Archive for December, 2012

The Strength of Humility

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
(Matthew 2:1, 2 NASB)

When the wise men first saw the star in their own country they may have assumed the great metropolis of Jerusalem would be the most probable place to find the infant King Jesus cared for in the royal grandeur of king Herod’s gold covered palace. Surprisingly they would find him in the small humble surroundings of Bethlehem. The little town of Bethlehem is located 5 miles South of Jerusalem at an elevation of 2,350 ft. above sea level. It occupies an outstanding position upon a crest running east from the watershed with deep valleys to the northeast and south. This geographical location is a position of natural strength and it was occupied by a garrison of the Philistines in the days of king David. Jesus was born humbly in a manger in this little town but this was a position of strength because God exalts the humble. Often in our lives we expect God to take us immediately to the palace living a high life of greatness but he always leads us the humble way first. We should not be disappointed because growing spiritually is more important then earthly success and we will see more miracles in the humble places as God has promised to lift us up in our weakness. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we are all considered to be children of God and a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) but don’t expect golden lives of royalty or to be blessed with grandeur and luxury without first going through the humility of sacrifice. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6)


Follow the Star

After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
(Matthew 2:9, 10 NASB)

The wise men saw the star and followed the star. The star lead them in the darkness. The star gave them direction. The star increased their faith and their joy. There is no higher physical sign then the planetary body in the sky. Jesus is called the “Bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16) He is the star we follow. Jesus is the Light of the world. (John 8:12) The world also follows stars. People are eager to follow celebrities or Hollywood stars. If we follow these stars long enough they will ultimately all disappoint us. What stars are we following in our lives and where are they leading us? Wise men and wise women follow those who bring them closer to the place where King Jesus is.


Lights in the Darkness

And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
(Matthew 2:8, 9 ESV)

The wise men discovered from the Scriptures that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. They chose their way towards Bethlehem after hearing the prophetic Word and the Lord sent the light of a star to direct their steps in the darkness. The Bible says that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) The diligent search for Jesus involves a step out in faith in response to hearing the Word of God from the Scriptures. When we look up with our gaze towards heaven the Lord leads us to a place where we will find Him. When we decide to search diligently for Jesus then the Lord brings us supernaturally towards Himself. King Jesus calls His followers “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) and He uses His followers as lights shining in the darkness of the world’s despair to lead all those who have already chosen to search for Jesus right to Him.


Miracle Bread

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
(Micah 5:2 NASB)

The prophet Micah recorded this prophecy between the years 750 – 686 BC to reveal that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah. The meaning of the name Bethlehem in Hebrew means the “house of bread”. Bread gives us strength and Jesus declared “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger” Jesus came to feed spiritually hungry people with everlasting life.


Where’s Jesus?

“and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
Matthew 2:4-6

King Herod asked the chief priests and scribes “Where is the Christ?” and many people today are asking the same question especially when going through difficult times. The chief priests and scribes immediately refer to the written Word of God to find Jesus Christ the Messiah. Where’s Jesus? Jesus is in the Word so we better read it.


Merry Christmas!

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
(Matthew 2:11 NKJV)

The Bible says that the three wise men called magi traveled from the east to bring gifts to the baby Jesus to worship him. We do not know exactly where they came from but Bible scholars suggest that they could have come from Persia, India or even China. They would have been riding camels for at least 800 miles all because they saw a star.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Walk Towards The Light

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
(Matthew 2:1, 2 NLT)

The great star that the wise men saw may have been a conjunction of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn which occurred in 6 BC or God could have made a special star to appear to only those with eyes to see it. It does not matter if the star was natural or supernatural, what matters is that these wise men saw a great light that initiated a journey towards Jesus. The prophecy written 700 years before accurately predicted the birth of Christ. “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2) When someone first introduces us to the Lord Jesus Christ we also first experience the great Light of the world. The desire to know King Jesus initiates the start of our journey of faith. We leave the dark place of our existence and walk towards the light of His glory.


The Position of Strength

“And serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
(1 Peter 5:5, 6 NLT)

In wrestling the strongest position when on the bottom is on the hands and knees. This is called “building a base” and is one of the most important skills for a new wrestler to learn. This position is important because it is the first step to scoring an escape. Being in the strong base position will prevent you from being turned on your back and losing points. We build a strong spiritual base by kneeling in humility before the Almighty Living God. This is our strongest position when under enemy attack and every Christian must learn this. From the position of humility we can pray through and escape the evil plans of our enemies. Humility prevents us from being turned back towards our past ungodly direction in life. We go down in humility to be lifted up in victory!


Identity Theft Prevention

I would not have known about covetousness [would have had no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, You shall not covet and have an evil desire [for one thing and another]. But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness).
(Romans 7:7, 8 AMP)

Christmas is the season to be spending and the average American household is expected to spend about $750 for their holiday purchases this year creating credit card debt. A record high 51.8 percent of the US population stated that they plan to shop online this season. Fifty-nine percent of people stated that they will take advantage of holiday sales to make non-gift purchases for themselves. Unfortunately cyber-criminals are also spending more during the holiday season of their victims money using identity theft to capitalize on consumer greed. The Consumer Sentinel Network 2011 statistics indicated that Florida is the state with the highest per capita rate of reported identity theft complaints, followed by Georgia and California. Annual US fraud related losses were $1.5 billion with $537 being the average amount paid per incident. Many online identity theft schemes lure their victims in by arousing the sinful desires to covet from within a person through enticing offers. In some cases it can be our own sinful appetites that can lead to fraud related loss. The Bible says “And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10) We can decrease identity theft by being sensible with our spending and not coveting that which we do not have. If you haven’t got don’t spend it!


The Perfect Diet

For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.
(Job 23:11, 12 NLT)

During holiday time there is usually an abundance of delicious food and we tend to overeat. Good tasting food is not necessarily good for our health. Eating a variety of food can produce sleepiness and lethargy. Life also offers us an abundance of delicious choices but not every choice is good for us. When we mix together new age philosophies, different religions and popular opinions we are in danger of falling asleep spiritually which causes us to turn aside from the Lord’s perfect plan. Stay awake and feed on God’s Word.


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