“GOODBYE AND HELLO”

IT IS THAT ONE TIME OF YEAR WHEN WE SAY ‘GOODBYE’ TO THE OLD YEAR AND ‘HELLO’ TO THE NEW YEAR. FOR MANY THE GOODBYE IS A WELCOME EVENT WITH TRAGEDIES, LOSSES OF A LOVED ONE OR OTHER DISAPPOINTMENTS WE WANT TO PUT IN OUR PAST. FOR OTHERS, THE NEW YEAR IS AN EXCITING TIME TO WELCOME NEW OPPORTUNITIES.

OUR SOCIETY HAS EMBRACED THE IDEA OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. WE WANT TO STOP SMOKING, LOSE WEIGHT, EXERCISE MORE, FIND A NEW JOB…ALL GREAT ‘WANT TO’ IDEALS. ALL TO OFTEN, THE RESOLUTIONS ARE LOST AND DISCARDED BEFORE WE GIVE OURSELVES A CHANCE TO KEEP THEM.

WHAT IS YOUR RESOLUTION FOR THE NEW YEAR?

THIS YEAR MAKE A RESOLUTION YOU CAN KEEP. RESOLVE TO GROW CLOSER WITH GOD. BY GROWING WITH GOD AND FOCUSING ON HIS WILL FOR YOUR LIFE, THE OTHER RESOLUTIONS WILL BE EASIER TO KEEP.

MAKE GOD YOUR PRIORITY. YOU ARE HIS PRIORITY. READ YOUR BIBLE MORE. GO TO CHURCH REGULARLY. GET INVOLVED WITH GROUPS AT YOUR CHURCH. STUDY GOD’S WORD EVERY DAY. START WITH THE DEVOTIONALS AND READ THE VERSES. BE SURE TO SHARE..SHARE THE WONDERFUL LOVE OF GOD WITH OTHERS. TELL THE STORY OF CHRIST AND THE SALVATION HE HAS GIVEN TO YOU AND WILL GIVE TO THEM.

SAY ‘HELLO’ TO A NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST!

“THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IN HIM. FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. FOR GOD DID NOT SEND HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD THROUGH HIM.” JOHN 3:15-17 NIV

“IS CHRISTMAS OFFICIALLY OVER?”

READ: LUKE 2:22-50

‘IS CHRISTMAS OFFICIALLY OVER?” DON’T THESE WORDS SOUND HORRIBLE?

YET, THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, THAT IS WHAT THE STORES WERE TELLING US. EVERYTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS WAS ALL CLEARANCE PRICED AND SHELVES WERE CLEARED FOR VALENTINES DAY CANDY AND GIFTS. THE CHRISTMAS TREE LOTS AND STORES SELLING TREES HAD DISPOSED OF ALL OF THE TREES ON CHRISTMAS EVE…DECLARING CHRISTMAS WAS OVER BEFORE THE BLESSED DAY! DECORATIONS ARE COMING DOWN MUCH FASTER THAN THEY WENT UP.

YOUR HOME IS PERHAPS NOT THAT DIFFERENT WITH CHRISTMAS WRAPPING PAPER, RIBBONS, BOWS AND BOXES CRAMMED INTO THE TRASH. MANY WILL BE TAKING DOWN THEIR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS THIS WEEKEND. HAVE WE OBSERVED A SEASON OF ‘WHAT AM I GOING TO GET?’ RATHER THAN THE BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR. WE OVER-SPENT, OVER-ATE AND SELFISHLY OVER-EXPECTED.

WHAT STARTED AS A PROCLAMATION BY ANGELIC HOSTS AND WITNESSED BY SHEPHERDS AND KINGS ALIKE HAS TURNED INTO A MATERIALISTIC CELEBRATION FOR MANY. DON’T BLAME RETAIL BUSINESSES FOR THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF CHRISTMAS. THEY ARE ONLY FOLLOWING THE DESIRES OF THE PUBLIC.

CHRISTMAS IS NOT OFFICIALLY OVER UNLESS CHRIST’S LOVE IS NOT IN YOUR HEART.

CELEBRATING JESUS’ BIRTH DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OVER. AS A FAITHFUL BELIEVER, YOU CAN CELEBRATE THE JOY OF OUR SAVIOR’S BIRTH EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. DURING THESE LAST FEW WEEKS, WE HAD NUMEROUS ‘EASY’ OPPORTUNITIES TO TELL THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY SINCE CHRISTMAS WAS DISPLAYED ALL AROUND US.

WILL THESE DAYS GOING FORWARD BE DAYS OF A JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF GOD SENDING HIS SON? WILL YOU CONTINUE TELLING THE STORY OF OUR SAVIORS BIRTH, LIFE, CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION? JESUS’ STORY STARTS WITH HIS BIRTH AND IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT TELLING OF THE REASON FOR HIS BIRTH.

MATTHEW 28, VERSES 19 AND 20 IS THE GREAT COMMISSION, INSTRUCTING US TO TELL THE STORY ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE WORLD STARTS JUST INCHES PAST YOUR FRONT DOOR. TELLING THE WORLD THAT ‘CHRISTMAS IS NOT OVER’ BEGINS WITH YOU TELLING YOUR NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS THE MIRACLE OF CHRIST BIRTH, LIFE AND DEATH THAT HAS GIVEN YOU EVERLASTING LIFE. HE HAS BOUGHT YOUR SINS AND HE WILL PAY THE PRICE FOR THEIR SINS AS WELL. TELL THEM OF HIS RESURRECTION AND HOW JESUS WILL COME AGAIN.

KEEP CHRISTMAS ALIVE IN YOUR HEART AND IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS BY TELLING THEM ABOUT CHRIST.

CHRISTMAS IS NOT OFFICIALLY OVER…JUST ASK GOD!

GOOD MORNING, JESUS!

…AND THE ANGELS PROCLAIMED! AS TRADITIONS HAVE UNFOLDED, WE HAVE STORIES OF CHRISTMAS; RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER, SANTA CLAUS AND HIS BAG OF PRESENTS, SONGS OF SLEIGH RIDES IN THE SNOW AND FROSTY THE SNOWMAN.

AS WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS, LET US BE MINDFUL OF THIS SIMPLE FACT….TODAY IS ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS! I PRAY FOR ALL TODAY, THAT EACH WOULD INCLUDE THE REAL CHRISTMAS STORY IN YOUR CELEBRATION TODAY. TODAY IS NOT JUST A ‘HAPPY HOLIDAY’ AS OUR SOCIETY IS PROCLAIMING. TODAY IS THE HOLY DAY WE CELEBRATE THE HOLINESS OF THE BIRTH OF GOD’S SON, OUR SAVIOUR.

FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, BELOW IS THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS. IF YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR BIBLE AVAILABLE, PLEASE PRINT OUT THIS EMAIL TODAY AND SHARE THIS TRUTH OF JESUS’ BIRTH WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. READ THESE VERSES BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR PRESENTS OR ARE GATHERED TO SHARE THE BLESSINGS OF LUNCH OR DINNER.

CHRISTMAS IS THE CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS!

FEEL HIS BLESSINGS!

GD

LUKE 2: 1-20

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. (NIV)

AMEN!

“TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS!”

CHRISTMAS IS A JOYFUL TIME. DECORATIONS, SPECIAL GIFTS, GREAT FOODS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS. ARE YOU BLESSED WITH ALL THESE THINGS?

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS? PLEASE DON’T FORGET THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO ENJOY THESE THINGS. WE HAVE SOLDIERS SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES, SOMEONE YOU KNOW MAY HAVE RELOCATED AND HAVE NO FAMILY NEAR, THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE IN MOURNING FROM THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE, THOSE CONFINED AT HOME IN ILL HEALTH OR IN THE HOSPITAL, OTHERS ARE TORN FROM THEIR FAMILIES BY DIVORCE AND OTHERS ARE SUFFERING FROM EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. IN EVERY MAJOR CITY WE HAVE PEOPLE LIVING ON THE STREETS. OUTSIDE THE U.S., THERE ARE THOSE IN WAR TORN COUNTRIES LIVING DAY BY DAY AND COUNTING THEMSELVES BLESSED TO HAVE A TENT IN A REFUGEE CAMP.

