What Great Love Is This!

Isaiah 9.png   For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.                                                 Isaiah 9:6-7

Long before the birth of Jesus the prophet Isaiah foretold about his birth in the book of Isaiah. During the years when kings ruled Israel and Judah, God spoke through prophets. Although some prophets predicted future events their primary role was to call God’s people back to him. The most eloquent of the prophets Isaiah, analyzed the failures of all the nations around him and pointed to a future Messiah who would bring peace to the nation and to the earth.

Then Isaiah said, “hear mow, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Humans had gotten so far away from God because of their sins just as all of us of today, that God choose to send his one and only Son to become a sacrifice so that we will not be separated for all of eternity. Their would come a time in Jesus’ life that he would touch a leper’s open wound, he would wipe the tears of a widow, he would heal the sick, as well as to heal others, the dumb will speak, the blind would see the “Great I Am” For Jesus will see our nakedness for we cannot hide. He will see our selfishness for we cannot give. He will see our pain, for we cannot heal ourselves. Since Jesus became one of us he depended on human parents to care for him, and a mother to see her son nail to a cross someday while her heart is in some much pain. He will be torn by the thorns of our accusations, you’ll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin. Jesus will be crushed under the weight of his own sorrow, and he will be pierced by the spear of our rejection. And he that God knew all of this way before the day that his son was born, he still choose to send him hear on earth to become one of us.  What love, what Amazing Love that the Father has done for his children.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Second Sunday of Advent

Peace.pngWe began Advent last Sunday by lighting the first candle, the candle of Hope. We light it again today to remind us that Christ is coming to fulfill God’s promises. Today we light the second candle of Peace. The prophet Isaiah said, “Comfort, comfort my people” to a nation anxious about invasion and exile, as he foretold the coming of the Prince of Peace. Our world is still filled with violence and abuse, where families are torn apart by war and children used as soldiers. Isaiah’s words continue to speak to us that Jesus will bring us to an everlasting peace. Mary and Joseph found no room in the inn to give birth to Jesus, but we can heed John the Baptist’s command to make room in our hearts. Wherever there is war or mistrust between people, families, or our own hearts, God is present and leading us to imagine new ways of living in peace. Christ is our only hope, and our peace is found through him. We light this candle to remind us of Jesus’ life-giving peace to all who trust him. We light it in honor of those who live the Gospel truth that war does not make one great. It is the peace workers who risk much so that others may live without fear.

Prayer: We’re in trouble, Holy God. So many in the world do not know peace in their countries or in their hearts. We use weapons of steel and barbed words to wound one another. We seek balm for our restless hearts in the things that only make is more wounded. Open our hearts to Jesus so we may have the peace of his holy presence and live it in our unpeaceful world. Save us from outside violence and inner turmoil. We need you. Come, peaceful God, come.                            Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

What Is Advent?

10389133_423507684465031_9016953425129766019_nI would like to take this opportunity to share with all of you the meaning of advent. Too many times everyone seems to be so busy with the shopping, baking, presents, parties etc. we simply do not take the time to slow down for the season of Advent, What is advent it is a time four weeks before Christmas that we take the opportunity to invite God into the season before we get to Christmas Day.                                                               The season of Advent, which comes comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. [Liturgical — from liturgy, which means the forms and functions of public worship.]
During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was. So where did the season of Advent come from? Here is an attempt at a partial response — going back to the sacred Scriptures and to the early centuries of the church.

First, recall that the building blocks of Advent — its images, stories, memories, promises, songs, and hopes — are already present in the Bible. The rich images of the prophets Isaiah and Amos are there. The stories of John, Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, and John the Baptist are found in the Scriptures. There are Israel’s memories of exile and the hope for a day when God would restore hope, justice, and rulers in the line of David. There you find the songs: Mary‘s song, Zechariah’s song, and the psalms of lament, anguish, and hope. The vision of a new heaven and a new earth is there. Jesus’ call to be alert because we don’t know the day or the hour when the Son of Man will come is there. Paul’s and Peter’s words to believers awaiting the return of the risen Lord (the second coming) are there. All of this was there by the end of the first century. It was only a matter of time until the churches in various places began to find ways to weave these elements into their worship and into the ways they kept time together’s promised by his first coming.

What Is the Advent Wreath?
The Advent wreath is a circular garland of evergreen branches representing eternity. On that wreath, four or five candles are typically arranged. During the season of Advent, one candle on the wreath is lit each Sunday as a part of the Advent services.

Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
The lighting of an Advent wreath is a custom that began in 16th-century Germany among Lutherans and Catholics. In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30, and lasts through Christmas Eve, or December 24.
Symbolism of the Advent Wreath Candles
Set on the branches of the Advent wreath are four candles: three purple candles and one pink candle. A more modern tradition is to place a white candle in the center of the wreath. As a whole, these candles represent the coming of the light of Christ into the world.
Each week of Advent on Sunday, a particular Advent candle is lit. Catholic tradition states that the four candles, representing the four weeks of Advent, each stand for one thousand years, to total the 4,000 years from the time of Adam and Eve until the birth of the Savior.

