Standing, Knocking, Pleading

Revelation 3 New International Version

To the Church in Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Verse 20 of the above reading connects with the following hymn;

O Jesus, thou art standing,
outside the fast closed door,
in lowly patience waiting
to pass the threshold o’er:
shame on us, Christian brothers,
his Name and sign who bear,
O shame, thrice shame upon us,
to keep him standing there!

O Jesus, thou art knocking;
and lo, that hand is scarred,
and thorns thy brow encircle,
and tears thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge,
so patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal,
so fast to bar the gate!

O Jesus, thou art pleading
in accents meek and low,
“I died for you, my children,
and will you treat me so?”
O Lord, with shame and sorrow
we open now the door;
dear Savior, enter, enter,
and leave us never more.

Solemn Vow

When I first heard and sang this song I fell in love with it straight away and have loved it ever since. It is a song of dedication and commitment . The words of the song tell a story. Powerful words to an equally wonderful tune.

In verse one we red of the writer’s faith, in verse two we read how the writer see’s Christ. Verse three goes on to tell us the writer has nothing but love and how they wish to have his saving power. Finally in verse four the writer speaks of the suffering cry of him who died for all mankind

My Solemn Vow – Catherine Baird

Eternal Spirit, my unchanging friend,

I come with joy for Thou art ever near;

O bless my eyes with vision, boundless, pure;

My promise hear in realms where truth is clear.

My faith in Thee I boldly own,

Since Jesus led me to Thy Throne.

Spirit of truth attend me now,

While I present my solemn vow:

All that I am I pledge to Thee,

Spirit of love abide in me.

I see Thy splendour in the Holy One,

Thy might revealed in lowliness and grace;

O may I choose a stable or a cross

If He be there to sanctify my place.

O glory of the Christly name,

Be Thou my treasure and my aim!

All I possess, apart from Thee, is naught,

Still would I offer Thee my life, my love;

So shall the desert be a harvest field,

And my whole being Thy abundance prove.

Lord, I would witness every hour

To my Redeemer’s saving power!

O may I hear, in every suff’ring cry,

The call of Him Who died for all mankind;

Help me to share the Shepherd’s lonely watch,

Or climb the steeps His lost to find.

I dedicate my love to Thee,

That love may overflow in me.

Year in review. Hope in trial.

Though the battles, have been rough,

Our eyes they see, our eyes look up!

The glinting on horizon stands,

Our faith to see, unfolding plans.

No matter what we must endure,

Our hope in trial, is destined sure;

Amoung the crash catastrophe,

God’s Hand of work, we clearly see!

The prophet’s eye, zoom far to see,’

Cross centuries, God’s tapestry!

Each moment, details very small,

Was in His plan, was at His call.

The insignificant, was grand!

The harvest mighty in His plan!

The ordinary plain to see,

Holds wonders in eternity!

But oh! The sacrificial love!

The greatest plan, of heaven above!

With buff and heat and pain below,

So love of huge proportions grows!

The gem our God creates right here,

Exceptional in beauty dear,

Is clothed in rags, and pain, and tears,

Yet inward shines increasing clear!

So lift your eyes, above bleak doubt,

And in His mighty love, now shout!

He’ll finish what began in you,

A perfect work, of love that’s true.

By Lisa Lawlor

The Christ in Christmas

I wonder how many of us will get Christmas cards with the two different terms on them 1. Merry Christmas and 2. Happy Xmas.

According to the dictionary the meaning of Merry Christmas is: The real meaning of “Merry Christmas” is, to be full of absolute joy because God Himself, knowing none of us could *ever* get free of sin ourselves, provided the way for our salvation. It is only through God that we can obtain Holiness because none of us are able to cleanse ourselves to the point of pleasing God.

Whereas Xmas (also X-mas) is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced, but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation. The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Christós (Χριστός), which became Christ in English. The suffix -mas is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.

Personally I prefer the first one of the two

A lot of kids these days are brought up to believe that Santa and toys are ” The reason for the season” We must remember as Christians that Jesus is ” The reason for the season”

Stress

Romans 10 New International Version – UK

Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

11 As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[f]

Or as The Message translates it,

Romans 10 The Message (MSG)

11-13 Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

I have a question for you. Can you honestly say you have had a ‘Stress free’ live? I know I haven’t. Something I’ve always tried to bare in mind when stressed or worried is the old saying ‘It’ll all work out in the end’ and it usually does.

Photo by Jake Ryan on Pexels.com

Of course as we all know some of the more common stress factors are Marriage, Divorce and financial problems and that’s only the tip of the iceberg as they say.

As Christians dealing with stress we must trust in God because as The Message puts it ‘He’s the same God for all, a generous God who can help.

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

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

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

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

How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced 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, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

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

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

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

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

The Lord speaks

John 14 V6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord He speaks, and from His mouth,
His Words, they carry weight!
They echo through, the ages loud,
To hearts of His estate!

