VIDEO The Drummer Boy

Jesus Reason For Season Kristiann1
She out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. Luke 21:4

“The Little Drummer Boy” is a popular Christmas song written in 1941. It was originally known as “Carol of the Drum” and is based on a traditional Czech carol. Although there isn’t any reference to a drummer boy in the Christmas story in Matthew 1–2 and Luke 2, the point of the carol goes straight to the heart of the meaning of worship. The carol describes how a boy is summoned by the Magi to the scene of Christ’s birth. Unlike the wise men, however, the drummer has no gift—so he gives what he has. He plays his drum, saying, “I played my best for Him.”

This echoes the worship Jesus described when He told of the widow and her two coins: “ ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’ ” (Luke 21:3-4).

God is worthy of our all.

All the drummer boy had was his drum and all the poor widow had were her two coins, but the God they worshiped was worthy of their all. He is worthy of our all as well, having given His all for us.

All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. Judson W. Van De Venter

Your little is a lot when you give your all.

By Bill Crowder

Little Drummer Boy
Dec 20, 2006

Last five minutes or so of “Little Drummer Boy.” Lamb is run over and they go to see “the kings” to save him.

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Truth And Our Eternal Destiny

Truth compass

Truth is crucially important and adhering to what is true is far more vital than what we imagine.

But trying to make this case becomes a hard sell however in an age which no longer believes in truth. To even suggest that you might know truth makes many folks uptight and defensive.

But believers are people of truth. The Bible is a book of truth, and we are called to share the truth. All up, the phrase “the truth” is used over 150 times in the New Testament alone. Truth matters. And given that truth and salvation are so often paired in the New Testament, this makes truth even more significant.

Jesus made it clear that eternal life is based on receiving the truth. Just a few verses of many can be mentioned here:

  • John 3:21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
  • John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
  • John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Paul also regularly tied together truth and eternal life (and the rejection of truth with eternal damnation). Here are just a few passages:

-Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness
-Romans 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
-1 Timothy 2:4 God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Another very powerful text in this regard can be found in 2 Thessalonians 2. In verses 9-12 we see this very strong connection between truth and one’s eternal destiny:

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

The context to this passage concerns “the Man of Lawlessness” (vv. 1-12). Let me offer two quick caveats here: the New Testament does not fully identify this man of lawlessness, nor do we know for sure who or what the ‘restrainer’ is that keeps him in check. So while we can debate these points all we like, we may need to hold things a bit loosely here, and admit that we do not have full knowledge about all this.

But that will not be my main focus. Instead, I want to look at the important role that truth plays, and negatively, the important role of deception. Paul makes it quite clear that those who prefer to delight in wickedness are not able to grasp the truth.

Indeed, it is only those who love the truth who can be saved. And by love of the truth, Paul clearly means the love of the gospel. The gospel message is what saves us, and it is the truth of the gospel which we all need to get right with God.

But note again the connection between loving evil and hating truth. We saw that in some of the above passages, such as Romans 1:18 where Paul spoke of those “who suppress the truth by their wickedness”. And in John 3, also mentioned above, Jesus makes it perfectly clear that people do not come to the truth because they prefer their evil ways. The fuller context (vv. 19-21) is worth citing here:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

But back to the Thessalonians passage. When people remain in their sin, hardened to biblical truth, God even further cements them in this. Once they have clearly decided for themselves and against God, the hardening process is allowed to go all the way.

The idea that God takes part in this hardening process may sound odd to some, but it is indeed a biblical truth, stated in various places. But I look at this aspect in more detailhere.

But a few more words about this process of judicial blinding may be worth offering. The order of things is important to bear in mind: unbelievers reject God and his truth, so God rejects them by confirming them in their unbelief. Michael Holmes offers this commentary:

They are perishing specifically “because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2:10); that is, their fate is a consequence of their own choice. As I. H. Marshall observes, “Whatever one may say about divine predestination, the lost carry the responsibility for their own perdition.” When presented with an opportunity to “receive the love of the truth” and thereby experience salvation, these people instead rejected it (cf. 1:8). As Paul puts it emphatically in 2:12b, when they could have “believed the truth,” they instead “delighted in wickedness”.

Or as D. Michael Martin comments:

God’s act of sending a “powerful delusion” to “those who are perishing” is the result of their choice to reject the truth. Once the truth is rejected, the only alternative is to trust that which is false. By refusing to receive the truth (v. 10) and then choosing to “believe the lie” (v. 11), unbelievers compound their culpability and make plain the justice of their condemnation. God does not cause their unbelief, but he does set the stage for them to demonstrate it and thus openly earn their own condemnation. Genuine believers will not be deceived in this way (vv. 13-14).

Jeffrey Weima offers this tidy summation of the order of events: “The past rejection of the gospel by unbelievers, which leads to the present delusion sent to them by God, will result in their future judgment.”

Such is the importance of truth. When we reject truth, we reject God. And God then must reject the unrepentant. This is a very scary place to be in. We would wish it on no one. That is why the truth is so absolutely important and why believers must proclaim it, regardless of any hostile reactions.

Our eternal destiny is determined by our response to the truth. Let us all choose wisely, while we have the chance.

 

by BILL MUEHLENBERG

http://barbwire.com/2015/12/26/truth-and-our-eternal-destiny/

The Bible: God’s Voice Today

2 Timothy 3:16

In biblical times, God spoke in many dramatic ways. Although He still speaks today, His methods have changed. We can’t expect Him to speak in an audible voice or to send an angelic messenger every time He has something to say to us. We must learn how to perceive His voice today.

The primary way our Father speaks to us today is through His written Word—we have His complete revelation within this Book. There is not a single thing missing that He needs to add. Why? Because He has already revealed His Word perfectly to those whom He inspired to write it down. This isn’t a book written by human beings; the Holy Spirit of God literally breathed His truth upon the minds of certain men so they could record it (2 Tim. 3:16).

The Bible is God’s way of speaking to our pressing needs, concerns, heartaches, and worries. So often when trouble strikes, we turn here or there, talking to some friend or counselor. All of that is well and good, and the Father does indeed speak through godly men and women. But the first place we should turn is to His Word.

The Lord has given us this Book so that we might know His mind—which requires consistently spending time in the Word. If you pick up the Bible only when you have a question or emergency in your life, you’ll never get the big picture of what God wants to say to you.

Scripture is a treasure trove of God’s thoughts. Spend time there every day—starting today—mining it for new truths and insights.

The Trinity in Ephesians

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is surely one of the most profoundly doctrinal—yet intensely practical—books of the Bible, and it is not surprising that the doctrine of the triune God breaks into his message so frequently. For example, note Ephesians 2:18: “For through [Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

More often, however, it appears not in a succinct formula like this but rather in interconnected references to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, always implying that each is deity, but never that they are three different “gods.” Paul prayed that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17).

He also prayed “unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . That he would grant you, . . . to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:14, 16-17). Thus, the believer is “filled with all the fulness of God” (v. 19).

We are exhorted to “grieve not the holy Spirit of God, . . . even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:30, 32). And “be filled with the Spirit; . . . Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18, 20).

There are others, but note especially our text, speaking of our unity in Him and His triunity in us. “There is . . . one Spirit . . . One Lord, . . . One God and Father of all, who is above all [i.e., the Father], and through all [the Son], and in you all [the Spirit].” All this is a magnificent mystery, but a wonderful reality! HMM

Another Day of Preparation

Beloved, now are me me 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. —1 John 3:2-3

Know that our living Lord is unspeakably pure. He is sinless, spotless, immaculate, stainless. In His person is an absolute fullness of purity that our words can never express. This fact alone changes our entire human and moral situation and outlook. We can always be sure of the most important of all positives: God is God and God is right. He is in control. Because He is God He will never change!

I repeat: God is right—always. That statement is the basis of all we are thinking about God.

When the eternal God Himself invites us to prepare ourselves to be with Him throughout the future ages, we can only bow in delight and gratitude, murmuring, “Oh, Lord, may Your will be done in this poor, unworthy life!”

I can only hope that you are wise enough, desirous enough and spiritual enough to face up to the truth that every day is another day of spiritual preparation, another day of testing and discipline with our heavenly destination in mind.

“Oh, Lord, may Your will be done in this poor, unworthy life!” Amen.

Compassion: In Christ It Was Fully Perfected

And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear…. Jude 22, 23

The word compassion is a vital New Testament word. Do you realize that compassion is an emotional identification, and that Jesus Christ had that in full perfection?

The man who has this wound of compassion is a man who suffers along with other people. Jesus Christ our Lord can never suffer to save us any more. This He did, once and for all, when He gave Himself without spot through the Holy Ghost to the Father on Calvary’s cross.

He cannot suffer to save us but He still must suffer to win us. He does not call His people to redemptive suffering for that is impossible; it could not be. Redemption is a finished work!

But He does call His people to feel along with Him and to feel along with those that rejoice and those that suffer. He calls His people to be to Him the kind of an earthly body in which He can weep again and suffer again and love again. For our Lord has two bodies!

One is the body He took to the tree on Calvary; that was the body in which He suffered to redeem us. But He has a body on earth now, composed of those who have been baptized into it by the Holy Ghost at conversion. Paul said he was glad that he could suffer for the Colossians and fill up the measure of the afflictions of Christ in his body for the Church’s sake.

It is in that body now, on earth, that Christ would suffer to win men!

Christ’s World of Nature

Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. MATTHEW 4:11

Jesus Christ came into our world in the fullness of time, and His own world, the world of nature, received Him, even though His own people received Him not!

It is my own feeling that when Jesus came, all of nature went out to greet Him. The star led the wise men from the East. The cattle in the stable stall in Bethlehem did not bother Him. His own things in created nature received Him.

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan believed that when Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, He was there with the wild beasts for forty days and nights. Dr. Morgan held that there had been a wrong conception, as if Jesus needed angelic protection from the animals.

Jesus was perfectly safe there. He was nature’s Creator and Lord. Jesus was in total harmony with nature, and I am of the opinion that the deeper our Christian commitment becomes, the more likely we will find ourselves in tune and in harmony with the natural world around us!

Dear Lord, many people love nature, but they don’t yet acknowledge the One who created it and sustains it. Lord, do something to impress upon those people that there had to be a Master Designer who set the physical world in motion.