VIDEO A Christmas Visitor

Oct 22, 2016

Nice Little Christmas Theme Movie from 2002 Staring William Devane, Meredith Baxter & Dean McDermott.

God’s Style

jesus-v-satan

Allow me to share with you a selection from one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, I Corinthians 1.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?…

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence..  (verses 18-29)

God looked down on this world, the tyrants and their mighty armies, the cruelty, the slavery, the sin that lurks within the heart of every human being–and He sent a baby in a manger to deal with it.

Who knows less, and is more foolish, than a newborn baby? Who is weaker than a baby? Who less likely to overcome the Roman Empire? Who less likely to fulfill thousands of years’ worth of prophecies?

Satan bet everything he had: empires, armies, cruel tyrants, the wise men of the world, the cleverest lawyers, the infinite amount of money, false beliefs, delusions, lies, and the whole bright show of power. Bet it all. And God said, “I’ll see all that, and raise you a baby in a manger.” And Satan laughed at first, laughed himself crazy.

But he isn’t laughing now.

And Satan is busted, broke, defeated, done for. He just hasn’t admitted it yet.

by LEE DUIGON

http://barbwire.com/2016/12/19/gods-style/

Learning From Adversity

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

What are we to do with our pain when, despite our pleading, God won’t remove it? He knows we’re hurting but does nothing. How can He be a God of love yet not come to our aid?

Today’s passage gives us intimate insight into a very painful event in Paul’s life. We don’t know exactly what the “thorn in the flesh” was, but his account of what he learned through that experience is an amazing example of what God wants to teach us through adversity.

• First of all, God is sovereign over the situation. Ultimately, He is the one who allowed the thorn and the one with the power to remove it.

• Second, God prioritizes the spiritual. Paul wanted physical relief, but the Lord was working for his spiritual good. The thorn was a protection against pride, which would have seriously hindered Paul’s ministry and corrupted his character. Whatever God allows to afflict believers is designed to protect them from sin, produce holiness, and equip them for faithful service to Christ.

• Third, God’s grace is sufficient. The Lord didn’t remove the pain but gave Paul both the grace to endure it and strength in his weakness. If God doesn’t provide a way out, He will provide a way through.

Once we understand the Lord’s sovereignty, priorities, and sufficiency, we can respond to our afflictions as Paul did—with gladness. When Christ’s strength is perfected in us, we can be content in whatever difficulties God allows in our life. The Lord’s unwillingness to give us relief is not neglect. Rather, it is evidence of His surpassing love, which seeks our eternal good.

Faith, Self Defined

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off and were persuaded of them, and embraced them.” (Hebrews 11:13)

Some have struggled with the word “faith,” desiring a succinct definition of it, but nowhere in Scripture does a working definition of faith appear. In places, however, the Bible gives a rather indirect definition of faith. Keeping in mind that the words “belief” and “faith” are translations of the same Greek word, let us look at several such texts.

Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, said of Mary, “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).

Paul knew that God intended for him to be brought before Caesar and encouraged his shipmates as they were about to be shipwrecked with the words: “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).

Speaking of Abraham’s faith that God would give him a son, Paul says that “he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20-21).

Of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, it is said, “Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11).

These verses and the verse in our text give us a working definition of faith. It is, therefore, a firm belief, a conviction, a judgment that God is both capable and faithful to perform what He has promised and that there will be such a performance. This kind of faith brings the future into present reality. JDM

The Reverential Fear of God

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. —Psalm 2:11

When we come into this sweet relationship, we are beginning to learn astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration of the attributes of God and something of the breathless silence that we know when God is near.

You may never have realized it before, but all of those elements in our perception and consciousness of the divine Presence add up to what the Bible calls “the fear of God.”…

The fear of God is that “astonished reverence” of which the great Faber wrote. I would say that it may grade anywhere from its basic element—the terror of the guilty soul before a holy God—to the fascinated rapture of the worshiping saint. There are very few unqualified things in our lives, but I believe that the reverential fear of God mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and admiration and devotion is the most enjoyable state and the most purifying emotion the human soul can know.

Lord, teach me today something of that astonished reverence, that combination of frightening and wonderful feelings that make up true knowledge of You. Amen.

Revival or Renewal

Though our outward man perish yet the inward man is renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

I hope some of you will agree with me that it is of far greater importance that we have better Christians than that we have more of them!

If we have any spiritual concerns, our most pressing obligation is to do all in our power to obtain a revival that will result in a reformed, revitalized, purified church.

Each generation of Christians is the seed of the next, and degenerate seed is sure to produce a degenerate harvest; not a little better than but worse than the seed from which it sprang. Thus the direction will be down until vigorous, effective means are taken to improve the seed.

Why is it easier to talk about revival than to experience it? Because followers of Christ must become personally and vitally involved in the death and resurrection of Christ. And this requires repentance, prayer, watchfulness, self-denial, detachment from the world, humility, obedience and cross-carrying!

Are you willing to receive Christ?

Are you willing, dear reader, to receive Christ? then there is no difficulty in the way; Christ will be your guest; his own power is working with you, making you willing. What an honor to entertain the Son of God! The heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and yet he condescends to find a house within our hearts! We are not worthy that he should come under our roof, but what an unutterable privilege when he condescends to enter! for then he makes a feast, and causes us to feast with him upon royal dainties; we sit at a banquet where he gives immortality to those who fed thereon. Blessed among the sons of Adam is he who entertains the Lord.