Who are these people? The giants of history from the bible?, people like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King? Yes! But, also children, men and women, ordinary people (like you and i) made into extraordinary people through Christ's courage and His Holy Spirit. People who did extraordinary things, for others. People who stood up, spoke up and took action to bring about needed change.
A compatriot is 'a person from one's own country' and that is what we are when we choose God. We are representing His heavenly Kingdom here on earth while we wait for His return. He is depending on us ordinary people, His army, to fight injustice, challenge inequality, correct the wrongs and right the bad. We are not alone nor do this in our own strength. He gives His to us to say and do these things. To overcome weariness, shyness, acceptance, difficult circumstances, the norm and speak up, write those letters. Free voice. Free will. Speak up too for those with no voice. Those who are not being listened to.
So many brave accounts and one recently from a Priest in Scotland who courageously contacted the press to confirm the countless stories we already know of the problems in the catholic church. They are of sexual sin towards children and Priest toward Priest. The root cause is that the vatican has continued the ancient law that Priests should not marry resulting in this continuation of harassment and abuse. I can find no scripture to validate this because there is none. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this. I do hope changes are made because this cannot continue. It is wrong. It is against judicial law and God's law to abuse and harm others. It is unnecessary suffering. It would be courageous to tackle the root problem. Now.
On a personal level, God has sent me many courageous men and women who did remarkable things to help ME!. One, Jean B who I thank God for. Another in my family, my grand-mother, Isabella.
Saved at 13 she served the Lord until she was called home at 83. A woman who never as they say had her sorrows to seek but she always sought her personal Saviour. I have in my hand a treasure. Her hymn book 'Redemption Songs'. I have in my heart her legacy of example and prayer for me and her family and God has certainly honoured her faithfulness to this day, 17 years since her death.
One of her favourite hymns was 'What A Friend We Have in Jesus' It sings of the privilege of Him taking our sorrows, sins and griefs in our prayers. It mentions the peace to be gained from sharing things with Him. Discusses trials and temptations and tells us we have one so truly faithful that He shares our cares and takes our cares too. It boasts of His strength, care and protection....when we take it to the Lord in prayer. And, as it is written in John 17;17 'Your word is truth'. Hallelujah.
Another great figure to me is the American preacher and author, Joyce Meyer. A woman with a troubled past who overcame it with the Lord and now shares and encourages and inspires others through her sermons and well documented books. One of her books 'It's All In the Mind' tells us that it is all in Christ's mind that
therein lies our strength for the here and now. The human mind is powerful , but Gods is all powerful.
Father, help us now to draw strength and direction from You and Your word. Show us through Your Spirit how to align our thoughts and will with Christs. Give us courage to speak up and not accept the things that look as if they can't be changed. Help us stand up for others who are living in loss, in prejudice, in injustice and going without because of the actions of the few. Show them Your truth, Your light and Your way and give them the courage to change now. Thank you. Amen.
Was evident even as a boy. His mum and dad would be searching for Him and frequently found Him in the temples (churches) that He even then called His 'Father's House'. A house of prayer. Even as a BOY, He was preaching and teaching in the churches; and they sat down to listen as His Father's wisdom poured out. They were amazed at His knowledge and wanted to know more.
Born into poverty. This shows us that God wanted His life and circumstances to relate to ordinary people. Just like the disciples were chosen as characters showing the tremendous transformative power of God's Holy Spirit. All of them selected carefully to show us how He can change us. All with backgrounds of all sorts including criminal activities, they each turned away from that and to Him giving up their families and homes to follow Him. Giving up money too.
Christ's life is a testament of absolute courage and tenacity. Not for Him home comforts or even a wife. He applied His mind to learning the craft of carpentry but all the while observing people and storing up insight, knowledge, understanding that He was to teach when His public ministry began at the age of 30. He died age 33.
What strength that must have taken to put down his tools and start to tell people, beginning in his home town, that He was the Son of God Himself. He walked and walked. He went through hunger, fatigue, often sleeping outside. He would be hunted out of some towns; even His life threatened. His life was mainly solitary, maintained by His devoted prayer life often withdrawing to receive strength and instruction from His Father.
He had to begin teaching before the full power of the Holy Spirit was given to Him. He had to completely believe what His Father was telling Him and overcome so much in His own mind and others' minds to do this. People would have been questioning Him, doubting Him, mocking Him. Remember, He had no teaching qualification or credentials to which He could justify what He had started to say.
