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Monthly Archives : December 2017

ADVENT ….. love, hope, peace, JOY …. December 24, 2017

     And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 ESV

     Mary had given birth to God’s only Son … Jesus. God became flesh and dwelt among His creation once again. The last time God had walked with His creation was in the garden. In the garden Adam and Eve knew god, but on the night of His birth, most of the world didn’t have a clue. There were a few shepherds who were informed by angles and went to see Him, and there were a few wise men who were in route following a star, but in the town of Bethlehem, no one knew. The town was full of tired, grumbling people who were forced to travel to Bethlehem to be counted. Joy might not have been their mindset that particular night in that crowded city. Many traveled that day to a destination, but no one traveled to see a baby that had been born. Jesus: born to to be the Savior of the world, to redeem man and to make possible the forgiveness of sin.

     Many songs have been written of this glorious event… Joy to the World …. Away in the Manger …. O Little town of Bethlehem … Silent Night… and on and on this list could grow. What about the song of YOUR heart? Is your heart singing with the joy of the Savior’s birth? It will be if you know Him as Savior. Savior because you have repented, called upon Jesus’ name, and believed in your heart that you were one of the reasons He came. Words really cannot describe the joy that comes from knowing Him as Savior, but the way we LIVE, can. There is not a cookie cutter pattern for expressing this joy as a Christian. A Christian needs to always live life giving evidence of the fact that they have been born again. Being born again means the Holy Spirit has birthed in you the truth of the manger birth that happened over two thousand years ago. It is the evidence of love, hope, and peace, being manifested in joy for the world to see. Jesus put it this way, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 ESV  It’s to give glory to YOUR FATHER!! Which means you are a child of God born of the Spirit into everlasting life. It’s all because God chose to redeem you unto Himself by the means of His Son. It’s HIS only Son laid in the feeding trough of a barn,  a barn that might have been used to keep the lambs being prepared for sacrifice. Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46 ESV 

     My prayer for all who go by the name Christian is that you may live for Jesus, proclaiming His birth unto all the world. Be the light in a dark world, that others may see the way of truth, and evidence of Jesus. It is for this purpose we have been called. Let us share with the world concerning Jesus, the same message of John when he said, “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 ESV  With all JOY may we proclaim this message until He comes again, taking us home to live with Him forever. HALLELUJAH !!!!!!

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

ADVENT ….. love, hope, PEACE, joy …. December 17, 2017

     For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE OF PEACE. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV

     Peace. If it were a commodity, it would be more expensive than gold, sought after like treasure, and cherished as a precious gift or possession. Truth is; it is expensive, for it cost God’s Son his life. It is sought after by many, and is precious to those who truly obtain it. You could never buy it, yet it can be found, and is a very precious gift for those to whom it has been given. Now the question which needs to be answered is, “What is true peace, and how does one obtain it?”

Know The Source of Peace:
     Grace to you and PEACE from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7… 1 Corinthians1:3.. 2 Corinthians 1:2… Galatians 1:3… Ephesians 1:2… Philippians 1:2… Colossians 1:2 2 Thessalonians 1:2… 1 Timothy 1:2… 2 Timothy 1:2… Titus 1:4… Philemon 1:3…

Paul, at the beginning of his letters, has made it abundantly clear the source from which we acquire peace. People have searched the world over attempting to find rest and true peace for their soul, but it is never found in a destination. It is always found in the one and only person of “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Remember the little phrase, “No Peace No God…. Know God Know Peace”? It is not just a little phrase; it is absolute truth.

Understanding Peace:
     And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 ESV

     God’s peace is beyond comprehension, yet it is obtainable. It is a peace that is placed into your heart by the Holy Spirit that continually guards you life and thoughts. Because the world did not give this peace to you, it cannot understand nor comprehend it. But it is desired greatly, to have and to experience it. Peace as in Philippians 4:7 is given with instructions in the
nothing… pray about everything … in thanksgiving bring request to Him…. fix our minds on things honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. Verse 9 gives us the promised results, What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and THE GOD OF PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU.

Filled with Peace:
     May the God of hope fill you with all joy and PEACE in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 ESV

     This reminds me of the old hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Blood and righteousness.” How else could you have peace in life than to realize that His Salvation is dependent upon His grace and mercy. How could I have true peace if I thought I had to live perfect or at least good enough to obtain salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is the sacrificial blood of Jesus alone that can save / redeem me from my sin. Another hymn comes to mind as I’m writing this, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” When Jesus grew to a man and began His earthly ministry, He approached the Jordan to be baptizes by John. John saw him coming and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes way the sin of the world.” John 1:29 ESV  Jesus, from the cradle to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave he rose victorious over death. To this we can proclaim as Christians, “O death where is your victory? O death where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55 ESV We live in the peace of knowing God became flesh and dwelt among us and defeated sin once and for all in His only Son, Jesus Christ.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

