A very special Birthday

Matthew 1:18-25 English Standard Version

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

[Verse 1]
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the Soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

[Verse 2]
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend

[Verse 3]
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

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.

Today is the 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.

Peace and Hope

Romans 5 New International Version

Peace and Hope

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1 Hope for the world’s despair:
we feel the nations’ pain;
can anything repair
this broken earth again?
For this we pray:
in every place
a spark of grace
to light the way.

2 Wisdom for all who bear
the future in their hand,
entrusted with the care
of this and every land.
When comes the hour,
O Lord, we pray,
inspire the way
we spend our power.

3 Honour for all who’ve paid
war’s painful, bitter price,
when duty called they made
the greatest sacrifice.
Their memory
will never cease
to cry for peace
and harmony.

4 Ease for the troubled mind
in endless conflict caught,
each soul that cannot find
the peace beyond all thought.
May they be blessed
with healing balm
for inner calm
and perfect rest.

5 Love for the human heart:
when hate grows from our fears
and inwardly we start
to turn our ploughs to spears.
Help us to sow  
love’s precious seed
in word and deed,
that peace may grow.

As the situation between Russia and the Ukraine worsens let us once again offer up our prayers for The Ukraine.

Baptized with the Spirit

Acts 9 New International Version (NIV)

Saul’s Conversion

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Oh What A Wonderful Wonderful Day
Day I Will Never Forget
After I’d Wandered In Darkness Away
Jesus My Savior I Met
Oh What A Tender Compassionate Friend
He Met The Need Of My Heart
Shadows Dispelling With Joy I Am Telling
He Made All The Darkness Depart

Chorus
Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul
When At The Cross The Savior Made Me Whole
My Sins Were Washed Away
And My Night Was Turned To Day
Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul

Born Of The Spirit With Life From Above
Into God’s Fam’ly Divine
Justified Fully Thru Calvary’s Love
Oh What A Standing Is Mine
And The Transaction So Quickly Was Made
When As A Sinner I Came
Took Of The Offer Of Grace
He Did Proffer He Saved Me
Oh Praise His Dear Name

Now I’ve A Hope That Will Surely Endure
After The Passing Of Time
I Have A Future In Heaven For Sure
There In Those Mansions Sublime
And It’s Because Of That Wonderful Day
When At The Cross I Believed
Riches Eternal And Blessings Supernal
From His Precious Hand I Received

Miracles

Acts 11 New International Version

The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

All that you need is a miracle

And all that you need can be yours

All that you need is available

The moment you turn to the Lord.

Why does terrorists attacks happen

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Allowing hundreds or thousands of innocent people to be killed or injured.

A terrorist attack to me is the work of the devil and though it may be horrific or devastating you notice that God always prevails as he did in the Manchester Arena attack and all the other attacks through out the world with believers and non believers uniting against terrorism.

His Provision  (Ivor Bosanko)

At the moment of my weakness,
When my need for pow’r is plain,
And my own strength is exhausted once again,
Then my Lord has made provisionSee the source image
For the day of my despair,
And His precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer, my prayer,
Then my Lord has made provision
For the day of my despair,
And His precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer.

Holy Spirit! Promised Presence fall on me.
Holy Spirit! Make me all I long to be.
Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit!
Give your pow’r to me,
O Holy Spirit.

When the darkness falls around me,
When bewildered and afraid,
When I feel the most deserted and betrayed,
Then my ev’ry need is answered
By God’s providential care,
And His precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer, my prayer,
Then my ev’ry need in answered
BY God’s providential care,
And His precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer.

Nothing now can rob God’s servant
Of the peace that He bequeaths,
Nothing take away the strength His presence breathes,
Of the EVERLASTING ARMS OF LOVE I’M DAILY MADE AWARE,
And His precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer, my prayer,
of the everlasting arms of love I’m daily made aware,
And His precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer.

The Lord Provides

provides

John 14 New International Version 

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

“Come now; let us leave.

The Holy Spirit

Acts 2

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

Today I wish to continue along the John Gowans theme, only this time I include his longtime friend John Larrson. With the song Burning Burning.

I have never seen Spirit or any of the other musicals for that matter but there has always been something I have liked about this song. The words are so important, it’s also a song that can be appealing to the individual.

1.
Burning, burning, brightly burning,
Brightly burning Fire divine,
Satisfy my spirit’s yearning.
Fill this empty soul of mine.
Chorus
Burning, burning, always burning.
Holy Spirit, stay with me;
To your will my will is turning,
What you will I want to be.

2.
Burning, burning, deeply burning,
Deeply burning holy Fire,
Now, your perfect plan discerning,
Your design is my desire.

3.
Burning, burning, gently burning,
Gently burning Fire within,
From your love my love is learning.
Now I feel your work begin.

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2; 1-4

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

Image result for pentecost

Yesterday we celebrated Pentecost (the start of the Christian Church) and the above passage of scripture has to be one of my favourites I must admit. The way the Holy Spirit fills the house and what happened to each of them must of been awesome.

1.
Spirit divine, come as of old
With healing in thy train;
Come, as thou did’st, to sanctify;
Let naught of sin remain.

Chorus
Come, great Spirit, come,
Make each heart thy home;
Enter every longing soul;
Come, great Spirit, come.

2.
Spirit divine, purge thou our hearts
Make us to understand
Thy blessed will concerning us,
And teach us love’s command.

3.
Spirit divine, cleanse thou our souls
With Pentecostal flood;
Breathe into us the life that shows
The Father-love of God.

God’s Holy Spirit

Acts 2:1-21.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

This is a verse of scripture and song mainly used at Pentecost came to me this morning and I thought it doesn’t have to be kept until then to be sung, you can sing it most of the year because it’s a song where we ask the Holy Spirit not only to heal us but to help us to understand God’s will and finally to cleanse our souls and make them anew.

1.
Spirit divine, come as of old
With healing in thy train;
Come, as thou did’st, to sanctify;See the source image
Let naught of sin remain.

Chorus
Come, great Spirit, come,
Make each heart thy home;
Enter every longing soul;
Come, great Spirit, come.

2.
Spirit divine, purge thou our hearts
Make us to understand
Thy blessed will concerning us,
And teach us love’s command.

3.
Spirit divine, cleanse thou our souls
With Pentecostal flood;
Breathe into us the life that shows
The Father-love of God.