Posts Tagged ‘Luke’

God forgives us no matter what we’ve done. If God can forgive us of anything, why can we not forgive others when they hurt us?

That makes it sound as if it should be really easy to forgive others, doesn’t? But in reality when someone hurts us really badly it can take incredible strength and character to forgive them and move on or that you can trust them again.

How do we gain that strength and character to be that person? By being a true Christian, after all Jesus told us to:

Jesus said, “Forsake the habit of criticizing and judging others, and then you will not be criticized and judged in return. Don’t look at others and pronounce them guilty, and you will not experience guilty accusations yourself. Forgive over and over and you will be forgiven over and over.” ~ Luke 6:37 (The Passion Translation)

I pray today that God will help each of us to do as Jesus told us, to stop judging and criticising others, but instead forgive them.

In yesterday’s blog post, Show love, I spoke about how the we should treat others in the way we would want others to treat us. Today, let’s look at that in a slightly different way – I don’t know about you, but when I’ve given someone an unexpected gift, it not only makes the receiver feel good, but it also brings a smile and a good feeling to me too.

That’s not a great surprise though is it, as Jesus teaches us to

Give, and it will be given to you. You will have more than enough. It can be pushed down and shaken together and it will still run over as it is given to you. The way you give to others is the way you will receive in return.~ Luke 6:38 (New life version)

When someone treats you badly, or doesn’t treat you in a way you’d want to be treated, do you ever stop any wonder why?

In Luke chapter 6 verses 36 – 37 Jesus teaches about finding bad in others:

You must have loving-kindness just as your Father has loving-kindness. Do not say what is wrong in other people’s lives. Then other people will not say what is wrong in your life. Do not say someone is guilty. Then other people will not say you are guilty. Forgive other people and other people will forgive you.

So maybe it’s not always the other person’s fault that they have treated us as they have, maybe they are treating us as we treated them. Therefore take care in how you treat others, because as we read above, if we show love to others, it’ll make it so much easier for others to treat as with love too.

Tomorrow is Christmas, so I hope you’re all organised?

Over the last few weeks I’ve been reminded that over the years I, like many of you, will have heard the Christmas story many times, and many times every year and, if I’m honest, I have probably taken the message of Christmas for granted because of that. So I decided to take a fresh look at Christmas this year, to try to get that feeling of excitement back about all the festivities.

Children are always very excited about Christmas, so I started by looking at what some of them have to say…

In answer to why do we celebrate Christmas, here’s a couple of answers given by children:

  • “I am not really a Christian. I believe in unicorns and pixies.”
  • “We celebrate Christmas because Santa comes and gives us lots and lots of presents.”

When asked who Jesus is:

  • “Jesus was a king and he wore a crown even though he was a baby. It was a really small crown.”
  • “Jesus is really old and his birthday was on Christmas over 2000 years ago.”

What gifts did the wise men bring?

  • “The wise men brought gold, Frankenstein , and myrrh.”
  • “The three wise men brought Jesus presents of gold, frankincense, smurr  and silver. But I think he would have preferred wrestling toys.”

And when asked where Jesus was born, one child gave the following answer:

  • “He was born in a stable a long way away from here in another country. Bethlehem – it’s in England.”

That’s how some excited children have described Christmas, but what about you, what gets you excited about Christmas?

In the busyness of this time of year, in amongst preparing for Christmas, how much time have you spent thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, and the birth of Jesus?

Jesus birth was foretold many years beforehand in Isaiah 7:14 where Isaiah says “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel”.  What an exciting prospect that must have been even then, knowing that the Saviour of the world would be born into this world at some point, as one of us.
We read in Luke about the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her she would give birth to the son of God. Although Mary would have been scared and filled with trepidation about what lay ahead, I’m sure she would also have been excited about the prospect of becoming a mother.

A new child in any family is a magical event, so it’s not surprising we get excited when someone we know is expecting a child. This Christmas in amongst the busyness of the season, I encourage you not to forget about Jesus, but instead get excited about the birth of Jesus again, just as you would if a friend or family member tells you they are expecting a baby.

I came across a poem which reminds us of this.

dont-forget-christmas-is-about-jesus-2Don’t Forget Jesus

Christmas is a special time

To reflect on Jesus Christ,

The wonder of His lowly birth

Brings meaning to our lives

There really is no other reason,

We celebrate this day,

The birth of God’s precious son

And the life, He willingly gave

But so much seems to distract us

In the busyness of our lives,

We lose our focus in all the happenings,

Not knowing, we leave out Christ

 

We lose sight of the true meaning

As we endlessly rush about,

Trying to find that perfect gift,

Seems to cloud our Saviour out

 

We need to stop and reflect awhile,

Remembering our precious Lord,

His birth, His life and sacrifice

And all that He stands for

 

For though the world may celebrate,

It seems, though, for other reasons,

Let’s keep in mind that Jesus Christ

Is the true meaning of the season.

© By M.S.Lowndes

 

As I mentioned earlier I decided to take a fresh look at Christmas this year, so whether this year is the first or the 51st time you’ve heard the Christmas story, I ask you to do the same, and in doing so consider remember the birth of Jesus and Who Is He? to you this Christmas.

Christ coming to earth makes a difference to me, does it make a difference to you?

This Christmas season would not exist if Christ had not come to earth, so in recognition of this I’d ask you to spare a few minutes of your busy Christmas Day to give thanks to God for sending His son to earth to live amongst us.

Yes, it was many years ago since Christ came to earth, however His message is just as relevant today as it ever was, because God is here with us now,and every day. It’s not too late to give your life to Christ, in fact what better day to commit your life to God that the day on which we celebrate the birth of His son Christ.

Luke 1:76-78 (NIV)

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.

I pray you have had a blessed Christmas, and have experienced the love and peace that can only be found when we have a relationship with Christ the King.

Merry Christmas – I hope Santa was good to you all!

I’ve said it a number of times already in my blog posts, but I want to remind you again that we must love everyone. God doesn’t want us to pick and choose who we love.

In the following verse from St Luke’s gospel, we get some instructions on how we should react or respond in some rather unpleasant situations:

Luke 6:27 (The Message)

Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

This list above is not the ultimate list of situations, however it does tell us that whatever the situation we find ourselves in, no matter how pleasant, we must respond with kindness and with love.

Love is stronger than hate, and therefore will touch even the hardest of hearts.

Love isn’t an opportunity to pick and mix who we love, we must love everyone, always!

As children at primary school, we were taught the Lord’s Prayerbut did we understand  what it meant?

As children at primary school we had to learn to recite the Lord’s Prayer…but did we understand the words we were learning?

As adults we recite the Lord’s Prayer on instruction at church…but do we actually believe the words we are reciting?

How many times in your life have you recited the Lord’s Prayer?

How many times when you were reciting it did you actually consider the words you were repeating, and believe them?

I suspect like me, you may find there are very few times when you’ve said the Lord’s Prayer, when you have actually said the words with sincerity and belief. Isn’t that sad. This is the prayer our Lord taught us, yet we treat is like a poem or words of a song that we just recite without thought or consideration.

Next time you say the Lord’s Prayer, please think about the words as you say them, and more importantly, believe and act on them!

As It Is In Heaven by Michael W Smith

Luke 11:1-4 (New Living Translation)

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

   “Father, may your name be kept holy.
      May your Kingdom come soon.
   Give us each day the food we need,
   and forgive us our sins,
      as we forgive those who sin against us.
   And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

The dictionary definition of betrayal is:

  • To give aid or information to an enemy
  • To deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or allegiance
  • To be false or disloyal to
  • To divulge in a breach of confidence; betray a secret.
  • To make known unintentionally: Her hollow laugh betrayed her contempt for the idea.
  • To reveal against one’s desire or will.
  • To lead astray; deceive.

What do you think of when you hear the word betrayal?

Your first thoughts are probably of a time when a friend or loved one has passed on information about you to someone against your will or knowledge. However I’d like to direct your thoughts to the most infamous betrayal of all time, and that is the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot.

Luke 22:47-48 (NIV)

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Can you imagine a betrayal of the magnitude which Jesus suffered at the hands of Judas? One of Jesus disciples, one of his closest friends, tempted by Satan into giving Him away to the Romans. But it got even worse for Jesus, as well is Judas’ betrayal, Peter betrayed Christ 3 times by denying he knew Jesus.

Luke 22:54-62 (NIV)

Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”  But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”  “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

I can understand Peter’s denial of Jesus, he was scarred, he’d just seen Jesus arrested, he feared what would happen to him. But wait a minute, if Peter truly believed Jesus Christ was the Son of God, he would have put his faith and trust in God to look after him, even if that ultimately meant death.

So, if you were put in a situation where you are asked if you believe in Jesus Christ, and the penalty for following Christ is death, what would your answer be?

If I’m honest, I like many of you would have to admit that I would probably deny being a follower of Christ – Wow! What an admission I’ve just made! This Easter I pray that my faith in Christ may grow so that I can say without doubt that I would admit to being a follower of Jesus.

I pray this Easter that we may all experience the power of the cross, and grow in strength and faith because of that infamous betrayal all those years ago.

