What is your view?


The world and the media cloud our ideas and our view of the world around us with their own version, their own spin on what is happening and what has happened in the past. So how are we to discern the truth of what is and what will be if we don’t read the Bible? It is God’s inspired Word to mankind and since He cannot lie, it is the whole truth. Regardless of the watered down messages that some teach or try to “interpret” in a way which has nothing to do with its message at all.

God’s predictions for our world’s future, such as the saying of Jesus that “the kingdom of God will come before this generation is done”, did not mean that those living at the time would see His second coming. It did refer to the Jewish people who would still be the state of Israel at the time of His second coming. I am sure that many in that day hoped that Jesus would destroy Rome and its hold of persecution and oppression over the Jewish people but that wasn’t His job at that time.

Jesus came to end the oppression of Satan over the whole world so that people could gain their freedom from the world and its sins and the consequences in their lives. That was His message and His mission the first time. When He comes the second time, it will be as Conquerer and King and He will do it because not one comma or period will pass away before all are fulfilled.

Our world, not just America, is beginning a new year and all of us need to be seeking Jesus as our True Savior. He is the only Way to Heaven and our debts for our sins have been paid, all we have to do is believe in Him and follow Him daily, seeking to be more like Him until that day when He calls us all home. I pray that more people will learn of Him and seek Him as their Savior this year because He is coming soon.

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Think about this…


When the high priest heard Jesus acknowledge that He was the Son of God, the high priest rent his cloak. In the Old Testament, if the high priest did this in his priestly robe (the one which had no seams), it effectively removed him from office according to the Torah. By rending his garment he cut himself off from being a representative character. He was no longer accepted by God as an officiating priest.

We have been celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, but consider the time of His crucifixion and when He said, “It is finished”. The veil of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. God’s Presence was in the Holy of Holies so it was God Himself Who tore (rent) the veil of the Temple from top to bottom giving mankind access to Himself from that point on through the substitutionary death of Jesus as the Passover Lamb and the fulfillment of ALL of the feasts which God had instituted from the time of the exodus from Egypt to the giving of the law of God on Mount Sinai. In particular the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Firstfruits.

Jesus fulfilled all of the feasts and their meaning, not just as the Lamb of God but as our Savior and Lord and our High Priest Who went into the Temple in Heaven to put His blood on the altar to atone for ALL of our sins.

This bit of information is hard for us to understand or get any kind of idea of what this really means but that is exactly what Jesus came to do and He accomplished it in the way His Father wanted Him to do it. All 300 prophecies about Him from the Old Testament were fulfilled by Him so there is no denying that He was truly God and man, because no human being could’ve fulfilled even a few of the prophecies written about Him.

Jesus came to take the sins of the world upon Himself so that He could be our sacrifice, our atoning sacrifice for everyone! It doesn’t matter if you are not a believer or if you are a bit skeptical about Him because He took your sins too. Your lack of belief or your refusal to believe in Him doesn’t annul any of the grace and mercy which has been given to you. The only barrier keeping you from Him or the atonement and salvation which have been offered by His death and His resurrection is your belief in Him. By accepting Him as your Savior and repenting of your sins, you can walk with Him through this life and become one of His disciples.

It is not a hard thing to do unless you are truly addicted to your life and the “things” in it. If you would rather live your life according to your rules and do what you want to do then you are free to do so. But don’t expect that you will enjoy heaven in eternity because your salvation through Jesus is the only way to get there.

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I just want the real thing…


If someone asks you to not tell them about religion or the church, they just want the real thing… what do you say? First, tell them about Jesus and why He came in the first place. How should you tell them? Just tell them about your Savior and His message about forgiveness and love which He came to bring to all of us! This is the story of His purpose and the Good News of salvation!

1545620655183_image.jpgThat is the message that counts. Salvation through belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins and mine on the cross. It doesn’t have to have doctrine or religion attached to it and it doesn’t have to be all flowery and noble. Like the thief on the cross, believe in Jesus as the Son of God, your Savior, and mine. That is all that is needed. It doesn’t require hours of service in His Name or certain amounts of money or other “works” like teaching or preaching. All of that may happen after you have accepted Him as your Savior but they will be done because you love Him and you know He loves you and died for you.

That is the true nature of knowing and loving your Savior. Just know that He loves you and He came to give you hope of eternity through Him. A child can understand it but many of us as “adults” try to dress it up or add things to our belief which are not needed. We try to make a simple belief in our Savior into a life-long project which we have to help Him bring us to salvation and none of that helps at all!

