As we gather this evening to say goodbye to this year and welcome a New Year, let us remember the mercies the Lord gives us each morning, and let us learn to live in the grace He gives us each day.
All the victories and failures of yesterday, will soon be nothing more than memories, don't dwell on either live each day as if Christ was to return today.
One day soon He will and there will be no more sorrow, no more tears, no more death or sickness, there will be joy everlasting, eternal fellowship and peace, on that day our hope will be complete, but until that day comes let us rejoice in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, He alone is our hope and promise of a new beginning.
God’s word says
“Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”Lamentations 3:21-26 CSB
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”Romans 12:1-2 CSB
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”Hebrews 4:14-16 CSB
For all who search for peace, truth and hope my prayer is you be still and know who God is for it is in Him you will find these things.
For all of us who have lost loved ones this year, my prayer is that we find peace and comfort.
For all of us who suffer physically my prayer is we find hope and strength.
For all who suffer emotionally, my prayer is you find joy and happiness.
For all who struggle spiritually or just with life and have questions of why? my prayer is you find rest and wisdom.
Whatever our struggle is, my prayer is we hear the call of Christ Jesus personally on our lives, He alone can bring, peace, comfort, hope, strength, joy, happiness, rest and wisdom.
We may not get the answers we are looking for, but we will find all these things and more in Him. It is time to end our struggles in life and surrender to the one who created us, who loved us before we were created, who loves us even though we might not love Him.
I speak from experience, not from what I have read, but what I live and know, Christ will forever change our lives. We all know life is not fair, evil blossoms good people suffer, but in all these things God is over them, nothing escapes Him, yes things may look bad or be bad, but God is good, always. He never promised any of us perfect lives, He promises us a future with Him.
Things to remember right now Christ is interceding for us at the throne of God the Father, the Holy Spirit prays through us when we don't know what to pray, and God is for us, so who can be against us? We have been crucified with Christ and therefore have died with Him, so the life we now live is His and not ours.
My prayer for all of us as this year ends, is let's look past what has been taken from us, and start looking at all we have been given, we need to embrace Christ, love life and live it to the fullest in Him and behold the glory of the LORD in our lives for in Him we are more than conquerors.
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
“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. “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. On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me. “Get up; let’s leave this place.”
John 14:23-31 CSB
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25 CSB
“The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
Now in this hope, we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 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. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:16-18, 24-39 CSB
Answer: This simple, yet profound, question is the most important question that can be asked. "How can I be saved?"deals with where we will spend eternity after our lives in this world are over. There is no more important issue than our eternal destiny. Thankfully, the Bible is abundantly clear on how a person can be saved. The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Paul and Silas responded, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
How can I be saved? Why do I need to be saved?
We are all infected with sin (Romans 3:23). We are born with sin (Psalm 51:5), and we all personally choose to sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). Sin is what makes us unsaved. Sin is what separates us from God. Sin is what has us on the path to eternal destruction.
How can I be saved? Saved from what?
Because of our sin, we all deserve death (Romans 6:23). While the physical consequence of sin is physical death, that is not the only kind of death that results from sin. All sin is ultimately committed against an eternal and infinite God (Psalm 51:4). Because of that, the just penalty for our sin is also eternal and infinite. What we need to be saved from is eternal destruction (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15).
How can I be saved? How did God provide salvation?
Because the just penalty for sin is infinite and eternal, only God could pay the penalty, because only He is infinite and eternal. But God, in His divine nature, could not die. So God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. God took on human flesh, lived among us, and taught us. When the people rejected Him and His message, and sought to kill Him, He willingly sacrificed Himself for us, allowing Himself to be crucified (John 10:15). Because Jesus Christ was human, He could die; and because Jesus Christ was God, His death had an eternal and infinite value. Jesus’ death on the cross was the perfect and complete payment for our sin (1 John 2:2). He took the consequences we deserved. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead demonstrated that His death was indeed the perfectly sufficient sacrifice for sin.
How can I be saved? What do I need to do?
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).
Have you, in faith, received Jesus Christ as your Savior because of what you have read here? If so, please let us know by leaving a message in comments.
It is hard to believe another year is about to pass through our hands, the days seem to so quickly pass by.
I believe we all start our New Year with anticipation of things will get better, hoping for a better tomorrow.
I don’t know what this year looked like for you but I am sure each day brought forth its own challenges, some disappointments, and some blessings.
So many suffered loss of loved ones, some were diagnosed with a disease, others had changes in a job, or financial loss while others celebrated new life, or welcomed new family members through marriage, some found new wealth or started in a relationship.
What is amazing, each day is different for each of us. As children of God, we can have confidence in this: God is with us individually, personally no matter what we face, no matter where we are. His promise to be with us always has never changed.
When we face the trials of life or the victories of life, God is with us, He dwells in us and He guards our hearts and souls.
We can walk in confidence, in victory over each day for a day is but a day, God is Lord over each of them. The Bible tells us we are more than conquerors and that God is for us we have nothing and no one to fear.
You may look back over the last year with sadness or joy, and you may look forward to next year with hope or fear, but what we should do is surrender each day to the Lord in prayer, and understand that He will use all things for good and His glory, He has us where He can use us too build His kingdom, gather others to Him and strengthen us daily and that nothing can ever separate us from Him or His love.
Let’s remember a surrendered life to the Lord is a victorious life.
“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. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 8:28-39 CSB
The holidays are not always cheerful for everyone, although we can all rejoice in the presence of God, let us learn to walk in His ways in His Spirit and tarry on in His peace.
We will never learn to praise God in the storms until we learn to praise Him in times of peacefulness.
Praise rises up from our souls when we learn to surrender our all to Him.
We are unable to do this without the guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
When life is going pleasantly we need to surrender all we are and all we have to Him then when we are downtrodden we need to surrender all our burdens to Him.
He alone brings joy to our lives as we face each day, in the midst of triumph in the midst of sorrow, He brings comfort in the midst of celebration or crisis.
Praising God should never be based on how we feel, our emotions betray us, praising God is rooted in His love, goodness, kindness, patience, and gentleness with us.
God’s word says:
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God?” I remember this as I pour out my heart: how I walked with many, leading the festive procession to the house of God, with joyful and thankful shouts. Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God. I am deeply depressed; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your billows have swept over me. The Lord will send his faithful love by day; his song will be with me in the night — a prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression?” My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, “Where is your God?” Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalms 42:1-11 CSB
“For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits — we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Romans 8:14-17, 23, 26-27 CSB
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”Galatians 5:22-25 CSB
Who is Jesus and why do we celebrate Him?
The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews. He’s the King of Israel. He’s the King of Righteousness. He’s the King of the Ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of Glory. He’s the King of kings, and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King.
I wonder, do you know Him?
My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful.
Do you know Him?
He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Saviour. He’s the centrepiece of civilization. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour.
I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleansed the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captive. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent. And He beautifies the meek.
I wonder if you know Him?
He’s the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory.
Do you know Him? Well…
His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. And His yoke is easy. And His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you. Yes…
He’s indescribable! He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hand. You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him. Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him, and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
Yeah! That’s my King, that’s my King.
My King was born King.
The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King.
Well I wonder if you know Him?
Do you know Him?
Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament show His handiwork.
My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
Well, well, He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
That’s my King.
He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s saviour.
He’s the centrepiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself.
Well, He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in high criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology.
He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.
That’s my King.
He’s the miracle of the age.
He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s strong God and
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharged debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble. He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him?
Well, my King is the key of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
He’s the master of the mighty.
He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes.
He’s the leader of the legislatures.
He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors.
He’s the prince of princes.
He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s my King. Yeah. Yeah.
That’s my King.
My King, yeah. His office is manifold. His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable.
Yes. He’s incomprehensible.
I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him.
You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s my King.
Yeah. He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor.
There was nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him.
You cant impeach Him and He’s not going to resign.
That’s my King! That’s my King!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.
Well, all the power belongs to my King. We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but it’s God’s power.
Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever.
How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever.
And when you get through with all of the evers, then, Amen.
““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.” “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?” 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.” “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time and you do not know me, Philip? The one who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.”
John 14:1-11 CSB
When Christ was born God sent angels to tell the Shepherd's first of the Messiahs birth, He set a star in the sky and drew Wise Men on a long journey so they could meet the newborn King.
God passed by the palace, for those there felt they needed no Lord, He passed by the Synagogue for those there felt they needed no Savior, He passed by the town for those there felt they needed no God.
You see the Palace was filled with pride and prejudice, the Synagogue was filled with self-righteousness and were lovers of self, and the town's people were wrapped up in themselves doing what was right in their own eyes.
Although most weren't following the signs or holding onto the promises of God, there were some who were.
I wonder if God had chosen Christ to come now as a child, would we be waiting in anticipation, expecting God to fulfill His promises, looking for our Savior?
I don't think we are different than those in the Palace, the Synagogue or the Town, we are prideful, prejudice, self-righteous, lovers of self and wrapped up in ourselves.
We should live and love others, live each day in anticipation of His return, the signs are everywhere, the prophecies fulfilled and the times we live in are growing darker every day.
This Christmas let's look at Christ as He is, Fully God and Fully Man, He gave His life as a sacrifice for all mankind, the law could not fulfill God's love, only God's love could fulfill the law.
Our hope should not be fading, rather it should be growing stronger everyday for Christ can come today!
God’s word says this:
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead h,e emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. For this reason G,od highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Philippians 2:1-11 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.” Luke 2:25-32 CSB
““You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.”
Matthew 5:13-18 CSB
“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 CSB
The devil couldn't stop Him from coming!
Herod couldn't kill Him!
The Sanhedrin couldn't silence Him or shut Him up!
The Romans couldn't keep Him in the grave!
Every Nation that has tried to banish His name or make His people stop worshipping Him and praising His name has fallen.
One day all the Nations will rest upon His shoulders,
One day every knee will bow and tongue confess that Christ Jesus is Lord.
Jesus came to us wrapped in swaddling clothes, He grew up and lived like us,so all would know the love grace and mercy of God.
From the manger to the cross, to the empty tomb, life itself has been and always will be about Him!
I wonder do you know Him?
He laid down His life, was crucified, dead and buried and laid in grave clothes, but 3 days later He rose again and has offered His life in exchange for ours.
But the story doesn't end there!
One day soon He is coming back to call His own home, this Christmas I pray you come to know Him, the only reason we can celebrate Christmas is because of Christ, let us honor Him and give gifts as God our Father has given to us.
God’s word says this:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Galatians 4:4-7 ESV
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: "'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'"
And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”
Matthew 2:1-6, 11-12 ESV
The Christmas story is about why Jesus came as much as it about who He is.
Christ came to redeem us, long before He lay in a manager He saw the brutality of the cross, the wickedness of man, and yet He still came. Because He loves us.
If your hope is in government, if your hope is a man, then you have no hope.
God settled things long ago, knowing that we could not save ourselves, knowing that mankind left to his own ways would lead to our own demise, we are power hungry, self serving, greedy people, driven by a corrupt nature we are deprived this is why God took it upon Himself to come and save the world.
He dwelt among us to show us the way back to Him. 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 in Him all of life, all of the promises of God are fulfilled. Everything exists, and 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:
“Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when He humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future, He will bring honor to the Way of the Sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. For You have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as You did on the day of Midian. For the trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.”
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross — whether things on earth or things in heaven. Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him — if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it....God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:15-23, 27 HCSB
Forgiveness doesn't take place when someone apologizes, forgiveness needs to take place the moment we are wronged.
God forgives us for all our sins against Him, whether we except that forgiveness or not is on us.
“But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8 CSB
Love leaves no room for unforgiveness, love embraces others and forbears their shortcomings as God has done for us.
People will wrong us and we will wrong them, sometimes intentionally most of the time unintentionally, this happens every day mostly because we are selfish, stubborn people, we must allow the Holy Spirit free reign in our lives to correct our thinking and our hearts attitude so we are not unforgiving.
Jesus told Peter to forgive as many as 70 times 7, meaning we will forget how many times we forgive others, Jesus did not say wait until they apologize then forgive them 70 times 7.
Jesus looked down from the cross barely breathing, bloody, scarred and dying and said ”Father forgive them for they know not what they do” Luke 23
He did not say, Father, forgive them after they apologize!
Stephen looked up to heaven as he was being stoned to death for preaching the truth and said
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” And after saying this, he died.” Acts 7
Forgiveness starts in our hearts, we need to keep our hearts focused on Christ, ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, life is short and fragile, bitterness, unforgiveness, foolishness are all folly of the devil, don't play the fool on his stage, stand up, stand strong in Christ and forgive others as you have been forgiven.
We must lead by example we must follow Christ, surrender our hearts, our hurts, our pain to Him and trust Him in all things to make them right and change hearts, ours and others.
Forgiving others allows us to walk in freedom, in obedience in step with the will of God, forgiveness leads us in the footsteps of Christ.
God’s word says this;
“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.”Matthew 6:14-15 CSB
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”1 Corinthians 13:4-7 CSB
“Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven. “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle accounts, one who owed ten thousand talents was brought before him. Since he did not have the money to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. “At this, the servant fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything’ Then the master of that servant had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. “That servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’ “At this, his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he wasn’t willing. Instead, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. When the other servants saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And because he was angry, his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. So also my heavenly Father will do to you unless every one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart.”Matthew 18:21-35 CSB
“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.”Ephesians 1:5-10 CSB
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us remember where God rescued us from, for the story of those in the genealogy of Christ Jesus are our stories, we are the same.
This is why I love reading God’s word, God tells the story of redemption on every page. How He takes ordinary people through extraordinary events,He changes their lives and starts to conform them through Jesus who made the way for us to be reconciled unto Him, I know this for He changed mine.
God’s word is filled with truth, love, sacrifice, mercy, promises, hope and grace all from God the Father.
He uses ordinary people, not perfect, think about this, God used murderers, liars, adulterers, thieves, idol worshippers, drunkards, prostitutes, poor people, rich people, kings, slaves, shepherds, swindlers, tax collectors, fisherman, and soldiers, He used men and women from every walk of life, to bring forth hope, to all mankind, see Matthew 1 and Luke 1 for the genealogy of Christ.
There are no lengths that God has not gone through or ends untied that God has not thought of for our salvation.
At the right time God sent Christ Jesus to us, to be born of a virgin the seed of a woman, to keep that promise He made in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned against Him and brought death and separation from His Holiness and Righteousness.
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”Genesis 3:15 NKJV
The promises that God has made, He has kept and He will keep what He has not fulfilled yet.
In Christ the fullness of God came to be with us, to walk among us, to live as we live, to show us love, mercy and grace. Jesus never ever pretended to be someone He was not, He never acted perfect and sinless, because He is perfect and sinless. He didn’t condemn people for where they were, He put out His hand and said you are forgiven, go and sin no more.
Why do you think God doesn’t use perfect religious people? Because they don’t exist, they never have existed and never will exist.
Let’s show people their sins can be forgiven as ours are daily, by God our Father, through Christ the Son and we can all live a better life with help from God the Holy Spirit.
God's word says this:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and carefully investigated. They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified in advance to the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — angels long to catch a glimpse of these things. Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. If you appeal to the Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in reverence during your time living as strangers. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was revealed in these last times for you. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly, because you have been born again — not of perishable seed but of imperishable — through the living and enduring word of God. For All flesh is like grass and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you.”
1 Peter 1:3-5, 10-25 CSB
God sent His Son to us, to reconcile us to Him, as an atonement for our sin against Him.
Christ came to seek and save the lost, of which we all either were or still are.
He came to forgive us of our sin so we can become sons and daughters of God through Him.
He does not condemn us, He calls us to repentance, He calls us to Him, He says we are forgiven go and sin no more.
We are made new in Him and His righteousness is upon us.
The devil hates God, hates us and hates mankind, he tries to lead us away from God into sin and temptation, he is our accuser.
Christ Jesus shows us He is the way, the truth and the life, He is our Redeemer.
The enemy deceives and condemns us, Christ receives and forgives us.
Let's not let our enemy lead us astray, let us ask God to lead us in His everlasting way, as we celebrate the greatest gift of all Christ Jesus.
Come meet Him, today Emmanuel!
God's word says this:
“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.”Luke 2:8-11 CSB
“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 1:12-14 CSB
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 CSB
“They asked this to trap him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only he was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
John 8:6-11 CSB
Jesus gave us simple instructions for living. He doesn’t say our lives will be trouble-free, He says we will have troubles, but He promised us our lives will be filled with His peace and strength, He promised never to leave or forsake us and He promises for eternity we will be with Him.
It is when we learn to apply the principles Jesus gave us to live our lives by, that we have His peace, joy, and hope, you and I can trust the results in all things, for we are in God’s hands.
Jesus said this, in the book of Matthew
“ Follow Me” 4:19
“Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you “ 5:43-44
“Father May your will be done always, forgive us as we forgive others, lead us from temptation, deliver us from evil, provide for us daily,” 6:9-13
“Seek 1st the kingdom of God & His righteousness “6:33
“Take the beam out of your own eye, before you try and take the one out of your brothers” 7:4-5
“Whatever you want others to do, do for them” 7:12
“Those who hear and act on my words is like the wise man who builds his house on the rock that can withstand the storm, ignore my words and you will be like the man who built in the sand” 7:24-27
”Don’t fear man, fear God for He can destroy the soul” 10:28
“Acknowledge me before men and I will acknowledge you before my Father, deny me and I will deny you” 10:33-34
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength and mind and your neighbor as yourself. 22:-37-40
“Go into all the world and make disciples, and baptize then in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”28:19-20
This is not an exclusive list, but this list is exclusively only for those who have already put their faith and hope in Christ alone.
When we walk in obedience to God's word we are putting Jesus first, others second and yourselves last that is where JOY is found if we all did this our world would be a different place to grow old and raise our kids in.
Ray Stedman wrote, “The chief mark of the Christian ought to be the absence of fear and the presence of joy.”
We can't do this alone.
When we believe we've accomplished anything or survived without God were sadly mistaken. Everyone owes their success, their lives, the very breath within their bodies too God, for He causes the rain to fall upon the righteous and unrighteousness.
As children of God, we should be mindful of who God is, who we are, how powerful He is, and how powerless we are without Him. Without Him, nothing would exist, because of Him, and in Him, we have all we need.
We need to acknowledge the greatness of God, and the glory of God for without Him nothing is possible, with Him all things are possible.
We need to pray to God, and trust Him for the results, in the end, it is not what we say believe, rather it is our actions that show our faith in Christ.
“Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Matthew 21:21-22 CSB
God is the God of the possible and impossible, we are the ones who doubt and struggle in our faith.
We pray safe prayers that are easy and we package our prayers to God,we lay them at His feet as if they were gifts, we need to pray about everything ask Him questions, give Him our frustrations, tell Him our dreams, what angers us and hurts us, pray the impossible to the God of possibilities.
Life itself is impossible to live at the fullest without God's help, we need to stop praying it safe and start praying it dangerously, our enemy is hard at work disrupting our lives, and the lives of those around us.
We see the attacks on God's word, His ways and we see the attacks on His church and children, we hear the news of human trafficking, drug addiction and people dying of overdoses, we see sex outside of marriage becoming maim stream in our world, abortions bragged about and encouraged, children being abducted, murders on the rise, slavery is still going on on our world and hunger and poverty is like a plague that engulfs those around us.
We have an advocate in Christ, we need to lay aside our anxiety and preconceived ideas about prayer and come boldly to the throne of God and pray dangerous prayers that only He can answer.
We should pray for one another and for salvation for those around us, yes! But we need to pray that God will disrupt the kingdom of darkness that is enslaving our world and put an end to the things listed above.
He calls us to pray dangerously and trust Him, for He alone is God and we are His people.
Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still, Elijah prayed fire to come down from heaven, Jesus prayed and feed over 10,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and some fish!
What are you praying that only God can do!
God’s word says this;
“He replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”Luke 18:27 CSB
“Therefore, we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:6 CSB
“When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before him. “Lord,” he said, “have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed. Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” “Because of your little faith,” he told them. “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”Matthew 17:14-20 CSB
“The Lord says this to Cyrus, his anointed, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and disarm kings, to open doors before him, and even city gates will not be shut: “I will go before you and level the uneven places; I will shatter the bronze doors and cut the iron bars in two. I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches from secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord. I am the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. I call you by your name, for the sake of my servant Jacob and Israel my chosen one. I give a name to you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God but me. I will strengthen you, though you do not know me, so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is no one but me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster; I am the Lord, who does all these things.”
Isaiah 45:1-7 CSB
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”James 5:13-18 CSB
I usually don't talk about how I feel, because it does not change anything, I press on with God’s help daily, for He is my strength and shield and I am always relying on Him and asking for His help.
If I stopped and thought about all the things going on with my health, I would not want to move forward I would be depressed and non-functional.
By the grace of God, I am not.
I understand that God is sovereign over every part of my life, every heartbeat, every breath, and I surrender each one to Him, this is not a battle of the flesh but a spiritual battle, and in Christ, I have victory over all things.
Our spiritual needs far out way our physical needs, yet we pray more for the physical instead of the spiritual, our battle is not physical it is spiritual.
The list of things that are wrong with my health is rather large, I have 20 Doctors and this year I will have had 55 Doctor appointments and 2 weeks in the hospital, more importantly, I have 1 God and He is my Lord and Savior.
Here is a partial list of my health issues.
Gums bleed and receding
Polyneuropathy in legs & feet, arms, and hands,
Both legs numb
Legs/back/arms/hands/face burning, cold, numb like setting in the snow for a while
Left-hand twitch/ tremors
Electrical shooting pains in both legs
I am always tired, weak, body shuts down.
Joints hurt, swollen fingers.
Drop things constantly
Fingers are shaky at times can't pick anything up
Voice is getting weaker, ears are always waxy and runny
Elevated cancer markers in my blood
Auto Immune disease that attacks my muscles and bones.
This is only a partial list, I don’t put this out there for any other reason than to say this.
On my own, If I dwell on these things I would be mentally and spiritually crippled, but in Christ I am strong, and He gives me the strength daily to do what He has called me to do.
i would not trade one second of my life for peefecr health or riches, for in Christ I am satisfied and complete.
I am no different than others who suffer from Chronic sickness, I just choose to follow Christ no matter what.
God’s word says this:
“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:11-13 CSB
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough to speak about it as I should.”
Ephesians 6:10-20 CSB