Score One for the Serpent

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“The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:8-9 NASB).”  

Adam worked in God’s garden.

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Genesis 2:15 NASB).”  

Adam and Eve sowed seeds of disobedience.

“The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate (Genesis 3:4-6 NASB).” 

Adam was duped.

“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
‘Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:17-19 NASB).”

 

 

 

 

He Gave

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Many children write letters to Santa; it’s a very busy time at the post office.

When I was young, one of the Syracuse, New York television stations had Santa segments. He read letters from the boys and girls in the Central NY area. They asked Santa for gifts from their wish lists.

The Heavenly Father is the giver of gifts. I don’t wish; I pray.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17 NASB).”

God gave the perfect gift.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NASB).”

The LORD gave the gift of life.

He gave us His Son.

He gave Jesus.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6 NASB).”

White as Snow

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Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Your life can be transformed; you can be white as snow every Christmas.

“Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool (Isaiah 1:18 NASB).”

Dressed in garments white as snow…

“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5 NASB).”

Children make angels in the snow. The Father makes hardened sinners as white as snow.

 

Silent, Holy Night

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Luke 2:1-19 (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Thanksgiving Tree

 

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Outside the Northeast Louisiana home of my mother-in-law, a decorative tree has drawn my attention. The colorful wind rustled leaves are a remarkable sight and I wondered if the tree held a story within. Fallen leaves danced in the road when carried by southern breezes and I pondered how easily we are scattered when apart from Jesus, the Vine.

The tree, so beautiful in the autumn season brought to mind the elderly, who radiate warmth and charm. The wise, in the spring and summer seasons of life, admire and emulate them. Yes, the tree could illustrate that truth.

This morning God opened my eyes of understanding. I gazed with delight and appreciation on the Thanksgiving tree.  People decorate elaborate Christmas trees and I almost missed His gift of the Thanksgiving tree. Around the trunk of the tree, He had spread a blanket of multi colored leaves, perfectly distributed for maximum effect. The symmetrical tree held only a few uneven branches pointing to the Creator above.

The focal message lay in the colors used by the artist: green, red, and orange. Green represents everlasting life, His gift to all who believe in His Son. (John 3:16) Red symbolizes the blood of Christ Jesus, sacrificed to pay for our sins. (Ephesians 1:7) Orange signifies lives aglow with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 7:55) I already anticipate next Thanksgiving Day. The Father will provide Thanksgiving trees as visible reminders of His great love for you and me.

Be Prepared

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Plan ahead.

Prepare for the worst.

“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads are seven years. The dreams mean the same thing. The seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven worthless, scorched heads of grain are seven years of famine.

‘It is just as I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.  Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt. After them, seven years of famine will take place, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will devastate the land.  The abundance in the land will not be remembered because of the famine that follows it, for the famine will be very severe (Genesis 41:25-31 HCSB).”  

Prepare for changes in the economy.

At times America is blessed with a ‘chicken in every pot.’

Yet; in economic downturns and depressions many have taken handouts at soup kitchens.

Trust God.

“I have been young and now I am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned
or his children begging for bread (Psalm 37:25 HCSB).”

 

Doorman

 

 

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“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep (John 10:1-2 NASB).”

Jesus is the doorman.

“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (John 10:7-9 NASB).”

Jesus, as the door, knocks at your heart’s door.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20 NASB).”