Tag Archives: Gods Love

What Child Is This ?

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord.

 

About this time Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. (This census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home—journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket[a] and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem![b] 12 How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket,[c] lying in a manger!”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God:

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang,[d] “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”

15 When this great army of angels had returned again to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on! Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2: 1-15 Living Bible

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

He’s Making a List…..

As the song says,

He’s making a list

checking it twice

gonna find out

whose naughty and nice

This may be true for good old Santa Claus. We are told he keeps a list in hopes of manipulating us into toeing a line of good behavior. His list is supposed to have the names of the naughty and nice children but I have never heard of any naughty ones. Have you? Perhaps there were naughty children who got coal for Christmas in a land long ago and far away but to my knowledge every one gets on the “Nice” list these days.

Sadly, this mind set has carried over into the secular thoughts about God and Heaven. Some people see God as a Santa in the sky Who they can make a wish to when they want something.  Furthermore, there is the belief that all the world will eventually be seen as “nice” or just and therefore will be saved. There’s never a thought of whether or not they are naughty or nice. If there is any guilt about bad behavior they simply bargain the consequences away promising to do better if He will only just come threw this time for them.

God is concerned with whether or not we do the right thing although His idea of “Nice” is not the same as ours. We can try to live a good life and be a good person but by whose standards do we see “Good”? God gave us the Ten Commandments to show us what is expected of us and to open our eyes to the fact that we can never live up to them. At least not by ourselves. He is ready willing and able to help us live that victorious life. This is the very reason we have this holiday season. It’s a very well known passage of scripture but always bears repeating –

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 NKJV

Our in ability to live up to Gods Standard of righteousness (otherwise referred to as Sin), is the very reason we needed a Savior. God Almighty sent the answer to our sin problem. Rather than just let us wallow in our inability He freely chose to come to us and take on our fragile form and pay the penalty for our sins. There is, however, one very simple condition that is left for us. We have to accept that this was done for us because we are sinners and repent of our sinfulness. Once we do this we can honor His sacrifice by letting Him lead us down a path of righteousness – His righteousness.

For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 NKJV

But this salvation the Savior brings requires an action on our part. It isn’t just given to us the day we are born. we have to accept this gift by recognizing our need and asking Jesus to be our Lord as well as Savior. It really is that simple. Thankfully!

But although he made the world, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.  All those who believe this are reborn!—not a physical rebirth resulting from human passion or plan—but from the will of God. John 1:10-13 LB

 The Reason 1

He’s making a list and I hope your name is on it because one day there will be a reading of the lists and a separating of the naughty and the nice – Jesus told us about that day several times –

 “Just as in this story the thistles are separated and burned, so shall it be at the end of the world: I[will send my angels, and they will separate out of the Kingdom every temptation and all who are evil,  and throw them into the furnace and burn them. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the godly shall shine as the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Let those with ears, listen!  Mat 13:40-43

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”Acts 16:29-31 LB

This may not be the usual or politically correct Christmas message but the truth can be hard to hear sometimes but nevertheless needs to be stated………

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR FRIENDS

and God Bless you in the New Year, Al and Betty

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" is a Christmas song. 
It was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie

God of Wonders – Happy Hanukkah

I will remember the works of the Lord:

surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (a)

Remember the wonderful works He has done,

His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced, (b)

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs

and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. (c)

 

God of Wonders. Glorious, Marvelous, Unchangeable, Unshakable!

As the celebration of Hanukkah begins tonight, I, a Christian, am excited. Excited because it is a celebration of a miracle that God performed on behalf of His people – yet again! Truly, He is the God of Wonders and all the world should be reminded of that fact from time to time.

Another miracle He performed is what we Christians celebrate this time of year – the Birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! Christmas is a miracle. Not just because of the virgin birth, which is miraculous of course, but because the God and creator of the whole universe freely, willingly and joyfully chose to be born a helpless child and grow up into a man Who would die to save those He loves.

Yes, I am aware that Easter is in Spring but the Resurrection story begins in a manger. A humble beginning for a King. A common occurrence for an uncommon Man. The start of a life of service, and ultimately sacrifice, for the  people He made and loves so very much.

So, no matter if you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you are celebrating a miraculous work performed by the God of Wonders.

Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends around the world.

May God Bless you during this feast.

 

(a) Ps. 77:11 KJV (b) Ps. 105:5 HCSB (c) Dan 4:2 NIV

 

The Lord Reigns!!!

The Lord Reigns

The Lord Reigns

The Lord Reigns!!

 

Regardless of what we think

The Lord Reigns!

Regardless of what we see

The Lord Reigns

Regardless of what we feel

The Lord Reigns

Regardless of the nations on earth

The Lord Reigns

Regardless of the troubles we face

The Lord Reigns

The Lord Reigns

and He will be magnified in all the earth

and will show His love to you

No matter whatever you may be going threw today please take refuge under His wings and know that He reigns over all the earth and He will save you because He loves you.

Reality Memories History Fairy Tales

The 82nd Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting will be tonight and it promises to be a spectacular show. Perhaps many of you make this a tradition for your Christmas season.  Maybe you have actually attended this event with family or friends. Whether you saw it in person or watched it on TV I bet you have fond memories of the show and the excitement of seeing all those lights come to life.

 Even as I write this I can hear the Carols being sung as the tree lighting show starts. In a short time tonight’s event will be a memory – like the 81 similar shows before this one.  Our current reality is continually becoming a memory. Memories become history and sometimes history turns into a myth or fairy tales. The passage of time fades our vision and whats real can fade.

