VIDEO Peace on Earth

WW I statue
Moments of peace point beyond themselves to One far better than ourselves.

Sainsbury’s, the third largest chain of supermarkets in the UK, has produced a Christmas 2014 Ad that rises above its commercial interests.

In attempting to re-create a World War 1 Christmas “miracle”, it provides a taste of peace, foreseen in an ancient prophecy of Isaiah.

If you haven’t seen it, here are the short videos, to the historical story behind it, and another describing the making of the commercial.

Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas 2014 Ad

Sainsbury’s Christmas – The story behind our Christmas ad

Sainsbury’s Christmas 2014 – The making of our Christmas ad

Isaiah 2:1-4
2 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,

3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For pout of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; wand the government shall be xupon4 his shoulder,and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting bFather, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

by Mart De Haan

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Sharing in the Atonement

Jesus Crown of Thorns
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ… —Galatians 6:14

The gospel of Jesus Christ always forces a decision of our will. Have I accepted God’s verdict on sin as judged on the Cross of Christ? Do I have even the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death— to be completely dead to all interest in sin, worldliness, and self? Do I long to be so closely identified with Jesus that I am of no value for anything except Him and His purposes? The great privilege of discipleship is that I can commit myself under the banner of His Cross, and that means death to sin. You must get alone with Jesus and either decide to tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you, or that at any cost you want to be identified with His death.

When you act in confident faith in what our Lord did on the cross, a supernatural identification with His death takes place immediately. And you will come to know through a higher knowledge that your old life was “crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6). The proof that your old life is dead, having been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you now enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.

Every once in a while our Lord gives us a glimpse of what we would be like if it were not for Him. This is a confirmation of what He said— “…without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). That is why the underlying foundation of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the joy of our first introduction into God’s kingdom as His purpose for getting us there. Yet God’s purpose in getting us into His kingdom is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means.

by Oswald Chambers

A Reason to Celebrate

Galatians 4:4-5

At Christmastime, the part of Jesus’ life that we think about most is, of course, His birth. You hear sermons about it, see nativity scenes everywhere, and perhaps even notice the Bethlehem story referenced on secular news broadcasts. What we all too easily forget at this time of year, however, is the reason that little baby came. He was born to die.

Now, you may not like thinking about that right now. You may be preparing food for a family gathering or looking around your home at some beautiful decorations, and you just do not want to think about the brutal death that awaited the peaceful infant at the center of your manger scene. And yet, how can we truly celebrate the birth of Christ without taking into account the reason for His arrival?

Jesus had a purpose in life. From the moment He appeared that night in Bethlehem, He lived His life on mission for the Father. He came to show us who God really is. He came to teach us how to live, walk, and talk as spiritual people. But most importantly, He came so that we might have a full, intimate relationship with the Father He knew so well. Jesus’ job was to secure our salvation. That victory would cost Him His life.

Therefore, as we embrace the celebration of Christmas, let us not lose our focus. As we lay our praises at the foot of the manger, let us not forget that He came so that we may lay our sins down at the foot of the cross. This is Jesus’ Christmas gift to you.

Cosmetology and the Christian

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

It is fascinating to learn that the two Greek words translated “adorning” in the New Testament are kosmos and kosmeo, from which we get our English words “cosmos” and “cosmology,” referring to the entire universe as an ordered system, as opposed to “chaos,” a disordered system. Surprisingly, our modern word “cosmetics” also comes from the same source which, technically speaking, constitutes any kind of adornment that transforms something ugly and disordered into something beautiful and well-ordered.

The apostle Peter, however, stresses that genuine cosmetics are not used to beautify one’s outward appearance but to transform a believer’s life by the Holy Spirit. When one’s heart and life are changed from a spiritual chaos into a purposeful cosmos through redeeming trust in Christ, the change then soon becomes apparent in the outward appearance as well. The ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit soon shows up in a peaceful and radiant countenance.

Similarly, the apostle Paul urges that Christian “women adorn themselves in modest apparel . . . not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Thus, in addition to a quiet and gentle spirit, the true Christian cosmetology is an array of good works.

Finally, the Christian herself (or himself!) should be a beautiful cosmetic adornment to the very gospel of Christ, “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:10). HMM

Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart

Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.—2 Chronicles 29:9.

IN little things of common life,
There lies the Christian’s noblest strife,
When he does conscience make
Of every thought and throb within,
And words and looks of self and sin
Crushes for Jesus’ sake.
J. B. S. MONSELL.

WHERESOEVER we be, whatsoever we are doing, in all our work, in our busy daily life, in all schemes and undertakings, in public trusts, and in private retreats, He is with us, and all we do is spread before Him. Do it, then, as to the Lord. Let the thought of His eye unseen be the motive of your acts and words. Do nothing you would not have Him see. Say nothing which you would not have said before His visible presence. This is to do all in His name. em>HENRY EDWARD MANNING.

If one sign surer than any other be chosen to mark the progress of the Divine life, it is when sanctity prevails even in the minutest points of character, and in ordinary ways. The look, the faintest expression, the casual act, may tell more of the secret power of Jesus in the soul, than world-famed acts of self-devotion. T. T. CARTER.

God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son

God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. — I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. —No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. — He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life. — For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

John 5:26,21. John 11:25,26. John 10:11,17,18. John 14:6. 1 John 5:12. Colossians 3:3,4

Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me

Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me.Isaiah 27:5

I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil. — There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. In Christ Jesus ye who sometime were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace.

It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell: and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself. — Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past: … that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. — If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Trust ye in the LORD for ever, for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

Jeremiah 29:11. Isaiah 48:22. Ephesians 2:13,14. Colossians 1:19,20. Romans 3:24-26. 1 John 1:9. Isaiah 26:4.