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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sing It


God has put a song in our hearts, but has given us freedom to choose to “sing” it or not. In Psalm 96 we are reminded on where our focus and heart should be this coming year.

 1. Sing out to God, Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name, proclaim his salvation day after day.

2. Declare His glory, Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.

3. Proclaim that the Lord is King.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

We have something to sing about all year long! Amen?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Get Up


13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
   14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”   16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” - Matthew 2:13-18
Life is full of pain, but sometimes it can be avoided. Obedience to God’s law, and willingness to be led by the Holy Spirit can save us a lot of anguish. So, as we get ready for another year let’s decide to do it God’s way and not our way. Get up! See what happens. It will change your life.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Redeem


In Luke 2:36-40 we meet another person at the Temple, a woman named Anna. She had served the Lord all the days of her life, and now she was old. She loved the Lord worshiping, fasting, and praying to Him. 
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

I think because of her intimate relationship with God she was able to recognize the Messiah. I love this part of her reaction; she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Anna praised God and couldn’t help but to tell everyone about her encounter with Jesus. She knew He had come to redeem the world, and make a way to the Lord.

The same is true today. Have you accepted His redemption from your sins?

Ask for His forgiveness and believe He is Lord.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Promised


In Luke 2:25-35 we meet a man named Simeon who had been longing for Messiah. The Lord promised that he would not die until he had seen Him.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

   29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

   33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 

Not everyone recognized Jesus as the Son of God. It says that Simeon was righteous, devout, waiting, and watching for the Savior. Today those attributes are necessary for recognition of Jesus in our presence as well.


Allow God’s Spirit to lead you and fill you in knowing Jesus even more intimately.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Obedience


We see in Luke 2:22-24 the baby Jesus being presented in the Temple

    22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

The example being set here is one of wisdom. We are told throughout the Bible to fear the Lord and be obedient. Out of respect and willingness to do things God’s way Mary and Joseph went to the temple with their firstborn.

We need to approach the Lord with pure hearts and sacrificial lives. 1 Corinthians tells us to present our bodies as living sacrifices.  Christmas may be over, but we still need to let others see Christ in us.

Amen?

Monday, December 25, 2017

The True Story


1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ£ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14      “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.



Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

One Great Life


This has been around for a long time, and I don’t know who wrote it. It always makes me think about Jesus’ impact on the world. Enjoy!

He was born in an obscure village,

Earthly riches were not important to Him

He did not travel extensively, only once did

He crossed the boundary of the country in which He lived,

In infancy He startled a King, in childhood He amazed Jewish leaders,

He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.

He then became an itinerant preacher.

He never held office.

He never had a family or owned a house.

He didn’t go to college.

He had no credentials but himself.

He healed multitudes without medicine,

He made no charge for His service,

He never wrote a book, and yet all the libraries of the world could not hold the volumes that have been written about Him,

He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined,

He never founded a College, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students,

He never practiced psychiatry, and yet has healed more broken hearts than all the Doctors far and near,

He was only thirty-three when the public turned against him.

The devil tried to destroy Him, but the grave could not hold Him.

His Name stands highest of the heavenly glory, acknowledged by angels and feared by devils

Nineteen centuries have come and gone,

And today he is the central figure of the human race.

All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed,

All the parliaments that ever sat,

And all the kings that ever reigned

 have not affected the life of man on this earth

As much as that one solitary life.



Merry Christmas! Have a good Godly day.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Something to Tell


The Good news about Jesus' birth is something to be shared!
We need to Go tell it!

Go, tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain, That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching o’er silent flocks by night,
Behold, throughout the heavens, There shone a holy light

The shepherds feared and trembled, When lo! above the earth,
Rang out the angels chorus, That hailed our Savior's birth.

Down in a lowly manger, The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation, That blessed Christmas morn.

What do we need to do?

Tell our story of how Jesus saved us, and God’s story that salvation is available to everyone who calls on His name!

It’s the best after Christmas gift you could ever give.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Given


Is this true that unto to us a Child is born, and unto us a Son is given?



If we accept this gift of salvation then we too are reborn, and we are given to the Son. To give Him honor and glory all the days of our lives should be our



Isaiah 9:6 declares: For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.



The characteristics and attributes of Jesus are described here with two word titles:



Wonderful Counselor - The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LordIsaiah 11:2

Mighty God - and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;  but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:3-4

Everlasting Father - Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. John 14:9-10

Prince of Peace - “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14



At this time of year, let’s remember who to focus on - Jesus And to focus on - our relationship with Him.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Love at Christmas


This is a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 that someone sent me recently. Please enjoy and think about it!


