read your comments on all posts, so feel free to comment.

Living Godly lives in this Present Age

See the source image

Titus 2 New International Version – UK

Doing good for the sake of the gospel

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say ‘No’ to and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

My heart is so proud. My mind is so unfocused.
I see the things You do through me as great things I have done.
And now You gently break me, then lovingly You take me
And hold me as my father and mould me as my maker.

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

At times I may grow weak and feel a bit discouraged,
Knowing that someone, somewhere could do a better job.
For who am I to serve You? I know I don’t deserve You.
And that’s the part that burns in my heart and keeps me hanging on.

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”
You are so patient with me, Lord.

As I walk with You, I’m learning what Your grace really means.
The price that I could never pay was paid at Calvary.
So, instead of trying to repay You, I’m learning to simply obey You
By giving up my life to you For all that You’ve given to me.

I ask you: “How many times will you pick me up,
When I keep on letting you down?
And each time I will fall short of Your glory,
How far will forgiveness abound?”
And You answer: ” My child, I love you.
And as long as you’re seeking My face,
You’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

Fighting the Fight

1 Timothy 6 New International Version

Final Charge to Timothy

Fighting the Good Fight

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might forever. Amen.

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.

Grace be with you all.

Just where he needs me

Galatians 6 New International Version 

Doing Good to All

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Andrew Mair a Salvationist and composer of music with The Salvation Army composed the following tune to the hymn/song “Just where he needs me”. He speaks a little about his musical background and the Salvationist musicians/composers that inspired him.

Perfect Love

1 John 4 New International Version 

God’s Love and Ours

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
Lowly we kneel in prayer before Thy throne,
That theirs may be the love that knows no ending,
Whom Thou forevermore dost join in one.

O perfect Life, be Thou their full assurance
Of tender charity and steadfast faith,
Of patient hope, and quiet, brave endurance,
With childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
Grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
And to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
That dawns upon eternal love and life.