Christian

Prayer gently lifts me – to highest Heaven

God is near to us whenever we call on him‘ (Deuteronomy 4:7 NLT)

Prayer should not be the last refuge for anyone. Many great men and women throughout the Bible prayed often, and Moses was no exception, when interceding for the Israelites, (Exodus 16:4, 33:12-13). In many places it says that people spoke to the Lord, but what is prayer if not speaking? Talking to our Creator God is a privilege, prayer should be the first place we go in any situation, not the last. ‘who [what great nation] has a god as near to them as the LORD our God is‘ (Deuteronomy 4:7 NLT), and He is indeed! Whenever we need Him, turn to Him and call to Him, God always hears us. And when He hears us, what will He do? He honours us for being close to Him, ‘He… … honouring his faithful ones – … who are close to him‘ (Psalm 148:14 NLT). When we are ‘close to Him’ it says, yet even when we were all far from Him, and constantly sinning, ‘He brought this Good News of peace to us [you]… who were far away from him‘ (Ephesians 2:17 NLT); it was when the world was far from God and in a state of sin, that He interceded for us and sent His Son, for, ‘Christ died [to die] for us while we were still sinners‘ (Romans 5:8 NLT). No human who ever lived is or was perfect, only Jesus was, ‘everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard‘ (Romans 3:23 NLT). The Psalmist wrote, ‘I love the LORD, because he hears my voice‘ (Psalm 116:1 NLT). Samuel knew that prayer was central to living a holy life, ‘far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray‘ (1 Samuel 12:23 NIV). So prayer is not only important to living the way that God wants and intended us to live, but it is a sin not to pray.

Solomon prayed for wisdom (1 Kings 3:7-9); Hannah prayed for a baby (1 Samuel 1:11). David prayed for Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:10-19),  and Hezekiah prayed during a siege (2 Kings 19:15-19) Daniel prayed for his people (Daniel 9:4-19). Jesus prayed often, teaching His disciples how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13) , sometimes even going off by himself (Matthew 26:39).

What do we pray for?

All these people found time to pray, and some of them, even during adversity.

When do we find time to pray, and is it enough time?

Pray to the One

Jesus knew the significance of prayer, and staying in communion with His Father, especially when things got tough; He often went off alone to pray, (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:23). Because of how Jesus was with prayer, the disciples also realised that prayer was important, and they asked Jesus to ‘teach us to pray‘ (Luke 11:1 NIV). At times, it can seem that God has not heard us when we pray, and what we want or want to know, we generally want and want to know, now. God has a plan for our lives, (Jeremiah 29:11tell us that, we just have to trust Him to reveal it to us, but do we ask to know it?. Jesus told His disciples that, ‘whatever you ask for in prayer, believe… … and it will be yours‘ (Mark 11:24 NIV). We need to be patient, the answer to our prayer may be ‘not yet‘. We need to remember that ‘The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results‘ (James 5:16 NLT).

Pray without ceasing, (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) let him pray, (James 5:13) you are ever in our prayers,  (2 Thessalonians 1:11) say prayers for one another (James 5:16), we pray to our God our Father about you (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NLT)

Prayer gently lifts me to highest Heaven, from earth’s confusion to Jesus’ breast; my sin and weakness, my doubt and sorrow, are lost forever in sweetest rest.

 Salvation Army Song Book (new edition) 783 – Hal Beckett (1888-1971)

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Father God, we thank you that we can come to you at any time, to speak to you in prayer. Whether we are walking, driving, having a bath, wherever we are, we know that you will always have time for us. Help us to model our behaviour on you, help us to be available to those around us that may want our time. Help us to look for people that we may be able to help, to shine your love on an otherwise dark world, may we be beacons of light for you Lord.

Lord we pray for families everywhere, that they may know your love and peace now and always. Be with them in their times of grief, and their times of joy, shower them with blessings, and help them to see your path for their combined lives, leading them ever closer to you.

Amen

 

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Christian

Light of the World

lightning flashed toward the earth.‘ (Exodus 10:23 NLT)

In the beginning, ‘the power of God was moving across the water.‘ (Genesis 1:2 GNB). The was nothing else there at that time, only God, because, ‘In the beginning God created‘ (Genesis 1:1 NLT). ‘The earth was without for and void‘ (Genesis 1:2 ESV).

