Category: SEASONAL


Small Packages

“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)

Some of the best and most expensive gifts come in small packages. Take for instance diamond earrings or a gold watch. Jewelry is very small but can cost thousands of dollars. The exterior packaging does not correlate with the potential value of the gift. Our all powerful Living God chose to package his most valuable gift for all of humanity in a very small package as well. God humbly packaged himself as the Savior King of the entire world in the form of a small baby born in a manger. Though Christ Jesus was God, “he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Phil 2:5-8) “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (2 Cor 9:15) Have you received the gift of eternal salvation? Good things come in small packages. Trust in Jesus today.

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Good Gifts

“Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.”
(Deuteronomy 16:17)

Tis the season to be giving. Christmas is the time when many people give gifts but giving all year around can bless our lives. We give our time, treasure, and talents to others freely without expecting anything in return. Researchers have found that giving is actually good for our health. Giving randomly to others has several physiological benefits for our bodies. Giving boosts our immune systems and increases energy levels. Giving decreases our stress hormones which lowers blood pressure and heart rate. People who give regularly are more likely to live a longer and more satisfying life. (1) The concept of giving is clearly instructed in the Bible. “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) We are to give generously “without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” (Deuteronomy 15:10) So give a good gift and love someone today.

1)http://www.dcspotlight.com/health/healthy-living/live-it-up-25-health-benefits-of-giving/

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Be Berry Patient

“Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.”
(Romans 5:3 AMP)

With the Holidays just around the corner I have noticed cranberries for sale in many grocery stores. Cranberry sauce is always on the menu in most traditional North American Thanksgiving dinners. Raw cranberries are one of the superfruits due to their high nutrient content and antioxidant potential. The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score ranks cranberries as one of the top foods. They are also great sources of Vitamin C and the essential dietary mineral manganese. Research has shown that drinking just 300 mL daily of cranberry juice may inhibit bacterial attachment to the bladder to guard against bacterial infections of the urinary system.(1) With such great health benefits why wouldn’t everyone want to eat cranberries? The problem is that cranberries are too tart to be eaten raw. They are so sour and bitter they have to be blended with other fruit juices to decrease their severe tartness. Sometimes we have to drink down some distasteful circumstances in order for our lives to experience the benefits. God can use the very sour troubles that afflict us to develop the fruit of patience in our character but be “berry” patient because this process is not so sweet.

1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranberry

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Gift Delivery!

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
(1 Peter 4:10 NLT)

FedEx delivery drivers are very busy during the month of December delivering packages because it is the season for gift giving. They work long hours sacrificing their bodies lifting heavy packages to serve the customers needs. God is pouring out the charismatic gifts of the Spirit on his people in this end time season of spiritual gift giving. Like these delivery drivers believers make personal sacrifices toiling to deliver the spiritual gifts to their intended destinations ordained by God. The spiritual gifts do not belong to us but they are entrusted to us to be given away sacrificially as the Holy Spirit leads. God’s gifts are ours to give away.

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Power in Weakness

“So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.”
(1 Corinthians 1:23, 27 NLT)

Most of us have seen action movies in which the hero saves the day but a hero who does not resist his enemies would be considered powerless. A king who is not willing to fight for his kingdom would be called a fool. A Savior beaten to a bloody mess is offensive. A Messiah crucified on a cross seems like nonsense. “But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”(1 Cor 1:24) and “this foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans.” (1 Cor 1:25) The one thing that makes this plan work is JESUS for HE IS RISEN!

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Great Joy!

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.(Matthew 2:10, 11 ESV)

Upon seeing the supernatural sign of the star the wise men rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. In the presence of the Lord Jesus they fell to their knees in worship. The Bible says that King Jesus is the “Bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16) and the light of His glory illuminates our lives after a time of walking in darkness to enjoy a new day. More then 2000 years after this passage was written King Jesus continues to bring us great joy and yet many are still offended by a Baby in a manger. Many people ask “where’s Jesus?” as they walk in the darkness of life’s difficulties. King Jesus is in our worship and His presence awakens the emotions of our heart as we humble ourselves to worship Him.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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