to us a child is born
, to us a
nd the government will be on his shoulders. A
nd he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God
, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
. Of the greatness of his government a
nd peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne a
nd over his kingdom, establishing a
nd upholding it with justice a
nd righteousness from that time on a
ever. The zeal of the Lord A
lmighty will a
Meditation (Galatians 4:4–7)
We are about to celebrate the birth of the Son of God
, the firstborn over all creation—not the first created being, as some religions falsely claim, but the one who holds our universe together and without whom we would have neither life nor breath. His birth in Bethlehem
has implications for all of us. Jesus was born on earth so that we could become God’s children too, all of us. The gospel Jesus brought was for everyone, then and now. It destroyed all barriers among people: social, racial and gender-related. Our unity is based on our new identity as children of God. That is what we are! Our status in Christ
far surpasses any earthly advantages we would have over one another. There is no room for pride. No distinction of slave or free, no wealthy or poor, no in or out.
We are all God’s children. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be within us. We can “hear” God speak to us through His Word. We can speak directly to him in daily prayers. He hears the cries of his children, “Abba, Father.” All this is our Christmas gift from him. It’s a free gift. We cannot earn it. We cannot work for it. All we need to do is accept the gift. God loves us and wants us to be with him, to love him. He accepts us as we are. He has a plan for each one of us. He wants us to be close to him for all eternity. God sent his Son to earth, the baby whose birth brings us Christmas, to make that happen.
Abba, Father, how comforting it is to come to you, knowing your love is a gift I did not earn and can never lose. Thank you. I am in awe as I realize how great a gift this truly is. Though I live in a culture that erects barriers between people, barriers that divide us and make us feel either arrogant or inferior, I am so grateful to you for sending your Son, the Lord Jesus, who broke through these walls with his love, acceptance, forgiveness and service to the lost, to the least and to the lonely. Teach me to treasure all the people I encounter today, to love them and to seek only good for them. In your Son’s name I pray. Amen.
Taken from Once a Day 25 Days of Advent
‘So this is Christmas‘ as John Lennon sang in the well-known song. When I was young it wasn’t so much the day itself but always the approaching days which held the excitement, in fact the day itself wasn’t as exciting as I remember and sometimes it turned out a little disappointing. I find that happens a lot in life, we expect something to be exciting and we find we are somewhat disillusioned when the time comes. Sometimes we expect too much and when we do we get let down. Not always though, no, there are things which satisfy in life but I think you’ll agree, they don’t last and soon we are looking for another thrill, another exciting event. This pretty much sums up Christmas for many people but it doesn’t have to be that way, there is more to Christmas or rather the message it contains that will never disillusion if taken to the heart. Who cares? Many simply want to enjoy the time without the ‘religious’ theme but without the religious message the whole event becomes meaningless, just another event in the calendar we look forward to for enjoyment. Well Christmas is a time to rejoice and be happy, a time for people to get together in love and friendship though for some that isn’t their lot. Tell people that God sent His only begotten Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit by a virgin to be an atoning sacrifice for those who have turned away from Him and they will laugh, they will scoff, they will not believe, but that is the message that Christmas brings. It is the gift of God, a free gift and it doesn’t arrive on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and driven by a guy in a red outfit! The truth of the matter is we ALL need salvation for we ALL fall short of the glory of God. God is waiting for those who will turn to Him in repentance, who will accept His free gift of life that only comes through Jesus Christ, the babe in the manger lost in the secular version of what should be a Christmas centred around him and the reason he came.
Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Immanuel means ‘God with us’
Remember what Christmas is really about.
A Christmas Without Snow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have just written a comment on an article posted by AOL regarding snowfall at Christmas. Our weather forecasters seemingly cannot say with certainty if we in the UK will get a white Christmas. My comments centred on the fact that I thought it utter nonsense that people yearn for such things forgetting as many do what Christmas is supposed to be all about, the birth of our Saviour and not the fact that we might or might not get snow!
