Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jer. 9:23-24 We do like to gloat, don't we?

Jer. 9:23-24 This is what the LORD says, “Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

We do like to gloat, don’t we?  Whatever it is that we do well, we want to boast about it.  We want others to know that we are worth something.  We like to be noticed for what we do well.  We like to impress others with what we know.  But there is a real problem that we get into when we gloat over our accomplishments.  We tend to internalize it to the point where we crave the attention of others.  It gets to the point where we must have others notice us and appreciate what we do in order for us to feel good about ourselves.  We tend to consider our worth to be what we can do.

God says the wise do not get caught up into boasting about themselves.  Instead of turning the spotlight on themselves, the wise turn it on the Lord.  They understand that it is God who gives a person the talents and gifts they have.  It is God who enables a person to do things well.  It is God who orchestrates a person’s life in such a way that talents are nurtured and refined.  It is God who provides opportunities to shine and be noticed by others.  It is God who deserves the credit, not us.

The wise understand that it is God who deserves the glory and honor that comes from a job well done.  It is God who deserves the credit for the work He does in our souls.  We owe Him the credit for saving us, keeping us, growing us, and using us.  It is the Lord alone who deserves the praise and glory of man.  It is God who makes us righteous and gives us a life worth living and dying for. 

The wise in heart delights in the Lord, not in what he can do well.  He does whatever he does for the honor and glory of God, not himself.  He keeps his eyes focused on the Lord, not himself.  He continues to do what he does well, but he does it for the Lord and Him alone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jer. 8:20 The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone......

Jer. 8:20 “The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,” the people cry, “yet we are not saved!”

There is coming a time very soon in which there will be world cry similar to this.  When Jesus comes to take the church out of the world, the world will be in dismay.  There will be an awareness that it is too late.  The harvest is done; the day of redemption has come and gone.  There will be many who will be in great agony and despair for they will know that they waited too long and were left behind.  For those who listened but never took to heart the Gospel message, there will be the haunting reality that they are not saved. 

We don’t know when that day will be.  Right now the harvest is going on.  The summer season is almost over.  There are so many things happening in the world today that point to the soon return of Christ.  There seems to be a deep anticipation in the church today that we are in the latter stages of preparation for His coming.  Much work yet needs to be done in the harvest field.

Jesus declared while He was on earth that the harvest field was ready.  He sends many out into the field and those who can’t go, He sends to their knees to pray for the harvest and the harvesters.  No one will be saved without those who pray for them and for those who go to them.  We have an enormous task ahead of us.  God is not willing that anyone would miss out on heaven and neither should we be.  Jesus sends us out into the world to proclaim salvation and to disciple those who will believe.  It is our mandate until Jesus comes.

There are so many in the world who know they are not saved and want to be saved, but don’t know how.  They need someone who will care enough to come alongside of them and show them the way of salvation.  Will you pray?  Will you go?  It is not enough for you to be saved.  You are mandated to go and help others that they too may be saved.  Will you do your part?  If you really love Jesus as you claim to do, you will.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Jer. 7:24 But my people would not listen to me.

Jer. 7:24  “But my people would not listen to me.  They kept on doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts.  They went backwards instead of forward.”

We need to think about what the Lord is saying to His people here.  Although in this context the nation of Israel is being addressed, I believe it applies to us as well.

It is our nature to want to do what we want to do and not what God wants us to do.  Ingrained within us is the tendency to be drawn away from God.  We naturally want to resist the voice of God that guides us to Him.  Whether you are a believer or not, it is true.  Our sinful nature left alone will cause us to slip backwards away from God.

Our only hope of resisting our urges is to work hard on our relationship with Christ.  We must resist the mindset that once we are saved we can coast our way to heaven.  We live by grace, but grace without works is no grace at all.  It takes effort to stay connected to God.  It is not possible to live in Christ and not be changed.  He changes our natural desires to resist and pull away from Him.  He changes the very direction of our lives.  He changes our desires so that we will listen to Him and not shut Him out.  The more we work on developing our ties with the Lord, the quicker our growth will be.

