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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Another Rotation Around the Sun

About eight hours are left in the year 2016. It has been a journey of unexpected changes and heart-breaking losses. The inane cliche’,”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” brings little to no comfort this evening. I approach the new calendar year feeling tired, drained of all creative energy and needing a vacation, not exactly the way I anticipated 2016 would end.

And yet, as Scarlett O’Hara exclaimed, tomorrow is another day and alas, 2017 is another year. As the old hymn says, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’blood and righteousness. Since my trust and confidence are in God, I hereby long for these blessings to fall in the next twelve months:

I hope that God’s people will repent of besetting sins which are crippling our churches, damaging the Gospel witness and weakening the work of His Spirit in us.

I hope that America will return to being a safe and civil place to live, a land of freedom with godly restraints, and a culture full of love not hate.

I hope that my family will be a blessing to others, that people will see Christ lifted up in our home and be drawn to Him in salvation.

I hope that Jesus saves lost souls through the ministry of GracePoint Church and Bridgeway Hospice. I hope the Lord allows me to be used through both.

Above all, I hope that Jesus returns soon. As the apostle John prayed almost two millennia ago, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

The Day After Christmas

It is the day after Christmas. Songs have been sung, food has been eaten, lights have been seen and gifts have been given. Many are at the stores exchanging gifts, cashing in gift cards and looking for discounted items. Others, like me, are cleaning house, enjoying much needed rest and reflecting on the holiday.

Jesus is the Prince of peace. He is also the King of Kings.

A news report today revealed how divided our world truly is. The Republican National Committee, using a social media site, wished everyone a Merry Christmas yesterday. In the post, reference was made to a “new King.” The obvious intent was to proclaim the glory of the Christ.

In response, however, a number of people decried the coronation of Donald Trump as a new king. Either they totally misinterpreted the clear connection to Jesus, which is possible yet unlikely, or they ignored the message that Christ is our King on purpose. Or both. The sad truth is their outrage revealed the division which exists in the heart of men.

On Christmas Day, I witnessed division amongst family members first-hand. It was awful. It was mean. The peace of the Lord was absent. There was no good will toward men. Instead there was evil, selfishness and anger. What should have been a time of joy sadly turned into a time of war.

Although the angels announced peace on earth, and Jesus is the prince of it, people still fight with one another. Jesus did not promise peace on earth apart from Him. He promised a sword. He promised division. He promised that nation would rise against nation and that family members would hate one another. Our Lord died and was raised in order to bring us peace with God. His Holy Spirit blesses us with the peace of God, a peace which is beyond human understanding. A day is coming, and we hope is not far off, when King Jesus will occupy a throne on earth, just as it is in heaven. At that time, swords will be beaten into plow shares and lions will lie down with lambs.

Until such a day arrives we do not strive for world peace. We strive for peace on earth, good will toward men. We preach, serve and worship the newborn King. One day Obama, Clinton, Trump, Putin and Netanyahu will all fall face first before His throne. There will no Republicans, Democrats, Americans, Russians nor Israelis. There will be sheep and there will be goats, wheat and tares, redeemed or doomed. 

Jesus is King. He drew the line in the sand. He created division in order that men might confess Him or deny Him. He is the prince of peace. Therefore peace can only come through Him and in Him. The choice is ours to make.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Daily Verse & Prayer

 

The Spirit of Christmas

John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world so much that He GAVE His only son. In Acts 20, the Bible quotes Jesus as saying that we are more blessed if we GIVE rather than receive. And the wise men, when visiting the baby Jesus, opened up their carry bags and GAVE to the Christ.

Christmas, therefore, is all about giving. As you make your list of gifts for loved ones and friends, let me pose a question:

What do you plan to give God this Christmas? Your time? Your money? Your talents? 

Nothing is more important. He gave. The very least we can do is give Him our worship.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2016 in Daily Verse & Prayer