Hebrew for Christians: The Source of Light…

What is the meaning and historic significance of Hanukkah?

The Source of Light
A Chanukah Meditation
by John Parsons

Did you know that Yeshua observed the Chanukah festival?

“Now it was the Feast of Dedication (i.e., chag Chanukah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter, and Yeshua walked in the Temple, in Solomon’s porch..

Then the Judeans surrounded Him and said to Him,

“How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

And Yeshua answered them: “I have told you, but you do not believe.

The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

“I and My Father are one” (John 10:22-30).

Those of faith see the light of God.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

“God is Light; in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Yeshua said: “I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).

The ultimate message of Chanukah is eschatological and full of hope.

This world is passing away and the Kingdom of Heaven will one day be established upon the earth.

We live in light of this blessed hope (Titus 2:11-13).

The world’s rulers are “on notice” from God Almighty: their days are numbered and they will surely face the judgment of the LORD God of Israel (Psalm 2).

We must stand against evil by refusing to conform to the world around us (Eph. 6:11-18).

Now is the time…

“Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

Followers of Yeshua are made part of His Dwelling – extensions of His Presence in this dark world – and during this Chanukah season may we remember the call to rededicate our lives to Him! יְהִי אוֹר – May your light shine!
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Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches…

The importance of our abiding in Him…

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

Matthew 12:33-37
The Message

33 “If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.

34-37 “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded?

It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words.

A good person produces good deeds and words season after season.

An evil person is a blight on the orchard.

Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you.

There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”

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Even the Pharisees should have admitted that the Lord had done good by casting out demons.

Yet they accused Him of being evil.

Here He exposes their inconsistency and says, in effect, “Make up your minds.

“If a tree is good, its fruit is good and vice versa.”

Fruit reflects the quality of the tree that produced it.

The fruit of His ministry had been good.

He had healed the sick, the blind, the deaf, and the dumb, had cast out demons and raised the dead.

Could a corrupt tree have produced such good fruit?

Utterly impossible!

Why then did they so stubbornly refuse to acknowledge Him?

12:34, 35 The reason was that they were a brood of vipers.

Their malice against the Son of Man, evidenced by their venomous words, was the outflow of their evil hearts.

A heart filled with goodness will be evidenced by words of grace and righteousness.

A wicked heart expresses itself in blasphemy, bitterness, and abuse.

What if everything we have ever said were to be played back for all to hear?

Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts.

What kinds of words come from your mouth?

They reveal what is in your heart.

You can’t solve your heart problem, however, just by cleaning up your speech.

You must ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with new attitudes and motives; then your speech will be cleansed at its source.

Jesus solemnly warned them (and us) that people will give account for every idle word they utter.

Because the words people have spoken are an accurate guage of their lives, they will form a suitable basis for condemnation or acquittal.

How great will be the condemnation of the Pharisees for the vile and contemptuous words which they spoke against God’s Holy Son!

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

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Sunday, Dec 18
GOD CALLING
by Two Listeners

SEE WONDERS

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man…bringeth forth good things: and an evil man…bringeth forth evil things.”
— Matthew 12:34, 35

Think your thought-way into the very heart of My Kingdom.

See there the abundance of delights in my storehouse, and lay eager hands on them.

See wonders, ask wonders, bear wonders away with you.

Remember this beautiful earth on which you are was once only a thought of Divine Mind.

Think how from your thought one corner of it could grow and become the Garden of the Lord, the Bethany-Home for your Master, a place to which I have a right to bring My friends,

My needy ones, for talk and rest with Me.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
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The Savior came to be born of man, and yet there was no room for Him at the Inn…

Gospel of Luke Chapter 2:1-21…

The Savior’s Earthly Birth…

God works through history-making governments and anonymous people like shepherds to accomplish His saving purposes.

Joseph, barely introduced in 1:27, enters center stage.

Taxation followed his lineage, so he obediently traveled the ninety miles to Bethlehem, David’s home, where the Scriptures said Messiah would be born (Mic. 5:2).

Finally, we see Joseph, too, can trace his family tree to David.

Joseph did not make the trip alone.

Mary, still only engaged, not married but pregnant, joined him.

