A DAILY LIGHT BITE

DOES AND DON’T’S

Some say that Christianity or religion is just a bunch of does and don’ts meted out by a judgmental God! Well, one things for sure, when my son was little I often had to say don’t do that, or you can do that! Did that make me a harsh, judgemental dad? Of course not, I did it because I love him and wanted the best for him and I knew because I’m older and wiser that something’s are harmful, thus I said no or don’t or don’t touch, but if it was good and helpful I would of course say yes!!

God is so much wiser than any of us, and because He is all-knowing He say’s DON’T, to something’s, and DO, to others! Here are some beauties from Psalm 37 and I challenge anyone to say that God HASN’T got our best interests in mind here!

Psalm 37

Verse 1 don’t worry and don’t be envious of those who do wrong.

Verse 3 [Instead], do trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

Verse 7 [Do] be still in the presence of the Lord and [do] wait for Him to act. [Or my paraphrase, ‘Stop fidgeting, keep still, don’t be restless, lay in God’s arms and in His time He’ll act’!]

Verse 8 don’t be angry and don’t be full of rage. Do not envy others- it only leads to harm.

Verse 34 don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along His path.

Pretty sage and sound advise if you ask me. So go and do the do’s and don’t do the don’ts! [Sounds a bit like a Police song!] LOL

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THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

December 11 2017

A STAR IS BORN

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And now the star, which they had seen in the east, went in front of them as they traveled until at last it shone immediately above the place where the little child lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy.  They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9 J.B. Phillips

3. THEY SAW THE CHILD AND WORSHIPED

GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

So, when Christmas is  all over for another 12 months; all the hype, the build up, the stress and tensions, the last-minute panicking, not to mention  the early sales rush, the family get together’s [or not so together’s] The bloated stomach’s, the pounds put on, the £s spent, and the debt incurred; and yet, nevertheless, hopefully a Saviour will have been truly worshiped wholeheartedly by us. And it is hoped [by myself at least], that some happiness, fun, laughter and bucket loads of love, good memories and expectations will have been made and met!?

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So, what were the expectations of the Magi? Did they find and bargain for what they were seeking for? I believe they saw far more than they could’ve dreamed or imagined! They looked into the eyes, heart and soul of God in a tiny bundle of flesh and bones, that’s why they worshiped wholeheartedly. Have you, have I? Not just this Christmastime, but since you were saved? Every day of your Christian experience! We’ll look in detail later how far these magi went to worship Christ. My prayer is we will never take God, Christ, our salvation and faith for granted and that we will be ever thankful and full of gratitude to our merciful King. Tell you what, let us make it our habit this Christmas period and the next 12 months that in everything we will have a thankful, grateful heart.

However, maybe you are thinking as U2 sang “I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR!” God doesn’t concern Himself so much about the chronological and theological implications of the 25th December, He just loves a relationship with us and to be worshiped in spirit and truth. So, you may not have found everything you’d hoped for, but if you have Him you have more than enough to be thankful for right now! The rest may come later?

Some 30 years on from that first advent, a young woman discovered this truth! Listen to what Jesus said about her: “Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught”. [Luke 10:39] “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” [10:42]  “This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair”. [John 11:2] “Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of spikenard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance”. [John 12:3] This was a very costly act of worship! But more of that next time.

PRAYER: HOW ABOUT PRAYING YOUR OWN PRAYER OF THANKFULNESS FOR ALL GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU THROUGH CHRIST JESUS!

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THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

10.12.17

A STAR IS BORN

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 And now the star, which they had seen in the east, went in front of them as they traveled until at last it shone immediately above the place where the little child lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy. Matthew 2:9 [J.B. Phillips New Testament]

2 THEY SAW THE STAR AND REJOICED

I wonder how much rejoicing will go on on Christmas day compared to arguing, bickering, fighting, crying, shouting and complaining. That’s probably in some Christian households too! The Magi saw the star [the light] and rejoiced! The light is always a forerunner to encountering, entering into and experiencing the presence of God. Notice: “they followed the star!” [the light] “They rejoiced at the sight of the star!” [the light] But they didn’t worship the star! They worshiped Christ, the one whom the light pointed to!

