Archive for the ‘Salvation Army’ Category

Walk by faith

Posted: April 11, 2018 in belief, depression, faith, life, music, quotes, Salvation Army, stress
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Imagine sitting in the dark, with no electricity or power of any kind…you hear a noise, but can’t see anything…you’re not sure who or what is there. Do you be brave and go and investigate or just stay put and wait until the power comes back on?

Life can be a bit like sitting in the dark, as sometimes when we’re going through a difficult period in our life, it can feel like we’re stumbling around in the dark, unsure of what lies ahead. But for those of us who trust in God, that’s when our faith should see us through.

God is with us always, we just have to trust Him even when we’re in the darkest of days and can see no positives in life.

Romans 6:7-11 (NLV)

When a man is dead, he is free from the power of sin. And if we have died with Christ, we believe we will live with Him also. We know that Christ was raised from the dead. He will never die again. Death has no more power over Him. He died once but now lives. He died to break the power of sin, and the life He now lives is for God. You must do the same thing! Think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But now you have new life because of Jesus Christ our Lord. You are living this new life for God.

Imagine hearing of the death of a loved one – you’d be devastated, upset, maybe even broken – but then for someone to come and tell you they had seen them alive and walking around again! I’m sure we would think they were mad!

But that’s exactly what happened when Jesus rose from the dead. Because Jesus did that we have been forgiven, and we have a future full of hope.

 

Today is Good Friday. The fact it’s called ‘Good‘ Friday suggests it is a happy and great day. However for God it was probably one of the worst days, the day His one and only son died. Can you imagine how that must have felt?

In Isaiah 53:1-5 (NLT) we read the following:

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm. My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

God always knew that the day would come, when to save the rest of us, Christ would have to die. It’s wonderful to know that God loves us this much isn’t it!

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

No matter what we face in this life, good or bad, God loves us.

No matter what we say or do, good or bad, God loves us.

Even in death, we are still never separated from God’s love.

I’m convinced God loves me, are you convinced He loves you?

When you see a homeless person sitting or lying in the street, what do you do? Do you go and speak to them, go any buy them some food, or keep walking and look the other way?

Why do we ‘look the other way” when we see people in need? Is it because we think if we pretend we haven’t seen them we can deny all responsibility?

Sadly there are mange homeless people and people in need all over the world. We can’t go on pretending we haven’t seen them, can we?

I spent a bit of time recently thinking about how I’ve got to where I am – Not in a work or career sense, but from a personal perspective.

I’m sure, like everyone else, there have certain individuals who have influenced you, taught you and directed you through your younger days. There will have been those who have encouraged you, looked out for you, become your confidants, and just generally been there for you whenever you’ve needed to talk.

There have been people in my life too you I put into each of those categories. Between them, they are the one who have helped make me the person I am today. However, I hope and pray that it is those who taught about God and the bible from an early age, who have influenced me most. Without their Christian influence on me I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today. Without Christ in my life I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I therefore give thanks to God for all those who have taught me or influenced me along my Christian journey.

Who we are today is a direct result of those we spend time with, and those we trust and believe. My belief and trust is in God. How about you, are you trusting and believing in the right people?

Sometime life can get so busy and stressful that we forget just how blessed we actually are.

God has provided each of us with many gifts and talents, though when we’re so busy and overstretched we can forget just how many gifts God has given us.

So in the busyness of life, make sure you make time for yourself, so you can remind yourself just how blessed you are with the gifts and talents God had given to you.

Then many of the Jewish leaders who heard him say these things began believing him to be the Messiah. Jesus said to them, “You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:31-32 TLB

This was the bible verses listed as ‘Verse of the day’ on BibleGateway.com on Monday of this week. So why am I telling you this? On Sunday at our corps (church) it was our Vision and Commitment Sunday. During which we were asked to make a new commitment to be God’s disciple, and Monday’s verse of the day fitted perfectly with the discipleship promise we made on Sunday:

N.B. Although the photo above shows I’ve not signed my commitment, I have signed a copy of this commitment.

I made a public commitment to serve God all life a number of years ago, when I was commissioned as a senior soldier at Rutherglen Salvation Army. During that service, the singing company (junior choir) sang a song which I choose as it was special to me, Lord, Thou Art Questioning.

I’ve committed to be God’s disciple every day and in all I do, have you?

Here’s a beautiful band arrangement of that song. I’ve listed the words of the song below also so you can follow them.

Lord, thou art questioning: Lovest thou me?

Yea, Lord, thou knowest, my answer must be;

But since love’s value is proved by love’s test,

Jesus, I’ll give thee the dearest and best.

Chorus

All in my heart, Lord, thou canst read;

Master, thou knowest I love thee indeed.

Ask what thou wilt my devotion to test,

I will surrender the dearest and best.

How couldst thou smile on me if, in my heart,

I were unwilling from treasures to part?

Since my redemption cost thee such a price,

Utmost surrender alone will suffice.

Down at thy feet all my fears I let go,

Back on thy strength all my weakness I throw;

Lord, in my life thou shalt have thine own way,

Speak but the word, and thy child will obey.

Sitting in an empty room. Silence, apart from the ticking of the clock on the wall. It’s getting dark outside, but you don’t have the energy to stand up and put the light on. you’re actually enjoying the silence and the fact that no-one knows you’re there – No-one knows you’re sitting in the corner of a darkening room, enjoying the silence and the darkness.

Emptiness. Silence. They seem to go so well together. You don’t want the emptiness and the silence to end.

But then you realise just how dark the room has become, and the clock has moved on an hour since you were last aware of the time. You realise you’ve a million and one things you should be doing instead of just sitting in the darkness.

Question: Is there anything wrong with spending some time by yourself, sitting in the darkness, emptying your mind of all your worries and stresses?

Answer: I would have to say it sounds like a great thing to do – As it would free us from distractions around us, while giving us time to relax and refocus on what’s important to us. I’d also suggest it would be a good time to spend some quality time with God.

We can so often these days be so busy focusing on all the things on the periphery of our life, rather than concentrating on the important stuff. So if you find yourself on your own, in a darkening room, enjoy the emptiness and the quietness.

Last Sunday in our morning worship our songsters (choir) sang a Christmas song which I hadn’t heard before. Both the music and the words really touched me as together they combined the beauty of the nativity, the promised arrival of the Son of God, and the awesome feeling we get when we experience Christ in our lives.

Please listen to this beautiful song and experience the awesomeness of Christmas once again. I hope you are blessed by the words and music.

Christmas Sanctus

See the weary pair,
nestled in a stable bare,
gazing at their baby boy,
filled with love and praise.

Earth and heaven sing,
worshipping the new born King,
who has come to change the world.
Join in songs of praise:

Holy, holy, holy is the blessed one.
Heav’n and earth are filled with your glory.
Holy, holy, holy is the promised Son.
Glory be to God in the highest!

See the shepherds run,
searching for God’s precious Son;
kneeling at his manger bed,
filled with love and praise.

Ev’ry knee will bow.
Ev’ry tongue confessing now,
Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
Join in songs of praise:

Holy, holy, holy is the blessed one,
Heav’n and earth are filled with your glory.
Holy, holy, holy is the promised Son.
Glory be to God in the highest!

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord