Why did Christ suffer on the cross?

Doctrine: Atonement; God’s Forgiveness (Leviticus 6:6–7)

Barry Bonds at the plate.
Barry Bonds at the plate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On August 7, 2007, baseball slugger Barry Bonds hit career home run number 756, the home run that broke Hank Aaron’s record. However, many questioned whether or not the new record should count because Bonds was alleged to have used steroids. Sports buffs said if his name is listed in the record book, it should be accompanied by an asterisk to indicate that the record is a sort-of record, a tainted record. In 2008 Mark Ecko, the man who bought the ball Bonds hit to set the record, branded the baseball with an asterisk and donated it to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s not unusual for Christians to imagine we have an asterisk by our name. We may be destined for that Hall of Fame called heaven, but aware that our lives our tainted, we’re left with a sour taste in our souls. We’re grateful to enjoy eternal life with God, but we wish there wasn’t that sense of being tainted. The gospel is hard to believe at just this point, but it is nonetheless the great truth. There is no longer a need for sin offerings. The forgiveness we are offered through Christ’s sacrifice doesn’t just make our sin null and void, it also erases the asterisk. God doesn’t see a fixed sinner, but someone righteous and pristine. We are in Christ, and Christ is in us. We are a new creation. The old has passed away—so much so that there is no need for an asterisk—and all things have become new.

Taken from NIV Understand the Faith Study Bible

That’s it! ‘The forgiveness we are offered through Christ’s sacrifice’ For all of us have sinned, we all fall short of God’s glory, we simply are not at all good. Yes we may live good lives and be upstanding citizens, give to the poor and do all sorts of ‘good’ things but unfortunately we are none of us perfect, we are all tainted in some way. Our own sense of righteousness doesn’t mean we are righteous, no, we cheat and lie, we do things we ought not do and don’t do the things we ought to do. It is just as well therefore that God loves us and He demonstrates that love through Jesus Christ. Jesus died on that cross for each and every one of us both now, in the past and in the future. For all those who believe on his name there is salvation, atonement with The Father and forgiveness for our sins. It is an amazing truth. It is such a shame that not everybody will accept it. They remain in their sins and they condemn themselves. My hope is that all will come to the truth which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. My hope is that you dear reader, if you have not already done so, is that you come to accept Jesus as your Saviour for that is who He is.

Shirley Anne

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Have you heard?

If you have then did you accept or reject the Good News? That is exactly what it is, Good News. Always your prerogative of course but there is no real excuse for rejection. I have personally heard testaments from people who shall I say had no regard for anyone else but themselves. Thieves, robbers, slanderers they were but they had a change of heart after they heard about Jesus Christ and what he had done for them. Many folk I have witnessed to have told me that they will think about it and others have simply told me they just don’t believe or that it is all fiction. God however tells us that this is far from the truth and we have no excuses for not believing. I would ask anyone who think otherwise to think again for there is much to gain from coming to a real understanding.

Shirley Anne

Jesus appearing to Thomas the Apostle, from th...
Jesus appearing to Thomas the Apostle, from the Maesta by Duccio di Buoninsegna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Heb 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Ro 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Ro 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Eph 2:8–9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Ro 1:24–32).
How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.
Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Heb 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Mt 28:19–20; Ac 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Dt 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.
Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

Shirley Anne

I didn’t mean to…

The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant
The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite often in life we make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes offend someone. Sometimes the ‘mistakes’ are intentional but often they are not and we haven’t realised our error. How can we make amends when we act this way? In the Old Testament we read how the Israelites made restitution for their sins. They sacrificed an animal to shed its blood as an offering, an atonement for their sins (to God). These sacrifices were accepted by God but later He made the ultimate sacrifice for each and every one of us through Jesus Christ. His blood was shed for us all, paying the price for all of our sins. He became our sacrifice and it is only through him that we can be forgiven. Nobody now has to sacrifice an animal if they place their hope in Christ Jesus. Praise The Lord.

