Consolation of Israel

blogbasilica-of-the-holy-sepulchre-2070814__340Blessed be the Lord God of Israel…” “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Ex.19:5,6.

“…for he hath visited us and redeemed his people…” “And there was one Anna, a prophetess…a widow…which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she…gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem…we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel…Then he said… O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory…behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself…Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Lu. 2:38; 24:21,25-26, 39; Heb. 9:12).

“And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David…” “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.”Ps. 89:15-18.

“As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:” “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled…Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A PROPHET SHALL THE LORD YOUR GOD RAISE UP…UNTO YOU OF YOUR BRETHREN, LIKE UNTO ME; HIM SHALL YE HEAR IN ALL THINGS…AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT EVERY SOUL, WHICH WILL NOT HEAR THAT PROPHET, SHALL BE DESTROYED FROM AMONG THE PEOPLE. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” Acts 3:18,21-24.

“That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;” ”I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” Ps. 18:1-3.

“To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant: The oath which he sware to our father Abraham…” “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, AND IN THY SEED SHALL ALL THE KINDREDS OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED. Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:25-26.

“…that we…might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new…put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (2Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24).

Zacharias filled with the Holy Ghost prophesied the bold scriptures, found in Luke 1:68-75, concerning the consolation of Israel, the coming Messiah. Not only is this prophecy for Israel, but through the blessing of Abraham to “all the kindreds of the earth”.  Christ has redeemed us and saved us from our enemies that we too might serve Him in righteousness and holiness, free from the fear of condemnation.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:17-18.

Praying this Christmas season begins and continues a life of your blessing the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed us and made us His own. Praise ye the Lord.

 

The Face of God

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matt. 5:8.

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them…the shepherds said…Let us now go…and see this thing which has come to pass…they…found…the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying…told them concerning this child.” Luke 2:15-17.

“Now when Jesus was born…there came wise men…And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child…and fell down, and worshipped him…” Matt. 2:1,11.

Of Heaven and Earth

Have you gazed into the heavens longing to see what the shepherds and the wise men saw…the very face of God? How would you respond if suddenly, the heavens opened and there He was?

After reading the book of the covenant, “Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, behold the blood of the covenant…Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel…they saw God and did eat and drink.” Ex.24:9-11. They shared a covenant meal with the Lord after the blood was applied for cleansing.

Job saw God and declared, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5,6. When we see God for who He is, we see ourselves as we are.

Isaiah shares his experience of seeing God and writes, “…I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims…And one cried unto another…Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory… Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips…for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts, Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand…taken from off the altar; And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isa. 6:1-7.

God promises the pure in heart will see Him. Katharos translated ,as pure, means cleansed. Isaiah describes this one as, “He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil…Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty…” Isa. 33:15,17.

The writer of Hebrews echoes Isaiah’s words: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”(Heb. 12:14).

John goes further to tell us who the pure in heart are. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1John 3:2,3.

“For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face…” 1Cor. 13:12.

His face is hidden for a time but He stands near to those who, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works…Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (James 4:8a; Ps.73:28; Heb. 10:22).

Draw near now for a day is coming when we shall see Him clearly and: “…there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” Rev. 22:3,4.

O’ I Want to See Him

O I want to see Him, look upon His face,
There to sing forever of His saving grace;
On the streets of glory let me lift my voice,
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.

Full Song Lyrics: http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/o-i-want-to-see-him-lyrics-hymns.html#ixzz51uifbm4I
Read more at http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/o-i-want-to-see-him-lyrics-hymns.html#TZA3fU8QHzs4XPHg.99

God’s Garden Gift

DSCF0336“…And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matt. 2:23.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul…And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden … and … commanded the man, saying Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good, and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die…And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die…the woman did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of both of them were opened.” (Gen.1:26; 2:7,16-17; 3:4,6,7).

“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed…” Gen. 3:14,15.

“…enmity between thee and the woman…” “…and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…and he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child…And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed…” Rev. 12:9, 13,17.

“…and between thy seed…” “Jesus said…If God were your Father, ye would love me…Ye are of your father the devil; and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it…” John 8:42,44.

“…thou shalt bruise his heel…” “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends…For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit…I am he that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for evermore…”(Isa. 53:5; Zech. 13:6; 1Pet. 3:18).

“… and her seed…” “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as one, And to thy seed, which is Christ…And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise… her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 3:16,29: Rev. 12:17).

“…and her seed…shall bruise thy head…” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that has the power of death, that is , the devil…And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10).

DSCF0337In the Garden of Eden, God gave mankind the gift of His word, a promise that would restore what man had forfeited.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 22:1, 3).

“…And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matt. 2:23.

If you would like to give God the gift of praise and gift all those who read it, please share in comments a time when God’s presence was real to you. Was it a good time or a hard time?

And we are left with Jesus promise for this time: “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:20.

Christmas Before Time Began

christmas-1913650__340“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” Acts 15:18.

The birth of Christ transcends a day –

  • foreordained in eternity past before time began,
  • revealed in the fall of man,
  • foreshadowed in history,
  • foretold by prophets, priests and kings,
  • heralded by angels,
  • and the mystery of it to be finished when eternity future swallows time.

“In the beginning God created…

In the beginning was the Word … the Word was God …

And God said unto Moses,

I AM THAT I AM…

Jesus said unto them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Before Abraham was, I am…

I am God, and there is none else;

I am God, and there is none like me,

Declaring the end from the beginning,

and from ancient times the things that are not yet done,

saying, My counsel shall stand,

and I will do all my pleasure…

And what was God’s pleasure?

I bring near my righteousness;

it shall not be far off,

and my salvation shall not tarry;

and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory…

God brought his righteousness near and his salvation to Zion for all the world to behold and receive of his glory, when Mary gave birth to –

a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people from their sins…

AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME

EMMANUEL,

which being interpreted is, 

God with us.

(Gen. 1:1 – John 1:1; Ex. 3:14 – John 8:58;  Isa. 46:9,10,13; Matt. 1:21,23)

Jesus walked among us, God with us, once bringing salvation through his death and resurrection. The day is coming when there is no night and time is no more – only eternity.  He will walk with us who are his and us with him forever.

“And from Jesus Christ,

who is the faithful witness,

and the first begotten of the dead,

and the prince of the kings of the earth,

Unto him that loved us,

and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;

to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen …

I am  Alpha and Omega,

the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,

which is, and which was, and which is to come,

the Almighty …

Behold the tabernacle of God is with men,

and he will dwell with them,

and they shall be his people,

and God himself shall be with them,

and be their God …

It is done.”

(Revelation 1:5,6,8; 21:3,6a)

God has declared his plan for the end from the beginning as He completed the mystery of the gospel. It is done. None can stop it. It is true.

As we think on the baby placed in a manger so long ago, we can know our redemption draws near. May our hearts and voices join the heavenly chorus  and cry out,

“Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty,

which was, and is, and is to come…

(Rev.4:8; ).

For our Savior has given us this promise –

“FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE,

AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME,

AND WILL NOT TARRY.”

Hebrews 10:37

Who Are They?

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding…She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” Prov. 3:13,18.

christmas-934181__340“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” Matt. 2:1,2.

These men saw a star and understood it had special meaning. They identified it as a sign of the birth of the King of the Jews. Where did they get this knowledge?

Had the writings of Moses concerning Balaam’s oracle reached their ears?  “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…” Numbers 24:17.

Or were they Babylonians or Medes that had heard of Daniel’s wisdom and prophetic dreams and visions? “I saw…one like the Son of man…And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an ever lasting dominion…”Dan. 7:13,14.

We don’t have certain answers to those questions but we do know they showed wisdom in choosing to worship and fear God. “ When they were come into the house, they saw the young child…and fell down, and worshipped him…And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”(Matt. 2:11,12.)

The lack of the fear of God is evident today in the choices of mankind and I wonder where are the wise men? Joshua in the Old Testament gave the people a choice.

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served…and serve ye the LORD…choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”Josh. 24:14,15.

Elijah gave the people a choice. “…How long halt ye between two opinions: if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”1Kings 18:21.

The Lord gives you a choice. “…Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom… the beginning of knowledge…Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”(Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; 3:5-7).

Choose wisely while there is still time to choose. For the day fast approaches where, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still…behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:11,12.

Be counted among the wise, seeking and following the wisdom of God for in it you will find happiness and the tree of life. God does not wish for any to “…perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2Pet. 3:9. Make you choice count for eternity.

Praying we each choose to walk and grow in the knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual understanding of the Lord.

