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  1. 04_Apr_At The Place Called Calvary 1

    "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary,
    there they crucified him, and the malefactors,
    one on the right hand, and the other on the left"
    Luke 23: 33

    Outside the city walls of Jerusalem is a place called Calvary. This spot on the map is designated as probably the most important place on earth! Not because of any noticeable beauty because it doesn’t really have any; in fact it was known in ancient days as “Golgotha” (the place of a skull) because its geographical setting rather resembles the appearance of a human skull. Calvary became the place of great significance because of an event that took place there 2000 years ago.

    This was the place where common criminals were put to death for their crimes by means of crucifixion. This had to have been the very worst, most torturous way to die. Devised by the cruel Roman Empire and those who were impaled to crosses were lifted up and left to die. It took many hours for the victim to die, and for some it even took days before the inevitable came upon them. They were lifted up high for all passersby to see.

    This was the place that had seen an end of many people before and this was just another day for some like the Centurion who presided over the affairs of such a barbaric occasion. However as the events of this day unfolded it soon became evident that this was going to be a day like none other before.

    Three crosses were ready to receive their next victims and routinely each man was impaled and raised up to die – but, there was something different about the Man occupying the centre cross! There, suspended on that cross, as if the very worst of the three was the only Man to ever walk this earth without sin. But why was He there? What had He done to deserve such a cruel death? After all, His cross was originally for a man called Barabbas but he was spared from his fate ...

    Because this Man was going to die in his place.

    Jesus Christ, the Son of God came into this sad old world just 33 years before specifically for the purpose of coming to this place to accomplish a work that no other was able to do. It was there at this place that a mighty exchange took place when:

    “(He) once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
    that he might bring us to God ...”
    I Peter 3: 18

    This is when
    “(God) ... made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
    that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”
    2 Corinthians 5: 21

    It was then that God made to meet upon Him all of the sin accumulated from the past and all sin anticipated from that moment on, and He bore the mighty wrath of God against the sin of Mankind (our sin included,) until His wrath was expended. (See Isaiah 53: 6)

    What sort of a mind could have devised such a rescue plan like this other than the mind of God? What could have motivated Him to do such an extraordinary thing other than love beyond measure to those who He has gone to such great lengths to redeem?

    It may appear to some that the precious Son of God died as a result of man’s hatred and brutality, but the truth is that nobody took His life from Him that day ... He gave it freely as an offering for sin once for all! And if this is so, and we know it surely is, then why the cross? Why couldn't He have given His life some other way? Why did He allow Himself to suffer at the hands of man in this manner? May it be suggested that it possibly was to demonstrate to us how exceedingly sinful sin really is?

    When the Lord Jesus was just a tiny infant of no more than a few days, He was taken by His parents to the Temple to be circumcised as was the manner of the Jews. It had earlier been revealed by the Holy Spirit to a faithful man of God called Simeon that this child was the means by which Salvation from God to man would come. With great reverence and respect he moved forward, gently took up the baby in his arms and gazed into the face of this precious child and declared to God his utter and complete trust in This One who in His very Person is the very Salvation of God.

    Moved by the Spirit he then spoke to Mary His mother of the impact upon the world that this child’s future would have and then old her solemnly: Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,” (Luke 2: 35) alluding to His future suffering on the cross. It is that statement “that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” that is of particular interest; for if we read carefully we find that there was somebody from every known nation represented there at Calvary, someone from every walk of life there also, and most importantly there was someone representing every possible frame of mind there at the place where our Lord was crucified!

    We can all very well identify with somebody who beheld that scene that day.

    The cross revealed what man was really like – some were cruel and sadistic, others were mockers. Some were cold and indifferent while others were afraid! Very few were prepared to come close to the cross and be identified with Him, but thankfully there were a few!

    And somebody there at that place called Calvary was somebody just like you!

    For the unsuspecting Roman Centurion mentioned earlier a great change took place in his heart that day; for after watching this Precious One suffer, bleed and die and after witnessing the events to follow He was heard to declare from the depths of his heart:

    "Truly, this was the Son of God."
    Matthew 27: 54.

    The question is, what does this all mean to you?

    04_Apr_At The Place Called Calvary 2

    ~~~~~

    >> Do you have any questions or comments about what Calvary means to you? I would love to hear from you -
          why not say hello down below!