Perhaps, she, too, like Syrian women over age 12, had to register for the census and pay taxes.

Luke surprises us with his next statement, just as the event must have surprised Mary and Joseph.

Jesus’ appearance time had come.

Simply, Luke reports, she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

Following the practice of her day, Mary wrapped the baby in strips of cloth to keep his arms and legs straight.

Jesus’ first crib had usually served as a dining table for animals.

Where they had eaten, he now slept.

Why? Because all normal lodging places were full. Or perhaps because Joseph found a small one-room house with just enough room for him and his wife.

The only available space for the child was in the animal trough attached to the wall that their room shared with the animals’ quarters.

The promised king came to His people but did not have enough power to secure a resting place for His birth.

The descendants of David descended to a stable to find a place to lay the head of the King of kings.

This is how God used earth’s lowest to bring salvation from heaven’s highest.

Medley: No Room & Have You Any Room for Jesus?

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
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Saturday, December 17
Anchor Devotional

ROOM FOR JESUS

“And she gave birth to her firstborn a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
— Luke 2:7

When Mary and Joseph entered into God’s plan, they likely didn’t think this would involve a 90-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

And they certainly weren’t expecting there to be no room to physically give birth to the promised Christ child.

But here they were.

Though the Bible doesn’t mention an innkeeper, we have to figure that there was someone present who let Joseph and Mary know that there was no room at this inn.

And of all the travelers who came through that night, this ordinary couple is the one history would remember as they bore not just another Jewish baby, but the very Son of God.

We do learn from this character whose name and even whose presence are not expressly written into the Christmas story, this innkeeper we’ve imagined.

We learn that where we least expect to find God, He comes most fully.

He invades our lives; He goes where there is no room so we might find a home in Him.

The One who had no home is making a home for us (John 14:3).

The One who had no place to lay His head is our rest, our comfort, our joy.
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The Bible is very clear that we are each predestined…

God has a plan and a purpose for each of Our Lives…

The key is we must learn to walk in obedience and faith, down the path that God has laid before us, and as we walk by faith, God’s Destiny will unfold before us along that very same path.

This is true even though at times it may appear as though our lives are not tracking the way we had hoped they would, and often we may feel as though God has abandoned us.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:9, that even though…

“A man’s heart plans his way,
but it’s the Lord who directs his steps.”

Yes, God knew each of us before He laid the foundation of the world and He has a plan and purpose for each of us.

The Bible even tells us that God choreographed each day of our life before we were even born.

Psalm 139:15-16
Living Bible

” You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!”

And then we turn to the New Testament and we find out how we are each predestined…

Ephesians 1:3-12
The Message

The God of Glory
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is!

He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him.

Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.

Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.

(What pleasure he took in planning this!)

He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.

And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!

He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.

He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.

Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
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When he wrote this letter, Paul had been a Christian for nearly 30 years.

He had taken three missionary trips and established churches all around the Mediterranean Sea.

He had been a missionary in Ephesus for more than two years, and many people had become followers of Jesus.

When he wrote Ephesians, Paul was under house arrest in Rome (see Acts 28:16-31).

Paul’s life after Jesus called him into the ministry was not an easy road.

2 Corinthians 4:7-15
The Message

7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.

That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.

As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at.

We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.

What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives!

Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us.

While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life.

Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe.

And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive.

Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!
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The supremely valuable message of salvation in Jesus Christ has been entrusted by God to frail and fallible human beings.

Paul’s focus, however, is not on the perishable container but on its priceless contents—God’s power dwelling in us.

Though we are “fragile clay jars,” God uses us to spread his Good News, and he gives us power to do his work.

Relying on God’s power, not our own, will keep us from pride and motivate us to stay close to him, our power source.

If you do this, many will see God’s Spirit shining in you and be drawn to him.

They will notice that, although you have normal struggles and challenges, there is something appealing about how you handle them.

They will be able to tell that you rely on another power source, and they will want to know more.

Paul reminds us that though we may think we are at the end of our rope, we are never at the end of our hope.

Our perishable bodies are subject to sin and suffering, but God never abandons us.

Because Christ has won the victory over death, we can have eternal life.

