What do you see in a sun rise and a sun set? Psalm 19

There is something spectacular about the sun rising or setting, where its rays are painting the clouds in a unique richness of layer upon layer of vibrant colors. The same can be said of the stars and the moon on a clear night. When you get away from the pollution of the city lights and smog, its like you can almost reach up and grab a star from the sky. The beams of the moon, creating their own colors among the clouds that pass by. Day after day, night after night, they display their glory. There is no nation and no language where their voice is not heard. The voice of creation is clearly displayed to all who care to see.

The psalmist looks up with reverent awe. They point him to the creator. It reminds him that creation is a gift to all, for all. It also reminds him that the law was given to them as a gift, which likewise points to the glory of God. Of the law: He says its precepts revive him, give him joy, are more precious than gold and are sweeter than honey.

Today, we are not under the law, but sit under the fulfillment of the law; which is Christ. God who came in the flesh, was crucified, dead and buried, who raised to life, ascended to God the Father, who sent us the Holy Spirit and whom we await his return. The ways of Jesus also revive us, grants us love, hope and joy. They are more precious to us than gold, and much sweeter then honey. The king in his reflection and praise, prays a prayer which we can join in and heartily give thanks and a amen.

God, forgive me my hidden faults. Keep me from willful sin – so that sin does not rule over me.May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be pleasing in your sight.  O’ Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Communion message for Sunday 1/2/2015 Receiving Christ.

Generally speaking, I love the Pentecostal movement. For we are a people who believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We are a people who believe in walking in the fullness of God, and all that he has for us.

Perhaps like me, you have offered prayers to God along the lines of God, I give myself to you. Or, like me, you have preached, or asked others to give their life to the Lord, after telling them the Gospel message. Giving someone an opportunity to give their lives to the Lord, sound biblical doesn’t it. “Lord, I give you more of myself to you,” sounds biblical doesn’t it?

But, I have to say, “It’s not!” Christianity is not about giving ourselves to God. There is nothing we can give to God. We can’t even give him our lives. Because, without Christ, we have no life. Christ gives himself to us. He is God, incarnate. God come in the flesh, who was born as a babe, died on the cross, and rose to life again on the 3rd day. God who ascended to the Father and who will come again.

John 1:12 says, Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Note, how John says we receive him. We believe in him. We don’t give to him. In Ephesians, Paul talks about our being adopted to God. He hasn’t adopted us 10, 15, 25, 50, 80, or 95% leaving 5% or more for us to give to him. No, God, adopts us 100% percent. He forgives us 100% percent. And when we receive him, we receive him 100%.

We have nothing to give to God. Even the gifts and talents that we use for God, he gave them to us. But, Craig, you say to me, “we are called to present ourselves a living sacrifice to God”…To which I will reply, “This means, Father we come to you, with the risen Lord in us. We live our lives according to your will, not ours.”

Instead of praying for us to give more of ourselves to God, we discover that Paul prays, that God will continue to give us, to fill us, to work through, in and over us. That through his Spirit, we will grow in wisdom and knowledge of his love, his power, his purpose. And once again, we see, we have nothing to offer God. All we have is what he has given us. He gave us our personality. He gave us our gifts, talents and abilities.

This morning, as we take the bread and the juice – come to him with a prayer of thankfulness. Acknowledge to him that we are bankrupt and empty. That we have nothing to give to him. All we can do is say thank you and believe on him.

On the night he was betrayed, Jesus took the bread and broke it, saying this is my body, torn and broken for you. Can you please turn to your neighbor and tell them, Jesus was torn and broken for you.

Jesus took the wine, and said, this is my blood, poured out for many, for the forgiveness of sins. Can you once again, turn to your neighbor and say, Jesus poured out his blood for your forgiveness.

Let us pray!

Heresy = Bible verses twisted just a couple of degrees off center

Craig Benno:

I have problems with making tithing a law. But, have no problems with people who tithe. Pastor Gary makes some great points here.

After reading his blog post, all I can say is “Gulp! Yikes!’

Originally posted on Open Our Eyes, Lord!:

If someone desires to give a certain percentage of their net or gross income, I honor that as their right and privilege. I also believe that all Christians should give generously and cheerfully.

But full disclosure – I believe that tithing was an Old Covenant rite by which about 23% of goods, usually agricultural products, were given to God for the maintenance of the priests, for the poor. I see no comparable requirement for the church, which is supposed to “honor” its leaders (1 Tim 5:17) and make voluntary pledges to special projects (Paul’s Jerusalem Fund). [1]

I have no argument with tithers so long as they have no argument with me. And I’m not speaking here about legalistic tithing or carnal non-tithing.

But in the past few weeks I have found people preaching what must be held up and labeled perversions of the gospel and of the practice of…

View original 919 more words

Receiving Christ.

During my morning devotional time, I jotted down the following thoughts.

We say, “Lord, here I am, take me as I am.”  Christ says, “No, you take me as I AM. ”

It’s not that we give more of ourselves to God. It’s that we grow more and more aware of Christ in us.

Nowhere in Scripture will you find the commandment to give our lives to the Lord. Yet, we use this type of language every day. Someone gave their life to the Lord at our meeting, or we ask after the end of a sermon or testimony, “If anyone would like to give their life to the Lord, come and see me or someone else afterwards.”  Or we are given the encouragement to “Give more of yourself to God.”

The Apostle Paul never prayed for anyone to give more of their lives to the Lord. Instead, he prayed prayers like we find in Ephesians, 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

We can’t give more of ourselves to God. We have been bought at a price. When we receive Christ, we become irrevocably his. He adopts us as his own.We belong to God 100% But, the transaction isn’t that we give ourselves to him. Rather, its a transaction that once we receive Christ, we are called to continue to go on being filled with the Holy Spirit. Being continually filled with the God who gave, who gives and who continues to give himself to us.

It’s amazing isn’t it.

I reached 1000 posts.

I didn’t realize till after I posted, my previous post, was my 1000th article I had written and published here. I’m both surprised and chuffed. I now have 999 more to go to reach 2000. Wait, there could be a book or two with all those words. Maybe I can write a book after all.

What’s in an ‘S?’ An 8.8 million pound typo.

I admit up front that I am a sloppy speller. I am terrible at grammar. Neither comes easily to me. But, I am getting much better at both. It’s also a reason why I don’t work in administration – its not one of my strengths. While they are but two of my ‘many’ weaknesses; I also know the importance of words, for the Scriptures tell us that our words have the power to build up, and the power to tear down.

Here is a perfect example of the power of words. Actually, its through the addition of an ‘S’ to one name, that an innocent company went bankrupt.

Companies House, part of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, erroneously recorded that the Cardiff engineering firm Taylor & Sons Ltd had been wound up.

In fact it was another, entirely unconnected, company – Taylor & Son Ltd – which had actually gone bust.

Humans are much more valuable than any business is. It’s why, God sent his son, his word become flesh. We need to be careful in how we handle The Word, and ensure, we neither add to it, nor take away from it. It’s solemn business being men and women of The Word.

OH! The pain! Psychological trauma!

I get rudely awakened by a big bang on the door, early this morning. I get up to see a delivery man running across the lawn, and find a box at the door. It’s addressed to my wife. I mentioned this to Jo, when she rang me from work. She tells me not to open it. Its for my birthday in Feb.

It’s now sitting on the couch: Staring at me. Silently beckoning me to examine it more and see if there may be a little tear in the wrapping somewhere. Perhaps shake it for a clue. Self justifying thoughts going through my mind… “It is mine after all!” I think I will put it in the bedroom and cover it with a blanket. For it’s screams are getting louder. It’s stare is a little more intense.


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