     

  2. 04_Apr_A Thousand Years

    "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,
    that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,
    and a thousand years as one day."
    2 Peter 3: 8

    When we think of God in all His greatness and Majesty, it is not too difficult for us to imagine what it is for Him to look at a thousand years as a single day according to His perspective. After all He had the ability to create the heaven and the earth and everything in them with just a spoken word in only a small amount of time. In fact He could have probably created it all in a moment if He so desired, but the Bible tells us that He did it in only six days! :)

    It also tells that: "... Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ... Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11: 1,3.) So God didn't need something with which to work with and we do not need evidence!

     His spoken Word is sufficient and our faith is all that's needed!

    And so the Sovereign was able to heal the sick, with a touch or spoken word, He was able to control the weather, and even raise the dead - what immeasurable power and greatness!

    But then on the cross while atoning for our sin, even the sin of the world, it was a hands on task!  Suspended between heaven and earth on a cruel Roman cross, nailed there by His hands and feet He suffered, bled, and died as a Substitute for poor lost sinners.  This actually happened as recorded as a fact in history, and was the ultimate demonstration of a holy but loving God to the likes of you and me.  What love!

    "God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
    while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
    Romans 5: 8

    But here we are locked into a domain we have absolutely no control over.  We live in a dimension that is governed by a thing called time!  It affects everything we do, and we only have a small opportunity to make an impact before we have to leave.  Is there anything worthwhile we can do in such a small allotment of this valuable thing called time?

    Some who are reading this may be looking back on a wasted lifetime.  So many years have passed and cannot be recalled.  You cannot turn back the clock and do it again!  But ... you can do something with the time you have left, from this very moment onwards.

    If you are already a child of God and on your way to heaven you are in the right condition to do something with your allotment of time.  If not, today is the day, and now is the moment in which to turn yourself over to the living God and trust in His beloved Son.  He will set your feet on a pathway investing in the eternal future, and this is all that really matters and all that is realy going to count. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. What you do with it now will matter forever!

    I have a word to encourage you today that will give to you the hope you need to look forward to the future, knowing that the moments you live right from this day will have eternal value.

    The eternal God is not only able to look at a thousand years as one single day but able to perceive time the other way around also.

    One single day of our lives well lived is as a thousand years in His sight!
    Imagine that!

    This means that to God every little kind act performed because you are a Christian, every moment of prayer, every little appreciation of Him is multiplied a thousand or more times!

    Perhaps you are a young Mum surrounded with little ones and are feeling a little suffocated, investing in your little ones will never be a waste of time. But you may be thinking that you only get a few moments to read your Bible or a few moments to pray, what significance is this to the eternal God?  Well, our Father in Heaven measures the value of those tiny moments you give to Him as something of essence value.

    May be the best years of your life have now passed.  You look back with a heavy heart knowing those years have gone, and you simply cannot to what you did back then.  The Lord has a high estimation of all those little things you feel are not worth as much as what you once gave.

    Perhaps you are looking back on a wasted life and you wonder if it's worth trying now!  The Bible tells us that 'the Lord is able to restore what the locusts have eaten!'  (Joel 2: 25.)

    God has the ability of making up for time that has been lost and multiplying what you have left.

    So it's up to each one of us to use what we have left wisely, because even though the living God lives outside of the time domain He created, He still values every minute and every second of it ... And so must we!

    04_Apr_A Thousand Years 2

    ~~~~~

    >> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below!

     

  3. 03_Mr_An Unexpected Surprise

    It was a morning off work and there were a number of things I would have liked to do but an unexpected turn of events curtailed my plans .... in a very nice way.

    I had to break away from what I was doing for a while to take my car to the garage to collect a new key and get it coded. For some silly reason I had a mental block and headed off in the wrong direction to where I needed to go and had to re-route my journey, which took me on a small detour and over a hill which overlooked one of our beautiful bays.  There is was in all its glory, bathed in beautiful sunshine, and it looked so very appealing.

    I thought for a moment of time how much I would love to be there ...
    'right now!'

    I couldn't stop or slow down to enjoy the view because there were cars behind me, so I just caught a glimpse of it on the bend as I descended the hill down to the road where the garage was situated.

    I thought the process of coding my key would take about twenty minutes or so, but I was wrong.  It was possibly going to take up to an hour!  So, I was invited to wait in the car showroom on a comfy seat in a cosy corner.  While sitting there and sipping on a small glass of water someone had kindly provided, I was wondering what I would do with all this waiting time.  I looked out of the window into the sunny street and thought: "The bay is just a few minutes' walk away from here! .... I know what I want to do while I'm waiting."