I don’t believe there is any neutral ground upon which we can stand as Christians.  We are either growing closer to Christ or we are drifting away from Him.  If we are drawing closer to the Lord we are consistently reading and meditating on His Word.  We are seeking ways in which we can become who God says we are and need to be.  We are seeking ways to apply to life what God tells us to do.  We as well are spending time in fellowship with the Lord, talking to Him and worshiping Him.

Listen to the Lord.  Let Him draw you closer.  Learn from Him.  Lean on Him.  Let Him have His way with you.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Jer. 6:16 Stop and Consider

Jer. 6:16  So now the LORD says, “Stop right where you are! Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.”  But you reply, “No, that’s not the road we want!”

Stop right now and think about this verse for a few moments.  Don’t be in a hurry to do something else.  I don’t know what your church upbringing was like, but chances are what church is like for you today is not the same as what it was when you were growing up.  Times have changed, we have changed, and the church has changed. 

The church I grew up in was conservative in thought and practice.  The Gospel was preached faithfully.  Testimony time was the norm and not the exception.  Altar calls were common. Wednesday night prayer meetings were normal where people actually knelt and prayed at the altar.  Holiness was proclaimed.  Revival meetings were a part of the church life.  Church fellowships were an essential part of our social lives.  There was great security, comfort, and stability in the church.

As I look back on my early church experiences, one thing that really stands out to me is that you knew where you stood on Biblical truth.  You did not have different spins on Truth.  You knew the way to holy living and were often challenged to live it.  You didn’t cater to people’s whims.  You proclaimed the Truth and let the chips fall where they may.  Holiness was not an add-on to the Gospel message, it was the Gospel message.  In many churches, holiness is never proclaimed. 

In many churches today the Gospel message has shifted in emphasis.  We like our Gospel to make us feel good and comfortable.  We don’t like to be confronted with sin.  We don’t like to be told we need to repent.  We don’t want preachers to get specific about sin.  We want sin glossed over.  The Lord says, “Stop it!”  He says, “Return to the message I first gave you.  Pursue godliness and travel down its path.  There you will find rest for your soul.”

Don’t be like the majority who say they no longer want to hear what God wants for us.  Don’t let the masses dictate what your soul needs.  Pursue godliness and you will find rest for your soul.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Jer. 23-25 Idolatry is sin and robs the soul of God's blessings.

Jer. 5:23-25  “But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.  They have turned against me and have chosen to practice idolatry.  They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of plentiful harvests.’ Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings.  Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.”

Idolatry is the turning of our affections away from God and towards someone or something else.  It is what we deem to be most important in our lives.  It is robbing God of the love and devotion He deserves.  It is denying God the gratitude of our hearts for who He is and what He has done.

Idolatry is sin and prevents God from blessing our lives.  Where idolatry resides there can be no peace or joy from God.  Any benefits that may come from an idolatrous heart are very fragile and fleeting.  They fail to satisfy the longing of the soul.  Don’t let sin take away from you the blessings the Lord wants to give to you. 

If you want to make it to heaven, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, not just part of it.  You shall put Him before anything else in your life.  You shall acknowledge His role in your life as your Father.  You shall not attribute to anyone or anything else the glory do Him.  You shall live in awe of Him, for He is God, who provides for your every need.

Don’t be stubborn and rebellious.  Don’t turn your heart away from Him.  Let the Lord be your God.  Let Him fill your life with His life.  Acknowledge Him and give Him the glory and honor He deserves in all things and you will be truly blessed.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Jer. 5:20-22a Respect for God


Jer. 5:20-22a   “Make this announcement to Israel and to Judah: Listen, you foolish and senseless people---who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.  Do you have no respect for me?  Why do you not tremble in my presence? 

Most have eyes to see and ears to hear, but they do not see God or hear Him when He speaks.  Most are so caught up into sin that God has no access to their souls.  Most have no regard at all for God, let alone respect or fear Him.  Most live as if God doesn’t exist at all, while at the same time professing to believe He does. 

You do not respect God when you take sin lightly.  God has consistently and clearly declared war against sin ever since it entered into the heart of man.  God declares that sin is an abomination to Him.  He hates it and will never tolerate it in His presence.  Yet, most live like it doesn’t matter to God at all when we sin.   Most live like what God has spoken is not true and that there is no consequences for sin. 

You do not respect God when you mix sin with godly living.  It never has worked and it never will.  Jesus saves us from our sin so that we will go and sin no more.  We are not forgiven so that we can live less than godly lives.  He changes our heart nature so that sin becomes for us an enemy to our souls, not a friendly companion. 

You do not respect God when you take your salvation for granted and the spiritual disciplines that keep the soul right with God.  God commands our heart loyalty.  He must be our first love.  He must be the passion of our hearts.  We must value our relationship with Him more than anything else in life and live like we do.

Most have very little fear for God.  We have so conditioned our souls to believe in His love that we no longer fear His justice.  We have conditioned ourselves to believe that God would not allow us to go to Hell under any circumstance.  Most like to believe that God will deem us fit for heaven as long as we try to do good, or as long as our good outweighs our bad.  Most do not look at their souls seriously and consider godliness as a prerequisite for heaven.

It is foolishness and makes no sense at all to not respect who God is and fear what He will do.  Every person will stand before God and give an account for his life.  It will not matter then how good of a person one may be in his own eyes.  All that will matter is one’s relationship with Christ.  All who do not have Christ as their righteousness will go to Hell.  God’s love for them will not keep them out of Hell. 

Listen now.  Open your eyes and see that Jesus is the way, truth and life.  He is your only hope for eternal life with God.  He is the only one who can keep you out of Hell.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

John 3:16 The story of Christmas is the story of God's love.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The story of Christmas is the story of God’s love.  It is God loving us so much that He willing gave of himself to be our Savior.  It is God saying yes to us and no to himself.  If God had wanted to, He could have stayed in heaven and kept us in bondage to His law.  He could have made it virtually impossible for us to be saved.  But, He did not choose to act that way towards us.  God gave us His Son to be our Savior. 

God knew what Jesus would face on earth.  He knew the heartaches and sufferings He would go through.  He knew that most would reject Him while He was on earth and even do so to this day.  He knew that the world has no place for Him in their hearts.  Just as there was no room for Him in Bethlehem’s inn, there is scarely any room found for Him in the human soul.  Yet, because He loves us He came anyhow.  He came to give life to all who would receive Him.  He came to give mankind a way to get to heaven when they die. 

There is no greater gift to give than one’s self to another, and that is exactly what God did.  He gave us His all that whosoever will may come and find forgiveness for their sins.  Christmas is God coming down from heaven to be with us and to save us from our sins.  Christmas is HIStory.  It is the story of God’s love and it is the grandest story ever told. 

On this Christmas Day, let our hearts not be on what’s under our trees or on our dinner tables.  Let our hearts be on Jesus, the Word of God in the flesh, our Savior and Lord.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Is. 9:6,7 Linger at the feet of Jesus and think about these things.

Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A great deal has been said and written about these titles for Jesus over the years.  Little can be added to it, but I do want us to linger for a moment and reflect again on them.  It is good for us to not only think about our Lord, but then to visualize ways in which we know these things are true in our lives.

He is our Wonderful Counselor.  He is all-knowing and full of compassion.  He does not leave us in the dark on how we ought to be living.  He is not insensitive to us and lovingly instructs and guides us in the ways we should go.  The Lord is the way and will never advise us to go a different way other than the way that leads us to heaven and a deeper walk with God.  Imagine the problems we would have if He were to hide the way from us and demand that we in our own wisdom find it.  Instead He makes himself known to us and instructs us how to know Him in His goodness, righteousness and holiness.

He is our Mighty God.  He is able.  There is no need of life we will ever have that He is not able to handle.  There is no sin that He is not able to forgive.  There is no battle He is not able to win.  There is no crisis of life that He is not able to see us through.  There is no limitation in His power, love, wisdom, grace, mercy, and ability to make us into a holy people, a people after his own heart.

He is our Everlasting Father.  There is no end to His fatherly love and care for us.  There is no end to His desire to do good for us.  There is no end to His protective care over us.  There is no end to His working in our lives to make us fit for heaven.

