Christian Growth, Christmas, Devotionals

I Rightly Rejoice!

photo credit: TheRevSteve <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8767316@N08/34784832192″>Nativity, Farcet</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Have a Holy Jolly Christmas!

Worship the newborn King. Will we keep Jesus’ birthday holy? The LORD desires to fill His children with peace and joy.

In contrast, when multitudes refrain from worship and desecrate the day; it becomes “mass” hysteria and confusion.

I fall to my knees; giving worship and adoration to God the Son.

Jesus is sinless, holy God. The Word became flesh.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14 KJV).”

Away with gloom; God in His glory fills contrite hearts with contentment and joy.

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11 KJV).”

I have read of a right jolly old elf in ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ (Clement Clark Moore). In the Bible; I reverently read of the birth of the King. I rightly rejoice!

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Salvation

WISHBONES

photo credit: Steve Corey <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22016744@N06/38582927741″>Invited to Dinner !</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

“Make a wish!”

As a youngster, I made many wishes on turkey wishbones.

Evidently those bones failed to fulfill the wish of the turkey. His fondest wish to avoid capture and death did not come true.

Paul, with faith in the Lord and love for his people wished to see the salvation of his kinsmen.

“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites (Romans 9:1-4a NASB).”

Israel’s orthodox Jews were in need of conversion and confession. Paul made their salvation his heart’s desire.

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:1-3 NASB).”

Our salvation, our forgiveness of sin is ample reason for thanksgiving and praise.

“He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB).”

Wishing on bones from a turkey carcass is foolish. I do pray for the salvation of many I hold dear. May God’s Spirit break my heart and give me a heightened sense of urgency to persevere in prayer.

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Why Thanksgiving?

photo credit: Elvert Barnes <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/95413346@N00/30845855320″>HappyThanksgiving2016</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving Day?

It is not merely an American legal holiday. It is a celebration of life. We have received countless blessings.

Who deserves our gratitude?

Jehovah God is our benefactor. We give Him thanks.

“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near (Psalm 75:1 NKJV).”

 

Christian Growth, Devotionals

Remembering Our Military Veterans

photo credit: Official U.S. Air Force <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/39513508@N06/10998424605″>Veterans Day parade</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://www.usa.gov/copyright.shtml”>(license)</a&gt;

 

Remembering our military veterans…

“And they helped David against the bands of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor, and they were captains in the army.  For at that time they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God (1 Chronicles 12:21-22 NKJV).”

Offering words of appreciation for those who served in the past and also to those in active duty…

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV).”

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

SHIELD OF FAITH

photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) 104M Views <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22490717@N02/31179560976″>Poland-00767 – Mermaid Legend</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Raise your shield of faith!

“O Israel, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield (Psalm 115:9-11 NKJV).”

The LORD God shields His children.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith (Emphasis mine) with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV).”

 

 

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

MEN ON MISSION

Peter and John, once common fishermen…

“Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed—  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy.

This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.’ When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:8-13 HCSB).”

They stumped the religious authorities.

“What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it (Acts 4:16b HCSB)!”

Men on mission for the Messiah!

“And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31 HCSB).

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Missions

PERILS OF PAUL

photo credit: maxinepowerr <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/67777553@N02/37208212582″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

And I think I’ve had problems…

“Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.  Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.  From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?

 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.  In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands (2 Corinthians 11:22-33 NKJV).”