“Prosperity Belongs to God”

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/skeeze

“The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,”
Nehemiah 2:20

You have felt that burden in your heart or that niggling of the mind.  The pull or the call to step out in faith to take on a new project, yet the enemy has thrown disturbing thoughts your way thinking to frustrate what God is pulling you to do.

Nehemiah felt such a burden from God.  He received word that the people in Jerusalem were in distress and the walls were broken and the gates burned, (Neh. 1:3).  What could he possibly do all the way in Shushan?  The Bible tells us he fasted and prayed and confessed the wrongs of his people before God, (Neh. 1:4).  Then, God gave an opportunity for King Artaxerxes to take notice of his plight and support the project that had burdened his heart.

Arriving in the area of Jerusalem with letters from the king should have made things easy for Nehemiah.  But, the plain and simple truth is there are those who don’t want to see God’s people blessed.  There are those who don’t want to see God’s people prosper and favored.  This is what Nehemiah faced.  Nehemiah 2:10 tells us this of his enemies, “They were deeply disturbed that a man came to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

As soon as the work began and they took steps toward the goal of their heart, their enemies laughed at them and despised them and put accusations against them, (Neh. 2:19).  But, Nehemiah’s response was one of total faith and reliance upon God.  He said, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,” (Neh. 2:20).

Know this, anytime God lays a burden on your heart to do something for Him, there will always be enemies that try to stop the plan of God in you.  Sometimes it could even be just our own doubts and insecurities about our own ability to get the job done.  But, if God called you to it, He will see you through it.  Prosperity belongs to God!  All He has ever asked us to do is to step out in faith and do the work and depend on Him to increase it and cause it to grow.  No human on this earth has any say so about what God is doing in your life!

Be blessed, my friends, as you move where God is leading you!

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“Joy to the World – He Came!”

My Project 486-001

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.”

Read more: Traditional – Joy To The World Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Christmastime, as they say, is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmastime often brings with it sweet thoughts and times of reminiscing with loved ones over the years past.  There’s a celebration of joy in the atmosphere that isn’t felt as prominently during other times of the year.

But, I’m here to tell you that Christmastime is so much more than an emotional response to a holiday and family.  It’s more than the gathering of sweet fellowship and food.

Christmastime is a declaration of all God has wanted to do for mankind since the time He created him.  It’s the time we celebrate God’s love on display in holy determination to have that relationship with man that He so desired.

Christmastime is a celebration of the healing.  There was a rift that was torn by sin between God and man – now it comes together in an era of reconciliation and peace.

Isaiah prophesies of the means by which God ushers this in.  He said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6).  This is the very foundation of the Christmas story.  Matthew picks it up and tells us in the New Testament,” And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins,” (1:21). Mankind had fallen short of the glory of God, but this little baby had an assignment on His life to save people from their sins!

The Christmas story tells us that He is the fulfilled prophesy that states, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” (Isaiah 7:14). We see that come to pass in Matthew 1:23 which states He shall be called “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Down forty-two generations He traveled (Matthew 1:1-17) to be with us. That’s why the carols ring out, “Veiled in flesh the God-head see; Hail the incarnate Deity, Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel,” (Hark! The Harold Angels Sing – Charles Wesley). He was that “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).

That’s why Luke lets us know, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” (Luke 1:32-33).

This is what the Christmas story is all about. Joy to the world – He came!

The Bible declares, “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,” (Luke 2:7). He was shunned by the world with no one to care other than Mary and Joseph. Nonetheless, He came!

The angels proclaimed that night, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:11). The deliverance of all mankind made His way into the world. God’s plan of salvation broke through the flesh of humanity to rescue in the Spirit.

Joy to the world – He came!

God incarnate manifested Himself in the humility of man. He stepped off His throne in glory to dwell with a sinner like me. He pulled off His royal attire to associate with the filthy dregs of this life.

Joy to the world – He came!

Christmastime we celebrate His birth; we rejoice in His coming. But, that’s not the end of the Christmas story.

He came once so that He could come back again.

“Living he Loved Me

Dying he saved me

Buried He carried my

My sins far away

Rising he justified me

Freed me forever

One day he’s coming back Glorious day.” (Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>eLyrics.net</a>)

He came, and He’s coming back once again!

The first time He came He was encapsulated in His mother’s womb, riding on a donkey toward Bethlehem to be born. But, the true end of the Christmas story is the next time you see Him, He won’t be that same baby from the womb riding with His mama on a donkey.  He’ll be standing in the air riding the clouds of heaven.

The first time He came He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. The next time you see Him, He will stand before you as the King who broke free from the grave clothes that tried to bind Him, gaining the victory over the grave; gaining the victory over sin and death.

The first time He came only a few lowly shepherds and a few little wise men came to honor Him and pay tribute to the miracle that occurred on that night. The next time you see Him, “Every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:10-11).  That same baby they ignored.  That same baby they refused to find room for, their mouths are going to open and declare that HE IS LORD!

We celebrate the Christmas story as the ultimate gift of God’s love toward humanity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).

But, the Christmas story is more than the celebration that He came. It stands as a reminder every year that if He came once as He said He would, then He’s coming back – just like He said He would!

We love this time of year. There’s no greater feeling than the fellowship and gifts of love shared.  But, once the gifts are unwrapped and once the food is eaten and people return to their homes; let the Christmas story remind you, the King came once, and the King will return once again.

Pope Francis is quoted as saying, “God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.” (Quote Source: Brainyquote.com).

In preparation of His return I must ask, “Have you received His gift?”

Joy to the World – He came. And, He’s coming back again. That’s the true end of the Christmas story.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

“Claiming the Promises of God!”

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless, their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua were ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes, it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people use to give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:200.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over and over again in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness attitude that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God made sure it was put in there four times in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve, as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.

