A Special Birth

Jesus birth

Two key verses are found at the opening of the Christmas story:

“And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS, for He shall save his people from their sins.” Matt. 1:21

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means, God with us.”  Matt. 1:23 

(a prophecy found in Isa. 7:14)

It’s important to know that Jesus’ birth was not just another ordinary birth.  He was miraculously conceived in Mary’s womb.  He truly is God!  He lived among men as He had taken on himself the form of man; but He lived a sinless life.  As a result, at the end of His life, He was able to die for the sins of the world.

Yes, we need to believe that Jesus is God, but just knowing that won’t save us.  Jesus

“…is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (and be saved).”  II Pet. 3:9

His gift to us is eternal life if we will receive it.

Jesus came and lived WITH man, but the greatest thing is that when we trust Him as Savior and Lord He lives IN us.  (See Gal. 2:20 and Col. 1:27).  He is always right there with us to help us, to guide us, and to comfort us and so much more.  Can any other gift do this?  We have to emphatically say, “No!”

Spend time this Christmas season reflecting on this precious birth and ask yourself, “Have I truly received His gift of salvation?”

Disciple Isn’t Fun

the Lord corrects those he loves

Parenting can be very challenging and even disheartening at times especially if a disobedient child doesn’t respond in a proper way to your corrective measures and continues to do the things he/she shouldn’t do.

What about us adults?  God’s Word says, “Whom the Lord loves, He chastens (corrects),” Heb. 12:6…”for our profit that we might be partakers of His holiness, ” vs. 10.  The writer of Hebrews also says it is not pleasant but “grievous, nevertheless afterward it produces the fruit of righteousness,” v. 11.   This does mean the one being chastened is willing to yield to the Lord and to what He is trying to do in  their life.

Not everyone will do this and the result is fellowship with the Lord is broken and hearts are hardened to the things of the Lord.

In the Old Testament in the book of Amos, God brought chastisement on  His people.  5 times Amos wrote, “Yet you have not returned to me, saith the LORD” 4:6-12.  In the following chapter, Amos admonishes the people 5 times using the words “seek Him.”  That’s what they needed to do and that is exactly what we need to do rather than resist the Lord; when all He wants is to develop holiness in our lives.

Praise the Lord when you feel you are being chastened.  It shows that He loves you! And shows that He wants more for your life.

Rest is Good

rest for your soul

It’s been one week that I’ve been weaning myself off from using my sling and I have one more week to go.  I was told to still be careful when it’s off and not to overdue and rest my arm when it gets tired. It’s so easy to forget and I almost want to instinctively use it and I have to keep telling myself rest is still necessary.

Sometimes the simplest lesson is the hardest to learn.  Rest isn’t bad; it’s good!  Even God rested on the seventh day after creation.  Jesus too, went apart from His disciples to refresh Himself in prayer and He was f also found asleep in the middle of a storm.

Jesus knows we, too, need rest from our labors.  He says:

“Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.  For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”     Matt. 11:28-30

Sometimes we think we can do it all or we have to do it all ourselves; but it can take its toll on our body.   I am once again learning to lean and rest in Jesus. Perhaps  you need to do the same thing.

Do You Need to Slow Down?

be still

For several years many of my wall pictures and plaques have been safely packed away waiting for the day they could once again adorn my walls.  That day has come and I have enjoyed finding the right place for each of them  Last week I came across one that I knew needed a special place.  It’s a framed verse; one that I want to be able to see often throughout my days.

“Be still and know that I am God”  Psalm 46:10

So, why do I need to be able to see this?

Too many times my days get filled up with “hurry up and do this or go there”  Or perhaps it’s just filled with the worries and concerns, the hurts and pain, the trials that seem overwhelming.  So as I see this verse my heart is calmed knowing that God is God, He is in control; I can be still and know I am in good hands and He is in control – not me. I just need to slow down; be still and trust Him..

Do you need to do the same thing?

It’s Only for a Moment

though our outward man

One morning last week God reminded me of some verses that I needed to apply to my life that day.  I had been close to having a pity party  because of pain and I didn’t want to go down that path.

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day  For our light affliction which is but for a moment,  is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary,  but the things which are not  seen are eternal.”                                                                                                                                 II Cor. 4:16-18

Satan would have loved for me to go down that path of self pity.  But this pain will pass; my outward man will perish; but God wants me to look at the more important things.  He’s working his will in my life.  He is renewing my inward being day by day.  So I won’t look at the temporal things but be more concerned about the things that are eternal.

In light of eternity, our afflictions are only for a moment.  Be encouraged.

 

After Affects

Satan like a roaring lion

After several days thinking it would go away I finally decided it was time for a trip to Urgent Care.  The itching, the blotchy redness wasn’t going to go away on its own.  I hadn’t taken any prescription medicine in 3 weeks and yet their prognosis – it probably was caused by the pain pills or even the anesthesia before surgery.  It didn’t seem possible after so long yet they said, “It does happen, and can actually happen up to a year after taking some medications.”

I fear a similar thing can happen to us spiritually.  We may think participating in some questionable activity or even thought won’t have any effect on us; but perhaps days, weeks, even years later it can rear its head and cause more problems in ways we didn’t expect; leading us deeper into sin.

Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy.  Be aware of his tactics.

But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  then when lust has conceived, it brings sin, and sin, when it is finished, bring forth death.”  James 1:14,15

Don’t let Satan get a foot-hold.  Today it may only be a sting; tomorrow an infection!

 

We All have the Same Need

Many are the afflictions

You’d think after three weeks with my right arm in a sling I would have a better handle on using my left hand.  Oh, I have been managing, but I still find myself chasing the last few Cheerios around my cereal bowl, until I give up and pick up the bowl and slurp up the last few floaters!  But isn’t it funny; though this may seem petty and hard for me to do, a regular left-handed person would have no trouble.

Life throws at us all difference kinds of trials; some big, some small.  Some people can seem to handle about anything while others struggle and want to give up.  We are all different, but we all need to rely upon the LORD for our strength and help for the big things as well as the small and even when it seems we are “chasing Cheerios” around in a circle; just don’t give up. God will send a solution.

“The righteous cry and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”  Psalm 34: 17-19

Starting the Day

With God

“Good morning, Lord.  Together, there is nothing that is going to happen today that You and I can’t handle.”  Do you believe that?

Perhaps an even better statement to make is,”There is nothing God can’t handle today as I walk with Him, trust Him and obey.”  Wouldn’t this keep us from becoming: fearful, worrisome, fretful,  overwhelmed and frustrated?  There is nothing God cannot do!  He is our all-mighty God.  He knows what steps we are going to make today.

“You know my down sitting and my uprising, You understand my thought afar off. You compass my path and my lying down, and  are acquainted with all my ways.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high..”  Psalm 139:2,3,6

Walk with this wonderful God of ours today being ever so conscience of his presence.  He will never leave you alone.

Three Times is not a Coincidence

Zephaniah

It always amazes me how God can speak to me in different ways.  No, I never hear His voice audibly and most of the time it is simply through His word.  Last week I received several birthday greetings and messages of encouragement before my surgery.  From three different people, one verse in particular was shared. It was Zeph. 3:17.

“The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty. He will save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

How I needed to hear Him say that to me (3 times), so I would get it and be assured:

I was not alone.

He is mighty.

He delights in me because I am his child.

He loves me and I do not have to fear but I can rest and  be quiet in his love.

He would rejoice over me with singing.

EVERYTHING WOULD BE ALL RIGHT BECAUSE I AM IN HIS HANDS.

So now, as I heal from the surgery and am having to use my left hand and arm instead of my right, (so glad there are no cameras rolling–things can be pretty funny at times) I can continue to say, “Everything will be all right because I am in His hands.”

What are you facing today?  I hope this verse will be an encouragement to you as it has been to me.  Have a great week!

 

 

When the Winds Blow

windy weather

Last weekend I traveled with my daughter, Christine, down to PA for one of my granddaughter’s wedding.  The weather had been warm and sunny all week, but that day, though there was some sunshine, changed to very cold and windy and the wedding ceremony and all that followed was outdoors.  Those trying to set up the tables found it futile to set up individual settings as the wind quickly blew them away and sent them scrambling to recover the tableware.  But in spite of all that, it was a beautiful ceremony and everything was wonderful; even the tableware was neatly placed in special decorative boxes in the center of each table.

We can’t control many things in our lives (in fact very few) and when God allows the winds to blow in our life, rather than frantically run around trying to pick up the pieces, we need to do what scripture says:

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

Things may not turn out like we think they should, but God will have them turn out like He wants them to and THAT WILL BE GOOD!