Virgin of Vladimir (+ image by the hand of Stephen Allison 2008)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Jesus our Light and Light of the World

Notes of meeting on 14 April 2015

Picture of a long column of people all moving on a path toward a great light.
Jesus was that light, it was in Him and all around Him, and shone out to all.
This light is the light of the Father who is in Him.
The people of all nations walked towards Him and the nearer they got to Jesus the more they shone with His love.
There were others in the background who were not of this light and they appeared as animals ready to attack. Jesus sent angels to protect the people on the path from those who were not on the path.
The people on the path were from all countries and all religions. Those not Christian had converted to Jesus because He revealed Himself to them, they were included in the light because they called Him "Lord and Son of God".
All the brothers and sisters praised God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus days "I am the light of the world, come follow Me"

We shouldn't judge other nations, religions but pray earnestly for Jesus to reveal Himself to them. our ways are not the ways of Jesus. He says He is the True Light so perhaps he means for us to look to Him and not the so called light of material things such as money, power etc. that the lord of the underworld would have us look to for fulfilment.

John 1 v 1-14
1 In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him.
4 What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men;
5 and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it.
6 A man came, sent by God. His name was John.
7 He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him.
8 He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light.
9 The Word was the real light that gives light to everyone; he was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him.
11 He came to his own and his own people did not accept him.
12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name
13 who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself.
14 The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

2 Corinthians 4 v 1-12
1 Such by God's mercy is our ministry, and therefore we do not waver
2 but have renounced all shameful secrecy. It is not our way to be devious, or to falsify the word of God; instead, in God's sight we commend ourselves to every human being with a conscience by showing the truth openly.
3 If our gospel seems to be veiled at all, it is so to those who are on the way to destruction,
4 the unbelievers whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world, so that they cannot see shining the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 It is not ourselves that we are proclaiming, but Christ Jesus as the Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 It is God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' that has shone into our hearts to enlighten them with the knowledge of God's glory, the glory on the face of Christ.
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God's and not our own.
8 We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair;
9 we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us;
10 always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body.
11 Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh.
12 In us, then, death is at work; in you, life.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

Notes of meeting on 7 April 2015

April Prayer Intention

"May we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters," "May we learn to understand the suffering of others! May no one abuse the name of God through violence!" (Pope Francis)

·         Lord God  we pray in faith and confidence that you will hear us and will move powerfully in answer to our prayers of love and compassion (John 14:12-14).

·         Lord God give us a heart filled with love and compassion towards all non-believers.

·         Lord God we pray that non-believers, will have a full revelation of you and Your loving character (Hebrews 8:8-9).

·         Lord God we pray against the fear that influences many non-believers (1 John 4:18).

·         Lord God we pray that non-believers will also understand that God desires for everyone to know Him as children and not as slaves (Galatians 4:7, Matthew 18:3).

·         Lord  God we pray for non-believers that they will be convicted of sin and know true repentance, that they would experience God's total forgiveness and thus be able to forgive others. And, we are pray that they would know the assurance of salvation through Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Peter 5:6, Matthew 6:14-15).

·         Lord God send the power of your Holy Spirit upon all non-believers.

·         Lord God we pray for ISIS to be stopped.

·         Lord God we pray for the hearts of those in ISIS to be redeemed by our Saviour

·         Lord God we pray for our western leaders and Arab leaders that they have wisdom and courage to act against ISIS with justice and mercy in equal measure.

·         Lord God we pray for those martyred by ISIS and those who are displaced and threatened by ISIS.

·         Lord God we pray for all those working in and among all those displaced and threatened by ISIS to bring them aid and comfort.                                                                 


Matthew 5
43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;
45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?
47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?
48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'

Matthew 18 v 20
20 For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.'

John 20 v 1 -23
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb
2 and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,' she said, 'and we don't know where they have put him.'
3 So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb.
4 They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first;
5 he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in.
6 Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground
7 and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.
8 Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.
9 Till this moment they had still not understood the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
10 The disciples then went back home.
11 But Mary was standing outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, as she wept, she stooped to look inside,
12 and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet.
13 They said, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she replied, 'and I don't know where they have put him.'
14 As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not realise that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?' Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.'
16 Jesus said, 'Mary!' She turned round then and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbuni!' -- which means Master.
17 Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'
18 So Mary of Magdala told the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and that he had said these things to her.
19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,'
20 and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord,
21 and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.'
22 After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained.

1 Corinthians 1 v 22 - 31
22 While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks look for wisdom,
23 we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the gentiles foolishness,
24 but to those who have been called, whether they are Jews or Greeks, a Christ who is both the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 God's folly is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by human standards, not many influential, not many from noble families.
27 No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong,
28 those who by human standards are common and contemptible -- indeed those who count for nothing -- to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something,
29 so that no human being might feel boastful before God.
30 It is by him that you exist in Christ Jesus, who for us was made wisdom from God, and saving justice and holiness and redemption.
31 As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast of the Lord.


Notes of meeting on 31 March 2015

Isaiah 53 v 5- 6
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are  healed .
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.


The nature of God's love for us is seem supremely in the cross.
Because He is both holy and  just, God could not shrug His shoulders at sin and say, 'It doesn't matter'. All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. Sin is unholiness; whatever offends the Lord. The Holy One cannot be united with the unholy. It was necessary for God to do something to cleanse us of unholiness do that we might have fellowship with Him. There was only one alternative: we would die eternally and miss His glory.
Because of our sin we deserve eternal separation from God; we deserve hell, not heaven. WE could never earn the right to have fellowship with God. this is a gift of grace - God giving to those who deserve nothing. So He sent His Son into the world, not that men should be condemned, but saved _ from sin and eternal death.
Those who believe in Jesus will not be condemned, but are given the gift of eternal life now. Because He is the Son of God and your Saviour, you need to confess your sins to Him and ask for His forgiveness.
On the cross he offered to the Father His sinless life on your behalf as a sinner; He gave His perfect life for your imperfections, His holy life for your unholiness. God's love is so great for you, He deliberately sent His Son to make such an offering on your behalf: 'For the transgression of my people he was stricken' (Isa. 53 v 8).
Jesus died the death of a criminal because He was experiencing the punishment you deserve, 'the punishment that brought us peace was upon him' (Isa. 53v 5). you do not need to suffer punishment from God for your sins. He will not punish twice for the same offence. if Jesus has borne your punishment, you can be freely forgiven. And when god forgives, He forgets.
Jesus could cry out in triumph on the cross 'It is finished' or 'It is accomplished'. Everything for out forgiveness and salvation was accomplished. Jesus had made the supreme sacrifice of love that we might be set free.
John tells us plainly: 'If we say, 'We have no sin,' we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil. If we say, 'We have never sinned,' we make him a liar, and his word has no place in us.' (1 John 1 v 8-10).
When God forgives you, He makes you righteous in His sight; you are put right with Him. Rejoice in what Jesus done for you and know that every time you pray, you can pass all the burdens of your sins on to the Lord. He is willing to take them. He wants to forgive you and He died to make this possible.
He wants to see you freed from sin and guilt, rejoicing in His peace. He wants to see you enjoying your relationship with Him as your loving heavenly Father.

(Forgiven taken from  Listen and Live by Colin Urquhart. ISBN 0-340-41779-X)

Hebrews 9 v 24 - 28
24 It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was merely a model of the real one; he entered heaven itself, so that he now appears in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 And he does not have to offer himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own,
26 or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. As it is, he has made his appearance once and for all, at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself.
27 Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgement,
28 so Christ too, having offered himself only once to bear the sin of many, will manifest himself a second time, sin being no more, to those who are waiting for him, to bring them salvation.