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[12 Days] Eleventh Day…

Read: John 14:15-21 (CEB)

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. 17 This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.

18 “I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Reflect:

We reach day eleven and for most of us Christmas is now a distant memory. Replaced with the return of normality, whatever that may look like.

Our passage for today reflects some of the themes of advent and Christmas itself; namely that God is with us.

I love this translations use of the word companion. Many other translations use the phrase Advocate or Helper. But, companion adds a new flavour to the work of the Holy Spirit and ties in well with the truth that Jesus speaks in the remainder of the passage.

We have the risk taking, grace awakening, dream filled, person of the Holy Spirit walking with us every step of the way.

We are no longer orphans.

Respond:

Holy Spirit thank you for your presence with us. Thank you that we are not alone, we have you as our guide. May we get to know you as you lead us in your truth. Reveal Jesus to us, this and every day. For His glory. Amen

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Tenth Day…

Read: Psalm 24:1-2  (CEB)

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s
and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.
2 Because God is the one
who established it on the seas;
God set it firmly on the waters.

Reflect:

Tuesday morning. For most it is first day back to ‘normal’.

A great day to reflect on the past days of Christmas and look forward. Our Bible passage for today is not specifically Christmas orientated but does speak of a single truth that may help as work invades once more.

The Bible is quite clear, the earth is the Lord’s, he made it, therefore it is his.The coming of Jesus is a huge exclamation point on these verses. Rob Bell added to this thought as several others like it when he said,

The Earth is filled with the Glory of God, He never has to turn up, we have to notice Him

We need to continue to reawaken our minds to notice God. Jesus asks us to follow Him in everything we do. Be it work, marriage, parenting, shopping or any other task. It is the same question to a cleaner, a government official, a full time mum/dad or to those who work in an office.

Jesus asks us to follow him, to be Him in the places we live, the homes we visit, in the shops we use and especially in the places we work.

Let us make today count. The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it.

Respond:

Father, I thank you for my work, especially in this time.
Open my eyes today that I might see you at work.
Show me where you are at work in my colleagues lives,
That I may be a blessing to them and serve them.

May I stay awake to your presence with me today.
Bless those who I work with, those I like and those I struggle with.
May I be your grace and peace to them.

May I through your strength,
Put away all gossip, bitterness and anger
So, that I may be able to see you face in all that I meet.

Holy Spirit speak through me today,
Be in every conversation that I have
May I be a true and faithful witness to you at work today. Teach me to take risks for your mission.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Ninth Day…

Read: Luke 15:1-10 (ETR Version)

Luke 15:1 Many tax collectors and sinners came to listen to Jesus. 2 Then the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain, “Look, this man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!”

3 Then Jesus told them this story: 4 “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep, but one of them gets lost. What will you do? You will leave the other 99 sheep there in the field and go out and look for the lost sheep. You will continue to search for it until you find it. 5 And when you find it, you will be very happy. You will carry it 6 home, go to your friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep!’ 7 In the same way, I tell you, heaven is a happy place when one sinner decides to change. There is more joy for that one sinner than for 99 good people who don’t need to change.

8 “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but she loses one of them. She will take a light and clean the house. She will look carefully for the coin until she finds it. 9 And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost!’ 10 In the same way, it’s a happy time for the angels of God when one sinner decides to change.”

Reflect:

For many today will be the ‘last day’ before work and work despair may well and truly of hit by now. So, what better time then to focus on the mission of God I hear you say and I’d agree.

The New Year is now up and running and this may be our last time to reflect before the school runs, sandwich making, to-do list, early morning starts and our 99mph days kick back into gear. As you read the Bible passage for today – let your mind wander and wonder, what if the vision behind these stories is true?

What if there was a God who would search for you in the same way as the shepherd and the woman did?

Respond:

Father God, thank you for the overflow of your love. Thank you for your grace that found me. Thank you that you sent Jesus to come and find us. Holy Spirit as this year unfolds may I learn more about your ways and may I live knowing that I am found. In Jesus name. Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Feast of the Holy Name…

Jesusbest

Read: Luke 2:21-32

Luke 2:21When the eighth day arrived, the day of circumcision, the child was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived.

22-24Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.

25-32In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.

Reflect:

Happy New Year to you all!

We reach day 8 in our series which is the day set aside as part of the church calender to remember the naming of Jesus. We remember that he was brought up in the tradition and ‘right’ way – Mary and Joseph carried out the relevant acts stipulated in the Old Testament, they followed their God and His ways. The naming of a child was huge part of society at that time. Your name was everything, it was your identity and indicated your family connections.

So, as we start 2012 you may like to begin by reflecting on one of the 200+ names of Jesus found in the Bible, I’ve put five here to get you started. But a quick google search should reveal the others.

What do the names add to your understanding of the character of Jesus?

Author of Life – Acts 3:15

Word – John 1:1

Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14

Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

Saviour – John 4:14

Respond

Eternal God, thank you for revealing your character through your names. May I learn to reflect on these names and reflect on your character in 2012. May my goal be to know you and who you are. May I live for you alone. Amen

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Seventh Day…

Read: Matthew 11:28-30 & Isaiah 40:28-31 (The Message)

Matthew 11:28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Isaiah 40:28-31Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.

Reflect:

We reach day seven, our Sabbath rest and also the last day of 2011. A day to reflect, to rest and to remember. Throughout scripture God points to a different way of living. To step of the escalator and follow Jesus. To walk with Jesus is not only refreshing, but also our true way of living. As we learn to wait and to watch Jesus, we learn to truly find life and the unforced rhythms of grace.

I hope you have a great New Year and that as you reflect on 2011 and look forward to 2012, may Jesus be your all in all.

Respond:

Father, thank you for rest. Thank you for days off, for time to celebrate with friends and family. As this year ends, may we look forward to all that you may do in 2012, may we learn to rest in your unforced rhythms of grace and live in the knowledge of you and your ways. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Fifth Day…

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Reflect
Today we reach day number five.

Five in the Bible is most often associated with the first five books of the Bible, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Or the books of Moses or the books of the law.

Our scripture reading today is all about meditating on God’s word. Psalm 1 calls us to meditate on the word of God day and night. Later in the Gospels, Jesus said he had not come to change anything from the law, but that he was fulfilling the law. Filling it out, putting flesh on it.

Have you ever read the Bible in a year? Will you in 2012?

Have you consciously tried to look at every passage you read looking for Jesus?

He is there, putting flesh on the very words of God.

Respond

Holy Spirit, help me find Jesus. As I read, study, digest, mull over and generally flick through your word would you show me Jesus. Turn my gaze to Jesus, may all that thrills my soul by Him and Him alone. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Third Day…

Read: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Reflect:

Faith, Hope and Love.

Three small words with huge impact. They surround, encompass, ground and give life to following Jesus.

God’s actions throughout time reveal the loving heart of a creator, the compassion of a Father – the Love that overflows from the trinity. By Faith we receive this love and embrace it in this present moment in Jesus. We live in Hope that our future is in Christ and we will share in the Love of the Father, Son and Spirit.

Respond:

Father, we praise you! Holy Spirit bring your word alive to us. Jesus, we thank you for revealing the fullness of God.May my faith be Jesus, may my hope be Jesus and may my love be Jesus. Amen

Happy Birthday Mrs Blunders, love you…always xxx

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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