Wednesday 13th May 2020

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Below are the lyrics of a hymn which was very popular as I was growing up, use it to lead you into prayers of praise and thanks to God.

In all the world around me I see His loving care,

And though my heart grows weary, I never will despair;

I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast;

The day of His appearing will come at last.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.

He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives? - He lives within my heart!

( A.H. Ackley © 1933 Word Music)

On YouTube listen to: ‘across the lands’

We continue to think about the New Testament addition to our Covenant Verse (Matthew 22: 37 / Luke 10: 27) – where we are told not only to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength, but also to love him with all our mind.

People sometimes use the phrase ‘a leap of faith’ but a good portion of the New Testament is written by Paul who received the best education available at the time – an education similar to that which today would create the sort of mind a good lawyer would need. Paul’s letters don’t ask us to take ‘a leap of faith’ but instead invite us to use our minds to forensically investigate the evidence and come to a conclusion. We see his ‘lawyers mind’ at work most clearly in his letter to the Romans, and that is perhaps why we find it as difficult to read as a legal document and so often we end up just picking ‘cherries’ off the top of it – and perhaps take away some of the icing, but rarely get to grips with the substance of it.

Try reading some of this letter from a paraphrase or contemporary translation. Here are a few verses from Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase ‘The Message’

Romans 7: 21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.

The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands,

but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.

Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24-25 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope.

Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.

He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God

with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

I guess that we can all recognise the dilemma as it is described in ‘The Message, now read it again in the translation of the bible you usually use and continue reading into the opening verses of ch.8

In all of Paul’s New Testament letters we can see him saying that faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is a logical step to take once you consider all the facts. The lyrics at the top of this article point towards how I logically come to the same conclusion that Paul writes about in his letters.

For me I find it impossible to believe that ourselves and the world we live in are the result of many, many hap-hazard events. Instead as I look around me I see don’t see a world of chaotic coincidences, but I see order and the work of a creator who wants to reveal something of his amazing mind, infinite abilities and unending love.

Here are some very familiar lyrics. Read them and then consider the faithfulness (reliability) of God, and think about the many different ways in which he has revealed to you his presence, love and care.

Summer and winter, and spring-time and harvest,

sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

join with all nature in manifold witness

to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

all I have needed Thy hand has provided -

great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

(T. O. Chisholm 1866-1960)

Listen to the inspiring words of this song YouTube: ‘I speak Jesus lyrics’

Dorothy has passed on to me a pdf of Birmingham City Mission’s latest newsletter. Email me if you would like a read a copy.

Friday’s ‘Guest Writer’ is Sonia who will give us an account of how she has always tried to follow Jesus wherever he leads her. It is a lengthier read than our usual contributions - she gave me permission to edit it, but I couldn’t see how I could take any of it out, so look forward to a long read on Friday and I will write to you again on Sunday - Stephen

Page last updated: 14th May 2020 7:55 PM