Christian

All You need is Love – John Lenon

For this is how God loved the world‘ (John 3:16 NLT)

God loved the world so much, that Jesus, his only Son, was sent to earth to serve as a sacrifice for our sins; the ultimate sacrifice. In the Old Testament times, people had to sacrifice animals to remove their sins, this time Jesus would be that sacrifice. He did this, not because we deserved it; for, ‘God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners‘ (Romans 5:8 NLT), and the reason that he did this, he did it for love.

Bryan Adams, M Kamen and R. Lange, wrote the lyrics for the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves film. They are as follows;

‘Look into my eyes you will see, what you mean to me.
Search your heart search your soul, and when you
find me there you’ll search no more. You know
it’s true, everything I do I do it for you’

And where do we need to look? ‘Look to the LORD and his strength‘ (Psalm 105:4 NIV). We should look to God, for everything God has done, and still does, is for us. God did, and constantly does amazing things for us all the time. He created the universe for us (Genesis 1:1), and in fact, if there was only ever going to be you in the universe, God would have still created everything he did, as it says in the book of truth, The Bible. In love, on the sixth day of creation, God, in a supreme act of love, created Adam and Eve, and then let them live in his beautiful garden (Eden) that was created especially for them (Genesis 1:27, 2:8 & 15 NIV).

Paul, when writing to the Church at Corinth said, that whatever people could do, whether move mountains, or even sacrifice them self, ‘if they [I] didn’t love others, they [I] would be nothing‘ (1 Corinthians 13:2 NLT). Everything we do, has to be done in love.

Love can do amazing things. ‘Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends‘ (John 15:13 NIV). In the second world war, Desmond Doss (Hacksaw Ridge) went to war without a gun, because he believed what God said in the Bible, and at risk to his own life, continually went back into a war zone, and saved 75 men, not all his own side, from almost certain death, such great love he showed. His fellow soldiers respected him so much, that later, they actually waited to go into battle whilst Doss prayed, and the reason that Doss prayed, is love.

Can we show the same love for people that Desmond Doss did?

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As the Father has love me. so have I loved you‘ (John 15:9 NIV). ‘So I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples‘ (John 13:34-35 NLT). ‘Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house‘ (Psalm 5:7 NLT). In my sin, ‘Return, O LORD… … Save me because of your unfailing love‘ (Psalm 6:4 NLT). ‘I love you LORD; you are my strength‘ (Psalm 18:1 NLT). Lord, you, ‘save by your right hand… Show me the wonders of your great love‘ (Psalm 17:7 NIV). Lord, help us to love you with all our hear, mind and soul, as we should, and help us to love others, the same.

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace 
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known; You considered me a friend

Capture my heart again
Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate

Your Love Is Extravagant
Casting Crowns
Jared Anderson / Pete Kipley / Peter C. Kipley

 

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Lord at this time we thank you for your great love for us. We know that we are not worthy of that love, but you love us anyway. Help us to show others your love, a smile at someone, a welcome to someone, a cup of tea to a visitor. Help us to show the kind of love that Jesus showed to lepers and others that were outcast, that sacrificial love that come from putting our lives in you.
Lord as we saw on the opening ceremony of the winter Olympics, North and South Korea together, may that signify a change, may unity come through sport. Lord we pray for unity in Korea and in all areas of the world where there is conflict.. Help those that try to bring peace and end wars, and so bring unity to nations.

Amen

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Christian

I knew I was NEW!

the new creation has come‘ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Different translations change the words slightly; and the New Living Translation says that, ‘anyone  who belongs to Christ has become a new person‘ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT), we can start afresh in His eyes..

We all know that we are not a new person really, but Christ does not see our past. Moses, when receiving the stone tablets for the second time, as God passed in front of him, heard the voice of God say, ‘The LORD, slow to anger, abounding in love… … maintaining love… .. and forgiving wickedness‘ (Exodus 34:6-7 NLT).