AS WE ENJOY ALL WE HAVE, WE NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP OTHERS. CHANCES ARE, THERE IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW WHO FITS INTO ONE OF THE ABOVE SITUATIONS. DO YOU TURN YOUR BACK AND IGNORE OR DO YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? “‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS” AND SOMEONE IS ALL ALONE AND WILL BE ALONE ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY. GOD IS A LOVING GOD OF MERCY AND LOVE. YOU ARE A CREATION OF GOD WHO CAN ALSO SHOW MERCY AND LOVE.

MAKE THIS CHRISTMAS A BETTER DAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

“FOR I WAS HUNGRY, AND YOU GAVE ME SOMETHING TO EAT; I WAS THIRSTY, AND YOU GAVE ME SOMETHING TO DRINK; I WAS A STRANGER, AND YOU INVITED ME IN; NAKED, AND YOU CLOTHED ME; I WAS SICK, AND YOU VISITED ME; I WAS IN PRISON, AND YOU CAME TO ME.”…”THE KING WILL ANSWER AND SAY TO THEM, ‘TRULY I SAY TO YOU, TO THE EXTENT THAT YOU DID IT TO ONE OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, EVEN THE LEAST OF THEM, YOU DID IT TO ME.'” MATTHEW 25:35-36, 40 NIV

“PEACE ON EARTH”

“GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST HEAVEN, AND ON EARTH PEACE TO THOSE ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS.” LUKE 2:14 NIV

READ: LUKE 2:1-14

EVERY CHRISTMAS, WE SEE ‘PEACE ON EARTH’ SCROLLED ACROSS CHRISTMAS CARDS AND SHOPPING CENTER SIGNS. THE WORDS SEEM TO GIVE US HOPE IN OUR TROUBLED TIMES. IN THE HECTIC MODE OF THE SEASON, WE SEEM TO IGNORE WHAT GOD IS TELLING US. WE MAY BE IGNORING HIS SCRIPTURAL MESSAGE IN OUR HOPE FOR ‘PEACE ON EARTH’.

AROUND THE WORLD WE SEE TERRORISTS MURDERING THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH THEM. ONLY A WEEK AGO, WE SAW NEWS REPORTS OF OVER 100 INNOCENT CHILDREN MURDERED IN THEIR SCHOOL. THERE IS NO PEACE FOR THESE PEOPLE OR THE TERRORISTS WHO ARE BRINGING ON THIS DESTRUCTION OVER MANY COUNTRIES. COUNTRIES ARE BEING PHYSICALLY DESTROYED. THEIR CITIZENS ARE BEING MURDERED, INJURED AND LEFT WITHOUT HOME OR FOOD.

GOD CREATED ALL MEN. HE CREATED ALL MANKIND AND GAVE US EACH A CHOICE TO DO GOOD OR EVIL. WE KNOW THIS SINCE ADAM AND EVE FOLLOWED THE DECEIT OF THE SERPENT AND OTHERS AGAIN AND AGAIN IGNORED GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE. HE WARNED US. YET, AS A PEOPLE WE CONTINUE TO DO IT OUR WAY. GOVERNMENTS WILL NOT CHANGE PEOPLE. PEOPLE WILL NOT CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE OF THIS EARTH WILL ONLY CHANGE BY ACCEPTING GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS AND BLESSINGS.

THERE IS TO BE A ‘PEACE ON EARTH’, BUT IT IS NOT JUST A WORLD PEACE FROM WARS AND KILLINGS. WHILE WORLDLY PEACE SEEMS SO DESIRABLE, THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD’S WORD IS TELLING US.

GOD IS TELLING US THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE OF THE ‘PEACE’ WE WILL FIND WITH HIM WHILE ON THIS EARTH. BY DEVELOPING A TRUE ONE ON ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WE WILL FIND THE PEACE HE DESIRES. HE SENT HIS SON TO OFFER US THAT PEACE.

