Abba Father

HEEEEELP, HOLY SPIRIT!

(December 07, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares…

I was warned decades ago when I first attended Friday night church prayer meetings about a ‘longwinded “Mrs XYZ”’ – that ‘She’ll go on and on, praying all around the world about everything and forget to stop and let others pray!’

Spiritual prayer
When we encourage people to pray, Maureen and I point out that we don’t have to pray long prayers. God will hear us, even if it’s only the shortest prayer! He sees our circumstances, knows our concerns. We simply be sincere, ask in Jesus’ name and trust God. Trusting means leaving it with Him, never trying ‘to take it back.’

The Holy Spirit, third person of the Godhead, is our helper, and will bring God’s answer. We tell folk our own prayers are sometimes brief… with our thoughts and spiritual eyes on Him! Merely ‘Help, Holy Spirit’, even ‘Heeeeelp, Holy Spirit.’ Sometimes just a desperate ‘Heeeeelp!’ Now that really rocks their boat!

No, we’re not being irreverent, dishonouring God, misusing Jesus’ name, and belittling the Spirit! Our hope is in our heavenly Father whom we know deeply in our hearts, and that He loves, His spiritual children.

Spiritual S.O.S.
Such a plea is a spiritual S.O.S call! When there isn’t time for a long prayer, that unless God moves quickly, immediately, all will be lost. It’s a little child’s cry from the heart, a ‘Daddy’ wail as it were.

Paul wrote, ‘Because you are His children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. He is the Holy Spirit. By His power we call God “Abba.” Abba means Father’ (Romans 8:4NIRV). Complete Jewish Bible reads… ‘Abba that is “Dear Father.”’

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THE INDESCRIBABLE WONDER  

(November 29, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, reflects on the full significance of next month’s spiritual highlight…

Christmas is quickly approaching.  Having grown up in in Ireland and then ministering in England, I was used to having Christmas as a mid-winter celebration and, I must admit, I miss that kind of Christmas atmosphere! But wherever we live, as Christians the most important thing we associate with Christmas is the birth of Jesus! Images readily spring to mind…

  • The newborn baby lying in a stable manger.
  • Mary and Joseph and the shepherds gazing in awe at the newborn child.
  • The visit of the wise men to the infant Jesus (although their timing was actually off by a couple of years)
  • Christmas carols playing a part in reinforcing this scenario.

A festival!
The surprising thing is that in the early church Christmas was not celebrated as a festival. I don’t mean that the first Christians didn’t believe that Jesus, God’s Son, was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Of course, they did. But in the first couple of centuries Christmas, as a festival, did not exist. In the early writings of Christians, there are no references to celebrating of Jesus’ birth while there are many references to celebrating his atoning death and glorious resurrection.  For example, about 20 years after the ascension of Jesus, Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, ‘Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival’ (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

Why then was the birth of Jesus not also celebrated as a festival?  I’m sure that part of the reason was that no one was really sure of the exact date on which Jesus was born although after a few centuries the church, with some rather strange reasoning, settled on two possible dates – December 25 and January 6 – although both dates are probably wrong!

Eventually, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, people began actively to celebrate
his birth in mid-winter. (more…)

THE FATHER’S LOVE

(September 12, 2017) Tim Edwards brings a timely word from Jeremiah

Every day I see more and more reasons – and more and more need – for us to look to God for his love, guidance, strength and direction. And for us to call out to God for restoration. Why? Because we human beings…

  • Are messy.
  • Make mistakes.
  • Need him, our Father God!

And he is there, rock-solid and real, always inviting us: ‘Come home to me.’

Personal restoration
This means you and I stopping and thinking about where we find ourselves in relation to God as our heavenly Father.

I am completely convinced that we need God to restore and reshape us; we need to hold onto God and allow him to mould us and remake us. Life is hard enough with God – I don’t know how people live life without him! It is most definitely time now, today, to be hungry for God to live in and through us, changing us and changing the world around us in the process. (more…)