God’s Presence

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Exodus 33

14 He said, “My presence will go with you, and I’ll give you rest.”
15 Then Moses told the LORD, “If your presence does not go with us, don’t bring us up from here. 16 Otherwise, how shall it be known that your people and I have received favor from you, unless you go with us and that we, your people and I, are distinguished from all the people on the surface of the earth?”
17 The LORD told Moses, “I’ll do the very thing that you have said, because you have found favor in my sight and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”

There isn’t a video I can think of that is more suited to the reading above than this one.

As you listen to the video you will hear it is a song of praise and testimony especially in the chorus where we not only seek his grace, we also ask his glory to fall upon us asking I’m to guide us

Favour and Honour

Psalm 84 New International Version

Psalm 84[a]

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.[c]

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
    listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield,[e] O God;
    look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.

12 Lord Almighty,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Joy knowing the Lord

Romans 5:1-8

1 We have been made right with God because of our faith. So we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. 3 And we also have joy with our troubles because we know that these troubles produce patience. 4 And patience produces character, and character produces hope. 5 And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. God gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given See the source imageto us. 6 Christ died for us while we were still weak. We were living against God, but at the right time, Christ died for us. 7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good man someone might possibly die. 8 But Christ died for us while we were still sinners. In this way God shows his great love for us.

I first heard and sang ‘Joy because of you’ about 36 – 37 years ago at The Salvation Army Divisional music camp , unfortunately I am unable to provide the words to the song but I hope you can make them out as you listen. As the song and bible passage suggests they are not just a passage and song of joy but also of testimony and praise.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

John 14 New International Version 

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”Image result for the promise of the holy spirit

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

“Come now; let us leave.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on Thee.

The darkness is no darkness with Thee,

But the light is as clear as day.

The darkness and the light

To Thee are both alike.

God is light,

And in Him is no darkness at all.

O let my soul live,

And it shall praise thee,

For Thine is the kingdom, the power,

And the glory for evermore.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on Thee.

Proclaiming the Gospel

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Revelation 5 New International Version 

The Scroll and the Lamb

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign[b] on the earth.”

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honour and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honour and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped.

  1. Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
    My great Redeemer’s praise,
    The glories of my God and king,
    The triumphs of His grace!
  2. My gracious Master and my God,
    Assist me to proclaim,
    To spread through all the earth abroad,
    The honours of Thy name.
  3. Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
    That bids our sorrows cease—
    ’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
    ’Tis life, and health, and peace.
  4. He breaks the pow’r of cancelled sin,
    He sets the prisoner free;
    His blood can make the foulest clean,
    His blood availed for me.

God’s Love through the Holy Spirit

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Romans 5 New International Version 

Peace and Hope

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.

This has got to be one of my favourites of the ‘more up to date’ hymns. A hymn that tells us of the ultimate sacrifice Christ made for us by dying on the Cross.

The birth of Jesus

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Matthew 1 New International Version

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

A while ago I was given a book of daily bible verses and the highlighted verse above is the one I read this morning. (Suppose I should of kept it for Christmas really).

Peace

Luke 2 : 13 – 14

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”Image result for peace at Christmas

It doesn’t matter which version of scripture you choose to read, you’ll find the word peace used about 150 times. Sometimes it’s used to warn people who are about to lose their sense of peace, and other times it’s part of a standard blessing spoken over God’s people. It’s remarkable how many times the word is used to give a promise or as part of prophecy. Often the word is spoken as a reminder of the peace God gave in the past or given as a word of hope for the present as well as the future. During Advent this year, we’ll look at each of those uses of the word, and hopefully, by focusing on the One born to bring us true peace, we’ll have our most tranquil Christmas celebration ever!

Nowadays we read, hear and see on TV all sorts of evil taking place all over the world. Lets remind ourselves that this is a season of Peace and Joy.

Verse 1]
Behold the star of Bethlehem
The Word of God has become flesh
Unto us a child is born
The Savior of this broken world

[Chorus]
Hear the angel voices
Sing come let us adore Him
Peace has come, for our King is with us

[Verse 2]
Fully God and fully man
He comes for all with open hands
He rules with love on David’s throne
All praise belongs to Christ alone

[Chorus]
Hear the angel voices
Sing come let us adore Him
Peace has come, for our King is with us
Holy, Holy, Holy
Jesus we adore thee
Peace has come, for our King is with us

[Bridge]
Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Oh come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord
(2x)

The Angel and the Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’Image result for while shepherds watched their flocks by night

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

  1. While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
    All seated on the ground,
    The angel of the Lord came down,
    And glory shone around.
  2. “Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
    Had seized their troubled mind;
    “Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    To you and all mankind.
  3. “To you, in David’s town, this day
    Is born of David’s line
    A Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
    And this shall be the sign:
  4. “The heav’nly Babe you there shall find
    To human view displayed,
    All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
    And in a manger laid.”
  5. Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
    Appeared a shining throng
    Of angels praising God on high,
    Who thus addressed their song:
  6. “All glory be to God on high,
    And to the Earth be peace;
    Good will henceforth from heav’n to men
    Begin and never cease!”

This is not the original carol but never the less I hope you like it

 

Being renewed day by day

 

2 Corinthians 4 New International Version

Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this Image result for Corinthians 4 16 -17treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side,but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak,14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.