My Beloved Son – 2 Peter 1: 1-21

Today’s Bible Word Search created by my wife, Marlene, is taken from:-

2 Peter 1: 1-21 (My Beloved Son)

To freely download this challenging word search visit:-

http://www.christianwordsearches.net/Mybelovedson.html

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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A Very Merry Christmas To You All

A Very Merry Christmas to all my family and friends

A Very Merry Christmas to all my family and friends

Peace on earth, Goodwill to all men and women.

For God so loved the world that He have us His only begotten son.

Let us all remember that today is our Saviour’s birthday. And as we rejoice with all our families and friends within our Christmas celebrations let us never forget the reason why we have cause to celebrate.

May our Father God bless you mightily in everything you do and in everything you say.

God Bless each and every one of you

Geoffrey

Family Likenesses

A minister stood up before his congregation one Sunday morning with a big grin. “Four days ago,” he said, “I became a grandfather. And I am delighted to tell you that not only is he a very beautiful baby, but – he looks exactly like me!”

Many parents and grandparents have had the same thrill: the new arrival is going to grow up to look like them! The Bible has a lot to say about how God feels when we are born into his kingdom, his family.

Firstly, no human baby is brought into being because he/she decided that it wanted to exist. The baby was dependent on the parents’ decision.

And the same is true in the spiritual sphere. If you have any interest or faith at all in God, you may be sure that that in itself is a sign that he is calling to you. Secondly, when a human baby is born into a loving family, there is great rejoicing. The Bible tells us that there is great rejoicing in heaven every time anyone of us turns to God and asks Jesus to be our Saviour.

Thirdly, a human baby can do nothing to ‘gain’ life. All that baby has to do is to accept life, and begin to live. There is nothing you can do to ‘earn’ your salvation, you have to go through Jesus, and what he did for you on his death on the cross.

There is a fourth thing about babies. They grow up! They take on the language and behaviour of their family. Paul, writing in
Colossians, put it this way: “You used to walk in the way of sexual immorality, anger, … slander, and filthy language. But now you
have put on the new self, which is being renewed in you through the knowing your  creator. Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….”

Sadly, we will never be perfect. All our lives, we will sin. But the Bible has two descriptions of sin. One verb in the Greek  refers to occasional actions. As long as we live, we will commit haphazard sins. But there is another tense of the verb to sin, and it refers to habitual, ongoing actions. If these are still ruling our lives, then we do not have the family likeness, we do not have God’s Spirit within us. We need to go back to new birth: by turning to Jesus Christ.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

One Pastor’s Painful Experience

A pastor in a Christian establishment resigned from his post. Subsequently had had to experience considerable hardships.

He had to endure hunger, fasting, poverty, tears, ridicule and curses.

Nevertheless, he began the Lord’s ministry in the very same town.

This could not be tolerated by the Christian organisation which had previously employed him. Some of them, therefore, assembled together and started fasting and praying to God with great zeal that his ministry should not be blessed!

But will our Lord and Saviour heed a prayer offered with the wrong intention?

Within a few days, those who had been praying against the pastor were attacked by a virulent dysentery. Some of them even died!

On the other hand that lonely pastor’s work flourished and spread.

May our Lord and Saviour grant that we ourselves do not harbour such iniquity in our hearts!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

In The Shadow Of Victory: Ride The Rollercoaster Of Holy Week

‘In the Shadows of Victory: Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ is a beautifully written kindle book by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

Becky is a Deacon in the Methodist Church.

And until Saturday, July 5th you may download a free copy of Becky’s book by going to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00L9UYDKS

In the Shadows of Victory you are invited to ride the rollercoaster of Holy Week.

We now begin the journey, remembering that already we stand with Jesus Christ our Saviour in the shadow of the cross, remembering that for him, it was a very dangerous day.

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing mounting the donkey at Bethpage, as this was where the priests had calculated the city limits. For Jesus to mount here was a statement that spoke volumes to all that were there. It was, in effect, as if He was shouting from the rooftops that He was the Messiah.

Now, position yourself at the side of the road, having first run and chopped down a palm branch that you are waving frantically.

Picture if you can the Roman army standing there, thousands of them, making it very clear that you are part of an occupied people. Look up at the temple on the hill, and look beyond it. There overshadowing the holy place is the fist shaped Roman fortress. Built purposely taller than the temple just to remind you who was in charge.

Listen to the crowd hailing him as their King. But He does not come on a war horse, only a humble donkey. And He does not come with swords and clubs; He is armed only with God’s words of peace and love.

Wave your branches, as they are the national symbol of your people. Wave them at the coming Messiah, showing your defiance to the Romans, believing that this Jesus would send them packing once and for all.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Picture the children laughing and playing around your feet. In your fear, you push them forward. Somehow this fear is always lurking beneath your joy; your fear of the Roman soldiers and the power they hold over you.