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china  and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of LOVE will endure.

 -Author Unknown



Show Jesus’ love this Christmas and all year long.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Kingship


1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:  6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’    

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

   9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. - Matthew 2:1-12

I love this story. It is about trusting God and having faith in Him even when it doesn’t make sense. Guess what? It led them right to Jesus!

Belief in God and obeying His will might not make sense to us today, We’re taught to question everything, and only trust what we can do or understand.

Jesus said, Blessed are those who believe but do not see.

Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.

Christmas Songs


Psalm 126 is a song that reminds us to rejoice at the things God does in our lives, and that because of God, those who weep will shout with joy.

How should we sing according to this Psalm?

1. We should sing with Joy. When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

2. We should sing to Honor God. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

3. We should sing praises for His Restoration. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.



Restore is referring to either complete the repatriation of exiles, or fully restore the security and prosperity of former times. An apt metaphorical portrayal of the joy already experienced, and the joy anticipated. with tears, and weeping. Even when sowing is accompanied by trouble or sorrow, harvest brings joy.



Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. – Psalm 98:1

What are you singing about this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This Is How


This is how Jesus' birth came about according to the Gospel of Luke. 

“18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about did not want to expose her to public disgrace; he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus." -  Matthew 1:18-25

Do the right thing – give Jesus a home in your heart.
God is with you!

Amen?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sing Christmas Redeemer


I have been using the songs in the Psalms for my text during Advent, and have really enjoyed it. We've been looking at songs here as well. This French song was written by Adolphe Adam in 1847. Here is a literal English translation:             
Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!
The song is better known by the title O Holy Night! Both versions tell us the story of God’s plan of redemption, and what our response should be – Worship, Praise, and Adoration! Read or sing either version, but make sure you listen to the words.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holidays On


Home for the Holidays is popular holiday song by Perry Como.

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home

I met a man who lives in Tennessee
And he was headin' for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania folks are trav'lin' down
To Dixie's sunny shore
From Atlantic to Pacific, gee,
The traffic is terrific!

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays
'Cause no matter how far away you roam
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can't beat home, sweet home


It’s a fun song, but its message rings true to most of us – there is no place like home! It’s a place where we can be safe, loved, accepted, and part of the family.


Jesus told His disciples in John 14: My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.


A believer’s home is heaven, and Jesus is making it ready for you! That’s Good News worth giving this Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Word On


Consider the words of Jesus’ disciple in John 1:14, 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Let’s break down this important verse of Scripture.


The Word = Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Became flesh = Left heaven to become a human baby

Made his dwelling among us = Lived as one of us and dealt with all the trials and temptations that we do

Seen = bear witness to what Jesus did

His glory = The glory of God

Glory of the one and only Son = The way, truth, and life

Who came from the Father = Left the from God’s side

Full of grace and truth = The greatest gift of all!


We can learn a lot about the Word from His Word. Amen?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sing On


We sing at Christmas time:

Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King!

Why would Jesus leave heaven to come to earth as a human?

Hebrews 2:14-18 tells us: Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it's logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil's hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death. It's obvious, of course, that he didn't go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That's why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people's sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed. - The Message (MSG)

Jesus did not enter the world just to be here, He had a mission to fulfill. He came to deliver us from the fear of death, judgment, and temptation.

The Lord has come for us; now He invites us to come to Him. Accept His gift and receive your King!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Shine On


Have you ever heard the children’s song, This Little Light of Mine?

This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine/I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine/Let it shine/Let it shine oh yeah!

I am reminded during this time of year that we really are to let the light of Christ shine in us. 2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

We spend a lot of time putting up Christmas lights on our homes and on our trees, so they will shine. I pray we spend time in letting others know about the light of God, and remember this next verse in the song.

Hide it under a bushel Oh no!/I'm going to let it shine

Hide it under a bushel Oh no!/I'm going to let it shine

Hide it under a bushel Oh no!/I'm going to let it shine

Let it Shine/All the time/Let it shine/Oh yeah!

Let your light shine - especially at this time of year. Amen?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Reminders

Every Christmas serves as a reminder to our past, present, and future. You know, where we’ve been, are, and hopefully going. Let’s not forget that there are things God wants us to remember.  Read Psalm 85, it is a great place to begin.

Through the Bible and especially Psalm 85:10 we are told these three attributes of God. 10Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

1. Love You, Lord, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. (and John 3:16)

2. Faithfulness 11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. 12 The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.

Isaiah 9:6 -For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

3. Righteousness 13 Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.

Romans 22-24 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus

4. Peace - John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. God’s peace passes all understanding, but it is available to all who call on Him!