OUR SCRIPTURE VERSE TODAY ENDS IN “…AND ON EARTH PEACE TO THOSE ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS.” READ IT AGAIN, CAREFULLY…”ON WHOM HIS FAVOR RESTS.” THIS WAS PROCLAIMED BY THE ANGELS UPON THE BIRTH OF JESUS. NO WHERE DOES OUR BIBLE TELL US IN THE OLD OR NEW TESTAMENT WE WILL LIVE IN A HARMONIOUS PEACE WITH EVERYONE ON EARTH. WE WILL NOT KNOW THIS WORLD WIDE PEACE UNTIL JESUS RETURNS.

YEARS LATER, JESUS TOLD US IN LUKE 12:51 (NIV) : “DO YOU THINK I CAME TO BRING PEACE ON EARTH? NO, I TELL YOU, BUT DIVISION.” THERE IS COMFORT IN HIS WORDS OF WARNING, BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THEM. THE DIVISION IS BETWEEN BELIEVERS AND NON BELIEVERS. THOSE WHO BELIEVE WILL HAVE THE COMFORT OF GOD’S LOVE NO MATTER OF FAMILY SITUATIONS, ECONOMIC STRUGGLES, HEALTH ISSUES OR WAR.

OUR ‘PEACE ON EARTH’ IS THE PEACE WE HAVE WHILE ON THIS EARTH KNOWING GOD IS WITH US AS BELIEVERS IN UNITY WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT UNTIL CHRIST RETURNS. IF YOU DON’T KNOW THIS ‘PEACE ON EARTH’, ISN’T IT TIME YOU DID? TODAY IS YOUR DAY TO ACCEPT JESUS INTO YOUR LIFE. FIND GOD’S ‘PEACE ON EARTH’ AND ENJOY THIS CHRISTMAS AS NEVER BEFORE. FIND THIS PEACE AND YOU WILL FIND GOD’S GREATEST BLESSINGS.

BLESSINGS ARE REAL. GOD HAS BLESSED EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH. MOST DON’T KNOW THEY HAVE BEEN BLESSED. THEY ARE BLINDED BY THEIR OWN HUMAN, SELFISH DESIRES AND DON’T SEE WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN THEM. IF THEY DID KNOW GOD’S BLESSINGS, THEY WOULD BE WORSHIPING GOD INSTEAD OF CREATING WAR AND CRIME.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST BLESSING? THE GREATEST BLESSING IS THE BLESSING OF ‘KNOWING’ YOU ARE BLESSED!

DONATION GIFTS

BY NOW THE POST OFFICE HAS PACKED YOUR MAILBOX WITH CHRISTMAS REQUESTS FOR DONATIONS FROM CHARITIES AROUND THE WORLD. SOME YOU KNOW WELL. OTHERS, YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR. ALL IN ALL, CHARITIES ARE RELIANT ON DONATIONS.

REVIVAL MINISTRY RELIES ON DONATIONS AS WELL. WE WILL NOT BE SENDING CUTE STICKY NOTES OR ADDRESS LABELS. WE DON’T SPEND MONEY ON FRILLS. OUR LIMITED BUDGET PAYS FOR BASICS IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN OUR WEBSITE AND SUPPLIES WHILE REACHING OUT AND ASSISTING CHURCHES WITH SPECIAL EVENTS AND REVIVALS TO BRING THOSE WITHOUT A CHURCH HOME AND UNSAVED TO JESUS.

THIS IS A SIMPLE REQUEST ASKING YOU TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER INVESTING IN THIS SPECIAL PART OF GOD’S WORK IN THE KINGDOM. ANY AMOUNT IS GENEROUS. YOUR DONATIONS LARGE OR SMALL WILL BE ANSWERED PRAYERS. REVIVAL MINISTRY IS A GROWING 501 C 3 AND ALL DONATIONS ARE DEDUCTIBLE FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES.