On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, NIV). So each week from now through the Sunday before Christmas I will share with you what each candle means and what color that Christians light on that day. You can also purchase your own advent wreath or even make one for yourself. So friends lets not rush this beautiful season of Advent let us journey together to find out what is all the fuse is about during this season, and why God had to send his one and only son Jesus into this world to be able to save his people from their sins.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The God of All of Our Tomorrows

Isaiah 46.pngListen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you: I will sustain you and I will rescue you. With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?  Isaiah 46:4-5

As I read these words this morning from the book of Isaiah, God is not just talking about just the descendants of Jacob. He is talking to all of his children even to all of us of today, that regardless of human beings aging over time, he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God compassions never fails, they are new every morning. You and I can begin each day confidently, knowing that his vast reservoir of blessings is full to the brim. This knowledge helps us wait for him, entrusting our long unanswered prayers into God’s care ad keeping.  God assure you that not one of your prayers has slipped past him, unnoticed. He wants you to drink deeply from his fountain of limitless love and unfailing compassion. As you and I wait in his presence, these divine nutrients are freely available. You may drink without cost from the spring of water of life. Although many of our prayers remain unanswered, we can trust in his great faithfulness. God keeps all of his promises in his perfect way and timing. Among other things, God has promised to give you and me peace not as the world tries to give us but only true peace that comes from Jesus Christ, because in the middle of the craziness of the world our soul finds peace with the Master. Even through for all of us tomorrow is never promises to any of us however, it is a wonderful feel deep in our soul, that God is already there, and he has not forsaken any of his children.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Feeling Broken Inside

Psalm 34 18a.pngThe righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:17-18

It has been a difficult day for so many saying good-bye to someone they love and trying to understand it all. We look to your scriptures Lord for words of comfort as well as one another, and we even look unto the heavens and ask you the great question of why! We truly don’t understand the Master’s plan in everything here on earth however we do ask for strength to move forward in life and the peace that only you can give to us. We know that we live in a fallen world where sin exists however that just doesn’t stop us by trying to understand it all. Words of comfort comes from the prophet Isaiah 40, Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

The words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I am the resurrection and the life. Then one who believes in me will live even through they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.                                        John 11:25-26

 

Dear Lord, the God of us all, your love never ends, when all else fails, you still are God. We pray that you will care for each and everyone who are facing difficult moments in their lives of saying good-bye to their love ones, comfort each one and give them your peace. To all those who doubt, give light, to all those who are weak, give strength. To those who have sinned, show mercy.

In Christ Name I pray

Amen

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

God Has Created This World For All!

Isaiah 45.pngFor this is what the Lord says-he who created the heavens, his is God, he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it, he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited- he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, Seek me in vain, I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right.                 Isaiah 45:18-19

As I read these words from the prophet Isaiah I think of the ten commandments that God gave to Moses years before hand. He wrote these commandments with his finger so that once all reads them we will engrave them in our hearts forever. Read Exodus 20:1-3 and God spoke all these words. “I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, and out of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. In other words it is wrong for us to made anyone a God in our eyes for their is only one True God. We do not worship another person or thing as a God. Try to imagine if you would long ago before anything exist as we know, than God spoke a word and things came to past. He made the heavens and the earth for man and woman pleasure, and he also made us the keepers of this earth to care and love all living things, creatures and one another.  Sometimes as a drive by different areas I am amazed at how dirty things have become, I ask myself is this the way we would care for our homes and if the answer is of course not, so than why do we treat God’s world like things. Garbage toss on the ground like it was a garbage can, into our oceans and lakes killing living things and I just don’t understand why humans enjoy doing this and more important why don’t some even care at all. God is a God who loves all of his children unconditional, he created this world for us to enjoy can we all take care of it and all things as if they were our own personal treasures because all of this is our treasure and a gift from God. It is a reminder how much he loves us and how precious we are to him.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

GOD KNOWS YOUR NAME

Isaiah 49Isaiah was a prophet from the Old Testament, and the most eloquent of the prophets, Isaiah, analyzed the failures of all the nations around him and pointed to a future Messiah who would bring peace to the nation and the earth. As I read the book of Isaiah chapter 49:15-16 this is what it says: Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she borne? Through she may forget, I will never forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. When we as humans go thru the difficult times we seem to begin to wonder does anyone care about me, does anyone care if I’m live or die, I know most of us have said these words if not out loud so that someone else could hear them, we have said them to ourselves.  Let me tell you my friends, you are a Child of the Most High King Jesus Christ, you are apart of the best royal family that anyone can ever be apart of it, and it doesn’t matter where you family came from, rather you were born a rich person or a poor person or anything in between. All of you who are reading these words need to know and understand that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your past is like, what you may have done, the sins we have committed in the past or in the future God loves YOU! he sent his one and only son into the world to died for all of our sins, so that once we leave this earth we will be united with him for all of eternity and that is one family that you belong to forever and ever. There is more to your life than you ever thought. There is more to your story than what you have read. You have some much to give to others, God the God of the Universe has created you for a reason, you just need to figure that small part out. God took the time to shape you and mold you for his own purpose, a job that only you can do and no one else. Your life matter regardless of what anyone may of said to you, you do have a purpose, you are special. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, and see him shining brightly on your future. When you are weak or weary, just call upon him and he will hear you. God is preparing a place in his kingdom for all of his children, you do not need to worry. There is joy in knowing the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and he delights in you now, but this joy will be astronomically magnified when you join him in glory. The joy you will experience in heaven is so far beyond anything you have known on earth that it is indescribable. Nothing can rob you of this glorious inheritance. But, in the mean time while you are still on earth remember how much that Jesus loves “YOU” and their is nothing you will ever go thru that is he unaware of, he knows of the joys you will have as well as the many sorrows and trials that you will endure, but never doubt for a single second that

“GOD KNOWS YOU NAME'”

Grace and Peace to You My Friends