Many worship the stars these days, be they astrological stars and star signs, or pop stars, film stars and dare I say it “Celebrity Christian stars!” and we know who they are!! Yes, can you believe it! Some people literally worship the stars in the sky! Some people express an act of devotion and worship of horoscopes and live their lives according to them and are guided by them! And dare I say it, [yes I will] some Christians look at their horoscopes and even worship the Bible [the light bearer] more than or as much as the Light of the world Himself! Yes I know the words of Christ will never pass away, but that’s only because “THE WORD” Himself endures forever! And it’s Him alone whom we must worship. [Luke 4:8]

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APPLICATION: So please please may I encourage you all this Christmas time, that despite the hectic schedules, the tinsel, Turkey and trimmings of Christmas that you find some time to sit down, open the word, open your heart and mind to the word, then worship THE WORD OF GOD HIMSELF, “CHRIST”, THE ONE WHOM CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT.

PRAYER heavenly Father, I thank you for today and especially for the Christ of this day. Thank you that you loved me/us so much that you gave the greatest gift that could ever be given. Your Son, my Saviour Christ Jesus. I pray your blessing upon every household this Christmas time period, but especially on the households of those of the faith. Amen

PRAISE

Light of the world You stepped down into darkness                                                 Opened my eyes, Let me see                                                                                        Beauty that made this heart adore you                                                                    Hope of a life spent with you

Here I am to worship Here I am to bow down                                                                Here I am to say that you’re my God                                                                      You’re altogether lovely Altogether worthy                                                Altogether wonderful to me. [Tim Hughes]

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THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

9.12.17

A WORD TO THE WISE.

 

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And now the star, which they had seen in the east, went in front of them as they travelled until at last it shone immediately above the place where the little child lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy. Matthew 2:9 J.B. Phillips New Testament

  1. THEY SOUGHT,  ENQUIRED AND WERE REWARDED
  2. THEY SAW THE STAR AND REJOICED
  3. THEY SAW THE CHILD AND WORSHIPPED

Matthew 6:33 New Living Translation Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need

Hebrews 11:6 New Living Translation And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

1. THEY SOUGHT,  ENQUIRED AND WERE REWARDED

What are we seeking this Christmastime? A better one than last year? A bit of peace and quiet? A debt free Christmas? A Christmas without being home alone again? A Christmas where the family actually pull together rather than fall apart? A Christmas where the kids REALLY DO appreciate the gifts and your spouse for all the hard work you have done to make this Christmas REALLY special? The perfect Christmas? Or maybe a Christmas where there is less of “the Christmas presents” and more of “The Christ’s presence!?”

One thing’s for sure though, according to the scriptures and especially the ones above; YOU GET THAT WHICH YOU SEEK FOR!

And by the light of that same star three wise men 
came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.                                                                                               [Then entered in those wise men three,
Fell reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence               
                                                                  their gold and myrrh and frankincense] They bought their gifts to The Christ  and so CHRIST BECAME THE REWARD OF  THEIR SEEKING!

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So, those who seek the Lord with all their hearts this Christmastime and new year shall find Him and be rewarded! It really is our choice! We can get caught up in all the craziness and miss Him, or make space for Him. So, get in to His presence, you really won’t be disappointed but will be filled with joy, peace and hope unspeakable. The wise seek Him, find Him, worship Him and lay their gifts before Him! ARE YOU A WISE ONE TOO? IF NOT THEN WISE UP THIS CHRISTMAS AND FOR 2018!