My Grandfather built a house in Southampton many many years ago. Last year I was out that way and went by to see it and show it to Betty. It wasn’t there! In it’s place was the entrance to a large cul-de-sac of condos. So I sat there, awestruck, telling Betty what the house looked like and where it stood and how much pride Pop-Pop took in how well it stood for so many years. Betty took me at my word that this home existed and that I saw it and knew who built it even though it was no longer there.

But time waits for no one. The area of New York City where throngs of people are currently gathered to see the tree lighting was farm land not so long ago.  We know this because there are drawings and writings about the growth of the Big Apple. How many children learned in school how Dutch colonists purchased the island of Manhattan for $24 in 1626?

1626! That was less than 400 years ago. Old enough that anyone who was alive at the time has past away but young enough that its recorded as a historical fact. Perhaps in another 400 years it will become a fairy tale or myth. But, that will depend on the prevailing mindsets of that yet to be time.

A little over 2000 years ago Jesus walked the earth in Israel. Hundreds, even thousands, of people saw Him and saw the things He did and heard the words He spoke. Some wrote those words down and told of His great works. These memories were shared with friends and family year after year until they became history – literally – His-story. But with the ever-present passage of time these memories that became history can be seen as fairy tales if we don’t keep the vision clear.

In Reality, Jesus walked this earth and touched the hearts and minds of many many people. Eyewitness accounts were written down and told over and over again as trusted history. Time should not change these facts. Nor should public opinion trun the truth into a fable.

This Christmas Season as we busy ourselves with all that the holiday brings – find the time to open the Gospels and read the eyewitness accounts of the Birth of a Savior, the Great Gift of God and the Love story of the ages.

KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS

Be Blessed and Merry Christmas – Al

 

 

Why do you call me good?!?!?

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good?

No one is good but One, that is, God.

Mark 10:18 NKJV

Do you consider yourself to be a “good” person? Do you do the right thing? Follow the rules? Treat others like you would like to be treated?

Do you believe in the Ten Commandments? If so, do you keep them? Would you say that you do a better job of being good than Jesus?

Of course you don’t think that you are “good-er” then Jesus especially considering the verse quoted at the start of this post. But, let’s be honest here,  if only for a moment – You know that you aren’t better than Jesus but you KNOW you are better than __________! You fill in the blank. There’s someone whose name you would write in there.

It is a shame but true that human nature causes us to compare ourselves against one another.  The way others dress, speak, park there car, care for their children and on and on all comes into our focus and is accepted or criticized based on our own standard of right and wrong. I may not be the best Christian but at least I never did __________ like he/she did. Again, you can fill in the blank.

The only problem with this aspect of human nature is  that it goes contrary to Gods Word and Jesus’ teaching. Sure, you never killed or raped anyone like so-and-so but Jesus clearly said that if you harbor hatred or lust in your heart – YOU HAVE DONE SO. But, of course, you know that you aren’t guilty of doing those things because you can clearly see those who do and you look nothing like them.

The comparisons continue. Even comparing what’s forgivable and what is not. We have our own list of what is forgivable and what is not. You can disrespect me but don’t you dare say anything about my kids! You can have different beliefs than I but don’t put my beliefs down. You can …….. the list is endless but you get my point. But in the final analyses we have no legs to stand on here.

In Gods eyes the murders, perverts, liars are in the same group as cowards and unbelievers and idolaters and they are all on the same bus heading to the lake of fire for all eternity. Don’t even get me started on the Gossip!!

When Jesus was approached by a rich young ruler He corrected the man for calling Him good. So, if Jesus says that He shouldn’t be called good – Who are you to think so highly of yourself? The next time you look down on someone try to remember that Jesus looked down on you – from the Cross where He died for YOUR sins and loved you the whole time.

Judge not that you be not judged.

Forgive or don’t be forgiven!

Love because He first Loved us!

ps – I know this isn’t the usual “feel-good” post but I felt lead to write it and hear it. Be Blessed, Al

I do not know this man !!!!!

A little later others standing around the fire began saying to Peter, “You are, too, one of them, for you are from Galilee!” He began to curse and swear. “I don’t even know this fellow you are talking about,” he said. And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.Suddenly Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

And he began to cry.

Mark 14-70-72 Living Bible

Peter, Peter, Peter. Poor Simon Peter. The disciple who walked on water with Jesus and swore to keep Jesus from harm. The one who heard from Heaven that Jesus was the Son of God. It was Peter (along with his brother Andrew) who were the first to drop everything in a moments notice to follow Jesus. Now he is the one who denied Him three times – just as Jesus told him he would.

Peter reminds me a little of myself. I can tend to speak first without thinking. My enthusiasm can get me into trouble at times and like Peter, I lack a filter too often. Peter is almost child-like in his wide-eyed wonder of the world around him. With Jesus, James and John upon the mount of Transfiguration it was Peter who stepped forward with the idea of building memorials to Jesus, Moses and Elias.  But this spontaneous life-loving attitude of Peter will be used greatly in the Kingdom of God.

After 3 1/2 years of traveling with Jesus and suffering from foot-in-mouth-disease and after outright swearing that he doesn’t know Jesus, it is Peter who will stand up in public and preach the first sermon about the deity of Jesus and win 3 thousand souls to the kingdom.

IMG_5225

Peter’s denial of Jesus must have been a very dark time in his life. But having seen the resurrected Lord and being so lovingly forgiven Peter was free to return to his enthusiastic old self – only stronger.

Do not discount the gifts God has placed inside of you. If you see yourself as clumsy, awkward, uncertain or boisterous – just go for it! Be all that you are to the Glory of God. It is your destiny. It’s what you were made to do.

So if anyone asks you if you know Jesus don’t hold back. Stand up and tell them all about Him because He has your back.

Be blessed, Al