I was at work on Saturday afternoon. I had no work in the morning but had arranged to work in another town for someone in the afternoon because they had no free time during the week. I didn’t mind, after all it is Christmas as they say. Anyway the work was to replace a few light fittings with sparkling new ones. The lady for whom I was doing the work began chatting with me. Usually it is off-putting when people won’t just let me get on with the work but on this occasion I didn’t mind. I was taken a little by surprise because her questions all centred upon me, my family, friends, about my faith and about Christmas. I am not forthright in opening up to people regarding my family and friends my faith and beliefs unless they ask of course but if they do I don’t hold back. She began by asking what I was doing over Christmas. When I replied ‘nothing different from usual’ she was intrigued and wanted to know more so I explained, telling her that I don’t think Christmas is celebrated for the right reasons these days and it has become a secular and commercial machine having nothing to do with Christ. I also told her that my family have all but distanced themselves and my friends all live afar, not that I can claim having many friends as I don’t which means I couldn’t celebrate the holiday with them as they do even it was my wish to do so. My social life is just about zero too but that’s another story. She became very concerned and it prompted more questions which I answered as honestly as I could. She couldn’t believe I don’t celebrate Christmas as I once did, in fact I don’t celebrate it at all. The look of concern upon her face was evident. She asked if I was a Christian, a question I usually end up asking of those I talk with rather than it being asked of myself. Asking what church I went to and discovering I don’t prompted her to ask why. The answer I gave made her feel sad for me and she said she thought it was sad that I wasn’t in a fellowship and no longer felt the urge to be in one. I was more concerned about her feeling a sadness for me instead of just accepting the way I feel about things as being my own choice. I have to admit I haven’t felt such a concern for me for many years, not even from those closest to me, my own family. I am more concerned that people should believe in God and Jesus Christ rather than be concerned for me and never mind whether it will snow or not.
Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: Birth of Christ Locality: Heiligengeistplatz Community:Klagenfurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Around this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere of our Earth the days begin to lengthen, that is the hours of daylight. At the same time of course the nighttime hours get shorter. The day is almost upon us, the celebration of the birth of our Saviour and many will be marking the day in their usual way. Before I became a Christian believer I had another faith, I was an atheist, I didn’t believe in God or Jesus Christ and I’d never heard of the Holy Spirit. I followed, like many others, in the tradition of men, celebrating Christmas as non-believers do. People around me would say, Christmas is about family and it is a time for children. Children were told, as they still are, that Santa Clause would be bringing them toys if they were good. Why are children told such lies? There is no harm in make-believe I hear you say but it is just as easy to tell the truth is it not? Children end up growing as non-believers and the lies are perpetuated. If you are going to celebrate someone’s birth surely they will be at the centre of it won’t they? No-one goes to a birthday party that has nobody there whose birthday it is! There cannot be a party without its host. There cannot be a party without an invitation to join-in either, that would be stupid, yet it happens every year at Christmas. If Christ is not in Christmas there is no birthday party to celebrate. Time is short and Christmas will be upon us in a day or two. Time is short for us all and one day we each of us will pass away. For those who believe there is a party in Heaven that will last for eternity and Jesus will be there to greet them, he is their host and will welcome them in because he knows them. Do you know Jesus? Is he the host at your party? Without him there is no real celebration. The invitation is there…..are you going to accept it?
I no longer celebrate Christmas as I once did, the way the world does but I celebrate in my heart each and every day for what Jesus did for me and praise him.
Furniture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I cannot escape it. Whenever the television is switched on and tuned-in to an independent broadcasting station I am bombarded with advertisements. I expect this of course but at this time of year the advertisements are aggressive and are so repetitive as to be annoying. As my readers I’m sure will know by now I detest advertising of this nature, in fact any dynamic and thrusting advertising but I do realise their necessity in the great scheme of things. As we are approaching Christmas the pressure to buy or invest in something is relentlessly pushed into our faces via the television screens. I often wonder how positive or negative the reaction to them is. For a few months now furniture manufacturers have constantly advertised their goods and the fact that they can deliver them before Christmas day. They subtly suggest how would-be buyers would benefit from having new furniture both to take advantage of their ‘special offers’ and to be able to accommodate their guests on the big day. We are made to think that we cannot do without new furniture. Aside from the fact that most people do not need new furniture the offers are at a reduced price to persuade us otherwise. I wonder how much profit these companies make if they can offer goods at half-price and still be in pocket! It’s not just furniture it is perfume, alcohol, seasonal foods, clothing, watches, electronic equipment and one of the most annoying to me anyway, Internet and television media suppliers. If I’ve seen each one every day I have seen them twenty or more times. Where did ‘Black Friday‘ come from? They must be desperate for our custom. The mute button on my remote control unit gets pressed often!