Speaking about compassion, Micah knew that when we repent of our sin, ‘you [God] will tread our sins underfoot‘ and not only that, they will be, ‘thrown into the depths of the ocean‘ (Micah 7:19 NLT). The Psalmist David knew that once we confessed our sins as Jesus taught the disciples (Matthew 6:12), then, ‘you [Lord] forgave the iniquity of my sin‘ (Psalm 32:5 ESV). The Lord said through Jeremiah, ‘I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins‘ (Jeremiah 31:34 NLT). When writing to the Romans, Paul said ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven‘ (Romans 4:7 ESV) Once we have repented, our sins are forgiven, ‘Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away‘, and not just that, ‘you [God] have comforted me‘  (Isaiah 12:1 NIV).

Paul reminded the Galatians, ‘What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation‘ (Galatians 6:15 NLT); he also reminded the Ephesians, ‘put on the new self, created in the likeness of God‘ (Ephesians 4:24 ESV); and as we are new, we also have, ‘a white stone, with a new name written on‘ (Revelation 2:17 ESV). And for our part, ‘what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God‘ (Micah 6:8 NIV).

And what happens after this? ‘he [God] will be the source of peace‘ (Micah 5:5 NLT) in our lives. The one thing to remember is that our great and awesome God, is, ‘God of my salvation‘ (Isaiah 12:2 NIV).

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Seeking God more than we do other things, is what we are taught to do, ‘Seek the Kingdom of God above all else‘ (Matthew 6:33 NLT). For we know that eventually, ‘at the name of Jesus every knee will bow‘ (Philippians 2:10 NIV). When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he said, ‘Pray like this; Our Father in Heaven… … May your will be done… .. forgive us of our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us‘ (Matthew 6:9,10,12 NLT). Whatever we do, ‘the heavenly Father to whom you pray… … He will judge or reward according to what you do‘ (1 Peter 1:17 NLT). Paul told the Romans that he did what he did not want to do, and vice versa. We need to  do everything that we do, as we should do it, We should live Godly lives, but we cannot do it alone, ‘Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies‘ (1 Peter 4:11 NLT).

 

I may not walk on water 
but I’ve seen the rolling seas
Never have I told the wind to calm
but I’ve felt it’s mighty breeze
and I can’t pretend that Noah
and I were life-long friends
but when a rainbow blocks my vision
a flood of messages he sends me

and you and I cannot ignore that
Jesus Christ is Lord of all and
every knee will hit the floor
Because Jesus Christ is Lord

Don’t ask me how an acorn
becomes a mighty tree
but if seeing is believing
then I guess I must believe
You know there’s got to be a maker
behind this universe
‘Cause no one in their right mind
would say it all fell into place

Jesus Christ is Lord – (Secrets of Life #6)
Nia Jones, Mal Pope

 

downloadFather God, we thank you that with our repentance and your forgiveness, we can become mighty men and women of God, serving you in whatever you want us to do. Help us to look to you at all times, whether things are going well or going not so well. Lord we know that we can do all things through the strength that comes from you, help us always to rely on it and you.
Father we thank you for the opportunities that we have to share the Good News of your Son, coming to earth, living with us, preaching about you, dying for our sins, and rising from death. We know that death has been defeated, and that we can look forward to having a home with you eternally.

Amen

Christian

Where is your hope?

My only hope is in you‘ (Psalm 39:7 NLT)

When Saul went to see Samuel, he was told, ‘You and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes‘ (1 Samuel 9:20 NLT). That must have put him under an immense amount of pressure, I wonder how we might deal with a situation like that? Do we feel under pressure from the high hopes of others? Do people that we know or work with have exceedingly high expectations or hopes of what we can, or may be able to do?

Only God truly knows what we can do through His strength, He watches, ‘the eye of the LORD is on those… … who hope in his steadfast love‘ (Psalm 33:18 ESV). David trusted God, and frequently said, ‘All day long I put my hope in you‘ and ‘for I put my hope in you‘ (Psalm 25:5 & 21 NLT), and, ‘My hope is in you‘ (Psalm 39:7 NIV).