Shirley Anne

Don’t-Mean-It Sins (Leviticus 4:27–35)
Everyone roared with laughter at Maggie’s story about Brad’s klutziness in fixing the car. Brad was mortified.
Thad had been paying bills online and then, without ever really planning to, he found himself deep in pornography. Melanie walked in and found him viewing images he had no business seeing.
Arthur and Gabriela thought they were just getting together with some friends from church, but then they found themselves caught up in an angry coup to get rid of the pastor. Six months later, the church was in shambles, and Arthur and Gabriela were wondering how they let themselves get involved in the mess.
Sometimes we sin without meaning to. We aim for righteousness, honour and wisdom, but we miss by a mile. Leviticus 4:2 introduces a Hebrew word for sin that means “to miss the mark.” George R. Knight, professor of church history at Andrews University Theological Seminary (Berrien Springs, Michigan), explains, “You have missed, not because you are wicked, but because you are stupid, silly, careless, inattentive, perhaps lazy, or more probably because you do not possess the proper aim in life.”
Add to that Hebrew word for sin the word “unintentionally,” and it suggests someone wandering away like a silly sheep or someone who isn’t thinking. We sometimes feel we ought to be given a break if we didn’t really mean to sin. But the Bible doesn’t cut us any slack. Whether we mean it or not, sin damages our relationship with God and with others. Anyone who is married knows that unintentional hurts, such as teasing about someone’s weaknesses or being chronically late or missing a birthday, can do a lot of harm.
Leviticus 4 shows that God takes unintentional sins seriously. Forgiveness is available, but it doesn’t come cheap. No quick, “Oops, sorry. Guess I wasn’t thinking.” Specific instructions were given in Leviticus 4 for how different groups were to deal with these kinds of sins. While the details differed a little from one group to another, the basic corrective steps were the same for each situation: bring an offering, then have it sacrificed to atone for the sin.
Today, we who confess Jesus Christ as Saviour are grateful that we don’t have to go through the laborious and gruesome atonement rituals of the Old Testament. Still, as we read through the requirements in Leviticus, we realize how the sacrificial system illustrates the seriousness of sin. These sin sacrifices did not over-dramatize the sinner’s situation; rather, they under-dramatized it. The blood of animals could never pay for sin, whether unintentional or not. God mercifully accepted such sacrifices until his plan could be carried out to give his one and only Son, Jesus, as the complete sacrifice for sin.
Sin is terrible—even when it’s unintentional. Praise God that Christ’s death provides forgiveness for us and that his indwelling Spirit gives us the strength to aim straight at godliness.
—Lee Eclov
Taken from NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible

Shirley Anne

Heaven

All very nice but something is missing. The songs says that heaven is a place on earth and although in the beginning that was true now it is far from that. As soon as sin entered the world heaven was lost. Sin keeps us out of God’s presence and would do so forever unless something could be done about it. The problem is we can’t do anything ourselves but there is One who did. There is One who paid the price on our behalf and has taken away our sin and if we believe on His name and put our whole faith in Him Heaven will be our destiny. He is Jesus Christ. The Saviour of mankind. So if you are looking for heaven on earth you may find glimpses of it around you but the real place is found in Christ Jesus.

Shirley Anne

Things Above (Colossians 3:1–2)

Do you look forward to heaven? Explain.
Give an example of how a person might set their mind on earthly things. Give an example of how a person might set their mind on heavenly things.
Before a person becomes a Christian, it’s natural for them to have an earthly outlook. We can’t really blame someone for pursuing wealth, fame, popularity, fun and everything else this world has to offer. After all, from their perspective, what else is there? Life is short, so grab everything you can while you can.

When a person makes a decision for Christ, though, the perspective changes. We shift our eyes away from this earth and toward heaven. We see things with an eternal view. We shift our priorities to reflect what’s really important. We recognize the things of this world for what they can be: distractions, wastes of time, empty pleasures.

We turn our attention to heaven. We consider the possibilities. If heaven is where God is, and God is the source of all joy and happiness, what does that say about our eternal life there? What kind of place has Jesus prepared for us (see John 14:3)? What will it be like not to have to worry about pain, sickness, sorrow or death? We may not know a lot about heaven, but we know enough to get our curiosity going.

Prayer

Dear God, thank you for giving us an unimaginable future beyond this life. Help us keep our minds focused on heavenly things, not earthly things. Fill us with an excitement for heaven. Amen.

Taken from Once a Day At the Table

Shirley Anne

69th Generation…….etc

The following end passages are taken from the online book I mentioned in a post labelled ‘Me reading?’ two days ago. The book can be downloaded free of charge for anyone interested…..and I sincerely hope many will take up the offer. I make no excuses for that because I know myself how important it is for people to understand the times and having read the book I thoroughly agree with the author. Steven Medley is a man whose life has changed dramatically since……well I’ll let him tell you in his own words written at the end of that book….

If you are among those who have followed along closely in
this study, then I believe you have been blessed, and privileged
to behold, and to understand the time-line of God. You have
been given an extraordinary gift and it has not come to you
accidentally. You have come to the knowledge of I Chron.12:32
“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had
understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought
to do…”
Notice that the understanding was given to them for the
benefit of all of Israel. It was God’s instrumental method for
guiding and directing His people. At the same time it served to
give an advanced notice and warning so that the people could
prepare for what would lie ahead.
And unless we forget, this also is the ministry of the Holy
Spirit. Jesus Himself spoke these words in John 16:13 “…when
He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all
truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He
shall hear, that shall He speak, and He will show you things
to come.”
If you have been awakened through this study it is only
because the Spirit of God has revealed it to you. Neither you
nor I have the ability within ourselves to see these things, let
alone the ability to understand them, or even to believe them
for that matter, this is the work of the Spirit of truth.
And if you’re wondering “why me?” Jesus Himself explains
it best in John 14:29 “And now I have told you before it come
to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you might believe.”
This is a call to faith my dear friends, it cannot be mistaken
for anything else.
I can look back at my own life and see clearly the various
stages of faith and relationship that God has brought me
through, and continues to do so. Early on I spent decades as
a devout follower of drugs, alcohol, sex, violence and rage,
cursing, lying, and stealing. I was loud, and arrogant, and cruel,
unthankful, selfish, and unloving. There was no sin that I am
aware of that I did not readily engage in, and I cared little about
religion, let alone a person called God. This was the horror
that my life had become over the many years of committed
practice of every type of evil. I had become a street animal,
sleeping anywhere, eating anything, and doing everything,
while barely resembling a man. My mind was a sewer, a pit of
disgust and torture, and there was no way out for me.
I was continually haunted in my alone time by my many
failures and inadequacies, and the many people that I had
hurt. I had turned my back on a dying father, I had totally
abandoned an innocent young daughter, I had scammed and
abused every relationship I had ever known, and I had injured
many physically as well as those I had scarred emotionally.
I had never owned anything, never held on to any job, never
married, never even had a driver’s license; I was a throw away,
and the worst part of it, was that I knew it. Year after year
was passing, decades rolled painfully by, and as no surprise
to me I was actually growing worse. Imprisonments and
incarcerations, attempted murders, and those that attempted
to murder me. Drug overdoses, some intentional, others were
not, house fires, car crashes, gun shots nearly missing, home
invasions and armed robberies, you name it, this was my life.
And one night I laid broken and shattered on a cold kitchen
floor in the dark, crying shamelessly, and I said “God, I have
heard about the people that you have changed their lives. If you
can do this for them, why can’t you do this for me? You know
that I cannot change myself, if you don’t change me I will die.”
That was it. No great theological prayer, no one there to hold
my hand and lead me through the dos and don’ts of petitioning
God properly. Just a crushed and hopeless heart giving up,
tired and beaten down, crying out on a naked kitchen floor in
the dark. I didn’t even know if He had heard me. There was no
lightning or thunderbolts, no visions, no appearance of angels,
no heavenly voice, no anything. I remember eventually getting
up and wiping the tears from my face and moving on to
whatever the next thing was. But I tell you this, from that
next day and forward I did feel something, something new
and strange, but unmistakably real. For the first time in my
life I could feel within me an opposing presence to the evil
that was my life. I didn’t know what this thing was, but it
was actively resisting me on every wicked front that I use to
perform so freely before. There was a wrestling match going
on so violently within me, it was impossible not to feel, or
notice it. I knew nothing about a Holy Spirit, or the Word of
God, but I now know this much, that night God did hear me,
and I was saved by His mercy, and the road to change had
begun for me.
I would like to say that from that moment on my life was
completely changed, externally I mean, but that did not happen
