Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

How many times have you celebrated Easter over the years?

Did you learn anything new this Easter, or did you simply hear about the betrayal of Christ, his crucifixion, and his subsequent resurrection in the same way you’ve heard it for many years?

Have you ever considered that maybe it is not down to how we are told about the events of that first Easter that make it the same old story each year, but maybe it’s down to how receptive we are to hearing about that first Easter, as if each year is the first year we have heard about events on Good Friday all those years ago.

Maybe it’s time to put aside all the things we’ve previously heard about God and about Christ, and listen afresh each time we hear God’s message. If we do that we might find we get a whole new perspective on God and his teaching, as we’ll be hearing his message for ‘the first time’ again!

Sometimes actions speak louder than any words ever could.

For me, Easter is a true example of that, as any picture of Christ on a cross, says more about God’s love for us than any words ever could.

Ever more than 2000 years on, the cross still has a message for each one of us – It still shows us just how much God loves each of us; so much so that he willingly sacrificed his only son, Jesus, just so we could be forever forgiven.

What words could ever describe Easter better than a picture of Christ on the cross?

The Cross Has Said It All by Matt Redman

The cross has said it all
The cross has said it all
I can’t deny what You have shown
The cross speaks of a God of love
There displayed for all to see
Jesus Christ our only hope
The message of the Father’s heart
Come my children, come on home

As high as the heavens are above the earth
So high is the measure of Your great love
As far as the east is from the west
So far You’ve taken our sins from us

The cross has said it all
The cross has said it all
I never recognized Your touch
Until I met You at the cross
We are fallen, dust to dust
How could You do this for us?
Son of God, shed precious blood
Who can comprehend this love?

How high, how wide, how deep
How high…

Have you ever wondered whether Jesus was ready to die on that first Easter morning?

I’m sure if we already knew the date and time of our death we would be devastated as that date drew near, we probably wouldn’t want to go yet. Jesus, even though He knew we was going to die at Calvary, carried on willingly, preparing for His death.

Jesus willingly went to the cross because he knew it was His time to change the world forever – It was His time to save the world!

Do you ever feel spiritually drained?

Have you ever feel that the “spirit” has just been exhausted in your life?

We all feel this way from time to time; but an energetic Christian knows the cure!

 

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:14-19 (The Message)

We all have to recharge our spiritual batteries occasionally, so it’s worth reminding ourselves that God will always strengthen and guide us during times when our spiritual strength has gone.

Moving in

Posted: March 14, 2017 in life, music, religion
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When you buy a new house, you don’t just buy the house and move in right away. Instead you  plan your move by preparing your belongs – throwing out things you no longer need, and boxing/packing up the things you want to take to your new home. i.e. You clear-out things from your past that you no longer want to be part of your life, so you can start afresh in your new home.

When we accept Christ into our lives, we must clear-out the things from our lives which are not part of our new life where we have Christ at the centre of it.

Is it time for you to have another clear-out so there’s more room for God in your life again?

In the Christian calendar, Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter which is treated as a period of reflection and a time for fasting from food and festivities. It symbolises the days which lead up to Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection when Christ spent 40 days and nights alone in the desert.

Every year Lent starts on Ash Wednesday (This year starting on 1st March) and finishes on Holy Thursday (This year the 13th April). While Lent is a 40-day period it is actually 46 days of lent, as Sunday’s are excluded.

These days lent has traditionally become a time when people give up something up such as chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, favourite foods or television.

How many of you have given up something for lent this year? Did you do so just because traditionally you give up something for lent, or because it is the lead up to Easter and so this is a time of reflection for you as well as a time for fasting from some of your favourite things?

I pray that this lent as you reflect and/or give up one of your favourite things, you take time to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us, and reflect on your relationship with God.

Out on a limb

Posted: February 24, 2017 in belief, music, religion, words
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Isolated; Stranded; Separate; Marooned; Cut off; Set apart

…all words that describe what the phrase “out on a limb” means.

All these words are quite scary aren’t they, they give a real sense of being alone, and that is never nice.

There is a positive in this though, as being “set apart” for Christ is what God wants us to be, because we must stand out from the crowd, and stand up for who and what we believe in…set apart for our God.

Set Apart by Tim Hughes

Back to our first love
Nothing between us
Back to Your heart to the start of it all
Where we found You

Out of the ashes
Into the fire
You are refining our hearts in the flames
Of Your presence

Set apart for our God above
Set apart for the One we love
Set apart for Your glory
We are Yours Yours

Everything for You alone
Everything to make You known
Set apart for Your glory
We are Yours Yours

Sacred and holy
Your Name is worthy
Jesus awaken our hearts now to be
Your revival

Oh how great You are
Oh how great You are

Real Christians are unfortunately a scarce commodity in today’s times. Some Christians can be too involved in themselves to be worried about others, and the love that is supposed to radiate from them to others, is lost. To them attending church is more about social status and socialising, than worshiping God.