WILL YOU CONSIDER SENDING A GIFT OF LOVE AND SUPPORT TO HELP US CONTINUE SPREADING GOD’S WORD?

“EACH OF YOU SHOULD GIVE WHAT YOU HAVE DECIDED IN YOUR HEART TO GIVE, NOT RELUCTANTLY OR UNDER COMPULSION, FOR GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER.” 2 CORINTHIANS 9:7 NIV

PLEASE SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO:

REVIVAL MINISTRY
2727 WEST AMMANN RD.
BULVERDE, TEXAS 78163

“PASS THE MASHED POTATOES!”

“PASS THE MASHED POTATOES!” “PASS THE GRAVY!” SOUND FAMILIAR? FOR MANY, CHRISTMAS IS THE TIME OF YEAR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS COME TOGETHER TO EAT! TURKEY, HAM, A SELECTION OF SALADS AND VEGETABLES, BREADS AND DESSERTS OF CAKES AND PIES MAKE THE FEAST COMPLETE.

AS A SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUALLY, WE OFTEN OVERINDULGE. OUR CHRISTMAS SEASON GIVES US A FALSE EXCUSE TO DO THINGS IN EXCESS. WE EAT TOO MUCH. WE SPEND TOO MUCH ON ‘THINGS’ AND EXCUSE OURSELVES ALL BECAUSE IT IS CHRISTMAS. FOR MANY, JANUARY COMES AS A HARD REMINDER OF OUR EXCESSES WHEN THE CREDIT CARD BILLS ARRIVE.

THERE IS A BETTER WAY. IF YOU ARE GONG TO DO ANYTHING IN THE EXCESS…LOVE. IT STARTS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND LOVING THEM FOR WHAT AND WHO THEY ARE. THEN IT IS LOVING FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS AND CO-WORKERS WITH THE SAME LOVE. THAT IS JUST THE START. THE FIRST STEPS ARE THE HARDEST. SOMETIMES IT IS DIFFICULT FOR US TO LOVE SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE OR IS DOING THINGS WE DON’T APPROVE.

WHO LOVES YOU? YOU MIGHT ANSWER YOUR SPOUSE, PARENTS, CHILDREN OR OTHERS. THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU THE MOST IS GOD. GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON IN A GRUESOME HUMANLY DEATH IN ORDER THAT YOU CAN HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AS THE BIRTH OF JESUS. YET, WE KNOW THE WHOLE STORY…A HOLY BIRTH, A PERFECT LIFE, A CRUCIFIXION, A RESURRECTION AND A RETURNING SAVIOR!

SO, ENJOY THE MASHED POTATOES, GRAVY AND ALL IN MODERATION. BUT, DON’T BE MODERATE IN YOUR LOVE OF GOD. BE EXCESSIVE! PUT THIS CHRISTMAS IN PERSPECTIVE…PUT CHRIST BACK IN CHRISTMAS. DON’T FALL INTO THE ‘HAPPY HOLIDAYS’ TRAP. PROCLAIM JESUS TO EVERYONE YOU MEET. GOD IS WITH US!

“‘THE VIRGIN WILL CONCEIVE AND GIVE BIRTH TO A SON, AND THEY WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL’ (WHICH MEANS ‘GOD WITH US.” MATTHEW 1:23 NIV

“THREE WILLS OF GOD”

“THEN GOD SAID, “LET US MAKE MANKIND IN OUR IMAGE, IN OUR LIKENESS, SO THAT THEY MAY RULE OVER THE FISH IN THE SEA AND THE BIRDS IN THE SKY, OVER THE LIVESTOCK AND ALL THE WILD ANIMALS, AND OVER ALL THE CREATURES THAT MOVE ALONG THE GROUND.” GENESIS 1:26 NIV

READ: GENESIS 2:16-3:24

WHEN I HAVE PREACHED ON GOD’S WILLS. SIMPLICITY SEEMED BEST. AS WE READ AND STUDY GOD’S WORD, WE CAN FEEL THE HAND OF GOD LEADING US. WHY WOULD GOD NOT LEAD US? GOD CREATED US OF HIS DESIRE AND HE DESIRES THE BEST FOR US. WE CAN IDENTIFY WITH THREE VERY DISTINCT WILLS OF GOD; HIS DESIRING WILL, HIS ALLOWING WILL AND HIS DEMANDING WILL.