In fact, it hurts our own belief by adding things which we do or think we need to do in order to have salvation. When all that is necessary is our heartfelt need of Him and our belief in Him for our forgiveness and salvation. Because until we come to that place where we know deep down that we need Jesus…we will not seek Him out as our Savior and Lord.

God provided Him as The Atonement for our sins, but the Holy Spirit has to bring us to the point of knowing that we need Him before we will ever seek Him out. Those who are sinning and have never sought their Savior or heard that they need Him will never go looking for Him. It’s kind of like a man who walks by fountains of clear, cool water every day. Until that man is thirsty enough to notice them and seek one of those fountains for a drink, he will never know how refreshing their water is.

God knew that we needed a Lamb which could take the sins of the world away, but until each of us realizes this and that we need Jesus for our salvation, each of us will walk right by without ever seeking Him to be our Savior. God has placed a Fountain of Living Water for us to drink from and it’s within our grasp, all we have to do is realize that we need Him and ask Him to come in and quench our thirst for salvation and forgiveness.

A world without Jesus…


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A world where Jesus was not born in Bethlehem? Because the Bible is full of prophecies concerning His birth, He had to be born! There is no possible outcome or future in which He did not come! We would not have a world worth living in if He had not been born. Even the Bible itself would be completely in error if He had not been born. A world without Jesus would be one without hope and without the possibility of knowing God…ever!

God loves us and it is this love which determined before the world was formed, that humanity needed a Savior. Our entire world and any hope of eternity would be shattered or rather it would’ve never been if our Messiah, our Savior, Yeshua, had not been born in this world to a virgin named Mary. Why am I posting this question on the very day which most people celebrate the birth of Jesus? It is just an imaginary, theoretical test for those who may read this to see if you can even imagine a world without His influence in it.

I cannot even imagine it in the least!

I can imagine, at least in a small way, how a world might have been without Adolf Hitler or even the attack on Pearl Harbor. The reason that I say this is because both of these have had worldwide consequences, just as the birth of Jesus still has an impact on the world even today. So can anyone comprehend how our world would be if Jesus had not been born?

I am a preacher and a student of the Bible. As such, I know that the Bible itself would be worthless if He had not been born because His coming was foretold as far back as the Garden of Eden. God said the “seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head and the serpent would bruise His heel”.

Since taking Jesus’ birth out of the history of our world would make the entire Bible worthless, many of the laws which are in the world today would be non-existent. Many, if not all, of the laws and even some countries, would not be if that were the case. The hope of eternity would never be a part of our lives and the entire world would be under Satan’s control which God could not and would not allow!

A world without Jesus the Christ in it would be a chaotic and terrible place to live. The lack of the Promise of His coming would not have given the Patriarchs any hope for Israel or their future. We would have no hope for eternity or salvation. This world would be one in which many of us, if not most, would not want to live in at all! Without the Promise of His coming, there would’ve been no reason to dry up the waters of the Flood from the world and there would be no reason to give mankind hope even in the saving of Noah’s family.

To shorten this narrative, there would be no reason to even begin the story of mankind if Jesus was never to be born. Which is why God did decide to intervene in history Himself and come to be born of a virgin, clothed in humanity and to take the sins of the whole world on Himself in order to give ALL of mankind a True Hope to look for and believe in.

The Light that lit the Way


Luke chapter 2  gives us the story of His birth and how it came about in our world. The angels announced it to shepherds and Mary and Joseph were in a stable in Bethlehem because nobody could take them into an inn because of all the people who were there for the census.

Christmas is the celebration of one moment in time when God came to live with mankind in the person of His Son, Jesus, in order to reconcile mankind to Himself by being the substitute for each of us on the cross.

God did this out of His love, not just for the Hebrews but for all of mankind. Jesus was the Light for us to follow and to aspire to in our lives. The Light which lit the way for the wise men was the Holy Spirit which is why astronomers cannot find the “star” in their calculations which led them to Bethlehem soon after Jesus was born.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 tells exactly why this happened and here are those scriptures for you to read:

17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The most precious gift which was given to all of mankind is the love of God given in the Person of Jesus Who came to be our Passover Lamb to die for all of our sins, not just a few people but all people! The only way that we can come into God’s Presence is by accepting Jesus as our Savior Who paid the price for each of us, even though HE had no sin nature because He loved all of US!

We can have the Truth of Christmas and the surety of our salvation through our belief in Jesus and His substitutionary death for all of our sins!

