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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Do you sometimes think that God TEMPTS you?


Every now and then I hear people saying that God had tempted them to do wrong but, realising that it was just a test, they refused to succumb to the temptation. Sometimes even well-meaning Christians will say this, or words to the same effect, which is sad because they obviously have not considered Scripture. Not only can God not be tempted to do evil Himself, NEITHER CAN HE TEMPT OTHERS TO! Whenever anyone is tempted then it's the devil at work, and anyone who is misled into thinking otherwise is being misled by Satan.

Anyway, I spoke on this subject last Sunday morning, and I thought that I'd share it with you dear reader, today. The reading that accompanied my teaching was from James chapter 1 and the first 15 verses. My text was from Matthew: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (6:13) .

Because temptation is a daily battle right throughout our lives, there can be no doubt that when Jesus taught us to pray to ‘Our Father, who is in heaven . . .’ we were intended to pray the prayer on a daily basis. We must never forget to whom the prayer is addressed ― the sovereign God who is our heavenly Father. In a sense each petition in the prayer affirms this in some way, but the petition that does so in a particularly special way is ‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’. Even one day of relaxation during the battle with temptation can be spiritually fatal. Whilst Jesus didn’t experience the need in the second of the prayer’s petitions, Forgive us, He did experience temptation. Since He never succumbed to any temptation he had no need to ask for forgiveness. Some people may question whether or not Jesus really knew the full power of temptation, but the truth is that the only person who can fully understand the power of temptation is the person who is able to fully resist it, and so we can understand that Jesus knew more about temptation than any of us.

Lead us not into temptation. In this particular context the Greek word used for ’lead us’ is a word that is commonly translated ’bring us’, and is usually used with reference to a person moving something from one place to another, and probably expresses also the Hebrew idea of causing something to be brought or led. So this petition affirms that God is in a position to cause things to happen — to bring us or lead us — as it may please Him, thereby affirming Him as Sovereign. As our Sovereign Lord, God has control over everything that affects us: over our circumstances, over the spiritual forces outside our lives, and over us.
Lead us not into temptation. Since temptation can come from finding yourself in the wrong circumstance, this petition affirms that god has control over circumstances. It addresses Him as the one who orders the steps of His people, and so it becomes important to believe that God can actually order the circumstances of your life to protect you from the attractions of evil. Since temptation usually comes from spiritual forces outside the sphere of our lives this petition affirms that God has ultimate and sovereign control over all the spiritual forces in our world. Even though Satan and the forces of evil would love to be in control, the truth is that they cannot move outside the realms of God’s control. Whilst God does not cause them to do the evil that they do, nevertheless He does still have them under His sovereignty.

Lead us not into temptation. Many temptations are of our own making, and so this petition affirms that God has sovereignty over our own lives. We petition Him to LEAD US! To BRING US! And this personalises the sovereignty of God. It’s so easy to see God as having control over everything except our lives, simply because we like to feel in charge, but that can never be the case. Our lives will always be controlled by outside forces, whether the forces for good or for evil, the choice will have been made by us. It’s easy to slip into an attitude that sees all life as being out of control, but this petition affirms that God is in control.

Lead us not into temptation. Sometimes people can be confused about the source of temptation. The Bible teaches us that the devil tempts people whilst God only TESTS people. James 1: 13-15 says, let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he us carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. God Himself cannot commit sin, nor can He tempt anyone to commit sin. Therefore, it’s always a mistake for anyone to blame God for their temptation to do something wrong, for God is never responsible for temptation of any kind.

The Bible speaks of God’s testing a person. For example, Abraham was tested by god when he was instructed to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. God as not tempting Abraham to do something sinful, but He was testing the depth of Abraham’s commitment and the strength of his faith. Whenever God puts a person to the test, it’s to give that person the opportunity to prove themselves. Of course, there’s always the possibility of failure, but the test won’t create the weakness of commitment ― it will only reveal it.