The children – they are young, surely these soldiers wouldn’t launch an attack against them, no matter how unruly the crowd become. Push them forward, put them between you and the soldiers, not because you do not love your children, but because you fear for your own safety.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Sing your hosannas, not just a song of happiness, but also a song of rebellion, a song that speaks of freedom, and of victory over your enemies. Stand tall in the face of those who persecute you. Hold firm, ready to take up arms and fight, ready to rally around this new king and take back, by force if you have to, your land, and your home.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

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With many peaceful blessings

 

Geoffrey

But He Deserved It: The Voice Of Mark The Thief

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. He was my friend, my colleague if you like, my brother in arms, my partner in crime, but that day changed my life forever.

My name is Mark. I am a former criminal, a foe of the nation, an enemy of the state, once, but now things are different and all because of that one day and that one man – that man Jesus.

It was my friend who hung on that cross next to Him, my friend who took his just punishment, my friend who asked for forgiveness and my friend who was offered paradise with Him. Let me tell you about it.

We made a living from stealing. We took what was not ours, just to get ahead, just because we felt the world owed us something. We told everyone that would listen that we knew no better, but we did.

We played the game, and we were caught. He, Barney, my friend, was arrested. I ran. I was only out to save my own skin, I left him high and dry. My friend was tried for the crime we had both committed. He was sentenced to death and I was free.

The day of execution came; I stood, ashamed, in the background and watched. It was not hard to blend in as there were thousands of people lining the streets that day.

Yet they did not seek the demise of my friend, but the end of Him. The one they called the Messiah, the King of the Jews, Jesus of Nazareth.

He too had been tried, in a mock court, and sentenced to an unjust death, and with my friend he was led to the Place of the Skull and crucified there. A third was strung up that day, who mocked the Christ and hurled insults at him. But my friend had seen in Jesus what many others had missed. He had seen the light of God shining in His face and knew that He was indeed who He claimed to be.

My friend accepted the punishment for his crime and asked this Jesus to help him start again.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” I heard him utter.

He was rewarded. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise,” Jesus said.

So now I journey on, without my friend and partner in crime, but now I am a changed man. I no longer believe that the world owes me, and I am now looking for ways in which I can give back.

And all because of that one day and that one offer of paradise, not only for my friend but for me and for all.

(From The Shadows Of Victory: Ride The Rollercoaster Of Holy Week by Becky Lovatt)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Quo Vadis?

At the beginning of 2013 I was dying! No question about it – everyone thought that I had already booked a one way passage to God.

But God – in His infinite wisdom – had other ideas.

My lovely wife – whose love and devotion to me went far beyond the call of duty – taught me to pray.

Not just a short dutiful prayer either; but prayers that came deep from within my heart. I prayed many times a day – accepting God as my Father and Jesus as my Lord and Saviour – and asking that He restore me to full optimum health.

And although bed-bound for several weeks and almost unable to walk, slowly, gradually I found myself coming back into full consciousness.

My wife, bless her heart, was VERY hard on me. Even shouted at me when I was at my lowest ebb.

So between being ‘nagged’ by my loving wife and receiving God’s bountiful blessings and Divine healing I am now able to drive my car and even walk for a few yards.

My wife also encouraged me to read the Bible. And so I do – every day. And each day I feel that I am becoming closer and closer to God.

The Bible says that whatever we need (need, not want!) we should ask for it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And it works, believe you me it works……………………

Having time to read books – and reflect – I am increasingly dismayed at the lack of compassion and understanding in our world today.

Take a few minutes to read – and re-read – the TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Thou shalt not steal and
Thou shalt not murder

Are self-explanatory

As is Thou shalt not commit adultery, though many people pay scant regard to this commandment!

But none of the Commandments say that Thou shalt not park on a double-yellow line, nor is any mention made of exceeding the speed limit.

And where does it mention in the Ten Commandments that if one marries someone from another country (especially from outside Europe) that all kinds of petty and unnecessary obstacles often prevent the wife/husband from obtaining a spousal visa.

It certainly is not part of God’s Divine Plan for Humanity that people who fall in love should be separated simply because they live in different countries!

Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, has been quoted as saying that no one should be persecuted or separated just because of the person they happen to fall in love with!

And what about loving your Neighbour? The Ten Commandments speaks of not coveting your neighbour’s wife and possessions.

How many of us truly love our neighbours? Not in the physical sense but globally? Everyone you meet, whether or not you speak the same language, is your brother or sister!

Sometimes, when the leaders of G8 and G20 get together it is more like little children squabbling. It’s all about power politics and any resultant benefits for the countries and people they represent is purely coincidental.

Quo Vadis? Where are we going? Indeed!!

God has many ideas and suggestions for our future welfare. But how many people – especially global leaders – are going to have the courage to listen to Him?

My advice – if anyone is brave enough to listen to me – is to read the Bible. And inwardly digest!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey