As we draw close to the end of this year, and the end of another decade, most of us will reflect over our past, our triumphs and failures, we will also reflect on lost loved ones and how we miss them.
As we reflect, let’s be grateful for all the days we had with them, and rejoice with those we still have with us.
Life has no pause or reset buttons, it seems to be only fast forward.
Don’t let the demons of the past bring discouragement or despair and get in our minds, or heart, they will only lie to us and deceive us, they will dishearten us and destroy our hope, joy, and focus.
Now is the time to refocus on God, a time of reflection to see where we failed, and where we grew, repent of the things we did without God, and surrender everything to Him, commit this New Year to always seek God, and ask for His wisdom and guidance.
This I know unless I surrender daily to Him, I will surrender to my flesh, the world or the devil.
I need God in order to love others unconditionally. I need His help to overlook offenses. I need His help to guard myself against temptations. I need His help in my marriage, my finances, my family and ministry’s, I need His help to become more like Christ.
I need God’s help so others will do the same for me.
We all get to choose who we surrender our will to daily, all of our weaknesses and strengths, we must learn out of obedience to surrender to God before our feet hit the floor, our enemies wait in the darkness to attack our thoughts, dreams, and mind.
We can have the life God wants us to have. But we can’t have it without God’s help. No matter what’s happened in our past, today is a new day. A new chance. A new beginning. A new year awaits, let's not squander this gift from God.
Let’s be glad and rejoice in Him. Things can be different, let's go forward in Christ, for in Him we will find healing, in Him we can truly forgive as we've been forgiven, in Him we can have peace, strength and overcome all that gets in our way, in Him we can be more intimate with our spouse, in Him we can become closer to others than ever been before.
We don't have what it takes to face life alone, we need God.
Life is complicated, we need all the help we can get.
God’s word says this;
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:25-30 CSB
“When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you. When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army. He is to say to them: ‘Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be cowardly. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.’ Deuteronomy 20:1-4 CSB
“What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely? But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.” James 4:1-17 CSB
We all have fallen for the power of the grand illusion, the power of our flesh, the power of the world, the power of the devil, are all grand illusions.
Now don't get me wrong all three of these are powerful foes, they have a hold on the world around us, they are stronger than us and on our own they easily defeat us, but in Christ, we have overcome them all, their power is limited and fueled by illusions and deception.
The truth is, the more we seek Christ, the more He transforms our minds, the more He reveals Himself to us, and the more we will see this daily.
There is more power in the prayers of a person of faith, praying to God in belief than there is in all the Capitols of the world!
Because God, has put His Spirit in us, the same Spirit that moved over the earth and formed it, that sheltered Israel by day and gave them fire at night in the wilderness. The same Spirit that descended upon Jesus at His baptism, and raised Him from the grave.
The same Spirit Jesus promised us, to teach us, lead us, speak through us, comfort us, protect us and seal us for eternity.
He will help our walk daily, we just need to seek Him and ask Him.
Today learn to seek, ask and obey the Spirit of God and see what He will do in your life, do not fall for the grand illusion of the enemy, instead seek the face of God and see Him reveal His power in your life.
God’s word says this:
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11 CSB
“If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”John 14:15-26 CSB
“Therefore, don’t be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered and nothing hidden that won’t be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:26-31 CSB
For every child of God, there will come a time when we must leave all that we know and go into the unknown with God.
Adam and Eve left the garden, Noah went into the ark, Abraham went to UR, Moses went into the wilderness, Joshua went to the promised land, Joseph went to Egypt, Jesus left heavens splendor and came here to earth to dwell among us, the Apostles left all they knew and followed Jesus and then the early Church sold all they had and went into all the world.
Where is God calling you, leading you? As this year closes and a new one begins, will you go where He leads you?
Taking the step to get up and go, to do what God wants is an act of faith, trust, and obedience but mostly love when we truly love God with all our hearts, minds and strength we will go without hesitation.
Where is God calling you to go?
What is God calling you to do?
Will you trust Him no matter where He sends you? Will you go into the unknown to make His name known?
Whether it is across the street or halfway across the world. God has a calling on our lives, He has already gone ahead of us. Where is He asking you to go, to make your path straight, trust Him!
God's word says this:
“The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 CSB
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.”Hebrews 12:1-3 CSB
Christmas isn’t about the gifts under our trees, Christmas is about God’s gift that He gave us, Jesus Christ.
The manger was only a prelude to the cross, Jesus came to be our Lord and Savior, God's gift to us all.
Jesus came to us because we would not and could not come to God the Father, without Him.
Jesus came to fulfill the promises of God, so those who believe in Him could become the sons and daughters of God
Jesus was crucified and nailed to a tree, He died there for our sins and God raised Him from the grave, He was sinless, yet He bore our sins, and through Jesus, we receive the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
Jesus is the light of the world, let us not miss Him as they did the first time He came.
This Christmas He is standing at the door of our lives, knocking, will you let Him in, or will you tell Him there is no room for Him, in your life!
The Christmas story is about why Jesus came just as much as it about who He is.
If your hope is in government saving man, if your hope is man, then you have no hope. God settled things long ago, knowing that we could not save ourselves, knowing that mankind left to his ways would lead to our demise, we are power-hungry, self-serving, greedy, driven by a corrupt nature we are depraved this is why God took it upon Himself to come and save the world.
He came to seek and save the lost and He paid the ultimate cost, the world is looking for the savior to come, but He came long ago, and the good news is He still reigns today.
Time was split, sin and death defeated and His kingdom set before us. Jesus is the center point of time, He is eternal and the world revolves around Him, it rests upon His grace.
From before time began God had a plan, and Jesus made sure it all took place, all of the promises of God are fulfilled in Him.
Everything and everyone was created by Him, for Him, and through Him, our world rest upon His shoulders.
One day He will return and time and life as we know it will change, now is the time to come and meet Him, now is the time to great the King, there is no greater gift you will receive than Him.
God's word says this:
“The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.” Matthew 1:18-25 CSB
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-5, 11-14 CSB
“See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. “To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:20-22 CSB
The holidays can be fun and exciting, they can refresh our spirits as we close out the year with family and friends in celebration.
But for some, the holidays bring feelings of despair, loneliness, and depression as they look back over the events of the year, as they remember loved ones who have gone on before them.
Time really doesn’t heal our wounds, it may cover them up but healing only comes from inside out, as a work of the Holy Spirit.
We look for answers to questions on why things happen more around the holidays, especially Christmas. We think of Christmas as it should be, joyous, peaceful, fun, time together, reflecting on our blessings with our families, but when there is a void where someone’s missing our hearts get heavy, and we want an answer to why they aren’t there.
Quite simply we don’t have the answers, outside of death comes to us all, no matter our age, race or status, death plays no favorites.
None of us know how limited our time is, we should learn by now to live each day to the utmost, loving each other and treasuring each moment we are given together. Most of all we need to learn to love and honor God in all we do, especially in our relationships with each other.
We need to learn to forgive others, forget each other's shortcomings, including our own, past mistakes and foolish words. We cannot change what has been said or done, we can only choose not to repeat them.
We need to keep our hearts focused on God above, walk in His ways, our hope is in Him alone. For in Christ we have hope, joy, peace, strength, abundance, grace, mercy and love.
The very things we are missing are found in Him, and in Him, our loved ones who have gone on before us are now made complete and they wait for us to one day join them with Christ as we enter into eternity together, were never again we will experience sorrow or loss.
That is where joy is everlasting, peace is all we will know, and our hope will be complete.
God's word says this:
“Even in laughter a heart may be sad, and joy may end in grief.” Proverbs 14:13 CSB
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will boast in the Lord; the humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim the Lord’s greatness with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and rescues them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the person who takes refuge in him! You who are his holy ones, fear the Lord, for those who fear him lack nothing. Young lions lack food and go hungry, but those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing. Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is someone who desires life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help. The face of the Lord is set against those who do what is evil, to remove all memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. One who is righteous has many adversities, but the Lord rescues him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken. Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. The Lord redeems the life of his servants, and all who take refuge in him will not be punished.” Psalms 34:1-22 CSB
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 CSB
“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. “This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is what I command you: Love one another.” John 15:9-17 CSB
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. But the cowards, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars — their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”” Revelation 21:1-8 CSB
Life and time are both free gifts from God to all mankind, we should learn to treasure God first, then life and time.
