Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Musings

As a child, Christmas was always an exciting time, full of anticipation and the joy of giving and receiving. Those wonderful memories created with family and friends are delightfully meaningful to me now. In my teenage years I made a decision to receive God’s special gift of salvation that comes through belief in His Son Jesus. This acknowledgement on my part became the miracle that allows me to embrace the reality of Christmas.
Belief in the miraculous is essential when contemplating the Christmas story. First, consider the foretold announcement of our Savior Jesus Christ. Hundreds of years before the birth of God’s Son, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed His arrival, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV).
It’s amazing that God, in His providential act of love toward us, sent His Son to earth: prophetically announced, received in awe, the hope for all mankind, miraculously given. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Christmas is so much more than a holiday. The message of Christmas is one of life eternal — life. It’s God’s gift to us!
Amidst the hustle and bustle of this season, if you stop and pause for a moment, you will hear the heartwarming good news being announced to your soul, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given . . .” The majesty of Christmas is life changing! Will you allow it to miraculously change you? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cutivating Community

I have been teaching a message series called, “Cultivating Community.” It has to do with connecting with others. Cultivating community is a process you actively pursue. This kind of fellowship and the development of relationships has been something I have been passionate about for some time. Every day I am learning how important it is to connect in a real way with others. In the New Testament, the Greek word for community is koinonia. The apostle Paul used the word koinonia thirteen times in his epistles.

The birth of the church was at Pentecost over 2,000 years ago. These new believers continued to use the temple for their place of assembly and ministry, but they also met in various homes. The 3,000 new converts needed instruction in the Word and fellowship with God's people if they were to grow and become effective witnesses. The book of Acts describes that they did just that.

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Acts 2:41-47 (NKJV).

The early believers were a people who were together and who shared in ministry. They were not content to meet once a week for "services as usual." They met daily (Acts 2:46), cared daily (Acts 6:1), won souls daily (Acts 2:47), searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11), and increased in number daily (Acts 16:5). Their Christian faith was a day-to-day reality, not a once-a-week routine. Why? Because the risen Christ was a living reality to them, and His resurrection power was at work in their lives through the Spirit.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Palm Sunday

This is the week leading up to Palm Sunday. Now is the time that you will be preparing your heart, your spirit, and your message for this coming weekend. Amid all of the distractions, you need to find some time alone with your Lord to hear His voice and His heart for you personally.

 Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that memorable Palm Sunday as a liberator. As He approached the city, He wept over it (Luke 19:41). He was crying because He knew the fickle nature of people. He cried because they had missed the point. He had not come to them to be a rescuer or a miracle worker. He had come to be their Savior. They totally misunderstood the reason for His visitation (Luke 19:44).

Though many of those He loved did not understand why He had come, Jesus’ role was set in stone centuries before in Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor ... to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (verse 1). He read from the Old Testament scroll in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19) and concluded, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).

Jesus’ words are so relevant on Palm Sunday — “If you ... had only known ... what would bring you peace” (Luke 19:42). Will you understand the urgency of the message He proclaimed and the great compassion He has for you? 

This is the Easter message!

 (Taken/adapted from, H.B. London 3/26/12)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

New Year resolutions can create revolution in our lives!  

In the Book of Joshua we see Joshua declaring what all Christians should verbalize,  "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NKJV).

If you and I made this resolution, it would create a revolution of change that would influence us and the world around us in a positive way! Putting God first, being obedient to His Word, and walking in His ways will bless you, and those around you!

One of my favorite Scriptures in the Bible is Joshua 1:8. It says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Wow! Serving the Lord, and being obedient to His Word promises blessings, and success!

Will you make the resolution  with me this 2012, to Serve the Lord, study His Word, and follow Him?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

God's Christmas Gift

The most perfect love gift ever given was the gift God gave at Christmas, the gift of His Son Jesus.
"And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:1-7 NKJV).
What an unlikely place for a king to be born! After a difficult journey for a woman in the ninth month of pregnancy, a stable is the last place that a caring husband would want her to be, but God had a plan.   It was to ensure that we would always know that He came for all of us, from the lowest to the greatest.
esus was God and always remained God. But He added humanity to who He is in order to build a bridge between man and God.

Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas!
Merry Christmas