Watch For His Coming

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkeness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

These impacting words of warning from Jesus should make us all concerned about what, and even more, to whom He is addressing it to. Now this message is for you, and for me: “Take heed, be careful.” Lest your hearts be weighed down. There is a party spirit in the world today. Not only because it is New Years eve that is approaching, but because the world’s human spirit is to do whatever it pleases. We must be careful that we will not be caught up in it, and that “Day”of the Lord catch anyone of us by surprise. We must be careful of these things Jesus warns us, and know with certainty that they will be like a trap for men. “Carousing, drunkeness, and the cares of this life” The deceitfulness of riches, the decandent lifestyle’s of the wealthy and all those who want to imitate them, all the evil works of drugs, and the those who smuggle and sell them, so that Day come upon you unaware. So shall it come upon all of them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore,The Lord’s command to His church to watch, He is calling for us to scrutinize our lives in order to change them. We are not to just note the problems we are facing, but to overcome them. Pray always—First, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things. All what things? These things of God’s judgment that will be coming to pass upon the earth as there will be signs and the sun and the moon and the stars and the heavens will be  shaken, and the earthquakes and the pestilences and the famines… “pray that you will be accounted worthy to escape all of these things.”

“And to stand before the Son of Man”—-In the Book of Revelation, chapter 5, John saw a scroll in the right hand of Him who was sitting upon the throne, sealed with seven seals, and it had writing both within and without. “And he heard an angel proclaim with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals?’ ” And when no one was found worthy in heaven or earth, John began to weep convulsively until the elders said, “Don’t weep,  Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah hath prevailed to take the scroll and loose the seals.” And I turned and I saw Him as a Lamb that had been slain, and He took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat upon the throne. And when He did, the twenty-four elders came forth with their golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeem us to God by Your blood. Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”Rev.5:1-10

Prayers of the saints—Specifically, these prayers represent all that the redeemed have ever prayed concerning ultimate and final redemption.

Beloved friend, It is my prayer and anticipation that I will be accounted worthy to be standing with the company of God’s redeemed saints in heaven one day, singing of the worthiness of the Lamb to take the title deed to the earth, and to lay claim to it. I want all of us to be standing before the Son of Man. For I surely don’t want anyone I know of to be left down here on this earth when God’s judgment wrath is poured out, as Jesus has described only a portion of it here, but you can read the full description of it in Revelation chapter 6 through 18. Doesn’t it make sense rather to take heed to Jesus’ warning to us? And to watch and pray!

May the Lord bless your walk, and New Year!

All To The Glory of God

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well being. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Paul gives four principles for Christian liberty, while writing on the subject of food that is offered up to idols. As one who is washed, sanctified, and justified eternally by God’s grace, the believer is set free. So with the first principle— edification over gratification. Edify means to build up in Christian doctrine. If I who knows the forgiveness of God’s grace, I know that it is unmerited, and that it is a free gift which I could never earn. So why would I want to offend a weaker member of the body with my liberty? Offending a weaker brother with one’s freedom will cause that offended person to condemn us. The second principle—others over self. Let us be reminded to examine ourselves. As we see another year on the horizon, let us seek even more earnestly how in this coming new year we might be even more useful in serving God. The apostle Peter wrote: But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.(1 Peter 4:7-10) The word “fervent” means  to be stretched” or “To be strained.” It is used of a runner who is moving at maximum out put with taut muscles straining and stretching to the limit to reach the finishing line. This kind of love requires the Christian to put another’s spiritual good ahead of his own desires in spite of the others response, or lack of response. The third principle is liberty over legalism. Those who want to glorify God must not be hypocritical in love, nor be legalistic in the law. If you are the guest of an unbeliever and alcohol is served, it is best to refuse such an invitation to use your liberty if this would cause a weaker member in the body of Christ to stumble. Even if it would offend the unbeliever who invited you. Christian liberty, as well as the most common behavior, is to be conducted to the glory and honor of God. And the fourth principle: Condescension over condemnation—Since love to other believer’s is one of the strongest witness we have, we should not involve ourselves in condemning one’s actions over what we consider to be at liberty with.