First our own life, and then the life of others.
The second gift we should value is time, first time with God, then time with family, finally time with friends.
If we valued life and time then life would be precious to us all, sadly we have lost our love for God, for life, for each other.
We glorify abortion at the expense of 60 million babies just in our nation, then factor in abortions worldwide, euthanasia, murder, ruthless world leaders, ruthless religious groups, we see the numbers skyrocket into the billions, there are more people killed in our time than any other in world history.
People of all ages are forgotten, look at the loneliness of people, in our families, our neighborhoods, our community, those who live alone, in nursing homes, in the hospitals, orphans, or on the streets.
We don't have to go far to see people that have been forgotten by us all, we become so wrapped up in our lives, we have no time to share.
As Christmas approaches let us remember it is a time that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, when God sent Him to us, to redeem our lives, to rescue us from sin’s curse, death. God came to us because we could not go to Him.
God never forgot us, He sent Jesus at the right time, for us all, for us each.
We have forgotten this, Christ came humbly to earth for us, not for us to forget about others but that through us, others would see His love.
This Christmas stop being busy in the things that do not matter, people will stand in line 2 days to buy a tv, but won't walk across the street and hang out with neighbors and proclaim God's love.
Jesus said: ” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind... The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37, 39
How can we love God or others if we don't love ourselves? I'm not talking about arrogant self-love, this is about loving who we are in Christ, how He made us, where He put us, what He is doing in our lives, knowing He is sovereign over everything.
In the grand scheme of eternity, let us be busy proclaiming the love of God, the truth of His Word and the gift of eternal life, by taking time out of our days to spend with others while God is giving us the time to do so.
God’s word says this:
“Lord, make me aware of my end and the number of my days so that I will know how short-lived I am. In fact, you have made my days just inches long, and my life span is as nothing to you. Yes, every human being stands as only a vapor. Selah Yes, a person goes about like a mere shadow. Indeed, they rush around in vain, gathering possessions without knowing who will get them. “Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.” Psalms 39:4-7 CSB
“When the Lord saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. Then the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky — for I regret that I made them.” Genesis 6:5-7 CSB
“Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for the road,” he told them, “no staff, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don’t take an extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. If they do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.” Luke 9:1-6 CSB
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:24-28 CSB
We are called to a purpose, not to sit idly by as the world passes away but to proclaim the gospel message to those who are perishing and to encourage the redeemed.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is for all; it is gives life to the dead (those without Christ) and joy to the living (those in Christ).
We need to declare today the good news to all mankind, for the gospel sets the captives free, gives sight to the blind, and shines the glory of the Lord all around us.
Our world is perishing, people need hope, as a child of God it should be our privilege to proclaim Jesus Christ to all mankind.
Are you proclaiming the truth, the love, the hope that is found in Christ? If not this is the perfect day to start!
God’s word says this;
“This is my servant; I strengthen him, this is my chosen one; I delight in him. I have put my Spirit on him; he will bring justice to the nations. He will not cry out or shout or make his voice heard in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed, and he will not put out a smoldering wick; he will faithfully bring justice. He will not grow weak or be discouraged until he has established justice on earth. The coasts and islands will wait for his instruction.” This is what God, the Lord, says — who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk on it — “I am the Lord. I have called you for a righteous purpose, and I will hold you by your hand. I will watch over you, and I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people and a light to the nations, in order to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those sitting in darkness from the prison house. I am the Lord. That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. The past events have indeed happened. Now I declare new events; I announce them to you before they occur.” Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praise from the ends of the earth, you who go down to the sea with all that fills it, you coasts and islands with your inhabitants. Let the desert and its cities shout, the settlements where Kedar dwells cry aloud. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy; let them cry out from the mountaintops. Let them give glory to the Lord and declare his praise in the coasts and islands. The Lord advances like a warrior; he stirs up his zeal like a soldier. He shouts, He roars aloud, he prevails over his enemies. “I have kept silent from ages past; I have been quiet and restrained myself. But now, I will groan like a woman in labor, gasping breathlessly. I will lay waste mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation. I will turn rivers into islands and dry up marshes. I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them and rough places into level ground. This is what I will do for them, and I will not abandon them. They will be turned back and utterly ashamed — those who trust in an idol and say to a cast image, ‘You are our gods! ’ “Listen, you deaf! Look, you blind, so that you may see. Who is blind but my servant, or deaf like my messenger I am sending? Who is blind like my dedicated one, or blind like the servant of the Lord? Though seeing many things, you pay no attention. Though his ears are open, he does not listen.” Because of his righteousness, the Lord was pleased to magnify his instruction and make it glorious. But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in holes or imprisoned in dungeons. They have become plunder with no one to rescue them and loot, with no one saying, “Give it back!” Who among you will hear this? Let him listen and obey in the future. Who gave Jacob to the robber, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord? Have we not sinned against him? They were not willing to walk in his ways, and they would not listen to his instruction. So he poured out his furious anger and the power of war on Jacob. It surrounded him with fire, but he did not know it; it burned him, but he didn’t take it to heart.” Isaiah 42:1-25 CSB
“I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:14-17 CSB
“About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, let us not sleep, like the rest, but let us stay awake and be self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled and put on the armor of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 CSB
When Christ came as a baby, the majority of the Jewish people missed His coming, the signs were all there, the timing was right, and they needed God more than ever.
The problems were the religious community was caught up in political power they struggled with pushing their own agenda instead of God’s truth.
The Romans were caught up with governing the religious leaders and the king they had in place, they were also busy trying to squash terrorism from the zealots.
The people were living in rebellion doing whatever they could to survive, they were slaves, overtaxed, angry, confused and numb to all that was going on around them.
The good news is there were a few who obeyed God, and He made known to them that the time had come, salvation has arrived through Immanuel, the Christ child.
I believe today we have the same mindset as the Jewish nation, religious leaders have an agenda and it is not God’s, political leaders have an agenda to control the people and what they know, and the people are growing numb and rebellious against both.
We are missing the glory of God as He works and offers salvation to all mankind, we miss the meaning of Immanuel, we miss the treasures of life because we have become apathetic, instead of passionate for Christ.
The signs are obvious, they are everywhere if we're not careful we will miss all the signs of our Lord's return because we are focused on us instead of Him.
Simeon and Anna had waited their whole lives for the coming Messiah and knew that God had kept His promise, we should be like Simeon and Anna waiting faithfully on God, recognize His promises and keep praising His name
Let’s turn our eyes off of us, and other people, let's look for Jesus to soon return, let's live as if today is the day, let others see the glory of God shine upon us and mankind again.
God’s word says this:
“So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Christ, fourteen generations. The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother, Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.”Matthew 1:17-25 CSB
“Now concerning that day and hour no one knows — neither the angels of heaven nor the Son — except the Father alone. As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark.
They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding grain with a hand mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. This is why you are also to be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Matthew 24:36-44 CSB
“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple.
When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised.“For my eyes have seen your salvation.”
You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples — a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel.
His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed — and a sword will pierce your own soul — that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:25-38 CSB
Every day should be a day of rejoicing, love, unity, and gratitude. If we have but only one reason to be thankful we should be all day long.
If people were more grateful and thankful we would not be in the mess we have been in for a long time, our world would be pleasurable to live in.
Each of us, should stop and take an inventory of our lives, learn to live in the grace we have all been given, look around at our spouses, our children, our jobs, our friends, our homes, everything we have is a blessing from God, the devil has made us believe they are burdens, let us change our perspective and look at all things through the lens of God’s grace and blessings.
Let us as the body of Christ, lead instead of follow and let the love of Christ take us through our journey here to eternity with Him. Let us live and love like Christ.
Give Thanks today to God for the gifts He has given us all.
God’s word says this:
And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful. Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:15-17 CSB
“Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing. For the one who wants to love life and to see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and let him turn away from evil and do what is good. Let him seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12 CSB
“A person’s steps are established by the Lord, and he takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord supports him with his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread. He is always generous, always lending, and his children are a blessing. Turn away from evil, do what is good, and settle permanently. For the Lord loves justice and will not abandon his faithful ones. They are kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked will be destroyed. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it permanently. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom; his tongue speaks what is just. The instruction of his God is in his heart; his steps do not falter. The wicked one lies in wait for the righteous and intends to kill him; the Lord will not leave him in the power of the wicked one or allow him to be condemned when he is judged. Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. You will watch when the wicked are destroyed.” Psalms 37:23-34 CSB
God is just as glorified in our pain and suffering , as He is in our healing and comfort, but He is most glorified when we surrender our hearts to Him, walk in obedience, and trust Him to see us through each moment in life, from tragedy to triumphs, no matter the outcome, God is good.
Through the years I have learned to trust Him every day for everything, on my own I am unable to function or move without His help, I don't think I could say this if I was healed.
My faith is not in what I believe, rather my faith is based on who I believe in, I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Don't get me wrong, I know things don't always work out as we want, as Christians we suffer, we get sick and are plagued with disease and poverty, we die, we go bankrupt, we lose friends and family, we are not immune to life’s tragedies.
We do though have an advocate our side, we do have victory over all sin and death in the world, because of Christ.
The things this world throws at us are temporary, we are eternal. We can trust that God has us in His hands and that He is at work in our lives, and in our pain and suffering, or in healing and comfort, in life or in death, He will be glorified, and we will be with Him no matter what.
Keep the faith, let the peace of God fill your life, press into Christ our Lord and Savior, let His life and love shine through us.
God's word says this
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”Galatians 2:20 CSB
“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living.”Romans 14:8-9 CSB
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me.”John 14:1-4, 6-7, 19, 27-30 CSB
“Jesus responded to them, “Do you now believe? Indeed, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:31-33 CSB
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 CSB
All of us are only a heartbeat away from our lives changing forever.
All of us will lose people we love, some of us will get sick, each of us will grow older daily, and the older we get the closer our last breath comes. Trials will come, suffering will linger, and we don’t know when any of this will hit us.
Pain and suffering are among those things that really belong to the Lord, it all started when sin and death entered the world.
God was not surprised when sin and death came, He had a plan in place before He created the Heavens and Earth, to save us from sin and death, He revealed that plan in the beginning for all of us.
God's purposes and promises are in Christ Himself and revealed in His Word, so we may know how to live.
God has revealed all we need to know right now, He continues to reveal Himself the closer we walk with Him. Instead of trusting in ourselves and our limited knowledge, we have to trust in God’s grace, love and mercy.
This is a lesson we learn and relearn throughout our lives. Our relationship with Christ is what brings peace, for love, joy, peace, and kindness are found in Christ, we should celebrate Him every day, not just at Christmas and Easter.
Suffering brings us to the end of self-reliance and to the place where all we can do is rely on God, God is all-powerful, so much so He can take evil and turn it around so it works out for our good and His glory!
Make no mistake Lucifer brought sin and death to mankind, but God has used it from the beginning to further His kingdom.
Our faith is under fire daily, but our lives are in the hands of Christ, He is the vine, we are the branches and in Him we have life.
When we come to the point where our faith becomes our own, it becomes real, then we can say in complete confidence, I do trust you, Lord, with all my heart!
My faith has grown stronger only because Christ has revealed Himself more and more to me on my journey, in my pain and suffering, I have learned to say, where are going today Lord?
Wherever you lead me I will follow!
God’s word says this:
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:1-3 CSB
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time — to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him. In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory. In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14 CSB
“Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.” From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”John 6:61-69 CSB
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30 CSB
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments and untraceable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? And who has ever given to God, that he should be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36 CSB
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:6-11 CSB
God’s glory and the pride of man collided at the cross of Christ, mankind didn’t want to hear then that they were sinners, self-righteous, lost and in need of a savior, any more than they do today.
Every one born must choose to either walk across the blood-stained cross denying God’s grace, love and glory into the gates of hell, or surrender their lives to His grace, love, and glory and learn to walk in obedience to Him as Lord and Savior.
Either way, we are responsible for the choices we make, there is no other way to God except through Christ.
This is the reason He came to us to reconcile the broken relationship between mankind and God, He didn't come to be worshipped as a baby, but as our Savior and King, He came, and lived as a man, but without sin, so we could have His example to live by.
Before the manger, Jesus was, and after the cross Jesus is, He is the Alpha and Omega and just as He is eternal, so is His love for us.
Are you tired of life's struggles, falling short, being held captive by sin and death, are you at the end of yourself yet?
Today would be the day to start a new life, a life redeemed, a life with Christ in command, leading you through the valley of death, into green pastures!
Then your reading this is no mistake, the choice is yours.
God’s word says this:
“But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!” Luke 2:10-14 CSB
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.” John 3:16-18 CSB
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7 CSB
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Mark 10:45 CSB
“Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the reality itself of those things, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year. Otherwise, wouldn’t they have stopped being offered, since the worshipers, purified once and for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in the sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, as he was coming into the world, he said: You did not desire sacrifice and offering, but you prepared a body for me. You did not delight in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings. Then I said, “See — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God.” After he says above, You did not desire or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law ), he then says, See, I have come to do your will. He takes away the first to establish the second. By this will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time. Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, the Lord says, I will put my laws on their hearts and write them on their minds, and I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus — he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh ) — and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. For if we deliberately go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. Anyone who disregarded the law of Moses died without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, who has regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who has said, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge his people. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”Hebrews 10:1-31 CSB
“Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness, let the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; let the holy still be holy.” “Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.”Revelation 22:10-16 CSB
When we say things like ” I believe in God, He is in control, my faith is in Him, I trust Him, ” do we really mean what we say all the time, or do we believe this to be true only when things are good?
What about when trials come our way and the storms are raging, when all seems lost do we really have faith and trust, in God?
Is God over our marriages, families, health, finances, our jobs, neighborhoods, schools, our government, churches, nation or the world we live in, is He over life and death?
Either God is always in control or He is never in control.
We must ask ourselves in everything, do we trust God?
A.W. Tozer said this “The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us. ”
Our walk with Christ is not based on feelings, feelings will betray us, our walk is based on faith, and trust, who our faith is in determines our walk!
We either have faith enough to always follow God and trust Him, or we have faith in ourselves and try to do life without Him.
Are we interfering in God’s work in our lives, in the lives of others because of our lack of faith?
Let’s live our lives in total surrender, complete trust, and unfailing faith in Christ, for all of our help comes from Him!
God’s word says this:
“I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.” Psalms 121:1-8 CSB
“My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and high regard with God and people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline; for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.”Proverbs 3:1-12 CSB
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17 CSB
I must admit my favorite time of year is Christmas, I look forward to all that it represents, let's start by looking at the Christmas tree.
The tree represents life to me, even though they are cut down, they are still vibrant and green as they die, they hold lights which represent hope, they hold ornaments which represent joyous memories, they shine with tinsel, ribbons and candy canes and are topped with a star or an angel which represents peace.
Most of all, the things I love about a Christmas tree are this, everything about them reminds me of Jesus.
Jesus is life, and even though He came to die, He is life, He came to the world to be the light in the darkness, His glory still shines today, His love and grace are our only hope, and without Him we are bound to die in our sin, He alone gives us new life, in Him alone our joy, and perfect peace are found.
The Christmas tree also reminds me of the manger where Christ lay, inside the stable where He was born, the work He did with His hands as a carpenter as He grew in grace and knowledge, and the cross He hung on and died to pay for my sins, and yours, because He loves us and knows there could be no other way for us to get to God the Father.
I look at the Christmas tree and see all Christ has done for me, I am in awe of His love, His grace, and God the Father's gift to all mankind, Jesus.
This Christmas season I hope you see who I see in the Christmas tree, Jesus, I pray you will come to know Him and receive the greatest gift of all, salvation and start your personal relationship with Him.
God’s word says this:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 CSB
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:14-19 CSB
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 CSB
“Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2:4-16 CSB
“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, Everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the law is cursed. Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.”Galatians 3:10-14 CSB
“Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead — by him this man is standing here before you healthy. This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12 CSB
As I sit and read this morning, the story of Joshua and Caleb and the 10 other spies, that went into the promised land to scout and report back to Moses.
I think about how Joshua and Caleb trusted the Lord, they knew above everything else that He would deliver them and protect them, but the 10 other men (who were also leaders of Israel ) grumbled and excited the people; they told them it was impossible to take the land, it was filled with giants, the people believed them, they feared and trembled and worried so much that God's anger burned against them.
Everyone who was 20 years or older at the time, died without going into the Promised Land because they chose to listen to the 10 spies, instead of listening to Joshua and Caleb and trusting God.
How much are we like them today?
We listen to the negative reports because they are constantly before us, the world says trust us, we know what we're doing, while men of God speak His truth and say cast your eyes upon Jesus follow Him, He will deliver, He will provide, He will protect, He will take care of His children.
So many are eager to believe the crowds, but we must follow Christ we must listen to Him, and not those of the world it's time we take our eyes off of mankind and put them on God, for in Christ alone salvation is found for there is no other name in heaven or earth where salvation can be found.
If you trust Him if you call yourself His then you must follow Him when you read the story in Numbers you see God punished those who disobeyed Him the consequences of their sins was that they died in the wilderness.
Today will you wander in the wilderness of doubt or fear or will you trust in what the Lord has said?
Is the Lord's power limited? the answer is no.
As for me and my house, we will always trust the Lord.
God’s word says this:
“The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm weak? Now you will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you.”Numbers 11:23 CSB
“The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people despise me? How long will they not trust in me despite all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them with a plague and destroy them. Then I will make you into a greater and mightier nation than they are.” But Moses replied to the Lord, “The Egyptians will hear about it, for by your strength you brought up this people from them. They will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you, Lord, are among these people, how you, Lord, are seen face to face, how your cloud stands over them, and how you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. If you kill this people with a single blow, the nations that have heard of your fame will declare, ‘Since the Lord wasn’t able to bring this people into the land he swore to give them, he has slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ “So now, may my Lord’s power be magnified just as you have spoken: The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in faithful love, forgiving iniquity and rebellion. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generation. Please pardon the iniquity of this people, in keeping with the greatness of your faithful love, just as you have forgiven them from Egypt until now.” The Lord responded, “I have pardoned them as you requested. Yet as surely as I live and as the whole earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, none of the men who have seen my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tested me these ten times and did not obey me, will ever see the land I swore to give their fathers. None of those who have despised me will see it. But since my servant Caleb has a different spirit and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land where he has gone, and his descendants will inherit it. Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the lowlands, turn back tomorrow and head for the wilderness in the direction of the Red Sea.” Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: “How long must I endure this evil community that keeps complaining about me? I have heard the Israelites’ complaints that they make against me. Tell them: As surely as I live — this is the Lord’s declaration — I will do to you exactly as I heard you say. Your corpses will fall in this wilderness — all of you who were registered in the census, the entire number of you twenty years old or more — because you have complained about me. I swear that none of you will enter the land I promised to settle you in, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. I will bring your children whom you said would become plunder into the land you rejected, and they will enjoy it. But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. Your children will be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years and bear the penalty for your acts of unfaithfulness until all your corpses lie scattered in the wilderness. You will bear the consequences of your iniquities forty years based on the number of the forty days that you scouted the land, a year for each day. You will know my displeasure. I, the Lord, have spoken. I swear that I will do this to the entire evil community that has conspired against me. They will come to an end in the wilderness, and there they will die.” So the men Moses sent to scout out the land, and who returned and incited the entire community to complain about him by spreading a negative report about the land — those men who spread the negative report about the land were struck down by the Lord. Only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh remained alive of those men who went to scout out the land. When Moses reported these words to all the Israelites, the people were overcome with grief. They got up early the next morning and went up the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Let’s go to the place the Lord promised, for we were wrong.” But Moses responded, “Why are you going against the Lord’s command? It won’t succeed. Don’t go, because the Lord is not among you and you will be defeated by your enemies. The Amalekites and Canaanites are right in front of you, and you will fall by the sword. The Lord won’t be with you, since you have turned from following him.” But they dared to go up the ridge of the hill country, even though the ark of the Lord’s covenant and Moses did not leave the camp. Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that part of the hill country came down, attacked them, and routed them as far as Hormah.”Numbers 14:11-45 CSB
Band Of Brothers