The Missing Ingredient

“And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called his Christ…Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. 1:16,18.

Wouldn’t you find it hard to believe if your were in Joseph’s sandals? All Israel waited for Messiah. I imagine every Jewish girl hoped for the honor of God upon their lives. And now a young girl waiting to consummate the vows of betrothal declares she is with child of the Holy Ghost. What kind of man had God chosen to bring up His Son in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”?

Joseph was a carpenter from Nazareth, a respected profession but an obscure village in the northern region of Israel. He was chosen out of, “the wisdom of God…the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” 1Cor. 2:7. God proved His wisdom in choosing him, and showed us what He desires in a man to be head of a family, “…even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” Eph. 5:23b.

“Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man…” According to the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, Joseph was in good company, being one that consistently chose observance of right and equated with those who walked with God. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”(Gen. 5:24). “…Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”(Gen. 6:9). “…there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel…” (Luke 2:25).

“…Joseph her husband…not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.”  This could be done privately or publicly, but required a bill of divorcement. Joseph’s kind heart would not allow him to disgrace Mary publicly.  “Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;”(Rom. 12:10). “Charity suffereth long, and is kind…”(1Cor. 13:4).

”Joseph…while he thought on these things…” He thought before he acted. “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh logneth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” (Ps. 63:1)

“…the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost…Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:” Joseph’s was a man of faith. “… without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”(Heb. 11:6).  His faith was proven in obedience. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17).

We don’t hear anything of Joseph after Jesus’ twelfth year. But he leaves us with a godly example for men to follow. If we desire our country to return to God, it will begin in our families with godly husbands raising their children with the aid of godly mothers after the teaching of Deuteronomy 6: 4-7,9:DSCF0306

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up…And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”  

My children, grandchildren and great-grandson are blessed to have godly fathers, as was I. Many are missing this ingredient today. Pray for the restoration of the godly family for the sake of our children, their future and ours. May we speak and live the love of Christ before them.

 

It’s Time!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Time was born out of eternity giving it measure; a beginning, a middle and an end.

“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.” Matt. 1:17.

clock-1702513_960_720

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts crying, Abba, Father…thou…art a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”” Gal. 4:4-7.

In the fullness of time, when it completed its course, it delivered a Son. “But when the fullness of time was come…”  “…Mary…being great with child…the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son…his name was called Jesus…for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Lu. 2:5-7,21; Matt. 1:21).

In the fullness of time Jesus delivered the message of the kingdom: “…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye and believe the gospel.” “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will…That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” (Mark 1:15; Eph. 1:9,10).

In the fullness of time God paid the redemption price: “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit…It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.”(Lu. 23:46; John 19:30).

In the fullness of time the seventieth week of Daniel will finish the mystery of God, the wrath of God, and will usher in a time when time has run its course and is swallowed up in eternity. *“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know… and understand…from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks…And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off…” (Daniel 9:24-25).

“… in the days of the voice of the seventh angel…the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets…And I saw another sign in heaven…seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God…And the angel sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven…and the earth…that there should be time no longer:” (Rev. 10:7; 15:1; 10:6)

My personal belief is that time is about to be delivered into eternity, but not yet, leaving us with: “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation…How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…spoken by the Lord…confirmed to us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (2Cor. 6:2b; Heb. 2:3,4).

Heavenly Father, you have given us the gift of time. May we use it wisely to receive your salvation, proclaim your salvation and the coming kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

* In my understanding the 490 referred to is a period of 490 years that began with King Artaxerxes decree to rebuild Jerusalem as found in Neh. 1:1-2:8. I gained this understanding through the Precept Upon Precept study of Daniel acquired from Precept International Ministries.  I highly recommend these studies to any desiring a study of the word through observation, interpretation and application.

What Did They Hear?

“…the shepherds said…Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which…the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” Lu. 2:15b,16.blogchristmas-1010749__340

This is what the shepherds saw, but what did they hear when they looked into the face of God?

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…” Heb. 1:1,2.

Did they hear the seraphim crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”(Isa. 6:3).

Did they hear the Psalmist singing of God’s faithfulness? “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations…I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah…Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.”(Ps. 89:1,3,4,27).

Did they hear Isaiah proclaiming who this babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was and what he would do? “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to the opening of the prison to them that are bound: To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn…give…beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”(Isa. 61:1-3).

