The Birth of Jesus Foretold

Luke 1a.pngIn the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings. you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 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, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever, his kingdom will never end. How will this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 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.” 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. For no word from God will ever fail.” I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. ” May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.                                                Luke 1:26-38

We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel’s address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favored of the Most High, to attain the honor Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favor with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Savior! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Savior is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Savior mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary’s reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, 1 Timothy 3:16. Beyond all questions, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world was taken up in glory.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Having A Grateful Heart Everyday

HebrewsTherefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and to worship God acceptable with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”                                                       Hebrews 12-28:29

We spend most of our days running around and trying to accomplish everything on our to do list. But, the one important thing on our to do list is having a grateful to God for all of his blessings he has bestow on us.

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A thankful attitude open windows of heaven through which spiritual blessings fall freely. All that God requires to be able to rain those blessings down upon us is our gratitude! It seems such a simple choice, yet we stumble over it almost everyday of our lives. Let God help you become more grateful as you can received bountiful blessings through those openings into eternity. As you go about your day, keep these things in mind. Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly command thankfulness because it is vital to our well-being, since God is our Creator, Savior and King. When you thank God we acknowledge how much he has done for you. This attitude brings joy both to us and God. Giving thanks is similar to priming a pump with water so that it will produce more water. Since thankfulness is one of the spiritual blessings that he has bestow on us, it will increase along with others when we prime God with thanksgiving. Remember that God is a God of all grace. When we fail in our endeavor to be thankful, simple ask him for forgiveness. As we freely receive this priceless gift-thinking about what it cost God, his only son on a cross for you and me. Look up to God and see spiritual blessings cascading down upon us through heave’s wide-open windows.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Treasures in Heaven

Matthew 6a.pngDo not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you us darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:19-24

These words come to us from Jesus himself, and it reminds us what we should be focusing on everyday. Too many times we get caught up with making money, and more and more, why because we want the bigger homes, cars, fancy vacations and simply we just want to hold on to whatever we can. In the midst of it all we begin to worship an idol which is call the idol of money. Many might be saying is that so bad and my answer to you is yes it is. If you go back to the book of Exodus which is in the Old Testament in the twenty chapter the second commandment from God to his people which is you and me is this, You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. There is a difference in working to take care of yourself and support your family and becoming a workaholic, because everything you see, you what and you will do anything to get it. Jesus is telling his followers of then and us now that we need to first Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you, it is also a children song that we teach the children in Sunday School or during Vacation Bible School.             Seek Ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Alleluia,  Ask, and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Alleluia. We need to remind ourselves each day that God already knows what our needs are even our wants, however we need to seek him and trust he will take care of his children, that is what a parent lovely does for his children. Remember the more stuff that any of us have does not mean we will be happier when we get them. You are created in God’s imagine and we need to have a Walk with God to come to know and love him for who he is, and then we will come to have true happiness that money or stuff can not buy us.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Are You Able?

Jeremian 32.jpgIn the Gospel of Matthew a man came up to Jesus and ask “Teacher , what good thing must I do to get eternal life? Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied, There is only One who is good. If you want to eternal life, keep the commandments.” Which ones? he inquired. Jesus replied. “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself. All things I have kept, the young man said. “What do I still lack? Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. The Jesus said to his disciples. “truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven, Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved”? Jesus looked at them and said. “With man this impossible, bit with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:16-26

There are many people even Christians that are not willing to change their lives for Jesus, for me at times it is hard to understand how they would not be willing. We have become a nation that is so focus on material things and not spiritual things. For whatever reason everyone one wants the fancy cars, bigger houses, more vacation time, become work alcoholic and never spend anytime with their families and why because we have to have everything we see, guess what everyone we have created monsters within our own children.  With each passing generations most families spend less and less time with each other, eat fast food instead of someone preparing a meal and sit down at a dinner table and have good old-fashion table talk. There is a lot to be learn when doing so, learning about your child that God has created. We as adults are not teaching our children to have a personal relationship with Christ, and for the most part it is because most adults do not either. Instead of taking sometime out of their busy lives on a Sunday and spending time worshipping our Heavenly Father, they have become too busy for God, guess what when the day you leave this world, where do you think that you will be spending eternally with God? You better think of a better answer because God may said too most of us here on earth, sorry I am too busy for you, come back another time and there is not another time for you, it will be too late. However when we do decide to accept Jesus into our hearts as our Lord and Savior, we begin to seek and by seeking I mean read scriptures and a pray life with God. And overtime God changes us from the inside out, like Jesus tells us with man it is impossible to do that on our own, however with God all things are possible. So what are you waiting for start now, remember no one is promise tomorrow, it just maybe too late for some.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Being A Witness for Christ

Acts 1.jpgThe book of Acts continues the history of Jesus’ followers in the period after Jesus’ ascension. Peter and Paul soon emerged as leaders of the rapidly growing church, which flourished and spread despite, and sometimes because of persecution of Jewish leaders and Roman authorities. These followers of Jesus at this time didn’t look like a leader did they, they never had an high school education and never went to college, which in fact never exist at that time. However, in spite of their short comings they seem to have God still use each of them to do mighty work for his kingdom. If we take a moment to think about it where were these same disciples on the night Jesus was be trade. When Jesus was in the garden to pray to God for strength they were asleep, after he was arrested they all seem to disappeared. Peter that night be trade his friend, his master not just once but three times, and when he was crucified where did most of these men go to, where they at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying. After dying on the cross his body was laid in the tomb and for awhile the disciples all were in hiding. But six weeks later their lives all change in the upper room on Pentecost, as the Holy Spirt came upon all of Jesus disciples and other followers as well, their lives would never be the same. The same thing goes for us, once we accepted Jesus into our own lives we begin to change, and we too will never be the same again. As Max Lucado tells us in his book “Out Live Your Life”

You hillbillies will be my witness, You uneducated and simple folk will be my witness, You who once called me crazy, who shouted at me in the boat doubted me in the Upper Room.  You temperamental, parochial net casters and tax collectors, You will be my witness. You will spearhead a movement that will explode like a just-opened fire hydrant of Jerusalem and spill into the ends of the earth, into the streets of Paris, the districts of Rome, and the ports of Athens, Istanbul, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires. You will be a part of something so mighty, controversial, and head spinning that two millennia from now a middle-age redheaded author riding in the exit row of a flight from Boston to Dallas will type this question on his laptop?