Beloved friend, As the new year approaches, let us be alert to what God’s will ought to be concerning our freedoms and liberties in which Christ has made us free of. Let us be a people who are devoted to serving our Lord by using and exercising our spiritual gifts which will edify others, and glorify God in the process. Let us be about our Father’s business, looking for the returning of His Son, for His bride, the church, without stain or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).

May the Lord bless your walk!



He Has Shown You What Is Good

With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgressions, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:6-8

As we approach the New Year, and look back as another year as gone past, many people are still in search of where they will find peace. The amazing birth of our Savior, as depicted in the Bible was to assure people everywhere the good news that the promised Messiah, as prophesied has come.  And from our text above we see God ‘s attempt to reconcile Israel to Him. The Lord made a covenant with Israel and when the commandments were written and placed in the ark of the covenant to be a permanent witness to them. This was the Lord’s appeal with tenderness and emotion, the divine Plaintiff recalled His many gracious acts toward them, noting  their bondage in Egypt, and their release from there by Him (v.v.3-4). And now Micah, as though speaking on behalf of the people, asked rhetorically how, in light of God’s faithfulness toward them, they could continue their hypocrisy by being outwardly religious but inwardly sinfully corrupt? Micah’s terse response (v.8) indicated they should have known the answer to the rhetorical question. Spiritual blindness had led them to offer everything except the one thing God wanted—a spiritual commitment of the heart from which right behavior would ensue. When Jesus was confronted by the Pharisee’s, one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment of the law?” Jesus said to him, ” ‘ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commanment. And the second is like it: ‘ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”(Matthew 22:36-39) All of this describes for us the completeness of the kind of love that is called for us to love Him.

Beloved friend, You nor I don’t have this kind of love in us. And God knows this. No sacrifice even if it were our firstborn would ever appease a holy and righteous and perfect God, as such as we have today. But the Good News for all of mankind is that God has done something about this. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.(John 3:16) Christ in Our Place—For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:6-10) Jesus has conquered the grave! Giving everyone hope of eternal life with Him. We should be a people with so much hope and joy and peace as we step into the New Year, and look ahead to what this New Year may bring. Part of that should be noted  will mean more suffering. For this world is ready for judgment, yet, for you and I, this is our platform for which we should tell others of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ! Christ has made a way for which we can walk humbly with the Lord our God, by empowering us through His Holy Spirit that dwells in every believer’s heart, now we can too love what He loves;  mercy and truth.

May the Lord bless your walk into the New Year!

Happy Birthday! J.E.T.

A Woman Who Spoke God’s Word

Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was of great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity (or after her menstration); and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.   Luke 2:36-40

Anna, a prophetess, refers to a woman who spoke God’s Word. She was a teacher of the Old Testatment and one of three women mentioned who prophesied. Being of an elderly state, and even that of a widow, she needed to trust in the Lord for her needs. She evidently had her living quarters on the temple grounds among the priests of the temple. One of those beautiful godly saints, she served the Lord through fastings and prayers, and spoke of Him to all who came looking for redemption in Israel. No doubt by now the Child Jesus, was indeed older than the Babe lying in a manger, so we can observe Anna, as someone who who knew also who Jesus was from O.T. prophesy. To be of an elderly age like today, is an extremely difficult place to be. Especially during biblical times, the widows care was a greatly stressed need in the early church (Acts 6:1-4). Anna needed to completely rely upon God for all of her needs, and yet her simplistic life of choice was to be about seeking earnestly the will of God. Diligently was her example given to us, as we see her denying herself for the sake of the Lord’s kingdom by her fasting and praying night and day. It should be noted that the Jewish calendar days began at 6:oop in the evening to 6:00p the next day. There must have been several priests in the outer court of the temple, and Anna must have been allowed to live there permanently because of her unusual status as a prophetess.