for me. It would be over many years still that this progression
would take place, even at times as it would seem to be at a snail’s pace. But for me, none of that matters now, as I have come
through it to be the man that I am now, as I sit at this keyboard.
Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination I can assure you,
but unquestionably and undeniably forever changed.
For several years now I have been drug and alcohol free,
no longer a slave to either. Additionally I have been sexually
abstinent now since 2009 since I am still remaining unmarried.
At the same time, I no longer fight, steal, lie, or curse, among
many other things that were so common to me, but these are
but the beginning of the change that God has done in me.
The greater changes have occurred, and still occur within the
hidden recesses of my heart and mind. Today I love God, and
I am an addict to His Word. The knowledge of Him has stolen
me away from this world, and it is the sweetest and most
pleasant thing that I could have ever imagined. Consequently,
I feel a deep abiding love and concern for others, and it is for
this reason that I have written this book for you.
My heart bleeds for you to know Him, my soul pleads for
you also to cry out to him, as I once did, and still do. I tell you
as truthfully as I know how, He is loving, and merciful, and
forgiving, and patient, and He is anxiously waiting for you. He
will hear you, and He will answer mightily all the pain that is
in your heart. You only have to ask. Yes time is short, so think
of it this way, every second that you do not call upon Him is
another second that you have to go without Him, and equally
as important, He without you.
Perhaps you may already be saved, but over time and
circumstances you have fallen victim to the many landslides
of life, seemingly separating you ever farther from your Father.
To you I would say this: He has not been moved away from
you, neither has His opinion changed, or His heartfelt desire
concerning you. Past guilt is behaving as your enemy, give
that also to Him. Let us not ever forget that Jesus died to bear
your shame and your guilt, in addition to your sin. Run back
to your Father just as the “prodigal son” was so wise to do.
He is forever looking over the barren landscapes of our lives
hoping only to see us in the distance as we approach. With
arms spread as wide as the beams that fastened wide the nail
pierced hands of Christ, He welcomes you to come home to
His certain embrace. I beg you not to walk, run my beloved,
run hard and fast to your God and Father, and King. Run now!
And lastly, for those of you who have and do know Him
well, all blessings and mercy, and peace and grace be to you.
To you I say, reach farther, go deeper, seek more, grow, stretch,
change, learn, and mature. Never become complacent, nor
comfortable within this world. Yearn, thirst, and hunger, for
His presence, to hear His voice, and to serve.
Ask yourself earnestly, what does this message mean for
you? What is the appropriate response given all that we have
learned? Where do you go from here? Do not do as the servant
that hid his lord’s “talent” in the ground as he awaited his
lord’s arrival, but rather be as the faithful servants that put
their “talents” to use and did produce an “interest” to present
to their lord at his return.
Take the message and make it your own. Study it, meditate
on it, speak it and teach to others. Become that “watchman”
that sits on the wall alerting the others to the seriousness of
the times in which we live. Be bold and courageous, stand up
and work for the good. Be fearless in your faith, and open wide
your mouth and testify “in season and out of season”. Be the
“salt” and the “light” that you were created to be. The God
of all creation has chosen you to live in this, the most crucial
time in all of human history. You are stronger than you know
you can be. Launch out in faith, and trust God to lead you and
direct you in all of your paths. Jesus is coming, and God has
preordained that you should be His welcoming committee.
Blow the trumpet and sound the alarm, the King is coming!
So there it is, the cold hard facts staring you in the face.
The future doesn’t hold a new and better career for you simply
because God desires to bless you. For that matter, you know
that mystical debt cancellation you’ve been waiting on from
God, or that new home, or that new husband or wife that God
has been planning to get to you, none of this is as high on His
priority list as it is on yours.
The truth is difficult times are ahead of us all. And until
we face that, we are as far away from being prepared for it
as we could possibly be. We are not here for God to bless us,
were actually here to be a blessing. We’re not here to take but
to give. We were never meant to serve self, not while there’s a
great King to serve.

