Friday, December 31, 2010

One Thing that Won't Change in the New Year - December 31, 2010

James 1:17 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
17Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars. The Father doesn’t change like the shifting shadows produced by the sun and the moon.


Malachi 3:6a (New King James Version)
6 “ For I am the LORD, I do not change;..."


It is New Year's Eve and many of you will be out celebrating in the New Year. Others will reflect back on the year that has quickly come and gone, and you will contemplate what has been good and bad in your lives. There has been one constant through out the year. If you are a believer in God and in His provision for the forgiveness of our sins, Jesus Christ, we know that He does not change. From before time and after time is no more, God is unchanging. We will step into a new year and "resolve" to make changes in our lives, but He will be unceasing and unchanging.

Isn't it great that we can rely on something as our lives move ahead? Isn't it a blessing that He does not change? He loves us no matter what, no more no less. He provides for everything we have and He will continue to do so. In turn He asks for our acceptance, love and obedience, just as He has always expected. And someday, our unchanging and everlasting God will call us to Himself, where we will spend eternity in His loving care.

What a blessing as we leave the old year behind and look forward to the New Year 2011! I pray that you all will have a Happy, Blessed and Prosperous New Year, and may His goodness, grace and mercy shine on us all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

There is a TIME for Everything - December 30, 2010

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Here we are sitting on the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. If you are like me, the "time" has gone by very quickly. Alot of life has rushed by since the year 2000, and alot has changed.

Can you recall 2000 and what you were doing? Can you remember Y2K, $1.26 gas, 33 cents stamps, George W. Bush defeating Al Gore, the bombing of the U.S. Cole, U2, the movie "Gladiator", the First Draft of Human Genome, Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win a Grand Slam in Golf, the Concorde Air France Flight 4590 crashes just after takeoff, the Dot Com Bubble Bursts, and on and on, and this was just the year 2000!

Soon there would be 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the Earthquake in Haiti. And a monumental shift has occurred in the economy, politics, society, and especially with religion. We no longer live in the same United States or World as we did at the precipice of the beginning of the decade.

I am sure in your families there has been births and deaths, and children growing up, and college, and marriages and the many things that go on in ten years. There has been work and vacations, new jobs and layoffs, and fortunes made and lost, new homes and foreclosures. We are older, and fatter, and grayer, either happier or sadder, single or divorced or still married, and maybe even a little wiser. We are either closer to God, or farther from Him than ever, a believer in Jesus Christ or not.

Tomorrow we will leave this first decade of this century and embark on the second decade. There will be 10 years, and 120 months, 3653 days, 87,672 hours, and about 5,260,320 minutes,...and if you are not careful, you may miss one of the 31,561,920 seconds. What will you do differently? Who will you include in your plans? As you get ready to celebrate or meditate on the New Year, make sure the One who made all of the "TIME" is part of whatever you do.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sharing in the Inheritance - December 29, 2010

Colossians 1:3-6;9-14 (New Living Translation)
3 We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
...
9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.


There has always been two kinds of money in socieconomic terms for the rich; there is "Old Money" and "New Money". Old money is "the inherited wealth of established upper-class families" or "a person, family, or lineage possessing inherited wealth."[1] The term typically describes families wealthy for generations. The Nouveau riche (French for "new rich"), or new money, refers to a person who has acquired considerable wealth within his or her generation.[2]

Much is always made in our society about these two classes of people, and many of us get caught up in the trap of wanting to be part of one of these groups. We labor for our entire lives striving for making it at least to the latter of these, the "New Money" group, but try as we might, very few of us will get there. I do believe it is because God has other, bigger, grander plans for us.

In "Old Money", the wealth and money that is accumulated is inherited. This means that recipient does very little to receive the benefit of the inheritance. It has been given through someone else's effort, and they are the beneficiary of the inheritance by fact of birth alone. Many times the gift of the inheritance passed by means of a will, and after this legal process has occured, the wealth is conveyed. In many cases, because these people did little or nothing to receive the gift they have been given, they usually repay that gesture by behaving badly, squandering and wasting the gift.

When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, who has redeemed and rescued us from our sins, and our Lord, who calls us to live a holy life in gratitude for His gift, we too receive an inheritance. We receive the inheritance of sharing in the future kingdom of God. Just as in the inheritance of "Old Money", we have done nothing to enable us to be the beneficiary of God's gift. It is because of Christ's death on the cross that has allowed us to be offered the inheritance. Once we accept the truth of salvation, the inheritance of God's grace is conveyed to us.

This is an amazing exchange of a wealth that is far more valuable and precious than money. But we can squander this gift just as the some that inherit money do; we can behave badly and waste the precious gift. Thank God that in His infinite mercy, He continues to extend His grace. This is an eternal gift that can never be revoked, because it is based on God's effort and not ours.

As we read in Colossians, we need to seek God, so that He can give us "complete knowledge of his will", and give us "spiritual wisdom and understanding". We need to always live to "honor and please the Lord", so that we might produce "good fruit" of the spirit that helps us to grow and be pleasing to God.

As we embark into a New Year, accept the inheritance given us through Jesus Christ, and make every effort to be good son or daughter of the King that will serve Him as a "good and faithful servant".

[1]"Old Money" The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 05 Nov. 2008 as noted from Wikepedia
[2]"Nouveau riche" Merriam Webster. as noted from Wikepedia

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

His Best, Our Best - December 28, 2010

2 Peter 1:3-7 (New International Reader's Version)
3 God's power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life. All of that has come to us because we know the One who chose us. He chose us because of his own glory and goodness.

4 He has also given us his very great and valuable promises. He did it so you could share in his nature. He also did it so you could escape from the evil in the world. That evil is caused by sinful longings.

5 So you should try very hard to add goodness to your faith. To goodness, add knowledge. 6 To knowledge, add the ability to control yourselves. To the ability to control yourselves, add the strength to keep going. To the strength to keep going, add godliness. 7 To godliness, add kindness to believers. And to kindness to believers, add love.


Over the last month we have looked forward to the celebration of Christ's coming. We have enjoyed a season of anticipation and celebration for the great gift God has sent us. God has stepped into the world and on behalf of His creation He has given us His best. He has given us His Son and our Redeemer and King. In giving us His best, He has also made a commitment and promise to us that can never be broken, and at the same time He has given us the ability to receive His gift, His promises and His commitment.

As we look back onto the year passed, we need to recount His goodness to us. At the same time, as we look forward in anticipation to another year, we need to commit to Him to give Him our best. What is our best? The second letter attributed to the apostle and eye-witness of Jesus's earthly presence, Peter, touches on this in verses 5-7.

Our best is offered in how we live out our faith in Jesus Christ, and this is lived out in our goodness to others, our hunger to know God more, how we control our earthly desires, our endurance in the face of difficulty and persecution, our behavior and character before God, in how we treat fellow believers we serve with, and most importantly how we demonstrate love to all.

I have found that in times of trial and distress, the closer I get to Him, the more confident I am in the future. And the more confident I am in the future with God's help, the more I am able to serve others for Him. I have resolved to listen more to His voice in my heart, to turn from doing things my own way, and to follow His leading in all things.

In these last few days of 2010, consider how you have lived out your faith in Jesus Christ over the last year. Despite your circumstances, consider God's goodness and blessings to you and yours. Finally, commit yourself to following Him even more closely in the New Year, seeking Him through prayer and meditation. In all things, resolve in your own heart to give Him your best.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Praise Him for the Good Things - December 27, 2010

Psalm 103 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.


6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the LORD, my soul.


As you meditate on all that this Christmas Season brought to you, and as you reflect on the past year, be sure you praise Him for all of the good things that have happened in your life. Bottom line is this: no matter what you have experienced over the past year, the good things are from God. He wants the best for His children, and although we might not always understand His methods, He will ultimately work everything out for our benefit. Let us not forget to give Him praise for it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Overcoming the After Christmas Let Down - December 26, 2010

Galatians 3:23-25 (New Living Translation)
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.

24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

Galatians 4:1-7 (New Living Translation)
1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

It's all over; the presents are all opened, celebrations have been shared, carols have been sung, and yet for some of you the day after Christmas is a real let down. Here you have spent all of this time preparing for Christmas,shopping for those perfect gifts, stringing lights, writing cards, attending holiday parties, and decorating trees and homes, and now you wonder is this all there is? You wonder if is these exhausting weeks getting ready really matters.

For many, Christmas is just a time for being good and trying to give out presents. Many others keep on wanting to cling to a "works based religion" that says we need to do something to be acceptable to God, and you go through the traditional motions surrounding Christmas, like making the obligatory trek to church and participating in a service now and then. But here again, the let down leaves you wondering why you went through all of this in the first place.

If you fail to unpack the gift of the "new life" that is available through Jesus Christ, you have missed the true meaning of Christmas, and all of the time apent in celebration has been for nothing. You are probably finding yourself depressed and sad that it is all over, and all you have to look forward to is the apporach of another year. Christmas without the change that takes place in your heart is meaningless.

Jesus has come so that you can be free to enjoy the wholeness of life found only in him. Jesus Christ is the reason for the season, and only a life focused on that truth can be filled with hope and joy during this special time. Have you failed to unwrap the true gift of Christmas? In the silence of a quiet room, seek Him and the gift only He can offer.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Word Becomes Flesh - December 25, 2010

John 1:1-5;14 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
...
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


My teenaged daughter made an very astute observation this morning; she commented that we in the Western church, especially in America, really take Christmas and Christianity for granted. She wondered if we would risk our lives and well-being for the sake of believing in Jesus Christ, God becoming a human being and sacrificing himself for our sins on our behalf, to reconcile us to Him.

She wondered about the countless believers in other countries around the world celebrating Christ's birth in the shadows, offering their worship and praise. Would we be be so willing to participate in the Christmas celebrations that we do, if we knew it would mean certain death or imprisonment?

As we remember and spend time with family and friends celebrating the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ, be sure you truly understand the immense and amazing reason for season. Don't just go through the motions without knowing deep within in your soul, what you are doing this for. It is not just a time to enjoy, but it is a time to really commit to what it truly means to be a Christian.

Today millions of Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus. He came quietly onto the planet, in simple surroundings, a child of lowly birth. Today we remember that the Creator of the universe, "emptied" himself, and clothed himself in the same flesh as you and me. He did this so that we would be able to relate to and become as close to God as a friend or a brother. As you "make merry" this Christmas, remember in whom you have believed.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Savior, Who is Christ the Lord! - December 24, 2010

Luke 2:1-20 (New King James Version)
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12A nd this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.


A story so simple, yet it has become the most important story ever told; God steps out of Heaven and steps into the flesh of a tiny baby, to do for us what we can not do for ourselves. Humanity's Creator and King was born among us and lived among us, walking in our shoes, and experienced every thing we experience; joy and happiness, sorrow and pain, and he did it without sin, to redeem our sin. He did this to be the sacrifice that would be acceptable for the forgiveness of everything that would ever seperate us from Him. He did this for us and to reconcile us to God. One day Jesus Christ will return to bring us to himself where we will spend eternity with Him.

On this very special "Silent Night", during this very special celebration of Christmas, "O' come let us adore him, Christ the Lord!" Let us bring Him our worship and praise for this wonderful thing he has done!

Silent Night
by Joseph Mohr

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "

O Come All Ye Faithful
by John Wade

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.


Christmas Carols from www.carols.org.uk

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Steps to the Manger: The Magi - December 23, 2010

Matthew 2:1-2; Matthew 2:10-11 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[Wise Men] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
...
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.


They were know as the wisest men in their country, and the king and other leaders relied on their interpretation of signs and stars to know how to rule and govern the land. Since the time the Jewish captives lived in thier kingdom, they had studied the ancient texts and prophecies about a future Messiah. He was to be not only for the Jews but for all of mankind, and he would save many. Now they had followed a strange and wondrous star that had brought them over the deserts to the Judean countryside.

Here they were on the way to see the wonder they had searched for all of their lives, but what could they bring that would be worthy? Their gifts seemed trivial and common to give to the king of the universe. How would the Messiah receive them? Although they were noble by birth, they had no more to offer than the humble gifts they would bring. The fact that they in faith had come so far to see the baby, seemed to be pleasing to the child's mother and father, and they would cherish this experience to their dying day.

Has God asked you to follow the signs and wonders He gives to you? Have you noticed unexpected answers to prayers and the many "God things" you encounter in life? His word tells us His promises, and they point to the One we have come to worship. Have you given Him your humble gift? Have you laid it all at His feet in faith? This Christmas, lay your all before Him and come an worship Him.

There were several steps of faith on the way to the manger, to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Each of the characters had to take a step of faith and trust to help fulfill God's plan. God's conversation with mankind, his reconnection and plan of redemption would start with these faithful servants.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Steps to the Manger: The Shepherds - December 22, 2010

Luke 2:8-18 (New International Version, ©2010)
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

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

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

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

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.


They eked out a meager existed on the Judean hillsides watching the sheep that were used for temple sacrifices. No one thought much of the shepherds and their families. In fact, most times the sheep were more highly valued than them. Nevertheless, they were faithful to their duty and took good care of their flocks. if necessary, they would have given their lives for one of their flock if they faced danger. This was just another cold night on the hills, and this was supposed to be just another night watching over the sheep.

What they had just seen and heard was the most amazing thing that ever happened to them, and they wondered loudly amongst themselves why God would come to them, and ask them to visit the newborn Christ child, their Messiah. Was it because their love and care for their flocks was to become a beautiful example that Jesus would later use in his teaching? Was it because like the shepherds, Jesus would also willingly look for the one sheep that wandered away, and willingly give up his life to protect them? No one knows why God had sent his angels to give them the good news, but now in faith in what they had just seen, they were hurrying through the countryside telling all of the wonder of the Christ child.

Has God revealed something to you that He wants you to accept by faith? Has He moved you to spread the word and let others know about the wonder He has shown you? Through the Holy Spirit, God reveals the truths of the kingdom to those He has chosen. He is also very clear about what you should do once you know the truth about Jesus. He does not want you to keep it hidden, but to share what he has given you.

As you spend time with family and friends this Christmas, will there be someone that needs to hear the good news of the Christ child? Is there someone you know that needs the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? You have been chosen to be His messenger; don't forget to share His truth with that someone that needs to know.

There were several steps of faith on the way to the manger, to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Each of the characters had to take a step of faith and trust to help fulfill God's plan. God's conversation with mankind, his reconnection and plan of redemption would start with these faithful servants.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Steps to the Manger: Joseph - December 21, 2010

Matthew 1:18-25 (New International Reader's Version)
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary and Joseph had promised to get married. But before they started to live together, it became clear that she was going to have a baby. She became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph was a godly man. He did not want to put her to shame in public. So he planned to divorce her quietly.

20 But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She is going to have a son. You must give him the name Jesus. That is because he will save his people from their sins."

22 All of this took place to bring about what the Lord had said would happen. He had said through the prophet, 23 "The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel."—(Isaiah 7:14) The name Immanuel means "God with us."

24 Joseph woke up. He did what the angel of the Lord commanded him to do. He took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not make love to her until after she gave birth to a son. And Joseph gave him the name Jesus.


He was a good man, hard-working, well-respected in the community, dedicated to the congregation and his synagogue. He had tried to follow the law all of his life and he was a righteous Jew. Fact was though, he had never quit found the right one, a woman who he could have his children with. Yes, he was a little older, but it was customary for a man to be established before he married. He had a friend of his father's who had a young daughter; she was very beautiful and pleasant to his eye, so had made an agreement with her father, and so he was pledged to marry her when their engagement was up in a year.

What should he have done? She was only gone a few months, and now she is pregnant. People already were talking, and the rumors were that it was probably a Roman soldier; but her father and many others suspected him. Nonetheless, he could easily deny it, prove it wasn't him and divorce her, but that would mean certain death for her, and despit all this he really loved her. She said that God had appointed her to be the mother of the Messiah, and if it weren't for that dream he had where an angel told him what God's plans were, he probably would have just walked away.

Now he would keep his pledge and do right by Mary. Although it would hurt his position and reputation in the community, he would be the baby's father and bring him up as his own. It all seemed very strange and confusing, but if God had a hand in all of these events, he surely needed to be obedient and in faith, humbly follow what God had promised.

Has God asked you to stand up for someone or something where your reputation would be on the line? Has he called you out to faithfully be His example among those who oppose or ridicule you? Are you willing to say that you are a Christian, support Christian principles and not compromise your values? God's calling takes guts; it is not for wimps. It requires sacrifice and may possible bring harm to you. Do you have the courage to do the right thing and take a stand for Jesus no matter what the consequences?

There were several steps of faith on the way to the manger, to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Each of the characters had to take a step of faith and trust to help fulfill God's plan. God's conversation with mankind, his reconnection and plan of redemption would start with these faithful servants.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Steps to the Manger: Mary - December 20, 2010

Luke 1:39-56 (New International Version, ©2010)
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!

46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,from generation to generation.

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


It must have been very unsettling for this young teenage girl. All she had known was the closeness of family, helping around the home, working to help provide a living. She had been promised to an older man, a carpenter maybe in his thirties. He had looked upon her very favorably, and her upcoming marriage would insure support for her and her aging parents. Would she ever be able to overcome the ridicule and shame, now that whe would be with child, though she had never even been close to anyone?

She would have in her heart, because the angel of God had comforted her and let her know that God would be with her. She would find understanding and support from her older cousin Elizabeth, and as her baby grew inside of her, she would have many quiet times with the Father, and would contemplate the tremendous responsibilty he would give her. Her faith would sustain her as she would walk ion obedience to God.

Are you facing something that God expects of you, but you know it will bring you ridicule, and maybe shame? Like Mary, will you take God at His word that He has planted in your heart, and step out in faith to serve Him? He has a purpose in what He is asking you to do. Be obedient to Him and be blessed.

There were several steps of faith on the way to the manger, to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Each of the characters had to take a step of faith and trust to help fulfill God's plan. God's conversation with mankind, his reconnection and plan of redemption would start with these faithful servants.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

4th Sunday of Advent - December 19, 2010

Matthew 2:1-12 (New International Version, ©2010)

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

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

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


Today marks the lighting of the 4th advent candle, along with the other three. It signifies LOVE, to go along with HOPE, PEACE, and JOY. God's LOVE is extended to all of HIs creation, but especially to us. He has given us the gift of His Son, as our King, our High Priest, and our Savior.

The magi brought gifts to fortell and signify the purpose of God's gift. The Gold represents his royalty as our divine King and Lord. The Frankenscense signifies his duty as our Priest before the throne of God. And Myrrh that fortells his sacrifice as our Savior through his death on the cross. These gifts are used to recognize Christ's true purpose for all mankind.

As you contemplate these days just before celebrating his birth, take time to meditate of these purposes of Jesus, and God's will for your life as you serve our King, Priest and Savior.

John 3:16-17 (New International Version, ©2010)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Simple Becomes Extraordinary - December 18, 2010

Luke 1:26-38 (New International Version, ©2010)
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


Matthew 1:18-25 (New International Version, ©2010)
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


He could have chosen a royal family, a queen and a king. He could have picked and important and elite Jewish family, with a rabbi or a priest. Or, He could have just descended from the heavens for the whole world to see. There could have been many ways for God to step into the world and the affairs of mankind, other than the way He chose.

A simple peasant girl, promised to a simple village carpenter, living in a small Judean town, going about simple lives, these were the circumstances God chose in which to bring His Son and change the world forever. He would choose the simple through which to do something supernatural and bring about the extraordinary.

Even today God's ways have not changed. He still chooses the simple in which to do something supernatural. He chooses us, and because He has, we can become extraordinary. This Christmas be empowered by the Holy Spirit and do something extraordinary in someone's life, who may be in need of the supernatural.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (New Living Translation)
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Front Row Seat - December 17, 2010

Luke 1:1-4 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.


How do we know what we believe in is true? How is the Christmas story and the events surrounding it still as new 2016 years later as it was on the night it occurred? We have Dr. Luke to thank for that. He had a front row seat to many of the occurrences in the book he authored, and those he did not witness, he had the benefit of interviewing those who were eye witnesses.

Imagine being able to have conversations with Mary the mother of Jesus and the rest of her family members. Wouldn't have been great to follow in the footsteps of John the Baptist, the apostles and Jesus. Many of these stories happened to important people, such as was the case with Zechariah, who as a temple priest had access to the "Holy of Holies", and was considered to be very righteous and trustworthy. So when he related the events surrounding the birth of his son, his word was accepted as being factual.

As a physician Luke was of the mindset that what he would detail for readers needed to be as accurate and truthful as possible. In an effort to do so, he must have spent many days and hours with those whose stories he chronicled. Being a Gentile, he sought to write what would appeal to both Gentiles and Jews, and wanted to be sure he dispelled much of the error about Jesus that were circulating during his time. Since he interviewed direct eyewitnesses, we can be sure that he wrote what was true.

Luke 1:5-25 (New International Version, ©2010)
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

God's Prepares the Way - December 16, 2010

Malachi 3:1 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

If you know anything about farming, you can't just stick seed in the ground and expect it to produce the quality of crop that you will be happy with. You have to spend time in preparation, making sure all the elements are in place before you go to plant your crop; the preparation is most important to insure that the crop will grow in the right way, and survive everything that will be thrown at it during the time it is growing.

The same thing was important with God's plan to bring salvation to His people. He intentionally prepared the "ground" over the centuries before the birth of Christ to make sure it would be the right time for His plan and His message to be heard by all peoples. At this time, Rome had conquered much of the known world surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and beyond, building the infrastructure for roads and cities, allowing easy access from one end of the empire to the other. Into this fertile environment He brought His messenger John the Baptist, that would prepare the way for "the coming" of the Lord, and the news of his coming and his message would spread throughout the world.

The Christmas Season does the same thing today. It creates a fertile "ground" in the hearts of men in which to plant the seed of God's living Word, and through the watering of the Holy Spirit, allow faith in our Savior Jesus Christ to take root and grow. If there are those around you who do not know or have not accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on their behalf, now is the time to guide them to the manger, and point them to the birth of the One who will set all things right once again in their lives.

Luke 1:57-58;65-80 (New Living Translation)
57 When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. 58 And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.
...
65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

67 Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:

68 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. 69 He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, 70 just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.

71 Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. 72 He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant—73 the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham.

74 We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.

76 “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. 77 You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins.

78 Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.”

80 John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our King is Coming - December 15, 2010

Zechariah 9:9-10 (New International Version, ©2010)
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River(Euphrates) to the ends of the earth.


In the years after the Jews returned from their Babylonian Captivity,500 years before Christ's birth and during the reign of the Persian king, Darius the Great, a prophet emerged in Jerusalem and prophesied about a coming king. His name was Zechariah, meaning "God has remembered". The main emphasis of the book of the Bible he authored was that God is at work and plans to live again with His people in Jerusalem, and that He will save them from their enemies and cleanse them from sin.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the way to his ultimate crucifixion and sacrifice for our sins, he fulfilled this prophecy to the letter. It doesn't mean much to us, because we have the benefit of the entire Bible, but to those who had been looking foward to the coming Messiah, this act of Jesus fulfilled yet another Old Testament prophecy that authenticated that he truly was the one whose coming was promised.

John 12:12-16 (New Century Version)
12 The next day a great crowd who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming there. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus, shouting,

"Praise God!
God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
God bless the King of Israel!" — Psalm 118:25–26

14 Jesus found a colt and sat on it. This was as the Scripture says,

15 "Don't be afraid, people of Jerusalem! Your king is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey." — Zechariah 9:9

16 The followers of Jesus did not understand this at first. But after Jesus was raised to glory, they remembered that this had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The War Against Christmas - December 14, 2010

Micah 5:2 (New International Version, ©2010)
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”


Have you read these headlines and "warnings" recently?
ACLU Warns Schools to Say "Holiday" vs. "Christmas"
NASHVILLE, TENN.: ACLU warns schools about celebrations
ACLU Warns Schools About Holiday Activities
ACLU Warns Tennessee Schools to NOT Focus Holiday Parties on Christmas
ACLU warns schools about speakers with Christian messages

It's December and the war against Christmas is alive and heating up again. All across the nation, those who are opposed to the things of Christ are marching out in full force in an attempt to suppress the recognition and celebration of "the coming" to earth of our Savior and King. In most other countries, other than those that are constitutionally Muslim, public Christmas decorations, school observances and public celebrations are embraced and accepted.

In a ruse and twisting of the Constitution, those opposed to anything having to do with Jesus, have declared an all out assault on Christianity and anything that has to do with Christ. What are they so afraid of that they have blantantly lied to an entire generation of school children in an attempt to hide the truth about the "real reason for the season". Why are they so zealous in an attempt to destroy the coming of the Messiah?

Nothing much has changed in 2000 years since the birth of Christ. During those days King Herod and his followers were greatly troubled about the "news headline" of the day about the arrival of the Jewish Messiah. Although others sought to worship him, the worldly rulers of the day wanted to stamp out and destroy the One, who would replace the rule of oppression and bondage of the people, with God's rulership of spiritual and personal freedom from their sins.

Thank God that He will not be deterred and he will not let the things of this world hold back any who truly worship and get to know the Savior. God is in control, and just as Jesus escaped the violence of evil men of that day, Jesus will conquer those same evil men of today with his love, joy, and peace of the Christmas Season, ensuring that all those who seek him will find him.

Matthew 2:1-15(New Century Version)
1 Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea during the time when Herod was king. When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.2 They asked, "Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

3 When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, as were all the people in Jerusalem. 4 Herod called a meeting of all the leading priests and teachers of the law and asked them where the Christ would be born.5 They answered, "In the town of Bethlehem in Judea. The prophet wrote about this in the Scriptures:

6 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not just an insignificant village in Judah. A ruler will come from you who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.' " — Micah 5:2

7 Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men and learned from them the exact time they first saw the star.8 He sent the wise men to Bethlehem, saying, "Look carefully for the child. When you find him, come tell me so I can worship him too."

9 After the wise men heard the king, they left. The star that they had seen in the east went before them until it stopped above the place where the child was.10 When the wise men saw the star, they were filled with joy.11 They came to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their gifts and gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.12 But God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their own country by a different way.

13 After they left, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, because Herod is starting to look for the child so he can kill him. Stay in Egypt until I tell you to return."

14 So Joseph got up and left for Egypt during the night with the child and his mother.15 And Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod died. This happened to bring about what the Lord had said through the prophet: "I called my son out of Egypt." - Hosea 11:1.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Monday, December 13, 2010

God Makes Us Right - December 13, 2010

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (New King James Version)
5“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,“ That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called:

THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (YHWH Tsidkenu).


Jeremiah 23:5-6 (New International Reader's Version)
5 "A new day is coming," announces the Lord. "At that time I will raise up from David's royal line a true and rightful Branch. He will be a King who will rule wisely. He will do what is fair and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved. Israel will live in safety. And the Branch will be called The Lord Who Makes Us Right With Himself.

How long do we need to go through life depending on our own efforts to be made right with God? For some, this life is all there is and they feel that they might as well enjoy all that they can. For others, they feel as long as the are good and better than the next guy, if there is something on the other side, they hope that somehow things will balance out.

There are many who try to follow a religion that tells them that their works, the things they do or follow will make them right with God. For some, they twist this to mean that the many awful and violent things they do in the name of god, justify their evil acts. They could be no farther away from the truth. Many will only learn on the "other side" the folly of their deeds.

There are even religions that call themselves Christian that only believe what Jesus did on the cross is but a part of what you need to do to be made right with God and acceptable to Him. Instead of thinking through this, those other religions would rather place the burden back on the people to somehow make themselves right with God. The sad thing is that many go to the end of their lives still wondering if they are good enough, which they will never be.

At the end of your life there will be no scales on which to measure your works or deeds. There will be no heavenly accountant at the pearly gates. The standard will be that if you stand on your own, you will have to be absolutely perfect to be made right with God. There can be no lies, no lusts, no thefts, no sins, nothing that could be considered evil, or you will be condemned.

The amazing truth is this: God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. It is God alone who provides righteousness to mankind through Jesus Christ. He endured his journey in the flesh, bore the guilt and shame of the cross, and the agony of his death, so that we could be seen as not guilty before God and saved from all of our sinful deeds. That is all there is to it.

Why people find it so difficult to accept and take the much harder road of trying to be come righteous on their own is beyond me. Unless we are born perfect and stay that way throughout our entire lives we will never make it. If you have accepted God's Christmas gift to you, embrace it and share it. If you have not accepted it, ask for it and take it.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (New International Version, ©2010)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

3rd Sunday of Advent - December 12, 2010

Luke 2:8-20 (New International Version, ©2010)
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

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

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

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

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

Today markes the 3rd Sunday of Advent, and the third candle signifying Joy is lit along with the ones for Hope and Peace. We celebrate with joy along with the shepherds, who saw their anticipated Messiah spoken of long ago by the prophet Micah, born in humble circumstances. He came not as a ruler or conqueror, but as a tiny infant in a place fit ony for the lowly. But it is only in these humble circumstances where we can truly find our redemption.

Unless we too humble ourselves and admit our shortcomings, accepting our need for a Savior, we cannot truly find hope, peace and joy for our souls.

Micah 5:2 (New Living Translation)
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "Coming Out" - December 11, 2010

Isaiah 61:1-3 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.


If there was ever a "coming out" for the Lord it was this incident when Jesus went back to his hometown of Nazareth. It was the beginning of his ministry and he had been teaching in the surrounding synagogues, but when he proclaimed that he was the fulfillment of Scripture found in Isaiah, it started a revolution. Not a violent revolution, but one that would affect everyone forever. Has he revealed himself to you yet?

Luke 4:14-21 (New International Version, ©2010)
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Who Would Do This? - December 10, 2010

Isaiah 53:1-12 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Do you recognize who Isaiah is talking about in the passage above? Can you believe that someone would grow up to endure what is described above? Someone who was born very ordinary, then despised, rejected, pierced, oppressed and afflicted, and all for the purpose of justifying the many? Who would go through all of this? How could any normal human being do this?

Answer is no human could, without being fully God as well. I pray that everyone will know the man spoken of above. I pray all would know that the baby born in humble beginnings we all celebrate was destined to die so that we all might live.

Ephesians 3:17-19 (New Century Version)
17 I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.18 And I pray that you and all God's holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is.19 Christ's love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

God, Servant, Savior and King - December 9, 2010

Isaiah 49:1-7 (New International Reader's Version)

1 People who live on the islands, listen to me. Pay attention, you nations far away. Before I was born the Lord chose me to serve him. He appointed me by name.

2 He made my words like a sharp sword. He hid me in the palm of his hand. He made me into a sharpened arrow. He took good care of me and kept me safe.

3 He said to me, "You are my true servant Israel. I will show my glory through you."

4 But I said, "In spite of my hard work, I feel as if I haven't accomplished anything. I've used up all of my strength. It seems as if everything I've done is worthless. But the Lord will give me what I should receive. My God will reward me."

5 The Lord formed me in my mother's body to be his servant. He wanted me to bring the family of Jacob back to him. He wanted me to gather the people of Israel to himself. The Lord will honor me. My God will give me strength.

6 The Lord says to me, "It is not enough for you as my servant to bring the tribes of Jacob back to their land. It is not enough for you to bring back the people of Israel I have kept alive. I will also make you a light for other nations. Then you will make it possible for the whole world to be saved."

7 The Lord sets his people free. He is the Holy One of Israel. He speaks to his servant, who is looked down on and hated by the nations. He speaks to the servant of rulers. He says to him, "Kings will see you and rise up to honor you. Princes will see you and bow down to show you their respect. I am the Lord. I am faithful. I am the Holy One of Israel. I have chosen you."


God had the perfect plan. He alone could come up with it, because He alone could do what was necessary. Mere man could not do it; nor could the angels. Nothing could bring back the creation to Himself but Him. Only God could step into the world, live a sinless life, serve mankind around him to point the way to the Kingdom of Heaven, and in obedience lay down his life on the cross to be the Savior, not only for the Jewish people and but for all of mankind.

One day all of us will bow down to our Savior. Some will come kicking and screaming, and others will come in utter anguish. As for the believer, we will joyfully approach His thrown of grace and call out to the one who gave so much, because He loved us so much. Christmas allows us to consider and wonder about the "awesomeness" of God; it allows us to ask ourselves, "why us?" Read and meditate with me as we consider our God, our Servant, our Savior and our King.

Luke 2:25-35 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
25A man named Simeon was in Jerusalem. He lived an honorable and devout life. He was waiting for the one who would comfort Israel. The Holy Spirit was with Simeon 26and had told him that he wouldn’t die until he had seen the Messiah, whom the Lord would send. 27Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courtyard. Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Jesus into the courtyard at the same time. They brought him so that they could do for him what Moses’ Teachings required.

28Then Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God by saying,29“Now, Lord, you are allowing your servant to leave in peace as you promised. 30My eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared for all people to see. 32He is a light that will reveal salvation to the nations and bring glory to your people Israel.”

33Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is the reason that many people in Israel will be condemned and many others will be saved. He will be a sign that will expose 35the thoughts of those who reject him. And a sword will pierce your heart.”


Philippians 2:6-11 (New International Reader's Version)
6 In his very nature he was God. But he did not think that being equal with God was something he should hold on to. 7 Instead, he made himself nothing. He took on the very nature of a servant. He was made in human form. 8 He appeared as a man. He came down to the lowest level. He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death. In fact, he died on a cross.

9 So God lifted him up to the highest place. He gave him the name that is above every name. 10 When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone's knee will bow to worship him. Every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth will bow to worship him. 11 Everyone's mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

God’s Chosen Servant - December 8, 2010

Isaiah 42:1-4 (New Century Version)
1 "Here is my servant, the one I support.
He is the one I chose, and I am pleased with him.
I have put my Spirit upon him,
and he will bring justice to all nations.

2 He will not cry out or yell
or speak loudly in the streets.
3 He will not break a crushed blade of grass
or put out even a weak flame.

He will truly bring justice;
4 he will not lose hope or give up
until he brings justice to the world.
And people far away will trust his teachings."


I continue to marvel how the prophet Isaiah was able to prophesy so accurately the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth seven centuries before it happened. These prophecies for Christians tie the Old Testament and the New Testament together, and it can be easily seen with a little study that the Old Testament points to "the coming" of our Lord and Savior to save us from our sins.

Only in the Bible is prophecy this accurate, yet many in this world are reluctant to accept the truths found in it. Have you ever asked yourself why this is so? Is is it lack of knowledge, bacause non-believers will not take the time to read the Bible? Is it willful disregard for the Bible, because people are afraid of what it they will find out about themselves? Or is it our right rejection, because although it can be seen as truth, people would rather pursue their own agenda and reject God?

There are probably many reasons why people reject God's chosen servant, yet rejection of God's free gift in this life, will lead to eternal consequences that no one really want to experience. This Christmas Season, why not surrender yourself to Jesus? Why not accept the baby in the manger for who he truly is, God's chosen servant and our redeemer? It is rare that we are given the chance to respond to God. Be sure you do before it is too late.

Matthew 12:15-21 (New International Version, ©2010)
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.

19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.

21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Time of Our Lord's Coming - December 7, 2010

Isaiah 40:3-5;9-10 (New International Version, ©2010)
3 A voice of one calling:

“In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
...
9 You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah,

“Here is your God!”

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.

Malachi 3:1 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.

If we were to go back in history from today the same number of years between the Prophet Isaiah's prophecies about the coming of Jesus and the actual events, you would find your self at the time of Marco Polo, as he enters into the service of Kublai Khan. In 1291, Muslim armies capture Acre, the last Christian holdings in Palestine, marking the end of successful crusades.

In 1297,Scottish rebel William Wallace leads ragtag band of Scottish clans to victory against the English at the Battle of Cambuskenneth, temporarily establishing independence of Scotland. In 1300, good King Wenceslas II ascends the throne in Poland, and in 1312,The King of France abolishes the Order of Knights Templar, accusing them of witchcraft.

And finally, 1325 marks the traditional date of the Aztecs arrival in Tenochtitlán (Mexico City). It was the Middle Ages, marked by bad popes, bad kings, the Black Death, and hordes of Mongols. No one had even thought about the Americas yet, although the Norseman explored Greenland a few hundred years before, and Christopher Columbus would land in the Caribean a couple of hundred years later.

Can you believe that its been almost 10 years since 9/11, over 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, 30 years since the US Olympic Hockey Team beat the Soviets, almost 40 years since man landed on the moon, almost 50 years since Kenedy was assassinated, almost 60 years since the Korean War, almost 70 years since Pearl Harbor and WW II, almost 80 years since the Great Depression , over 90 years since WW I, and almost 100 years since the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank.

Why the history lesson? All to show you just how long ago 700 years actually is, and that is about the same amount of time from when Isaiah penned what God had told Him about "the coming". We tend to lose perspective of Biblical timelines, because to us, time seems to be rushing by. But Isaiah saw everything so clearly; one would come to announce the coming of the Sovereign Lord and our Savior would begin to minister soon after.

And to think his coming began in a quiet stable in a small Judean town almost 2000 years ago, and each Christmas we can feel as if he has just been born. When we get to know Jesus, he becomes as real as the day he arrived, he is with us now, and he will be with all believers forever.

Luke 3:1-6 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Savior and Defender - December 6, 2010

Psalm 18:2 (New International Version, ©2010)
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield[sovereign] and the horn[strength] of my salvation, my stronghold.

Isaiah 19:20 (New International Version, ©2010)
20 It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.


It almost seems impossible that God would love us enough to rescue us from our sin. Have you ever stopped and wondered why? You know it is real. It can't be just how we were raised or who we were mentored by, because deep down within our soul, we know that we have done wrong. We know that without something or someone, we would be lost not only in the present, but also forever.

Why do you think that there are so many faiths and religions that require you do something to be made right with God? Even those who are atheists know the difference between right and wrong, although they will never admit it is a God given feeling within them. There is a time in everyone's life when they know that they have to become right with their Maker. We all have to place our trust and hope in something.

Thank God that long before we were a thought, the plan was made to provide us with a deliverer and a Savior. That is what we look forward to when as we approach Christmas. That is why we look to "the coming" of Jesus as a time to celebrate and keep holy. It is not a mere man we are looking for; it is the One sent from heaven who will rescue us.

Colossians 1:15-20 (New International Version, ©2010)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2nd Sunday of Advent - December 5, 2010

Isaiah 26:3 (New Century Version)
3 You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.

Matthew 1:18-25 (New International Version, ©2010)
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


For the 2nd Sunday of Advent, we mark "the coming" with the lighting of a second candle that stands for "Peace". This is done in concert with the first candle of "Hope". These signify the apporaching celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus, who would be the hope of mankind, and bring true peace into the world. The Prince of Peace is coming into the world, and he as the image of God reconciles everything to himself through his incarnation, death, and resurrection.

The peace we receive from Jesus is the peace that our souls will be right with God. Despite what we have done, because of Jesus precious sacrifice, if we accept his gift, we can be sure that we are in right standing with God. No more will their be fear that after we pass from this earth, that we will be unsure of what will happen to us. No longer is there no hope of a future in heaven and an eternal future with God. Their is no other religion, no other faith that can bring you this certainty, hope and peace, because no other human in history came and died for us.

Are you troubled and in need of His hope and peace this Christmas Season? Are you at the "end of your rope", and in need of someone to save you from your hurt, pain and distress? Look, for Jesus has come to save his people from their sins. Jesus has paid it all. Give your heart and hurt to him and he will give your life hope and peace.

John 16:33 (New International Version, ©2010)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 5:1-5 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Righteous Judge - December 4, 2010

Isaiah 11:1-5 (New International Version, ©2010)
1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD — 3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; 4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.


What does it mean to be "fair"? The dictionary would define it as "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice". Unfortunately that is impossible with man. Unless every judge subjects themselves to the exact same moral authority and law, there will never be judgements that adhere to the definition.

To complicate it even further, now we are faced with several types of law; there is "natural law" given by the God of the Bible, there is "legal positivism" that is defined by the culture, then there is "Sharia law" supposedly given by Allah through the Muslim holy books, and others. With so many different types of law justice varies from one to another, and in many cases, these laws are not "fair".

For instance, there is a Christian women in Pakistan who has been sentenced to death for supposedly sharing her faith in a muslim nation. In fact in most muslim nations, it is punishable by death to practice any other religion other than Islam (so much for being a religion of peace). Coverts to Christianity usually practice their faith in secret, for fear of being caught and executed. Now according to Sharia, that is a "just and fair" punishment, but in any other rational society and under any other law that punishment is ridiculous and irrational.

Here again, the prophet Isaiah points us to "the coming" of the righteous judge, who will give out justice fairly and without bias. He will treat all with fairness and honesty. Only God can do that. Fallen mankind is incapable for doing so, because their hearts are corrupt and immoral. They judge based on their own needs, interests and attitudes. That is what had been so wonderful about the laws in our United States. They had been drawn together with the God of the Bible in mind, and I believe by men empowered by the Holy Spirit, to create an exceptional nation.

Someday soon, each and everyone, those before us and after us, will stand before the righteous judge. He will judge all of the nations, and give out justice that is deserved. If we are judged by what we deserve, we all would perish, but because our judge has come first as our Lord and Savior, and has offered himself as payment for our wrongdoing. Accept God's gift to you before you have to stand before Him in judgement.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (New International Version, ©2010)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.


Follow me on my Advent journey as I travel the path that God has prepared for us back to Himself. Follow the path of "the coming" of our Lord and Savior Jesus.