And the Child grew and became strong—Jesus did not cease being God or divest Himself of divine attributes in order to become man. Rather, He took on a human nature (an addition not a subtraction) and submitted the use of His divine attributes to the will of the Father. Christ was therefore subject to the normal process of human growth, intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially. His relationship with His Heavenly Father did not override or nullify His duty to submit to His earthly parents, in fact, His obedience to the fifth commandment ( Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.)Deuteronomy 5:16, This was an essential part of the perfect legal obedience rendered on our behalf, as He had to fulfill all righteousness. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest,(Hebrews 5:8-9).

Beloved friend, What we learn from today’s Scripture is that people who are of elderly age, are still being used of God, and that Jesus’ example to use in His humilty and obedience to His earthly parents, gives us His example of approval to our families today, because the blessing of obedience not only flow down to the next generation, but also upward to our elder members of a Christian’s family. The blessings of Christ’s birth, and the subsequential days of fulfillment of the law, in bringing the Child Jesus into the temple, show us God’s faithfulness to the people whom He have chosen that they would be a part of the cermonial process of introducing Christ to our world. Today, you and I can fulfill what God’s will is for us in telling of His great love for us in the Christmas story. And in doing so, in regards to our families, and extended families; all of their needs can be brought to the Lord in prayer with thanksgiving, that we may have His presence, His peace, and His power in our hearts and in our homes, during the Christmas season, but also through out the New Year!

May the Lord bless your walk, and Christmas Day!


The Consolation of Israel

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”   Luke 2:25-35

Simeon is mentioned nowhere else in all of Scripture. But we get a glimpse of what his character is like, justand devout.Waiting for the Consolation of Israel—The Bible does not say how long this man had waited, but it is clear that he knew Who he was waiting for; The ” Consolation of Israel ” is the Messianic title of Christ. And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”(Isaiah 25:9) Simeon ultimately knew, that to wait for God entails an ultimate trust in Him, and not becoming impatient when His timetable for final salvation differs from ours. Again, the character of Simeon, for it is significant that with so many messianic prophesies that spoke of His coming, yet, still only a handful of people realized the significance of Christ’s birth. Most of them, including Simeon, received some sort of angelic message or other special revelation to make the fulfillment of these O.T. prophecies clear. Simeon’s psalm is known as the Nunc Dimittis,from the first two words of the Latin translation, and is the fourth of 5 psalms of praise Luke, the author of this gospel, includes in his narrative of the birth of Christ. It is quite a touching expression of Simeon’s extraordinary faith. We can learn a great deal from Simeon’s life, first of all, God is not confined to our world’s timetable. He is outside of time constraints and thus if He has made a promise to do something, we can rest assure that He will fulfill His promise to do exactly what He said He would do. Our response is to simply believe what God has said, and to trust in Him to work out all those things (which I don’t always understand) pertaining to my life, and rest knowing that as I wait for Him to fulfill His will for my life, I don’t have to fuss or fret over when all of this is going to take place, but just know that He has made a promise to receive me unto Himself, and I too will see His salvation. This is the life of faith and expectation that everyone who professes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is to have. I can rejoice in my salvation everyday! Especially now, at this Christmas season.

Beloved Friend, The rise and fall of many in Israel—Has significant meaning also. To those who reject Him, He is a stone of stumbling(1 Peter 2:8); and those who receive Him are raised up: But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ(by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.(Ephesians 2:4-7) This my friend is our destiny. To be sitting together with other believers in the heavenly places! We haven’t received this promise from God yet, but rest assured it is coming. Like Simeon, let us wait for it in faith, rejoicing in our ” Consolation of Israel”and be witnesses of God’s exceeding riches of grace through His kindness toward us in the One in whom He is well pleased, Christ Jesus the Lord!

