CANDLE OF HOPE

Romans 15:13

Image result for House decorated for Christmas

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are now into December and the season of Advent . However this year shall we say has been literally knocked sideways thanks to The Coronavirus with Lockdown’s, Businesses & Health suffering.

Who would see the day when places of worship have been closed for almost a year. Most People in the current situation have stuck to the guidelines and kept things as normal as possible.

Today is th first Sunday in advent ‘The Candle of Hope’

Isn’t it strange how at the lead up to Christmas you start to see adverts for donations to several charities whilst at the other end of the spectrum you see a house decorated like the one above.

Though having said that there used to be a person who lived in a nearby village to me decorated his house at Christmas to raise money for a ward in the local hospital.

Baptized with the Spirit

Acts 9 New International Version (NIV)

Saul’s Conversion

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Oh What A Wonderful Wonderful Day
Day I Will Never Forget
After I’d Wandered In Darkness Away
Jesus My Savior I Met
Oh What A Tender Compassionate Friend
He Met The Need Of My Heart
Shadows Dispelling With Joy I Am Telling
He Made All The Darkness Depart

Chorus
Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul
When At The Cross The Savior Made Me Whole
My Sins Were Washed Away
And My Night Was Turned To Day
Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul

Born Of The Spirit With Life From Above
Into God’s Fam’ly Divine
Justified Fully Thru Calvary’s Love
Oh What A Standing Is Mine
And The Transaction So Quickly Was Made
When As A Sinner I Came
Took Of The Offer Of Grace
He Did Proffer He Saved Me
Oh Praise His Dear Name

Now I’ve A Hope That Will Surely Endure
After The Passing Of Time
I Have A Future In Heaven For Sure
There In Those Mansions Sublime
And It’s Because Of That Wonderful Day
When At The Cross I Believed
Riches Eternal And Blessings Supernal
From His Precious Hand I Received

God’s Promises

2 Peter 1:4

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

How true the verse is in 2 Peter 1;4 the Lord will give us his great & precious promises to enable us to escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires, providing we live by God’s Promises.

1. Standing on the promises of Christ my King,See the source image
through eternal ages let his praises ring;
glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
standing on the promises of God.
Refrain:
Standing, standing,
standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour;
standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

2. Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
by the living Word of God I shall prevail,
standing on the promises of God.
(Refrain)

3. Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
bound to him eternally by love’s strong cord,
overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
standing on the promises of God.
(Refrain)

4. Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
resting in my Saviour as my all in all,
standing on the promises of God.
(Refrain)

Living like Christ

Image result for Living like Christ

Ephesians 4 New International Version – UK 

Unity and maturity in the body of Christ

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it[a] says:

‘When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives
    and gave gifts to his people.’[b]

(What does ‘he ascended’ mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

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.

Being Candles for the Lord

Matthew 5:13-16 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Salt and light

13 ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.See the source image

Last night I was at a fundraising concert where the band played an arrangement of this lovely Joy Webb song. The piece was rightfully received with the spirit it should (not a soul clapped at the end).

The video and words of the song reminds us that we have to be a Candle for the Lord and try to remain strong in this troubled world of ours.

If you would like to listen to the arrangement the band played it’s on YouTube arranged by Peter Graham.

The Best Gift 

Luke 11:9-13  (NIVUK)

‘So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 ‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Ask! Ask! Ask! and it shall be given;
Seek! Seek! Seek! and you’re sure to find;
Knock! Knock! Knock! and the door will open,For God! God! God! is so good and kind, O yes,
So ask! Ask! Ask! and it shall be given;
Seek! Seek! Seek! and you’re sure to find;
Knock! Knock! Knock! and the door will open,
For God! God! God! is so good and kind.

Here we are reminded of how good God is to us. Even if we fail to serve him as faithfully as we should he will always give us what we ask for, help us seek what we are looking for and he will never lock his door to our burdens

 

Living Godly

Image result for living godly

1 Peter 2: V 11-25 NIV

Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[e]

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[f] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1.
I am so glad that our Father in Heaven
Tells of his love in the book he has given;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see;
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.
Chorus
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me,
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

2.
Jesus loves me and I know I love him;
Love brought him down my poor soul to redeem,
Yes, it was love made him die on the tree;
O I am certain that Jesus loves me!

3.
If one should ask of me, how could I tell?
Glory to Jesus, I know very well;
God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,
Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.

4.
O if there’s only one song I can sing
When in his beauty I see the great King,
This shall my song in eternity be:
O what a wonder that Jesus loves me!

5.
In this assurance I find sweetest rest,
Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blest;
Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee
When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.

Teach Me

Photo by Wolfgang on Pexels.com

Psalm 149

Praise the Lord.[a]

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
    let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
    and make music to him with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people;
    he crowns the humble with victory.
Let his faithful people rejoice in this honour
    and sing for joy on their beds.

May the praise of God be in their mouths
    and a double-edged sword in their hands,
to inflict vengeance on the nations
    and punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings with fetters,
    their nobles with shackles of iron,
to carry out the sentence written against them—
    this is the glory of all his faithful people.

Praise the Lord.

Lamb of Calvary

Hebrews 9 New International Version 

The Blood of Christ

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining[b] eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

16 In the case of a will,[d] it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”[e] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.