Gifts

2 Corinthians 9 New International Version

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

1 And is it so? A gift from me
Dost thou, dear Lord, request?
Then speak thy will, whate’er it be:
Obeying, I am blest.

Refrain:
I have not much to give thee, Lord,
For that great love which made thee mine:
I have not much to give thee, Lord,
But all I have is thine.

2 And dost thou ask a gift from me:
The talents I possess?
Such as I have I give to thee
That others I may bless.

3 And dost thou ask a gift from me:
The gift of passing time?
My hours I’ll give, not grudgingly,
I feel by right they’re thine.

4 And dost thou ask a gift from me:
A loving, faithful heart?
‘Tis thine, for thou on Calvary
For me with all didst part.

Seeking Wisdom

Proverbs 1 New Living Translation

Wisdom Shouts in the Streets

20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
    She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
    to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons,
    will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
    How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
    and make you wise.

Do you have/have had a wise friend or member of your family you could trust? Many years ago I had a Christian grandmother who was very wise in many ways .

She was the sort of person where you could come to her in confidence with your problem and she would listen and give good guidance.

After giving you her guidance, she always used to say something along the lines “It’s up to you now to decide what to do”. She also said Pray about it!

My grandmother was the sort of Christian who didn’t just help members of the family with problems. She also had friends inside and outside church who relied on my Gran to help them with their problems as well.

When she died at over 100, naturally she was a loss to the family. In fact my gran was held such high regard by other people that when it came the day of the funeral there was standing room only in the Salvation Army hall

If you have a wise friend or member of family – Church family you can trust and you have any problems share it with them and of course The Lord himself.

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.

True Friends

Proverbs 18 The Message

Words Kill, Words Give Life

Jesus says'  can we be Friends again?

18 Loners who care only for themselves
    spit on the common good.

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
    all they do is run off at the mouth.

When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
    contempt for life is contemptible.

Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
    but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.

It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
    or come down hard on the innocent.

The words of a fool start fights;
    do him a favor and gag him.

Fools are undone by their big mouths;
    their souls are crushed by their words.

Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you really want junk like that in your belly?

Slack habits and sloppy work
    are as bad as vandalism.

10 God’s name is a place of protection—
    good people can run there and be safe.

11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
    they imagine themselves safe behind it.

12 Pride first, then the crash,
    but humility is precursor to honour.

13 Answering before listening
    is both stupid and rude.

14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
    but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?

15 Wise men and women are always learning,
    always listening for fresh insights.

16 A gift gets attention;
    it buys the attention of eminent people.

17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
    until the cross-examination starts!

18 You may have to draw straws
    when faced with a tough decision.

19 Do a favour and win a friend forever;
    nothing can untie that bond.

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
    good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.

21 Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
    and even more: the favor of God!

23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
    the rich bark out answers.

24 Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family.

(WOMEN) What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! (ALL) O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. (MEN) Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. (ALL) Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer. (ALL) Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou shalt find a solace there.

Fear

Isaiah 41 New International Version 

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silent before me, you islands!
    Let the nations renew their strength!
Let them come forward and speak;
    let us meet together at the place of judgement.

“Who has stirred up one from the east,
    calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?
He hands nations over to him
    and subdues kings before him.
He turns them to dust with his sword,
    to windblown chaff with his bow.
He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
    by a path his feet have not travelled before.
Who has done this and carried it through,
    calling forth the generations from the beginning?
I, the Lord—with the first of them
    and with the last—I am he.”

The islands have seen it and fear;
    the ends of the earth tremble.
They approach and come forward;
    they help each other
    and say to their companions, “Be strong!”
The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,
    and the one who smooths with the hammer
    spurs on the one who strikes the anvil.
One says of the welding, “It is good.”
    The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.Related image

“But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
    new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
    and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
    and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

 

Friendship

Proverbs 18:24

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

John 15:12-15

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.See the source image

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer

I couldn’t find the lyrics for this beautiful song, ‘Endless Friend’ they are a reminder that no matter what our problem is we can turn to Jesus in prayer as our friend for help.