May the Lord bless your walk today!

Glory To God In The Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddlenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  Luke 2:8-14

Bethlehem was nearby Jerusalem, and many of the sheep used in the temple sacrifices came from there. The surrounding hills were prime grazing land and shepherds worked in the area both day and night. Fear was their reaction at the sight of this visitation, and after hearing the heavenly messenger’s words, were in awe over what they were seeing as well. Faith to believe was their response, and thus sought to find the Christ child and worship Him. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. To glorify God—is worship! To enjoy being in His presence for He inhabits the praises of His people, that’s the great reward that includes these specific benefits: Forgiveness—True worshipers recognize God’s holiness and accept His offer of forgiveness. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1), If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Through worship we are purified in His holy presence. Guidance—Those who honor the Lord will be given wisdom and will be guided day by day by the Holy Spirit who is revealing the will of God to us through His revealed Word. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2). God says, “your reasonable service” that means obeying Him and the truth of His Word is not burdensome, but reasonable. (1 John 5:3)

Provision—Jesus said that God will meet our material needs if we give Him first place in our lives “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33) Worship encompasses all of my spiritual needs in the One whom I am worshiping. And His promise is to meet all of the other needs I have. There is security in His care. Love—The love of God is experienced in the hearts of all those who are true worshipers: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5) God’s love has been lavishly poured out to the point of overflowing within the hearts of His people. Power—To all who give God the glory He desrves, He give the enablement to do the things He requires of us, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) Protection—God faithfully watches over all who acknowledge Him, and He keeps them in all of life’s challenging trials and circumstances: But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12)

Glory—All true worshipers will one day be glorified like our Savior, Lord, Jesus Christ. They will inherit a new heaven and a new earth and join a company of believers and angels in perfect uninterupted worship: Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)

Beloved friend, So often there’s no challenging voice calling Christians today to obedience and authenticity. Having said that, we know from biblical prophesy that this would be one of the signs of the Lord’s return. Let us encourage one another by living out our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and worship Him! Sing these beautiful carols unto Him with renewed fervor, inviting others we know and love, to join us in this life changing worship!

May the Lord bless your walk today!

Lord, show Your mercy to those who are suffering in Newtown, CT.


A Ruler Who Will Shepherd My People Israel

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”  Matthew 2:1-6

Bethlehem, a small village on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, Hebrew scholars in Jesus’ day clearly expected Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the Messiah. Herod the Great, the first of several important rulers from the Herodian dynasty who are named in Scripture was a direct descendant of the Edomites, an offspring of Esau. Herod was ruthless and cunning, he was enamored with opulence and grand building projects that are part of the ruins visited by tourists in Israel today. While the Magi came from a great distance to pay homage to their King, this thought troubled Herod as well as all of Jerusalem. Similiarly  today, Many Christians want stop and pay homage and rejoice in their Savior Christ, the Lord, but the world is still troubled by the fact that Christmas is about Christ’s birth, and salvation to our world. The political correct world wants nothing to do with Jesus Christ, nor be reminded of Him in any Christmas activity.

Chief priests—These were temple hierarchy authorities on Jewish law, sometimes called “lawyers” (Luke 10:25). They were professional scholars whose specialty was explaining the application of the law, they knew exactly where the Messiah would be born, but lacked the faith to believe to accompany the Magi in their search for Jesus. There are people today, who say they are believers, yet lack the faith, evidence if you will of counting the cost to follow after Christ. Jesus said, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor (John 12:26), why would anyone who follows after Christ ever be ashamed of glorifying His name not just during the Christmas season, but also all year long? “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

A Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel—This ancient prophecy from Micah 5:2 was written in the eighth century B.C. The original prophecy, not quoted in full by Matthew, declared the deity of Israel’s Messiah: “Out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” This portion from Matthew however, seems to be a reference to God’s words to David when Israel’s kingdom was originally established: Also, in time past, when Saul was King over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.’ (2 Samuel 5:2) The Greek word for “ruler” evokes the image of strong, even stern, leadership. While “Shepherd” emphasizes tender loving care, where Christ’s rule involves both. Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a Shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young  (Isaiah 40:10-11).

