Monday, December 24, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 1}}}

On the first day He gave his LOVE to me. So awesome was his gift to man, it did not need wrapping paper and a bow. No tinsel and no lights. Wrapped in those swaddling rags, was all the essence of God's love for mankind!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 2}}}

On the second day, God gave to each one of us a treasure hunt, with TWO letters directing us to his gift for us. The one letter was called old, while the other is called new. As we follow through those letters, we see glimpses here and there, like the sparkle of a jewel, revealing his Son. Sometimes he is revealed as a King, and sometimes as a Lamb. But every time we see him revealed, even to the very end of both letters, we come to his gift to us, the greatest gift of all… His love for mankind.

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 3}}}

On the third day, he gave us threes. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Body, Soul, and now a living Spirit; and he gave us Faith, Hope, and Love. All of these threes we receive because he spent three days in the grave for you and me.

All to be seen in the two love letters he wrote to us, revealing his greatest gift to man, his awesome Love for us!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 4}}}

On the fourth day, he gave us the four corners of the earth, north, south, and east and west; the four seasons; The four living creatures at the end of the second love letter for our treasure hunt, and these four different creatures picture the first four books of the second letter. These four books show us the very heart of God in his Son. They show his birth, his life, His death, and his resurrection. In these lists of fours, we come to realize that God took our sins away from us, laid on him, and now as far as the east is from the west from his sight.

And our THREES, Mercy, Hope, and peace; Faith, Hope, and Love; Father, Son, and Spirit. All found as wonderful treasure in his TWO love letters. That show us his unspeakable gift of Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 5}}}

On the fifth day he gave us Grace. The first five books of the Old Testament letter tells us of man’s fall, and sinful rebellion against God. The second group of five books, are the poetry of God’s continued love for his creation, and gives glimpses of his redeeming work to deliver us from his own wrath. The third group of five books, are major prophets that tell us about the promised savior who would fulfill that plan. The when we come to the New Testament book of Romans, chapter five, we have the Grace of God explained. Even when we were his enemies, he died for us.

Four books that reveal his birth, life, death, and resurrection, bringing us the three graces, Mercy, hope, and peace, all contained in his two love letters, revealing the most wonderful gift ever… His Amazing Love.

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 6}}}

On the sixth day we have the story of man. Six is the number of man, and there were six men that are prominent in the bible;

On the sixth day Adam was created, perfect, and in the image of God, but he chose to disobey God, and he died spiritually, and brought both physical and spiritual death on all humanity. Then in the sixth chapter of Genesis, we see Noah, wo was saved from the flood; Then Abraham, a man that defined faith in God; Then God raised up Moses to deliver the people of Israel from bondage, giving us the greatest example of getting saved; Then God set David as King over his people, giving us the greatest example of the Lord as King of Kings; The Jesus, the promised Christ, Prophet, Priest, and King. God came in the flesh. and interestingly enough, he is called the last Adam. He was perfect, but willingly took man’s sin, and died. Now the first Adam is made perfect again, as are all those that follow the faith of Abraham,

Yes, on the sixth day, God gave us his man, so he could show us his grace, all revealed in Christ’s Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection. Now we have Faith, Hope, and Love, enriched by his two love letters, and embraced by his marvelous Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 7}}}

On the seventh day, in the very first book of the Bible, God gave us his perfection. Seven days creating this world, and man, then on that seventh day, the work was complete and perfect, and God rested.

In the very last book of the Bible, we see: seven angels, seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, seven horns, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven plagues, seven spirits, seven eyes, seven lamps, seven thunders, seven heads, seven crowns, seven mountains, seven kings.

And when we see these sevens in that day, all those of mankind that has trusted in the Lord Jesus will be made perfect, Body, Soul, and Spirit. Yes, God gave us his man, so he could show us his grace, all revealed in Christ’s Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection. Now we have Faith, Hope, and Love, enriched by his two love letters, and embraced by his marvelous Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 8}}}

On the eighth day, Our beloved gave us a new beginning. It was of course, the eighth day of the week that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, the victor over death and hell, now the giver of new life to all who believe. To all who trust in the Lord Jesus, it is said that we are a new creation in him.

In the first letter the book of psalms is the great song book that praises God for his wonderful work toward man, But there are eight other songs not in Psalms, First, Redemption, Exodus 15; Second, Supply and maintenance, Numbers 21:17; Third, Moses witnessing to the grace of God and the unfaithfulness of man, Deuteronomy 32; fourth, Victory over oppression, Judges 5; fifth, David, God's elect, delivered from all his foes, 2 Samuel 22; sixth, The Song of Songs. Seventh, The song of the well-beloved touching Israel, God's vineyard, Isaiah 5;

Then the eighth song, is listed in the last book of the second love letter, and it is the song of the redeemed that will be sung by all that has been made new in Christ, it is called “The New Song”.

The eighth chapter of Romans show us that even the creation of God groans with us as we wait for that promise, when our bodies will be made new like our spirit has been.

Yes, God gave us a new beginning when he gave us his perfection, and his man, so he could show us his grace, all revealed in Christ’s Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection. Now we have Faith, Hope, and Love, enriched by his two love letters, and embraced by his marvelous Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 9}}}

On the ninth our beloved gave us the Holy Spirit. I hope you are as awed at this as I am. Quite literally God lives inside each one of us that know him as savior.

As compared to the temple that Solomon built for God, my body is a poor excuse for a temple. Then when Solomon saw God try that temple on for size, he exclaimed, The Heaven, and Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee! But imagine now, that God chooses to live inside of us. Wow, talk about the gifts getting better.

His Spirit brings into our lives, Life, Security, Hope, Peace, Direction, Understanding, Love, Fellowship, and Comfort.

He brings the church nine gifts as well, Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discernment, Tongues, and Interpretations.

I am filled with his Spirit, I am led by his Spirit, and I am kept by his Spirit.

Yes, God gave us His Spirit, and a new beginning when he gave us his perfection, and his man, so he could show us his grace, all revealed in Christ’s Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection. Now we have Faith, Hope, and Love, enriched by his two love letters, and embraced by his marvelous Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 10}}}

The tenth day of Christmas, to my utter surprise, there were ten things my beloved took away from me. I was guilty of these ten things, material lust, lying, stealing, adultery, murder, I was a shame to my parents, I ignored the Lord’s day, and spoke evil of his name, idolatry, and my god was money,

This tenth amazing gift came wrapped in human flesh, it was God come down to man. Then man took him, and stripped him of all his clothing. Then tried to strip him of his flesh with a whip, then nailed him to a cross. But it was then, when the Father in heaven took these ten laws that I broke, and was guilty of, and nailed them to that tree where his naked, beaten, and bleeding Son hung, then turned his head away from the lamb----- Can you hear the lamb’s cry? Not for all the pain, not for the filth of my sin, but for that moment he bore the judgment I deserved and cried out… “My God, My God… Why hast thou forsaken me”? When I opened that tenth gift, the box was empty. Clean and white. Not one sin was left that was mine.

Ten sins forgiven… His Holy Spirit is in me… A Wonderful New Beginning… He Made Me His Perfection… The Son of Man that loved us… God’s Grace that Brought Us… Christ Died, But now is Living… Faith, Hope, and Love has given… Two love letters… And God’s Marvelous, Infinite Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 11}}}

On the eleventh day of Christmas, our Beloved gave us eleven Apostles. That is twelve minus one. We should always remember that there are people in this world like Judas, those who have or will refuse the wonderful gift of God. But he gives us eleven reminders that God saves to the uttermost, all that place their trust in his Son, Jesus Christ, and accept his gift of life with joy.

But then there is that one that said NO to God. It should make us sad, if we know anyone that has or could say No to him, because they will never know the greatest gift of all, Eternal Life. We may observe them, and think they are having the fun we gave up, or see them get all the breaks in this life, as though God rewards them in their self-serving life, but the truth is, one day they will have lost their chance to accept God’s gift, and they will wake up in a place of darkness and pain forever and ever.

God gave us these eleven, to remind us that by his grace, he chose us to be his beloved forever in the glories of his heaven.

Eleven men remind me… Ten sins forgiven… His Holy Spirit is in me… A Wonderful New Beginning… He Made Me His Perfection… The Son of Man that loved us… God’s Grace that Brought Us… Christ Died, But now is Living… Faith, Hope, and Love has given… Two love letters… And God’s Marvelous, Infinite Love!

Twelve Days Of Christmas {{{Day 12}}}

Song of Songs 4:12-16 12 A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. 13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, 14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: 15 A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. 16 Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Song of Songs 6:1-3 1 Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee. 2 My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. 3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Twelve Apostles standing… Eleven men reminding… Ten sins forgiven… His Holy Spirit within me… A Wonderful New Beginning… Made In His Perfection… The Son of Man that loved us… God’s Grace that Brought Us… Christ that Died, is Living… Faith, Hope, and Love has given… Two love letters revealing… God’s Marvelous, Infinite Love!

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

This is why we do it…

On my way to buy a fattening Backyard burger, dreading the approaching start time for work, I noticed a guy passing by me, I was looking pretty good in my sharp looking Mustang, and he was ogling it with that “Man, I wish I had that car” look. Then I was still feeling pretty good that I was the proud owner of said “ogled car” when I saw an Audi A6, black, and chrome all polished up, glimmering in the sunlight. I found myself ogling that car, with that same look. It was then I thought about work again, and thought to myself …This is why we do it.

This time of year, children are all excited as Christmas Day gets closer, and the anticipation of what is behind all that wrapping paper. While we adults, all year long, anticipate opening the big one, working day by day, imagining what it will be like when we first see the prize behind the wrapping. All the hard times, all the disappointments, all the trials, we still trudge on, knowing that one day soon, we will see it, the treasure we have worked so hard for, it will be revealed to us, and it will overwhelm us, as reality sets in.

There are so many gifts that have been opened over the years, received with excitement, enjoyed immensely for a time, and then forgotten. So we move on to the next one, and each time, are thankful to the giver of the gift, and each time we enjoyed it, the giver gleamed with joy as well. But in life it seems that every gift has to be trumped by the next, and while all the regular gifts are received, and used, we are always looking for that next big one.

Imagine if you will, that I have been speaking of Christmas presents all this time. It seems to fit pretty well. Knowing the depraved nature of man, we really start to expect this kind of behavior. But what if my subject has nothing at all to do with Christmas, and things, but with the blessings we receive as gifts from our Father in heaven. Just like we as parents, who delight in seeing the excited little faces on Christmas morning, as wrapping paper flies through the air, and the sparkling new toys are revealed. Just imagine the joy on our Heavenly Father’s face when he gives us a blessing, and at that moment we realize that it is a gift from God, and that it is special, and wonderful. Then when we tell someone else about it, and together, you both realize how real, and precious our Father is in our lives, how he must beam with joy.

But oh, just like things, we find ourselves looking for that next big blessing, and day by day, he showers us with his gifts, which we have come to expect, and many times take for granted. But oh, that big one, the one that we strive for every day, and anticipate, what will it be like? Just what will that greatest gift ever, that our Heavenly Father will give us be? the answer is, that the big one is what he has given to us since the day he made us his child. It is his son, it is life, it is love, it is hope, it is joy. We are told by John the Apostle, he that hath the Son, hath life. He also tells us that anything we ask the Father for, he will give it to us. So, all the blessings we enjoy day by day, are really his Son in our lives. Knowing this, every gift, should be enjoyed as if it was the first time we have seen it. But what then is the Future gift? It will be the day, we see him face to face. Then, we will realize the reality of God and his Son in such a way that has never been experienced in this life, so much so that we will fall at his feet, crying with a loud voice, “You are worthy” As our faces glimmer with excitement, at the site of God’s greatest gift to us, I am sure the Father will be beaming with joy at our delight. YEAH …This is why we do it!

Merry CHRISTmas.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Who is God?

Who is God, You ask?

This may seem like a silly question, but it seems to be the most complex question to the human race. There are multitudes of peoples and nations that have a religion claiming to worship the true God. Many, if not all, contradict the other. How are we to know, who God is, or according to an atheist, “is God?”
The first thing we need to do to determine who God is, it to get philosophical for a moment. Let us examine the human race. To begin with, all mankind (womankind is included here) have the same three elements, Body, Soul and Spirit.

First, we all have a body that is designed the same way, with an Integumentary, Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, and Endocrine, Immune, and Reproductive systems. (source: Granted, we humans come in many different sizes and colors, but we are all really designed the same.