The first thing God did, was to say, ‘“Let there be light”… … God saw that the light was good‘ (Genesis 1:3 ESV). We need to bask in  the light of our loving, mighty, caring Father God. Isaiah was telling the Israelites about how they should live and what they and us should do, and this is to, ‘walk in the light of the LORD‘ (Isaiah 2:5 ESV).

It is not easy, by any stretch of the imagination, the devil and the world try to drag us in, and away from God, but Paul told the Romans, and us what to do if found in that situation, ‘give your bodies to God… … … Don’t copy the behaviour of the [this] world‘ (Romans 12:1 & 2 NLT). The reason that Paul says to not be taken in by the things of the world, is that our, ‘adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion‘ and the reason he prowls around, is that he is, ‘seeking someone to devour‘ (1 Peter 5:8 ESV). If we are devoured by the devil, we will lose our hope of eternal life with our Father.

We need to, ‘Remain in Christ [me]‘ for we ‘cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me‘ (John 15:4 NLT). To do this, all we have to do, is open the door and let Jesus, the light of the world (John 8:12) enter our life, for, ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it‘ (John 1:5 ESV). As Christians, we need to live decent honest lives, because, ‘what is true comes to the light‘ (John 3:21 ESV), and once you have light, you do not hide it, (Matthew 5:14-16). Sometimes, in the darkness we can feel oppressed, or under attack from the devil, but in fact, ‘we are a spear, piercing the darkness and pushing the light of Christ into an otherwise dark world’.

All we have to do is listen and respond, and we too can have the light of God living within us. ‘Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into his house‘ (Revelation 3:20 GNB).

God the stars are your fireworks

 

the-strength-from-within-any-lengths-daily-quotes-sayings-picturesFaith like fireworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a little flame inside us all, some shine bright, some shine small. The rains will come and the waters rise, but don’t you ever lose your light.

In this life you will know, love and pain, joy and sorrow. So when it hurts, when times get hard, don’t forget whose child you are.

One day there will be no more pain, and we will finally see Jesus’ face. So until then I’m gonna try, to brave the dark and let my little light shine

This Little Light of Mine

Addison Road (Stories #3)

Ryan Gregg / Jennie Stiefel

 

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Father God, Creator, Friend, Saviour, we thank you that you are indeed the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. We thank you for entering into our lives and filling us with light and love. Help us to always show the light you have given us to others, that they may see or experience your love and great mercy and be changed, for how can we see or experience you  and not be changed Lord. You are a mighty awesome God, and we thank you for everything that you give to us day by day.

Lord we pray for Joyce and Ralph at this time, and their extended family, be with them in a mighty way, may they feel your presence and your peace at this time, comfort them and fill them with your love and peace that passes all understanding.

Amen

 

 

 

 

Christian

Tempted?

he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.‘ (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)

Temptation is always just around the corner, and seems more prevalent in the good times of our lives.

Whenever we are tempted though, we can always find a way out if we look for it, if we look to God, and we will always find Him, ‘when you seek me with all your heart‘ (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV).

We are love so much by our amazing God (John 3:16), that whilst we were still sinners, ‘Christ died for the ungodly‘ (Romans 5:8 ESV). We also know that, ‘our old self was crucified with him‘ (Romans 6:6 NIV), we are new people. When we were crucified with Christ, ‘the body ruled by sin was [might be] done away with‘ (Romans 6:6 NIV).

When temptation comes near us, we need to submit ourselves to a higher power and let ourselves be, ‘ruled by God and make war on the Evil One‘ (James 4:7 BBE – Bible in basic Eglish). It is important to remember that Jesus was also tempted (Matthew 4:1-11), but he resisted, ‘he himself suffered when he was tempted‘ (Hebrews 2:18 NIV) the difference between man and Jesus is that he was, ‘without sin‘ (Hebrews 4:15 ESV).

If we stand with God and trust in him, we can, ‘resist the devil, and he will flee‘ (James 4:7 NIV). The best way to resist the devil is to keep, ‘praying at all times in the Spirit‘ (Ephesians 6:18 ESV). We also need to, ‘Take up God’s instruments of war‘ which will allow us ‘to keep our [your] position against all the deceits of the Evil One‘ (Ephesians 6:11 BBE).

The Devil is cunning and will use his many tricks in order to try to get us to stray from the path that God has for us. The path that God has chosen for us is god for us, it will not cause us any harm (Jeremiah 29:11), the path the Devil wants us to travel, may look enticing and easy, but ultimately, it will lead to misery, our destruction, and the loss of our hope of eternal life, ‘For the reward of sin is death‘ (Romans 6:23 BBE).

We need to remember that in all situations, if we, ‘come near to God, [and] he will come near to us [you]‘ (James 4:8 NIV). If we stay close and trust in God, ‘the free gift… is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord‘ (Romans 6:23 ESV).

Surely that is worth everything!

 

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When I look to the sky and the heavens, your magnificence is evident there. Throughout the day and the night, they reveal to me much wisdom. They do not share this wisdom through speech, which cloud in the sky can talk, and what might the stars say? Yet still the words of Your creation Lord reach the ends of the earth. The sun runs through the sky like a mighty athlete running after his prize, like a bridegroom hastening to his wedding day. The sun shares Your glory with all creation, nowhere is it’s warmth missed. Lord your laws are true and just, and they refresh the very core of my being, they give me wisdom and joy in following your commands O Mighty Sovereign. All of the decrees set out by Your hand are righteous and good, they are more precious than all the wealth of the world, they are good food to my soul, Lord, may they stay in my heart forever.

Psalm 19:1-10

 

A needy sinner at thy feet, with broken heart I bow, for pardon at thy mercy seat; O Jesus, save me now.

Strong friend of sinners, hear my cry, and set my sad heart free; my sins demand that I should die, But I believe in thee.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.

Salvation Army Song Book (new edition) 484 – v 1, 2 & chorus

C. Strang, E. E. Steele Elliott

 

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Lord we thank you for showing us through your Son that temptation can be beaten, that the devil has lost, and that you are the glorious winner. Help us to fully rely on you in all situations where we may be tempted to stray, stay with us and hold us tight that we may never stray from your presence.

Lord we pray for all of the corps that make up the area we live in , Staffordshire. Lord may they all feel your presence in whatever they may do and whenever they may do it. Help the leaders of the corps to look for your leading and follow your will in all that they do and say and plan. Help your light to shine through all that happens in this area, now and always.

Amen

Christian

Harvest

Send out workers into his harvest‘ (Matt 9:37 NIV)

Barbara Stoddard (1865-1915) wrote, ‘Bring your tithes into the storehouse‘ (SASB 995 v1),The Lord told the Israelites that, ‘Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year… … … the Feast of Harvest, the first-fruits of your labours‘ (Exodus 23:14 & 16). Our best is for the Lord, we should always do our best in all situations. Paul told the people at Collossae, ‘Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you are working for the Lord‘ (Coll 3:23 NLT). Howard Grose (1851-1939) wrote the following words that sum up exactly what we should willingly do for God; ‘Give of your best to the Master; Give of the strength of your youth‘ (v 1); that does not mean that you can only give while you are young, God can use you at any time in your life; we just have to be ‘Clad in salvatian’s full armour‘ we can, ‘Join in the battle for truth‘ (chorus). The writer of Proverbs tells us to, ‘Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits‘ (3:9).

And why should we give of our best to the Lord? We should give of our best because God loves us, but, ‘We love because he first loved us‘ (1 John 4:19 NIV); in fact He love us so much He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16). Whatever we give to the Lord, should be given willingly, Paul in his letter to Timothy reminded him that as sons and daughters of the living God, we should be, ‘willing to share‘ (1 Tim 6:18 NIV). If we work fully for God, spreading the Good News of His Gospel, and sharing with people that we meet, eventually, ‘we will reap a harvest if we do not give up‘ (Gal 6:9 NIV).

Are we prepared to work tirelessly for the Lord of all creation, and get the best harvest that we can for Him?

 

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As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.‘ (Gen 8:22 NIV). The Lord made the world for us, and it blesses us. The Psalmist said that, ‘God blesses us‘ and ‘The land yields its harvest‘ (Psalm 67:6 NIV). We trust God because, ‘The LORD will indeed give what is good‘ and because He does, ‘our land will yield its harvest‘ (Psalm 85:12 NIV). In all things we need to trust God because He has a plan for us, Jeremiah mentioned this in his letter he sent to the exiles, he said to them, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,‘ he continued that they were, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future‘ (Jer 29:11 NIV).They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest‘ (Psalm 107:37 NIV).

 

Lord we thank you for loving us and creating this world for us, help us to live grateful lives, grateful that you give us all we need, rain sunshine, light, wind; everything that we need to be fruitful. Help us to be thankful for everything that you give us, especially Your Son. Help us to live and be thankful for everything you give us.

Lord at this time of year we also think of those who do not have enough, to those whose lives are full of constant hardship. Help those in government to look at these situations and be moved by your Spirit; that they may be open to your leading and your will, and that they will share the surplus from other nations to ensure we all have enough, and do it by the love you first showed us.

Amen

 

‘the harvest of the earth is ripe’                  Revelations 14:16 NKJV

Christian

how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to your children‘ (Matthew 7:11 NIV)

Whenever we want something we can either get it our-self, or ask for it, and when we ask for something, we are generally asking someone we know, a family member or a friend. Are we also planning for the potential let-down that can also come? If we ask God for something, there will never be any ‘let-down’, God always answers prayer.

When we come to God, we can ask anything that we want as long as it fits within the teaching of the Bible. Jesus told His disciples and therefore us to, ‘Ask and it will be given to you‘ (Matt 7:7 ESV, Luke 11:9 NIV); He also told His disciples ‘I will do whatever you ask in my name‘ (John 14:13 NIV).

I am sure that the mother of Moses prayed and asked that he be spared and not drown when she floated her watertight  basket containing her precious cargo into the Nile river; the Hebrew word for ‘watertight basket’ used here is the same as in Noah’s ark.

And as we all know, God did indeed answer and save the life of the baby Moses, and he grew up and saved the lives of all of the Israelites, and with the mighty power of God, led them out of Egypt and slavery, (Exodus 2 – 13).

At some point we all get rid of things for various reasons, Moses’ mother put him in the basket and sent him away for protection. We too have to remove things from our lives to get the ‘full benefit’ of living with Jesus, and the benefit of following Jesus is eternal life with Him I heaven. ‘I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you‘ (John 14:2 NIV).

You Don't Understand

 

In order to benefit from the promise of eternal life, we have to throw away those things ‘of us’ that do not fit with the teachings of the Bible, those are;

the works of the flesh… … sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these‘ (Gal 5:19-21 ESV).

What a list. These are all things that will be barriers between us and God, and we do not want any barriers to separate us, ‘your iniquities (sin) have separated you from God‘ (Isai 59:2 NIV). So if the list above separate us from God, what do we need to do? We need to clothe ourselves with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, because;

the Holy Spirit produces… … love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control‘ (Gal 5:22-23 NLT).

The ‘Fruits of The Spirit’ are what help us work towards the goal of eternal life that we are promised when we follow Jesus. He said ‘follow me‘ (Matt 4:19 NIV), and He said to everyone, ‘I am the way‘ (John 14:6 NIV).

 

Christian

This Little Light

God said, “Let there be light,”‘ (Genesis 1:3 NIV)

Light is important in order that everyone and everything live; people and animals need it to see better to move around and do things, and plants need it in order to grow and survive. Even God realised the importance of light, it was the first thing He created after forming the earth.

David knew the importance of God guiding our way and lighting our paths, and in a song of praise he said ‘O LORD, you are my lamp. The LORD lights up my darkness‘ (2 Sam 22:29 NLT).

The Psalmist knew that we needed God and the light that He gives to us, ‘Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD‘ (Psalm 4:6 ESV), ‘The LORD is my light and my salvation‘ (Psalm 27:1 NIV), and ‘that I may walk before God in the light of life‘ (Psalm 56:13 ESV). The Psalmist knew that it was and is God that was lighting his way, and helping him in everything that he does.

When Jesus started preaching, He said to the people, ‘You are the light of the world‘ (Matt 5:14 NIV). Jesus continued to say that we do not light something to shine and then hide it away (Matt 5:15).

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he reminded them that, ‘God… … … has shone in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God‘ (2 Cor 4:6 ESV); and later continued, ‘How can light live with darkness‘ (2 Cor 6:14); then he reminds us how cunning the devil is, ‘Satan disguises himself as an angel of light‘ (2 Cor 11:14 NLT).

We have been called to live in the  light, chosen by Jesus, ‘called you out of darkness into his marvellous light‘ (1 Pet 2:9 ESV).Light shines in Darknes - John - 1