It's that time of the year again! Where has the time gone?
It has been a year of unusual thought provoking events culminating in the words of my song/poem for Christmas this year. Now that our Carol service is over and carols have been enjoyed together, a lovely message was delivered and I did my usual solo bit, I can now share a few thoughts with you.
Deep down in the hearts of individual people there is an underlying question about what this life is all about. They're searching. Everyone of them are searching, but many don't realise that that's what they're doing. The terrible things we have witnessed in the news headlines this year are frightening to say the least. I wonder how many people are running to the living God for answers, refuge and for peace! Some are filling their time with the attractions and distractions of social media. Others with music, fitness, or the pursuit of money etc in an attempt to fill the void in their lives, or dampen the need for the answers to questions they are afraid to ask! Don't they realise that the One they really need is just a heart cry away?
I wonder why it is that unsaved folks feel that God is going to do them out of something they need or love when He actually has an infinite amount of riches to bestow upon those who will bow the knee. Yes, it is true that He will make demands of those who trust Him but He is worth all of this and so much more isn't He? He took away the old life we held on to so tightly and gave to us 'all things new.' (2 Corinthians 5: 17.) There can be no comparison to what He gave to us freely; for the Bible described the old life as 'dead', and everything it produced as vile and unfulfilling! But bless God for the promise that proclaims to us that 'he who has the Son has life, and he who has not the Son has not life'. (1 John 5: 12.) It's that plain and simple. I believe our Lord is telling us that 'he who has the Son has everything'. Rather like the psalmist who says: "the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." (Psalm 23) And because He is my Shepherd, I have everything I need! Those who are looking for answers will be joyfully surprised to find that the One who they were looking for was 'there all the time!' Just as He was there for us when we first trusted in Him and has been ever since that glad day when we were 'born of God'.
|It is all too easy to become distracted with the busyness of the season and forget all about what happened over two thousand years ago when God sent His precious Son into a world that had no room for Him. With family and friends around us we can too easily forget the friend and lover of our souls. Or perhaps those of us who are alone, we can easily forget that He left the adoration of heavenly beings to come and walk a lonely path and die a lonely death so that we might never be all alone. He who is everything to those who trust in Him can be everything to you also. Remember He who dwells in the very presence of Almighty God is only a fraction of a moment away from those who call unto Him with a sincere heart.
Why not call upon Him today and make this the very best and most precious Christmas you have ever had?
Moment by moment, when days turn to years.
| A recording has been made of this song and is in the process of being edited.
This will be soon available for listening :-)
Having spent a wonderful week in the Austrian Tyrol a month ago we did our fair share of walking. The views were stunning as we walked along well worn mountain trails which took us to bird's eye views over where we were staying in Lech, a beautiful little town nestled in a mountain surrounded valley.
Most of the days we were there we enjoyed good weather and it only rained in the night, which was a gracious answer to prayer. We had only one week there so it meant a lot to us to enjoy good weather. On one of those days when we thought we would take it easy we chose to follow the river upstream and see where it led to.
This was probably one of my favourite walks and we stopped many times just to view the never ending flow of fresh beautiful water. Every part of it was constantly moving as its source was out of sight way up in the mountains where perhaps a slowly melting glacier fed into it day after day.
To me it was so very beautiful, so vibrant and fresh. Even the very sound of it was music to my ears!
Isn't this a picture of what a Christian life ought to be? The life that every child of God is given comes from a source we cannot see. It comes from God Himself. This is a life that is forever moving, fresh, vibrant and even beautiful if we allow God to make it that way. This is just the way the life of those who are following Him closely is meant to be.
We could all make an attempt to spice up our lives. We can keep fit, we can learn some new thing, or take up a hobby. We can attempt to change our attitude towards others or even towards God; like go to church, read our Bible and pray more. But without the Living God who is the source of life in the very centre of yours, all these things will be a waste of effort.
Jesus said: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10: 10. Which means that He is the only One who can give a life that has real meaning and purpose.
It is all too easy to become a little used to our life as a Christian and let things slip. We too can become stagnant and stale if we are not moving. Let us remember the source of our lives is the beloved One who said: "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4: 14
Think of the river as an illustration of what God has intended for His people. This is one of the most important things He intends for you to know if at this moment of time you find yourself outside of His family. Any effort on your part to get right with God will be futile because He has already done all that is necessary for you to be found in His favour. His work was a work of tremendous value as He spared not His Only begotten Son to go to the cross to pay for the debt we all owe to Him on account of our sin. There on the cross He died as our substitute so you and I can have the assurance of a home in heaven and perfect peace with God. It requires true repentance and full trust on your part and God will do the rest.
Remember the river gets its life from a source we cannot see but it also gives life and freshness as it passes through. Those of us who are God's children can also be that type of person and bring blessing from heavenly places to a thirsty world around us. The Lord alone knows just how many truly thirsty people there are around us.
When I'm not busy writing and creating things for my website, I'm pottering around our home doing those things that ordinarily turn a house into a home. And when I'm not doing that I'm doing a little work in order to pay a few of those bills that just keep coming our way! One of the homes I work at is in the best of our countryside and overlooks rolling fields disappearing off into the faraway distance.