    I quickly drank up my water and went to the reception and suggested that I would go for a walk and be back within the hour instead of waiting inside.  I left my mobile number just in case they were finished before my return and off I went.

    In only a few minutes I was 'there'!  The very place where I had that momentary longing for, no longer than twenty minutes prior to actually being there in that beautiful bay for a stroll on the beach.  Oh, it was wonderful indeed!  The sky was blue, the sea was pleasant, the waves curling in and breaking softly on the pebbles that had earlier been washed up by stormy weather.  The smells and the sounds excited my senses.  And even better still was the fact that this most pleasant outing was an unexpected surprise!

    Any other February morning would have been cold and extremely unpleasant but we have been enjoying unusually warm weather for the time of the year and there was nothing more than a slightly cool breeze to remind us that this IS actually February and not April or May!

    I walked and walked, breathing in the beautiful fresh air and enjoying the sound of the waves and gulls calling to each other.  The only other people I saw down there was the occasional  person walking their dog.  It was absolutely wonderful!

    When I finally turned around and walk back I stopped for a few moments to do a reality check.  Was I really here or was I imagining all of this? And then something rather wonderful occupied my thoughts.

    I saw this place afar off, I longed to be there - 'right now',
    and suddenly I WAS there all within a very short space of time.

    How many times have we longed to be at home in heaven with the Lord Jesus and with those who we know have arrived there before us?  Occasionally we've had a glimpse of our eternal home afar off during our alone time with the Lord, or while enjoying the lyrics of a lovely hymn.  Sometimes we might be listening to some stirring music and our soul has been carried away with thoughts and imaginations of this beautiful place. Or we might have been listening to a gifted preacher expounding to us the Scriptures which gendered our longing to be there.

    I have great joy in telling you that one soon day, quite unexpected maybe, those of us who are God's people  WILL be there, perhaps sooner than we thought.  The Lord Jesus promised that He is going to come again one soon day and call all of His people out of this sad old world up and away to join Him in His.

    "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
    In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
    I go to prepare a place for you.
    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
    that where I am, there ye may be also."
    John 14: 1-3

    And if it took God six days to create the earth upon which we live in all its beauty, how much more wonderful is the place He has spent over two thousand years preparing?  For me, my unexpected stroll on the beach in the sunshine was wonderful enough,  but how much more so will it be to be taken by surprise and find ourselves in His fair land and in His presence?

    I don't know about you but I can't wait to get there!

    But there is one more important thing.  Although I didn't know that I would be walking on the beach that day, I was prepared!  I was suitably dressed for the environment in which I unexpectedly found myself, which serves as a gentle warning to all who are reading this right now ... to be prepared!

    If you are one of God's people you need to allow the possibility of the Lord's imminent return to fill and thrill your soul, because soon all the suffering and trials we know will be over.  His coming is something that ought to be paramount in our thinking, and that which we are talking among ourselves about because the Bible tells us to: "Comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4: 18.

    But you may be reading this and you are not prepared for this event.  You need to know and understand that God will not allow anyone into His heaven unsuitably dressed!  You are loved more than words could ever fully tell by God Himself.  The Bible tells us this is the way He demonstrated His love: "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 1 Timothy 1: 15.

    God has done everything it takes in order that you might have the assurance of a home in His heaven for you to look forward to.  It takes a humble heart willing to trust in Him fully and believe that when Jesus died on the cross, He died as your Substitute. Trusting in Him with all your heart will make room for God to change your destiny and your 'apparel'.  The Bible tells us that God clothes those who He has saved with "garments of salvation", and "a robe of righteousness." Isaiah 61: 10.

    It won't be long to wait before God's people find themselves in that wonderful place called heaven.  We have seen it afar off, and we long to be there 'right now'!  And one soon day, may be sooner than we thought 'right now' will have come suddenly.

    Be prepared dear ones, this wonderful event may be ....

    Perhaps Today

    ~~~~~

    >> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below!

     

  4. "The ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
    And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
    And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying,
    It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

    But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
    And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
    And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship,
    he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."

    Matthew 14: 24-29

    Peter, the disciple of Jesus is a rather interesting character, and if we take a closer look at him we will find that there are times when we can personally identify with him.

    He is remembered for denying the Lord Jesus when put under surveillance. He is also known for his daring step of faith which gave to him the ability to do something that is completely unnatural, and that is ... to walk on the water. Unfortunately he is often criticised for sinking into the waves when he realised where he was, which deflates the importance of what was actually happening there on the storm-tossed lake in the darkness of the night! After all, when was the last time YOU walked on the water?

