You may not be going Back to School or have kids headed back to school but we must remember that does not mean we don’t need to be studying and learning all we can about Jesus, by staying in the word.
Just like the routine we have when we or our kids are going Back to school, we always need to be ready. Ready to tell people what we believe and why. God tells us to share the doctrine, the doctrine of Christ crucified and resserructed , for the whole world to be forgiven if they chose to accept him; the doctrine, that everyone is invited to be fellow heirs, and there is no salvation in by any other but Jesus Christ.
I Peter 3 15…“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:“
Let’s get prepared to go back to school so we can be ready to grow stronger in Christ to spread the Gospel!
My Back to School Ready List
•A Backpack – You will want to empty your backpack of all the guilt and worry you have been carrying around. Hand all of that over to Jesus. You will feel much better with a lighter load
Psalms 55:22 “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”
•A Lunchbox – Be sure you are feasting on Jesus and the Word of God. Feast and be nourished.
John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”
• NewClothes – Be clothed with Righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10 ” I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels. “
• New Shoes– Watch your step! Walk in the ways of Jesus.
I John 2:6 “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
• FreshHaircut – Cut out all those things in your life that cause you to stumble in your Christian walk
Ephesians 4:22-24…That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
• All School Supplies – Know that God will supply your every need and will always be there for you if you will let Him in.
Joshua 1:9” Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. “
You may not be going back to school but remember to stay in the word daily so we can learn and do all we can in offering people hope and salvation.
Matthew 5: 14 ” Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Scripture Text: James 1:1-8……James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
We’ve all heard that old expression “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. That sounds like a good idea, yet sometimes life hands people rotten lemons and no amount of sugar can cover up or disguise their rottenness.
Trying to make life’s lemons into lemonade by yourself, leaves God out. But as Christians, we can be an overcomer to lifes lemons if we let God lead us in every thought and action.
God makes the sweetest lemonade. We can see that as we read stories in the Bible of how God lead many Bible heros to be victorious. Even when it looked bleak for each of them, they were victorios with God’s help.
We need to always remember that God wants His children to be victorious in every way. He expects us to become overcomers thru HIm.
Revelation 3:5…..He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Revelation 2:7……”He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘
These verses are telling us we need to act victorious and not whine and be scared of everything. As Christians, we must be victorious!. We are the child of the King!
How can we be victorious overcomers? How can we turn defeat into victory? How can we take life’s lemons and turn them into lemonade?
We have a choice .We need to make up our mind that we can be overcomers! As Christians, God promises we can be over comers through the power and promise of God.
Philippians 4:13….I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There is the secret…..through Christ who strengthens me……..through Christ who strengthens me…….through Christ who strengthens me…….I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Even though our lives may be full of lemons, we must always remember to thank God for all the tremendous ways He blesses our lives and provides for us.
Sadly, many Christians have tried to make the lemonade by themselves and in the end, they fail. Jesus tells us we cannot do or be anything without Jesus
John 15:5……I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
We must put our faith in God? Are we putting Him first by believing him and trusting in Him by putting on a Christlike attitude. By having a faith and trust to overcome anything thru His power and grace.
If we put on a victim’s mentality it is a loser’s mentality and hard to overcome.
II Timothy 1:12…..For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Christ has come to make victors out of victims. We should remember that at one time we were all victims of the devil and of our own sins. By reciving and then obeying the Gospel, the Lord has made us victors!
I Corinthians 6:9-11……Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
By the love, the grace, and power of God, He has promised to turn our sourest, most rotten lemons into the sweetest, most refreshing lemonade, if we will let Him.
It is up to you. Will you be a victim or a victor?
I Peter 1:6-7…..In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
II Timothy 1:12…..For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Ephesians 3:20…..Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
Hebrews 5:12-13…..For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Today is National Woman’s Day, a day when we honor women, but in today’s women’s devotional we will be talking about women in general and how they can use their influence in a righteous way that will lead the world around them to live up to the standards of God. This is mainly focused on women but the same basic truths also apply to everyone men or women.
Beginning in the Garden of Eden and continuing until eternity, the world has been drawn into sin by Satan. The only hope in the world is the fact that God sent His Son to bring about the forgiveness of sin. The message of the cross is made known by the influence and example of those who are willing to hear it and live for the Lord.