This week, all those years ago as He continued to teach to the people who would shout for His death, it is nothing short of divine dignity and courage. He would be picturing in His mind's eye His trial and treatment to come. Matthew tells us 'the governor's (Pontius Pilate) soldiers stripped Him, flogged Him, put a scarlet robe on Him and made a crown of thorns for Him pushing it into His scalp. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked Him and spat at Him then struck His head and face again and again. He would also be picturing these same soldiers standing over Him as He had to lie down on the cross first on the ground. He would see their mocking faces with hammer and nails in their hands looking down on Him.
And yet, even with all of this and 'the many false witnesses who testified against Him' He continued. This was the divine man on earth who gave everything of Himself and took nothing.
What brought Him to Pilate's charges? It was the Sanhedrin - the Chief Priests. Why? Because they did not agree that He should heal the sick and cast out demons. They were profiting in God's churches from trading and had turned the house of prayer into a den of iniquity. It was the leaders of the church who actively pursued His capture, arrest and death. They pleaded for it.
Pictures of Christ portray Him as He was and is - gentle, kind and humanitarian. But, in a rare display of anger at His Father's House and the people in charge exploiting and taking money from others in there (even to get into the churches), He showed His strength and courage by physically upturning their tables with their goods, animals and coins spilling onto the floor. The Chief Priest's did not like or want change, so they betrayed the Messiah. This man who taught of heaven, who made miracles, showed signs and remained throughout His life nothing short of absolute integrity. He had to, He was representing God on earth.
In prison awaiting His trial, He would have been grievously injured in His body, head and face. No friend, no lawyer, His disciples had ran when He was arrested. He was on His own. What kept Him going? His Father and His own strength of character. Did He lash out verbally or physically at this treatment? No. His strength gave restraint.
His challenges included wanting to bring radical change in the church and on the streets. How difficult it must have been for Him.
Christ came to bring change; THE DIVINE EXCHANGE. NO CHANGE OR MONEY INVOLVED. BLESSINGS CAN'T BE BOUGHT. SALVATION IS FREE. SALVATION BRINGS FREEDOM.
From those days to now, there is nothing new under the sun. But, nothing goes unnoticed by His Son. People are very wrongly STILL exploiting others to this day. Even their own. Taking their land, food,through violence, taking rights away, profiteering through greed. Abusing and harming others. Christ said 'Whatever you do for the LEAST of ONE of my brothers (mankind), you do also for me'. Matthew 25;45. How do YOU interpret that?
Christ IS coming back to this earth:
! Like it or not
! Believe it or not
! Want it or not
! Anticipation or dread
...is up to each of us.
He rules and reigns over the heavens, the realms, space and this whole earth. How are we treating other people and this earth He gave us? What will we say as we stand before Him at the judgement? Do we think we can pull the wool over His eyes?
Lord, thank You for this week of mixed emotions. The cross and resurrection are still with us, strongly, to this day. Convict and change those who still harm, abuse, exploit and intimidate others. Those whose hearts and minds are taken over by the love of money. Disturb them, challenge them and help them TAKE this opportunity to change their ways before it is too late for them. On death or Christ's return(whichever is first) there is no crossover. It is too late then to repent. Bless those, Father affected by such people around Your world.Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ for Your strength and courage hard won that You still, to this day, share with us for our need. Our daily bread. Amen.
Yesterday was Monday. My actions yesterday in part determine my today. His choice(to die for us) over 2000 years ago determine my today, tomorrow and eternal tomorrows.
Christ had arrived in the town and this was His last few days as God's Son, God among us. He was awaiting His death. I have been reading a book called 'The Mind of Christ' where the author has opened up a whole new picture, of Christ's mind for me. Knowing He was to be betrayed, arrested, tried and then killed He maintained the most remarkable dignity of all. He knew it was going to be agonising and yet right to the end, encouraged, praised, remained gentle and loving. I look at Him in awe and have the greatest love and respect and reverence for Him. Christ is my number one; above everyone I have here that I love. No-one else means more to me than Him.
I am preparing to sell my house. Unsettling. But, He was preparing to die on the cross. For all mankind. Then and now.
Dignified; When they came to capture Him, He said 'Friend, do what you came for'.
Endearing; He paused to engage with the woman who poured oil on His head and said 'She has done a beautiful thing to me. What she has done will be told in memory of her'. He was about to give His life and said this to her!
Admirable; In the Garden of Gethsemane, all He professed was in prayer to His Father 'My Father, if it is possible for this cup (crucifixion) to be taken away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as You will'.