PRAYER Father God, this Christmas time, above all other things no matter how wonderful they may be, I choose to seek you. I choose your presence over all the presents and Christmas celebrations. I choose wisdom. I choose to follow the light. I choose to fall at the presence of Christ, lay the gift of my life and my all at His feet and worship Him. Fill me Spirit of God with joy indescribable and I shall give you God all the glory. Amen

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THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

8:12:17

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We look today at the other phrase “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST”

Glory to God in the highest [heaven],
And on earth peace. Luke 2:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

So, what does that mean? For me personally it means

  1. The preeminence, excellence, honour and majesty go first “UPWARDS to God most High!” Until we get the upward look we’ll always have ‘the downward look’. The world looks up to kings and presidents, film stars and pop stars, and glorify them, emulate them and hold them in high esteem! But look closely at their lives and you’ll see as many [if not more] flaws, failures and flops than we have ourselves. No, if the world and many Christians too remembered to look up first and give honour, prestige, glory and thanks to God first and foremost, then our lives and this world would be a better place and may even have a bit more peace on earth?
  2.  The angels got it right putting God first! Remember their comrades who put Lucifer first and one-third of them fell because they didn’t give God the glory. PRIDE ALWAYS GOES BEFORE A FALL. So, this Christmas, if God’s not in the driving seat of the car of your life, “MOVE OVER!” 
  3.  You’ll never have real peace on earth until you give glory to God in heaven. It means acknowledging ‘I can’t but God can!’ That God can do the impossible you can only do the possible. It means humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God and allowing Him to lift you up in His good and perfect time. It means repenting of your sin and transgressions and accepting the God way, The Jesus way, the way of the Spirit.
  4. Remember the reason why God got the glory and earth got some spiritual peace. Because the Christ, the eternal Logos who was full of glory put that glory to one side and became God incarnate in the baby Jesus. And that Jesus Christ the Prince of peace was born into mayhem, poverty, filth, war, Roman occupation, anger and darkness and indifference. And He came full of grace and truth and expressed the overflowing heart of love of the Father in heaven for the people on earth. He came, lived, was brutally crucified, was buried, was raised from the dead, showed Himself alive, ascended in to the highest heaven was seated at the right hand of the glory of God most high where He ever lives to make intercession for His people. The truly amazing thing is [if there’s anything else more truly amazing!] Is that He took us there with Him and seated us IN Him and gave us glory too. Wowza! Now if that don’t get some praise and thanks, then nothing will.

AND SO, THIS CHRISTMAS TIME LET US LOOK UP, RAISE OUR  ARMS AND HANDS, OUR VOICES AND THANKSGIVING OR EVEN A GLASS TO THE KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS AND PRINCE OF PEACE. HE DESERVES IT, IS WORTHY OF IT SO LET’S WHOLEHEARTEDLY GIVE IT.

Just one more thing. Some who read this have bowed their heads in shame, distress, embarrassment and fear because of how life has treated them or how they have treated life. The prodigal son came from the pig sty stinking of pigs and the pig sty. YET the Father ran to him, embraced him, kissed him, reinstated him and threw a party for him. Please please, please, this Christmastime, look up, the Father is running to you open arms, open-hearted and eyes wide open full of love, acceptance and the thrill of seeing your upward look again!

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THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.

  1. 12. 17

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So it’s December and we begin our look at some of the purposes behind the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Luke 2:14 New International Version
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

So here we see two [of many] outcomes of the incarnation

  1. “GLORY TO GOD” IN THE HIGHEST HEAVEN
  2. AND ON THE EARTH “PEACE” TO THOSE ON WHOM HIS FAVOUR [GOODWILL OR GRACE] RESTS UPON!

Let’s start with peace because the first thing I hear people say is “peace, what peace?” Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 New King James Version 

Notice the kind of peace Jesus gives and leaves us! not as the world gives!” It’s not the  same peace that the world gives or what is called “WORLD PEACE!” That peace is fallible, unreliable, unstable and totally untrustworthy. Check your history and a British prime minister named Neville Chamberlain who returned from Hitler’s Germany in 1939 all smiles and holding a piece of paper and confidently declaring “peace in our times!” Later to discover that Germany were arming to the teeth and getting ready to invade Czechoslovakia, Austria and Poland and ultimately thrust the globe into a “second world war!”.

No, the peace that Jesus leaves is an “INNER PEACE” [of the heart and the mind] What I call “A SOUL PEACE” in the midst of turmoil, trouble, heartache and pain. He doesn’t remove the storms of life, He’s right at the centre of them waiting for us to join him, trust Him, to cast our cares and burdens upon Him! You need only find Him, abide in Him and that peace is yours!

