An Ascension Day Poem

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Today is Ascension Day, a day which commemorates Jesus’ ascension in Heaven after a period of time following His resurrection.

The record of Jesus’ ascension can be found in Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:1-11.

To mark this Ascension Day we would like to share the following poem with you:

A Sonnet for Ascension Day

by Malcolm Guite

We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we our selves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light,
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed.

Source: https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/a-sonnet-for-ascension-day/

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The Greatest Sermon

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by Graham Mol

Yesterday my son had to give a history speech on a great leader and speak about what makes them a great leader. He had chosen to give his speech on Jesus. As we discussed the points of the speech we looked at how Jesus was a great teacher. His “Sermon on the Mount” is one of the most famous of His teachings. Our discussion prompted me to read through Jesus’ sermon in chapters 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew.

Reading through those three chapters is like listening to a “Greatest Hits” album of Christian teaching. Hits like the Beatitudes (Blessed are those…) to “You are the light of the world” to “Love your enemies” and “The Lord’s Prayer”. The Sermon on the Mount contains some of Jesus’ most powerful and challenging teachings for us as believers to follow. It is no wonder that the people listening to Him were astonished at the authority with which he spoke (Matthew 7:28-29).

There is one particular passage that I’d like to highlight today:

17 “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)

Those listening must have been shocked at this. How could one be more righteous than the very people who embodied righteousness, their religious leaders? The thing is, the people only saw what was on the outside, the display that the Pharisees and scribes put on. What was on the inside, going on in their hearts, was entirely another matter.

Following this statement Jesus looks at laws saying, “You have heard it said…” following each one with a “But I tell you…” statement. In each he does not negate the law but rather brings into focus the principle behind that law. In doing this He highlights the state of one’s heart before God. The scribes and Pharisees were very good at following the “letter” of the law and having the appearance of righteousness, the state of their hearts before God was another matter. What do you think matters more to the Lord?

“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)

 

God Bless

Graham

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Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah

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Guest Blog

by John Doyle

John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will GUIDE you into all Truth……”
Psalms 48:14 “For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our GUIDE even to death”
The great Hymn Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah was written by William Williams in 1745. It has been used for Worship in congregations around the World and across all denominations. Williams beautifully uses stories in Gods Word especially the book of Exodus to put the theme of God’s Guidance through difficult times.
 
In these difficult days of Lockdown we all need Gods Guidance, that we as Gods people can display to the World that on this journey, despite the hardships, we can proclaim that we are safely in the Loving caring Hands of our Mighty God.
 
But we do need to be open to the Guidance that God provides through His Word “into all truth”. And when we do this faithfully He will provide Guidance by applying:
 
1. GRACE
His Guidance flows with abundant Grace “And the Grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with Faith and Love, which are in Christ Jesus” 1 Timothy 1:14
 
2. UNITY
Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in full Unity in Guiding our directions in Life as we open up our hearts and minds to follow His Ways and not our own. Once again Gods Grace flows abundantly “The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” 2 Corinthians 13:14
 
3. INSPIRATION
When we choose to be Guided in His ways and not our own it will Inspire us to be Focused on those things that will help us to Grow in our Faith and Love for God. “For you know how we are exhorted and comforted and everyone of you as a father does to his children that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own Kingdom and Glory” 2 Thessalonians 2: 11 – 12.
 
4. DEDICATION
When as Gods people we dedicate our lives to Him and give of ourselves to those Whom He has given to us, (Family and Friends) we have an assurance that He will Guide us in all of those things that will help us to remain on track and fulfill the will of God for each of our lives “Let your heart be wholly dedicated to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments as of this day” 1 Kings 8:61
 
5. EMPOWERED
The Lord so desires to empower His people so that the World can see that there is Hope in God, despite the Trials and Tribulations that the Lockdown and Covid19 has brought to the World. In Christ we have been empowered by Faith to share His Love and the Gospel by practically applying the Fruit of Gods Holy Spirit to those whom He sends our way “We are strengthened with all might, according to His glorious Power, for all patience and Longsuffering with joy, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints that walk in the Light” Colossians 1: 11 – 12.
 
Let me encourage you today to allow our Triune God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit to provide Guidance for you as you journey on, in these difficult times and when we apply the G.U.I.D.E principals given above we can be assured that God will make a way “Thus says the Lord, which makes a way in the sea, and a path through the mighty waters” Isaiah 43:16
 
Yes, Its time to sing with me this great Hymn of the Faith.
 
1. Guide me, O my great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are Mighty; hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore, Feed me now and evermore.
 
2. Open now the crystal fountain, where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar, lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer, Ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.
 
3. When I tread the verge of Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction, land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever sing to you,
 
I WILL EVER SING TO YOU.
In the Love of the Lord Jesus,
John and Barbara.
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Trusting God

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by Luke Kincaid

Trust is essential to any healthy relationship. How good does it feel to know that you can trust a close friend, family member or significant other? The importance of trust cannot be understated:

“Trust is the faith you have in someone that they will always remain loyal to you and love you. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe with them. It is the building block for any relationship without which the foundation will always remain shaky… Trust is that foundation upon which your relationship can survive the hardest of times. In fact, without trust, you cannot sustain your relationship for a long time. Lack of trust is one of the reasons for relationships to fall apart.” – Kalpana M.

If trust is so important for human relationships how much more is it important that we place our trust in our God when it comes to our relationship with Him? What blows my mind about Jesus is that while human beings will always let us down in some way, regardless of the level of trust we put in them, the Son of Man will never let us down! We can always trust Him with certainty:

1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. – Titus 1:2

I have really been enjoying reading through the book of Titus and love the truth contained in verse 2 which shows the fact that God will never lie to us. This means His Word is perfect and true and that God will always do what He says He will. This means that we can always depend on Him!

Indeed, God is my salvation; I will trust him and not be afraid, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.” – Isaiah 12:2

4 Trust in the Lord forever, because in the Lord, the Lord himself, is an everlasting rock! – Isaiah 26:4

10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

 

Much love,

Luke

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