Live as Jesus told us

Hebrews 13 New International Version 

Concluding Exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”[b]Image result for hebrews 13 5-6

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods,which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honourably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

Godly Wisdom

Ecclesiastes 2:26

26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

There is a story in the Bible that speaks of Solomon, a young man who, after God offered him anything his heart desired, he requested wisdom. In response to his humble wish, God said to Solomon: … The Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines wisdom as “knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it.”

Godly Wisdom For Our Decisions

When we’re facing a decision
And we’re feeling so unsure,
We need to pray for godly guidance
And the wisdom of the Lord

We need to wait with confidence
That God will show the way
And open doors we must go through,Image result for god's wisdom
Giving peace when we pray

Show us your ways, O Lord,
And where we need to walk
Guide us to where you want us,
Help us pray as we ought

Equip us with power and strength
To tread upon new ground,
To go where we’ve not been before
Where your blessings shall abound

For we shall never know how much
You long to bless our lives
Unless we take that step of faith
And follow the steps of Christ

To be where we can grow in you
And become more mature in faith,
To live in the wisdom that you’ve given,
To be immersed in your saving grace

To know your will for our lives,
We but only need to ask
You long to show us what to do,
All we need is obedient hearts

© By M.S.Lowndes

A Saviour’s Love

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 favour: 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 honoured 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 honour of God the Father.

I have many songs in The Salvation Army songbook that I like, some a little bit more than others. The one in the video has to be one of my favourites because it’s a song of testimony.

The verses in the video are out order from the songbook below plus I think there are additional verses. Hope you enjoy never the less.

Verse 1
There is a name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear,
The sweetest name on earth.
Chorus
O how I love the Saviour’s name!
The sweetest name on earth.
Verse 2
It tells me of a Saviour’s love,
Who gave his life for me,
That I, and all who come to him,
From sin may be set free.
Verse 3
Jesus, the name I love so well,
The name I love to hear;
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.
Verse 4
In Heaven with all the blood-bought throng,
From sin and sorrow free,
I’ll sing the new eternal song
Of Jesus’ love to me.

Fasting

Isaiah 58 New International Version

Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com

True Fasting

58 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honourable,
and if you honour it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Unlimited Love

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version – UK 

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Image result for god's unlimited love

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Not so long ago The Salvation Army released music of the same title of today’s blog to which they put the words of a well known hymn.

  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.

Consecration

Romans 12 New International Version

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. 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.

Frances Havergal (1836-1879) created one of the classic hymns of Christian commitment.  Referred to as the “consecration poet,” Havergal strived to live a life fully dedicated to Christ and to those she saw in any physical or spiritual need. 

We know that Havergal’s spiritual journey began early in her life, memorizing passages in the Bible at age 4 and writing verse by age seven. She was nurtured by her father, an Anglican clergyman, also devoted to Christian hymnody.  Though Havergal’s health was frail and she lived barely 43 years, she learned several modern languages as well as Hebrew and Greek. She was also a singer of some note and known as an accomplished pianist. 

This hymn of total dedication to Christ seems to cover every aspect of submission to him.  Each line begins with the compulsory verb “Take,” giving the sense of a continual prayer of petition. 

1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

2 Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

4 Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

5 Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

6 Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

In his Name

Colossians 3 New International Version

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

God has given to us a new, forgiven life in him. We have no need, therefore to be anxious if we Turn our eyes upon Jesus as it says in the song. The past cannot make us afraid, for we know that that our sins are forgiven.

The present need not trouble us, for we know that the whole world is in God’s hands.

“Do everything in the name of Jesus Giving Thanks“. A thankful spirit will triumph over many difficulties, and will save us from many more

Epilepsy and Faith

Mark 9:14-29 The Message

There Are No Ifs

14-16 When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”

17-18 A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”

19-20 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.

21-22 He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”

“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”

23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

25-27 Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.

28 After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

29 He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”

I came across this reading in an Epilepsy blog I was reading the other day and decided It was time I let you know I suffer from the condition.

I won’t telling you to much at the moment as I plan to make a video blog telling you all about my life with Epilepsy later this year (I hope).

What I will tell you at the moment is I wasn’t born with it, I developed it around the ages of 11 – 12yrs old. Apart from my late teens/early twenties I went about seven years without a seizure, as I was driving for four years and in those days you had to be seizure free for three years. Then one day they suddenly returned and naturally I gave up driving though I loved it.

Since that day I have had controlled epileptic seizures by medication.

Occasionally my epilepsy will get me down but I am a positive person, therefore most times when I have a seizure or turn as I call them they generally don’t bother me.

You may be asking where does my faith come into all of this.Well first of all I believe in Jesus ‘The Great Physician’, I also have a very supportive group of family and friends who understand my condition and lastly I have a great Neurologist and Epilepsy Nurse.

I’ll finish off by asking myself the question, “looking at verse 29 have I been praying hard enough?”

Love and Hate

1 John 2 New International Version

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[b] is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Wow! what a theme to follow yesterdays blog on Reconciliation, comes right to the point doesn’t it

As the above reading is telling us, ‘As Christians we are supposed to love one another’, turn the other cheek etc.

As humans it is only natural that personalities will clash even if you are Christians in the same church.

Even I have fell out with people in my Church but I don’t like the atmosphere it creates and usually when things have calmed down that is usually when the apologies come

A little on that’s full of innocence
He doesn’t know that something’s out of place
Another one dreams murder all night
He’s been living full of hatred all his life
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

A mother’s willing to give her life
While another one throws away her child
A son stands and he turns the other cheek
While another one spits in a face while it bleeds
Well, I guess it’s always been this way
A world that’s full of love and hate
Oh God, but will it stay this way
So much love, so much hate

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
This evil that’s within is hiding in our skin
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
What are we
When will we
Why are we still wondering
Oh Jesus, I can’t take the hate anymore
Save us from ourselves before
We on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

It goes on and on and on
Around and again
On and on and on
Around and again
It goes on and on and on
Around and again

Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5 New International Version

The Ministry of Reconciliation

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Most of us will have a difficult family member who basically causes trouble with everyone else in the family, Some of us may get to the point where children fall out with parents or the other way around.

It could be something else like an overpowering mother in law who though she is loved by all immediate family seems to want to take control of literally everything

Making peace

The Important thing to remember is we have to remain patient and wait God’s time in times like these. We have also got to bare in mind that reconciliation works both ways