Tender; Sitting at the table with His disciples (The Last Supper), He showed them to eat bread to represent His body and drink from a communion cup to represent His blood.'This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'
Heart of love. When captured and and charged with saying He was 'the Christ, the Son of God' He did not deny God and said 'In the future you will see the Son of Man (Jesus) sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven'. He didn't raise his voice and react to their accusations and anger but maintained his dignity and peace to His end. Matthew 26
He didn't betray His Father or us. I feel on reading this compassion for Judas because God had to allow the devil to tempt Him to betray Christ so that the scriptures would be fulfilled. On looking at the 30 coins in his hand, Judas went to a quiet place and took his own life by hanging himself on a tree because he knew he had just led the soldiers to the true Messiah - Saviour then and now.
God, on reading this account and remembering these historical events,it is with deep thanks and amazement at Christ's conduct this, His last week. The good news following His death has brought us hope and we follow Your Son's rightful position as King. He has fully and completely earned His rightful place at Your side and to judge us on His return. Help us take strength from His life story in the here and now. He was crucified with a sign saying it is written 'This is Jesus, the King of the Jews'. He is the King of the world. Then, yesterday, today and always. Thank you. Amen
Please be sure to read the postings in reverse order. This is because they are linked. Just also as we need to look in retrospective reverence to His past, particularly from His cross and apply from then to now and beyond.
Thank, Lord for Your red blood soaked cross; which You did out of pure white love for us...'AND, they overcame him, satan, by the blood of the Lamb'. Revelation 12;11
I have just turned my hand over, palm up. I took a red pen and drew a dot on it. This is to represent the spot of His blood that He gave for me. Each of the drops that fell had each of our names on them. He knew our names then- before we were even born.
I am fortunate enough to live in a country having a National Health Service and giving and receiving blood is common practice and safe knowledge. I was thinking of how Christ gave His blood and comparing it to this picture; If someone said to me, put out your hand and give my your palm. I am going to hammer a nail into it. But, don't worry, we will get you to hospital for complete treatment and will you do it for my cause? Would I do it for people I didn't even know? For people who didn't like me? For people who would not recognise my sacrifice? Would you take one (even just a single nail) for the team? They say blood is thicker than water and charity begins at home, but we weren't even there when He did that for us. His blood poured because He sees us, made us, to belong to His (royal) family.
That is what He did for us. He built a bridge to the Kingdom of heaven.
Kevin Bridges, a Glaswegian (SCOTTISH) comedian recently donated £70,000 to the local Cancer Teenage Trust. Charity begins at home and he gave to that. The scots are famous for giving to other people in the world too. He and we givers are not alone. Was this a publicity stunt? No. Because his donation revealed his past 2 years work for this charity. In other words, he didn't brag or boast about it which is how Christ said it should be. Matthew 6 describes giving to the needy and 'so when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you'. Kevin had given on the quiet for 2 years and it wasn't his choice to publicise it. He had a choice and he made the right one. To give on the quiet. Well done. May God bless this and every charity in the world working with children with cancer.
God, Christ's cross is passed but will never be forgotten. On that hill (Calvary) far away, stood His own rugged cross. It was His emblem of suffering and pain. How we love that old cross, where the dearest and best, Lord, for a world of lost sinners was slain. Thank You Christ for enduring that agony to bring us abundant glory. Eternally. I WILL exchange this life one day for a crown. Amen
A few years back, I recall my neighbour excitedly telling me of their forthcoming trip to Dubai. They were excited because it was a special treat and they were going to a 7 star hotel - the lap of luxury! But, as we see from the images of grand hotels including the Palm shaped hotel built at tremendous expense on the sea!, this kind of luxury and money to afford it is something taken for granted in the United Arab Emirates. It is now said that in a few years, only' the elite' will live in Dubai. Waowee, the elite. Who are they and what have they done to deserve this?
As we all know, these are wealthy wealthy nations because of their oil reserves... and the prices they charge. Again, alike the gas and electricity companies, are these prices grossly unfairly high or just enough to suffice the surroundings for 'the elite'. I do not wonder. I know the answer.
Was it their King, the wealthiest man in the world, who met Great Britain's Queen last year for the celebrations? The Queen, of course duty bound to appear impartial would not say anything. But, I on the other hand have no restrictions and am free to comment as I see it.
It is for me a case of oil rich but morally poor. These resources WERE given us by God to share at affordable prices allowing for some business profit of course. Fair trade. But the cost to houses, cars and businesses seem to escalate continually but we are being shown images and hearing travellers' tales of extravagant buildings, marble fountains lit up with spectacular laser lights, the grandest of hotels and so on. Their eyes light up telling of the splendour.
'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. BUT STORE FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN.. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also' Matthew 7;13 and I don not think I have to spell that one out. It is as simple as A, B, C, Dubai.