God has a plan for us, (Jeremiah 29:11) and because of this, He knows what we can do. The writer of Hebrews said, ‘Our [your] strength comes from God’s grace‘ (Hebrews 13:9 NLT), and Paul said, ‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength‘ (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

All of us go through tough times, and these are the times where we are refined, just as the nation Israel was when they disobeyed God, and finally returned to Him, as mentioned in Isaiah (48 & v10). ‘The LORD knows the hopes of the helpless‘ (Psalm 10:17 NLT). We may not be truly helpless during our troubled times, but that does not change the sentiment, our God truly knows us, and all of our hopes and dreams.

We need to be steadfast, and, ‘Put our [your] hope in God‘ (Psalm 42:5 NIV). We need to trust Him, and, ‘find rest in God; our [my] hope comes from him‘ (Psalm 62:5 NIV), we need to, ‘put our [my] hope in His [your] word‘ (Psalm 119:74 NIV); we need to, ‘Be still, and know that He [I am] is God!‘ (Psalm 46:10 NLT). Ultimately though, we need to, ‘Trust and obey, for there’s no other way‘ (John H Sammis).

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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 good gifts to those who ask him‘ (Matthew 7:11 NIV). Our Father in heaven gives us the hope that we need to go on. ‘In his name… nations put their hope‘ (Matthew 12:21 NIV). Because of Jesus, ‘my body will also rest in hope‘ (Acts 2:26 NIV). Whatever we do, whether we sin or rebel against God, we can always, ‘pray to the Lord in… hope‘ (Acts 8:22 NLT). Because we have Jesus and know and live the resurrection, we should, ‘Rejoice in our confident hope‘ (Romans 12:12 NLT), and because we are confident, we, ‘pray to [that] God, the source of hope, will fill us [you] completely‘ (Romans 15:13 NLT).
We have plenty to hope for. Be joyous and hope on our loyal, loving heavenly Father, he is a ‘Good Good Father‘ (P Barrett & T Brown).

 

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like, but I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night, and you tell me that you’re pleased, and that I’m never alone. You’re a Good, Good Father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are; and I’m loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am. Oh, I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide, but I’ve known we’re all searching, for answers only you provide, cause you know just what we need, before we say a word. You’re a Good, Good Father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, and I’m loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am. Cause’ you are perfect in all of your ways You are perfect in all of your ways to us.

Good Good Father
P. Barrett & T. Brown

 

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Father God, we know the hope we have in you is real, give us the words we need to speak to people that we meet about you, and the words you inspired people to write in the Bible. Only if people truly know you will they also have hope, and this is something to share with all people, give us strength and determination to take your word out wherever we go.

Lord we thank you for the children of the world, help them to know you through the people who support, educate, mentor and parent them. Lord give these people the strength and wisdom that they need, that they may speak the words of encouragement and guidance, that will show the youth the way to you.

Amen

Christian

Where have they gone???

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12 NLT)

Our God is an awesome God‘ (R Mullins 1989). Richard Mullins wrote these simple inspiring words, and went on to say, ‘he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom power and love‘, these words capture the power and glory of God perfectly. We who know ‘Our God‘ can truly agree with both the sentiment and the words, God truly is awesome. And as awesome as He is, creating the universe and everything in it, He still has time for us.

God wants what is best for us, He has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and when we commit our lives to the Lord, and live the way that He wants us to, then when He looks at us, He will not see our past, He will not remember our past, it is as if it never happened; When Micah was talking to the Lord, he said, ‘You will trample our sins under your feet‘ (Micah 7:20 NIV).

If we trust in what the Bible say, in what God has said through all the prophets, and in what Jesus said and lived out, then God has promised, ‘I will never leave you‘ (Hebrews 13:5 NLT), so we know that when we submit to God and let Him lead our lives, as He has promised to (Psalm 32:8), then we are never alone. Jesus reminded His disciples of  the fact that they would never be alone, when giving them the ‘Great Commission’, He said, ‘I am with you always‘ so the disciples knew they were not alone, but if we read on, there is more for us, ‘always, to the very end of the age‘ (Matthew 28:20 NIV); so we know that the disciples always had Jesus in their heart, and we know that we can have the same thing.