All our risks, humiliations, and trials are opportunities for Christ to demonstrate his power and presence in and through us.

We must ask ourselves, Could I handle the suffering and opposition that Paul did?

The drive for success in human terms can ruin effective ministry.

From an earthly perspective, Paul was not very successful during his lifetime.

However, God worked through him mightily and used him to impact countless lives for Christ.

Like Paul, we must carry out our own ministries, looking to God for strength.

We must bear in mind that God’s purpose in all of this, as we read in Romans 8:29-30, is that we be conformed into the image of His Son.

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
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Tuesday, Dec 13
God Calling
by Two Listeners

PERPETUAL GUIDANCE

The Joy of knowing that every detail of your lives is planned by Me, but planned with a wealth of tenderness and Love.

Wait for Guidance in every step.

Wait to be shown My way.

The thought of this loving leading should give you great Joy.

All the responsibility of Life taken off your shoulders.

All its business worry taken off your shoulders.

It is indeed a Joy for you to feel so free and yet so planned for.

Oh! the wonder of this a God-guided life.

To think anything impossible in such circumstances is to say it cannot be done by Me.

To say that is surely a denial of Me.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
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The Immanuel Prophecy…

Here’s the backstory to this prophecy…

Israel’s apostasy had to be punished, and the prophets gave stern warnings of impending judgment with a call to national repentance, but God in His grace promised to save a small remnant, although the nation would have to pass through an extended period of fire and water and be dispersed among the nations.

God sent a message of hope to Israel despite their persistent unbelief and blasphemous idolatry:

“The Lord Himself would give them a sign,” which would authenticate the arrival of His anointed Saviour, the Seed of the woman, the Messiah of Israel, and royal descendent of the great king David.

And He would save His people from their sins.

What a glorious pronouncement was made on that day.

A virgin would conceive and give birth to their Saviour Who would be called Immanuel, God with us, God incarnate.

The immortal, invisible, eternal God was to be born into the world as a tiny baby and He would save His people, Israel, from their sins.

And through Him, all the families of the earth would be blessed.

Isaiah 7:14 Explained

Max Lucado’s Life Lessons…

Isaiah recalled the commission God had given him.

Isaiah carried a message of both hope and judgment.

He described and predicted the coming Messiah: Jesus Christ.

We are commissioned to tell others about God and His plan for salvation.

When [Isaiah] Sees the holiness of God, Isaiah does not boast or swagger.

He takes no notes, plans no sermon series, launches no seminar tours.

Instead, he falls on his face and begs for mercy.

“Woe is me, for I am undone!

Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have Seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

The God-given vision was not about Isaiah but about God and His glory.

Isaiah gets the point. “It’s not about me. It’s all about Him.”

He finds humility, not through Seeking it, but through Seeking Him.

One glimpse and the prophet claims citizenship among the infected and diseased—the “unclean,” a term used to describe those with leprosy.

God’s holiness silences human boasting.

And God’s mercy makes us holy.

Look what happens next.

“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.

And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged’” (6:6, 7).

Isaiah makes no request. He asks for no grace. Indeed, he likely assumed mercy was impossible.

But God, who is quick to pardon and full of mercy, purges Isaiah of his sin and redirects his life.

God solicits a spokesman. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” (6:8).

Isaiah’s heart and hand shoot skyward.

“Here am I! Send me” (6:8)!

A glimpse of God’s holiness and Isaiah had to speak.

As if he’d found the source of the river, ridden the rage of the canyon.

As if he’d Seen what Moses had Seen—God Himself.

Albeit a glimpse, but a God-glimpse nonetheless.

And he was different as a result. Holy different.
(From It’s Not About Me by Max Lucado)

Have you known someone for some time but have never shared Christ with that person?

Create an opportunity to share about the most important aspect of your life.
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Monday, December 12, 2022
Anchor Devotional

PERFECT SETTING AND TIME

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
— Isaiah 7:14

When we peek in on Mary, we find her among a people mostly cynical about the promises of God.

They were ruled by Romans, divided by religious groups, and jaded by the corruption in Caesar’s palace and among the religious establishment.

In some respects, this setting sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

If the Jewish people hadn’t lost hope, they had at least grown apathetic about it during generations of apparent silence from God.