WHEN WE CONSIDER HOW WE GET UP EVERY DAY, PRAY TO DO GOD’S WILL AND LIVE THE LIFE HE INTENDED, WE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW WE CAN BE A MOMENTARY DISAPPOINTMENT TO OURSELVES WHEN WE ‘BACKSLIDE’.

A FEW WEEKS AGO WE STUDIED THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT NAMES OF GOD AND HOW THEY EXPLAIN THE DIVINE PERSONALITIES OF GOD. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE THREE WILLS OF OUR CREATOR.

GOD’S DESIRING WILL

“I DESIRE TO DO YOUR WILL, MY GOD, YOUR LAW IS WITHIN MY HEART.” PSALM 40:8 NIV

FROM THE FIRST VERSES OF GENESIS WE SEE GOD’S DESIRING WILL. GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH AND WITHIN BY HIS DESIRE. SCRIPTURE TELLS OF THE PRESENCE OF OUR TRIUNE GOD METICULOUSLY CREATING ALL FOR MAN. EVEN MAN WAS CREATED BY GOD’S DESIRE.

AS HE CREATED ADAM AND EVE HE GAVE THEM ALL THEY NEEDED. HE DESIRED THEIR FAITHFULNESS AND TOLD THEM OF THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE. BY FAITH THEY COLD HAVE BEEN OBEDIENT AND NOT TAKEN THE FRUIT. SCRIPTURES SHOW US, IT WAS THE DESIRE OF GOD FOR ADAM AND EVE TO BE OBEDIENT. GOD DESIRES YOU TO BE OBEDIENT AS WELL.

GOD IS A GENEROUS GOD, DESIRING OUR OBEDIENCE. IS GOD’S WILL IN YOUR HEART?

GOD’S ALLOWING WILL

“BUT IF SERVING THE LORD SEEMS UNDESIRABLE TO YOU, THEN CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE,…BUT FOR ME AND MY HOUSEHOLD, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.” JOSHUA 24:8 NIV

GOD IS ALSO AN ALLOWING GOD. HE TELLS US EVERY DAY WHAT HE WANTS AND EXPECTS OF US. IT IS UP TO US TO LISTEN. EVERY DAY, GOD ALLOWS US TO DO THINGS OUR WAY EVEN WHEN IT IS AGAINST HIS DESIRES FOR US. JUST AS ADAM AND EVEN WERE ALLOWED TO DISHONOR GOD AND EAT THE FRUIT BY THE TEMPTATION OF THE SERPENT, WE MAKE THE SAME TYPE CHOICES EVERY DAY.

WE DECIDE WE KNOW AS MUCH OR MORE THAN GOD AND MAKE DECISIONS ON OUR OWN. WHILE WE MAY HAVE ALL THE ‘FACTS’, WE STILL ARE ALLOWED TO USE OUR OWN WILL THAT IS CERTAIN TO HURT US. THROUGH OUT HIS WORD, GOD TELLS US OF HIS ALLOWING WILL; CAIN MURDERING HIS BROTHER, ABRAHAM AND SARAH NOT WAITING UPON GOD FOR A SON, JOSEPH’S BROTHERS TORTURING AND BETRAYING HIM, DAVID’S ADULTERY AND CONSPIRACY TO MURDER AND ON AND ON. IN HIS DESIRE FOR US TO BE OBEDIENT, GOD CONTINUES TODAY ALLOWING US TO MAKE DECISIONS…BAD DECISIONS…JUST AS HE HAS ALLOWED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.

GOD HAS TAUGHT US WELL. HAVE WE BEEN ATTENTIVE IN OUR LEARNING?