He is our Prince of Peace.  He is the crowning glory of peace.  He alone is able to give us peace that satisfies our souls.  He alone is able to give us the calm confidence we need to weather the storms of life.  There is no real peace apart from Him. 

There is so much more that could be said about our Lord.  I have not even scratched the surface of just how wonderful He is.  Linger for a moment at His feet and think about these things.  Feast on the Mighty God we serve.  He is such a Wonderful Counselor as He leads us through our life journey.  He watches over us at all times and forever shall be our Father in heaven.  He is our Prince of Peace.  There can be no real peace unless we are living in fellowship with Him daily in our lives.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Luke 2:8-15 The Shepherds' Visitors From God

Luke 2:8-15  That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, and angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.  They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid!”  he said.  “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!  The Savior---yes, the Messiah, the Lord---has been born tonight in Bethlehem the city of David!  And this is how you will recognize him:  You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others---the armies of heaven---praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”  When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem!  Let's see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

There are a lot of things we can observe from this miraculous night of our Savior’s birth.  The night started out like any other night; the shepherds were watching over their sheep, protecting them from any potential predators and from wandering away.  They were not expecting anything unusual in the night; they were simply occupying.  The Lord often shows up in our lives when we are just doing what we normally do, living out our lives humbly before Him.

When the angel from heaven appeared in the night sky, the shepherds were terrified.  Who can blame them?  Many times when the Lord speaks, we become frightened.  We don’t know what is coming next. 

The message that the angel brought to the shepherds was good news, great news, generous news and grand news.  Jesus, the promised Messiah, had come!  It was news of great joy for everyone.  It was the best news that man had ever heard.  It was news for all the ages; Christ the Savior was born!  They were told where to find Him and how they would find Him.

It that was not enough to forever change the shepherds’ lives, the angel was joined by the angelic choir singing the praises of our Immanuel, Jesus our Lord.  The shepherds were left speechless.  Who could blame them?  They hurriedly left and went into town to find the Christ child.  When they found Him, they went and told everybody they could what had happened and who they found.  I wonder, how often we get so excited by what the Lord says to us that we just are compelled to go and tell others about it?

I am intrigued by this part of the Christmas story.  Were the shepherds the only ones who say the angel, the angelic host, or heard their message?  Scripture says that the glory of God filled the sky.  I would think that everyone for miles around would have seen the sight, but we are not told that they did.  And if they did, why aren’t we told that a great crowd of people filled the streets of Bethlehem in search of the Christ child?  You would think that this was an event that would have forever changed all who were in town that night. 

Yet, we are told that later on Herod and the religious leaders in the land did not know Jesus had been born.  When the magi showed up two years later, they were caught off guard and had to inquire about it. 

Let us be very careful that we don’t miss the wondrous signs the Lord gives us.  Just like signs preceded His first coming, there are many signs given that are preceding His second coming.  God is giving us plenty of signs to prepare us for His coming.  Are you paying attention?  Are you ready?  Jesus will come again like a thief in the night; no one knows when, but I believe it will be very soon.  Don’t be like those in Jesus’ day who missed the signs announcing His birth.  Live each day in readiness and you won’t be left behind.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Matt. 2:9-10 Wise men still seek Him.


Matt. 2:9-10  After this interview the wise men went their way.  Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem.  It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.

The magi, or wise men, were from an eastern land, probably Persia.  Scripture leads us to believe they were probably astrologers.  They were knowledgeable men who studied the stars and were able to recognize the various things they saw.  In verses one and two we are told that they had seen an unusual star in the sky that they knew was from God to lead them to the King of the Jews, the promised Messiah. 

 These men were not ignorant of the Scriptures.  We can only speculate, but probably their knowledge of the Scriptures goes back to the time of Daniel, who was an exiled Israelite relocated in Babylon.  Daniel rose to a position of great prominence in Babylon and had a great influence in the land for the Lord.  He lived and taught the Scriptures all throughout his life in captivity.  In all likelihood, Daniel’s teachings were passed down from generation to generation.  We never know what kind of an impact we will have on future generations.  If we are faithful to live godly lives, we can influence many, many people we will never know for Christ.

There are a couple of interesting questions that jump out at me.  Did anyone else besides the magi see the star?  If so, did anyone else in Persia understand what they were seeing?  Did Herod, the reigning emperor, see the star?  If he did, Scripture seems to lead us to believe he had no idea what he was seeing?  Did anyone else in the region see the star?  Why didn’t others follow the star?  You would think that a star that stopped over a particular house would have grabbed a lot of people’s attention.

This amazing event happened at least two years after Jesus had been born.  Mary and Joseph had settled into a home.  By then, they had adjusted to the life of early parenthood.  They had had time to deal with the uniqueness of their situation, being the parents of the Christ child.  I kind of wonder as well whether or not Joseph or Mary had gone outside and seen the star hovering over their home.  All kind of things were going on in their lives that simply are not recorded in the Scriptures.

It took the magi at least two years to make the journey to Bethlehem, two years of crossing the desert to think about what they were going to see.  I am sure that it was a journey filled with much discussion and contemplation.  Although they did not know where the star would end up leading them, they followed the star, knowing that it was from God.  They did not let circumstances keep them from their determination to follow where the Lord was leading them.  I wonder how many of us are just as determined to follow the Lord wherever He leads us.

The magi followed the star and God did not disappoint them.  They found Christ and worshiped Him.  All who seek Christ will find Him. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Luke 2;14 Glory to God in the highest.

Luke 2:14  Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”

Glory to God in the highest—for the fullness of time had come.  It was the perfect time, God’s time, for Jesus to come.  God had prepared all history for this moment.  Everything on earth was ready for a Savior.  Those born under the Law were ready to be set free.  Publically God’s children were anxiously waiting for the promised Messiah. 

Glory to God in the highest—for the favor of God rests with men.  Think about it.  God has favored man with His presence!  We are not alone in our spiritual battles.  We no longer have to wonder where God is.  God favors those who are His.  He favors us with His Spirit.  He favors us with spiritually-minded hearts that enable us to understand the Word and gives us a desire for Him.  He favors us with the church, where we can grow and become a holy people unto the Lord.  He favors us with all we need to withstand the stormy times of life.  He favors us with life that is worth living and dying for.

Glory to God in the highest—for the future of man is with God.  God gives us a reason to live and a reason to die.  He gives us a life worth living for, a life filled with God’s peace, joy, contentment, love, and power.  He gives us a life that satisfies the soul, both now and forever.  He gives us eternal life, a life where there is no more sorrow, pain, confusion, doubts, fears, or death. 

Glory to God in the highest—there is now peace in the heart of man of all those who will receive Him as their Savior.  This is a peace that holds the soul steady through all the storms of life.  It is a peace rooted in God’s grace.  It is a peace knowing our sins are forgiven and there is now no more condemnation for our sins.  It is a peace that causes the soul to sing, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Matt. 2:1,2 The Wise Men of Christmas

Matt. 2:1,2  Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod.   About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?  We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”

Consider with me today the wise men of Christmas.  We can learn much about our own lives as we gaze into their role in the Christmas story.

Wise men look for Jesus.  Jesus can be found.  He will be found by all who sincerely seek Him.  Look in the Scriptures and you will find Him.  Look in creation, which is His handiwork, and you will find Him.  Look at the cross of Calvary and you will find Him.  Jesus did not come to a select few that they may be saved.  He came that all people will behold Him and find Him.  He came that all who are willing to be saved will be saved.

Wise men obey God rather than man.  We live amongst a people who do not know God and have no desire to know Him.  We are faced with many choices daily; do we obey God or man?  The world does not like it when we boldly live for Christ.  We are bound to run up against opposition.  Wise men take a stand for God.  They live godly lives regardless how it is received in the work or marketplace. 

Wise men worship Jesus.  When we live in the presence of Jesus it humbles us.  Wow!  God allows us to enter into His presence!  What a privilege!  In Christ unholy people are made holy and fit to come before Him in worship.  When we live in the presence of Jesus we are moved to praise Him.  How can we do anything less?  Praise is always fitting in worship services.  When we are in the presence of God we are awestruck.  Wow!!  God!!

