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Posted By Nan

One of the themes I come back to every Christmas is that of the light entering the world. For me this is one of the most important messages. Jesus came to shine light on a world corrupted by sin. In John 3:19-21 we read that we will not be condemned if we believe in Jesus as the son of God. In Jesus words, the light has come into the world but people love darkness instead of light because of their evil deeds. He tells us that the evil hate the light because they fear their evil being exposed. However, those who live by truth come into the light. They do not fear their deeds being seen because they have been done through God and bring glory to Him.
In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus tells us we must be the light of the world. As He was the light, so he passes on to us the responsibility to be the light. Jesus always explains this as the light being present so that people can see what we do and praise God. So Jesus came to dispel the darkness of sin and He leaves us walking in His light. Just as He sought to bring praise to God, so we must being praise to God. In this dark world we remember the tiny baby, come into the world to be our light. We also remember our responsibility as bearers of that light. We are responsible through our actions to bring glory to God. Quite a responsibility. It means that we are constantly on show. We must be self-restrained and endeavour to do the right thing. How do we do that? By following the baby in the manger. By following Him from his birth through to his death and beyond. We follow Him as the way to the Father and we praise Him and cause praise to be made to Him by our actions. We spend quality time with Him, drawing our strength from Him through the Holy Spirit.
In our family, we always celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birthday. A few years ago we made a picture of a birthday cake with its candles burning. We celebrate the light come into the world. My prayer today and over Christmas is that others may see that light and embrace it with joy.
I will be away for a few days after Christmas with my family. This means there will be no Wednesday blog. However, the blog will be back on Saturday.
May our Heavenly Father bless you richly during this time of praise and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. May this Christmas be one of time spent at our Father’s feet.

 

 
Posted By Nan

“.. I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” Genesis 3:15. These words of God are directed at the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden. Many years ago, a wonderful mentor taught me about Genesis 3. She pointed out that Man had fallen and this had caused the separation from God, but God had a plan to bring man back to Him. In this verse, He tells of the plan. The snake, symbolising satan, will be crushed by the offspring of the woman. They did not know it then, but God was already promising His Son. At that point when Man first stepped away from God, He still had our future salvation in mind. How great is our God!
All that comes in the Bible after this point, is the continuing promise and then fulfilment of God’s promise in the Garden of Eden. The promise that evil would be defeated.
There are those who dispute the events of the Garden of Eden because they contend that there never was just one man and woman. I don’t really care what the truth is. You must believe what you will, if you are wrong God will correct you either this side of the grave or when you come before Him. I am sure we all hold some false belief that will be corrected when we stand before God. The main point of this is that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 and we all need justification. As Keith Green sang in Altar Call “someone has to pay the price …. but who will be that nice, to pay a debt that isn’t his”. Of course if we pay the price the cost is eternal separation from God - Hell. When you reach that point, you will not want that even if on earth you believe it is what you want. The justification or payment for our sins is freely given by the grace of God that came through Jesus. Jesus willingly humbled himself to become a child and live as a man, then offer himself as the ultimate sacrifice for all sin.
The theme of redemption carried on through the bible. One of the greatest readings on this subject and one that is often read at Christmas is Isaiah 9:2. “the people stumbling in darkness have seen a great light”. In the Old Testament light is symbolic of life and blessing. This is the light of Jesus, the true life and the true blessing. The light that enters us through the Holy Spirit as sung about my Noel Richards. Jesus came to be the light and He leaves His light in the world in us.
Another reminder of our need for redemption is found in Isaiah 53:6: “We all like sheep have gone astray each of us has turned to his own way but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. A vital part of preparation for Christmas is the acknowledgement of our need for a saviour. Are you ready for your Saviour?

 
Posted By Nan

Love Songs from Heaven by Noel and Tricia Richards

“Love songs from heaven Are filling the earth
Bringing great hope to all nations
Evil has prospered But truth is alive
In this dark world The light still shines

Nothing has silenced This Gospel of Christ
It echoes down through the ages
Blood of the martyrs Has made Your church strong
In this dark world The light still shines

For you we live and for you we may die
Through you may Jesus be seen
For You alone we will offer our lives
In this dark world Our light will shine

Let every nation be filled with Your song
This is the cry of Your people
We will not settle For anything less
 In this dark world Our light must shine”

These are the words of the song Love Songs From Heaven, from the CD Dangerous People by Noel Richards. I was listening to this a few weeks ago when I was feeling weighed down with the darkness of this world. Then I listened to this song and I was reminded that this is what Christmas is all about: The arrival of the light shining in our dark world because Jesus came to the earth and He has the Victory.
This is the promise of Christmas and this is how we celebrate Christmas: Because Christmas is the fulfilment of the promise. When that baby lay in the manger in Bethlehem he had not yet defeated satan. But when I think of how Jesus, who was God, came to earth as a helpless baby and endured 33 years living in this dark world, I think that coming to this world was extremely hard. When Jesus told His disciples that whoever wanted to be great must be the servant of all (Mark 10:43-45) he was speaking from personal experience.

I will be continuing this discussion in the coming week as we lead up to Christmas.

 
Posted By Nan

John 6:34- 40

There is so much in these verses!

First the people asked Jesus for this bread. They did not seem to understand that the ‘bread’ was Jesus. But Jesus gave them another chance. He told them that He was the ‘bread’, the bread of life. What a wonderful declaration! Whoever comes to Jesus will never go hungry and those who believe in Him will never be thirsty.

These people just didn’t seem to get it. I wonder if we had been those people whether we would have understood? It is easy for us, with our understanding of the Bible, to talk about being hungry and thirsty for Jesus. These are terms we learn very early in our Christian walk. But did the people back then know these terms? It must have been hard for them to comprehend what Jesus meant. Of course they still should have made that effort and that is what Jesus points out to them when He declares that they have seen Him and still they do not believe.

Jesus also told the people that the one who believes will be the one God has given to His Son. That person will come to Jesus and will never be driven away. Jesus has come to do the will of God and God’s will is that those whom He has given to Jesus will never be lost. God’s will is that whoever looks to Jesus and believes in Him shall have eternal life. On the last day Jesus will raise us up to be with Him in Heaven.

Wow. So amazing. When I read those verses I just sat and contemplated them. The message is so powerful.

“God’s will is that whoever looks to Jesus and believes in Him shall have eternal life”.

Hallelujah.

 
Posted By Nan

John 6:32-33
Today’s entry is a short one. These two verses are all that I should talk about today. I am going to make some comments about them, and leave the rest to you. These are two verses that would benefit each one of us if we spend time meditating on them. This is especially pertinent as we approach Christmas and that time when we remember all that Jesus did for us in coming to the earth as a tiny, helpless, baby.

 

The Jews were still in error. They had learned their scriptures, but incorrectly. They attributed the gift of the manna in the desert to Moses instead of God. Jesus corrected them. Then he said something extraordinary. He told them that God gives (not gave) the true bread from heaven. So the manna was just a pale imitation of the true gift. Manna kept people alive physically. The true bread from heaven gives people eternal life. The true bread from heaven feeds spiritually, where we really need feeding. Notice also that Jesus referred to God as “my Father”. This emphasised the fact that he was the Son but also must have sounded quite blasphemous to those who did not believe in Him.

In Jesus' day God was giving the true bread from heaven. He continues to do so today.

What does the true bread from heaven mean to you?

 


 
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Nan
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