A Season to Change

Isaiah 11.pngA shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with the righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give with justice he will give decision for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.        Isaiah 11:1-5                          I will baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, who sandals, I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirt.                                              Matthew 3:11

Once again, we have entered into the season of advent, anticipating the birth of Jesus and hoping that soon very soon that the promise of peace on earth would become true, but can we change our own lives if not the world. As we stop and look into the manager of a tiny little baby perhaps we can say to ourselves what does this all mean. We can pick up a newspaper, watch the television to take notice and to say where is this peace on earth? So much violence in our world and at times so much hate, where is this love that people seems to be talking about especially that we seem to hear it more during this season. As we begin to prepared for this season in many ways such as baking with our children or grandchildren, going shopping in a crowded mall where at times people can be a little crazy, okay you may be thinking they can be nuts at times, the beautiful lights we all see, and the music that is playing on our car radio, and even the movies on television which reminds all of us this season. I personally love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in my home, which reminds me of the season. Are all the different traditions that we have in our own families does this tell others and also us that we are ready to make a change in our own lives? Are we showing others of what we do or say that we are followers of Jesus, we are his disciples. Even thro this is a beautiful season there are so many people who are hurting this time of year and need to hear about the hope we have in Jesus. Christmas is a profoundly beautiful season, but for some it also highlights the losses, griefs, and heartbreaks in their lives. In Isaiah 11, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ruler who would be a descendant of Jesse. Jesse was the father of ancient Israel’s great King David. This descendant would rule with true justice and true faith, and he would establish true peace. This peace would be so great that even wild animals would be able to lie down next to one another and even a child will lead them. This descendant would also become a standard for people throughout the world. And, this descendant would be sought by people throughout the world. As Isaiah talks about this future King, he is telling us that he will be able to look into the hearts of people and judge based on the truth. The poor and oppressed will find a champion in him. This ruler to come will stand for justice and will impose punishment of evildoers. This King will not be clothed in royal purple or anything so fancy, his garments will be righteousness and faithfulness. As we heard from the gospel of Matthew we come to learn that John the Baptize was the one to prepared the way of the coming of the Lord. In most households when someone says, “Company’s coming! Everyone works and clean up the entire house in preparation of their guest. The gospel of Matthew has John proclaiming, “Messiah is coming! But do not go and clean up your house. Instead, mend your heart! Clear your lives of any obstacle that would hinder his coming.” Housework requires the right tools to use. The type of tools John has in mind are repentance and baptism. Repentance comes from the Greek word metanoia, which means change of mind, to change one’s life completely. Repentance is like driving down the wrong road, then turning around and going in the opposite direction. Baptism is the symbol that one has repented and been cleansed of sin. This was important to John’s ministry that he became known as John the Baptizer. How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, return the purpose of Christmas to the focus of Jesus? How do we prepare for his birth and for the second coming, it is not by having parties, decorating our houses, and giving gifts wrapped in fancy paper, but instead by giving ourselves anew over to the way of Christ? I suppose giving ourselves over to Jesus Christ begins with God’s gift of grace to us. It is something we feel inside. Some call it a moment of conversion. Others call it baptism by the Holy Spirit. John Wesley the founder of Methodist called it assurance. Maybe during the season of Advent, we could call it the Spirit of Christ coming into our hearts. But whatever we call it, we will know when it happens to us, because it does cause us to confess our sins and turn ourselves away, over and over, from the trappings of this world so that we can reorient ourselves back toward Christ.

Grace and Peace yo 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

The Name For God “Elohim”

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth foundations, by understanding he set the heaven in place. Proverbs 3-19

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundation, by understanding he set the heavens in place: by his knowledge the watery depths were divided. and the clouds let drop the dew.   (Proverbs 3:19-20)

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing?                         (Isaiah 40:26)

Their are many names that people use to call God the one today that I will share with you is “Elohim” the Hebrew name for God. Which means the God who has created the heavens and the earth and more important, He has created you. I recently was reading the book by author Wendy Blight and is called “I known His Name” The scriptures declares that our God is a personal God and a loving and forgiving father. He demands justice, yet extends grace. He is kind and compassionate and allows for free will, but mandates that this free will has consequences when wrongly exercised. However, because of His grace, in the midst of those consequences, God extends mercy and promise to never leave or forsake us. Can you image if everyone in our world would come to know God on a personal level in their own life they would begin to see changes from the inside-out that only God can ever do in any of us. It is not just going to church on a Sunday morning that makes any of us to know God in a personal way, it is searching the scriptures and our own prayer life that we come to know the “Great I Am”

We begin this journey to begin to know who God is, lets read Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Try and picture in your mind a big nothing and from that big nothing God began to created the world as we know it today. So during many of my writings I will share with you the different names of God. God is an infinite being without beginning and without an end. (Revelation 21:6, 22:13)  But Genesis 1:1 God initiated a work that is measured by time as we understand it.  Our God has done great and unsearchable things beyond our comprehension. He brought into existence every natural wonder the eye can see, every twinkling star, every delicate snowflake, every drop of rain, every beautiful  cloud, every crisp cool day, everything in its beauty God has created for mankind t enjoy.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Brokenhearted

Psalm 147.jpgSo many times in our lives we have a broken-heart,rather it is from a relationship such as friends, marriage, children, a job, or any kind of a situation and anything that involves another person (persons) that has left us feeling broken inside. For me when I am going thru those difficult times where it seems the world is crashing down on me I have learn to open the word of God and I begin to search the scriptures and begin asking God for directions and to easy the pain that I feel deep inside of me, even when I myself do not fully understand everything. This is when I open to the book of Psalm where King David had written many of the chapters in Psalm.

Praise the Lord, How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! The builds up Jerusalem, he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of stars and call them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power, his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but cats the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with grateful praise, make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds, he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.            Psalm 147:1-11

I do not know or can I truly understand everything that happens to me or the people I have come to know and love. But this I do know is that God knows and sees all, he knows how many hair strands that is on our head, their is nothing that has happen or will happen that he doesn’t know about. His unfailing love for his children is so hard for us to even comprehend, I can see all around in my own life his love for me as his own child, and for that I continue to Praise His Name. When I realize that my heart has become broken even for a short while ( a season) I begin to sing Praise of Worship to God and God along, so that any problem and all my problems seems to be so small, and when I do this my Joy for God once again returns to my soul.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friend

The Season of Lent

Lent.pngWe are approaching the season of Lent this coming week. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and last for forty days (excepts Sundays) and it last until sundown the day before Easter Sunday.  During lent we as Christians enter into a season of preparation, self-reflection and repentance when we seek to literally “turn around” and realign our lives and focus toward God. It is a time to give up things as well as take on new life-giving practices, helping us rid of ourselves of distractions and our own selfish desires. By doing so, we seek to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. As you made realize that Easter Sunday is always a different date each year, that is because Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the full moon in springtime that we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It doesn’t really matter what any of us give up during the Lenten season because nothing can compare with what Jesus did by sacrificing his life for all mankind.

Joel 2:12-13                                                                                                                                                     Even now ‘declares the Lord return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.                         (NIV)

Let us all journey together during this coming season, as we seek forgiveness from God as well as wisdom and understanding of his word (the Bible)

Grace and Peace to you my friends.