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.

We are now into December and the season of Advent . However this year shall we say has been literally knocked sideways thanks to The Coronavirus with Lockdown’s, Businesses & Health suffering.

Who would see the day when places of worship have been closed for almost a year. Most People in the current situation have stuck to the guidelines and kept things as normal as possible.

Today is th 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.

Something in a Name

Philippians 2 The Message

He Took on the Status of a Slave

1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

You may recall I had the exact same reading to a different translation the other day. The reason for the reading appearing again is it matches a chorus written by Bill & Gloria Gaither.

Jesus Jesus Jesus, there’s just
Something about that name
Master, Saviour, Jesus, like the
Fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and
Earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will pass away
But there’s something about that Name!

He is Lord

Philippians 2 New International Version 

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:Image result for he is lord

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Although sometimes used in prayer times this chorus can also be used as a testimony when we think of the words;

He is Lord, He is Lord

He is risen from the dead and He is Lord

Every knee shall bow every tongue confess

That Jesus Christ is Lord

To Be Free

Romans 8:1-4

Life Through the Spirit

1 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 free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. 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.

There are many songs I can think of that speak of freedom, another one being ‘Would you be free from your burden of sin’.  What a testimony this song is Especially in verse 3. Though we are human we can strive to be ‘Whiter than white’ with the Lord’s helpImage result for life through the spirit

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

Would you be free from your passion and pride
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

Would you be whiter,
much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow
There’s wonderful power in the blood

There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb

Lost Sheep

Luke 15New International Version

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

This is one of many beautiful, heart-touching songs whose lyrics were written by Colonel Mrs. Ivy Mawby. Ivy was born in 1903 and entered the Salvation Army Training College for Officers in London at the age of eighteen. In 1929 she married then Major Arthur Mawby. Ivy spent much of her lifetime speaking and writing, with particular interest in the needs of women. She travelled extensively and was known for being able to see the Divine in life’s ordinary things. She served in France and Great Britain. At International Headquarters, Ivy worked in the Editorial Department, using her admirable writing skills. She retired as a Colonel in 1963. Mrs. Mawby was Promoted to Glory in 1983, having enriched the Salvation Army with her writing of poetry, prose and song.

Like to a lamb who from the fold has strayed
Far on the mountain, of the dark afraid,
Seeking a shelter from the night’s alarm,
Longing for comfort of the shepherd’s arm,
So Jesus found me on sin’s mountain drear,
Gathered me close and banished all my fear.

In the love of Jesus there is all I need,
While I follow closely where my Lord may lead;
By His grace forgiven, in His presence blest,
In the love of Jesus,
In the love of Jesus is perfect rest.

Like to a pilgrim in an unknown land,
Seeking the comfort of a guiding hand,
Fearing the perils of the winding way,
Pleading for strength sufficient every day,
I met my Lord; and though the path be dim,
He knows the way and I will walk with Him.

Like to a child who, when the night may fall,
Out of the darkness hears his father call,
Far and a weary though his feet may roam,
Sees in the distance shining lights of home,
So at the last the music of His voice
Will calm my fears and make my heart rejoice.

A Perfect World

Romans 12:1-2 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

A living sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.See the source image

In this Christian version of the Ed Sheeran song  ‘Perfect’ we hear how Christ died for us on the cross so that things can be perfect for us today if we accept him. the song also mentions how Jesus is there to support and guide us all the time

For or Against

Related image

Luke 6:27-30

Love for Enemies

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 
29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 
30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
VERSE 1: 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
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
VERSE 2: 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
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
BRIDGE:
Death could not hold You
The veil tore before You
You silence 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 God
You reign Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name above all names
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

Being Wise in the Spirit

Image result for Gods wisdom

1 Corinthians 2 New International Version

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[b]
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[c] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness,and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgements about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgements,16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”[d]

But we have the mind of Christ.

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Precious Jewels

Malachi 3 New International Version 

Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God

13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.

“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evil doers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

The Faithful RemnantImage result for malachi 3 v17

16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honoured his name.

17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

A favourite children’s hymn to a tune some of you may not recognise played by David Daws on Euphonium and accompanied by Regent Hall Band of The Salvation Army.

  1. When He cometh, when He cometh,
    To make up His jewels,
    All His jewels, precious jewels,
    His loved and His own.

    • Refrain:
      Like the stars of the morning,
      His bright crown adorning,
      They shall shine in their beauty,
      Bright gems for His crown.
  2. He will gather, He will gather
    The gems for His kingdom,
    All the pure ones, all the bright ones,
    His loved and His own.
  3. Little children, little children,
    Who love their Redeemer,
    Are the jewels, precious jewels,
    His loved and His own.

A Childs Burden

Matthew 6 – New International Version

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The above passage has got to be one of the most well known passages on Worry in the Bible. So much so I recall using it in a blog about a week ago called ‘No Worries’

While Jesus tells both you and I not to worry I must admit this is a very hard thing to do sometimes.

Granted some of us worry more than others and our partners or friends may use the phrase ” I don’t know what your worrying about” I’ve said it myself.

A Childs Burden

My Mother’s name is worry, In summer she worries about the water; In winter she worries about coal and briquets, and all year long she worries about the rice.

In daytime my mother worries about living; At night she worries about her children, and all the day long she worries and worries.

Then, my mother’s name is worry. My father’s name is drunken frenzy. And mine is tears and sigh.