About the author

Steven Medley was born in 1961 in the inner city of Chicago.
Born to a middle-aged father and a young but alcoholic mother,
it would be less than a year before his maternal mother would
abandon them both. The next nine years would be spent being
shipped around from various foster homes, and from one
school to the next. At age 10 he would finally come home to
stay with his quickly aging father. These would be the happiest
years of his life.
At seventeen Steven would enlist in the U.S. Marines and
four short years later he would receive an honorable discharge.
Upon his return home his father would die of lung cancer only
a short single year later. This would begin the darkest time
of Stevens life. Alcoholism, drug addiction, and a wide array
of criminal activities would eventually land him in the state
penitentiary where he would serve a total of forty-two months
behind bars. It would be there behind those same bars that he
would give his life to Jesus in 1991.
This would begin years of cultivating a personal and
intimate relationship with his newly discovered Savior. It
would be during this period of his life that he would uncover
the ever-present gift of prophecy lying previously dormant and
undetected within him.
Since then Steven Medley is a dedicated student and
researcher of the Word of God, with more than over 40,000
hours of collective study in the field of biblical prophecy.
Medley was born in Chicago Illinois, and currently resides
there with his newly gained wife and teenage daughter. He is
also the father of another daughter, and grandfather to three
young grandchildren.

Copyright Steven Medley

Shirley Anne

With all my heart

I’ve a wonderful love
That’s so deep in my heart
Came into my life
Gave me a new start
Through all of my sorrows
My troubles and pain
Whenever I fell
I was lifted again.
The joy of this love
Gives to each one a share
With no special favours
To black, brown or fair.
Take hold of this love
There for each one of us
The love of my Saviour
My sweet Lord Jesus.

Copyright Shirley Anne 31 March 2003

Dear Lord my God, my Heavenly Father I give you praise

You are worthy to receive honour and glory and praise

For You are the I AM, you are the Creator of all things

You created all things through your Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

He is my Redeemer my Saviour God

Today the world celebrates your birth, the day you came down from heaven to live amongst us

Immanuel! We cry out Immanuel – God with us

You take away the sins of the people that we may be presented pure and holy before The Father

For all those who believe on your name there is Salvation.

Thank you for the greatest gift we could ever receive

Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Today as in every day my soul rejoices in the knowledge of your love

I pray for those who don’t know you, for those who reject you

Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing forgive them in Jesus’ name I ask

Give them O God another opportunity today to get to know you.

Thank you Jesus

Amen

 

Shirley Anne

New start

Today, well sometime today it will be the event we call The Winter Solstice.

English: The Earth at the start of the 4 (astr...
The Earth at the start of the 4 (astronomical) seasons as seen from the north and ignoring the atmosphere (no clouds, no twilight).  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is that point in the Earth’s orbit about the Sun whereby the north pole of the Earth begins once again to tilt toward the Sun. At the same time the south pole begins to tilt away from the Sun and for those living in the southern hemisphere it marks their Summer Solstice. Our hemisphere will slowly become warmer and theirs gradually will become cooler over the next few months. The major parts of the Earth feeling those effects are the temperate regions, for anyone living near or in the tropics the effects are less noticeable. Whichever way you look at it the year is starting over, new beginnings, new possibilities, new promises. Yes, we can promise ourselves all these things and many do just that at the start of the new calendar year by making resolutions. Nothing will change however unless the spirit is willing. Many promises are not fulfilled, not even to ourselves. There is hope. Try promising yourself something new, something that will be worth the effort. You will finally gain the victory over empty promises and a future of uncertainty…….

Shirley Anne

JESUS’ VICTORY (John 12:31–32)

31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up[a] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’

This verse marks the declaration of Christ’s complete victory over the kingdom of the world. Jesus foretold this event in John 12:31–32, and in Revelation his promise is manifested. After Jesus’ victory was declared, the 24 elders “fell on their faces and worshiped God” (Rev 11:16). Five times in the book of Revelation the elders similarly demonstrate with their bodies the posture of their hearts (5:8,14; 7:11; 11:26; 19:4).

This absolute victory should cause those who rebel against Christ to shudder. Their doom is promised and assured. They will face the tribulation and punishment described in John’s vision. Yet, Jesus’ ultimate victory is a great hope for his followers. Though the world is in chaos, believers can be assured that Jesus has already won the victory over sin and death, and that the whole earth will soon see this victory. The kingdom of God will fully and finally come on earth as it has been in heaven (Mt 6:9–13). At the end of time, God’s promise from Genesis 3:15 will come true as the offspring of the woman will crush the serpent’s head forever.

Jesus, I can’t wait to fall on my face and worship you in your presence. Until then, please help me keep the right posture of my heart, always submitted to and honouring you. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Think what it would be like to know you gave yourself the opportunity to start afresh instead of each year ending up with empty promises. The promise of salvation and eternal life is yours if you want it, just believe in Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

 

All been said before

Deep in the valley of sorrow and sadness,
Where my life was ebbing away,
I saw a light, it was shining so brightly,
That my eyes did draw me to stay.

