Thursday, December 30, 2010
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Even the strongest people get tired sometimes, but God's power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen in our time of need. His strength is our source of strength and stamina. When you feel all of life crushing down upon you and cannot bear to go another step, remember that you can call upon the Lord to renew your strength. Hoping in the Lord is expecting that His promise of strength will help us to rise above life's distractions and difficulties. It also means simply trusting God. Trusting helpless us to be prepared when He speaks to us. Then we will be patient when he asks us to wait and expect him to fulfill the many promises found in his Word. As we prepare for the dawning of a new year, instead of making resolutions that we may or may not keep, on whose success depends solely upon our human will and frailty, we should decide to renew our faith by looking back and seeing all the glorious things that God has done for us through the preceding year and know in our hearts that He will continue to be faithful during the next.
God Bless you,
Monday, December 27, 2010
Rise up, O Lord, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I-in righteousness, I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness.
We deceive ourselves when we measure our happiness or contentment in life by the amount of wealth we possess. When we put riches at the top of our priority list, we let power, pleasure, and financial security, overshadow the eternal value of our relationship with God. We all know that financial security is important, especially if we are going to sleep well at night, not fearing that they power will be shut off at any given moment. However, financial security, while important, is not the MOST important element in our life. And it, in and of itself, does not provide happiness. We think we will be happy or content when we get riches, only to discover that they don't really satisfy at all, and the pleasures quickly fade away. The true measurement of happiness or contentment is found in God's love and in doing His will. You will find true happiness if you put your relationship with God above all else, including earthly riches.
God Bless you,
Saturday, December 25, 2010
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
And that says it all . . .
Merry Christmas everyone!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Proof of the Truth
The angel answered, "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. And now you will be silent and not be able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at the proper time."
Zechariah listened to the angel's promise that he and his wife would have a son, one who would become a blessing to the nation of Israel. Being a priest, Zechariah knew about the ancient teaching that one like Elijah would preceed the Messiah's coming. So when the angel spoke of his boy in terms of the "spirit and power of Elijah," Zachariah knew that this one short phrase summarized his son's career as the precursor to the Savior of the world.
Overcome with doubt, Zechariah asked for proof. He got it, but it was not the kind of proof that he expected. The elderly priest completely lost his speech until his son, the child of this promise, was born. Once the child arrived, Zechariah opened his mouth wide and gave praise to God.
Look at Zachariah's progression; he moved from fear to doubt to faith. We have all known fear and doubt, and most of us have found out that it is easy to get stuck there. Faith can follow fear and doubt for us as it did for Zechariah. But, as Zechariah eventually was, we need to be receptive to the truth.
God may not send an angel to speak to you or take away your speech to prove himself. But He will give you the all the evidence you need to believe in His promises for your life. As you read God's Word and discover His promises, ask Him to move you beyond fear and doubt and into faith.
God Bless you,
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The word rule comes from a language of athletics: the apostle Paul tells us to let Christ's peace umpire or referee our hearts. He is the one who must make the final call. His decision must be binding in our lives. We must not rely on instant replay and try to rationalize our own behavior. "Well, I was close. I was at the line, but I did not cross the line. Or did I?" Our hearts are the center of conflict because there our feelings and desires clash - our fears and hopes, distrust and trust, jealousy and love. How can we deal with these constant conflicts and live as God wants? Paul explains that we must decide between conflicting elements by using the rule of peace - which choice will promote peace in our souls and in our churches and in our families and in our communities? Doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of our daily lives. As a Christian, you represent Christ at all times - wherever you go and whatever you say. The important question is what impression do people have of Christ when they see or talk with you?
God Bless you,
Monday, December 13, 2010
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven you. Is it difficult for you to forgive someone who has wronged you a little when God has forgiven you so much? Realizing God's infinite love and forgiveness can help you love and forgive others. All the virtues that the apostle Paul encourages us to develop are perfectly bound together by love. As we clothe ourselves with these virtues, the last garment we put on is love, which holds all of the others in place. To practice any list of virtues without practicing love will lead to distortion and fragmentation. Christians should live in peace. Too often you see or hear evidence to the contrary. To live in peace does not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion are resolved, but it does require that loving Christians work together despite their differences. Such love is not a feeling, but it is a decision to meet others' needs. To live in love leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers. Consider what you can do to demonstrate that love. God's love is real, and God's love is in each one of us. It is time that we let that light shine.
God Bless you,
Monday, December 6, 2010
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
What does it mean to "put on the new self"? It means that your conduct should match your faith. Quite simply, if you are a Christian, you should act like it. To be a Christian means more than just making good resolutions and having good intentions; it means taking the right actions. This is a straightforward step that is as simple as putting on your clothes. Every Christian is in continuing education program. The more we know of Christ and His work, the more we are being changed to be like Him. Because this process is lifelong, we must never stop learning and obeying His Word. There is no justification for just drifting along, but there is a great incentive to find the rich treasures of growing in Him. It takes practice, ongoing review, patience, and concentration to keep in line with His will. The Christian church is the one place on earth where everyone should feel welcome. The church should have no barriers of nationality, race, education, wealth, or power. Christ breaks down all barriers and accepts all people who come to Him as they are. Nothing should keep us from telling others about Christ or accepting into our fellowship any and all believers. Christians should be building bridges, not walls.
God Bless you,
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
Because the false teachers believed that the physical world was evil, they thought that God himself could not have created it. If Christ were God, they reasoned, he would be in charge only of the spiritual world. But Paul explained that that all the rulers, powers, thrones, and authorities of both the spiritual and physical worlds were created by and are under the authority of Christ himself. This includes not only the government but also the spiritual world that the heretics were so concerned about. Christ has no equal, and no rival. He is the Lord of all. He is big enough to fulfill His every promise. He is great enough to handle your biggest worries this Christmas season. He is God enough to provide peace in chaos and light in darkness. Continue to trust Him and He will bless you.
God Bless you,