The Lord’s Prayer . . .

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In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught us how to pray. But we take this prayer as just that. A prayer. When it is so much more than that.

It is a recipe for HOW to Pray.

Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name ~

First thing to do when we come to God in prayer is to recognize Him for exactly who He is. God. Worthy of praise and honour beyond measure. He sacrificed His only Son for us so that we could be free, forgiven and enter into salvation and eternity with Him. To Hallow, is to Revere. Tell Him He’s wonderful, mighty, amazing, beautiful, and spend time worshipping Him.

Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven ~

Pray that the revelation of His kingdom become real in our hearts and/or those we are praying for, and that His Will be done in our lives. Ask Him to help us get rid of distractions in our lives so that we can focus on what HE wants us to do for the furthering of His Kingdom. How to use our talents and abilities for the spreading of the Gospel. How to give Him our WHOLE heart.

Give us this day our daily bread ~

Pray for needs to be met as far as food and shelter go. But also pray for a desire to read His Word. A passion to delve into scripture and discover for ourselves the promises of God. Pray for revelation and inspiration as we read what will set us free from the bonds that can so easily envelop us.

And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us ~

Bring any sin to Him and ask for and believe for forgiveness. Be repentant and ask the Lord to strengthen our resolve to stay clean before Him. Pray for those who have hurt us and that we may still be holding a grudge against. We may not like them or even ever want to associate with them again, but God commands us to forgive. As He forgave us. As Jesus forgave us and those who crucified Him. Unforgiveness only ever ends up hurting the one who holds it in his/her heart.

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil ~

Ask God to help us to be able to handle the times of temptation. When those desires that are our most annoying weaknesses come upon us. Pray for His strength and  protection from the enemy, who deceives us into thinking it as all right to sin. And pray for God to deliver us from any evil lurking around the corner that may be waiting to assail us. Protection on the journey to and from work, or on holiday. Protection from the flu’ season. Protection from any unforseen financial disasters. And the list goes on.

For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory ~

Recognize that it is Him, God, that we receive our life from, and that ultimately it is Him that we will answer to when we stand before Him one day and that it is His Kingdom we strive for, His power we will see working in our lives and that all is done for one purpose only . . .

His Glory! . . . Amen!

A New Year of Possibilities . . .

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Every year we all make ‘New Year Resolutions’.

My not so secret wish now is that I could paint like Vincent Van Gogh. Very rarely, in fact sometimes never, do we succeed at seeing them come to pass. Of course, I will never paint like Vincent, but I do paint like me. Like God inspires ME.  I have learnt over the past few years that to be able to attain to these promises that I make to myself there are several things I need to do.

1. I need to begin each day in fellowship with God. Bid Him good morning and sit and pray with Him for a few minutes or as long as I like.

Listen for His direction.

2. I need to be aware of my abilities , talents and desires. Catch a Vision of what I want to achieve. I need to look at what interests me, what I have a passion for, and concentrate on that in line with my actual abilities and talents. Free my mind from handicaps.

If I need to do some study or a course, or go to the gym, to be able to achieve my desired outcome, then do it.

3. Set goals. When I have a blueprint for my life, each day will be a success.

These goals should cover Spiritual, Personal and Physical aspects of my life.

4. Remember God’s promises. His Word is filled with promise after promise. Look at the Gospels.

These promises are fulfilled by me, by faith in His Word.

5. I need to know my limitations as well as my abilities.

Don’t be unrealistic about what I want to achieve.

6. Sow my time into good projects and activities, which will produce bountiful harvests. Don’t waste time.

Good seed reaps a great harvest. Bad seed reaps nothing.

7. The effects of what I do with my time here on earth will go on forever. Even the smallest act of kindness (good seed) will ultimately bring eternal reward. I need to get to know Jesus more and accept Him as my Saviour.

The greatest treasure anyone possesses is one’s soul. Making sure my soul is in line with God’s will for my life is the greatest New Year Resolution I can make.

Choose Life . . .

If there is no point to life, no reason to be here, no life after death, no purpose, then why in the first place are we here?

It stands to reason that after all the suffering that this life entails, there must be something happening when we die. Otherwise, what’s the point?

We feel pain in our bodies. We feel pain in our hearts. Some of us suffer, some a little bit, some a great deal. Some of us live with disaster after disaster in our families and some for generations. You may think you are cursed. Well, perhaps that’s just what it is. If there is no purpose to this life, and no life after death, I ask again, then why all this suffering? To get to where? To just suffer through this life, and then be no more? To come back as a dog or cat or caterpillar? What a scam! But there is an answer to all these questions!

There IS a purpose to life, and there is a greater being who guides us toward that purpose and beyond. There is hope in a dying and immoral world. There is success for what may seem a lost and hopeless life, for those who genuinely seek truth and freedom.

There is, however, only one way to this salvation from the bondage of suffering, loneliness, poverty, sickness, infirmity, loss and grief and the hopelessness that life can bring. There is only one way to find the truth about your purpose here on this planet, and to be able to walk in freedom.

Firstly, we begin with the fact that we are a spirit, we have a soul (mind) and we live in a body.

The spirit is our real self. It will live forever. Our soul is where all information is stored, mulled over, and where decisions are made. All of this lives in an earthly body, which when the time comes will drop off and die and our spirit will spend it’s time in eternity. The condition of our spirit at point of death, determines where we will spend eternity.

Because we have the freedom to make decisions we are given the chance to learn about God, His love for us, and what He achieved for us. We are given the choice to accept Him or deny Him. He is our Creator and our Redeemer. If we are genuinely searching for the meaning of life and the truth about life, He (God) will reveal Himself to us. We are free then, to choose to walk with Him or not.

Jesus said : I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life;  no-one comes to the Father, but through Me ~ John 14:6.

Jesus also says to come to Him, if you are weary with life, and greatly burdened, and that He will give you rest, because He is the resurrection and life to all who believe in Him, and even if you die, you shall live forever with Him. He came for those who are in darkness, that they may believe in Him and live in the light ~ Matthew 11:28 ~ John 11:25,26 ~ John 12:46

Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, He died for us, and He rose from the dead, and then sent His helper, His Holy Spirit, to strengthen us, guide us, comfort us, give us boldness, and be a constant companion, a true friend, who can be relied upon in any situation life brings.

God’s great love for us is summed up in this verse from the Gospel of John :

“For God so loved the world (that’s you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” ~ John 3:16

So choose life!

Choose to ask Jesus to come and live in your heart and walk with you and help you to succeed in life with the help of His Holy Spirit.

Choose life, because the alternative is not pleasant. Jesus says in the Gospels, that if we deny Him, our Father who is in heaven, will deny us.

Choose life, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and if you believe in Him, you will never die!

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And it all began with the birth of a baby in a manger . . .

O Holy Night . . .

I have several favourite Christmas carols as I’m sure you do also. One of them is ‘O Holy Night’ of which I have a playlist of different people singing it. By the time I had heard it sung for the fifth or sixth time one phrase began to jump out at me. And that is ~

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.

The thrill of HOPE here is in the impending birth of the Messiah. The world is and always has been weary, suffering under a cloud of oppression of all kinds. Poverty, sickness, greed, violence and now in the twenty-first century, unheard of atrocities happening to innocents around the globe.

We have tried to appease some of this suffering by using the kindness of St Nicholas during his lifetime and turning it into a franchise called Santa Claus who lives at the North Pole. These are nice fantasies, and I have been a fan of the three Santa Claus movies each year, but I think I’ll give them a miss this year. There is NOTHING in all the Christmas advertising that even remotely alludes to Jesus, the Son of God, born as a babe in a stable, and why we actually DO celebrate Christmas. It’s ALL Santa. And to top it off in all these movies, when children query Santa their parents keep the deception going!
We act like Santa Claus IS real!? When did our faith shift from God, the REAL maker and provider in this universe, to an overweight candidate for a heart attack fictional fella who supposedly circumnavigates the world in one night. He has become our all powerful, all wonderful, miracle worker! No wonder our world is weary. It’s an insult to the real Nicholas who used his very large inheritance to look after the needy of his time.

Our need is for a Saviour who can provide All Year Round, not just one night of each year.

But to me, the biggest atrocity in all of this fiasco, is that we LIE to our children. If they cannot trust us, who can they trust. Many years ago, when we were struggling a lot financially, the burden of having to deliver our children’s requests for Christmas was huge. One year there was a particular doll that one of our daughters wanted, and I could not find it anywhere, so opted for something else. She was so disappointed when this doll was not under the tree. I found out later that it was a new all-the-rage doll and so popular which is why I could not find one, and of course, her best friend had got one.

My point is, that apart from the deception, there is so much pressure to deliver, and those who suffer the most are the parents who cannot in a million years ever afford to keep up the charade.

If only the world would turn to Jesus at this time of year,  and recognise our Saviour, we would find encouragement and hope and therefore provision for our weariness.

So to put it in a nutshell . . . Jesus Christ is our Saviour All The Time  . . . not just on one night of the year!

 

Glory to God one

 

O Holy Night . . . was written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau, a wine merchant and mayor of the town. He was an occasional poet, and was asked by a parish priest to write a poem for Christmas Mass. These are the beautiful words he wrote :

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wise men from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Amen!