Out of the darkness a hand pulled me gently,
And effortlessly lift me above,
I felt the warmth and a power surround me,
The power of ineffable love.

Copyright Shirley Anne 19 Feb 1999

The above poem was dedicated to my father just before he died.

The Power to Believe
The Power to Believe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He always maintained a belief in God though I was never quite sure because he didn’t talk about it. However his way of life and his love for my mother and we his children would indicate he was a God-fearing man. When we as Christians talk about fear in this way we mean having respect for our Creator, His awesomeness, His power, His love. It is not fear in the everyday meaning of the word as in being frightened or scared. True love casts out all fear. If we love God and we know He loves us we have the assurance of His love. Does everyone love God? Unfortunately no. often simply by the way they live they show a lack of love for Him. People might say they just don’t understand but God says in His word that there is no excuse for not believing because of the evidence which surrounds us…. Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

If knowing this people who still remain stubborn still remain in sin and will be judged accordingly. It seems stupid to me that people will reject the free gift of Gods love by rejecting His Son our Lord Jesus Christ and be set free from their sins. Why face God as a sinner when you know that He cannot look upon sin? It will be too late to do anything about it once you have died. So if you are about to celebrate Christmas think about the reason for Christ‘s birth, what was the purpose? He came to save sinners from eternal damnation and give them eternal life. All He asks is they repent and believe in Him. Make this Christmas one to remember, one that changed your life and gave you hope.

Shirley Anne

No VAT

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Value added tax,.,…in case you are not from the UK. VAT is a tax levied on any transaction involving the exchange of money here in the UK. As far as the purchasing of goods was concerned it used to be referred as purchase tax. As with any tax funds received are used to finance the various needs of the nation but though many people may grumble about such things they do understand the necessity for it. Nobody likes paying taxes I suppose. People like getting things for free, nobody refuses a free gift do they? Oh yes they do! Somehow a free gift means a hidden price to pay, an ulterior motive or agenda. Surprisingly there are such things as free gifts, we have all received them at some point in our lives. How many of you receive birthday presents? The catch here is that we in turn return the compliment to the giver at the appropriate time making it not really free at all yet if there were not any catches, no price to pay, no VAT or anything else some people still remain suspicious! There are those who expect everything for nothing thinking the world owes them a living they beg, borrow or steal rather than work for it. They don’t pay VAT, they don’t pay for anything if they can avoid it. Little do they realise there is a price to pay eventually. I have offered many people a free gift though not I but The Lord, I am simply a messenger. That free gift is rejected more often than it is received. It is the free gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ and it is free, nothing to pay for it has all been paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross. People think they have to earn it to receive it so they reject it. Jesus asks they come as they are and simply believe. People think their access to Heaven is automatic…..it isn’t. It is only possible through Jesus Christ. He paid the price for each of us. All we have to do is repent and ask Jesus to be our personal Saviour, all free, nothing to pay, no VAT or anything else! What a wonderful gift is that! This Christmas why not receive the free gift of life, the only gift that will last forever…….

Shirley Anne

I knew…………

A few weeks ago my doctor called me in to see her. I have to attend surgery every six months for routine blood pressure checks because of the medication (hormones) I have to take each day. On my last visit I was told to make an appointment with the nurse who take blood samples and send them off for analysis. That was done and I then had to see the doctor again for the results. That happened on Friday (10). My readers will know that I am a Christian believer and place my trust in God knowing that He loves me. I don’t like visits to the doctor to be truthful and though I appear at ease by my demeanour I am usually tensed inside. I arrived at the surgery and parked my van but before going in I prayed to The Lord that all would be well with my results and there would be no necessity for any further action. I went into the surgery and waited to be called. I was with the doctor for less than a minute……..there was nothing wrong with my blood pressure nor the resultant blood tests. I praised The Lord. I knew in my heart the results would be normal, He had given me that assurance.

Take Jesus’ hand
I have learnt over the years to have more faith in God and to trust in His love. I know He loves me and will take care of me. He proved His love on the cross. Jesus Christ died for me and that act demonstrated pure love. He paid my debt and set me free from the bondage of sin. All I had to do was believe in Him and accept His gift of life. No ,matter what God's plans are for me I know I can trust Him. I just know...

Shirley Anne