Let us all confess our sins to God, and say, ‘Create in me a pure heart, O God… … Restore to me the joy of your salvation‘ (Psalm 51:10 NIV).

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Come set Your rule and reign, in our hearts again. Increase in us we pray. Unveil why we’re made. Come set our hearts ablaze with hope, like wildfire in our very souls. Holy Spirit come invade us now. We are Your Church. We need Your power, in us. We seek Your kingdom first. We hunger and we thirst. Refuse to waste our lives, for You’re our joy and prize. To see the captive hearts released, the hurt, the sick, the poor at peace. We lay down our lives for heaven’s cause. We are Your church. We pray revive, this earth. Unleash Your kingdoms power. Reaching the near and far. No force of hell can stop, your beauty  changing hearts. You made us for much more than this, awake the kingdom seed in us. Fill us with the strength and love of Christ. We are Your church. We are the hope , on earth. Build Your kingdom here. Let the darkness fear, show Your mighty hand, heal our streets and land. Set Your church on fire, win this nation back. Change the atmosphere, build Your kingdom here. We pray.

Build your Kingdom Here (Rend Collective)

 

So there is good news for the captive
Good news for the caged
There good news for the one who walked away
There is good news for the doubting
The one [?]
For the good Lord has come to seek and save

He’s our rescuer
He’s our rescuer
We are free from sin forever more
Oh how sweet the sound
Oh how grace abounds
We will praise the Lord, our rescuer

He is beauty for the battle
Riches for the poor
He is reaching for the one who will ignore
He is pasture for the weary
Rest for those who strive
For the good lord is the way, the truth and life
The good lord is the way, the truth and life

Rescuer

C. Llewellyn, B. Hastings, B. Fowler, G. Gilkeson, Rend Collective Holding Account

 

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Father God, we know that when we trust in you, we are a new creation, that there is no condemnation, and that you remember nothing of our past, we are washed whiter than snow. Help us to look at others and treat them as you treat us, to truly love them and forgive them for anything that they have done in the past, help us to forget that and treat them as you would have.
Lord we pray for the people who have suffered in the mudslide that happened in California. Be with the rescuers and the people that are helping with the situation. May they sense your love and peace in the area, and may the people that are helping, have the right words of comfort and support to say from you Lord.

Amen

Christian

How committed are we?

and may your hearts be fully committed‘ (1 Kings 8:61 NIV)

This week, it is vision and commitment weekend within the Salvation Army, and it is a good time for reflection on the past spiritual year, the battles fought and won, how we served our Lord, and where we see our path leading us, or rather, where we think God is leading us; ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD‘ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). God has great plans for all of our lives, we just have to trust Him to reveal them to us, and be receptive to hear them; For God has said, ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go‘ (Psalm 32:8 NIV); but not only that, God know our weaknesses, and, ‘he shows the proper path to those who go astray‘ (Psalm 25:8 NLT); and when we stray, ‘He rescues them… … and keeps them alive in times of famine‘ (Psalm 33:19 NLT).

When we seek God in what we do, ‘You will… .. find me when you seek with all your heart‘ (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV), and when we seek Him, God too searches in order to, ‘strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed‘ (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT).

In the same way that we commit to God, it was God first through Jesus, that, ‘was reconciling the world… … and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation‘ (2 Corinthians 5:19 NIV). And the message of reconciliation, was a pair of out-stretched arms, ‘For God so loved the world‘ (John 3:16). God loves us and wants us all to be part of Him in the Church.

In the 80’s, Wham had ‘T’ shirts with big bold writing on them saying ‘choose life’ printed on them; we can still do that, choose life, choose Jesus; in this new year, re-commit your life to the Lord of All Creation, for, ‘if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come‘ (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV).

Choose to commit to God, choose to live for the King of Kings, choose to serve Him who saves us, ‘Choose Life‘.