Secondly, we know that there is somebody home in this body, because of the universal event of death. When someone dies, we still have the body, but there is no one home. I like to refer to this as our Soul. Maybe another religion, or atheist will call it something else, nonetheless we all are somebody existing in this extremely complex body.

Thirdly, there is the unknown element that makes us alive. We know that air that keeps our body alive, but what is it that keeps our Soul alive? I like to think of this unseen element as our spirit. You may want to disagree, but if you will humor me for the duration of this article, I believe you will see why I hold to this view.

The next thing to all to our philosophical discussion is everything else. You have to love a large subject. But we as humans know of things for certain, because we can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch them. We can dissect them, we can study them. Then we use every resource available to us to reach beyond our own environment, like deep in the sea, and out beyond the stars.

So, we first have the world we live in, perfectly set in a universe to provide the right amount of light, heat, air, a filter from the harmful things in space, gravity, and yes, beauty. We have the fuel that we all need to continue to live, and the ecology in place to keep it coming. This world is a perfect design for man to live in.

Then we have space, at first look, we see our planet the moon, and the sun. At night we see the stars, and as we reach beyond this environment, we realize that there are other spheres that are planets too. Then as we look further, we learn that our little tiny planet is in the solar system, which is in a galaxy, which is in the universe, and that universe is not quite defined yet. Now though this stellar universe we have been placed in is quite stellar, but it is even more marvelous to learn that we are placed in this solar system at the exact place, axis tilt, and speed of spin to make it all work. I call this, design, and what a stellar design at that.

Now the philosophical part of this talk, and that is why all this design? Why the perfect universe, galaxy and solar system, why the perfect world, and perfect human body? Could it be that there is a designer, just one, not a group effort and thought, but one that is so great, it would exceed human thought and understanding? Can we but for a moment imagine a creator of all that we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch? It boggles the human mind to conceive of the idea that one being could be so great that he could create from nothing all of this. But is it not in the very heart and conscience of man that there should be a being of such power? Is this not why humans have religion, and bow to idols, or worship things greater than themselves like the sun, moon and stars? Or why others point to an unknown powerful being, and name him something, and worship him? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know who this God is, and why he made us?

Think about us as humans for a moment. I often tease that my daughter got my brains and her mom’s looks, but in reality we often see traits of one or both parents in a child. The way they act, and the way they look. We know from science that we derive our traits from our parent’s DNA, and yes guys and gals, we often will grow old only to find out “We are our parents”. Is this part of the design? Did this creator of man design us to have offspring that looks and act like us? You can’t tell me that as a parent, you don’t puff up with pride when someone comments how Jr looks just like you. I wonder, were we were created to look like our creator as well? Could it be that all we need to do is look around at the world around us, at the exact and precise place of the universe he has placed our earth, and the creatures on land and in the sea, and even at ourselves to see who God is? Has this divine being really made it this simple and obvious? Has the obvious been obscured by our own complexity?

Now the question would be who of all the deities is the one true creator, designer, God? What religion reveals the one true God to us? I would have to sy that the one that leaves man out of the mix. The God is God alone, and needs nothing from man. The God that not only created all that we know, but can just as easily destroy it. It would have to be the God that does not need man to describe him, but is described in his handiwork.

So if you have read this, and it makes sense to you, why do you suppose that this almighty, all powerful, creator God would make man? Once each person answers this question, they become responsible to him, because if this God made us, he must have a purpose for us. It would be silly to think he created all of this, and just left us to ourselves to do as we like. And if it is all true that this almighty God made us for a specific purpose, what do you suppose he will do with the ones that refuse to fulfill this purpose in their lives? It is much like the potter and the clay, because when the potter is dissatisfied with the pot, he will destroy it, and create another. Could it be that our creator would do the same thing?

I believe that his will is such. He will only keep the pot that can fulfill his will. The problem is, none of all his creation can keep his will, we have all sinned against him, and all are imperfect pots. But this mind boggling God, came into this created world as a man, and he suffered being broken for our sin, so that we that choose to believe who he is, and what he has done, will be a pot that pleases him, and one that he will display for all creation to see for all eternity.

