Christmas 31

Today is the last day of the year 2013.  I must say that I am glad to see the year gone.  The year 2013 started out with trials in high gear for my family and I.  Needless to say, we are glad to see it gone.  Yet, as we look back we can see God’s hand working and carrying us through it all.  Praise His Holy Name!

As we reflect over the year 2013 how would we describe the year.  Was it a year that we were growing in the grace of God and doing what He has called us to do?  I sure hope so.  Maybe it was a year of great accomplishments.  On the other hand maybe it was a year of great tragedy and loss.  Yet, we know even if that was the kind of year that you or I experienced that God knew about it before it ever came to you and I.

I ask these thought provoking questions because we are entering a new year tomorrow.  We need to be on track with our Father.  He has a plan for our lives and we need to get busy executing that plan.  Notice Matthew 1:24, “Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:”  Joseph received commands from God in a dream and he took it to heart.  He followed what God had told him to do.

How about you and I?  Do you know what the Father wants you to do?  Have you been faithful to do it?  If you have let the Father down by disobedience now is the time to ask Him to forgive you and get started doing what He has asked you to do.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 30

I want you to know that I am going to share with you something that happened not to show you how super spiritual I am; but, to illustrate a point.

I had the privilege of sitting in a service last evening and listened to my dear friend Missionary Jim Kilgore present his ministry.  A dear couple came from his home Church to listen and support our dear friend.  They followed me from the Church back to the interstate to find their way home.  They pulled into the parking lot of the local truck stop to fix a broken windshield wiper.  Something inside said to go with them.  So I did.  I spent the next twenty or thirty minutes trying to fix the broken windshield wiper.  My hands went numb from the freezing wind, rain and ice.  I worked and worked.  Finally I took a break to warm my hands.  when I got back out I tried turning one piece over in an act of desperation, really.  “Snap!”  Mission accomplished.  This dear couple were now on their way back home one the interstate and I went home to thaw out.

I shared this to illustrate a point.  There are some things that we cannot do ourselves.  The point of Christmas is that Jesus Christ became like us; in flesh, and lived so that we might have a way of escape from the penalty of sin.  He came to die in our place.  As I have already shared how everything pointed to His divine purpose.  The swaddling clothes that are grave clothes, the gifts, the angels declaring and the list goes on and on.  Just like I stood and worked to get that windshield wiper back together Jesus has given His life to us as the payment for our sin.  All we must do is receive that free gift.

Look at Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Will you trust Him as your Saviour today?  I pray that you will.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 29

The other evening I had the privilege of preaching at the mission again for my monthly opportunity.  During my message I used the passage of Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” I asked the men if they knew what their names meant.  JESUS means Saviour.  My wife’s name is Tara and her name means tower.  I said that she is a short little tower.  The men laughed.  My wife was there and she laughed also.  The truth is that she is not a giant in stature; but, her influence is that of a tower.  If you doubt ask any of her students.

My name; David, means beloved.  I hope and pray that I live up to my name.  What a precious name the name of JESUS.  For many different His name brings about a vast majority of emotions.  For the child of God who hears that precious name JESUS there come a sense of love and belonging.  Jesus allowed us to be a part of the family of God by providing the way for us to be born again.  Thank You Jesus!

What does the name JESUS mean to you?  Is His holy and precious name just another empty curse word?  I hope the name of JESUS is more to you than empty curse words. One day at the name JESUS everyone will bow no matter what.  We will all bow before Him and acknowledge HE is KING of all kings and LORD of all lords.  Praise His name!

So, how are you doing?


Christmas 28

Well, by now we have probably exchanged the gifts we received that did not fit, were the wrong color or we just did not like.  This year I was blessed that nothing I received had to be taken back.  I have alterations to be made on two new suits that I received.  I am excited about getting two new suits!  We enjoyed an fantastic CHRISTmas again this year.

It was not the gifts, the food or even the family that made this CHRISTmas so great.  The greatness of CHRISTmas is found in Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”  Here we find that we can take back the sin that burdens us.  We can exchange them for the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

So many things in the account of Jesus’ birth tell of why He came.  The swaddling clothes were grave clothes that were wrapped around him one strip at a time.  The gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Gold was a fitting gift for a King, frankincense was used in the temple sacrifices and was fitting for a Priest and the myrrh is a burial spice and speaks of His being a Prophet.

The true meaning of CHRISTmas is not the gifts, the trees or even the lights.  It is about Jesus humbling Himself to come to us so that we can be saved.  Let me ask you a question.  Have you ever repented (turned) from your sin and asked Jesus to save you?  If you have not I beg you to do just that today before it is eternally too late.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 27

The holidays are often a difficult time for many people.  They are overcome with thoughts of family members that have passed away, relationships that have come to an end and many other things.  As Zig Ziglar would say, “Stinkin’ thinkin’ leads to low level living.”

The enemy of our soul loves it when we are all stirred up inside because we lose our peace.  He wants us to be all churned up inside and fretting about things no matter if we have control of them or not.

This was a tumultuous time in the lives of these shepherds.  They are simply watching their flock on the hillside and all of a sudden life has become something like they have never seen before.

In homes all over the world there is a lack of peace.  Children cannot wait for morning to come.  A much needed sleep now evades them and all they can think about is the presents under the tree.