GOD’S DEMANDING WILL

“AND FOR YOUR LIFEBLOOD I WILL SURELY DEMAND AN ACCOUNTING. I WILL DEMAND AN ACCOUNTING FROM EVERY ANIMAL. AND FROM EACH HUMAN BEING, TOO, I WILL DEMAND AN ACCOUNTING FOR THE LIFE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.” GENESIS 9:5 NIV

AFTER TELLING US HOW HE WANTS US TO LIVE AND ALLOWING US TO LEARN, SOMETIMES WITH GREAT FAILURES, GOD WILL TELL US ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’! OUR BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD. GOD HAS GENEROUSLY SHARED HIS WORD WITH US. VERSE BY VERSE, GOD HAS TOLD US OF HIS DESIRES FOR US AND CONTINUED TO ALLOW US TO TURN OUR BACK ON HIM. GOD HAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO CORRECT AND DISCIPLINE HIS PEOPLE.

JUST AS GOD DISCIPLINED ADAM AND EVE, GOD CAN AND WILL DEMAND CHANGES IN OUR ACTIONS. IT MAY BE AS SIMPLE AS A GENTLE REMINDER OR ABRUPTLY STOPPING US IN OUR TRACKS. NO MEANS NO!

GOD HAS THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO DEMAND OUR OBEDIENCE, FAITH AND LOVE. DURING YOUR BUSY DAY, ARE YOU AWARE OF GOD’S DEMANDS OF YOUR ACCOUNTING?

“ONLY _____ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!”

IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN, YOU ARE HEARING; “ONLY ___ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!” THE COUNTDOWN IS REAL: 15, 14, 13… THEIR ANTICIPATION IS EVER PRESENT. THEY ARE MORE THAN ANXIOUS FOR THE MAGICAL DAY WHEN PRESENTS WILL BE FOUND UNDER THE TREE. AT THEIR YOUNG AGES, IT MAY BE DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.

A LOT OF ADULTS ARE THE SAME WAY. TOO MANY ARE CAUGHT UP IN THE BUYING AND GIVING OF A HOLIDAY PRESENTS RATHER THAN ‘THE REASON FOR THE SEASON’. STORE CLERKS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SAY “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” RATHER THAN “MERRY CHRISTMAS”. STORES PROMOTE SALES AND THE SHOPPERS RESPOND IN UNYIELDING CROWDS. PUSHING, SHOVING, ARGUING, EVEN PHYSICAL ALTERCATIONS ARE COMMON PLACE. IT DOESN’T SOUND MUCH LIKE CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. ARE YOU INTO THE COMMERCIAL CHRISTMAS PROMOTIONS OR CHRIST?

YOU CAN CHANGE ALL THAT. IT STARTS WITH ONE PERSON…YOU. SHOW OTHERS THE JOY OF CELEBRATING JESUS’ BIRTH. YOU CAN PUT ‘CHRIST’ BACK INTO CHRISTMAS. TELL EVERYONE “MERRY CHRISTMAS” WITH A GREAT SMILE. ALLOW SOMEONE TO TAKE THAT PRIZED PARKING SPACE YOU REALLY HAD WAITED FOR THE LONGEST. ALLOW THAT WEARY MOM, STRUGGLING WITH LITTLE ONES, TO GO AHEAD OF YOU IN LINE. ALLOW THAT GRUMPY MAN TO GO AHEAD OF YOU IN LINE AS YOU TELL HIM WHY YOU ARE HAPPY TO LET HIM AHEAD OF YOU. TELL HIM OF THE ‘REASON FOR THE SEASON’… JESUS’ BIRTH.

CONCENTRATE ON GIVING OF YOURSELF INSTEAD OF EXPENSIVE GIFTS THAT WILL BE MARKED 1/2 PRICE IN A FEW WEEKS AND BROKEN OR DISCARDED IN MONTHS TO COME. GIVE YOUR WAITER ENOUGH TO COVER THAT FAMILY’S DINNER AT THE NEXT TABLE…HAVE THE WAITER TAKE YOUR ANONYMOUS NOTE TELLING THEM …”MERRY CHRISTMAS, JESUS LOVES YOU…PASS IT ON!” IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD THE PRICE OF DINNER FOR THE FAMILY…SEND THE NOTE WITH DESSERT FOR THE FAMILY. THE BEST PRESENT YOU WILL GET THIS CHRISTMAS IS THE ONE YOU GIVE AWAY!

