No Turning Back

Image result for following jesus

Matthew 16:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

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[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

A simple message this morning in this beautiful song written by General John Gowans I’ll not turn back

Fasting

Isaiah 58 New International Version

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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.

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

Starting off on the right foot

Proverbs 22 New International Version Verse 6

Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

As a child I can honestly say I had the type of parents and Grandparent’s who done their best to point me in the right direction in life in more ways than one and for this I am grateful

Being a Father and Grandfather I have tried as much as humanly possible to point my daughter (27) in the right direction and I think I’ve done alright so far. As for my Granddaughter I aim to do likewise as I did with my Daughter.

If we are God’s Children there is of course only one path to go Even when the going gets tough. There are a few video’s I could put to the above , for example ‘ The Pathway of Duty’, but because of the closing words in the proverb I have chosen ‘I’ll not turn back’.

The Coca Cola Truck

 

Most children nowadays seem to connect the above truck and Santa Claus with Christmas, I think I even seen one for Aldi supermarkets (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.”

 

Discipline

Proverbs 29 New International Version – UK

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29 Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
    will suddenly be destroyed – without remedy.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
    when the wicked rule, the people groan.

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

By justice a king gives a country stability,
    but those who are greedy for[a] bribes tear it down.

Those who flatter their neighbours
    are spreading nets for their feet.

Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
    but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

The righteous care about justice for the poor,
    but the wicked have no such concern.

Mockers stir up a city,
    but the wise turn away anger.

If a wise person goes to court with a fool,
    the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity
    and seek to kill the upright.

11 Fools give full vent to their rage,
    but the wise bring calm in the end.

12 If a ruler listens to lies,
    all his officials become wicked.

13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
    the Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.

14 If a king judges the poor with fairness,
    his throne will be established for ever.

15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
    but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

16 When the wicked thrive, so does sin,
    but the righteous will see their downfall.

17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
    they will bring you the delights you desire.

18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
    but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

19 Servants cannot be corrected by mere words;
    though they understand, they will not respond.

20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste?
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.

21 A servant pampered from youth
    will turn out to be insolent.

22 An angry person stirs up conflict,
    and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.

23 Pride brings a person low,
    but the lowly in spirit gain honour.

24 The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies;
    they are put under oath and dare not testify.

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

26 Many seek an audience with a ruler,
    but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.

27 The righteous detest the dishonest;
    the wicked detest the upright.

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).

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.