Palm Sunday

John 12:12-19

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12The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15″Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. 17Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

Today is Palm Sunday marking the beginning of Holy week leading to Jesus’ death and resurrection. I don’t know about you but  I can’t decide in my mind which is the more important, Christmas and the lead up to it or Holy week and Easter .

I suppose they are both important in their own right

Stress

Romans 10 New International Version – UK

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11 As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[f]

Or as The Message translates it,

Romans 10 The Message (MSG)

11-13 Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

I have a question for you. Can you honestly say you have had a ‘Stress free’ live? I know I haven’t. Something I’ve always tried to bare in mind when stressed or worried is the old saying ‘It’ll all work out in the end’ and it usually does.

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Of course as we all know some of the more common stress factors are Marriage, Divorce and financial problems and that’s only the tip of the iceberg as they say.

As Christians dealing with stress we must trust in God because as The Message puts it ‘He’s the same God for all, a generous God who can help.

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 King

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

Isaac Watts 

Watts was born in Southampton, England in 1674 and was brought up in the home of a committed religious Nonconformist; his father, also Isaac Watts, had been incarcerated twice for his views. Watts had a classical education at King Edward VI School, learning Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.Watts displayed a propensity for rhyme from an early age. He was once asked why he had his eyes open during prayers, to which he responded:A little mouse for want of stairs-ran up a rope to say its prayers.He received corporal punishment for this, to which he cried:O father, father, pity take And I will no more verses make.[1][2]Watts could not attend Oxford or Cambridge because he was a nonconformist and these universities were restricted to Anglicans—as were government positions at the time. He went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690. Much of the remainder of his life centred on that village, which is now part of Inner London.Following his education, Watts was called as pastor of a large independent chapel in London, Mark Lane Congregational Chapel, where he helped train preachers, despite his poor health. He held religious opinions that were more nondenominational or ecumenical than was common for a nonconformist Congregationalist.Image result for when i survey the wondrous cross He had a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship than preaching for any particular sect. Watts took work as a private tutor and lived with the Nonconformist Hartopp family at Fleetwood House on Church Street in Stoke Newington. Through them, he became acquainted with their immediate neighbours Sir Thomas Abney and Lady Mary. He eventually lived for a total of 36 years in the Abney household, most of the time at Abney House, their second residence. (Lady Mary had inherited the manor of Stoke Newington in 1701 from her late brother Thomas Gunston.)On the death of Sir Thomas Abney in 1722, his widow Lady Mary and her unmarried daughter Elizabeth moved all her household to Abney House from Hertfordshire, and she invited Watts to continue with them. He particularly enjoyed the grounds at Abney Park, which Lady Mary planted with two elm walks leading down to an island heronry in the Hackney Brook, and he often sought inspiration there for the many books and hymns that he wrote.Watts lived at Abney Hall in Stoke Newington until his death in 1748; he was buried in Bunhill Fields. He left an extensive legacy of hymns, treatises, educational works, and essays. His work was influential amongst Nonconformist independents and religious revivalists of the 18th century, such as Philip Doddridge, who dedicated his best-known work to Watts.

One of Issac watts well known hymns is the following;

  1. When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of glory died,
    My richest gain I count but loss,
    And pour contempt on all my pride.
  2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
    Save in the death of Christ my God!
    All the vain things that charm me most,
    I sacrifice them to His blood.
  3. See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
  4. Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

New life

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2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The birth of every child into your family is a joyous occasion but for those of you who are Parent’s or grandparent’s for the first time it’s an extra special moment especially that first little hold of him or her.

When we went to see her with baby and partner on Thursday night they looked understandably shattered. Never the less mother and baby are doing ok, and the father’s just about getting there as well.

Our walk with God

When we walk with the Lord we draw closer to the Lord with all our heart. He becomes our focus. Our hearts longs for Him. Our heart seeks His presence. Our desire to have fellowship with Christ and be like Him will grow while our worldly desires will decrease.

11. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I’ll walk with God
From this day on
His helping hand I’ll lean upon
This is my prayer my humble plea
May the Lord be ever with me

There is no death though eyes grow dim
There is no fear when I’m near to him
I’ll lean on him forever
And he’ll forsake me never

He will not fail me as long as my faith is strong
What ever road I may walk alone

I’ll walk with God
I’ll take his hand
I’ll talk with God he’ll understand
I’ll pray to him
Each day to him

And he’ll hear the words that I say
His hand will guide my throne and rod
And I’ll never walk alone
While I walk with God.

A Beautiful Name

Verse 1:
You were the Word at the beginning
One with God, the Lord Most High.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Hebrews 1:1-2 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Jesus said in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You, our Christ.
Speaking of Christ in Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:26-27 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Chorus 1:
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
2 Thessalonians 1:12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 2:
You didn’t want heaven without us,*
So, Jesus, You brought heaven down.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Jesus said in John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
My sin was great; Your love was greater.
What could separate us now?
Romans 5:20-21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Chorus 2:
What a wonderful name it is, what a wonderful name it is
The name of Jesus Christ, my King
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
Philippians 2:9-11 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Bridge 1:
Death could not hold You; the veil tore before You.
About Jesus in Acts 2:24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
Matthew 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
You silenced the boast of sin and grave.
1 Corinthians 15:55-56 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The heavens are roaring the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Speaking of Jesus in Acts 2:24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power

Bridge 2:
You have no rival; You have no equal.
Speaking of Jesus in Hebrews 1:3-4 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
Speaking of Jesus in Colossians 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Now and forever, God, You reign.
Luke 1:31-33 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Yours is the Kingdom; Yours is the glory.
Matthew 6:13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
Yours is the Name above all names.
Ephesians 1:20-21 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Chorus 3:
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
Peter spoke of Jesus in Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
_________________________________________________

* Concerning some controversy over these lyrics, I do understand that God did not create us because He needed us.
Acts 17:24-25 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
However, the lyrics don’t say that He needed us, but that He wanted us.
Jesus said in John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
1 Corinthian 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
I believe the point of the author is that God loved us enough to create us, knowing we would reject Him, and to save us, though we were not worthy of His redemption.

I got to admit this is the first time I’ve heard this song and I love it Reminding us that Jesus’s name is not only Wonderful but Beautiful and Powerful also

Turn to Jesus

Image result for turn to jesus

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

I think this is another one of these songs where the words speak for themselves, especially the chorus plus in verse one it tells us There’s a light for a look at the saviour And in verse three  we are told He will not fail you and as long  we believe him all is well

  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!

Christ in us

Romans 8 (NIVUK)
Life through the Spirit

8 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[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] 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.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.See the source image
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, ‘Abba,[g] Father.’ 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.