If you want true peace this year you must come to the One who is described as The Prince of Peach.  It must be possible because the Word of God tells us of the message of the angels.  Look at Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  No matter how rough life gets you can have peace from the Prince of Peace.  Do you know Him?  If not come to Him today and be saved.  He is waiting for you.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 26

As I was thinking about this Christmas season I was reminded of some people that I know that are experiencing the darkest times of their lives.  I certainly do pray for them.  We are all guilty of those cliche’ sayings like, “The light shines brighter in dark days.” and phrases like that.  I am sure the one who hears that is really comforted.  Probably not.

As I was thinking about the account of Christmas in the Word of God I began to think that before the coming of Christ there was a period of 400 silent years.  I cannot imagine this; but, I understand why it is called “The Dark Ages”.  God did not speak to His people for 400 years.  That is real darkness.

Then suddenly there appears on the scene One who can change the world.  Literally.  I am reminded of the words of Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. ”  Out of the darkness came the Light of the world.

Have you come to Jesus for salvation?  It is my prayer that you have.  If you have not, this is the best time to put your faith and trust in Him.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 25

Merry Christmas!  The day is finally here.  The children should be playing with the boxes that their toys came in and parents should be sitting down for a quick nap before the rest of the family arrives.  Oh, what fun!

I find myself being “left out of the loop” so to speak many times.  It is due to lack of good hearing most of the time.  We have seen the angel and then a host of angels appear to a group of shepherds.  They brought a message of hope, peace and joy.  This message and everything that surrounded it motivated these shepherds to do something.  Look at Luke 2:15, “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

The shepherds said, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,”.  Notice they did not delay as far as we are told in the Scriptures.  They left the care of their flock to under shepherds and they went investigate what they had been told.  There are many things that motivate.  Fear is one of the greatest motivators.

Love is another great motivator. Love is the motivator for Christmas.  We are told by the Apostle John that God so loved.  Christ coming to earth was motivated by His love for us.  He sacrificed for us.

As you celebrate today and give gifts think about your motivation.  Have you given to get gifts or have you given because of the ultimate Gift from God.  The Gift of His Son, Jesus.  There is no gift under the tree that will even compare to the Gift given that hung on a tree to pay for our sin and to set us free.  That is the Christmas story.  Jesus gave Himself to us, for us so that we might have eternal life.  Have you trusted Him for salvation.  I pray that you do today before it is eternally too late.  That is the greatest gift of all.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 24

In our lives today we have so many things that we are told make life easier.  Everywhere you go you see someone with headphones or something in their ears that they are listening to.  This is not always bad.  What if this kept people from hearing something they need to hear?  That would be tragic.

Let’s look at the Word of God for a moment.  Look at Luke 2:10, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”  As we saw yesterday, the angel appeared to the shepherds and it was like the angel was standing on them.  I believe that this appearance was in the air just above them to give them that idea.  No matter.

Notice what the angel tells them first.  “Fear not” is the exhortation.  Right, an angel just appears out of nowhere and appears to be standing above you in the air and you are told to “fear not”.  Ha!  In the Word of God we are told 365 times to “fear not”.  This seems to be one for every day of our year.  No matter what life throws at you remember the counsel of the angel and “fear not”.  Easily said and not so easily done, I know.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 23

One of my favorite “Andy Griffith” shows has Barney shutting down two thugs selling beside the road outside Mayberry.  Barney goes out to tell them again that they need to move along and he is filled with fear.  As he stands and gives his speech about how they might beat him up; but, behind his badge there is a brotherhood that will band together and hunt down the men and see they have justice served on them.  The entire time Andy is standing in the background in sight of these men.  They see Andy and decide to move on.

Sometimes you and I feel all alone.  We can rest assured that we are not alone.  We have a Heavenly Father that promises to not leave or forsake us.  I am thankful for that.  There have been some long nights where I needed to be reminded of this truth.

Praising God while experiencing great trials is not easy.  When you are fighting for your life and you realize that it is your own child that you are fighting against.  This is not a place where you just want to stop and shout a praise.  Yet, these shepherds were frightened deeply.  The Word of God tells us that there was an angel and this angel was joined by a host of other angels.  What were they doing?  They were sent to praise God.  Even though, these shepherds were scared beyond belief there was praise going on.  Look at Luke 2:13, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,”

Praise is not just for the angels; but, it is for all of us.  We need to praise God no matter what.  Like the character of Grant Taylor from the movie “Facing the Giants”.  He tells his football team, “If we win, we praise Him.  If we lose, we praise Him.”  Good counsel coach!

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 22

In four short days it will be the most anticipated day of the entire year.  Children will awaken early and beg their parents to get up so they can open presents.  The sad reality is that it will all be over in a flash and the children will be left playing with the boxes, most likely.

I am like most children in that I love to give and receive presents.  So many conservative Christians exhort that Christmas is not about the presents.  I agree; but, let’s take a look at the issue.  We are celebrating the Incarnation of Christ.  This means that God became a man and lived in flesh just like us.  He is God’s gift to you and I.  So, I say that it is not about the gifts that we exchange with one another.  It is all about the Gift given to you and I in the stable in Bethlehem of Judea.

Look at Luke 2:12, “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”  We have been given the Greatest Gift of all.  Jesus came as a babe and was swaddled or wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Those clothes are strips of cloth.  I imagine a young mother wrapping each little finger and each little toe and then the entire body of this Babe of all babes.  He was wrapped in grave clothes.  Even in His birth His mission is foretold.

Jesus came to give Himself to die in our place so that we might have our sin forgiven and that is the greatest gift that anyone can ever receive.  Will you trust Him today and receive this free gift.  It cost Jesus everything.  It is free; but, definitely not cheap.

So, how are you doing?