Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where is this Prince of Peace?

Horrific events this day as many many children were senselessly gunned down
in Pakistan. There is something so very sad about children being the victims, whether
it's Sandy Hook or Pakistan; it just hurts so much. 

It makes one think about the secular words so often associated now with Christmas;
'peace on earth, good will to men.' A quick look at history will clearly show that there
has been NO sustained peace on earth either before or after Jesus was born, died
on a cross and ascended to heaven. So what of this peace on earth? What of this Prince
of Peace?

First and foremost it is important to remember that Jesus Christ came to this world
to bring the good news of salvation for those chosen by God and those who would
respond to His open arms of acceptance. It was His first arrival; there will be a second!

The world was created good by a God that knows no evil. The world was cast into sin
and dysfunction by the first people turning their backs on God, disobeying Him and
changing this world in which we live to something it was not meant to be. Jesus came
with a task of explaining God's plan for reconciliation and becoming a perfect sacrifice
for the propitiation of sin and the defeat of death, Satan and sin. He accomplished
this task through the cross and His resurrection.

He did not, however, leave things in a perfect state. We are in that time period when
the word of the gospel is being spread and taught with the intent of bringing as many
into God 's adopted family as possible. Whatever theory one subscribes to about the
end times, it all points to nastiness. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that we
have arrived.

Knowing Christ can bring the peace of relationship between people, it can being the
inner peace that can only come with the changes that come about in ones life after
being raised from sin into Christ. The peace on earth we all yearn for can only be
achieved by the return of this King, at which time all weapons of anger and war will
be thrown into disuse, the lion will lie down with the lamb and there will be one
rule; the Kingship of Jesus Christ on a new earth and a new heaven

I would suggest that you join me in praying for all who continue to suffer from
senseless violence and for the immediate return of the King of Kings. Only
He can deliver what was meant to be. He created it once and He will create it
again and sustain it for all eternity.

Praise God!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Universal US

For to us a child is born
To us a son is given.....
   Isaiah 9

I just love Isaiah. How strange it must have been for both Isaiah and other prophets
whose prophesies included a look far into the future to the birth, life and death of
Jesus! I have heard this discussed as prophets standing on their tiptoes seeking to
see into the future of God's plan.

The words of this glorious chapter include the four names that this special child
would be called: wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father and prince
of peace. This child, a light sent into the darkness of a fallen world and into the
darkened fallen hearts of his created, was and is God over all creation. Indeed
God sent a baby to counteract the chasm that exists between the Creator and 
His creation, and this baby will continue the process of re-doing all of creation
until it falls under His divine will and control.

The US in the above two lines is of supreme importance. The very God of the
cosmos, one who came into this time-space to enact great changes and achieve
great victory, came for US. That isn't us vs them sort of stuff. He came here in
love for each of us that we might have the possibility of being adopted into the
family of God based upon the grace and love of God. This God woos and seeks
His created. He cannot and will not, however, accept those who reject, who
are unwilling, who have deceived themselves into believing that they have
no need of being saved.

Our secular, societal re-make of Christmas endangers us by slipping the real
celebration of this amazing birth away behind the shelves of gifts, lights
and stuff. Christmas lights should remind us, in fact, of that great light that
had fallen into and upon the world....

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light,
They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

It is Christmas; a celebration of the greatest gift ever given, the gift of
reconciliation, atonement, propitiation.... not stocking stuffers...
life savers. Celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart. Merry

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What of this baby?

Ready to rev up the imagination? We are wise men, far traveled from the east, who have
asked Herod the whereabouts of the baby child, king of the Jews. We, having then left
this troubled man, have come upon the site of the child and mother, Mary. Nothing so
unusual about this baby.... or is there?

We may be using our imagination, but we bave the benefit of two thousand plus years
of hindsight so we know that this baby is none other than God. This baby is resting in
a humble location that He created. The fact is that this baby created all that is.

This baby has come on a mission of salvation, salvation not only for sinners but
for the entire broken world, a mission that He, and only He, could ever accomplish.
This baby has always existed. He was alive before this incarnation, He lives today
and will live and reign forever! He has come as the second Adam to fulfill the law,
to live righteously and to lift the veil that has separated mankind from God.

Speaking of man and God, He is both! Also He is Lord of the cosmos. This bright
star and all the stars that light the sky are created by Him, held in place
by Him and He knows them each by name.

This tiny babe will impact the history of the world like no other. He will deliver
the message of Good News, die as a curse on a tree and rise victorious over death,
sin and the evil one.

He is God who cries, God who dies, God who cares, God who forgives, a God who

loves and, of course, God who will reign for eternity.

This tiny babe is the Lord, Christ Jesus. Not just any baby. The baby!

Wise men shall gift Him, sinners should thank Him and all created should
honor, praise and adore Him!

Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Have you SAD?

John 8-12

.... I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in
darkness, but will have the light of life.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is upon us. The days have become short which means
that people like me are already apt to be more grumpy. Add in clouds and,
depending on where you happen to live, the possibility of several days
in a row without even a ray of sunlight. Ramp up that grumpiness!

The whole light vs. darkness concept is eternal and present at every level of
creation. It has been a battle in the very confines of heaven itself, is
present in this world we inhabit, a world very very different than it was
supposed to be, and it is a battle going on in our hearts. Our hearts are filled
with darkness, and we, on our own, cannot deal with this very darkness.

Isaiah 9- 2...
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
On those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned.

I believe that seasonal affective disorder is merely another manifestation of our
need for light that only God can infuse. Only He who created light is capable
of bringing new light into the new lives of those who have become
in Jesus. That need for glory-provided illumination lasts within us until the
day that we go to be with God in a new earth and a new heaven.

Reach for the light. Shine that precious gift out to all you meet and
glorify God for its precious warmth and brightness.

Praise God!