God came to Earth in the Person of His Son so that we can come to His home in Heaven by accepting Jesus as your Savior. God has always loved His Creation and we are all included in His Creation. He knows you better than you know yourself and He created you with your perfections and your faults and He knows exactly what you alone can do in His Kingdom. Nobody else in the world can do the specific purpose which He has placed within your being and by giving your heart and life to Him, you can make an eternal difference in someone’s life, somewhere.

Don’t turn away from His call on your life, become the person that God knows that you can be, Why do I say it this way? Because He placed your personality and your intellect inside you so He knows exactly how you can make a difference and for whom you will make a difference. No matter where it might be or when He can see you doing and becoming the person that He created you to be.

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The Christmas Story


Luke 2:

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and Angels

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 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. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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. 16 And they came with haste and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Our Savior, Lord, and King born as a babe to be our Passover Lamb and He will come back soon as our King!

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What does this season mean to you?


The Christmas season means different things in different cultures and religions. For some this time of year doesn’t mean much at all because they don’t recognize Jesus as a Person Who should be celebrated. For others, their religion doesn’t celebrate any holiday regardless of the time of year. For those who celebrate Christmas with food and consumption of it in all of its celebratory ways, it is a time of throwing out the diet and enjoying food for the tastes of the season.

Then…there are those who just love to buy all kinds of “toys”, from those for children to the ones for children who haven’t grown up. Most of us actually fall into this last group. We see so many problems, financial and otherwise, which come from our consumption of this “stuff”. So what should we do with our lives because of this season? Do you even see this season as one which we should celebrate the birth of One Who came to be a Savior for all?

This celebration has been with the Christian church for nearly two thousand years at this time. Some celebrate it as such and some do not because they do not recognize Him as their Savior. God brought about His works in this time not to glorify Israel or Himself but to show His love for all of mankind and His work was to bring Jesus into the world as its Savior.

The world chose not to recognize Him then and most of the world chooses the same even today which is why we, as His servants, should tell them about Him and stress that the time grows short for making a decision about Him. While it is true that some have many days still, there are some who do not have much time to decide if they want an eternity with Jesus or with Satan.

All of us have an eternity to bear but it is the type of life in eternity that is at stake. An eternity with Satan in Hell is called the second death because you are separated from God, the Author of Life. Why am I bringing this up during this season of joy? Because it is necessary for people to hear it and because some have heard it and many more have not, and yet there are many who have chosen not to receive Him.

These are in need of a Savior and are the reason for which He was sent to us. Not to begin a season of gift-giving, although that is a good thing, or even to bring hope for a fallen world but to bring to each of us the hope of an eternity with Him and the possibility of being redeemed from our sinful lives. That is the message of His coming as a babe in Bethlehem, God dwelling with mankind to redeem us all through His teachings and His death on a cross and His resurrection so that we could be with Him one day too.

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He is our Savior and Redeemer. Amen

Do you believe?


Jesus said that if we believe in Him we will be saved. But what about the rest of God’s Word? Do you believe what it says? You know…you can’t pick and choose which parts or which verses or books to believe although many people seem to do just that these days. Being a Christian means more than believing in Jesus although that is the beginning of your faith. Living as a Christian daily means living by God’s Word. Not just the New Testament or the parts about Jesus and His ministry but by living and believing ALL of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation.

There are no areas of the Bible which are gray areas when it comes to faith. You either believe all of it or you actually believe only parts of it and when you do that you have invalidated ALL of it. By choosing to believe some parts of it and not others it is you who makes God’s Word of no effect!

Being a Christian, heart, and soul, is not a life of choosing what you will believe and then throwing out the parts you don’t like. Except in our world today, this is exactly how people want to read and believe or not believe in God. They want to choose which parts that they can live with and leave out the parts that they don’t like or those which make them feel guilty of their sins.

Jesus did not soften His sermons because there were people in the crowd who didn’t like what He was saying. He taught what the Father told Him to teach and to bring those in who would believe. If there were some who would not listen or believe that His teaching came from God then so be it because it was their choice to reject His teaching.

God had been trying to reach them ever since He liberated them from slavery to the Egyptians. But as soon as three days into their freedom, they began to grumble and it never really stopped, even when they reached the land which God had promised to them and conquered those who were living there. We are the same way today. We want the blessings of God and the promise of eternity in Heaven but we want to live our lives our way…but that isn’t how it works!

In our world or living by God’s rules, it is either one or the other, you can’t have it both ways!

That is why in the book of Joshua they were given a choice and we are as well: “Choose you this day whom you will serve“. You will either serve your own selfish desires and live like the rest of the world does or you will serve God and follow His ways and live in the footsteps of Jesus.

