Thinking of Jesus

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Philippians 2:5-11

5 In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. 
6 Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. 
7 But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. 
8And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death — death on a cross. 
9 So God raised him to the highest place. God made his name greater than every other name 
10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus — everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. 
11 And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bring glory to God the Father.
The first time I sung this song I was a young teen and still ‘XX’ amount of years on the words still have that meaning and power behind them.

Being Candles for the Lord

Matthew 5:13-16 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Salt and light

13 ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.See the source image

Last night I was at a fundraising concert where the band played an arrangement of this lovely Joy Webb song. The piece was rightfully received with the spirit it should (not a soul clapped at the end).

The video and words of the song reminds us that we have to be a Candle for the Lord and try to remain strong in this troubled world of ours.

If you would like to listen to the arrangement the band played it’s on YouTube arranged by Peter Graham.

Serving Christ

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Matthew 16: 21-28 New International Version 

Jesus Predicts His Death

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

The words and music of this song written by two former General’s of The Salvation Army mean so much to me that I find myself somehow returning to it quite a lot. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a simple tune with such true and earnest words to it

A Wonderful Day

Acts 9 New International Version

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.

O what a wonderful, wonderful day – day I will never forget;
After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.
O 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 Saviour 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, O 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, O praise His dear name!

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away –
And my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

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.

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away –
And my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

No Turning Back

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Matthew 16:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

A simple message this morning in this beautiful song written by General John Gowans I’ll not turn back

The Good Shepherd

John 10 V11 -18

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”See the source image

In the story of the Good Shepherd we are reminded how Jesus looks after and cares for his flock. As human beings we would do well to remember that even in our darkest moments Jesus is still there looking over us and guiding us

Standing Firm

Jude 24-25 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Doxology

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.

In this day and age it is very hard to ‘Stand Firm’ especially with all the evil going on not just in the United Kingdom but all over the world.

It is our duty as Christians by reading the bible and through the power of prayer therefore to pray not just for protection against the evil one but for the evil throughout the world

 

 

Drawing near to God

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James 4 V8

8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

The Saviour is waiting to enter your heart,
Why don’t you let Him come in?
There’s nothing in this world to keep you apart,
What is your answer to Him?

See the source image

Time after time He has waited before,
And now He is waiting again
To see if you’re willing to open the door:
O how He wants to come in.

If you’ll take one step toward the Saviour, my friend,
You’ll find His arms open wide;
Receive Him, and all of your darkness will end,
Within your heart He’ll abide.

Time after time He has waited before,
And now He is waiting again
To see if you’re willing to open the door:
O how He wants to come in.

Prelude on ‘Lavenham’

Several years ago Geoffrey Nobes, former Bandmaster of Portsmouth Citadel Band, composed a tune to words by hymn writer Nick Fawcett.
He dedicated this arrangement to the memory of his friend Bandmaster Derek Wilding of Lavenham Corps.

Speaking personally I love the words of this tune.

How in verse 1 it asks that the Lord’s love is not always easy to spot and an answer to our purpose here . When I read the words of verse 2 I think of all the terrorists attacks not only in this country (UK) but abroad as well (especially at the point where it says ‘ Innocents suffer and evil holds sway’). Then there is the question of ‘Faith’ in verse 3 where we pray for that support that his light will bring us through the darkness

Starting off on the right foot

Proverbs 22 New International Version Verse 6

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

As a child I can honestly say I had the type of parents and Grandparent’s who done their best to point me in the right direction in life in more ways than one and for this I am grateful

Being a Father and Grandfather I have tried as much as humanly possible to point my daughter (27) in the right direction and I think I’ve done alright so far. As for my Granddaughter I aim to do likewise as I did with my Daughter.

If we are God’s Children there is of course only one path to go Even when the going gets tough. There are a few video’s I could put to the above , for example ‘ The Pathway of Duty’, but because of the closing words in the proverb I have chosen ‘I’ll not turn back’.