Beloved friend, The first advent of Christ, born in a manger, in the small town of Bethlehem, etc. All these portray the humble character of our Savior of the world. He is our One true God, and Shepherd of His sheep, the church, the body of Christ. He will come again, this time as a conqueroring King. Let us rejoice over His birth, and enjoy all the many blessings that Christmas brings, and let not this world we live in take away it’s significant and special meaning behind it. That picture of God’s omnipotence. The same arm that powerfully promises judgment to this world’s oppressors of His truth and plan of salvation, tenderly feeds and leads His flock.

May the Lord bless your walk!

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.Hebrews 12:25-29

We all began in a different kingdom than the Lord’s. We were under the powerful influence of spiritual darkness, and we existed in a realm devoid of true love. Then, our great God rescued us,  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who were once not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy (1 Peter 2:9-10). Our lives were once built on the sand of our own human wisdom and strength, and the ugly realities of sin and its consequences. Now we belong to a kingdom that cannot be shaken” of which we all who have believed the promises of God, have entered in by grace. And we stand in this same grace today. When our circumstances change, we need not be shaken, our King of glory and His grace are constantly availiable to us. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:12-14). When we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the full resources of His kingdom riches of grace, mercy, and love became our abundant portions forever. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), and yet, in a most profound sense, we are still receiving it. “We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken.” And now by relying upon His grace this how we serve God acceptably.

Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably—We are called serve our King. We cannot serve Him by merely attempting to do the best we can, that would be our relying upon the law of perfomance energized by our flesh, we need grace as our empowering source. To live and serve in grace allows our service to flow forth acceptably as worship unto the Lord, because it shows  ” reverence and godly fear.” We must treat God’s Word and it’s message of warning of coming judgment (Hebrews 11:7)  with great respect and awe. Letting our faith be expressed in obedience.

Beloved friend, You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with the Christmas season were in?” If God is shaking things in your life, listen to His Word. We can no longer afford to ignore His voice on the matters pertaining to this temporary earth. But rather, let us together by taking heed discover the things in our life that cannot be shaken, things that pertain to His kingdom living, relying completely on His ever sufficient grace. And you and I will have the most profoundly Christ centered Christmas experience that will change the way we look at things, not from the commercial superficial cost of everything, but rather from a deep love and mercy and grace of Christ, our gift from the heart of the Father!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!

God With Us

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ” Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:18-23

Betrothed—Jewish betrothal was a binding commitment as marriage itself. The birth of Jesus was different from every other birth: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb and born with a sinless nature. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is vital to the truth of the gospel (Isaiah 7:14) and since Jesus Christ is part of the Triune Godhead, He existed before Mary therefore, He could not be conceived in the natural way of human birth, but He “came into the world” (John 18:37). He is both God and man, the sinless Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), Matthew opens and ends his gospel account with “God with us.” (1:23, 28:20). Infidelity in marriage had a strong penalty behind it in the days of Mary and Joseph. So the bethrothal seeming to be in jeopardy, Joseph, being a just man, not wanting to make her a public example, I love this characterization, his love for this woman was protective of her need to be shielded from public ridicule. A quality of a husbands love for his wife that builds a strong marriage relationship. The Hebrew phrase “just man” suggests that he was a true believer in God who thereby been declared righteous, and who carefully obeyed the law. To “put her away” meant the obtaining of a legal divorce, which according to the Jewish custom was necessary in order to dissolve a betrothal. In one of a few angelic visits in the New testament, most of which were associated with Christ’s birth, Matthew’s narrative points out fulfillment of prophecy that it might be fulfilled God’s message did not come to the prestigious great leaders of that day, instead, rather to a humble maiden, and equally humble carpenter, and even to the lowly shepherds of that society. Whom God singled out to be the first to carry the message of the birth of their Messiah. His birth brought worship, and songs of rejoicing by angelic beings that is still being sung today. Matthew wrote about Him, along with Mark, and Luke, and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. And He is still the subject of the greatest literature. In His development, Jesus was perfectly balanced, intellectually (with wisdom), physically (stature), spiritually (in favor with God the Father), shepherds hastened to behold Him, and teachers of His day listened to Him and marvelled. He alone is worthy of our worship today, Jesus Christ, our gift from the heart of God the Father.