Time…


Time is something which most of us think we have plenty of but truly we are deceiving ourselves. The ruler of time Who is God knows how much of it each of us has. Some of us have many days or weeks or even years, others may only have minutes or hours. But we are not given a card or a manual expressing how much time each of us has available to us…that information is known only to God Himself.

 

Your time may be long and full of life and happiness while another person is racked with the pain of diseases or some other malady. Some of us are blessed to be living in a place where there is enough food for everyone and some are not. It isn’t some lottery or drawing which has placed us in these circumstances although some people call it “fate”. I don’t believe in “fate” but I do believe in God. It is His pleasure to give to each of us a measure of grace and rewards in this life. Some of us are rewarded with more and some with less, at least as the world measures these “rewards”.

Many times I have seen these rewards cause heartache and pain in the lives of those who have much of them and in the lives of those who barely have enough the same pains happen as well. It is hard to distinguish which people truly enjoy their wealth or their poverty. Sometimes the amount of “reward” doesn’t really make much difference in a person’s life since some with much “wealth” experience cancers and heartache and some with barely enough suffer through it but their life is blessed in other ways besides that which “wealth” can bring.

One thing which money, power, prestige or fame cannot purchase for you is more time. Make the best of what you have and those you love because we are not guaranteed a certain number of days or years, so treasure the time which you have with them. Once a minute is gone it will never come again. There was a wise saying once, by whom I don’t know for sure but it went something like this: You cannot touch a river in the same spot more than once.

It is the same with time. Every second which passes by is gone so make the best of the time that you have.

The women in Jesus’ family line


Matthew 1:1 and following:

Berean Literal Bible
The Genealogy of Jesus
(Ruth 4:18-22; Luke 3:23-38)

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
2 Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Judah and his brothers.
3 And Judah begat Perez and Zerah out of Tamar, and Perez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram. 4 And Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon. 5 And Salmon begat Boaz out of Rahab, and Boaz begat Obed out of Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, 6 and Jesse begat David the king.
Next:
David begat Solomon, out of the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon begat Rehoboam, and Rehoboam begat Abijah, and Abijah begat Asa. 8 And Asa begat Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat begat Joram, and Joram begat Uzziah. 9 And Uzziah begat Jotham, and Jotham begat Ahaz, and Ahaz begat Hezekiah. 10 And Hezekiah begat Manasseh, and Manasseh begat Amos, and Amos begat Josiah, 11 and Josiah begat Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the carrying away to Babylon.
12 And after the carrying away to Babylon: Jechoniah begat Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begat Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel begat Abiud, and Abiud begat Eliakim, and Eliakim begat Azor.
14 And Azor begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Achim, and Achim begat Eliud. 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar, and Eleazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Jacob, 16 And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, the One being called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David until the carrying away to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Of the different women in the lineage of Jesus, there was at least one who “played” at being a harlot and one which was a harlot and two Gentiles, Rahab and Ruth, and one pregnancy outside of wedlock (of the Holy Spirit). Why did God use these women in the lineage of David and Jesus? Mainly to show His compassion and His redemption of those who needed it and because it suited God to do so.

We cannot know the mind or the thoughts of God in His choosing of the women who would be in the bloodline of His Son, but He can use anyone to bring about His purposes. Even a small church in Coxburg, MS. A word or something which is done that people may associate with your faith in Jesus can make a big difference in someone’s life.

You may not see it while you live, but one day in heaven you will see someone who tells you that a word or a deed influenced them to seek out Jesus as their Savior. Even the life of your children or grandchildren may be touched by something that you do or say. God can use a murderer or an apostle or a child in His service just as well as He can use a preacher or a teacher. In God’s Kingdom, all of us are equal to the task which He gives us to do because He will give each of us the talents and abilities needed to do His will.

Whether we possess those qualities in this life or in the next one will be up to Him alone. But He will make us equal to the task which needs to be done regardless of its complexity or its ease. God can use any person or situation to extend His favor or His compassion toward those which we come in contact with each and every day that we live according to His purposes. This is why there are some unusual people in the lineage of Jesus, prostitutes, Gentiles, men who have not always followed God’s will or purpose in their lives but God used each of them for His purpose regardless of their shortcomings.

Even the men which Jesus called to be His disciples were ordinary men. They were not priests or of the “ruling class”. They were fishermen, mostly, and each of them was used in a specific way to take His message to those who needed to hear it. Each of the disciples had a gift or a way to teach which would bring the message of God to those who would listen and hear it with their spiritual ears and not just hear it and walk away as many do today. So, the women and men in the lineage of Jesus were all part of God’s plan and purpose for the world and for the message which He would bring to the world.