Today, more than ever, Christians should be using every opportunity they have to be a positive influence on society. If we take advantage of the doors that are opened to us we can make a big impact on our society. Though we may hear the cries of a radical feminist who is trying her best to taint the view of all women today, Christian women must recognize the positive influence that they can have on public morality. We must realize that it is our responsibility to help other women understand the importance of living a pure Godly life.
There can be no doubt that today’s society is plunging its head first. Crime is rampant. There never seems to be an end to drug and alcohol abuse. After a slight statistical dip, cigarette smoking is increasing, especially among younger and younger children. Gambling is being legalized by more and more state and local governments. Abortion and illegitimate births are spiraling upward. Television programming is filled with sleazy talk shows airing every kinky relationship imaginable and then some. Abnormal lifestyles are presented on prime-time “family” shows as if they are the norm. Educational systems are influencing our children to be more worldly. Marriages are falling apart, and children are out of control.
Is there an alternative to the declining standards and way to increase immorality or should we just shrug our shoulders and accept things as they are?
Obviously, we should not accept the standards of society, and the solution to the problem is Christianity. Our challenge as Christian Women is to rise above the world and allow the Godliness, virtue, and purity of Christianity to rule in our live. While men should be setting the example for other men, women must also set the example for living a moral life for other women.
Though our nation as a whole has lost its moral compass, it is not the first time this has happened. The Bible tells us of the fall of Adam and Eve, the pride of Babel, the corruption of Noah’s day, Sodom and Gomorrah, right down to the degeneration of the Roman society of the first century. As corrupt as the Roman society was, Paul managed to covert many from their wicked ways during their day and we can do the same today.
Throughout Biblical history, we can see how Women could influence a nation in a positive way or in a negative way. As women, so the examples I will be using will be the good and the bad women of the Bible.
Our first example comes from the notorious Jezebel who was possibly one of the most wicked women to walk the face of the earth. The details of her life can be read in I Kings 16:31; 18:4-13; 19:1, 2; 21:1-24. She was a murderous, selfish woman determined to have her own way and to wipe out God’s servants. The Bible has nothing good to say about this woman. . The New Testament says her name is synonymous with evil and treachery, as we see in
Revelation 2:20 “Nevertheless I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Her name is used to describe a seducer of the saints.
Jezebel not only had a negative influence on her husband, King Ahab, but her evil ways also influenced her daughter Athaliah as well.
2 Kings 11:1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3 So he was hidden with her in the house of the LORD for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
She was so wicked that when her son, King Ahaziah, was murdered, she set out to have her own grandsons murdered in order to claim the throne for herself. Only through God’s providence was one of those children, Joash, rescued by Jehosheba, and her husband. They gave Joash proper rearing and later led a revolt that established him as King. Joash became one of the “Royal Reformers” of God’s people.
Like mother-like daughters, these two evil women had a negative influence on God’s people. If left unchallenged they would have done greater harm, but both of these women were killed. However, thanks to Jehosheba and her husband the one young lad Joash was saved and was raised in the way of righteousness and became the next king who returned the people back to the way of God. This example shows the difference our influence can have on a nation. The two evil daughters influenced the nation to be evil, but Jehoseba and her husband influenced the new young king toward righteousness, which influenced the nation to righteousness. So, do not ever underestimate the power of your influence as a woman.
Esther is another woman whose influence had a direct bearing on the outcome of one entire nation. If you remember the story then you know that she became the queen of Persia. Haman, who was a wicked man, tried to destroy the Jews that were in captivity. When Mordecai, learned of the plot, he encouraged Esther to inform the King of the scheme, saying to her
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Like the courage of Jehosheba, Esther risked her life by going to the King without an invitation. She knew it was worth the risk to save her people and preserve the lineage that Christ would come through. Women should never think that they cannot make great changes in our nation because Esther shows that it is possible. Yes, we should all do our part in trying to influence those around us to live for God and His way. None of us should think that someone better than me can need to change things, instead, we need to remember what Mordecai said: Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
In the New Testament, we learn of Herodias in:
Matthew 14:3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” 9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
Here we have another example of how a woman used her influence to carry out senseless murder. Herodias was an adulterous woman who hated the preaching of God’s truth by John the Baptist. She found her opportunity to have him murdered when her daughter Salome’s dancing pleased King Herod. When he offered her daughter whatever she wanted, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, which ended the life of the forerunner of Christ.
While the Bible has many examples of wicked women using their influence in wicked ways, we also have many examples of kind women who used their influence in good ways. For example,
Lydia was a woman whose influence helped spread the Gospel of Christ in Philippi in the first century. The account of her faithful life of service as a fellow helper of Paul is in Acts 16.