Worthy of praise - John 17 v 3

 

Lead me LORD in your righteousness, make your way straight before me. Spread your protection over those who love your name, may the rejoice in you. We know that in the morning, you hear our voice as we lay our requests before you, watch over our ways Lord, keep us righteous. Let us be glad under your protection, as we consider your creation, we stand in awe that you have time for us, you have time even for me, to make known the path of my  life, my life is full of joy in your presence. You are my rock LORD, you are my shield and salvation, your forget my sins and count them not against me, and instruct me in your ways. Though people may shun me throughout my life, you alone will receive me, always. There is only one thing I ask LORD, may I dwell in your house for the rest of my days, and be happy in your presence.        

 (Psalms)

I tasted the world, seen more than enough, it’s promises fleeting.
Of water and wine I emptied the cup and found myself wanting
But there is a well that never runs dry
The water of life, the blood of the Vine

And all I know is everything
I have means nothing
Jesus, if You’re not my one thing
Everything I need right now
All I need is You right now

‘Cuz all I want is
Everything you are and nothing
Jesus if you’re not my one thing
Everything to me right now

One Thing (Hillsong)
J.Houston, A. King, Dylan Thomas

 

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Father God, as we enter a new year, help us to look again at our lives and consider how we may serve you in the coming year. Help us to be receptive to your voice, help us to hear you when you speak, help us to be still and wait upon you, Lord we love you so much and wish in this coming year to show that by our commitment to you, to serve you where you would want us to.
Lord we pray for all leaders at this time, with all the situations that they face, strengthen and renew them with your peace and love, and surround them with people that will support them in prayer and love. Lord they may lead us, but they are just like us, so be with them and let them know your peace in their lives.

Amen

Christian

Let’s do it again!

has become a new person‘ (2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT)

At this time of year, many of us will ponder the previous twelve months; how they panned out for us and others close to us, what we accomplished, and the things that we could not complete. We take a retrospective look on life in general. There will be television shows that will give us the highlights of the year, the funny items, the celebrity news and all manner of things.

In a similar vein, it is also a good time of year to look inwardly too, to spend some time being introspective, to examine our self. The founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, was known for asking about a person’s soul, or walk with God, and he did not ‘sugar-coat‘ his words, he was direct, and used to ask by saying, ‘Tell me, how is it with your soul?‘ (God’s Soldiers p123). As we look towards a new year, should we not also consider how our walk with God went in the previous twelve months?

Did we pray enough this last year? Did we spend enough time immersed in the wonders of the Bible? Did we share the good news of Jesus to those when we had the opportunity? There are many things we could consider.

New year resolutions are also a popular thing to set one-self, but how many of you do this, only to not follow through? God knows that we struggle, yet He still loves us no matter what. There is nothing we can do that is so bad that He will stop loving us, equally there is nothing that we can do to make Him love us more. But at this time of year as we are ready to ‘do it all again‘, let us spend some time alone with God and consider our soul.

Tell me, how is it with your soul?

 

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anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person‘ (2 Corinthians 5;7 NLT). As the new year dawns upon us, we can consider newness.

The year will be new, we will not have made any mistakes, isn’t that good, not to have made any mistakes? But how long will it last for us, We all make mistakes, and when we make mistakes, we have to live with the consequences.

But if at the beginning of a new year, we can again turn to God, and reaffirm our love for Him. If we do this, He will again make us new in Him. We know that He will , ‘have compassion on us‘ and ‘trample our sins under his [your] feet‘ (Micah 7:19 NLT). God forgives and forgets, ‘I alone will blot out your sins… … and will never think of them again‘ (Isaiah 43:25 NLT), not only that  but we know that God will, ‘forgive generously‘ (Isaiah 55:7 NLT). At this new year let us all put our souls right with God.