Does Jesus still do it?

Does he use simple folks like you and me to change the world? We suffer from such ordinariness and my answer besides what is written in this book by Max Lucado, is yes Jesus still does use ordinary simply folks like us to share the good news of the Gospel. As long as you and I have the willing heart to serve Christ he will use us, to tell other about the “Great I Am” To tell all that their is nothing that you or I could ever do so horrible that is love cannot penetrate it.  Just open up to the book of Romans 8:38-39 to read the following words, by Paul the Apostle: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. When we come to know this kind of love we want to shout it from the mountain top and pass it on to all and I mean all who will listen, and my friend some will and some won’t listen to what you need to share with them, but that is okay we simply plant the seed of God’s love into their hearts and we allow God to do what God does best allow it to take root and grow. The words to a hymn that I have personally sung many times by Dan Schutte: Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night, I will go, Lord, if you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart. Beautiful words, God has been calling in the night, are you willing to witness to others what he has done and how much he loves you and all of his children, I am willing to go as he leads me down the road. Will you?

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Possibilities

Matthew 19.jpgJust then a man came up to Jesus and asked, ” Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? “Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” Which one? he inquired, Jesus replied , You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself. All theses I have kept, the young man said, “What do I still lack? Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, ” Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter in the kingdom of heaven, Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God? When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked,” Who then can be saved ? Jesus looked at them and said, ” With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”           Matthew 19:16-26

Wow as we read these words from the book of Matthew it is a lot to understand what is going on here. First off we can not worship God and money, it is one or the other. As you can remember when God gave Moses the ten commandments which is in the book of Exodus 20:1-21 God spoke these words You shall have no other Gods before me. It is only by God’s grace that any of us are saved, thru Jesus being crucified on the cross for all mankind. Our sins have separated us from God however Jesus bridge the gap between us and God. As we also read in Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the Lord?  the answer is no. Long after child bearing years Abraham’s wife Sarah had a child called Isaac, everyone including Sarah thought it is impossible, yes for man but not for God. All thru scriptures we can read all the wonders that God has done, as well as he continues to do for us today. I remember when I was first married and I long to become a mom however, the doctors didn’t give me and my husband much hope, my answer that I told my doctor at that time, I don’t know how or I don’t know when that God will bless us with a child. And within two months I was carrying a child and gave birth to a baby girl on my own birthday. We all seem to forget that we serve an Awesome God, the Great I Am, our Creator, and their is nothing impossible for him to do. I remember the year my daughter was born and I wanted to help with the children’s program at my church during the summer called vacation bible school, everyone told me it was impossible. I stood up and said I can not find the word can’t anyone in scriptures It say I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength Philippians 4:13. From then on and for more than fifteen years I directed the program. It wasn’t me but God working thru me to do his will and believe me I love every moment of it. You see children always have faith even when we as adults don’t understand but they do, that yes God exists and that God can do anything.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Parable of the Mustard Seed

 

untitled mustard seed.png Read Matthew 13:31-32

Jesus told his disciples another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Through it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Jesus used parables often and to great effect. Parables were a good way to teach and Jesus was good at telling them. The enemies of Jesus were always waiting for him to say something they could use against him. ( Matthew 13:34-35) Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables,

I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.  (Psalm 78:2, and also the new Testament  1 Corinthians 2:7)

What Jesus was teaching his disciples and even us today is that we just need to have faith as tiny as a mustard seed to believe. Too many times people would say show it to me and I will believe it, however Jesus was telling us the opposite. You need to believe first, that is the start to having faith. If we look at the clouds and different things in the sky we know when rain or snow is coming, we can feel the wind all around us. However when it comes to believing people want proof. Lets talk a good look around our world, pass any of the terrible things we have seen and what the news has put on our TV, computers, newspaper, and let us look at the beauty that God has created for his children. It’s winter now, and even thro the bad weather can be dangerous to drive or walk in for many, we can see how white the snow is. When I look around my home with the snow, I see that the earth is asleep for now until springtime, but these words come to my mind. Through your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow ( Isaiah 1:18) God has wipe my sins away and I am now white as snow, and he has done this thru his one and only son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for all who believes. Have you ever listen to a small child, I mean really listen to them, they are not afraid to believe in God who they can’t see with their own eyes, however they can feel him in their hearts. I have taught Sunday School and lead Vacation Bible School for many years, and the one thing I can truly say it is not always what I have taught them it is what they have taught me along the way about faith. I remember when I began to teach Sunday School in my early twenties, and it was the kindergarten class, ( a little child could see that I had been  crying from a difficult time I was going thru)  and the little boy came up and gave me wild flowers, and told me these words, I love you, things will get better. I knew in my spirit that it was God speaking thru this little boys to give me words of encouragement, and to remind me how much he truly loves me, and yes he truly loves you, just because you are his son or daughter and for no other reason. Over the next few writings on my blog I will share and talk with you more on having a tiny seed of faith.

 

Grace and Peace to all of you my friends