Lead us not into temptation. Whenever the word temptation is used in connection with sin, another beside God is responsible. Ultimately the responsibility lies with Satan, but obviously he’ll work through our own sinful natures, through others, and through circumstances. It’s this type of temptation that is referred to in this petition. When we pray, lead us not into temptation, we are praying that we might escape a confrontation with the temptation to sin. Only fools flirt with temptation because there’s always the possibility that they’ll succumb to it.

Lead us not into temptation. What can we expect when we pray this prayer? Can we expect that god will protect us from the influence of Satan, or immunity from temptation? No! even our Lord Jesus, who surely knew how to pray this prayer, didn’t escape confrontation with temptation. We can, however, expect that we will not be stumbling headlong into temptation unprepared. We can expect that God’s provisions to aid us to resist temptation will always be both available and adequate. Paul writes, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Lead us not into temptation is a prayer of personal surrender to the lordship and leadership of God in your life. It’s a renunciation of the lordship and leadership of self, and it expresses the desire to avoid sin. The location of this petition in the Lord’s Prayer, coming as it does after the petition for forgiveness, is very significant. Whenever we experience release from guilt through forgiveness, we are left with the desire to never sin again.

We must give God complete control over our lives. Consider what this this involves. Since temptation occurs in certain circumstances, we have to agree to stay away from places, from people, and from circumstances in which we know temptation will exist. We must surrender our free time to the Lord, allowing Him to guide where we go and in what we do. This includes the books we read, the TV programmes and films that we watch, and the company we keep. By praying this petition to the Lord we ask Him to direct us to things, places and people who will help us to avoid sin. Temptation also occurs when riches or poverty come to a person, so we must surrender our finances to His control, and be ready to let god determine how much or how little wealth will be ours to enjoy. Only when we surrender everything to the Lord do we let Him protect us fully from temptation.

Lead us not into temptation. This petition must be part of our daily prayer life, and must be the true desire of our hearts. Unless you consider sin a serious matter you cannot seriously pray this prayer.

Lead us not into temptation. Praying this petition earnestly leads to a new freedom and a renewed walk with God in full control of your life.
Amen

Poem for Today

Summer Rose
The child runs, laughing
down the track,
then stops to stare,
to wonder at
the subtle shades
of pink and red
that lie ensnared
within the foliage green.
A trembling hand,
reaching out
to touch
the velvet petals,
to taste the perfume
trapped within.
With love that
just a child knows,
enraptured,
captured,
by the summer rose.
© 1978 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

1 Thessalonians 5:12

New Hymn for today : "Born Again!"

Born Again! 87 87
TUNE: Stuttgart
I’ve been born again in Jesus,
All my sins have been forgiv’n;
I am walking in His footsteps,
On the pathway up to heav’n.


It’s a long and narrow pathway
That leads up to heaven’s door.
Jesus Christ is my companion,
Now I’ll serve Him evermore.


Yes, I’ll serve and praise my Saviour,
For I have been born again:
My life has been changed for ever,
Jesus Christ, the King, doth reign!
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Thanksgiving: Joanne Lowe's Meditations

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (King James Version)


Thanksgiving is next month and we will have special events. However, every day should be Thanksgiving because God does so much for us every day. The most important thing in this world we have to be thankful for is Jesus, our precious Saviour.


Many years ago when I worked in nursing homes, I heard one of the residents say to another resident “When I was a child, we didn’t have indoor plumbing. We had to go to the bathroom outside.” Do we thank God that we have indoor plumbing?


When I worked the evening shift, I had to put a lot of residents to bed. Most of them were unable to lift their legs up on the bed and I had to put their legs on the bed for them. Have you ever thanked God because you are able to get in bed by yourself?


Do we thank Him for our bed? I don’t always remember to do it but many nights I have said to Him “Thank You for my bed, for my pillows, for my bedspread and sheets”. We take so many things for granted. May God forgive us.


As we celebrate Thanksgiving next month, let’s not forget to thank Him for the most important thing He has given us, our precious Saviour. He sent His beloved Son into the world to die for our sins. What great love He has for you and for me!


Heavenly Father, we confess we have sinned because we don’t always thank You for all You do for us. We’re sorry we hurt You. Please have mercy on us and forgive us for hurting You. May we never forget to thank You for our precious Saviour. Amen.