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PRAYER. Abba Father. Your word says in Isaiah 6:9 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Thank you for the inner peace Jesus gives to us. What a precious gift, freely given if only we would reach out and receive it. Father God as the world reaches for a fragile peace this Christmas time, I chose to find the centre rest at the heart of the storm, Christ, the eye of peace at the centre of the storm. Amen.

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HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

25.11.17

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When I gave my heart to Jesus Christ on that wonderful evening in June 1983, I pretty quickly developed an attitude of gratitude, especially when I was dealing with facing all my past wickedness then repenting to the Lord for them all, but Oh was I thankful. I started reading the Bible very regularly and discovered so many things to be thankful for. I’d go for long walks in the countryside to pray and everything was so much more vibrant and new and I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for all His blessings to me. And then I read this passage of the Bible.

As they continued onward toward Jerusalem, they reached the border between Galilee and Samaria, and as they entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, sir, have mercy on us!”  He looked at them and said, “Go to the Jewish priest and show him that you are healed!” And as they were going, their leprosy disappeared. One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, “Glory to God, I’m healed!” He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the nine?  Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”Luke 17:11-19 Living Bible 

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This baffled me, but the Lord showed me that this was indeed the lowly percentage of grateful people who thank God for His blessings! 1 out of 10 or 10 out of every 100! That kinda blew me away until I began observing people being thankless with other people and it was no different! Is there anything worse than ingratitude? For me no, there isn’t! Just a simple thank you, I appreciate what you did. I don’t need affirmation, I don’t even need what I do to be acknowledged, but a simple thank you is always very welcome. I once worked with a guy who used to quote from Shakespeare’s King Lear:

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child! Away, away!” However, he slightly changed it to: ‘How sharper than the serpents tooth is the sting of base ingratitude?’

In a nutshell a serpents tooth is very sharp and the poison stings! So too does base ingratitude, the inability of some folk to say thank you. This is rife in management, in politics, in the Church also and among Church leaders as well who just expect people’s duty and don’t feel they have to show appreciation for it. Very sad.

 

 

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HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

21.11.17

THE END OF THE LINE.

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People sometimes ask me what it was like becoming a Christian and what happened? Well, I could write a short book on it, but here’s the basics. I was 26 years without Christ, caught up in self, sin and secularism. I was sick of my self, my sins and I was ashamed of who I was in private. I guess I was desperate and felt I was drowning in a river of evil. So I called out to God and guess what? Nothing! For years I called out to Him, then at just the right time, He came into my life and rescued me. To simplify salvation, redemption and justification by faith and grace I use this analogy:

Imagine drowning in a sea of sludge, filth and rubbish! That was my life, my soul! You have almost drowned and all you can do at the moment of going under is to cry out for help. That is where I was in June 1983. And that’s when God stepped in [more of that next time] He threw me a lifeline!! Imagine a life belt, I am drowning and crying out for help. I see it come hurtling towards me! I don’t say to myself: ‘well, what is it made of?’ And ‘Is it strong enough to hold me?’ ‘Or is the rope thick enough to hold me?’ ‘And most of all who’s at the end of the line and what price are they going to exact from me for saving me?’ No no and no again! I was drowning and all I cared about was being saved from the dark stench of my sin sickened soul. And that is what happened. I simply reached out in faith and grabbed hold of that which would save me. Jesus Christ.

Now for some like Cliff Richard, he wanted to know every detail of what he was getting himself into before he got into it. That’s the theological approach to salvation! But for many like me it’s the thankful for any help approach. Now of course over the years I have studied the theology of salvation, predestination and justification by faith etc. But that night in June 83 is etched deep into my soul and the day when ‘though I was blind, now I can see, once I was lost and now I am found, became a reality not just a wish’.

In just over a week it is the 1st of December and I’ll begin my Christmas posts. It starts with: then at just the right time! Keep your eyes peeled for them 🙂

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