Mighty Is The Power of the Cross by Chris Tomlin

What can take a dying man and raise him up to life again?
What can heal a wounded soul?
What can make us white as snow?
What can fill the emptiness?
What can mend our brokenness?
Brokenness

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

What restores our faith in God?
What reveals the Father’s love?
What can lead the wayward home?
What can melt a heart of stone?
What can free the guilty ones
What can save and overcome?
Overcome

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is the power of the cross

It’s a miracle to me
And It’s still a mystery
It’s a miracle to me
The power of God
For those who believe

Mighty, awesome, wonderful
Is the holy cross
Where the Lamb laid down His life
To lift us from the fall
Mighty is …….
Mighty is…….
Mighty is the power of the cross

Thank You for the cross
Love the cross
So Powerful…… ohhhhh yeahhh
What can take a dying man?
And raise him up to life again?

Worship You Jesus
By your wounds we are healed
By your wounds we are saved
Mighty is the power of the cross
Thank You Jesus for the Holy cross

Who Is He?

Posted: December 16, 2009 in Christmas, life, religion
Tags: , , , , ,
Who Is He
Who is He in yonder stall,
At whose feet the shepherds fall?

Chorus
‘Tis the Lord! oh wondrous story!
‘Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!

Who is He in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?

Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?

Who is He to whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?

Who is He that stands and weeps
At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?

Who is He the gathering throng
Greet with loud triumphant song?

Lo! at midnight, who is He
Prays in dark Gethsemane?

Who is He on yonder tree
Dies in grief and agony?

Who is He who from the grave
Comes to succor, help, and save?

Who is He who from His throne
Rules through all the worlds alone?


When Jesus was just twelve he knew his identity as the Son of God:
“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” – Luke 2:49 (New Living Translation)

But how did Jesus know he was the Son of God? Jesus was both fully God and fully man and as such is a tenet of our Christian faith. Only God could effect the redemption of the human race.

Jesus was a human baby with a human nature, yet perfect in God with God’s nature. The mystery of Jesus’ divine and human nature is impossible for us to fully understand, so we must simply accept it by faith.

Have you recognised who Jesus is? We might not be able to understand everything about Jesus but we can accept the truth of who is is, by faith. God intends us to read the bible and trust the information we find there. Jesus was not just a good man who came to an untimely end, he was was God, and he was also human.

Peter recognised Jesus was God and publicised his big moment by saying to Jesus “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16 NLT). When we believe Jesus is the Son of God, it will be your “big moment” because it will change your life for the good!

I thank Jesus Christ for becoming human so he could bring me to God. Make that statement yours today.


Party In Heaven

Posted: October 21, 2009 in life, religion
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When humanity’s relationship floundered and failed, God sent Jesus. Why did He do that? Because He loves us – John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He gave His only son”.

Not only did God give Jesus, He gives us hope. Hope because He continues to seek those who haven’t found Him yet.
Luke 19:10
And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.

There are a couple of stories which Jesus told to illustrate how God seeks people and wants to save them:

  • The first story was about a shepherd who lost one of his precious sheep, so went looking for it until he found the lost sheep. When he found the lost sheep, the shepherd was so happy that he had a party to celebrate.
  • The other story was about a woman who lost a valuable coin. She searched diligently until the lost coin was found, and just like the shepherd she rejoiced.

How many of us get lost in the things of this world, in sin, and find ourselves helpless without any help from God? How many of us don’t even realise we are lost, or indeed, how far we have wandered from God?

These people all need God. If you recognise yourself from one of the above descriptions, you need God, and God wants to save you today! God wants you to come to Him today.

Luke 15:10
In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.

There’s going to be a party in heaven, and God wants you to be His guest of honour! Respond to God today, because He is seeking you. There will be joy for you, and for all in heaven, when God finds you!

Love Will Find A Way by Delirious?
Look around at what you see
There’s an s.o.s. ringing out for me
I thought I believed but I just turn away
From these souls living in this hell today

Tears are falling, on my face
From my face

Love, love will find a way to break through
This love finds a way to shine through
Your love, finds a way to break through,
This love finds a way to kiss you.

I stare in the eyes of this flesh and bone
I’m a tourist here so tomorrow I go home
I try to make sense of the things I’ve seen
Between the poverty and the five star dream.

Love will lead me to your feet
Love wont pass me on the street
Love will look me in the eye
Love wont leave me here to die
To your arms I’m gonna run
And escape what I’ve become
Love will find a better way, so they say

Love it will break you
Love it will take you
Love it will break you down

Checkout the Delirious? website: http://www.delirious.co.uk/html/