Remember and don’t forget - I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. 

                                What will you do with God’s reminders?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Something to be Shared

O Little Town of Bethlehem is a great carol that tells of Jesus’ birth.

“O little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years, Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary. And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep,
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together, Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King, And Peace to men on earth”

 Did you ever wonder who the first Christian missionaries were? They told everyone they saw about Jesus. It was the shepherds whom the angels appeared and then they went to see the Messiah in Bethlehem.
We are told this in Luke 2:17–18 - When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.The Good news about Jesus' birth was something to be shared!
This Christmas remember, we have someone to share, not only a baby in the manager, but a man on the Cross, and returning King!

       "O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray; cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel."

Monday, December 11, 2017

Greatest Gift


Jesus is offering a gift that can only come from Him.

  37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. - John 7:37-39

God made us for an intimate relationship with Himself, and we cannot get our deepest needs met anywhere else but in Him. Jesus offers the only satisfaction for spiritual thirst. In verse 38, from within them refers to the innermost recesses of the body.

Just as it was a miracle of God for water to flow from a rock in the Old Testament (giving life) it is greater miracle of God to have the Holy Spirit flowing from His people and eternal life.

Praise be to God for this gift! Amen?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Accomplished

This is a prophetic word from Isaiah foretelling the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.


Isaiah 9:6-7 -   6 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.             

What does “unto to us a Child is born, and unto us a Son is given” mean?

I think that it is a reminder that Jesus is for everyone and He is a gift from God. Salvation is available for all who call on the Name of the Lord.

If we accept this gift of salvation then we too are reborn, and we are given to the Son. To give Him honor and glory all the days of our lives should be our focus.
Amen?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Family Ties

Jesus’ birth was planned by God. All details concerning His birth were exactly as they should have been.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah. 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
- Matthew 1:16-20
This shows that Jesus was the Son of God. Having no human father, conceived by the Holy Spirit shows His divinity. Born to a human mother shows His humanity.
The Great News is not that we are human, but that Jesus was born, died, and resurrected so that we can have the Holy Spirit living in us.
Are you just human, or holy and human?
Holiness only comes through Jesus. Amen?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Heavenly Sounds


We hear about the first Christmas Cantata or musical in Luke 2:8-15.

 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Enjoy the sounds of Christmas this year.  Don’t forget to sing what the angels did 2,000 years ago, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” It doesn’t make any difference if you have a good voice or not. Sing with your heart and your life.

Give God the praise He deserves. Amen?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It Happened


Matthew 1:22-25 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

This passage is a very moving revelation of important truths of God’s plan for the world. Even though He is King of Kings, and all will bow in His honor, he was born in a stable, not a palace. Jesus came to show God’s love for people who feel they have nothing. God has known the same sadness.

Jesus alone can bring hope and light in to a dark world.

If you want to give your loved ones a great Christmas present this year, give them the gift of Christian Hope. On page after page of the New Testament we find it: the Good News that God will win, that nothing can defeat Him; that ultimately God and goodness will have the victory and that when we put our hope in Him, nothing, not even death, can separate us from His watch care and His love and His triumph. Once each year, Christmas comes along to renew our hope and to remind us that the darkness of this world cannot overcome the light of the world.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Shine On


Lights are a big part of our Christmas decorations. We see them everywhere: in the mall, outside adornments, and inside our homes. John chapter 1 talks about Jesus bringing God’s light in to the world on Christmas Day!

 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (vv. 4-5) 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (vv. 9-14)

Are you any different today than if Jesus was never born?

What difference has Jesus made on your life?

Receive God’s gift of salvation, and all the promises he gives to his children today.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Announcement

Look at what Jesus says in Luke 4:18-19 - “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

He is announcing that Messiah has come and that the Scripture has been fulfilled. Immanuel – God is with us! He wanted to make sure that the world knew who he was, and the ministry of compassion. Jesus proclaims freedom to the poor in spirit, those imprisoned in sin, and give hope to the hopeless. He healed the sick, lame, and blind to give people a miraculous sign of His power. Jesus shows His love for everyone – regardless of our condition.

This Christmas may we take on His compassion for the world around us. We have many opportunities to show God’s love in a real way.

Are you ready to share (announce) Christ with someone?

Today can be that day.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Let Us

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Luke 2:15-16

We all know the song, O Come All Ye Faithful:

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to
Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

We have that same calling and opportunity to experience Christ.
Remember the last verse?

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

Accept Jesus in every area of your life. It’s the best present you could ever receive.