One morning a month or so ago while taking a five minute break I was leaning on the window sill looking out across the beautiful countryside taking in all the beauty spread out before me, when all of a sudden right in front of my eyes, just inches away on the other side of the glass there hovered a small barn swallow. It was only there for a moment of time but I got a wonderful view of this lovely little bird with all its lovely colours before he flew off the others of its kind who were darting here and there catching insects in the sky to take their catch back to their hungry young ones nested in the barns close by.
This was totally unexpected but thoroughly delightful at the same time. This lovely surprise came to me at a time when I least expect it, and I have to say it totally made my day :-)
Now, there is coming an event one day in the not too distant future that is going to affect everybody upon this earth. There will be two kinds of people in that day and will be two different reactions to this great event. As today, there will be true believers; those who are born of God and have become His children through faith in His beloved Son. There will also be those who have chosen not to trust in God's only way of getting into a right relationship with Him. These unbelievers will also be affected by this great event but definitely not in the favourable way in which it is going to affect God's waiting children.
Before the Lord Jesus left this earth He left this promise for His people:
"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
The Bible tells us that when He comes for His people He is coming quickly in a moment of time, and every child of God will be caught up to be with Him forever where He is. His coming will be at a time when people least expect it and I wonder how many will be ready and waiting.
While there is life there is hope, and in this life is the God given opportunity to make sure that all is well with your soul. This opportunity is given to everyone but it is up to you to trust in the living Son of God who once died to put away our sin. Do not let this opportunity slip by unheeded. Do not live a careless life only to find that you're found wanting when life on earth for you is over!
This moment of time could be the bright occasion in which your destiny could be changed forever. What will you do with God's remedy for your sin?
"To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Hebrews 4:7
D-Day, a day in history where a battle was fought and won on the shores of Normandy. The cost however, was very great as thousands of people gave their lives that day in the quest to gain and retrieve territory occupied and defended by enemy forces.
Many people who have memories of that great battle are still alive today. They remember that great day when the air was filled with the soundsof bombs, gun fire and air raids as wave upon wave of assaults were waged until the enemy had no choice but to retreat.
Witnessing the hundreds of planes flying over Jersey heading to the coasts of France, my mother in law's father called out to the passing droves: "get over there girls and drop your eggs!"
Well, they certainly did as part of the massive operation to buy back the freedom that had been taken from us some years before.
Freedom always comes to us at a great cost. We only have to think of the rivers of martyrs blood that flowed so we can enjoy religious freedom today. Perhaps we take this privilege for granted at times while some even to this day who would love the liberty we enjoy. They need our support and our faithful prayers.
Another battle that took place long ago outside the city walls of Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified dying in the place of guilty sinners like ourselves. He willingly went forward to face the foe, and took the full blast of the wrath of God against our sin. There He died as our substitute, shedding His precious blood to cleanse our sin away.
The value and effectiveness of the blood that was shed that day has reached down through the generations to this very day. The battle that took place was taken on by one Man instead of thousands. It was the blood of this Man: the Perfect Man that was sufficient to satisfy a holy God as payment for sin entirely.
Today could be your own personal 'D' day. Your day of Decision, when you decide that you've had enough of life separated from the living God, now you are going to trust in Him and what His Son did for you when He took your place on the cross. Sin does not have to rule over you or separate you from God anymore.
If you are a child of God and have let things slip; today could be a 'D' day for you also because God is merciful to all who sincerely cry to Him in repentance. The Bible tells us: "the blood of Jesus Christ, [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1: 9
Sadly there is another 'D' day yet to come. This is a day when every unbeliever will be brought before Almighty God to be judged according the what they have done in their lifetime. Among those people will be those who were religious, believing that going to church and doing good works was sufficient to get them into heaven. Then will come the dreadful time when God will speak and tell them: "I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7: 23. This will be the dreadful day unbelievers remember for eternity!
"And he sighed deeply in his spirit ..."
Mark 8: 12
"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled."
John 11: 33
"And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch."
Mark 14: 33-34
We as members of the human race know a diversity of emotions. Sometimes we experience joy, and other times sorrow.
Let us try to imagine what those emotions were like to our perfect Lord & Saviour who was acutely sensitive to all those emotions with perfect balance of character. He felt everything keenly and deeply.
The Bible gives us a small glimpse of the intense sorrow and pain He felt in anticipation of the cross and the great burden He was about to bear. Such was the agony of it that He sweat was like large drops of blood!
It is doubtful if any one of us will ever know pain like this in our life time and we know that He bore this pain and there was so much more to come when on the cross He suffered, bled, and died in the place of every single member of the human race. So great was His love and so great was our need - and indeed how great is our responsibility to embrace His finished work on our behalf.
When we study the personhood of our beloved Lord Jesus we see "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." Isaiah 53: 3. However, when we listen carefully to His gracious words we hear Him speak of joy that nobody will ever be able to take away from those who trust Him fully.
For some reason the Bible never mentions to us of Him expressing joy and laughter but each of His dear people are joyful recipients of this wonderful blessing which the Bible calls "joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1 Peter 1: 8.
Thanks be to God for the One "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death ..." Hebrews 5: 7, so that we might know the joy of our sins forgiven and the certainty of a home in heaven. ♥