Love does not expect a Reward!

Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you;
bless those who curse you;
pray for those who treat you spitefully.
If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also;
if anyone take your coat, let him have your shirt as well.

If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you?

Even sinners love those who love them.

If you do good only to those who do good to you,
what credit is there in that?

Even sinners do as much.

But you must love your enemies and do good,
and lend without expecting any return;
and you will have a rich reward;
you will be sons of the Most High,
because he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

Be compassionate,
as your Father is compassionate.

Luke 6: 27-36

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Love Does Not Condemn

At daybreak, Jesus appeared again in the Temple. He had taken his seat and was engaged in teaching, when the scribes and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught committing adultery.

Making her stand in the middle, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. In the law, Moses has laid down that such women are to be stoned. What do you say about it?’

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they continued to press their question he sat up straight and said,’ Let which of you is free from sin throw the first stone.’

Then once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard what he said, one by one they went away, the eldest first; and Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there.

Jesus again sat up and said to the woman,’ Where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

She answered,’ No one, Sir.’

‘ Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus said.’ Go; And do not sin again.’

(John 8: 2-11)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many Peaceful Blessings

Geoffrey

The Soul Belongs To God

Then Jesus told them a parable:

‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “what am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.”

‘Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, and have a good time.”

‘But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?”

‘So it is when someone stores up treasure for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God.’

Luke 12:16-21

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Lord’s Prayer

Many of us say the Lord’s Prayer, especially when we go to Church on a Sunday.

But, how many of us, I wonder, repeat this powerful prayer in an almost robotic fashion?

Do we ever think about the words which we are repeating out loud?

Our Father

Thus the great and powerful prayer begins. This simple, yet tremendous, greeting establishes instantly, without any question or doubt, who is praying and to whom the prayer is addressed.

Which art in heaven

This tells us where the God ‘lives’ to whom our prayer is addressed.

Jesus said clearly that the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, was not in this mountain or that temple, but “within you.” In other words, we don’t have to run after it physically. And where we pray doesn’t matter a great deal as long as we worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

Hallowed be Thy name

It is God we honour. We are not praying to impress men, nor do we put our trust in material things or in persons. We are observing the first commandment given by God to Moses: “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

This tells us to stop giving orders or making selfish requests and ask simply that as in Heaven, so on earth, the Kingdom of God be manifest in our life. By surrendering, we place ourselves completely under His grace, and we bring the entire world, all sick and suffering humanity, into the care of a loving Father who alone knows how to achieve a harmonious kingdom.

Give us this day our daily bread

As to the when of our prayers, we accept the fact that today, this minute, is all that we  have to be concerned about.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not arrived; and when it does, it will be now. The release from tension and anxiety is tremendous when we stop worrying about yesterday or tomorrow.

We must focus on today, and pray today, as our actual moment of contact with God.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

We must also ask forgiveness and receive freedom from all sense of guilt. But we shall not obtain our own release until we have forgiven people who have done us wrong.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

We seek to renounce all that is not of God. We say – and mean – that we wish to walk in His way, and to sin no more. What we are praying for is true peace of mind, and serenity of soul.

We are also asking God to protect us from the evil one (Satan).

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever, and ever. Amen

Why do we pray?

Because God is  in control of  everyone and everything, in all, through all.

All things are His and we are His.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When you next say the Lord’s Prayer, please take time to think and understand of what you are praying.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Nathan Rebukes David

I have just been reading Samuel 12: 1-12.

This story about David from the Bible has a very important message for everyone today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story. ‘There were two men in a certain town.

One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought.

He raised that little lamb, and the lamb grew up with his children. It ate from  the man’s own plate and drank from his cup.

He carried it in his arms like a baby daughter.

One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdom of Israel and Judah.

And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more.

Why then, have you despise the word of the Lord and done this terrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.

From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.’

“This is what the Lord says: ‘because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view.

You did it secretly, but I’ll make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Think about it and you will understand how this story is relevant in our own lives today.

Our society, sadly, has not moved on since those days of David!

 

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Easter Sunday

That same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which lay about 7 miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all these happenings.

As they talked and discussed it with one another, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but something held their eyes from seeing who it was.

He asked them,’ What is it you are debating as you walk?’.

They stopped, their faces full of gloom, and one, called Cleopas, answered,’ Are you the only person staying in Jerusalem not know what is happening there in the last few days?

‘ What do you mean?’ He said.

‘ All this about Jesus of Nazareth’, they replied, ‘A Prophet in powerful speech and action before God and the whole people; how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and crucified him.

But we had been hoping that he was the man to liberate Israel.What is more, this is the third day since it happened, and now some women of our company have astounded us; they went early to the tomb but failed to find his body, and they returned with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who told him he was alive.

So some of our people went to the tomb and found things just as they said; but him they did not see.’

‘ How dull you are!’ He answered.’ How slow to believe all that the prophets said! Was the Messiah not bound to suffer thus before entering upon his glory?’

Then he began with Moses and all the prophets, and explained to them the passages which referred to himself in every part of the Scriptures.

By this time they had reached the village to which they were going, and he made as if to continue his journey, but they pressed him:
‘Stay with us, for evening draws on, and the day is almost over’.

So he went in to stay with them and when he sat down with them at table, he took bread and said the blessing; he broke the bread and offered it to them.

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight.

They said to one another, ‘Did we not feel our hearts on fire as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’

Without a moments delay they set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and the rest of the company had assembled, and were saying, ‘It is true the Lord has appeared to Simon.’

Then they gave their account of their journey and told how he had been recognised by them at the breaking of the bread.

(Luke 24: 13-35)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In a variety of ways, in different places, to different people, Jesus manifested his risen self.

One thought he was a gardener.

To others he was a travelling companion with a marvellous gift of expounding the Scriptures; and so on.

But to all of them he brought peace. They needed that above all else, the peace of forgiveness for their desertion of him, the peamicrophone offce of knowing that death had no more dominion over him and that he was there; alive, radiant.

He brought them confidence. They had been deeply shaken by men’s weakness and by their own cowardice.

Would he ever trust them again? Apparently, he asked them no questions.

He simply re-commissioned them: ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you’.

He brought them power. How could they face an unbelieving world?

‘ Receive the holy spirit. ‘

King triumphant!

Behold the man: behold your King!

 

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Holy Saturday

The women who had accompanied him from Galilee – took note of the tomb and observed how his body was laid.

Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumed, and on the Sabbath day rested in obedience to the commandment

(Luke 23:55-6)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next day, the morning after that Friday, the chief priests and the Pharisees came to Pilate.

‘ Your Excellency’, they said,  ‘we recall how that imposter said while he was still alive, “I am to rise after three days”.

So will you give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day? Otherwise his disciples may come, steal the body, and then tell the people that he has been raised from the dead; and the final deception will be worse than the first.’

‘ You may have your guard’, said Pilate;’ go and make it secure as best you can’.

So they went and made the grave secure; they sealed the stone and left the guard in charge.

(Matthew 27: 62-66)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Matthew depicts men in frantic anxiety, seeking by poor human means to lock up God’s Almighty resurrection power, and eliciting from Pilate permission to make the grave secure.

Luke writes of the faithful women, perplexed and distressed no doubt, but following, taking note, observing, and preparing their last act of fragrant devotion.

That done, they rested in obedience to the commandment.

Next morning would be the time for action, and though they could not see it for the depth of their grief, the time for revelation and exultation.

Today, we look back to the glorious fact of the resurrection of the Lord; but we also wait and look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come – we look for our resurrection based on his who is the first-fruits of them that believe – wait and look in  quiet confidence.