 

In His hands that hung the sky
In His hands that touch the blind
In His hands He’s holding me
In His hands that flung the stars
In His hands that bear the scars
In His hands He’s holding me

O Jesus, the One who frees us     
The One who holds  us all
O Jesus, the One who saves us
The One who holds us all in His hands of love

In His hands that bring us life
In His hands we come alive
In His hands He’s holding us

His Hands of Love
Davis Crowder, Seth Philpott

 

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Father God, as we prepare to enter another new year, help us to consider all the things that we wanted to do last year, and those that we want to do this coming year. Lord we know that through your strength, all things are possible. Help us to fully rely on your strength in all situations, so that we may show your light and love to those around us, at all times.
Lord, at the start of a new year, we consider all the new babies that have been born over the Christmas period. Help the parents of all children to bring them up in the knowledge of your love and hope. May all children everywhere be loved as they should be, unconditionally and shown that they are important. Help children everywhere to you’re your love within their hearts and lives, that they may be able to grow up in a secure knowledge of your love.

Amen

 

Christian

I’m in love, I’m in love, and I do’t care who knows it (Buddy the Elf)

 “The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” (Victor Hugo)

We know we are loved. We know, ‘this is how God loved the world; He gave his one and only Son‘ (John 3:16 NLT). Not only did He give His Son for us, but, ‘God demonstrates his own love for us… While we were still sinners, Christ died for us‘ (Romans 5:8 NIV); and not only that, ‘at just the right time… … Christ died‘ (Romans 5:6 NIV).

You may ask “why did He do this?” ‘This is how God showed his love among us… … This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins‘ (1 John 4:9-10 NIV). He did it because he loves us, unconditionally (John 3:16).

The Psalmist David knew that God loved him, ‘How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!‘ (Psalm 36:7 NIV); and had plans for Him, ‘You make know to me the path of life‘ (Psalm 16:11 NIV), we too can read those words as if they were written to us now, today. God has a plan for all of our lives, ‘They are plans for good… to give you a future and a hope‘ (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT); David agrees with this for he wrote, ‘Many…  are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us’ (Psalm 40:5 NIV).

Paul reminds us, when writing to the Church at Corinth, of the greatest thing that we have, ‘Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love‘ (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT). We love not only because Jesus told us to (Matthew 22:37-40), but because, ‘we live by faith, not by sight‘ (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV); but ultimately, ‘we know and rely on the love God has for us‘ (1 Thessalonians 4:6 NIV). And God’s love is like the following statement by an unknown author, ‘I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over and over. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you.‘ (Anon). That is how much God loves us.

“To love is nothing. To be loved is something. But to love and be loved, that’s everything.” (T. Tolis) so with God’s unfailing love for us, we have everything.  “And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God.” (Les Miserables)

4 advent - love

The Little Baby

The little baby, so tiny and small,
Was born and slept in a cattle stall.
No riches or fame, were in his life,
just plain, and normal everyday strife.

Tempted by the devil  tho’ he was,
But passed the test, first class.
For you and me, he died on the cross,
To ensure our lives are rescued from loss.

Each year, we celebrate his birth,
With presents, joy, and lots of mirth.
So hold him deep within our heart,
And never ever, from him depart.

 

Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!

(Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ is born
Of the virgin Mary.  Rejoice!)

 Now the time of grace has come, 
Let us raise our voices;
Promised hope has now appeared,
All mankind rejoices!

God is born into our world,
Nature celebrating;
Everything is now made new,
Christ the King is reigning.

The eastern gate Ezekiel saw
Closed, is standing open;
Light is streaming to the world,
Showing our salvation.

Therefore let us sing aloud,
Celebrate this story;
Let our praises now resound 
To the King of Glory!

Traditional Latin carol (c.1582)

 

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Father God, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of your dear Son, help us to look again at the story in the Bible and to fully rely on and accept the truth of the word. Help us to live the love that came down on that first Christmas, and help us to keep Christ IN Christmas. Help us to show others at this time of year, that without your Son, there is no Christmas, and that Christ is the reason for the season.
Lord we pray  for the people who will be sleeping rough out on the streets of the world, be with them and the people that will go out to feed them and minister to them, help them to feel our love by their actions.
Lord we pray for the people of the Philippines at this time, help the aid workers that go there to help rescue and give help. We pray that your Spirit will be with them at this time.

Amen