“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
~ Romans 5
I know that Christians know this. But is it one of those truths that is so familiar it has become a cliché which we say, but do not feel? I once gave a talk in a secular bookshop where I was asked by a woman at the end how I knew that God loved me — not just people in general, but me. As I spoke to her about the cross and the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me — the look on her face was astonishing — her mouth was open, and her eyes looked as though they would pop! When I finished, she said; “I’m not saying I believe that, but if it is true, it’s the most wonderful thing I have ever heard!” At that point she had grasped the cross better than most of the professing Christians in the room! May we never lose the wonder of the cross!
Petition: Please join with us in praying for:
1. Australia – Victoria is gradually easing out of lockdown; NSW’s track and trace scheme seems to be working and as a result churches can now have 300 in attendance; Hillsong’s Brian Houston had an excellent column speaking up for the church in Thursday’s SMH; the WA, Queensland and NSW Premiers are arguing about who pays for quarantine; and Melbourne appears to have had one case of re-infection.
2. The World – It is now clear that the situation in Europe and the US is deteriorating – at least in the number of new cases. However, it is also clear that although the number of cases is increasing, the percentage that result in serious illness and death is decreasing. There could be several reasons for this. The virus itself may be weakening, countries are better prepared this time around; more testing means that more cases are being discovered; hospitals have a better understanding of how to treat patients etc. A big concern remains the harm being done in poorer countries, by lockdown measures, especially amongst the poor. For example, one unforeseen side effect in India has been that for many of the beggars on the streets this has been a disaster — as more people are unemployed and do not have money or food to give.
3. The Church – The church in China is facing increased persecution. In one of the latest attacks, the graves of 20 Swedish missionaries who were responsible for seeing thousands of Chinese come to know the Lord in the early part of the 20th Century, have been bulldozed and destroyed. The CCP is seeking to eradicate the Church — but the gates of Hell shall not prevail.
How Great Thou Art – This is a beautiful rendition of How Great Thou Art in Mandarin.
People of all tongues shall praise Him!
Prayer: Lord God, we confess that sometimes we doubt Your love, and we look for proof of it.
Open our eyes to see the greatest proof of all — the gift of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
You gave Him to us when we were still Your enemies. You so loved the world.
Help us to see that everything else comes from that.
Having given us Christ, how will You not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things.
We praise Your Name and rest in Your love, Amen.
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As we review what happened at the time of the Chanukkah miracle, that the Temple was rededicated to the Lord’s service, sanctifying it by the sacrifice, the lamps, and the oil, may Israel also be rededicated to the Lord in this season.