That’s when someone is has gone through an awful situation or life event, it is hard to imaging the hurt and pain that they feel when they are rejected by their church “friends”.

Sadly some find themselves being rejected by their church and friends without any obvious reason. That in turn can make them feel so low, and feel God doesn’t love them, and instead of feeling love and security from their Christian brothers and sisters, they simply realise the cold harsh reality that these so-called “friends” aren’t true friends.

I find this so disturbing, because when anyone is hurting or struggling for whatever reason, isn’t that the time when they are most in need of their Christian brothers and sisters?

Spend time loving those who are struggling or hurting – Help them and lift them up to Jesus. As well as praying for them though, reach out and hold them, after all what would Jesus do in this situation. Would He turn His back on them or would He hold out His arms and lovingly embrace them?

Love those who are hurting and nurse them back into spiritual health. I pray that we may each do all we can to bring love back into our lives and into our churches.

 

We all struggle with difficulties in life sometimes, but how do we treat others when we see they are struggling?

When we struggle that’s when we’re most in need of the love and support of our fellow Christians, but sadly, this is when many find their fellow Christians don’t seem interested in helping or supporting them, and in fact turn their back on them.

How sad is that? Is this how Christ would treat someone who was struggling? I really doubt that – He instead would hold out His arms and lovingly embrace them, wouldn’t he?

Just like anyone who is hurting, a Christian also needs the love and support of those around them. Surely it’s not unreasonable for them to expect their fellow Christians to love and support them, and pray for them. At these times, praying for the person isn’t enough – we must show them Christian love too.

I know from my own experience that when I’m hurting and life is overwhelming me, what I really need is someone just to give me a hug, show their support and reassure me all will be well.

Spread some Christian love today. Reach out and show some love to someone who is hurting…it could well mean the world to them!

 

I Need Love by Sonicflood

You know who I am inside
You know when I lie
You can tell when I’m amazed
You can see my faith
You know when I don’t believe
You know when I’m free
You can tell when I need love
You know I’m in need

Love, I need love
You are love
I need You
Love, You are love
I need love
I need You

You know of my deepest fear
You know when I’m scared
You can read my empty page
You can feel my rage
You’re aware of when I dream
You see when I bleed
You can tell when I need love
You know I’m in need

I know we need You, Father
Much more than any other
Your love brings us together
We need You, we need You

Love, we need love
You are love
We need You
Love, You are love
We need love
We need You I need You.

You know who I am inside…

Monday this week was my first day at work this year! So after a couple of weeks off, it’s been a bit of a shock to the system having to get up and into work early again – I’m not a morning person, never have been never will be, so getting up early is not my thing at all.

It’s been a bit strange now it’s half way through January, just saying happy new year to work colleagues this week, as the new year seems ages ago now.

At the start of a new year many make new year resolutions. How many of you made any resolutions? Are you still keeping all of them or have some already failed?

I do not usually make any new year resolutions as I found in the past that I set myself unrealistic goals or targets which I never achieve. This year was no different, but while I was off I found the words of the song In This Quiet Moment, which the our songsters used as the call to worship on Sunday, going through my mind much of time. The more this song went round in my head the more I realised I have been guilty of just fitting God in around my other activities:

In this quiet moment, still, before your throne,

Conscious of your presence, knowing I am known,

In this quiet moment, set my spirit free,

In this quiet moment, make a better me.

Maybe that’s the problem, I haven’t had “quiet moments” in God’s presence. We’re all so busy these days, rushing about from one thing to another, that our time with God can almost get lost in amongst our other activities.

Do we do that with our other relationships and other activities? Do we put aside specific time to spend with our family and friends, to practice any musical instruments we play, to work on our hobbies?

Just as we must take time to work on our relationships with one another if we want them to grow and last, we must work on our relationship with God.

In this quiet moment…

Just as it tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 (The message) our relationship with God will grow when we spend quiet time with Him no matter how we may be feeling by reading the bible and praying:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.

In this quiet moment…

So far this year, I have managed to stopped just “fitting God in” around other things, and have been able to set aside time each day for devotions.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (Thessalonians 5:16-18 – The message)

How about you, are you just “fitting God in” to your busy schedule or are you fitting everything else around your time with God?