Joanne Lowe
joannelowe8@cox.net
www.joanne-ourprecioussaviour.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Poem for Today

Tea or Coffee . . .?
White coated ladies in muslin hats
keep orange juice cool in revolving vats.
Tea is kept bubbling away in the urn . . .
“I’ll have a rest, it’s time for your turn” . . .
Name-tabs proclaim, Mrs …….., By the till,
Mrs ……… is polishing the tabletops still!
One coffee, with cream that floats on the top,
two teas, one orange, will the trade never stop!
Some people are coming, standing in queues,
some on their own, others in twos.
The floors are now swept, the ash-trays are clean,
off to our homes to settle and dream,
of orange juice silently standing in vats,
and white-coated ladies in neat muslin hats.
© 1969 Colin Gordon-Farleigh

I remember sitting in the cafeteria section of the then fairly newly opened Debenhams Store in the shopping precinct at Swindon when I penned these lines, inspired by the busy tea-ladies who were serving on that day.

Meditation on Psalm 121

Psalm 121
 1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
      from whence cometh my help.
 2 My help cometh from the LORD,
      which made heaven and earth.
 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
      he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel
      shall neither slumber nor sleep.
 5 The LORD is thy keeper:
      the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
 6 The sun shall not smite thee by day,
      nor the moon by night.
 7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil:
      he shall preserve thy soul.
 8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
      from this time forth, and even for evermore.

New Hymn for today : "There is Joy"



There is Joy
TUNE: Joy
There is joy in my heart
When I hear the Saviour’s name,
He’s made a powerful diff’rence in my life!
Since I let Him in,
He’s forgiven all my sin;
Now there’s joy, yes, there’s joy, in my heart!
There is joy, there is joy,
there is joy in my heart!
Since I let Him in,
He’s forgiven all my sin;
now there’s joy, yes, there’s joy, in my heart!


There is joy in my soul,
When I praise the Saviour’s name,
He’s made a powerful diff’rence to my hope!
Now He’s made me whole,
Cleansed and purified my soul;
There is joy, purest joy, in my soul!
There is joy, there is joy . . .

There is joy in the world,
When we hear the Saviour’s name,
He’s made a powerful diff’rence to the world!
Royal anthems raise,
As we sing our songs of praise;
For there’s joy, yes there’s joy, in the world!
There is joy, there is joy . . .
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hayley Oliver Band keep soaring higher!

The Hayley Oliver Band were handed two Awards at the recent British Country Music Awards ceremony held at Lakeside.


The video below shows  the band playing shortly before they received their TWO AWARDS, The Horizon Award for Best New Band, and the Hotdisc Track of the Year, for I'm A Little Bluer Than That.


I keep on saying in this Blog about just how great Hayley Oliver and her Band are. These awards just help to reinforce that viewpoint!  Hayley is most definitely the 'Queen of the UK Country Music Scene!'

Charlotte Kerce sings 'Standing Room Only In Heaven'

The worship song that I have published today under the heading 'New Hymn for Today . . .' is featured on the CD He's Always With Me, recorded by Tallahassee songstress Charlotte Kerce, and available as a download from CD Baby and all major digital download sites. Why not download this great Country Gospel song today, dear reader.

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

OUR RESTORING SHEPHERD
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:1-3 (King James Version)


Jesus, our restoring Shepherd, not only restores our souls, He also restores us to health both physically and emotionally. Our loving Shepherd also restores our broken homes and our broken lives. Thank God for our restoring Shepherd!


Dorothy Ann Thrupp wrote a beautiful hymn “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”. I believe that she wrote this hymn from the depths of her heart. I am so glad that the words in this hymn are true.


“Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be; Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.” Jesus receives us just as we are. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves presentable to Him.


We are sinners until the precious cleansing blood of Jesus is applied to our hearts for the forgiveness of our sins. We can’t buy our way into Heaven and we can’t work our way into Heaven. The redeeming blood of Jesus is the only way to Heaven.


I don’t know how many crises and heartaches you have but I do know the One who can restore your health, your marriage and your home. It is always safe to trust Jesus. What He says, He will do! Thank You, Jesus, for being our restoring Shepherd.