Acts 16:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Lydia was a seller of purple – a luxurious dye affordable only by the wealthy – she had many contacts within her community. Though we are told specifically of the things she did, we can see that she opened her home up the Paul and Silas, and appears she also opened her home to other brethren as implied in:
Acts 16:40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
After being converted to Christianity, she was using what she had to help serve other Christians. Showing hospitality back then was very important. Though hospitality is not as needed today as was back then, it is still an effective way to show you care and concern for others and can be used to influence those you show hospitality to. So, do not neglect the opportunity to show hospitality to others.
Another great example of women being a great influence is Lois and Eunice. This mother and grandmother were a great influence on Timothy. This is what Paul says about them:
2 Timothy 1:5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Timothy’s father was a Greek and most likely would not have taught him anything about the Jewish way, but his mother and grandmother made sure that he knew about God and what the Scriptures taught. Paul commended them for their faith. A mother and grandmother should never underestimate the importance of their Christian influence on the children and grandchildren.
We could consider many other women of Bible times whose lives affected the course of history: Eve’s fall to temptation, Sarah’s taking matters into her own hand and not waiting for the promised son, Rebekah’s deception of Isaac, Jochebed’s saving of her baby Moses, Deborah’s judgment of Israel, Delilah’s betrayal of Samson, Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi, Hannah’s rearing up of Samuel, Bathsheba’s sin with David, Huldah’s prophesying, Mary’s role in the Virgin Birth, the Samaritan woman bringing her townspeople to meet the Christ, Mary and Martha’s hospitality, Mary Magdelene’s taking the word of the Resurrection to Jesus’ followers, Dorcas’ generosity to the poor of her community, Phoebe’s encouragement of Paul, as well as the multitudes of others, named and unnamed, whose deeds are recorded in God’s Word.
We learn from all of these women to emulate their good and to avoid their evils.
It has been said that on average each of us has a direct influence on some 250 people in our lifetime. Obviously, those with more public lives will influence more people than will those who have limited contact with others. But, we never know who is watching us and is being impressed by the lives we are leading, whether that impression is favorable or not. It may be the checker at the grocery store who sees our attitudes when the lines are long. It may be another driver who sees how we react to traffic jams or by someone cutting us off. It may be the elderly neighbor who could use a hand with the yard work. Our paths constantly cross those who are “fruit inspectors” noticing whether our lives are filled with works and attitudes of the flesh or with the fruits of the Spirit which are:
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Holy living does have an influence over the world. While it is true that each of us is only one person, together we are an army. If we each determine, I can be strong. I will not compromise that which I know to be right. I will teach my family. I will show kindness and deal ethically with others. I will put the Kingdom of God first and pray for all, then this world will be a better place because we all did our part in serving God and being the best influence that we could be.
I hope all of us will always do our best to live for God in word and deed and never use our influence as a woman for evil.
1 Peter 3:10-12… “He who loves life and sees good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil. And his lips from deceit 11. let him turn away from evil and do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayers, but the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.“
Don’t waste your days worrying. This day could be your last. Forget about the past and today’s worries and choose to live.
Psalms 118:24… “This is the day that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
We have free will. That means we can choose to be happy and live in joy. Set your thoughts on God rather than your problems or what might be in your past.
God is so good. He wants nothing but good things and blessings for us. He never changes and he wants us to count our blessings daily with our eyes on God until we reach heaven.
We have every reason to be positive. No matter what happens to us or around us, it does not matter if we are a child of God.
Romans 8:37-38…“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Love life because God is with you at all times. Choose joy and contentment.
Romans 15:13…”Now the God of hope fills you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Remember, all of our choices have consequences. So choose the good things of God. Choose happiness and righteousness.
Philippians 4:8-9…” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
Choose the life of giving and not always taking.
Acts 20:35…“I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Jesus himself knew it was the best choice to happily give. He gave his life for us.
Galatians 1:4… “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”
Choose life by feeding your faith and seeking God first.
Romans 10:17…”So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
I John 1:7… “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
Don’t Grumble! A person that chooses to grumble is now being in the will of God. Am I choosing to live a joyous life, being a blessing to those around us or am I doubting God’s power by grumbling?
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Philippians 2:14-15…”That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;“
You can choose to live life in Joy and righteousness! You are a child of the King of Kings! And always remember…
I Thessalonians 5:18…”In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.“
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Put on the Whole Armour of God because we are in a war.