The world worships the presents of Christmas.  We worship the presence of Jesus.  Let us live as wise men and bow before our Lord and King today.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Matt. 1:23 ".........and he will be called Immanuel (meaning God is with us)."

Matt. 1:23  “Look!  The virgin will conceive a child!  She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).”

God is with us, GOD is with us.  God is WITH us.  God is with US.  No matter how you say it, this is the grandest news man has ever heard! 

GOD is with us.  The designer, creator, and sustainer of all that is, is with us.  The beginning and end of all things is with us.  The giver of all life and the hope of all ages is with us.  He who knows all things knows us for He became one of us.  He who cannot be contained for all heaven is His footstool, became flesh and dwelt for awhile amongst us.

God IS with us.  No matter how distant God may at times seem to be, He IS with us.  How can we know for sure it is true?  He said it is so.  He has declared that He is with us, that He will never leave or forsake us, even unto the end of the earth.

God is WITH us.  God did not create us and leave us to fend for ourselves.  He does not reside in heaven and leave us alone.  God is with us.  He is with us in whatever we go through in life.  He is with us to help us when we lose our way.  He is with us when we are confused and frustrated in the times of life.  He is with us all the days of our lives, both now and forever.

God is with US.  God is with us, His children.  God is with all who come to Him for the forgiveness of their sins and choose to live under His authority over their lives.  He has chosen US to be His children and live holy lives.  Do not fear what comes your way, God is with US.

Immanuel, God with us, is the Christmas story.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Is. 9:6,7 Jesus is our Prince of Peace.


Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is our Prince of Peace.  A prince is someone in a position of authority and responsibility.  He has certain rights that no one else has.  He takes his responsibility as representative of the people he represents seriously.  A prince endeavors to be a person of good character so that those he represents will trust and follow him.  Jesus is the ultimate prince of life.  There is no flaw in His character, ability to lead, motives for leading, or ability to do good for others.

Jesus is our Prince of Peace amidst the stormy times of life.  There is no storm that He cannot calm.  There is no obstacle too big for Him to overcome.  He calmly faces the angry storms of life and says, “Peace be still.”  No storm can continue to rage when He takes control of it.  In Christ we discover that no matter what the stormy season of our lives may be like, we can overcome them through Him.  His presence reassures us that our storms do not determine or define our lives.  We can face positively our storms knowing we do not face them alone.  He is our Immanuel and does for us what we cannot do on our own.  Things may continue to be stormy for a season, but we know that the storms do pass and on the other side of every storm there is calm, sunshine, and peace.  We praise Him in the midst of the storm because we know that the victory is ours in Christ Jesus.  No storm can take us away from our Lord when we let Him hold our hand in the storm.

Jesus gives to us a peace that the world can never give.  In the world there is turmoil everywhere.  No matter what others may promise us, there can be no peace in the world.  The world is governed by evil and will be until Jesus comes.  Looking into the world for peace is utter foolishness and forever futile.  The only peace that steadies the soul and enables us to handle life victoriously is the peace that Jesus gives when our sins are forgiven.  If there is no peace in the soul, there can be no peace in the world.  The promise of our Lord is His peace, a peace that no one can understand except those whose sins have been forgiven. 

Jesus leads His children into the green pastures and sets them down by the still waters where they are safe and secure and can feast on the riches of His grace.  Only in Jesus will you ever find peace.  Only in Jesus can you truly say, “It is well; it is well with my soul.” 

“Thank you, Jesus, for giving us a peace that the world cannot take away, a peace that passes all human understanding.  Thank you, God, for your indescribable gift of love, Jesus, our Prince of Peace.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is. 9:6,7 Jesus is our Everlasting Father.


Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is our Everlasting Father.  He has always been, is now, and forever shall be.  He is one with God, our Heavenly Father.  He is one with God in life.  He is one with God in His eternal plan of redemption.  He is one with God in judgment of sin.  There is nothing that Jesus and God are not the same on.  He is God.

He is always dependable to be who He is.  He is the same eternally.  Before anything other than God existed, He was.  It is impossible for Jesus to fail to be who He is.  It is impossible for Him to not do what He promises to do.  He forgives all who come to Him humbly and sincerely for the forgiveness of their sins.  Everyone.  He forgives all the sins we give to Him.  He wraps all His children up in His righteousness so that they are acceptable to God.  He keeps all of His children securely in His righteousness who stay yielded and obedient to Him.  He is the Alpha and Omega of our salvation.  Praise His holy name!

He is unfailing and forever faithful, watching over us to protect us and help us.  Because He is God we never have to worry about His dependability.  We never have to worry about His availability.  We never have to worry about His love for us or His desires for us.  His heart for us is always for our good.  No matter what we go through in life, Jesus wants us to learn and grow through it for our good.  His desire for us is always for our holiness of heart, for without holiness no one shall see God.  What He does within us to change us is always for our good.  Praise His holy name!

Jesus is our Everlasting Father.  Some day we shall see Him on His throne in heaven and bow before Him in worship if we remain faithful to Him.  Some day He will place a crown of righteousness on our heads and declare us good and faithful servants who are worthy to be with Him for all of eternity.  Some day we will behold Him in all His splendor and glory and join in the heavenly choir singing forth His praises.  Praise His holy name!  Jesus, our Everlasting Father!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Is. 9:6,7 Jesus is our Mighty God.

Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is our Mighty God.  So much has been written and said about our Lord’s might.  The Scriptures are very clear as to how great our God is.  He has created all things by the mere utterance of His word.  He holds it all together by the same power of His word.  He holds the key to heaven and hell.  He has the power to forgive all of our sins or condemn us to hell.  He has the power to create a new heaven and earth and He will do that some day.  There is no limit to His power.

He has the power to heal all of our diseases.  He has the power to forgive all our sins and not only to forgive, but to forget that we had ever sinned.  He has the power to change who we are into a holy people, a people after His own heart.  He has the power to keep us safe from the worst of whatever Satan can throw at us.  He has the power to bring all the redeemed together to be with Him for all of eternity. 

He is our Mighty God.  Don’t shortchange the power of God in you.  He is able to do immeasurably more than whatever you can ever imagine.  He can help you with whatever you are facing in life.  He can save you, keep you, and enable you to make it home to heaven.  There is nothing that God cannot do for you if you will but let Him.  You don’t have to live life in defeat.  Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly.  Are you living life to the fullest?  Are you living connected to our Mighty God? 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Is. 9:6-7 Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor.

Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor.  We discover many wonderful things about our Lord’s ability to counsel us as we face life’s uncertainties.  In Matthew 9 there was a paralytic brought to Jesus for his healing.  In verse four, Matthew tells us that Jesus knows the thoughts of man.  No one can hide his thoughts from the Lord.  He is able to give us good advice because He knows our thoughts whether we can express them or not.  He doesn’t need anyone to interpret our thoughts for Him. 
In John 2:25 we learn that Jesus also knows the heart of man.  He knows what is behind our thoughts.  He knows what our hearts need, even better than we do.  He listen to our hearts and not just our words.  Thus, He is able to give us much better counsel than any human ever could.
In Hebrews 4:15 we learn that Jesus was tempted in all points just as we tempted.  What this says to me is that He understands how we feel.  He has been confronted by the same things that confront us and understands their affect on us.  In other words, He us the ultimate emphasizer.  He is able to help us from a position of personal experience.  What He offers us by way of counsel is trustworthy because He has lived it.
In Psalm 139 we discover knows what we are made of, because He made us.  We were formed in our mother’s womb with His full knowledge.  He knew right from the beginning of our lives our past, present and future.  He is able to counsel us best because there is nothing lacking in His knowledge of us.  He knows all the details we leave out when we seek the counsel of others.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor.  We can flee to Him with full confidence that He will not steer us wrong.  He loves us and desires only what is good for us.  When we listen to Him and follow His advice, He works all things out in our lives for our good and it brings Him glory and honor when we do (Romans 8:28,29).  And yes, the Lord does use others to give us sound advice that helps us and if their advice is Biblically-based we should follow it. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Is. 9:6 And the government will rest on his shoulders.

Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

And the government will rest on His shoulders.  One of the things that we must know is that Christ rules.  He rules over all of creation and holds it all together (Col. 1:15-23).  John tells us in his Gospel account that all things were made by Him and for Him (John 1:3).  God has placed Jesus in a position of authority over all things.  It is He alone who governs creation.

We know it to be true, but I suspect in practice we scarcely know it is true.  We live like we are in charge.  We do what we do with little regard for how it fits into God’s plans for us.  We live barely taking time to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord over all.  We don’t give Him much of our time or attention most of the time.  Be honest.  Isn’t it true?  Think about how often you really do act like Jesus is Lord over all.

If Jesus is Lord, then He should be calling the shots in our lives.  He should be consulted in our decisions.  He should be influencing what we say and do.  He should be the focus of our lives.  We should do what we do to honor Him.  He should be the center of our lives, not ourselves or anyone else. 

If Jesus is Lord, then He should be calling the shots in the church.  He should be consulted in whatever the church does.  Programs and activities of the church should be done with Jesus in mind.  All teachings and preachings should be Christ-focused and centered.  All fellowships should be to strengthen the mutual bond of the church in Christ.  The mandate of the church should be to honor Christ by making disciples and sending them out to reach the lost.  Doing church should be from the heart of love, not duty.  All worship should direct the soul to Christ.  Submission to the authority of God’s Word should be the heart of the church.

God has placed all authority over creation and the church upon Christ.  We bow down before Him like the wise men of old because He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  The government of all things is upon Him.  O come, let us adore and worship our Lord today.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Is. 9:6, 7 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.

Is. 9:6-7  For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

For unto us a child is born…..The birth of Jesus was not a spur of the moment event.  In Ephesians 1:3-10 Paul makes it clear that before the foundation of the world was laid, God had a plan in place to redeem us.  He purposely made us with the ability to accept or reject Him knowing that most would reject Him.  He knew that there would be no way once sin entered into man’s heart that He would be able to have fellowship with him, so He put in a plan whereby we could be restored to fellowship with Him.  God gave us His Son because He loves us and wants to spend eternity with us (John 3:16).  A child was born to be our Savior and Lord.

Jesus was no ordinary child.  He is the embodiment of God in human flesh.  He lived a sinless life, even though He was faced with all the temptations we are faced with.  He lived and died to become our Savior and Lord (Phil. 2:5-8).   Jesus came to address the desperate need of our hearts.  He came to be with us in this journey of life, to be our Immanuel. 

Unto us a child is born, a son is given.  Jesus IS the Son of God.  We hear God speak in Matt. 3:16-17 and 17:5 and declare that Jesus is His son in whom He is well pleased.  Jesus left no room for doubt that He was the Son of God.  John declares it to be so in John 1:1 and 14.  Jesus is also the Son of Man.  It is one of the titles Jesus often used of himself.  He was human in every since of the word.  We often find Him being hungry, tired, frustrated, praying, worshiping, dependant on God.  We find Him wrestling with His certain death, in great physical pain and dying on a cross.  Malachi describes His as being the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2). 

Unto us a child is born, a son is given, a promise is kept.  Starting in the Garden of Eden, God promised the world a Savior.  Over and over again God declared the coming of the Savior.  God was well aware of the world’s need for a Savior and in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) came, God sent His Son.  Even though it seemed like God was not available, that He had abandoned His people, Jesus came.  People had not given up hope, even though they had not heard from God for 400 years.  They were living out life knowing that God was trustworthy and the Messiah would come some day. 

We today celebrate the birth of the promised Messiah, Jesus our Savior, and we too are living out life in anticipation of His coming.  Only this time, when Jesus comes He will be coming to take us, the church, out of the world to be with Him in heaven.  God is trustworthy and He will keep His promise; Jesus is coming soon.  Are you ready?  Far more important than celebrating His birth is the celebrating of His soon return.  Let us live each day in readiness.