Joanne Lowe
joannelowe8@cox.net
www.joanne-ourprecioussaviour.blogspot.com

New Hymn for Today : "Standing Room Only"

Standing Room Only
There’s standing room only in Heaven,
as the whole world worships the King;
in glory, with all sins forgiven,
their worshipful praises they sing!
And Satan’s lost his pow’r,
No more the earth to rule;
He’s lost his grip on man,
He only plays the fool!
He’s lost his grip on man,
He only plays the fool!


Sing worship and praises to Jesus,
as you stand in the light of the Son;
in glory, with your sins forgiv'n,
the battle now finally won!
And Satan’s lost his pow’r, . . .


By God’s grace you have your salvation,
redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
restored and completely forgiv'n,
join angels to praise great ‘I AM’!
And Satan’s lost his pow’r, . . .


There’s standing room only in Heaven,
join the throng that worships the King;
in glory, with your sins forgiven,
let your praise and worship loud ring!
And Satan’s lost his pow’r, . . .
© 2007 Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Meditation on Psalm 103:1

Poem for Today

Nostalgia
An hour to spare in an attic room,
watered sunlight seeping through the gloom;
a cardboard box that holds a past
of memories that could not last.
Lift the lid, and times that we once knew
come flooding back, with ribbons faded blue.
a photograph that’s mellowed now with years,
a smiling face comes clouding through the tears;
the edges turning yellow now with age,
the smile that laughed, to make a page.
That arm that beckons endlessly to me,
a promise that could never really be.
nostalgic thoughts, back to the start,
I close the lid with heavy heart,
to lock away my memories once more
Copyright 1978 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Proverbs 12:27: Diligence is man's precious possession



Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Hymn for today : "He is Always With Me"

He Is Always With Me
I can feel God's Spirit
stirring in my soul;
I can feel him moving
since Jesus made me whole.
I can feel God's Spirit
stirring in my soul;
since Jesus made me whole.
He is always with me,
each moment of the day;
He is always with me,
and He's teaching me the way.
He is always, always with me.
He is always with me.


He will lead and help me
follow Christ, the Way;
help me in my witness,
and guide me when I pray.
He will lead and help me
follow Christ, the Way;
and guide me when I pray.
He is always with me,
each moment of the day;
He is always with me,
and He's teaching me the way.
He is always, always with me.
He is always with me.


I will be a witness,
I will serve my Lord;
I will promise always
to live life by His Word.
I will be a witness,
I will serve my Lord;
to live life by His Word.
He is always with me,
each moment of the day;
He is always with me,
and He's teaching me the way.
He is always, always with me.
He is always with me.
© 2007 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Poem for Today



I Think I saw an Angel


One day, when I was walking,
When all the sky was blue,
And all the world was bustling,
So many things to do,
I saw a choir of angels
Passing overhead;
Or was it just a fancy
Of my beating heart instead?


I’m sure I heard a whirring,
The sound of angel wings;
I’m sure I heard the chorus
An angelic choir brings.
I’m sure I saw a shadow,
Passing overhead;
Or was it just a fancy
Of my beating heart instead?


I’ll never know for certain
What happened on that day;
And I’ll never know for sure
If an angel came my way.
If it was an angel’s wings
Passing overhead;
Or only just a fancy
Of my beating heart instead.
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Rhema Marvanne proves that you are never too young!

Rhema Marvanne is just 7 years old. Yes, that's right, SEVEN! You can sense the Holy Spirit in all that's happening here as she sings. This video is no one-off either, for Rhema has had 26 videos posted on YouTube, so why not look her up and view some more.

I hope, dear reader, that you will be blessed as you listen to her angelic voice.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New issue of 'The Voice Christian News & Views' out soon!

The November/December edition of The Voice Christian News & Views will be available soon, so make sure that you are registered on the Mailing List to receive this great FREE magazine. We send to all parts of the world, so it doesn't matter where you live, we'll get a copy to you! Just go to www.voicepublications.com and follow the link to 'The Voice' in order to register.

