The right direction

Proverbs 4 New International Version

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10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.

I suppose you could call this a follow up on yesterdays blog ‘Seeking Wisdom’. You see if we follow God he will keep us on the straight and narrow as the saying goes.

We are also advised to avoid ‘The wicked’ and everything they do or take part in.

I always read through my bible readings when preparing the blog ad when I read this one I was reminded of the song/hymn ‘The Pathway of Duty ‘

Pathway of Duty

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There’s a path that’s sometimes thorny,

There’s a narrow way, and straight;

It is called the path of duty,

And it leads to Heaven’s gate.

While we tread this path of duty,

We will find our needs supplied

From the river of God’s mercy

That is flowing close beside.

By the pathway of duty

Flows the river of God’s grace.

By the pathway of duty

Flows the river of God’s grace.

2.

‘Tis a blessed way and holy,

‘Tis a path of peace and joy;

Though sometimes the way be stony

And the cares of life annoy.

But this path that we call duty

Is the way the Master trod,

And the smile of love and beauty

Lights the way that leads to God.

3.

Let us walk this path of duty

With our faces to the sun,

Carry all our burdens gladly,

Finish well what we’ve begun.

From the river of God’s mercy

That is flowing by the way,

We may drink and find refreshing

For the burdens of the day.

Love and Hate

1 John 2 New International Version

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Wow! what a theme to follow yesterdays blog on Reconciliation, comes right to the point doesn’t it

As the above reading is telling us, ‘As Christians we are supposed to love one another’, turn the other cheek etc.

As humans it is only natural that personalities will clash even if you are Christians in the same church.

Even I have fell out with people in my Church but I don’t like the atmosphere it creates and usually when things have calmed down that is usually when the apologies come

A little on that’s full of innocence
He doesn’t know that something’s out of place
Another one dreams murder all night
He’s been living full of hatred all his life
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

A mother’s willing to give her life
While another one throws away her child
A son stands and he turns the other cheek
While another one spits in a face while it bleeds
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
Oh Jesus, I can’t take the hate anymore
Save us from ourselves before
We on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

A Christmas Letter

 

John 1:1-14 New International Version – UK 

The Word became flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome<sup class="footnote" style="box-sizing:border-box;font-size:.625em;line-height:22px;position:relative;vertical-align:top;top:0;" data-fn="#fen-NIVUK-26050a" data-link="[a]”>[a] it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

At an antique desk
An old man sits alone
It’s Christmas Eve
And it’s almost time to go

He signs his name to a letter he just wrote
Then he reads it back with a voice as soft as snow

I want peace on earth for Christmas
In a world where there’s not one hungry child
They would hope and faith
Conquers fear and hate
All I’m asking for is a little more love

Then he walks outside
And he climbs up on his sleigh
And calls out to his reindeer
Off they fly away
Oh tonight he’ll make a million dreams appear
While he wishes that his own dreams would come true this year

I want peace on earth for Christmas
In a world where there’s not one hungry child
They would hope and faith
Conquers fear and hate
All I’m asking for is a little more love

That they would hope and faith
Conquers fear and hate
All I’m asking for is a little more love

Light

John 1:5-9

Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.Image result for Lead kindly light

Lead Kindly Light, a song of guidance .Notice in verse 2 the writer choose not to pray and pride ruled over the years. As we enter into verse 3 Things get better for the writer of the hymn as power prevails and the light comes and darkness disappears

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on;
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose, and see my path; but now
Lead thou me on. I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.

The Light of the world

John 8 New International Version

Dispute Over Jesus’ Testimony

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.

Many of you who regularly read my blogs may recognise the above piece of scripture and the song below that is because i used them recently (although it was a different video last time). Another thing you may know about me if you regularly read my blogs is that I am a member of The Salvation Army and it was when I looked at the songbook this song jumped out at me. Every song in the songbook has a bible reference and that is highlighted in the reading above. What also amazed me and to be honest also surprised me a little was I found the song was amongst the carols

A Personal Testimony

John 8 New International Version

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Dispute Over Jesus’ Testimony

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.

