Friday, December 24, 2010

The Birth And The Plan

Merry Christmas Eve and may the blessings of the Lord rain down on all of you!!

In just one day it will be Jesus' birthday. We celebrate His birth in many different ways.

I know we thank God for Jesus and why God gave Jesus to be Savior of the world. It wouldn't be very comforting if God hadn't loved the world enough to give His Son but
He did.

It is wonderful when we see parents raising their children in the Lord. Proverbs 22:6; 'Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.' With all the evil in our world today it is a must to bring our children up knowing the Lord. This is God's will for us to do. The Hebrew word for 'train' means to "dedicate."

Godly parents will teach their children to call on the Lord in all circumstances. They will make sure they are in Sunday School and church. They will also want them to be around other Christian children. I am not saying they can't associate somewhat with children that don't know the Lord, the parents and children have to be very careful.

When my son's youngest daughter was in the second or third grade she was talking to another child, she asked her about the Lord and I guess my granddaughter didn't like her answer and she told her she needed to get to know Jesus. Sometimes children can plant a seed in the mind and heart of another child causing them to start asking some questions of the parents or another adult. Sometimes a child can also plant a seed in the mind and heart of their parents. We never know how the Lord is going to work but it is so marvelous and comforting the way He puts everything together.

God knows when something or someone will say or do something that will cause someone else to really start thinking about a certain thing, I believe God had it all planned that way. We sometimes need a little something to get us started thinking about what He wants us to think about.

If God hadn't loved the world so much, Mary hadn't obeyed the Lord, and if Jesus hadn't wanted to do what the Father wanted Him too we would be a lost world. I am so glad God loved the world, John 3:16; 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' God also knew how things were going to be, He wants everyone to know Jesus but He knew not everyone would. I am so glad I am one of them that believes in Jesus, how about you? Praise the Lord with hands uplifted and singing in our heart. Thank you God, for your plan and that you gave me the faith to believe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Gospel

Christmas is such a busy time. People getting ready for Christmas, for some it is a tradition and others perhaps it is a first Christmas dinner with a special one.

For some it is a lonely time. I believe this is the worse part of any holiday, loneliness. Just knowing there are people that are alone. Some may not have a home. There are many reasons a person may be lonely.

Sometimes a person can be in a crowd of people and still be lonely. I believe some loneliness is caused because they don't have the Lord. This isn't because Jesus doesn't want to be with them but they haven't asked Him to be their Savior, it could be because no one has told them about the Lord Jesus Christ and told them what it means to have Jesus as their Savior.

People think because we live in America everyone has had the chance to be told about Jesus. I don't believe that is true. When I taught the Beginners Sunday School class a little boy came with a friend, he had never been in Sunday school or church before. I asked him if he knew Jesus and he said 'no.' I asked him if he would like to get acquainted with Jesus and he said, 'I guess so.' If he hadn't come to Sunday school with his friend he may never have found out who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for us. Not everyone has the chance to go to a Sunday School class or church.

John 1:10; 'He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not." There are people who reject Jesus so not everyone in the world will know Him or ever want to know Him. It is up to us to tell everyone we can about Jesus and His saving grace.

No matter where we are or who we meet we can always direct our conversation to Jesus just by asking a question or some other conversation. We can talk about joy, happiness, and even the weather to get Jesus into our conversation. If we will just allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us the conversation will be easy.

What does the Bible tell us? Mark 16:15; "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Not everyone can be or is a pastor so for us believing in Jesus this means for us to tell people about Jesus and the gospel. Not everyone is called to be a pastor but everyone is called to share the gospel.

Acts 1:8; "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Jerusalem is like our family, Judaea would be like our neighborhoods, Samaria is like our towns, and the uttermost part would be the rest of the world. Where we can share Jesus and the gospel would be our family, neighborhood, and even the town we live in. We also need evangelists and missionaries as they are the ones that go to uttermost part of the earth to tell about Jesus and the gospel.

I want to share with everyone the truth of Jesus Christ, His saving grace, all the things Jesus has done for me, and will continue to do. We know what Christmas is all about, the joy of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas is not about how many gifts we receive, there is only one gift that really matters and that is Jesus.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Comfort And Joy

This is such a joyful season, Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior!

All of us have a favorite season and some of us have more than just the one. I am not really sure why but this Christmas really seems special to me. I feel so much comfort with joy in my heart.

I feel at times Satan is trying to take my joy away but I refuse to let him do it. The Lord wants all of us to be full of joy and that is what I am going to do.

Psalm 35:9; "And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in His salvation." My joy is in the Lord. I know above any doubt the Lord will be with me, comfort me, will talk with me, and keep me from harm. There is no one else that will take care of me like the Lord and He will take care of everyone if they will just let Him.

II Corinthians 1:4; "Who comforteth us in all tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." How awesome to be comforted by God. Because we know of the importance to be comforted and was given the comfort by God we can comfort others that are in any trouble. We can have joy just from comforting someone that is in need. It is awesome the way God works.