ADVENT ….. love, HOPE, peace, joy …. December 10, 2017

     May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13 ESV

     The God of HOPE… who is the God of HOPE ? He is the God who by His word created the world and everything in it. He saved Noah from the flood, delivered Daniel from the lions, helped David conquer Goliath, and made Gideon a mighty warrior. He is God for whom nothing is impossible. He is the one that can make everything in life have a purpose for good; even if to us, the situation seems bleak. He is the God who gave us hope by sending His only Son Jesus to save and redeem us from our sins. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is Emmanuel, God with us!! This is just the tiny tip of the iceberg as to whom He is and the depth of His greatness. Such a great God gives us much hope; for not only is He in the world, He lives in us by the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit by which Mary conceived a child, now indwells every person that believes, repents, and calls upon the name of Jesus who is the only hope for the lost in this world.
     And NOW I STAND here on trial because of my HOPE in the promise made by God to our fathers. Acts 26:6 ESV
     We may not stand on trial as Paul did before Agrippa for our hope in God’s promise, but we stand everyday in the court of the people of this world. They are looking to see is we are living in the hope of the Savior of whom we profess as Christians. Are we different as the result of the promised Holy Spirit living in us as professing Christians? When we stand in the Hope and belief of all that God has promised and promises yet to be, we should display a hope the world would desire to have. Our prayer should be, “God make me a testimony of the HOPE that is within me; let me shine as the star over Bethlehem pointing people to you.”
     Through him we also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we REJOICE IN THE HOPE of the glory of God. Romans 5:2 ESV
     The word rejoicing as a noun means, great joy or jubilation; and as a verb, it means to feel or show great delight. Perhaps it is easy to rejoice when everything is going good, but how about when things aren’t going so good? The times it may become difficult to rejoice is when we suffer, yet Paul tells us, in the verses following Romans 5:2, even in suffering we should rejoice….. Not only that, but we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces HOPE, and HOPE does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 ESV Understandable in times like these we may not feel joyful, jubilant, or great delight if your are looking only at the the circumstance; but when you look to God to carry you through such times, it can change our outlook from despair to HOPE. When you rejoice in the most difficult situation, you are displaying trust in God who is greater than you circumstance. (Romans 8:28) Rejoicing in suffering may not come across in the same way as rejoicing when things are going well, but it is the evidence of our Hope in God that brings a Spirit of rejoicing as a testimony to glorifying God in every situation.
     Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living HOPE THROUGH the resurrection of JESUS CHRIST from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

     From a manger to a cross, from a cross to the grave, from the grave to live again forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Because of His life and by God’s mercy, we can have a life filled with HOPE . We are born again into life everlasting because God sent His only Son into the world to save us from our sins. What compassion! What mercy! What grace that God would give to us such a precious gift…. life in His Son!! May we live in the HOPE outwardly for the world to see the evidence of the the HOPE we have in the Savior of the world.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

AVENT ….. LOVE, hope, peace, joy …. December 3, 2017

Over the next four Sundays we will be celebrating Advent with a different theme each Sunday. Today’s
hope, peace, and joy. The word advent in Latin means coming. Not only do we celebrate the first coming of Jesus some two thousand years ago, but we also anticipate His second coming. Both His first coming and His second coming were and are a promise- One fulfilled and one yet to be. The reason Jesus came the first time was because of love, and the reason He will come the second time is because of love. Coming the first time to make a way of salvation and the second to receive all who experienced that salvation. His coming was foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament, and the people waited for years to see the promised Messiah who was Emmanuel, which means, “God with us.” Let us look at three passages of scripture from the many that speak concerning His love.

God’s Love, Sent Him:
     For God so loved he world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

     This is probably one of the best known Bible verses. The word Love in this verse is from the Greek word agape. Agape love is the strongest type a love one can have. In reality, only God alone has the ability to love in this way. It is a deep, intense, unadulterated, and the purest love described in the Bible. It is the make up and nature of God. I have tried many times but cannot adequately explain this love God has for us. It is a love beyond reason and makes little sense as to why God would choose to send his Son knowing he was going to die for our sins. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 ESV

God’s Love, Calls Us His Children:
     See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. 1 John 3:1 ESV

     What a privilege to be called a child of God. We are not called children of God because we are worthy but rather because he spiritually adopted us. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!  Romans 815 ESV  This is made possible by the mercy and grace of God. The adoption was sealed by the blood of His Son on Calvary and finalized by His resurrection from the dead. That is why when we pray we can truly say with assurance, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” Matthew 6:9 ESV
God’s Love In Jesus’s Promised Return:
     In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:2-3 ESV

     God is faithful in his love for us. Everything He has made possible for us will not be fully known until this earthly body rests in sleep. God wants us to come live with Him in His house. Why? Love! Love that is beyond understanding. When God being God could have made any other choice, He chose to redeem us unto himself. When Satan desired to destroy, God desired to build. He built a bridge across the chasm of sin that  we might cross into His presence forgiven of all our sin. He chose to die for us rather than to live without us. So as a Christian your room is being built and one day you will check in because of the Love God the Father has for you.

Let me close with the words of Jesus concerning His second coming, “Surely I am coming soon.” Revelations 22:20 ESV

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David