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Good Tidings of Great Joy

Good Tidings of Great Joy this Christmas

Christmas, Jesus Changes Lives

Don’t forget the greatest gift of all this Christmas, and it’s from God!

It’s so easy to forget the reason for this special time of year; take a moment to consider the meaning of the birth of God’s Son coming to the earth in the little town of Bethlehem.

Remember how no one had room for Mary and Joseph when they arrived in the town; the folk of Bethlehem were too busy with their own lives. We are pretty busy too, but have you got room for Jesus this Christmas? Join us in reading a short piece from the bible: Luke, chapter 2 v1-21. The prophet Isaiah in chapter 7v14 predicted this birth centuries before – you might wish to read that too.

We have a special message to each and everyone of you that in a world of uncertainty that we may accept the ‘good tidings of great joy’ and believe on Jesus as the Saviour of mankind. He took our place by dying on the Cross in Jerusalem.  It’s as if a judge says to a guilty convict: ‘You’re free, I will take your punishment!’ What joy & change for the guilty!

God’s gift is free & for you.

 

What Keeps Us from Serving Others?

‘To answer before listening – that is folly…’

To serve others effectively, you must be attuned to what they need. What keeps us from doing that? Assumption. A lady in an airport lounge bought a packet of biscuits and sat down to read the newspaper. She heard a rustling noise and looked up to see the man beside her helping himself to the biscuits. Not wanting to make a scene, she leaned over and took one herself, hoping he’d get the message. Then she heard more rustling.   She couldn’t believe it. The man was helping himself to another biscuit! There was only one left! She watched in disbelief as he broke the remaining biscuit in two, pushed half across to her, popped the other half in his mouth, and left. She was still furious when her flight was announced. Imagine how she felt when she opened her handbag to get her ticket out—and found her unopened packet of biscuits! Now be honest, didn’t you assume the stranger was helping himself to her biscuits? Of course you did, and that tells you a lot about yourself! Too often we’re guilty of making assumptions about people and once you put someone in a box, it’s hard to think of them any other way. Do you agree?? Every time a good tailor sees a client, he takes new measurements. He never assumes they’re the same size as they were the last time. That’s a good policy. Never make assumptions about someone’s background, profession, race, gender, age, nationality, politics, faith, or other factors. Once you do, you stop paying attention and miss clues that can help you to know what they really need.

From UCBco.uk

Be a Peacemaker

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’

Patience

Self-control

Wisdom

Do these three characteristics above mark you?

Jesus spent much of His ministry tearing down barriers and building bridges. He did it through acts of love such as washing the feet of those who would fail and betray Him, eating with a tax collector everybody in town despised, and giving hope to a fallen woman that society condemned. The Bible says, ‘Peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness’ (James 3:18 NLT). Words of peace are like seeds. They don’t produce fruit overnight, but slowly and silently they work their way to the surface, changing hearts, minds, attitudes and futures. Doctor Robert Oppenheimer, the noted physicist who masterminded the first atomic bomb, was asked by a congressional committee if there was any defence against it. Addressing a hushed audience he replied, ‘Yes—peace!’ Now, if peace can defuse an atomic bomb, think what it can do in the lives of the people you come in contact with! Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.’ Every day you’ll meet frightened, despairing, lonely, angry people who need a word of peace. Do you have one? Solomon offers us three ways to calm strife, defuse a tense situation, and get a better result: 1)Patience. ‘A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel’ (Proverbs 15:18 NIV). 2) Self-control. ‘Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 NIV). 3) Wisdom. ‘A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offence’ (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).

From UCB – For other daily devotions click here

Divisions and distractions

Is there a situation at work or church where people have started arguing instead of working together? Pray that they will see beyond their differences and work together. Have you let your frustrations distract you from what God has asked you to do? Ask God to help you let go and move forward – point to read – Matthew 4v19

 

From UCB Prayer Today.

Serving God’s purpose in our generation

David served God’s purpose in his generation – Acts 13v36 He was a man after Gods heart, fulfilling Gods purposes on earth. You do the eternal & timeless (God’s purpose) in a contempory and timely way (in your generation). Neither past nor future generations can serve Gods purpose in this generation. Only we can. Like Esther, God created you ‘for such a time as this’. God is still looking for people to use ‘ The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order the strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.’ Will you serve God’s purpose in your generation? One day history will close, but eternity will go on forever.

Extract from Day 40 – What on earth am I here for? – Rich Warren.

Are you feeling very low in spirit or tired in body today?

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Are you feeling very low in spirit or tired in body today? Maybe the buffeting you have been enduring has exhausted you. The Lord has good news for you. He says eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it even entered into the heart of man the wonderful things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

You can believe the lies of the devil, who is saying to you that you’re a failure, a loser, and that you will never about to anything. But Jesus said ‘ It is finished’ and He meant it. He has done the job and completed the task. Victory is ours.

Think about this question today: how big is God? The answer is very simple. God is as big as you allow Him to be.

– an excerpt from “A Farmer’s Year” by Angus Buchan – written for May 2nd.

Christianity is Christ

‘And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. Mark 3v6’

A man was healed and the response of the Pharisees was to plot the death of the Healer. The Pharisees were a heartless group but sometimes my attitude may be too similar to theirs. in order to avoid such an attitude we need to trust God’s truth in every circumstance and not impose our own wisdom. We need to reach out to all peoples as the Saviour did – never creating false barriers between any. And we need to avoid allowing ritualism to take control of our lives. Christianity is Christ and we need to live with that reality, not bound by forms or activities that may be historical but not Biblical. – I.I.M