Did they hear the Lord speak to Moses at the end of forty years of wandering, saying, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him…whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”(Deut. 18:18,19).

Did they hear Abraham reassure his son? “…My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering…And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (Gen. 22:8,14).

Did they hear Isaiah foretelling the death of the baby the shepherds gazed at? “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth…for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” (Isa. 53:7,8b).

Did they hear David singing of His victory over death? “…my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell: neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Ps. 16:9,10).

Did they hear Daniel reveal the king’s dream of a future day? “…in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever…the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” (Dan. 2:44,45).

Look on the face of the infant lying in a manger and you will see, “…his Son…Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Heb. 1:2a, 3).

“God…hath…spoken unto us by his Son…”  Do you hear the Spirit, the bride, those who have heard? They call out, “…Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely…He(Jesus) which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” (Rev. 22:17,20).

Heavenly Father, May all who read and hear this, heed the words and know your blessing. Amen and even so come quickly.

The Wonders of His Love

“And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2:18.

When you hear the name, Jesus, does a smile appear on your lips? Does peace fill your mind? Does the mere mention of His name bring joy to your heart? Or have you lost the wonder of what we call Christmas? If you have, aren’t you in danger of losing the wonder of our God?

For a few moments let’s see God’s word as if it is the first time we’ve heard it. Let’s look at it as if we were one of the shepherds.DSCF0032

 “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars…” “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption…and the promises… and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came…” (Rev. 12:1,Rom. 9:4,5a).

“…Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and call his name Immanuel…””Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel…said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:34,35) Wow! And that’s not all…”…thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age…who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Lu. 1:36,37.

 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered… And she brought forth a man child…”  “…And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Rev. 12:2,5a:Matt. 1:23). “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens…When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; What is man that thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him…thou hast crowned him with glory and honour.”(Ps. 8:1,3-5).

“And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around about them…and the angel said, For unto you is born…a Savior, which is Christ the Lord… And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…” “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands: Saying with a loud voice, Worhty is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”(Lu. 2:9-14; Rev. 5:11-14).

The wonders of the past are evidence of the wonders coming when the kingdoms of this earth become the kingdom of our Lord.

“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered…”Joel 2:30-32.

You have heard the account of the wonder of God’s love. Has the wonder been worn away by familiarity? disbelief? lost focus? Become a shepherd. Hear his word as if this is the first time you heard it: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the  sons of God…He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (1John 3:1; Rev. 21:7). The wonders of His love.

I want to leave you with that word, but I can’t. For there is another wonder of God that we must look at…the wonder of His wrath.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8).

Which wonder are you living in?

Praying all who read this would know, be filled with, and share the wonder of God’s love

Good Tidings of Great Joy!

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…behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…” Luke 2:10b.

Our world is inundated with reports of murders, terrorism, threats of wars, plagues and natural disasters. And many suffer personal tragedies that strike in a moment. Is it any wonder the masses suffer from depression mixed with intermittent spurts of fleeting happiness? The news media offers a few nibbles of good news at the end of the broadcast like this will give hope?

When Luke penned, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the announcement of good tidings, his world did not differ from the one we live in today. They suffered it all, the same as we do. So, what is it that brings great joy when the world around us is crumbling? Is it really for all people?

“…behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy…”  Angels filled the sky proclaiming the good news to a handful of Jewish shepherds on a hillside. God would fulfill his covenant with His people.

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings…O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength: lift it up, be not afraid, say…Behold your God!—-born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord—He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isa. 40:9; Luke 2:11; Isa. 40:11).

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace: that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation—and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins—that sayeth unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!—And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”(Isa. 52:7; Matt. 1:21; Isa. 52:7; Luke 1:33).

The above scriptures speak to the lost sheep of Israel, a nation waiting for Messiah. But the promise comes through Abraham and the announcement declares…

“…which shall be to all people…” “…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 12:3. “For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all the people. A light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32). “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). “…God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1Tim. 2:3b,4). “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” (Rom. 10:12).

There is only one condition I see in these verses: “…for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rom. 10:13.

For those who have called, we know the joy of His salvation. If you do not know the joy of His salvation, make Jesus the one gift you receive this Christmas season.

Praying for the joy of the Lord to reign in each heart.