The open ears, they hear, receive!
Two thousands years gone by;
Still ringing loud, if you believe,
His Light will meet your eyes!

For light has rippled out through time,
Through Holy tongue of old;
To meet you now, where you reside,
To grip you in truth’s hold.

So jumping off the pages bold,
The words, they come alive!
And fill my heart in love’s enfold,
As God with me, abides!

By Lisa Lawlor

Thankyou for the Cross

Photo by Aslak Su00f8nderland on Pexels.com

Thank You, for the cross I bear

This yoke, I bend beneath;

The Master’s bond, I gladly share,

So with Him, I may be.

The Carpenter, has fitted me,

The steely yoke, exchanged;

In it’s place, the yoke of ease,

In sharing with His pain.

Though heavy, it may seem to all,

To share His crux akin;

The weight more true, of higher toll:

The yoke of death and sin.

So gladly do I let Him break,

The weight that had me blind;

And with Him, bend and shoulder take,

His yoke, now by His side.

And so His joy, so fills my soul,

And love binds me to bear,

This burdened joy, with zeal to hold,

In Christ’s love, do I share.

By Lisa Lawlor

Surprised by Wisdom

Photo by Eduardo Braga on Pexels.com

“It seems like the older I get, the wiser you become. Sometimes when I talk to my daughter I even hear your words coming out of my mouth!”

My daughter’s candor made me laugh. I felt the same way about my parents and frequently found myself using their words as I raised my kids. Once I became a dad, my perspective on my parents’ wisdom changed. What I once “wrote off” as foolishness turned out to be far wiser than I had thought—I just couldn’t see it at first.

The Bible teaches that “the foolishness of God is wiser” than the cleverest human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25). “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness” of the message of a suffering Savior to rescue “those who believe” (v. 21).

God always has ways of surprising us. Instead of the triumphant king the world would expect, the Son of God came as a suffering servant and died a humbling death by crucifixion—before He was raised in unsurpassable glory.

In God’s wisdom, humility is valued over pride and love shows its worth in undeserved mercy and kindness. Through the cross, our unconquerable Messiah became the ultimate victim—in order to “save completely” (Hebrews 7:25) all who place their faith in Him!

1 Corinthians 1:18–25

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

18 For the message of the cross is foolishnessh to those who are perishing,i but to us who are being savedj it is the power of God.k 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”c l

20 Where is the wise person?m Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age?n Has not God made foolisho the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the worldp through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to saveq those who believe.r 22 Jews demand signss and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified:t a stumbling blocku to Jews and foolishnessv to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called,w both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of Godx and the wisdom of God.y 25 For the foolishnessz of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weaknessa of God is stronger than human strength.

Wherever We Worship

John 4:7–24

Intense pain and a debilitating headache prevented me from attending services with my local church family . . . again. Grieving the loss of community worship, I watched an online sermon. At first, complaints soured my experience. The poor sound and video quality distracted me. But then a voice on the video warbled a familiar hymn. Tears flowed as I sang these words: “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart. Naught be all else to me save that Thou art. Thou my best thought, by day or by night. Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.” Focusing on the gift of God’s constant presence, I worshiped Him while sitting in my living room.

While Scripture affirms the vital, essential nature of corporate worship (Hebrews 10:25), God’s not bound within the walls of a church building. During Jesus’ chat with the Samaritan woman at the well, He defied all expectations of the Messiah (John 4:9). Instead of condemnation, Jesus spoke truth and loved her as she stood next to that well (v. 10). He revealed His intimate and sovereign knowledge of His children (vv. 17–18). Proclaiming His deity, Jesus declared that the Holy Spirit evoked true worship from the hearts of God’s people, not from a specific physical location (vv. 23–24).

When we focus on who God is, what He’s done, and all He’s promised, we can rejoice in His constant presence as we worship Him with other believers, in our living rooms . . . and everywhere!

Where do you enjoy worshiping God? How do you enjoy His presence and experience joy while worshiping Him?

Amazing God, please help me worship You as I rejoice in who You are, what You’ve done, and all You promise to do.

Learning to Trust 

Matthew 6:25-34 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

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[a]?

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 splendour 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.

As the varied way of life we journey,
Come the plains and then the mountainside,
Come the days of joy when birds are singing,
And the world is fair and sweet and wide;
Then a deeper joy comes, overfilling,
From the everlasting throne of love,
And all other joy is but an echo
From the ever-blessèd heights above.

There are shadows on the earthly pathway
Where, at times uncertainly, we tread;
In perplexity we halt and linger
Till our faith again is upward led.
For the heights of truth are ever calling,
And celestial radiance from afar
On our pilgrim way is gently falling
For our comfort where the shadows are.

In the days of peace and golden sunshine,
In the days of joy, or days of woe,
There is confidence in Him who holds us;
There is light to guide us here below.
And beyond await the heights of rapture,
Where all earthly joys, transcended, fade
In the glory of the Saviour’s presence,
In the Home eternal He has made.