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

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.

Christ in Me

Isaiah 9:6 New International Version (NIV)

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

Verse 1
Christ of Glory, Prince of Peace,
Let thy life in mine increase;
Though I live may it be shown
‘Tis thy life and not my own.
Dwell within, that men may see
Christ, the living Christ, in me.

Verse 2
Answer now my soul’s desire,Image result for Christ in me
Purge my heart with holy fire,
Soothe the hurt with gentle balm,
Breathe within my life thy charm,
Fill me now, so shall there be
Christ, the holy Christ, in me.

Verse 3
Gracious Lord, thy grace apply,
Both to save and sanctify;
All my life wilt thou control,
Calmly ordering the whole,
That the world may ever see
Christ, and only Christ, in me.

Christ in me is for me a wonderful musical arrangement for  mixed Choirs by Yvonne Field, the music seems to fit nicely with the words above. Though I may say it myself along with Joy Webb Yvonne Field writes some good arrangements all for Gods glory.

Peace and Hope

Romans 5 New International Version

Peace and Hope

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1 Hope for the world’s despair:
we feel the nations’ pain;
can anything repair
this broken earth again?
For this we pray:
in every place
a spark of grace
to light the way.

2 Wisdom for all who bear
the future in their hand,
entrusted with the care
of this and every land.
When comes the hour,
O Lord, we pray,
inspire the way
we spend our power.

3 Honour for all who’ve paid
war’s painful, bitter price,
when duty called they made
the greatest sacrifice.
Their memory
will never cease
to cry for peace
and harmony.

4 Ease for the troubled mind
in endless conflict caught,
each soul that cannot find
the peace beyond all thought.
May they be blessed
with healing balm
for inner calm
and perfect rest.

5 Love for the human heart:
when hate grows from our fears
and inwardly we start
to turn our ploughs to spears.
Help us to sow  
love’s precious seed
in word and deed,
that peace may grow.

As the situation between Russia and the Ukraine worsens let us once again offer up our prayers for The Ukraine.

God’s Inner Sanctuary

1 Corinthians 3 The Passion

The Church, God’s Inner Sanctuary

16 Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary[i] and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?[j] 17 Now, if someone desecrates[k] God’s inner sanctuary, God will desecrate him, for God’s inner sanctuary is holy, and that is exactly who you are.

True Wisdom

18 So why fool yourself and live under an illusion?[l] Make no mistake about it, if anyone thinks he is wise by the world’s standards, he will be made wiser by being a fool for God![m] 19 For what the world says is wisdom is actually foolishness in God’s eyes. As it is written:

The cleverness of the know-it-alls
    becomes the trap[n] that ensnares them.

20 And again:

The Lord sees right through
    the clever reasonings of the wise
    and knows that it’s all a sham.[o]

21 So don’t be proud of your allegiance to any human leader. For actually, you already have everything! It has all been given for your benefit, 22 whether it is Paul or Apollos or Peter the Rock,[p] or whether it’s the world[q] or life or death,[r] or whether it’s the present or the future—everything belongs to you! 23 And now you are joined to the Messiah, who is joined to God.

COME, Saviour Jesus, from above,
Assist me with thy heavenly grace;
Empty my heart of earthly love,
And for thyself prepare the place.

2 O let thy sacred presence fill
And set my longing spirit free,
Which wants to have no other will,
But day and night to feast on thee!

3 Henceforth may no profane delight
Divide this consecrated soul;
Possess it thou, who hast the right,
As Lord and Master of the whole.

4 Wealth, honour, pleasure, and what else
This short-enduring world can give,
Tempt as ye will, my soul repels;
To Christ alone resolved to live.

5 Nothing on earth do I desire
But thy pure love within my breast;
This, only this, do I require,
And freely give up all the rest.

The Rich and the Poor

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Proverbs 22 New Living Translation

22 Choose a good reputation over great riches;
    being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.

The rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord made them both.

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

True humility and fear of the Lord
    lead to riches, honour, and long life.

Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road;
    whoever values life will avoid it.

Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.