Yet into a dark world where many had lost heart, God broke in to announce the coming of the Savior through a young girl named Mary.

His eternal plan of redemption would be initiated in the most unlikely of circumstances.

What a surprise to Mary and her family!

But it was no surprise at all in the realm of heaven where God assigned Gabriel the awesome duty of making the announcement He’d planned long ago, before the world even began (see 1 Peter 1:20).

Gabriel visited Mary exactly “when the fullness of time had come” (Galatians 4:4), when God’s plan from all eternity would reach into our world and into our lives.
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Judgment starts at the household of God…

A prophetic message for our time…

Mind you God is the same yesterday, today and forever; and as Amos 3:7 tells us, “He does NOTHING without He first speaks to His servants the prophets!

God in these last days is attempting to awaken the church out of its lethargy!

1 Peter 4:7-19
The Message

7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted.

Stay wide-awake in prayer.

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it.

Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully.

Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it:

if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help.

That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.

Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced.

This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

14-16 If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate.

It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others.

If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter.

But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought.

Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!

17-19 It’s judgment time for God’s own family.

We’re first in line!

If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!

If good people barely make it,
What’s in store for the bad?

So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride.

Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.
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Emma Stark

Emma is a prophet who operates with authority and authenticity as she ministers and teaches around the world, giving clear and direct prophetic input to leaders, churches and ministries, equipping the body of Christ to better hear from God and to apply His revelation to transform lives, communities, cities and nations.

Click on link below:

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Paul’s answer to the deniers of the resurrection…

The Risen Christ… our Faith’s Reality!

1 Corinthians 15

In this chapter Paul dealt with another problem in the Corinthian church.

He affirmed that the Christian faith rests upon the resurrection of Christ and has a sure conviction of the resurrection on the final day of all who believe in him.

Having dealt with a number of problems related to worship in the church at Corinth, Paul turned to a doctrinal controversy over resurrection.

Some teachers had entered the church at Corinth, denying the possibility of bodily resurrection.

They did not deny the fact of life after death, but probably suggested that we would simply be spirit beings and not have literal bodies.

The apostle here gives his classic answer to these denials.

Paul reminds them of the good news which he had preached to them, which they had received, and in which they now stood.

This was not a new doctrine for the Corinthians, but it was necessary that they should be reminded of it at this critical time.

It was this gospel by which the Corinthians had been saved.

It was by the gospel of the resurrection that they had been saved—unless, of course, there was no such thing as resurrection, in which case they could not have been saved at all.

The “if” in this passage does not express any doubt as to their salvation, nor does it teach that they were saved by holding fast.

Rather, Paul is simply stating that if there is no such thing as resurrection, then they weren’t saved at all.

In other words, those who denied bodily resurrection were launching a frontal attack on the whole truth of the gospel.

To Paul, the resurrection was fundamental.

Without it there was no Christianity.

Truly Christians are to be pitied more than anyone if our hope in Christ ends in death.

Especially given all the hardships endured for the sake of faith, a resurrection-less end would be a disaster.

Have you ever been offered a guarantee on something which you have committed – either with money or talents?

You commit to something on the promise that the guarantee is true. For example:

Buy this car, then you will receive free oil changes for two years.

Take this pill and you will be guaranteed to lose weight.

Do what we ask and we can guarantee your safety.

There are all kinds of offers which people will pitch to you.

But if you notice what works the most in the guarantee is personal testimonies.

People will claim that these offers have worked for them, so it will work for you.

I can trust the eternal lifetime guarantee of Jesus because He proved it.

Jesus is the only One to raise from the dead.

You know that you trust the mechanic who has repaired and replaced many parts before.

You trust the doctor who has successfully completed many surgeries.

You can trust Jesus who has the eternal experience that is necessary for overcoming death.

You know death is a frightening prospect.

Like a surgery, or some other traumatic broken experience that you and I may go through, we don’t look forward to the prospect of dying.

It’s frightening in a way to think that when your heart stops beating, that you will stop existing.

I can’t make myself come back to life. I can’t see what is beyond death.

Even Jesus needed God’s help in being resurrected.

But now that Jesus is resurrected, He can help me.

