Daily Archives: December 13, 2017

For Us A Child Is Born

Image result for pictures of The mangerImage result for pictures of The manger
Image result for pictures of The mangerImage result for pictures of The manger
Image result for pictures of The mangerImage result for pictures of The manger
Image result for pictures of The mangerImage result for pictures of The manger

The Christmas Story

By: Ken Barnes, author

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Isaiah 9:6    (NIV)

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The Christmas story is never complete without the Easter story because the child in Bethlehem was born to die.

Soren Kierkegaard, pastor, and Christian philosopher, often told this story to his congregation during the Christmas season. There once was a king who had great power and wealth who fell in love with a pauper maiden. He knew he should not love her, him being of royalty and her living in poverty, but nonetheless, he did. He wondered how he could capture her love. Being the sovereign monarch, maybe he should just send his soldiers and whisk her away and declare her Queen. But would she just be acquiescing to his power rather than responding to his love? He thought about showering her with gifts up to half his kingdom, but would she love him for his wealth and not for himself? He pondered his dilemma and decided that he only had one choice. He must give up his kingdom and all his royal possessions and power and become a pauper and live like the one he loved. In the end, sacrificial love found a way and triumphed over wealth, power, and position; winning the affection of the one he loved.

Jesus could have declared us righteous without dying, but it would not have fulfilled the will or the law of God.  He could have forced our obedience to His wishes, but like the King in our story, He wanted to win our love and not usurp it.

So, the second person of the Godhead, in all His glory and majesty, the one who always was, always is, and always will be, invades time and space, and comes to this planet in the form of a peasant child. He maintains this posture of humility as He walks this earth for 33 years and He remains obedient to His Father, even to his death, the death on the cross. But this is not the end of the story. Though He walked in meekness, there is always great power in humility, as the grave could not hold Him. He triumphs over that great enigma called death. And because He rose from the dead, the Bible promises, so shall we, who believe in the Son of God.

So, the greatest gift this Christmas morning is that great hope we have of eternal salvation. We never again have to fear the tyranny of death. The Bible says in an almost taunting fashion, “Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55 NASB)

This Christmas morning, whether we have many gifts or only a few under our tree, because of the birth of this baby in Bethlehem, His life, death, and resurrection, we have much for which to be thankful.  As someone once said, “deity met humanity,” so that humanity could embrace immortality.

Intercessory Prayer

By Oswald Chambers

Intercessory Prayer

You cannot truly intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption. Instead, you will simply be turning intercession into useless sympathy for others, which will serve only to increase the contentment they have for remaining out of touch with God. True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. Intercession means to “fill up…[with] what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), and this is precisely why there are so few intercessors. People describe intercession by saying, “It is putting yourself in someone else’s place.” That is not true! Intercession is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.

As an intercessor, be careful not to seek too much information from God regarding the situation you are praying about, because you may be overwhelmed. If you know too much, more than God has ordained for you to know, you can’t pray; the circumstances of the people become so overpowering that you are no longer able to get to the underlying truth.

Our work is to be in such close contact with God that we may have His mind about everything, but we shirk that responsibility by substituting doing for interceding. And yet intercession is the only thing that has no drawbacks, because it keeps our relationship completely open with God.

What we must avoid in intercession is praying for someone to be simply “patched up.” We must pray that person completely through into contact with the very life of God. Think of the number of people God has brought across our path, only to see us drop them! When we pray on the basis of redemption, God creates something He can create in no other way than through intercessory prayer.

Changed Forever

From: Our Daily Journey

Changed Forever

Read:

Mark 1:1-9
I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit! (Mark 1:8).

Loneliness. Lynsi Snyder felt it engulf her at age eighteen when her father died. Trying to fill the void, she abused substances, was married and divorced three times, and ended up still feeling alone and like a “piece of trash.”

But then everything changed. She turned to Jesus. His love filled the void in her heart as the Holy Spirit filled her with hope and joy. The heiress and president of the In-N-Out Burger chain in the US, Lynsi is now married to a godly man and runs a ministry that seeks “to unite and equip the Body of Christ to minister and bring healing to broken-hearted and hurting people through Christ’s love and by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Prior to Jesus’ ministry on earth, John the baptizer proclaimed to “all of Judea” that One was coming to “baptize [them] with the Holy Spirit!” (Mark 1:5,8). Fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah and Malachi, John “prepare[d] the way for the Lord’s coming” (Mark 1:2-3). Those who were convicted by John’s words entered the waters to experience a baptism of repentance—showing they had “turned to God to be forgiven” (Mark 1:4).

Jesus came to earth to offer Himself as a living sacrifice for our sins and—ultimately—to provide an inner baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just prior to His death, He said, “It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the [Holy Spirit] won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

When we receive salvation through belief in Jesus, we’re indwelt by and baptized with the Holy Spirit. Although our eternal life in Christ is secure, the process of spiritual transformation is lifelong. Like Lynsi, we’re changed forever even as we continue to grow to be more like Jesus as the Spirit works within us!