It is all to do with life in a modern society but the sad thing is that most people are influenced and taken-in by all the hype and many end up with so much debt it is frightening. People need to realise they are not sheep, they do not have to jump on the band-wagon so eagerly because their friends or family have done. This is the secular world, driven and kept well-oiled by commercialism which can only end when it runs out of steam. That energy is sapped out of all those who allow it but the people are blind. The people are comfortable with it all but don’t realise they are being manipulated. I took a step back from the false security that is secularism. It has no future, it is heading nowhere. I fell in love with my Creator and placed all my hope in Him. I fell in love with Jesus and have a future not based upon the secular life and all the material blessings I might gain from it. In the end they perish and have to be left behind one day. Can you see why I look at the ways of the world the way I do? Can you see what an empty future you have if you put your trust in worthless things, the things the secular world offers? Don’t take the advertisements too seriously. Take the offer your Creator God offers, the FREE gift of life everlasting in Jesus Christ.
Sometimes things go well in my work and other times not so well. I go to a house and from beginning to end I am faced with problem after problem as if the house itself were jinxed. We use that term flippantly but I think there is an element of truth in it. As a believer in God I also believe in the devil or if you prefer evil spirits and that being the case if such evil spirits are about, havoc can ensue. Despite what some people say, houses can be inhabited by the forces of evil as can some people. Exorcisms are real events, I have attended one myself. I digress a little however. Little things happen in my work which serve to annoy me, for example, I am installing a replacement light unit only to find some internal part is missing. I effect a repair then discover something else is wrong too. I manage to fix that and move on to the next task and find executing it is difficult in one way or another, limited access, wiring problems and a host of minor irritations are sometimes part of the course. Now I expect problems in my line of work but sometimes certain jobs are replete with them just as if an invisible force is working against me.
Warding off Evil Spirits A brief splash of “disinfectant” to ward off foot and mouth. Fortunately the outbreak was distant, at the other end of a neighbouring country – the risk all but non existent. At time of writing the outbreak seemed to be under control – fingers crossed (about as effective as the illustrated activity which had something medieval about it) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I manage to overcome them, I have to else the work would have to be abandoned. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have called out to God to help me with a problem and in seconds I have it sorted. Maybe you are now thinking she’s lost the plot and it is simply coincidence but I tell you it happens often. If an unseen evil force was working against me it would be incumbent of me to seek assistance from the only one who could help now wouldn’t it? Be that as it may I pray anyway just in case. Earlier in the week, and it is only Wednesday as I write this, I was inundated with work and it all went smoothly. I was tired though. On Wednesday I was rested, full of energy and rearing to go. I had work to do, replace four light units, re-position one of them and add a fifth elsewhere. Lots of things went wrong just like I described above but eventually I had it all done. It was well after one o’clock when I finished so I decided to dine out at a local pub, one of a number of great places to eat hereabouts. Just as I was placing my order my phone rang. I had left an item of equipment at the house, something I have done on two other occasions lately. I cannot place the blame on evil spirits for this, just me getting forgetful! I returned after my lunch to collect it. Fortunately the house was only a half-mile away and more or less on my way home.
To be able to stand in front of a mirror and say ‘I am a sinner and not worthy of the love God has for me’ is a very uplifting thing. You have realised that you are not perfect and never will be in this world but you have also realised that there is a God.
To be able to stand in front of someone else and confess you are a sinner demands great honesty to one’s self and is a powerful thing. That someone else may begin to realise that there is a God if they haven’t already done so.
To be able to stand before the congregation and declare that you stand there a sinner but saved by God’s grace because you believe in His Son is a declaration of His sovereignty and the praise you have for Him in your heart.
To be able to praise Him all day long is a wonderful song of worship.
The Meal at the House of Simon the Pharisee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Undeserved (Luke 7:37–39)
I am sinful, yet God calls me righteous. Is there anything I can do to thank him?