Our men and women are being sent to battle in a senseless war in Ukraine. Our gas prices are going up because of the pipeline closing and we are buying our fuel from Russia.
We are in a greater battle. A war of good and evil.
We are on the front line of this raging battle of life or death, Heaven or Hell is only one breath away.
We cannot afford to lose this battle of Spiritual warfare. Satan is using all of his power to oppose God and take as many people to hell as he can.
I Timothy 6:12 …12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
It is our honor to be a soldier of God. Fighting the good fight until the battle is done.
Jude 1:3… 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Be zealous and mighty fighting for the faith and defending it.
Every soldier in the Lord’s arm needs the Spiritual arsenal to fight the battle.
Truth guards the waist along with the Breastplate of Righteousness – hunger, and thirst for the truth…Eph 6:14
Shod ur Feet- be ready to march onward Gospel of peace… Eph 6:15
Shield of Faith– Eph 6:16
Helmet of Salvation– Eph 6:17
Acts 4:10-12 …10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none another name under heaven given among men, where we must be saved.
Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, Your Bible. Read it and Study it.
Hebrews 4:12…For the word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
When wearing the Full Armour of God, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Wear the Full Armour of God and be ready for battle, steadfast and victorious as a soldier in the Lord’s army!
Ephesians 6:10-18…10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Many attacks we deal with these days are cyber. Prices are going up and up. We are in a greater battle. A war of good and evil.
We are on the front line of this raging battle. But God is Victorious! It is our honor to be fighting in the good fight.
1 Timothy 6:12…12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Today as we are in the Christmas Season we know that Jesus is the reason for the season. They get upset when they try to take Jesus out of Christmas. However, the Bible teaches us that Jesus was the reason that God created every season—he was the reason God created the world. Not for one day or one season.
Without Christ the world is lost—have you noticed that the darkness in the lost world is getting darker—the world, as well as the church, needs the direction only Jesus can give.
Jesus is the missing link in many lives. When The angels proclaimed Christ’s coming to the shepherds they sang:“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14) NIV The culmination of God’s hopes and dreams for heaven and earth descended to the earth as God became flesh.
Jesus descended to his throne to bring peace through service to humanity.He was much different than most earthly kings—he descended from heaven’s throne to live among us—to live life as we must live it. He came with an attitude of a servant king. Earthly kings usually ascend to their throne and always rule so that the subjects of the kingdom can serve them.
Our Jesus is the King of Kings. Let us celebrate him every day of every season!
At the very beginning of the Gospel of Luke, we have a record of the miraculous birth of two men, John the Baptist and Christ Jesus.
We of course understand that the birth of Jesus is the greatest of the two miraculous births.
Jesus has always existed and He left the glories of Heaven and took on the flesh of man.
He was born of a virgin. No one before or since then had a virgin birth like Jesus.
John’s birth was also a miracle sent by God. John’s mother, Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin. Mary is the mother of Jesus. John’s father’s name was Zacharias. Zacharias was a priest, and He was a good and righteous man.
John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, [a]his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you [b]these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
Until the day John was born.
Circumcision of John the Baptist
59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.”
61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
Notice in vs 68-70 Zacharias is prophesying of the Lord Jesus to be born soon.
68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, 71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us
He was speaking not in fear but in love. Love overcomes fear.
The proper love for God causes us to overcome fear. The love of God frees us from fear and creates Joy and Hope in us.
A proper love for God is the key to lile.
1 John 4:19 …..
We love him because he first loved us.
Love the Lord God with all thy heart and soul and mind.
As Love grows, joy grows too. So that perfect love casts off fear.
If you have perfect love for God, what can you fear or dread?
We are about two weeks away from Thanksgiving. If you’re anything like me, you are anxious to start getting ready . Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do right now that will make your life a little easier come Thanksgiving and the days leading up to it.
Hopefully these items listed below will help you to have a low-stress, enjoyable family meal.
Pick The Recipes you are going to cook. your recipes! Decide what you want to cook and begin a shopping list. This gives you plenty of time to track down those special family recipes, ask everyone else for theirinput with regard to dietary restrictions or other preferences, and figure out which dishes (platters, bowls, etc.) you’ll use to serve each recipe.
What Size Turkey Should I buy?
The Agriculture Department suggests one pound of turkey per person. We’ve previously suggested about 1½ pounds for each diner to allow for leftovers.
