A very special Birthday

Matthew 1:18-25 English Standard Version

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

[Verse 1]
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the Soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

[Verse 2]
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend

[Verse 3]
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

The Story Behind And Can It Be

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.

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.

According to the editor of The Oxford Edition of the Works of John Wesley, “And Can It Be” was written immediately following Charles Wesley’s conversion to Christianity on May 21, 1738. Wesley had known his Bible well before this time but had not yet experienced affirmation of new birth or the wholeness of grace in his life.

Wesley starts the first stanza by expressing admiration over the love shown by Jesus dying for him and wonders how we who “pursued” his death are now graced by it.

In the second stanza, Wesley calls for appreciation of God’s love and mercy in this sacrifice.  In the third stanza, Wesley conveys the unending grace and mercy of Christ’s love and humility in the incarnation, death, and finding of lost sinners.  In the fourth stanza, Wesley harkens to the “imprisonment” of his own sin and the freedom he found in Christ.

Finally, he reviews the results of Christ’s loving and merciful work: there is no condemnation for those made alive in Christ and clothed in his righteousness; rather, there is open access to the throne as we have the right to claim the divine crown.

Feel Free to leave a comment, in the reply box.I would love to hear from my followers and anyone else that read this. thanks!

The Lord’s Children

Matthew 19:14 New International Version

The Little Children and Jesus

13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

I bring to you today what has to have been one of the first hymns I learned at Sunday School.

A simple prayerful hymn with an invitation for children even adults who don’t know Christ as their Saviour to come to him.

GENTLE Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child,
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to thee.

2 Fain I would to thee be brought,
Gracious Lord, forbid it not;
In the Kingdom of thy grace
Give a little child a place.

3 Loving Jesus, gentle Lamb,
In thy gracious hands I am;
Make me, Saviour, what thou art,
Live thyself within my heart.

4 Lamb of God, I look to thee,
Thou shalt my example be;
Thou art gentle, meek and mild;
Thou wast once a little child.

5 Now I would be as thou art;
Give me an obedient heart;
Thou art pitiful and kind,
Let me have thy loving mind.

6 I shall then show forth thy praise,
Serve thee all my happy days;
Then the world shall always see
Christ, the holy child, in me.

What Is a Born Again Christian?

The phrase “Born Again Christian” applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour or Redeemer. To be born again in this sense is not an actual physical rebirth, but it indicates a spiritual rebirth.

The phrase “born again Christian” is frequently misinterpreted. Looking at its primary reference, we see that its meaning is not about physical birth, but about experiencing a spiritual renewal. It is is an expression used by many Protestants to define the moment or process of fully accepting faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when the teachings of Christianity and Jesus become real, and the “born again” acquire a personal relationship with God.

The term is originated from an incident in the New Testament in which the words of Jesus were not understood by a Jewish Pharisee, Nicodemus.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:3-5 NIV

How to be Born Again

The phrase “born again” applies to people who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour or Redeemer. The born again soul realizes that they are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). To rectify the circumstances, God sent His only Son to die in their place, to take the punishment for sin (Romans 5:8). After Jesus’ death, He arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and He provides the blessing of salvation. Each person has the choice to receive or reject God’s gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and experience new birth (John 3:1-8). Whoever follows Jesus as Christ, the Son of God, and has accepted His gift of life can be called Christian. That is where the journey of rebirth begins. 

Being born again is having a change or transformation of the soul and heart by the work of God’s Spirit. One’s soul is the part of our being that consist of three things: the mind (or its disposition), emotions (feelings), and our will (what we determine). 

This spiritual makeover when we become a born again Christian is a change in the way we think, the way we manage our emotions, and choices we make by our will.

Mind

“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:27). 

“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” (Romans 12:2).

“‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Through being born again, renewing our minds, and having an intimate relationship with God, we grow by spending time in His presence and in His Word (the Bible). Though we cannot fully comprehend God, His Spirit lives in us, giving us a profound understanding of Him and His ways. 

Emotions

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:29, 31). 

Born again Christians are not to let their emotions control their behavior. Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In Him we have peace. 

Just where he needs me

Galatians 6 New International Version 

Doing Good to All

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Andrew Mair a Salvationist and composer of music with The Salvation Army composed the following tune to the hymn/song “Just where he needs me”. He speaks a little about his musical background and the Salvationist musicians/composers that inspired him.

Transformers

Often when I can’t get to church I watch a service online and this service always has a children’s spot.

In the last online service I watched the person doing the children’s spot spoke on ‘Transformers’ and how they could ‘change’ into something different.

We as Christians can be like the Transformers and witness to those who don’t know Christ as their Saviour with the hope and prayers that they ‘Change’ and let him into our hearts.

Perhaps you once knew him but have wandered from the path, you can always invite him back in again if you let him.

Keeping us safe

Psalm 31 King James Version 

15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.

17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Serving Christ

Image result for serving Christ

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

Easter Monday

Image result for Easter egg hunt

The Bible makes no mention of Easter or Easter Monday. There is no requirement as a church to celebrate it, but there is prohibition either.

Easter Monday as we know is the day after Christ’s resurrection where he said for 40 days appearing to believers and giving ministry. He also healed the sick and proved to doubter’s he was the son of God.

Easter Monday, also called Bright Monday or Renewal Monday, is the beginning of Bright Week. It is common to douse people in water, representing the new life of baptism, and play games with Easter eggs. Such as Easter egg hunt or rolling your a hard boiled egg down a hill (which represents the stone being rolled away).

Mothers

Proverbs 31:25-30 25

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29″Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

I thought I would share something on mother’s today (as it is Mother’s day in the UK yesterday).

The bond between a daughter/son is very special, she is there for us when we need someone to talk to she speaks to us with wise words, She is also there when we need to be loved and comforted. The words of the song ‘When Mothers of Salem’ come to mind.

When mothers of Salem their children brought to Jesus,
The stern disciples drove them back and bade them to depart:
But Jesus saw them ere they fled and sweetly smiled and kindly said,
“Suffer little children to come unto Me.”

See the source image

“For I will receive them and fold them to My bosom:
I’ll be a shepherd to these lambs, O drive them not away;
For if their hearts to Me they give, they shall with Me in glory live:
Suffer little children to come unto Me.”

How kind was our Saviour to bid these children welcome!
But there are many thousands who have never heard His Name;
The Bible they have never read, they know not that the Saviour said,
“Suffer little children to come unto Me.”

O soon may the heathen of every tribe and nation
Fulfil Thy blessed Word and cast their idols all away!
O shine upon them from above and show Thyself a God of love,
Teach the little children to come unto Thee!