One day a Pharisee asked Jesus to come to his house to eat. “A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner’ ” (Luke 7:37–39). The incredible thing is that Jesus did know what kind of woman she was. But that didn’t stop him from loving her.
Like the woman, we all stand before Jesus with a spiritual rap sheet that is miles long. At this very moment, he sees every area of our lives that needs refining. Yet despite our sin, he loves us anyway. Dearly. That doesn’t make sense. But God’s love doesn’t make sense. We can’t figure it out.
Let grace amaze you. Ponder it. Dwell on it. Feel the intensity of God’s love behind it. The woman had it right. She was well aware of her sinful past—she had lived it. And when she found the Savior who knew her completely and still offered acceptance and forgiveness, she could do nothing else but fall on her knees and pour out her praise on him.
When your messiness runs into Jesus’ perfection and you find him there loving you, be like the woman with the alabaster jar. Just love him. Pour out your praise; drench him in worship. Stand in awe of the One who gave it all. He is worthy of every ounce of your praise.
Taken from The Great Rescue Bible
I got up a little later than usual on Saturday, for me anyway, it was around nine-thirty as I began to have breakfast. I had been up a couple of times during the night with toilet visits but it had been a bit more involved than simply just relieving myself. I had a vaginal bacterial infection specifically a urinary tract infection and they are never nice to endure. Fortunately I have a routine I use whenever this happens which makes the experience less painful. Medication is a must for conditions like this so I make sure I have something to hand for such emergencies. I usually have some medication left over from treating previous infections as more often than not I get them during the night and over the weekend. I was able to get things under control but I wanted to purchase some new medication in case it was needed. I also wanted to visit my electrical supplier for some items to replenish my van stock. The other reason I wanted to go out shopping was to pay a visit to the garden centre once more to purchase more plants for the flowerbed I had been working on recently. My first stop was at the chemist (drug store/pharmacy) to purchase medications. The chemist asked me all sorts of questions as to why I wanted the medications and when it was I last contracted an infection. Having vaginal infections too frequently of course is a problem though fortunately that hasn’t been my own experience. However the chemist suggested a visit to the doctor should I contract it again. I would do that anyway. I was given the medication and I drove off to the electrical supplier.
A young girl greeted me and I was served immediately as there were no other customers in the shop. After the sale we spoke a little. She had noticed the bag containing my medications as I reached to get my purse and asked if I was feeling well. She must have thought I had the ‘flu! As there was no-one else in the shop I told her what the medication was for and she was sympathetic as she knew from experience how nasty the infection can be. I don’t remember how the subject turned to Jesus but we ended up talking about what people do to enjoy themselves, partying, drinking and so on yet they are never satisfied. Isn’t it so true that people are always seeking new thrills and experiences and never tire of it? They are trying to fill a God shaped hole in their lives with material things so they end up constantly attempting to satisfy their need yet never succeeding. Why don’t they simply turn to God instead? Life with Jesus in your heart gives you a different perspective on life and its meaning. I left the shop and drove off to the garden centre.
On my arrival I decided to treat myself to one of the two free cups of coffee or tea I am entitled to as a member each month. This particular month I am entitled to a free pot of tea and two scones because my birthday is in November. When I got to the restaurant the queues were too long so I went into the garden and selected nine plants and proceeded to the check-out. I had spent another £72 and that was with the 20% promotional discount. As a member I get a 10% discount at other times but I wanted to take advantage of the extra discount while it lasted. I loaded them into the van and returned to get that coffee. This time the counter was empty. Now although I had the coffee I had to go to the payment desk to pay for it or in this case have my card debited first. I had to wait in a small queue and my drink was getting colder. Eventually I got to a table but my drink was by this time cooled down somewhat. It was hardly worth sitting down to drink it but I did. A few seconds later I was up and walking out of the restaurant and off to my van. It was eleven-thirty when I got back home so I decided to put the plants in the flowerbed……..
You should be able to see the new plants as they have all been placed at the front of the bed. Compare to pictures taken a few days earlier.