If we go around thinking about the troubles we may have, you need to go to the Lord and ask Him for the comfort He so freely gives. When He has comforted you, how can you not have joy?

You need to give your troubles, sickness, anger, and bitterness to the Lord. If you don't give them to Him you are going to find yourself going deeper into these things. If you will just make up your mind and realize God is your answer, things will just fall into place. I am not saying you will never have any tribulation because you will. Our tribulations will make us stronger in the Lord. God may allow us to go through a certain thing so that it will actually help us in the long run. God never makes something bad happen to us, He will allow things (tribulations) to happen but He never makes them happen. Why is it so easy to blame God for bad things? How could a God with so much love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding make something bad happen to us? He can't and won't.

I feel at times we, ourselves make bad things worse. If a person continually thinks about or worries about things in there life that are not happy things, how can they get better? They are bound to get much worse. God doesn't want this to happen as He wants us to have joy and wants us to be comforted.

It doesn't make any difference who you are, what you have done, or where you have been, God loves you and wants you to have happiness, be comforted, and have joy. Never think you can not call on Him, we are all sinners and we need the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don't let the joy be taken away from you. Be joyful and praise the Lord with joyful lips.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Are We Listening

Matthew 11:15: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

I wonder how many of us hear things but we don't really hear. Dave says I never hear anything he says. I do hear but I am not listening so I wasn't paying attention to what he was saying so I have to say I didn't really hear. Some may wonder how you hear but not listen. If a person really hears, they are going to be able to tell you what you have said or at least the majority of what you have said. Isn't this true?

How many of us have heard our pastor give a message then an hour or two later be able to tell someone what he has said. I am a firm believer there are times we are able to tell someone maybe even five or six hours later, possibly a week later, then there are times we can tell someone at least part of what the pastor said two or three weeks later but there are those times we can't remember what he has said when we get out the door of the church. I am ashamed to say, I have been there. I would be hoping and praying no one would ask me what the pastor's message was all about.

There is a big difference in hearing and listening. When you hear it doesn't mean you are necessarily listening. I can hear a noise but sometimes I can not tell anyone what kind of a noise I have heard. If we fail to really listen to what is being said we could and I repeat could allow our ears to become dull so we hear nothing, if we don't hear anything, we can't listen. I know that sounds funny but just stop and think about that, it isn't quite that funny. God certainly wants us to hear, if He didn't he would not have told us to listen.

To listen means to make a conscious effort to hear, concentrate on hearing someone or something, or to pay attention to something and take it into account.

It is really a shame when we don't listen. The pastor always has something excellent to say, the particular message may not be for you but perhaps to someone else or it could be a message for you to tell someone else about.  When other people talk to us they have something they want us to hear, they aren't talking just to hear themselves talk.

If God didn't think it was important for us to hear why would He have said 'He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.' not once but many times. I believe He meant things could be hard to understand so we need to listen carefully so we will be able to understand what is meant. I am not saying every message a pastor gives us or everything a person says to us is hard to understand, what I am saying is we need to learn to listen not just hear.

Do you like it when you have something to say and then no one listens to what you are saying? I don't think any of us like it. I am sure God wants to make sure we hear what is being said so we need to pay attention so we hear and listen. I have just challenged myself to be more attentive to what people have to say to me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Difference

Have you ever asked someone 'do you know about God?' Almost always they will say 'yes I do.' If you ask them to tell you about God, it sometimes seems they will try to trick you by saying 'well, do you know God?' If you tell them you just want them to tell you about God, they have different answers. Some might say He is the one out there in the sky, He is the one the Bible talks about, and then they might say 'it is that God people say they talk to.' We can tell by their answers that they do know something about God but they don't know Him.

Have you ever asked someone 'do you know God?' We will get different answers on this one but they know what they are talking about. To know God is to have a personal relationship with Him. They will tell you He gave His only Son so that we may be forgiven for our sins and have everlasting life. John 3:16; "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The ones knowing God knows a personal relationship with Him is a very important part of our life and our walk with Jesus. They also know we must keep our eyes on Jesus at all times otherwise we may stumble. Being a Christian, we also know God gives us away to repent for our sins if we stumble and He is just and faithful to forgive us our sins. We know the way the world is today makes it easier for us to stumble but we don't have to, Jesus is our Light and all we have to do is follow that Light.

Knowing God is to love Him. He loves us very much and offers us much. Loving Him makes us want to do the things He wants us to do. He would never ask us to do something without helping us through these things. He will also help us through the darkest moments in our life, He knows when we hurt and He is willing to help us, just ask Him and He will be there. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5; 'Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' In this verse it also tells us not to be covetousness (greedy) or want somebody else's property, we need to be content with what we have.

God has given us instructions on how we should live. Those instructions are found in the Bible. It tells us how to strive to live a righteous life. We can never give the Bible up, we need to read and study the Bible continually.

We know there is a difference between knowing about God and knowing God. I would much rather know God and have the personal relationship with Him. I want to be able to talk to Him and praise and glorify the one and only God. I want other people to know Him as you and I do.