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

Easter Monday

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The Bible makes no mention of Easter or Easter Monday. There is no requirement as a church to celebrate it, but there is prohibition either.

Easter Monday as we know is the day after Christ’s resurrection where he said for 40 days appearing to believers and giving ministry. He also healed the sick and proved to doubter’s he was the son of God.

Easter Monday, also called Bright Monday or Renewal Monday, is the beginning of Bright Week. It is common to douse people in water, representing the new life of baptism, and play games with Easter eggs. Such as Easter egg hunt or rolling your a hard boiled egg down a hill (which represents the stone being rolled away).

Giving Thanks

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Psalm 138 New Living Translation 

A psalm of David.

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
    I will sing your praises before the gods.
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
    I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
    by all the honour of your name.
As soon as I pray, you answer me;
    you encourage me by giving me strength.

Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord,
    for all of them will hear your words.
Yes, they will sing about the Lord’s ways,
    for the glory of the Lord is very great.
Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble,
    but he keeps his distance from the proud.

Though I am surrounded by troubles,
    you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
    and the power of your right hand saves me.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life—
    for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

In verse eight we are told that the Lord has a plan for our lives, the thing we have to remember is when we as humans try to go a different way God has other plans for us and sometimes we may not like the route that God is taking us, but we have to accept that he is taking us that way for a reason.

Who Will Tell Them?

Our Savior . . . has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

2 Timothy 1:10

Today’s Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:1–6

Insight

When we hear the word ministry we often associate it with a vocation or certain church-related activities that we perform individually—“my ministry is this or that.” But Paul is telling the church at Corinth that they all have the same ministry: “through God’s mercy we have this ministry” (2 Cor. 4:1). So what is this universal ministry Paul is calling the church to? The Greek word translated “ministry” in this passage is commonly rendered “waiting at tables.” Paul is talking about service. All Christians are called to a lifestyle of service that witnesses to and communicates the good news of Jesus.

World War II had ended. Peace had been declared. But young Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese Imperial Army, stationed on an island in the Philippines, didn’t know the war had ended. Attempts were made to track him down. Leaflets were dropped over his location, telling him the war was over. But Onoda, whose last order in 1945 was to stay and fight, dismissed these attempts and leaflets as trickery or propaganda from the enemy. He did not surrender until March 1974—nearly 30 years after the war had ended—when his former commanding officer travelled from Japan to the Philippines, rescinded his original order, and officially relieved Onoda of duty. Onoda finally believed the war was over.

When it comes to the good news about Jesus Christ, many still haven’t heard or don’t believe that He has “destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). And some of us who have heard and believed still live defeated lives, trying to survive on our own in the jungle of life.

Someone needs to tell them the glorious news of Christ’s victory over sin and death. Initially, they may respond with scepticism or doubt, but take heart. Imagine the freedom they’ll find when Christ illumines their mind with the knowledge that the battle has been won.

Please pray for The Ukraine!

New Year’s resolutions

Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

Philippians 3:12-15

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

What can I say about Resolutions, some of us choose to live a healthier lifestyle (cut down/out cigarettes our even alcohol), others choose to diet after the festive period because of the amount of food we have eaten not just on Christmas Day but at our work’s Christmas party and any other parties we attend in this period.

On a personal note I don’t do resolutions basically because a couple of days into it and I literally crash.

As it says in today’s reading It is important hat we forget what was behind us and move forward toward the goal of the call of God.

The tune in this video is called ‘Let there be peace on Earth’

The Great Awakening

Deuteronomy 34:1-8 New International Version – UK 

The death of Moses

34 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, opposite Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land – from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, “I will give it to your descendants.” I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.’

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him[a] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over.

Lord, pour out Your Spirit
On all the peoples of the earth
Let Your sons and daughters
Speak Your words of prophesy
Send us dreams and visions
Reveal the secret of Your heart
Lord our faith is rising
Let all heaven sound the coming of Your day

There’s gonna be a great awakening
There’s gonna be a great revival in our
land
There’s gonna be a great awakening
And everyone who calls on Jesus
They will be saved

Lord, pour out Your Spirit
On all the nations of the world
Let them see Your glory
Let them fall in reverent awe
Show Your mighty power
Shake the heavens and the earth
Lord, the world is waiting
Let creation see the coming of Your day

There’s gonna be a great awakening
There’s gonna be a great revival in our
land
There’s gonna be a great awakening
And everyone who calls on Jesus
They will be saved

There’s gonna be a great awakening
There’s gonna be a great revival in our
land
There’s gonna be a great awakening
And everyone who calls on Jesus
They will be saved

There’s gonna be a great awakening
There’s gonna be a great revival in our land
There’s gonna be a great awakening
And everyone who calls on Jesus
They will be saved

There’s gonna be a great awakening
There’s gonna be a great revival in our
land
There’s gonna be a great awakening
And everyone who calls on Jesus
They will be saved

Faith

Luke 2 New International Version 

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

How far is it to Bethlehem? 
Not very far. 
Shall we find the stable room 
Lit by a star?

Can we see the little Child? 
Is He within? 
If we lift the wooden latch 
May we go in? 

May we stroke the creatures there 
Ox, ass, or sheep? 
May we peep like them and see 
Jesus asleep?

If we touch His tiny hand 
Will He awake? 
Will He know we’ve come so far 
Just for His sake?

Great kings have precious gifts 
And we have naught 
Little smiles and little tears 
Are all we brought.

For all weary children 
Mary must weep 
Here, on His bed of straw 
Sleep, children, sleep.

God in His mother’s arms 
Babes in the byre 
Sleep, as they sleep who find 
Their heart’s desire.

The Coca Cola Truck

Most children nowadays seem to connect the above truck and Santa Claus with Christmas, I even seen one for Aldi supermarkets and The John Lewis advert (and yes as a young Christian I to also thought santa was real until one year my mother and father decided to put central heating in the house blocking off the chimney.

Whilst I am out carolling each year with The Salvation Army Band I am always amazed by the amount of people adults and children alike stop and listen even if it is for a few moments.

Let us not forget that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ a baby born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem

Mathew 1 V 21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

CANDLE OF HOPE

Romans 15:13

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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.

My Child

My child, I see your weakness

My child, I see your pain

And yes, I understand it

The trials in which you strain

I see your heart within you

Your love for Me, I see

My child, you are most prescious

And beautiful to Me

Beyond the flesh of failure

Beyond the body’s strife

My Spirit now transforms you

You’re held within my Life

So when you’re poor in spirit

And mourn for grief and sin

My child, I Am most near to you

My heart with yours, within

By Lisa Lawlor

When I look at the lyrics Lisa penned I am reminded especially by the last verse of the Charles Wesley hymn Gentle Jesus meek and mild