Saturday, December 2, 2017

Christmas Story Part 1: "To Cause To Be"


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. Luke 2:1-3
It came to pass: "to cause to be"
Went out: 
to be made known, declared

Decree: ordinance; public law
Caesar Augustus: a title of the Roman emperor
World: equivalent to the Roman empire
Registered: to enter in the public records the names of men, their property, and income, to enroll

Census: an enrollment; by implication, an assessment- a taxing
took place: to be made, done, finished; to be established, enacted; implying a certain action
Quirinius: Roman governor of Syria
Governing: to be/act as governor of a province

Went: to pursue the journey (with a purpose) on which one has entered
Registered: tax, enroll
Everyone: when it denotes individually, every one of many

To cause to be.
I'm sure that everyone did not like the inconvenience of traveling and the idea of registering to be taxed. Yet, there was a divine purpose for that inconvenience — God's Word had to be fulfilled. Mary and Joseph had to be in Bethlehem so that Christ would be born as was told in Micah 5:2
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
To cause to be. 
Looking back on my life, I see times when I was required to do something, that I didn't particularly like at that time. However, now I can see the reasons and have a greater understanding of why God did what He did. 

To cause to be. 
God does have control and does people to accomplish His will. Yet, we also are given a choice to accept God as our Lord and Savior or not. 

God's gift of Salvation is free.
God's gift of Salvation is available. 
God's gift of Salvation has an eternal warranty! 
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. John 3:16

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

People vs plans.

I'm a planner. I like to organize what will happen when. I'm not much for being taken by surprise (although some surprises are really nice!). 

God is continually teaching me that His plan is much better than mine. He has to continually teach me because I often forget lessons learned.

This Thanksgiving/Christmas season, it's easy to become focused on what has to be done (cooking, decorating, etc) that we forget the people.

God reminded me again, yesterday, that people are more important than a timetable I created. Talking with people builds relationships and that leads to opportunities to share God's love and encourage others.

I'm learning to focus more on people and less on if the Turkey is perfect, or if the table is set with the best dishes, etc. Sometimes easy is better for all involved and then the attention can be given to those in attendance.

Think about it for a moment. What do you remember from past Holidays? I remember the silly things that happened, what we laughed about, or who was there. I can't tell you what dishes we ate off of, or how the table was set. 
Memories that are of people are the most precious. Memories created with smiles, laughter, and love last longer than the Thanksgiving turkey!

People vs plans. 
I am praying that I remember that, but if I forget, God will gently remind me again.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with opportunities to create memories with family and friends. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

In every moment. Through every situation.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
Continually: continuance as indefinite extension; perpetual
His praise shall continually be in my mouth; not the "praise" of which God is the author, but of which he is the object; which is due unto him, and is given him on account of the perfections of his nature, and the works of his hands, and the blessings of his providence and grace; this, the psalmist says, should be in his mouth: his meaning is, that he should not only retain in his heart a grateful sense of the divine favours, but should express it with his lips; should both make melody in his heart to the Lord, and vocally sing his praise; and that "continually", as long as he lived, or had any being, Psalm 146:2. (John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible)
This verse could also be translated: 
"In my mouth are His praises continually, at all times will I bless the Lord." 
I will praise the Eternal in every moment through every situation. Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him. Psalm 34:1 (VOICE) 
I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. Psalm 34:1 (TLB)
In every moment. Through every situation. At all times. Continually. 

Reasons to praise (brag about) God Almighty should be shared at every opportunity. 

What are you excited to talk about? What flows from your mouth on a continual basis? 

In every moment. Through every situation. God is worthy and due praise. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Force to Overcoming!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10
Strong: enable, increase in strength, to empower; be empowered
Power: mightily, with great power, vigor 
Might: force to overcoming immediate resistance
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Ephesians 6:10 (AMP)
Love the meaning of this verse. 

Remembering

And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”1 Corinthians 11:24-25

Remembrance: a remembering, recollection, to call me (affectionately) to remembrance

Memories are triggered by many of our senses. A smell of cookies may take us back to our childhood days. Or a song may transport us to our first date. Remembering a moment in time can bring a smile, tears, or even a deep belly laugh. 

Yet, there are things and events which we forget as time passes. Things we thought we'd never forget. But as time moves on, our memories begin to fade. 

Christ knew that not only the disciples who lived with Him but those who would come after He was gone (us), would become preoccupied with life and forget the great sacrifice He made. The importance of that sacrifice. The reason Christ needed to die. Christ knew that we needed to make certain to REMEMBER. 

Remembrance: a remembering

Today, at my church Faith Baptist Winter Haven, we take time to remember the sacrifice Christ made. It's a time of reflection on what Christ did for us, and also introspection. 

A remembering. Read Luke 22—24

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
Remember the Who, the What, the Why. Remember.