Please, Lord, let the resources YOU placed on this earth, for all of us in need, be shared out fairly priced and justly rewarded for doing so. We praise Your fairness and equality and pray that all involved in overpricing of the world's resources be brought into the light. Christ Himself humbly and wordly poorly was received with modest palm leaves to show us the lengths You went to to save us all. Help us all remember His generosity when He Himself received so very little - oil anonited on His blessed feet was all He would accept for all of itThank you. Amen
Was yesterday. This is Holy Week. This is the most important week on our calendars. The dates and events from the past that give us the present and future hope. This is the week our Christ died and rose again. From God for us.
Sunday, Palm Sunday, He rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed young horse accompanied by His chosen disciples and peoples following this Messiah they had heard of who said He was God's Son, who healed the sick, drove out demons, counselled, encouraged and prophesised and also preached the good news of His Father's kingdom. They had heard of Him, word had spread among the many towns He visited.
So, as He came into Jerusalem, the crowds removed palm leaves and waved them in honour to welcome this man known as the Saviour. The very stones on the road called out His name. Holy welcome. He smiled at them all doing everything to reach as many as possible. They flocked to Him, the good shepherd hoping that they might receive a miracle. But, as He came into town, what were His other thoughts. Because, He knew that He was to die there.
Within 7 days, this Sunday to the next, He was to be welcomed, praised and adored and then betrayed, mocked, charged accused of the name 'the King of the Jews', imprisoned, His life given for a murderer at the jeering choice of the crowd. He would be spat at, mocked, ridiculed, whipped with skin and flesh coming off. A thorny crown was pushed down hard into His head. Nails were hammered into His hands and feet and a spear pushed through His side. This was to fulfill what God had said through the prophet, Isaiah foretelling the Saviour's suffering 'He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed'. 53;5 Within a week, He would be welcomed with people looking for His giftings, then tortured and crucified to die then be brought back to eternal life 3 days later. This is why children should roll their eggs because the stone guarding His tomb was rolled away.
So many 'What If's'...
* What if He had never even made it to the cross. If the tormenting oppression had captured His mind?
*What if He relented against the sometimes overwhleming circumstances He faced day in day out year in year out?
*What if He had doubted His purpose and mission?
*What if He had ran from His cross?
And, what would that have meant and mean for us now and for our eternal lives to come?
Thank You, God that You gave us Your only child. Sent from the highest heaven to save the world's peoples. Thank You that You planned this when You created this earth and for the known plan for Christ to return this time is resplendent glory and power again to restore this earth You made. Thank you Mary and Joseph who
did their tremendous part by caring and protecting our Lord and then giving Him up to the cross for us. Amen
What is the point of prayer? There are terms used to describe the different types of prayers and I will shortly be adding these to my Prayer section.
Here are some of the points of praying that I see:
We enter a conversation, dialogue, with God and are in tune, connected, to His mind. His character. We take that with us before, during and after saying Amen.
We receive the power of His Holy Spirit. To take and use.
He shelters us using His might army of angels, powers and dominions.
He enjoys hearing from us and we benefit greatly from listening and talking to Him. Directly.
Derek Prince, minister and author, described prayer alike 'an inter-continental ballistic missile.' That is how powerful prayer is.
After and during prayer we come away feeling good. Uplifted, comforted and unburdened and with hope.
His peace, not as we know it, is given to us.
We are proclaiming, telling Him, we trust Him and are telling Him our needs and others. We are clearly saying that we put our concerns for self and others in His hands. We are then giving Him permission to help. And He will.
Knowing that our cares via our prayers are now in God's hands, we can enjoy this day while we wait in confident expectation and hope.
Jeremiah encourages us to to pray unceasingly. 'Let us bring our petitions (prayer requests) before You.' in 37;20.
Lord, by Your Holy Spirit's guidance and prompting in each of us lead us into prayer for ourselves and also others. Help us remember other countries, other peoples and their needs. Help us be thankful for Your conversations with us through prayer. You teach us, lead us, help us and we learn so much from You so that we can enjoy You and belonging to Your Kingdom. Thank you. Amen.
One last word for today - is to say THANK YOU to the American company, Weebly, for the creation of this web-site. God's word is going global because of the web!
Weebly have been wonderful and helped me so much as I have never done this before. They have answered my queries, every one, personally, and have made it easy to progress. I am still on basic functions but am learning as I go.
Just to think that I am doing my bit for the Lord and have only paid £26 for the privilege is a cost most worth paying.
Thanks again, Weebly.
Let His word be spread and read around His world.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion