An honour to be bringing news of joy to the world

Christmas Carols are so evocative of childhood and the wonder of Christmas but they also tell in such an eloquent way of the true story of Christmas.  I have snatched some well-known lines in writing this one!!

O HOLY NIGHT

The night of Jesus birth I would imagine was anything but silent, the little town of Bethlehem overcrowded as thousands returned for the census, away from home, away from family, their baby born in humble surroundings, come to ransom captive Israel, to free us from Satan’s tyranny, he came for you and he came for me, holy night, a night like no other when a humble virgin became a Mother to the Son of God, this birth remarkable in its humility, born for an extraordinary destiny, no wonder the Herald Angels were singing, what an honour to be bringing news of joy to the world and to be honest if I was a shepherd watching my flock I would be pretty shocked if a heavenly host appeared in the sky singing peace on earth goodwill to men and there again if I saw a bright shining star would I follow it from lands afar bearing gifts which it could be disputed were hardly suited to a Mother and her new born baby, but maybe if I had been there I would have been wise and come to adore him, the child who was born, the son who was given, born that man no more may die and OK so I wasn’t there but I am here now and joyfully sing of the birth of the King, triumphantly proclaim his glorious birth, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give us second birth.

His promises adorn my destiny

I am a strong believer that God speaks to us in many ways and that includes using the internet.  This morning I went on Pinterest and the first three pins recommended for me were these verses:

  • Genesis 35:3 – Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.’
  • Hebrews 13:5 – 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
  • Psalm 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise him

My Dad had a major op today and these verses helped me focus on God as I waited for news.  He is with me and my Dad, he has always been with us, he has never left us or forsaken us even though we both turned away from him for long periods of our loves.  But now we both trust in him once more it is great to know that he is our strength and our shield and for that my heart really does leap with joy.

HUMAN REACTION

Turning your back, such a human reaction, pulling the plug on a relationship when the chips are down, running away because your baggage is starting to weigh too heavy,  I chose to leave, but see, that’s not how God behaves, his reaction to our indifference is not to keep his distance, he has been with me wherever I have walked, I should have listened more intently and just maybe I would recall his words, never will I leave you, I’ll never let you down, he doesn’t muck around, he is my strength and shield, never yielding, 100% reliable, he sees me as valuable, a treasure, his love is without measure, he is ceaseless in fighting our oppressor, whatever, whomever, wherever, he never turns away, he turns his face towards me, his rod and staff they comfort me, he leads me through the valley, gladly moves the mountains that threaten me, he sustains me, he claimed my life for his Kingdom long before I was born, his promises adorn my destiny, he answered me in my day of distress, I guess that kind of impresses on me how faithfully he blesses me.

God’s love in action towards man who deserved a different reaction

  • Judges 16:6 – So Delilah spoke to Samson. She said, “Tell me the secret of why you are so strong
  • Judges 16:20 – He woke up from his sleep. He thought, “I’ll go out just as I did before. I’ll shake myself free.” But he didn’t know that the Lord had left him.

I have been reading the story of Samson and these two verses kind of stuck out.  It doesn’t matter how strong we think we are if we don’t have God we lose all our strength.  In our weakness his strength is perfected and he gives us strength in all situations.  So I acknowledge that I am strong because God is with me and I will honour him so he never leaves me.

  • Daniel 10:19 – Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”
  • Psalm 121:2 – My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
  • Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD

I AM STRONG

I am strong as long as I have you in my heart, well founded, well made, hard as nails, unyielding to Satan’s lies, eyes wide open, so here’s how it works, God takes a broken life and makes it better, he takes it from mediocre or even dire to a higher place, you see God gives us grace daily and that’s not the kind of grace before you eat your meals, this grace well it’s a major deal, like God’s love in action towards man who deserved a different reaction, love for man who did not deserve it, for sinners who could not lift a finger to help themselves, God sent Jesus to descend into Hell and I can’t oversell that concept, the prospect of eternal life because of that selfless sacrifice, you know the score, Jesus was crucified because of our lust and pride, because of the tide of sin that swept over mankind, I think you’ll find not one could be found who was free of sin except Jesus of course and his act underpins the foundations of love that only God could demonstrate, he put hatred in its place and now we can face life with a new perspective with God in our hearts we are no longer broken or defective, irrespective of our past behaviours we are filled with God’s Spirit, we are at one with our Saviour, when God speaks we are strengthened, at the mention of God’s name every knee will bow so how can we fail to be invigorated when we realise that we are part of God’s story, our history written before we were born, we are strong in our weakness, made in the likeness of the Lord God most high, arise and be strong, take heart our God will never be apart from us as long as we honour and obey, trust in all that God does and says.

We shouldn’t be dumbing down the word of the Lord

I saw a great quote yesterday, “It’s not about how Christian you look from the outside it’s about your personal relationship with God.  Wow how true, really spoke to me and I’ve been thinking some more about it today.  It kind of speaks to me of another quote, “you may be the only Bible your friends ever read”.  So that really shows that it is so much about my behaviour, my changed attitudes, my showing the fruits of the Spirit in my daily life more than just telling others that I’m a Christian.  And as I develop my relationship with God I can really see and feel how I am changing.

1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

HOW CHRISTIAN?

It’s not about how Christian you look from the outside, man you can look all pious and good and have a heart of wood, so save your Sunday best for your day of rest but don’t try and mess with God cos he knows your heart, he knows what’s going on inside of you and being a Christian ain’t just what you do, it’s personal, personal between you and God, it’s special, exclusive and this love ain’t elusive it’s free to all who call on God, it’s not so hard to be part of God’s amazing plan we’ve all been lost so many ways, every day a personal battle striving for survival, let’s face it the world’s in trouble and we ain’t gonna make it on our own, I’m telling you I’m weak but God gives me the strength to speak out, he’s working in me for my good, and here’s food for thought, greater is he that is in me than he who is in the world, I’m still not all I should be but I’m working through it focusing my energies on forgetting the past and looking forward to what is ahead so I feel it’s got to be said… are you right with God?  It’s hard and I’m not being judgemental but you see I feel it is mental that so many people claim to know him then turn around and continue to sin, ignoring him, ignoring my God and my King, putting their own spin on his word, haven’t you heard, the end times are coming and we shouldn’t be dumbing down the word of the Lord, I’m drawing my sword and speaking from my heart cos I want no-one to be apart from my incredible Saviour but unless you adjust your behaviour you could be in danger of being sucked in by false teachers and preachers, think of sin as an attack by the enemy who comes to steal, kill, destroy, there will be no joy when Jesus returns for those who have turned their backs now, and I for one vow to work tirelessly to bring others to victory, Jesus never said it would be easy to pick up your cross and follow him, let’s be honest sinning is easier, the wide road is attractive but don’t be distracted cos the blessings that God gives will mess with your head, he is the greatest and I don’t make that statement lightly, it’s precisely because the Lord God Almighty cares for me that I urge you to take this seriously, pursue the truth vigorously and God will not fail you, I guarantee.

God’s amazing creativity made me unique

I have doubtless blogged about Psalm 139 on a number of occasions but it does have to be my favourite Psalm and I was reminded of it again this morning.  How can you fail to be in awe of God’s amazing planning and his watch over our lives?

SEARCHED AND KNOWN

You have searched me and you know me, I am like an open book, no page unturned, you are concerned with every part of me, you understand my thoughts, my ways, I cannot hide from you cos with you the night shines bright as day, darkness and light are the same, you’ve gone before me yet you follow me, you stay close, even in the darkness as I sleep you are there and when I wake you are still with me, so see here’s the thing, if there’s anything that I have done that causes offence, any behaviour that offends you my Saviour show me so I can get on my knees and be led to salvation, lead me to your way everlasting and as I see you casting aside all my sin and shame I will be praising you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, how cool to stand here and say that God made every tiny part of me and knit me together in the womb of my Mother, he saw the world needed one of me, God’s amazing creativity made me unique, all the stages of my life spread out before him, prepared before I was born, if I moved to the farthest ocean I would still be chosen, still protected and guided, your strength would surround me, your thoughts towards me still countless and doubtless I need to learn this one thing, life’s not about finding myself it’s about discovering who God created me to be, all the days ordained for me written in God’s book, my worth not found or earned, my worth is in who God created me to be, priceless to God I see that calling myself worthless defies God’s plans for me, I am perfectly made and I embrace God’s grace thanking him for invading my space with love, forgiveness and mercy, for choosing to walk with me on my life’s journey.

Father, I prosper through being your child

Reading about the situation for many Christians around the world I see that there is often a real threat of persecution, that many of our brothers and sisters really do know what it is like to be in need, yet often we in the western world have plenty yet don’t recognise how much we have.  This verse brought it home to me, we need to learn the secret of being content in our situation much as we see many persecuted Christians being content in theirs, when in reality they have so much to struggle against and we have so much to be thankful for.

Philippians 4:12 – I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

CONTENT

Father thank you for your great provision, the attention you pay to the little things, the love you bring into my life, the sacrifice you paid which made a way for me to be free from want, free from the chains that bound me to a life of uncertainty, free from loneliness and closer to holiness, thank you that I can be content in every situation because my foundations are solidly built on your forgiveness, in the stillness I hear your voice and I rejoice because in sorrow or joy, in plenty or want, I want for nothing as I have every blessing I could ask for poured out on me by my loving Father, I prosper through being your child, reconciled with my Saviour, content in your favour, oh God may I never lose sight of your wondrous love.

Another problem, REJOICE! Another issue, lift your VOICE in praise

We can use difficulties in life to become stronger.  We can use our experiences both past and present to learn and to develop the fruits of the Spirit.  At the time it may not feel good and we may not feel in control, but trust God he is in control and he is using every situation to help shape and mold us into who we are destined to be in him.  We were talking last night at our group about “pressures” and how the enemy uses them to muddy the water, to steal our time and our focus.  Yet I am now learning that handing my pressures to God and asking for him to take them from me does result in a stronger relationship with him and more time to spend with him.  A win/win situation less pressure equals more time with God equals even less pressures as we talk and discuss them with him and ultimately leave them with him.

Romans 5:3-4 – We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.

Psalm 29:11 – The Lord gives strength to his people and blesses them with peace

REJOICE

Another problem, REJOICE!  Another issue, I lift my VOICE in praise, too many days wasted mourning when we know your mercies are new every morning, I am not falling into the trap that the enemy sets, let’s get this straight, God is with me, period.  God loves me and in my experience that means he takes the pressure and replaces it with something better, God created me for greatness he died so I would be blameless, he rose so I could be shameless, he lives so that I can live in outrageous grace, I face the world with strength knowing there are no lengths my God will not go to overthrow the enemy’s grip on me, to keep me free of his lies and deceit, he holds me so close I can feel his heartbeat, I am seated with God and however hard things seem I hold on to the knowledge that I am redeemed, loved, adopted, God opted to have me in his Kingdom so I see my pressures purely as a symptom of an enemy who’s intent on destroying me, yet can never break God’s grip on me for I am loved and I am free destined for eternity with my Saviour who died for me.