Purchase or order your turkey. Don’t be left scrounging around the grocery store for turkey the day before Thanksgiving. If you find a good deal on a Turkey you want, go ahead and buy and keep it in the freezer. Just be sure you give yourself enough for it to defrost. Otherwise, place an order for your turkey now so you get exactly what you want.
Buy all your shelf safe groceries. The grocery store aisles are ready and brimming with many of the ingredients we use for Thanksgiving. While you’re relaxed and thinking ahead, go ahead and grab your canned pumpkin, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, marshmallows, and whatever else your family’s favorite dishes use. Fresh cranberries can be frozen or will store fine in the fridge for a few weeks, as well. Also, stock up on all your drink and paper goods supplies.
Make your pie crust. Pie Crusts freezes great. Make you a batch now to get it out of the way. Let it defrost at least overnight before you’re ready to use it. Want to stash a whole ready-to-bake pie in the freezer?
Order your meal if you don’t want to cook. If you’ve made the decision to outsource the cooking, whether it’s the whole meal or a few parts, you can probably place your orders now. The sooner you do so the better, as some sources may limit the number of orders. Deadlines vary, but generally, restaurants and bakeries require a longer lead time than grocery stores.
Perhaps one of the most sought after things in the world is happiness. People just want to be happy. There is nothing wrong with being happy . I love being happy. I desire to have people around me that are happy.
The sad thing is, most people don’t know where to find happiness. We are conditioned by the world and the devi through the media and marketing companies that vacations, candy bars, fast food, cleaning products, you name it. We seek our happines in things of the world.
We are all aware that many people are wasting their lives away by seeking happiness in drugs, alcohol, sex or the next big social party. These short lived happy moments are dead end streets. A sure path to misery, self destruction and depression.
I think it is safe to say our present day society is the most materially blessed in the world. We all have labor saving devices, communication equiptment, transportation, entertainment, and leisure activities all at our fingertips.
Despite all these wonderful things that are suppose to make us happy and fulfill us, people are very unhappy, dissatisfied, depressed and suicide rates are soaring,
How many books have been written that are suppose to tell you how to find happiness? They are all showing us that we cannot find happiness in any of these books. There is only one book that can tell us how to find Happiness. The one and only book is the Bible. It truly holds the key to happiness. The Holy Bible.
The Bible instructs us how to find happines in several ways:
Live life one day at a time. The Bible points out that today is alll we have. Yesterday is gone and if we worry about tomorrow, we are wasting our time. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:34….“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about it’s own things. Sufficient for the day is it’s own troubles.”
Let us serve God today with the strength we waste worring about what might happen.
Psalms 118:24… “This is the day that the Lord has made;we will rejoice and be glad in it!”
2. Count Your Blessings. Finding happinness that lasts is a choice we make. God has given us a mind and a free will. Is yourmind thinking about all of your blessings or are you just concentratating and dwelling on all of your problems?
We all have problems. We can not let these rule our lives or take away our joy. We need to choose to think about alll of the wonderful blessing God has given us. Count your blessing instead of your problems. It is vital to our happiness.
James 1:17…“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes from theFather of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. “
3. Be Positive not Negative. Chose to be positive instead of negative. The Christian is the one person in the world that has a reason to be happy, positive and optimistic. Our future as Christians is secure not matter what happens around us. Stay positive and count your blessings.
Romans 8:31…“What then can we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:37-39…“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, not things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
4. Love Life. Love the life that God has given you. All of us die but some of us have never truly lived! God intends for us to have a peaceful life of happiness, contnintment and joy.
Romans 15:13... “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that your may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The Christian has every reason to love life because of the great hope that dwells in us by faith. We need to be happy and share this love of Christ to others.
5. Learn to be A Giver, Not a Taker. Acts 20:35…” I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus. It is better to give than to receive.”
Placing our concerns on others helps us not to be selfish and it not only blesses someone else but it helps us to be more like Jesus and to be happy.
6. Keep Your Priorities Straight. It is sad that peolple without Christ have nothing to live for but themselves. There only happiness is what they can find today. Don’t be blinded by Satan. Our happiness cannot be found in possessions. Many rich people without Christ die in the end defeated, lonely and miserable and without hope. Jesus tells us in
Matthew 6:33… “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
For true happiness, stay in the word, grow closer to God. He gives you the power to overcome weakness and be happy.
Proverbs 3:15-21… “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes;Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Honor the Lord with your posessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with wine. Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction;for whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as Father, the son in whom he delights.”