Beloved friend, This Christmas let us take our rightful place in our history by telling others of the great love God has for them, that He gave His only begotten Son, by prophetic miracle birth and fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation. As this Babe lying  in a manger would one day become the Savior of the world. Rejoice with me and sing praises to our King of kings, and Lord of lords, and may Jesus be your perfect gift to you and those you love, this Christmas!

In Jesus name, and for His glory! Amen

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!

Could This Be The Christ?

And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or “Why are You talking with her?” The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! John 4:27-35

At this point, had the disciples arrived any earlier they would have interupted and perhaps destroyed the woman’s response to Jesus as she being a Samaritan, “For Jews have no dealings with Smaritans.” (John:4:9) declaration of His being the promised Messiah. But this also gives us insight of Jesus subtle divine control over all situations especially with relationships with the citizens of His day. Because Jesus was truly human, He experienced weariness, hunger, and thirst, but His deepest desire and need was to reveal the plan of God’s salvation to this woman living in sin. By focusing on the spiritual rather than the physical, He demonstrated to her  everyone’s need for living water by patiently revealing His true identity to her, “a Jew” (v.9), “greater than Jacob” (v.12), “a prophet” (v.19), “Messiah” (vv.25,29). She believed in Him and in spite of her reputation of her past, she was being shown Someone who loved her unconditionally, and accepted her just the way she was, and most of all that she was someone who needed what He was offering to her, and something that only He could give her—a new heart. Satan uses the calamities of life and all of its problems to slander God’s character that He doesn’t care, and that all these miseries and wrongs are from God. Until a person is born again, the spiritual needs will always be greater than the physical needs, a readjustment of our thinking and values of our lives come  into our hearts in the hearing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Until we are born again our thinking goes in a circle involved with making our importance and our happiness the center, when we are born again there is a dramatic readjustment in our thinking and actual lives that makes us  begin to think along Jesus Christ’s line of thinking. Jesus had made such an impact on the woman that she eagerly shared the news of her encounter with Christ among the townspeople whom she had previously avoided because of her past reputation. Her witness and candor regarding her own life so impressed them that they came to see Jesus for themselves.

I have food to eat—Just like the Samaritan woman’s misunderstanding of Jesus’ words regarding  living water, (v.15) Jesus’ own disciples thought only literal food. The will of God should be food that nourishes us, not medicine that upsets us. Jesus only satisfaction was in doing the Father’s will, a satisfying food to Him that was part of Him finishing the work the Father had for Him. Salvation is to the inner person what health is to the body. Jesus was refering to the Old Testament where Moses stated, ” man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord ” (Deuteronomy 8:3). When He talked with the Samaritan woman, Jesus was performing the will of the Father and received greater sustenance and satisfaction than mere physical food could offer Him. Obedience to and dependence upon God’s will summed up Jesus’ whole life while He walked the earth, which was culminated in His death on the cross.

Beloved friend, The Bible declares, Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:17), knowing and understanding God’s will through His written Word is spiritual wisdom, and God says the harvest is white for harvesting, there is a spiritual application for us to be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49). So let us not be preoccupied with trying to act important, but rather be an important vessel God would use in furthering the gospel to our world!

May the Lord bless your walk!