“In Christ, all will be made alive.”

That is not a spiritual, allegorical interpretation.

I will be made alive. But that can only happen because Jesus was made alive.

He was given the keys to death. He knows how to unlock it.

Like a locksmith who comes when the doors are locked and you can’t get your keys, God made Christ exclusive keys over death.

When you come to death and you wonder how the afterlife will be unlocked for you, you just need to trust Christ.

He will unlock the keys of death for you.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

In view of all of this, let us be confident today in our faith because of what Jesus has done.

He broke the power of death so that we might have eternal life with Him.

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
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Thursday, Dec 08
God Calling
by Two Listeners

MY KINGDOM

“But now it is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the dead.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:20-21

And greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto My Father.

While I was on earth, to the great number of those with whom I came in contact, Mine was a lost cause.

Even My disciples only believed, half-doubting, half-wondering.

When they all forsook Me and fled it was not so much fear of My enemies as the certainty that My Mission, however beautiful they thought it, had failed.

In spite of all I had taught them, in spite of the revelation of the Last Supper, they had secretly felt sure that when the final moment came, and the hatred of the Pharisees was declared against Me I should sound some call to action, and that I should lead My many followers, and found My earthly kingdom.

Even the disciples who had eyes to see My Spiritual Kingdom had thought material forces had proved too strong for Me.

But with My Resurrection came hope. Faith revived.

They would remind each other of all I had said. They would have the assurance of My Divinity,

Messiahship, the lack of which had hindered My work on earth, and they would have all My Power in the unseen – the Holy Spirit – to help them.

Remember, I came to found a Kingdom – the Kingdom.

Those who lived in the Kingdom were to do the work — greater works than I was able to do.

Not a greater Power shown, not a greater Life lived, but, as men recognized My Godhead, opportunities for works in My Name would increase.

My work on earth was to gather around Me the nucleus of My Kingdom, and to teach the Truths of My Kingdom to them.

In those Truths they were to live and work.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25)
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Learning to navigate through the storms of life…

Only Jesus knows how to calm and guide you through the storms in your life…

The Sea of Galilee is noted for sudden, violent storms that whip it into a churning froth.

Winds sweep down the valley of the Jordan from the north, picking up speed in the narrow gorge.

When they hit the Sea, it becomes extremely unsafe for navigation.

On this occasion, Jesus was crossing from the west side to the east.

When the storm broke, He was asleep in the boat.

The terrified disciples awoke Him with frantic pleas for help.

It is to their credit that they went to the right Person.

After rebuking the winds and the waves, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their puny faith.

When a great calm descended, the men marveled that even the elements obeyed their humble Passenger.

How little they comprehended that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe was in the ship that day!

All disciples encounter storms sooner or later. At times it seems we are going to be swamped by the waves.

What a comfort to know that Jesus is in the boat with us.

“No water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies.”

The thrashing sea became like glass.

Anyone would be afraid in a similar situation.

Yet, after Jesus commanded the storm to cease, He asked the disciples why they feared, why they failed to trust Him to care for them.

No one can quell life’s storms like the Lord Jesus.

Jesus also has the power to calm the storms in your life.

So whatever you’re going through in life, just remember that God is always there with you, to guide you through it, and bring you to the other side.

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
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Wednesday, Dec 07
Faith it Daily

“LORD, JUST GET ME THROUGH THIS STORM.”

“He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
— Matthew 8:26

You know, there’s a story in Scripture about a storm.

A time when a boat was rocking amidst the wind and waves, and a begging question was asked to the Savior.

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ ”

The thing that sticks out to me here is that the Savior was right there.

He was there with the others while the storm was taking place.

He was not ignorant to the wind and the waves. He was present.

Still it stormed.

Since He was God in flesh, I have to believe He knew the storm was coming—yet He did not exercise his miraculous powers to prevent it.

Still—He was present—there as the storm began to rage.

As the waves threatened to overtake the boat, His disciples seemed to release a desperate plea a lot like mine— “Lord, save us!” And the Savior did. Because that’s what He does.

As we face the hard storms of life, the cloudy dark moments—the times when we think we won’t possibly make it through—we are tempted to think He has forgotten us, left us all alone here–BUT He hasn’t.