Recently one of the bloggers that I follow posted a remarkable testimony about a condition she suffered from and how it led her to faith in Christ. It was a video entitled ‘My Story’. She starts of by saying there was a lot of darkness in her past, but points out that Christ rescued her.

Moving on to High School she says her condition got worse when her friend started having sex and drinking alcohol . Then came the lies to her friends etc. In the video she tells of how ‘the thief was able to take her strong faith’ as a devout catholic. The Devil was in control of her and the condition.

She went to an inpatient Facility for three months, speaks of what the youth pastor said to her before she went he said “Do you know what you are doing to you’re father” it was then she realised she had been lying to everyone in her life especially her father. While she was having a session with one of the doctors she had a ‘out of body experience’, later on that night in chapel she had what she called her come to Jesus moment. In that moment she fell to her knees and knew that Jesus had forgiven her, she was ‘saved’ and started on the road to recovery from her condition.

From now on she didn’t have to worry because she knew Jesus was with her and loved her, she could feel his presence althrough out her recovery by giving her the strength to get through that timeShe finishes of the video by saying ‘She would not have her recovery if it weren’t for Jesus’ and quotes Ezekiel 37:5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. Jesus breathed life back into this person

This was the Song used for her ‘Come to Jesus Moment’

A Gift from God

Image result for Riches Are Meaningless

Ecclesiastes 5 New International Version

Riches Are Meaningless

If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.

10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
    whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
    This too is meaningless.

11 As goods increase,
    so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
    except to feast their eyes on them?

12 The sleep of a labourer is sweet,
    whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
    permits them no sleep.

13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:

wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14     or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
    there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
    and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
    that they can carry in their hands.

16 This too is a grievous evil:

As everyone comes, so they depart,
    and what do they gain,
    since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
    with great frustration, affliction and anger.

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labour under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Love and Respect

Image result for proverbs 20 v 29

Proverbs 20 New International Version

19 A gossip betrays a confidence;
    so avoid anyone who talks too much.

20 If someone curses their father or mother,
    their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

21 An inheritance claimed too soon
    will not be blessed at the end.

22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
    Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.

23 The Lord detests differing weights,
    and dishonest scales do not please him.

24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
    How then can anyone understand their own way?

25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
    and only later to consider one’s vows.

26 A wise king winnows out the wicked;
    he drives the threshing wheel over them.

27 The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the Lord
    that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

28 Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;
    through love his throne is made secure.

2The glory of young men is their strength,
    grey hair the splendour of the old.

30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
    and beatings purge the inmost being.

Rebuilding 

Isaiah 49 New International Version

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favour I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
    nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
    and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
    and my highways will be raised up.
12 See, they will come from afar—
    some from the north, some from the west,
    some from the region of Aswan.[b]

13 Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.Image result for Restoration of Israel

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
    the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
    and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
    all your children gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the Lord,
    “you will wear them all as ornaments;
    you will put them on, like a bride.

19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate
    and your land laid waste,
now you will be too small for your people,
    and those who devoured you will be far away.
20 The children born during your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing,
‘This place is too small for us;
    give us more space to live in.’
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    ‘Who bore me these?
I was bereaved and barren;
    I was exiled and rejected.
    Who brought these up?
I was left all alone,
    but these—where have they come from?’”

22 This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“See, I will beckon to the nations,
    I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
    and carry your daughters on their hips.
23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,
    or captives be rescued from the fierce[c]?

25 But this is what the Lord says:

“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and your children I will save.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
    they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
Then all mankind will know
    that I, the Lord, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Does a mother forget her baby?

Or a woman the child within her womb?

Yet even if these forget,

Yes, even if these forget,

I will never forget my own.

The dreams we share today

oh Lord are only a shadow of your dreams for us

Only a shadow of your dreams for us

if we but follow you.

The joy we feel today oh lord

Is only a shadow of your joys for us.

Only a shadow of your joys for us

when we meet face to face.

Abundance

Matthew 25:26-30 New International Version 

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

You were the Word at the beginning
One With God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ
What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now
What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my KingImage result for Christian Abundance
What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again
You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names
What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus