Are you seeking meaning and purpose in life? This time of season can either be filled with excitement, as you see children open up gifts, or it can be a great time of depression for others, a time of loneliness and despair. To some extent it depends on where you are in life? Did you lose your father during this time? Does it bring back memories of the time you were unemployed and saw no hope for the future? Many may fall in that category. But just as many reflect on their childhood and think of all the fun times going down a hill on a make-shift sled. Others simply look forward to the surprise of seeing a brother or sister open a gift you spent thinking about all year to give them, and seeing a smile on their face.
To the Jews in their day, the excitement was going to the annual feast, the Passover commemorating the day God rescued them from bondage out of Egypt. That was Jewish history and culture, but it was also a God-ordained holiday. Prophesied in a dream to Abraham, that his people would be enslaved some … Listen to Broadcast & Read More
As you read the gospel accounts, both in Luke and then now in Matthew, of the events surrounding Jesus birth. You had those unique periods of time, where Mary and Joseph and the shepherds heard from the angels, and of Simeon, an 84 year old man and a widow, who prayed to the Lord day and night, and the Spirit of God revealed Himself to them. They proclaimed that Jesus is the one who will save people from their sins.Then you read about His early childhood, and you see very clearly the fallen world will live in. You see a contrast between the proud and the humble. You have those who were truly looking for the promised Messiah, those who wanted to worship Him. The wisemen certainly sought out to bring gifts to the Messiah, with an attitude of truly wanting to worship Him. Then you have the madman, Herod, and the religious leaders, who only saw Him as a threat, either to their position as king or as a threat to their way of life, as teachers of the law, their way of making a living. They had no room in their … Listen to Broadcast & Read More
As we read through the gospel of Luke, and other accounts surrounding Jesus birth, we gain insight into the hearts and nature of mankind. We learn about the emptiness in our heart, the void in our life. We learn how we cannot live up to the demands of the law. We learn we cannot please God by what we do. We learn about our wretched condition in our natural flesh. But we also learn of the different nature that is in Christ Jesus, that we might want what He has living in Him. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He sees our fallen flesh and cares about our immediate needs so we can see our greater need, our need for a personal relationship with Him. He sees the deception and lies we have believed and wants to be our Father to guide us into all truth, so we can live in true freedom. For error is what binds and keeps us enslaved to fear. Perfect love casts out fear, and God is love.
When you hear again the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, the events that happened prior and the events that followed his birth, what goes on in your mind? What do you ponder? Imagine having seen an angel or heard the voice of an angel speak to you, if you are a young girl, that you will bear a child without having relations with any man, and you are to name your child Jesus, Immanuel, which means “God with us”, and who says “He will cause the rise and fall of many in Israel”, and “a sword will pierce your own soul too”? Would you not ponder all those things in your heart as to what they would all mean?
Should we not also ponder what that all means, to you personally? How is God going to be with us? Is God inside this baby? When this baby grows up and works in the carpenter shop with his earthly step-father, could he really be God? And then, later in life, this now grown man, over 33 years old, is hung on a cross? If you were Mary, and you see your child … Listen to Broadcast & Read More
In this world, we can begin to see terrible events unfold. We can certainly see clearly this conflict between good and evil. The degree of that will depend, to some extent, what exposure you have to sources of information concerning current world events, for there is also so much fake news and misinformation.
Nevertheless, we tend to see these horrible things happening as something unusual, yet the Lord tells us that evildoers will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. We tend to forget what the Lord has told us, and can let ourselves be overcome with fear. But God tells us to keep our focus on Him, to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of. Of all people, we, as children of God, should hold out hope. We should testify of the hope we have within us. We should be full of joy and peace, as we allow God, who is living in us, to bear that fruit in our lives.
But we all need encouragement. We are instructed to meet with like-minded believers, and all the more so, as we see the time of the … Listen to Broadcast & Read More