As the storm rages around you, remember God is there, too.

Pray with Us
Dear God, thank you for being with me even when the storm is raging. In Jesus’ name. Amen
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Come join the Adventure!

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God wants you well…

We know from the Bible that Sickness and disease are a result of our fallen condition, separated from God and is also the work of Satan…

How does Satan Brings Sickness and Suffering?

I believe that Satan works in three major ways to bring sickness and suffering on people:

1. Satan causes sickness directly.

An obvious tactic is demonization. For example, approximately 25 percent of Jesus’ healings as recorded in the Gospel of Mark involve demons.

The direct influence of the devil is explicitly demonstrated when Jesus healed a crippled woman and was scolded by a synagogue leader for doing it on the Sabbath.

Jesus said, “Ought not this woman being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16).

Satan’s direct role is also explicit in the case of Job.

What percentage of sickness is directly caused by Satan we do not know, but unquestionably much is.

2. Satan indirectly uses the natural results of the Fall to cause sickness and suffering.

He uses bacteria, viruses, malnutrition, accidents, fights, poison, old age, rapists, murderers and on and on.

In all probability most sickness falls into this category.

3. Satan tempts people to fall into sin, and God at times uses sickness to punish them for it.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of plagues, which God sent on His own people to punish them for sin.

When some Israelites rebelled against Moses and Aaron, God sent a plague and killed 14,700 (see Num. 16:45-50).

Then God killed another 50,070 Israelites at Beth Shemesh when they disobeyed Him by looking into the ark of the Lord (see 1 Sam. 6:19), just to cite two examples.

In the New Testament, God made Elymas the sorcerer blind as part of a power encounter (see Acts 13:6-12).

In Corinth some believers were sick and some had died as a result of abusing the Lord’s supper (see I Cor. 11:30), by not Discerning the body in the blood of our Lord.

In 1 Corinthians 11:29, Paul tells us,

“For he who eats and DRINKS in an UNWORTHY manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

Unworthy is an advert modifying the action which is DRINKS.

By failing to discern the reason for the stripes and the cross they fail to receive the benefits of it, and so some were still sick and some have died.

The Bible tells us that the Devil Comes to Steal, Kill, and Destroy!

And so no matter what the immediate cause, the usual outcomes of sickness are pain, suffering and death, all of which are the works of Satan.

What Jesus did for us on the cross is absolutely incredible.

Isaiah 53:5 says,

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.”
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What does “by His stripes” mean exactly?

This verse prophetically looked forward hundreds of years into what was then yet future to a day when Jesus Christ would literally become the suffering servant Isaiah talked about.

We know that Jesus Christ before He was put upon a cross received stripes upon His back.

Those stripes were a result of a cat of nine tails.

Those stripes were administered by a Roman Soldier who literally took that whip and beat Jesus back with it until stripes appeared.

Those stripes were severe — 39 times the whip came down.

If we believe that Jesus death on the cross provides us with forgiveness from transgressions,

And if we believe His death provides atonement for our iniquities,

And if we believe that His death was the chastisement of God upon Him for our peace with God.

Then we have to believe the last phrase of this verse that says, “BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.”

In fact, Peter writes and sees what Jesus did on the whipping post as a finished work.

Jesus said, “It is finished” before He died.

He completed what was necessary on the cross for divine healing to be administered in the world.

1 Peter 2:24 puts it this way, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you WERE healed.”

Not are healed, but WERE healed!

In other words, the work for your healing has already been finished. Your healing is available.

Many times we have to contend for that healing though because the enemy will resist.

Our part is to continue praying and believing, hanging on to the trustworthiness and reliability of both God in His Word, that would he promises you He’ll bring the past.

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Come join the Adventure!

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It’s time for us to start remembering the reason for the season…

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6)…

Mary Did You Know?

The child born of a human virgin is Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isa. 7:14; 9:6a).

He was a human child born of a human virgin, yet He was also the very God.

Isaiah was written about seven hundred years before Christ’s incarnation, yet it speaks of a child born who would be the very God.