    Let's take a closer look at the circumstances in which this miraculous event took place and apply a wonderful truth contained therein, and perhaps you will be comforted in your soul that this account was recorded in the Bible, possibly for your benefit.

    Prior to this event Peter had just witnessed the Lord Jesus miraculously feed and fill over 5,000 hungry people with a small meal of five fishes and two loaves of bread! I wonder if this bolstered up his faith and boosted his confidence a little! Well, it must have made a mighty impact because he was about to defy the laws of nature and do what would normally be considered impossible!

    Please allow me to set the scene here. Having dismissed the multitude after they had been fed the Lord sent His disciples ahead of Him in a boat to the other side of the lake while He went up into the mountain to spend time alone with His Father in prayer.

    While He was there, the boat was starting to get tossed around by a storm which arose unexpectedly. I don't know how long their vessel was under duress, but in the middle of the night a familiar figure came to them walking on the water! At first they thought that it might be a spirit and were terrified but straight away with just a few words the Lord reassured them that it was Him.

    Upon hearing the reassuring words of his Master, Peter called out to the Lord to bid him to meet Him on the water, so the Lord invited Peter in and ... he walked on the water to go to Jesus!

    Now let's just stop there for a moment! During their time with the Lord Jesus the disciples have known some good times and some bad ones. Now was one of those times when they were having to endure some turbulent weather. Their little vessel was being tossed about on the sea which had been whipped up by the wind. And to make matters worse it looked like they were being intercepted by a spirit! But they were mistaken!

    They misunderstood the situation as being out of control, but they were wrong. They thought they had seen a ghost, they were wrong again.

    What they thought was chaos was brought to order,
    what they thought was a ghost was the Lord Himself.

    Have you ever been in a situation like this when the circumstance you find yourself in feel like it is going to consume you, and the thing you are afraid of turns out to be the Lord Himself? He's right there and just a heart cry away but sometimes we just don't recognise Him.

    Now, let's turn our attention to Peter and what he just did. Out on the waves was His hero, for the want of a better word. It was his Master bidding him to come out of the boat and go to Jesus. How could he resist? When Jesus filled his gaze he was able to do something that would otherwise be considered impossible.

    Someone may be reading this may be going through a trial right now. A tragedy came suddenly, bad or sad news whipped up a storm in your life. And it feels like the enemy is close and coming closer. But wait, look again, and focus on the Man who can walk on the water. He is the One with words of comfort and reassurance.

    Life is not always green grass and blue skies. Sometimes the way is hard, sometimes stormy, but when all you can see is the storm it is easy to be overcome and sink to a place where we need rescuing.  Thankfully our beloved Lord and Master is just a call away.

    However, one of those wonderful things about having a relationship with the living Lord Jesus is that it is possible for the likes of you and me to, 'walk on water' also. By that I mean it is possible to rise above the circumstances that would otherwise engulf you. Whatever trial you are called upon to go through focusing on the beloved Lord Jesus will enable you to rise above its power to pull you down.

    You will be surprised what is achievable when we are focused on Him, and on Him alone. This is what happened to the fearful disciples who locked themselves away in an upper room because they were afraid of the Jews who crucified their Lord only a short while ago.

    The Bible tells us: "Then were the disciples glad, WHEN they saw the Lord" John 20: 20. One look at Him turned their fear to gladness.

    Remember dear friend that: "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1: 7. And you can claim the following words as I have done and make them your own: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4: 13.

    Well, if we were to continue to follow on with the account we would have read that Peter became aware of the waves he was walking on and immediately began to sink. Yes, he lost his focus and the Lord came to his immediate rescue. But he walked on the water when no one else did! And you can do the same when you're focused on Him as well!  :)

     02_Feb_When All You Can See Is The Storm
     
     Related Link - When Jesus Came - (Blog Post from December 2017)
     

    And In Keeping With The Above Subject ...


    Might as well have a listen to this one if you havent already :)
    This song was written for Christmas 2017
    but the lyrics compliment the thoughts shared in the blog above.

    ~~~~~

    >> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below!

     

  5.  

     01_Jan_The Stage Is Set

    Well, another year has gone by in a flash and here we are on the threshold of 2019. It's all spread out before us with all its joys and sorrows. All its successes and all it failures. With its good times and bad times. We have to take the bad with the good ... Such is life!