Krystyn Murphy the 'barefoot soprano'

One of the great benefits of being involved in the song-writing and music business, particularly when much of that involvement is open to view on the web, is that you get to link up with some great people with whom you share things in common. Someone whom I have just 'met' via Facebook is this talented young singer, Krystyn Murphy. Check her out on her website, but firstly of all take a listen to her singing Love is my Reason on this video.

New Hymn for today : "Walk With Me"

Walk With Me 6464 D
TUNE: Lathbury
Walk with me all the way,
My gracious Lord;
Teach me to live each day
Within Your word.
Jesus my need is for
Your guiding hand;
My one desire to serve,
You understand.

Lead me to walk within
Your sacred way;
Lifting my voice in praise
With each new day.
You saved and rescued me
At Calvary;
You came into my heart,
then set me free.

Now I would walk with You
My whole life through;
Doing the things I should,
You’ve taught me to.
Jesus, my life is Yours,
My heart and soul;
Through You the race is won,
You’ve made me whole.
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Praise the Lord, all you nations . . .

Psalm 117 
Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol Him, all you peoples.
For great is His love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Poem for Today

Through A Child's Eyes
He reads the newspaper
so well.
He turns the page
so carefully
to scan the adverts
so impatiently.
He follows through
the Stock Exchange
with barely a glance
at endless cartoons.
It almost seems
he understands it all --- 
this four-year-old.

Still --- perhaps he does.
It's upside down,
but still ---
I think he understands
as much as you or I.
Copyright 1968 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

This poem was published in Through A Glass Window, Gazebo Books, Hants, 1968. It demonstrated a complete change of style to all of my previous poetry.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meditation on Psalm 8 verse 9


"O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the world!"

New Hymn for Today : "To Christ, My Soul, Belong"


To Christ, My Soul, Belong   76 76
TUNE: Day of Rest
I long to see the Kingdom
Lit by the light of God;
I long to walk in footsteps
Where heaven’s saints have trod.
I long to sing God’s praises,
joined with the heav’nly throng,
Sing Glory! Alleluia!
Praise with angelic song.

As with my voice I praise Him,
Gaze on His glorious face,
In wonder, praise His glory,
Full blessed by heaven’s grace.
I lift my voice before Him,
In praise with joyful song;
My heart I give in worship,
To Christ, my soul, belong.
© 2006 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

WHOSE HIGHWAY
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”
Isaiah 35:8 (King James Version)

A beautiful hymn which was written by Florence Horton has encouraged my heart many times. “There’s a highway there and a way, Where sorrow shall flee away; And the light shines bright as the day, Walking in the King’s highway.”


The name of this inspiring song is “Walking in the King’s Highway”. If we choose the King’s highway and walk in it, He will take away the sorrows from our hearts with His tender love and compassionate kisses.


When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, the King’s highway became available for every person in the world. For some of you, He has been knocking at the door of your heart for many years and you have refused to let Him in.


Please stop rejecting Him. He paid an agonizing price for your salvation when He allowed them to crucify Him on a cross of horror. He was beaten beyond recognition for you.


Heavenly Father, please help us to stay on the King’s highway and walk in it instead of walking in satan’s highway. Thank You for Jesus, our precious loving Saviour. Amen.


Joanne Lowe
joannelowe8@cox.net
www.joanne-ourprecioussaviour.blogspot.com

Poem for Today

A Winter Scene

Crisp and cold, stars shining bright,
like a thousand glow-worms in the sky.
well wrapped people hurry onward,
oblivious to each other passing by.

Each with just one single thought,
the cheer of pine-logs warm and bright,
casting shadows on the festooned walls,
forgetting soon the cold dark night.

Snowflakes falling by the score,
counting hundreds, seeing millions,
settling silently in newfound beds,
ever watchful to the minions.

Ice lies thick upon the pond,
transforming every pool into a slab
as though of marble made;
glistening, sparkling, never drab.

Coloured lights swing and sparkle,
hanging down from every pole.
Listen to the carol, singers,
lusty voices from the soul.

This is time for our rejoicing,
for saying thanks for being here.
But just remember to whom we owe
the winter scene and Christmas cheer
© 1964 : Colin Gordon-Farleigh