Just as the rich rule the poor,
    so the borrower is servant to the lender.

Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,
    and their reign of terror will come to an end.[a]

Blessed are those who are generous,
    because they feed the poor.

10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
    Quarrels and insults will disappear.

11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
    will have the king as a friend.

12 The Lord preserves those with knowledge,
    but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
    If I go outside, I might be killed!”

14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap;
    those who make the Lord angry will fall into it.

15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
    but physical discipline will drive it far away.

16 A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor
    or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

Listen to your Brother

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Matthew 18:15-20 New International Version (NIV)

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

BCE or BC?

At 5.15 most evenings you will find my wife and I sat watching Pointless. One of the questions
last night was about ‘Greats’ and the clue was the ruler of Judea from 37-4BCE. I was so busy
puzzling what BCE meant I never got round to answering the questions. Thanks to google I found it
means Before Common Era. What???? Apparently BCE has now replaced BC to avoid any
reference to Christianity and, in particular, to avoid naming Christ as Lord. For me that is the last
straw. We are turning into a heathen country where we cannot mention the name of Jesus, unless
it is to take his name in vain. A day I fear I will never see, I fear my children and my grandchildren
will never see, when…


At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
Every tongue confess him, King of glory now.
‘‘Tis the fathers pleasure we should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning was the mighty word.

Time, like a firework

Time, like a firework, wraps anticipation,

Exploding in a one-off spectral splash,

It only has one shot at detonation,

One piercing scream, one fleeting flash.

There are no brakes to grip the passing years,

No gears that back away from bitter tears.

No way to pause the happy days or play again,

No way we can delete those times of pain.

The paths we never should have walked.

The lips we never should have kissed,

The words we never should have talked.

The meetings that we should’ve missed,

The things we overdid or underplayed,

The loneliness – and need to be alone,

The broken vows and new ones made,

The souls now missed who used to make us moan.

This is our life that’s burns before our eyes

And as we fly through foggy firework skies

The very least we ought to try and do

Before we fade and fall is catch the view.

There is no time for looking back

Despite our hoard of time-consuming frets,

This is our life whatever it might lack

Don’t spend it all on might-have-been regrets.

Out of the box our fuse is well and truly lit,

The ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ that echo through the night

Remind us as we soar that this is it!

The sparks behind that flicker bright,

Are pushing us toward the distant sun.

So what’s the point sad pessimist?

Death may be near but life is just begun!

So let’s embrace each unexpected twist

And sparkle like a new lit baby star

Enjoying every random turn

Exploding with the joy of who we are

Not worried by the speed with which we burn.

For Christ came not to skulk and frown

He came to heal our hurts and to forgive

He came to give us life not put us down

And every day that we refuse to live

We bang another nail into his hands

And freedom smarts and looks the other way

And all of heaven fails to understand

Our sad unwillingness to seize the day!

(Andrew Bale)

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Advent 5 – Who is He?

1 Timothy 1:17New International Version

17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Author: B. R. Hanby

Benjamin Russell Hanby was born July 22, 1833, the oldest of eight children, to Bishop William Hanby in Rushville, OH. The family moved to Westerville, OH where Bishop Hanby was a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. In his short life Benjamin graduated from Otterbein, taught school, became a United Brethren minister, started a singing school, was editor for John Church publishers in Cincinnati and composed many songs and hymns before he died of tuberculosis March 15, 1867. His home in Westerville was Ohio’s first memorial to a composer. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad for slaves escaping to Canada and is a national historic site, a Methodist church Landmark and a Network to Freedom site for the National Park Service.

1 Who is he in yonder stall,
At whose feet the shepherds fall?

Refrain:
‘Tis the Lord! O wondrous story,
‘Tis the Lord, the King of Glory!
Ay his feel we humbly fall,
Crown him, crown him Lord of all!

2 Who is he in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?

3 Who is he to whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?

4 Who iRuler

s he on yonder tree
Dies in grief and agony?

5 Who is he who from the grave
Comes to succour, help and save?

6 Who is he who from his throne
Rules through all the worlds alone?

Jesus is born!