Gabriel Visits Mary

“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”
(Luke 1:38)

Mary responded submissively to God’s will, as Hannah had (1 Sam. 1:11, where the same Greek word, doule, “servant,” or “slave-girl,” occurs in the Septuagint).

Even though Gabriel’s announcement was good news, it was also bad news.

Mary would bear the Messiah, but her premarital pregnancy would bring misunderstanding and undeserved shame on her for the rest of her life (cf. Deut. 22:23-24).

Therefore her humble attitude is especially admirable (cf. Gen. 21:1, 7, 12; 30:34).

“There were three miracles of the Nativity [according to Martin Luther]:

1. That God became man,

2. That a virgin conceived, and

3. That Mary believed.

And the greatest of these was the last.”

In humble submission, Mary was now ready to serve God and follow His will.

As pregnancy had lifted Elizabeth’s disgrace it would soon bring the virgin Mary disgrace.

Both agreed to do what God required (see v. 25).

A young unmarried girl who became pregnant risked disaster.

Unless the father of the child agreed to marry her, she would probably remain unmarried for life.

If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging or prostitution in order to earn her living.

And Mary, with her story about becoming pregnant by the Holy Spirit, risked being considered crazy as well.

Still Mary said, despite the possible risks,

“Let it be to me according to your word.”

When Mary said that, she didn’t know about the tremendous opportunity she would have.

She only knew that God was asking her to serve Him, and she willingly obeyed.

Don’t wait to see the bottom line before offering your life to God.

Offer yourself willingly, even when the outcome seems disastrous.

Mary gives us an example of total devotion to the Lord in her answer to the angel Gabriel: “I am the Lord’s servant.

Are you willing to entrust your future to God, whatever it might bring you, in the knowledge that God has only your best interest at heart, to give you thoughts of peace and not of evil, and also to give you a future and a hope.

This is true for all of Us, the Abundant Life that we all are seeking can only happen as we fulfill the destiny that God has planned for us.

Ephesians 1:3-6
New King James Version

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
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What are your greatest dreams?

The Abundant Life and the Fulfillment of your Dreams will only happen as you surrender your all to God!

Remember God can do anything and there’s NOTHING impossible with Him.

Ask God to show you what He wants you to do, and then ask Him for the power and courage to do it.

SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
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Saturday, Dec 03
Today in the Word

A MONUMENTAL MEETING
by Kelli Worrall

A friend of mine recently signed up for an overseas mission trip.

During the training, she was excited to participate with her team. But as the departure date approached, her anxiety grew until she wondered if she could even make the trip.

It’s one thing to accept God’s call on your life. It can be another thing to walk it out.

Mary wasted no time in following the angel’s lead.

She put feet to her faith and traveled for three days (80–100 miles) to visit her cousin Elizabeth and confirm Gabriel’s news.

The meeting of these two mothers was a monumental event. Both women were experiencing miraculous pregnancies with eternal implications.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s first “hello” and the baby John kicked in her womb, he was already pointing the way to Jesus.

Elizabeth’s loud exclamation was not a result of her own emotion alone. It was directed by the Holy Spirit and full of humility.

Her posture toward Mary foreshadowed her son’s ministry as he pointed to Jesus.

Elizabeth overflowed with joy and awe.

She graciously blessed Mary and expressed her honor at being a part of God’s new work.

Mary then voiced her psalm of thanksgiving.

Verses 46 to 55, called the Magnificat, are rich in theology.

The first half contains Mary’s praise for God’s blessing to her.

Like Elizabeth, she expressed humility and honor at being chosen by God.

Then Mary pronounced a general praise to God for His actions and His character, demonstrated to all people throughout time.

She worshiped God for His eternal mercy and sovereign power—a power that defied human hierarchies.

He had dethroned proud earthly rulers, elevated the humble, and provided for His people.

In both Elizabeth and Mary, we find examples of how to respond to God’s call on our life—even when that call might come with hardship and cause us fear.

May we, too, put feet to our faith and humbly praise the God who continues to call.

PRAY WITH US

We, too, have been chosen to carry out Your purposes. Like Mary and Elizabeth, we glorify You, Lord, and rejoice in You, our Savior! May our joy in serving You forever increase.
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‘Tis is the season to come join the Adventure!

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