THIS CHRISTMAS, COUNTDOWN “IT IS ONLY ___ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!” BY DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SOMEONE WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN EACH AND EVERY DAY FROM NOW UNTIL CHRISTMAS. IT YOU WILL DO ONE THING EVERY DAY, YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND OTHERS WILL JOIN IN AND WE WILL ALL BE BLESSED WITH A VERY “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?…

…”FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” JOHN 3:16 NIV

“ONLY ____ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!”

“ONLY ___ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!”

IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN, YOU ARE HEARING; “ONLY ___ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!” THE COUNTDOWN IS REAL: 15, 14, 13… THEIR ANTICIPATION IS EVER PRESENT. THEY ARE MORE THAN ANXIOUS FOR THE MAGICAL DAY WHEN PRESENTS WILL BE FOUND UNDER THE TREE. AT THEIR YOUNG AGES, IT MAY BE DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.

A LOT OF ADULTS ARE THE SAME WAY. TOO MANY ARE CAUGHT UP IN THE BUYING AND GIVING OF A HOLIDAY PRESENTS RATHER THAN ‘THE REASON FOR THE SEASON’. STORE CLERKS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SAY “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” RATHER THAN “MERRY CHRISTMAS”. STORES PROMOTE SALES AND THE SHOPPERS RESPOND IN UNYIELDING CROWDS. PUSHING, SHOVING, ARGUING, EVEN PHYSICAL ALTERCATIONS ARE COMMON PLACE. IT DOESN’T SOUND MUCH LIKE CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. ARE YOU INTO THE COMMERCIAL CHRISTMAS PROMOTIONS OR CHRIST?

YOU CAN CHANGE ALL THAT. IT STARTS WITH ONE PERSON…YOU. SHOW OTHERS THE JOY OF CELEBRATING JESUS’ BIRTH. YOU CAN PUT ‘CHRIST’ BACK INTO CHRISTMAS. TELL EVERYONE “MERRY CHRISTMAS” WITH A GREAT SMILE. ALLOW SOMEONE TO TAKE THAT PRIZED PARKING SPACE YOU REALLY HAD WAITED FOR THE LONGEST. ALLOW THAT WEARY MOM, STRUGGLING WITH LITTLE ONES, TO GO AHEAD OF YOU IN LINE. ALLOW THAT GRUMPY MAN TO GO AHEAD OF YOU IN LINE AS YOU TELL HIM WHY YOU ARE HAPPY TO LET HIM AHEAD OF YOU. TELL HIM OF THE ‘REASON FOR THE SEASON’… JESUS’ BIRTH.

CONCENTRATE ON GIVING OF YOURSELF INSTEAD OF EXPENSIVE GIFTS THAT WILL BE MARKED 1/2 PRICE IN A FEW WEEKS AND BROKEN OR DISCARDED IN MONTHS TO COME. GIVE YOUR WAITER ENOUGH TO COVER THAT FAMILY’S DINNER AT THE NEXT TABLE…HAVE THE WAITER TAKE YOUR ANONYMOUS NOTE TELLING THEM …”MERRY CHRISTMAS, JESUS LOVES YOU…PASS IT ON!” IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD THE PRICE OF DINNER FOR THE FAMILY…SEND THE NOTE WITH DESSERT FOR THE FAMILY. THE BEST PRESENT YOU WILL GET THIS CHRISTMAS IS THE ONE YOU GIVE AWAY!

THIS CHRISTMAS, COUNTDOWN “IT IS ONLY ___ DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS!” BY DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SOMEONE WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN EACH AND EVERY DAY FROM NOW UNTIL CHRISTMAS. IT YOU WILL DO ONE THING EVERY DAY, YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND OTHERS WILL JOIN IN AND WE WILL ALL BE BLESSED WITH A VERY “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?…

…”FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON, THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” JOHN 3:16 NIV