    I always find the last hours of a year and the beginning of the next to be soul searching. Partying would be the very last thing on my mind at such a time as this. I don't wish to be somber but I am in a deep reflective mood at such a time as this as I look back on the past twelve months and examine what, if anything has been accomplished.

    There have been loses and will never be regained, and precious things learned that will never be forgotten. Thankfully with the Lord I can say that His people never enter a New Year alone. Faithful is He who promised to always be with, and never forsake His people for whom He went to great lengths to purchase.

    Just a few days ago my husband was reading something about James Lovell, former Astronaut and one of the very first visitors to the moon. He described his feelings about earth, our home as viewed from the desolate moon as he watched our beautiful blue planet rise up over the horizon. This is what he said:

    "God has given us a stage ... upon which to perform, and how the play turns out is really up to us."

    We are born, we live, and we die - here! Everything with which we are familiar, and all that we do, takes place - here. That which is of lasting value and that of no value at all takes place - here. Our stage is .... here! But when we leave the 'stage', where will we go?

    We occupy a tiny window of time in which we play out our lives, and hopefully make an impact for good in the lives of others. As children we were subject to the influence of our parents or guardians, now we get to be the influencers!

    What have we learned? What are we passing on?

    It doesn't matter how long we live our lives, we have an opportunity every day to live for the benefit of someone else and ultimately for the glory and pleasure of God our loving heavenly Father.

    Some folks within their very short lives have influenced and impacted more lives than perhaps others who have lived a long while. What is the secret to what would be considered a fulfilled life like this?

    I know of a precious Person who lived here for only a very short period of time. The Bible tells us that:

    "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
    for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken."
    Isaiah 53: 8

    These words tell us that He died before one would naturally produce offspring! And yet the life of this precious Man made the greatest impact an individual has ever done before. His name is Jesus!

    "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son ..."
    Galatians 4: 4

    The stage was set for Him, and when He came to earth, He came in the most unique way - via a virgin womb. All that He was and all He did was unique. His childhood was unique, His earlier years were remarkable, and leading up to the moment when He was to branch out to "seek and to save that which was lost", His life was impeccable. All of His ways, both public and private declared for all to see just what God is like - in a human body! He was, and still is worthy of everyone's complete trust and obedience. Those who chose to do so were truly blessed in their day and are still benefitting eternally with His blessing and favour.  But sadly those who foolishly refused His Lordship in their lives and are paying for their foolishness for eternity.

    So He lived a life this world has never seen before because He was sinless, and He died like no one has ever died before because the sinless One was bearing our sin and the punishment we deserve instead of us bearing it ourselves. Why would He do such an astounding thing? The Bible tells us it is because of love! Love we cannot fathom or never deserve. The Love of God to people like you and me!

    Thanks be unto God that the One who died on that cruel cross one day long ago arose from among the dead and lives in the power of an endless life. He is a real Man alive in heaven ... now, right NOW! That ought to get the attention of my reader.

    The stage was set for Him and He played out His life in all its fullness and sweet perfection. Before the known world of that day He openly declared the Love of God in the giving of Himself. The Bible tells us that: "... This thing was not done in a corner ..." Acts 26: 26. We can read about His live today to the blessing of our own souls in the Bible.

    Now it is our turn! The stage is set for us. Here is the place, and now is the time!

    We have all the information and qualifications we need in order to do the wisest thing each day as we 'perform' our everyday lives. Although James Lovell was just a man at best, his words as quoted above are certainly inspiring and even challenging to me and maybe to you also.

    You see, as this little excerpt from C.T. Studd's poem so eloquently puts it:

    'Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
    Only what's done for Christ will last.'

    We find ourselves challenged to address what our lives are really amounting to, and we see that only a life lived in and for Christ is a life that really matters in the long run. God is a perfect Gentleman and will never force people into trusting, following and living for Him. He wants us to decide to do that for ourselves. Those who choose to do so will be blessed indeed.

    Here we are on the threshold of a brand New Year. What better opportunity to begin a walk with God that will take us right into His very presence one soon day?

    The rest of your life is spread before you - God has given to you a stage ... upon which to perform, how the play turns out is really up to you!

    I pray that you will you be truly blessed in

    2019

    especially if you make the wise decision to bow the knee before the Sovereign Saviour who
    loved you and gave Himself for you' (See Galatians 2:20.)

     

    And In Keeping With The Above Subject ...


    Here, as promised is the song that was written and performed
    at our recent Carol Service.
    Created to be appreciated at any time of the year. Enjoy :)

    ~~~~~

    >> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below!