Christmas has, loosely speaking, become one huge party, without an invitation to the Guest of Honour! I believe I touched on this point in a previous deacon letter, and so I’ll not dwell any further on the subject; except to say we should not be surprised at the way in which people react towards our Lord and his followers, as we are well into the Last Days. To read more about this, some of you may like to read Matthew chapter 24 verses 3-35.
Joyce Myer, a strong American Christian lady, who can be viewed on TV channel 65, has said: “People don’t want God, for they don’t want to give up anything, or be expected to do things for Him. If they could have God and everything else, that would be different and they would accept Him!”
Quite some years’ ago, my husband Peter enrolled in a three-day First Responder course in Lapford, which is a vital and practical course on how to deal with a person in physical dire circumstances. Unfortunately, other ‘things’ came into our lives around that time, and he therefore stopped going. To get to the point I wish to make – the Lord Jesus Christ is our First Responder. As it is written in the bible: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46 v. 1 He is of course omnipresent (present in all places at the same time), and we can, and should, freely make use of this unique and extraordinary gift by turning to Him in all our circumstances.
Joyce Meyer also said: “If we don’t see an answer to our prayers, we must not give up praying, for God said He will answer if we believe, but He didn’t say how long it would need to take!” And when we see our prayers being answered, it is very important that we remember to thank Him. Remember also, the Lord’s timing is not the same as ours, and we have to ‘fit in’ with others and the ‘wider picture’.
I dislike being in a situation where I need forgiveness, as it means I have let the Lord down, but the more quickly I have repented and admitted I was wrong, and have not tried to ‘wrestle’ with Him, saying things like: ‘well, it wasn’t my fault’, or: ‘how did I know?’ or: ‘what have I done, what about so and so, they’re just as bad!’ the more quickly I have felt at peace. In the end, our consciences convict us and, realising we can do comparatively little in our own strength, we ask for that special forgiveness which only God can give, so long as we are sincere of course. God is gracious and understands our human imperfections, and will never ignore a contrite heart. Psalm 51 v. 17.
I have always had some sort of awareness of God’s existence, and I think it is fair to say I was taught to fear Him, but I never did think He was fearsome, somehow. In fact, as I recall sharing my innermost thoughts with my ‘cuddlies’ (my teddy etc.) and also our dog, I realise I had a greater listener in Jesus, the One who cared and was able to put things right.
We in Lapford have recently paid homage, to those who fought in two world wars for our country, and Peter and I were thrilled by the efforts made by many in the village who worked hard to ensure those soldiers were suitably remembered. I have a book entitled “Miracles and Angels” written by Dr. E.K. Victor Pearce, in which he explains how many soldiers, before World War 1, had given their lives to Jesus. I strongly recommend this book, as it is truly amazing. Do get hold of a copy if you can.
As Christmas approaches, may the Lord will bless us all with fresh appreciation of who Jesus is.
With Christian love,
From Vivienne (Viv)