No a halloween (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Israelites were noted for it. God had promised them so many things and all they had to do was follow His instruction but time after time they failed. From the beginning mankind has been rebellious because of a stubborn heart. So often we choose the easy way out or we choose to do things our way when in our hearts we know it is wrong. When I took my children to church they learned the right way in life but sadly now they have grown they seem not to continue with Christian instruction in some areas of their lives. They are still believers in Christ, it’s just they make compromises where perhaps they shouldn’t. Hey, listen, I am in no way perfect either though I strive to do the proper thing in my Christian walk. It is fortunate therefore that Jesus has done it all for me because at my best I fail to reach the standard. On Wednesday late in the afternoon I received a visit from my eldest son, his wife and their young daughter who had called to collect something of theirs we have in storage at our house. They didn’t stay long, they never do, there is always some other pressing engagement they have to attend upon. In conversation the subject of Halloween crept up with my little granddaughter getting excited at the prospect of her Halloween celebrations. Children do not understand and neither do many or even most adults! When at the church I used to attend the teaching was that Halloween is centred around pagan rituals and nothing about it was good. The parents were encouraged to bring their children to alternative Halloween celebrations at the church and were discouraged from promoting the secular version. Does God frown upon the secular version? Of course He does. The Israelites were not averse to consulting mediums and spiritualists, the very people He instructed them not to consult. God makes the rules for our benefit but we often ignore Him. My eldest son’s wife, a Christian herself has chosen not to follow instruction and openly encourages their daughter to enjoy Halloween whilst my son rather than making a stand against what he knows about the truth behind the celebration has chosen the easy way out just to keep the peace. I can say nothing of course, why argue with stubborn hearts? I understand that not everyone will agree with my beliefs because they are not believers in God or if they are they do not think it wrong to ignore Him. In the end it is a personal choice we all have to make.
A wonderful Christmas card we received. Certainly good enough to photograph, so here it is. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Christmas is not far away, a few weeks is all. Soon people will be thinking about presents,what to buy and for whom. Greetings cards will be sought and bought too. E herself is making greetings cards at home as part of her newfound hobby of crafting. I mentioned something about this a few posts ago. None of the cards she has made reflect the true reason for Christmas and nice as they are none have Nativity scenes on them or any reference to Christ Jesus which is kind of pointless. Most shops don’t sell cards with references to Jesus on them either. The reason for this is that the celebration of Christmas as the birth of our Saviour has been hijacked by the secular world and people who subscribe to secularism are only interested in the festivities which are now associated with the holiday (Holy Day). You see God has been left out of the equation in today’s society by all except those who are believers. People it seems would rather go with the majority than have anything to do with God. Father Christmas (Santa Claus) rules instead. Their celebrations centre around self-indulgence, alcohol, chocolate, roast dinners, puddings, mince pies and all the other things which are common in most homes at Christmas.
Greeting card with horses on (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is nothing wrong in people enjoying themselves of course but at Christmas they do it for all the wrong reasons. Jesus Christ is the reason for the celebration or should be but that falls on many deaf ears. God has been left out of many people’s lives but when they need Him they cry out. I just pray He will answer. God in fact does answer if we are sincere. We just have to believe, the unbeliever has to believe. Many pay God lip service, they do as they please whilst thinking God doesn’t notice, they lack understanding because they refuse to seek the truth. They even question the truth when it is presented before them. What kind of equation is balanced when only one-sided? We need a relationship with God and He wants a relationship with us so don’t leave Him out of the equation or your life will be totally one-sided and truly out of balance.
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
The Meaning of Life (Tankard album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ever wonder what the meaning of life is? Are we here by accident, the result of eons of development through evolution or are we here by design? What is life after all? Throughout our lives we are always seeking after something. Stop and think about that for a moment. We seek peace, prosperity, good health, good relationships, happiness, a good time, financial security, physical security, acceptance in society and other individuals and these are only a few. Whenever we reach a goal we are often still not satisfied having achieved it, we want more, we strive for things that in the end are of no real benefit, in fact anything we gain in our lives doesn’t really benefit us at all and we have to give them up with our last breath. So what is the point?
Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon points out the futility of life. He walks down several paths as he looks for meaning in life—pleasure, wealth, wisdom, work. Not many of us will ever possess the time or the resources to do the kind of searching that Solomon did, so this book gives us the benefit of his experience and allows us to peek at the end of the story. His conclusion? No matter how hard we try to manufacture meaning in life, time passes and we all die.
But don’t despair! Solomon directs us to the ultimate source for finding meaning in life: knowing and living with God.
Think of unanswered questions as doors that slam in our faces. With gut-wrenching accuracy, Solomon forces us to look at our lives and recognize that these obstacles exist. But instead of trying to supply us with keys to open those doors by ourselves, Solomon points us to God, the Locksmith who promises to help us find a way. Ultimately, true meaning in life can be found only in a relationship with God—a relationship that is the “duty of all mankind” (verse 13).
Taken from NIV The Journey Bible
No One Cares (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Thanks be to God for……well everything! For who He is, for what He has done. You may ask what has He done for me? All I get is a hard time, poor job, poor pay, lousy relationships and no-one cares. If you think that way have another think. You are here and you are alive aren’t you? God has surely gotten you this far because according to you your situation couldn’t be worse yet your wages have paid for your food and shelter have they not? There are always people worse off than ourselves. Many have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own but they don’t give up. Some however think that the world owes them a living and won’t put much if any effort to improving their situation. Some will simply thieve what they want and some will thieve out of desperation. In every case God is with them but not all can see that, some mock God because He isn’t giving them what they want. In the beginning mankind decided to turn its back to God and the result is an existence which is ofttimes a struggle but those who listen to God will be blessed. God laid down the rules for living and it is when we ignore them we suffer, either in this life or in the next. God isn’t our meal ticket to a better life, He expects us to work, to help ourselves and others to a better existence. Sometimes He will give us more than we ask of Him but He will always provide for us.
Matthew 10: 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Full chapter https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10&version=NIVUK
Give praise to God your Creator, for His provision, His love and His concern for you. As someone once told me. ‘Don’t wallow in your sorrow’. Get up. dust yourself down, take hold of God’s hand and move forward into a better life.
Many people who have a less than basic knowledge of our Creator and yet want to believe and know more are often put off by the idea that God wouldn’t accept them. It may be because they consider themselves unworthy or that they think the idea of salvation and going to heaven a bit fanciful. In thinking that way they deny themselves something that if they really understood they would wonder why they resisted for so long. You cannot tell me what an apple tastes like if you’ve never eaten one. The plain truth is, God loves you whoever you are and despite whatever you have done. The first step is to be open-minded and not reject something that is far better than that which you now have as a doubter.
Clothed (Galatians 3:27)
Lord, I’ve done some messed-up stuff. There’s no way I can come into your presence.
If you’ve had thoughts like this, they’re partly true—but mostly wrong. The truth in them is that you can’t come into God’s presence based on your own merit. But the whole truth is this: God has chosen another basis by which you can enter into his presence.
Our God is perfectly righteous, absolutely pure in all his words, actions and motivations. We, on the other hand, are sinful. Scripture teaches that “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). And because we’re not pure and righteous, we can’t be in God’s perfect presence. God knew this—and it broke his heart.
But a love as big as God’s doesn’t give up. And he didn’t. So in order for us to come close to him, his Son chose to pay the cost of our sin, satisfying the very real debt we owed.
Jesus died to bridge the gap. Now we can enter into God’s presence, not on our own merit but because we are literally covered by the righteousness of Jesus. “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27). When God looks at us, he sees us clothed in the perfect righteousness of Jesus.
When you feel like you can’t come into God’s presence because you aren’t good enough, acknowledge the truth in your thoughts. But also acknowledge the lie.
Acknowledge the truth that on your own merit, you aren’t righteous. But don’t forget the second half of the truth: In Jesus, you are righteous. Clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, you can freely enter into God’s presence.
When you sin, it’s a good thing to feel convicted. That means your heart is sensitive enough to recognize when something isn’t of God. But God doesn’t want you to live in shame. He wants you to come close to him, and he wants that so much that he paid an extremely high price for you to do so.