He has designed us with a will to choose. But remember this before you make a choice, he created you with a purpose, and if you choose to not fulfill that purpose, then you are choosing to reject all that God is. We are capable of love because he is love. We enjoy the brilliant colors of this world because he is light. So to choose to not have God, is to choose to not have who he is. Imagine that, a place without God, without light, without love. A place of pain, and torment, a place that will never ever change. I call that Hell. It’s your choice!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What kind of Christian are you?

What kind of Christian are you?

By this question, I do not mean what denomination you are, or if you are a strong or weak follower of the Lord, but rather, how you would be described in your approach to living for him.

We all process life through at least one dominant emotion, be it through pessimism, optimism, realism, or even romanticism. The list could go on. So the Christian, for instance, who sees the glass half full may be described as a pessimistic Christian, and so the logic goes for the other emotions listed. That is not to say that one person could not process life through multiple emotions in a balanced mentality. We might call that person a “Well Rounded Christian”. There is great value in all of the emotions that mold a person’s outlook on life, and especially as a Christian. I have found that when my pessimism has prepared me for the very worst, I was utterly delighted that the worst didn’t happen.

I first started thinking about this idea of processing life through a dominant emotion a few years ago when I was sharing a message from the book of the Revelation, and the Lord’s address to the early church about leaving their first love. I translated the Lord’s message through the fond memories of my wife before we married, and how over the years, we began to take for granted what once made our heart skip. After the meeting, a young lady told me that I was “such a romantic”. I have been thinking about this idea since then, and find it is useful to understand ourselves, as well as others, as to why we think and react to life in such different ways. Why we choose a particular church to attend, what programs are important, what issues we are pleased with, or mad about. I can see a “Romantic” Christian attending a Catholic or even a formal Protestant church because of the formal attire the priest or pastor wears, the rituals that are observed, and so on. The beauty of it moves the romantic Christian, and they believe that it is a fitting way to not just honor the Lord, but to worship him in beauty. The realist may lean more to a strict adherence to the doctrine of God’s word, and be appalled at the empty ritualism of the formal church. The Optimist may feel more alive in the Lord when in a church that preaches a positive message that reveals all of the good that God can and will do through the believer that allows him access. The pessimist is always making sure that we don’t make a mistake in the way we meet, pray, study, and fellowship.

Never deny the emotion that dominates your outlook on life, it is what makes you who you are. It is what endears you to others, and helps balance the church as a whole. Never forget that we are created in the image of God, and the very emotions we have, he has. Just take my little list. As a pessimist, he is seen in the Old Testament telling his people all of the good things he will do for them if they obey his word. At times, the nation is on fire, following him in victories over their enemies, possessing their land, offering sacrifices, but even as he tells them about all the blessings, he says in essence, But, I know you will turn from me, and disobey me, and quit loving me, and love others, and you will never see my blessing, but a curse instead. Wow, I get so bummed every time I read some of those passages, even though they always turn out the same way. But we also see him as an Optimist. Even after he tells them about the curse, he then tells them about the future, and how he will restore them, he will give them a heart of flesh in place of the heart of stone they now carry. He will make them the head and not the tail, and all the nations that he allowed to oppress them, will bow down to them. You may ask why he would go through great lengths to have this rebellious people with him in the future, and the only answer is his romantic side. He reveals himself in the very beginning of man’s history, when he created a woman for man. Look how he did it, taken from his side, near his heart, so much so, that man proclaimed her as WOMAN, bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh. We see the Lord with some of the prophets, having them take a wife, and uses that object lesson as a way to call his own beloved back to himself. And who can forget the greatest love story ever written, the song of songs, revealing a great king taken by the beauty of a lowly slave girl, much like the Lord’s love for us, so filthy with sin, a slave to sin and death, yet he loved the church, and gave himself for her.

Don’t get upset with your brother or sister in the Lord because they do not think like you do, or react to things the same way we feel is right, but rejoice that God has allowed us to be who we are, and desires that we approach him as we are, loving him for who he is, and what he has done for us, and where he will take us. Through all of man’s history, and all of God’s dealings with man, he will one day stand and watch as the bride, who has made herself ready to be presented to him, his heart skipping with excitement, all in anticipation of having you and me by his side forever. Now I don’t care what emotion you process that thought with, it has got to move you to devotion to the one who made you thus!