Taken from NIV The Great Rescue Bible
Dig Out Your Soul on the pavement outside Lime Street Underground Station Liverpool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was told once, well more than once if I am to be honest that I am a happy soul. I was never sure what was really meant by that compliment but I guessed it was because of my presentation and attitude. I smile a lot, I am a bit of a jester, always finding a joke in whatever people tell me, except when doing that wouldn’t be right. I find that this way that I have is due to where I was born and lived, Liverpool. People from Liverpool do have a strong sense of humour according to what others tell me. I am inclined to agree. I feel sorry for those who live out their lives without having a sense of humour or wear such a badge with pride. Also if we cannot laugh at ourselves we lack something. People who can laugh at themselves, don’t take themselves too seriously and are accordingly more easy to get on with, unless you don’t have a sense of humour. What makes us who we are? Is it simply the way the ‘chemicals’ in our brain operate? I think not. We are not simply beings of the flesh, we have spirit but what is spirit? People talk about the spiritual realm but more often than not they are referring to the occult, black magic, mysticism, ghost and such things. Halloween seems to be centred around such beliefs. The spirit of a person is who they are and will be when they depart from their fleshy bodies because the spirit of a person is not reliant on their flesh. Spirit precedes life and remains when life has died. If you believe in the supernatural or in the occult you must believe in the spirit world. If you believe in God the same principle applies, in fact God is spirit. So if your spirit is not a product of your flesh then where did it come from? It came from the One who made it….God……..and it will be to Him where it will return and be judged. If God cast out some of the angels from Heaven He is capable of doing the same with our spirit too. How can that be avoided? God in His infinite wisdom, love and compassion made it possible through Jesus Christ because we are helpless and cannot be safe (saved) without him. Think about your spirit and where it will be when you die then place your hope and trust in the ONLY one who can save you, Jesus.
Only When I Larf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to the weather forecast hereabouts Thursday was supposed to be wet, at least in the afternoon but I saw no rain until five o’clock. I had shelved working at home on the Plot for the day and thought I might get some electrical work to do instead. As it happened I was hoping I would get work in order to reline my purse after having to pay for unexpected repairs to my van at an unexpected cost! I had one small job to do which would only go toward reclaiming a small part of my outlay. As I am a Christian I often speak with God during my day and as often as I might I mention that I could do with some extra work. He never lets me down. I had just returned home after the first job and was about to have a coffee when I noticed the indicator on the house phone was flashing. That meant someone had left a message. It was from an elderly gentleman and his wife asking if I could do some small jobs for them. Evidently a previous customer had recommended me to them as being efficient and reliable. It meant driving into the countryside some distance away. The work entailed the installation of a couple of power outlets in a greenhouse and a large shed, replacing two large fluorescent light fittings with smaller versions and wire and install another fluorescent fitting with a switch in another shed. The house and gardens occupied a very large plot of land and the couple have their garden open to the public to view during the summer months. The proceeds go to charity and this year they managed to collect £4000 from visitors. Their garden is a veritable maze filled with flowers, trees and shrubs of all kinds. It is one of those places you never tire of exploring. The work took me three hours then I was off home. By the time I reached my home town it was three-thirty and I had missed lunch. I got another call whilst driving along and it was from a guy I had worked for many times who wanted me to do a small job too. As I was about to drive past the road in which he lives I took the job. Finally I arrived back home. It was now after four-thirty and I’d had enough. Sometimes I think The Lord is having a laugh but He certainly is generous and always makes provision for me. He never lets me down. The saying ‘be careful what you ask’ is something of which to be aware, God will take you at your word if He’s a mind to. Thankfully He also knows when I need a rest too. Anyway I earned enough in the day to almost completely offset the van repair.
Managers (1 Chronicles 29:11)
Everything we have comes from God. We’re managers or stewards, not owners, of what God places in our trust. The days we live, the positions we fill, the children we nurture, the money in our accounts all belong to God. Of all of these, money is perhaps the hardest for many of us to think of as a trust. We work hard to earn it. We naturally want to keep it. But God assures us he will provide what we need. And the Bible says over and over that we are to give some of our money back to him. Difficult yes, but the money itself isn’t the issue. God doesn’t need our money. He wants what our money represents. He wants our hearts. Don’t build a barricade around your possessions or your heart. Give God your heart and watch how he orders and provides all that you need.
Taken from NIV Busy Dad’s Bible