“Indulge in Nostalgia!”

nostalgia-001

“And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.  And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land,” Joshua 4:20-22

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice is to open up all my windows and to put a fan in my bedroom window.  Why the bedroom particularly?  For some reason or another, no matter where I live, when there is a fan in my bedroom window, it makes the air smell just like my grandma’s house when I was growing up, particularly her upstairs and bedroom.  Sometimes, I long for weather not too hot and not too cold, just so that I can have a fan in the bedroom window that blows out that smell.  And when it does, I look for reasons throughout the day to visit my bedroom, to inhale deeply and to let my mind wander to another time.

Smells have that effect on me, nostalgically letting me remember times past.  While the fan smell is my favorite, another smell is stuff burning.  Not like a house catching fire or anything, but rather a pit-beef joint cooking or a log in the fireplace.  This smell reminds me of my paternal grandparents.  They live in the South and during the summer we would visit.  There I witnessed something I hadn’t seen before.  In the evening, they take their trash to a heap outside and set it on fire.  No trash trucks to pick it up twice a week.  They just light it up and watch it go.

It’s good to indulge in a little bit of nostalgia once in a while, especially when it comes to remembering God’s deliverance.  After a certain amount of time goes by, whether it becomes a time of prosperity or a time of hardship, it’s so easy to forget.  The daily grind and routine schedules tend to overshadow what previously occurred.  That can be a good thing when someone is trying to get over hurtful things, but when one wants to remember a glorious time it can be dangerous.

The danger of forgetfulness can leave us with a warped outlook on life.  “Why does this always happen to me?”  “Things never turn in my favor.”  “It’s useless for me to even try!”  Words such as “always, never and useless” denote negativity when used this way. This negative brow beating overshadows the good.  We use words so lightly, but if I were to really question, what would the true outcome be?  Do things really never ever turn in your favor?  Is it really useless for you to try?  The answer, most likely, would be no.

Through times of hardship and prosperity, our perspective on life can get blurred.  That’s why God mandated for these stones to be set up as a memorial.  These stones would stand as a physical reminder of God’s deliverance; of a time when He altered nature and did the impossible just so that His people could gain their promise.

We may not have physical stones, but I do believe we have “markers” in our memory that can transport us to our time of deliverance.  Things that help us to remember that no matter what state one may find themselves in now, God is still on the throne and He is still working it out on our behalf.  That’s why it’s good to indulge in nostalgia.  It opens the door to the good ole days.  The thought of it can instantly put a smile on my face.  Now, imagine doing that with God’s deliverance.  Sometimes we need to remember on purpose where He brought us from and how He brought us through.  Set that up as a “marker” to help no matter what life may bring.

“Reap Rejoicing!”

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:5-6, NKJV

Good Friday or Holy Friday, no matter which name you call it by, it was a day of great tears and sorrow that ushered in a day of rejoicing.

From the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed earnestly until His sweat became as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44), to the illegal trials at night that stripped away any rights He may have had in the human form, Jesus knew anguish.  He knew more than just heaviness of heart.  He experienced deep, physical pain – yet, the night was not over.

Had it stopped at the trials and mockery, some would say it was tolerable (though I wouldn’t).  Let us not take lightly all that Christ endured on that night.  For He not only bore the pain of stripes and nails, but He carried the weight of the world.  He carried the soul’s destiny for every human that ever walked the face of this earth.

It was a time of great sadness.  As a parent mourns over a wayward child, Jesus carried the burden of people in His bosom.  Earlier He said, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37, KJV).

Now, on this night of sorrow, spiritually He is doing just that.  No one could ever put into words the pain of what it felt like to hang on that cross and bear the sins of the world.  But, as He hung there, with blood pouring down, He was in the gathering process.  That’s why He couldn’t come down because even as He was nailed and left to die, He with great sorrow and tears, was working at gathering that would eventually lead to rejoicing.

What a clear head and frame of mind our Lord kept through it all.  Most of us would have went into survival mode under such duress, thinking of self.  Jesus went to survival mode, too.  Not for Himself rather, “To seek and to save that which was lost,” (Luke 19:10, KJV).

As He hung there, He thought about all those that are captive by sin and needed a great deliverance.  These people staring at Him as He bled knew a little something about being a people held captive.  Their history repeats over and over again of how they were forced out of their promised land due to sin and negligence.

But God didn’t leave them like that.  In each instance, He brought a plan of deliverance and salvation into the mix.  When they cried out, He saved them and brought them back to their homeland.  They shed many tears as the farmer scatters seed.  Just like the seed, there comes a time where sowing stops and gathering begins and “shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”

As He hung there, Jesus was doing both.  Sowing: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,” (John 12:24, KJV).  He was also gathering:  “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.  This He said, signifying by what death He would die,” (John 12:32-33, NKJV).

Jesus was sowing the seed in tears and at the same time reaping with rejoicing.  On this Good Friday; this Holy Friday, we are now the benefactors of that great work done on the cross.  When God brought the children of Israel back from captivity, the nations said, “The LORD has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2, NKJV).  Their response was, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad,” (Psalm 126:3, NKJV).

Jesus brought us out of captivity on that Friday.  Through our life of sinfulness we have experienced many tears.  Through the sins of others, we will sow many tears.  Now, because of Christ, we can also “Reap Rejoicing.”  “And, we are glad!”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

“Prosperity Belongs to God”

My Project 449-001

“The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,”
Nehemiah 2:20

You have felt that burden in your heart or that niggling of the mind.  The pull or the call to step out in faith to take on a new project, yet the enemy has thrown disturbing thoughts your way thinking to frustrate what God is pulling you to do.

Nehemiah felt such a burden from God.  He received word that the people in Jerusalem were in distress and the walls were broken and the gates burned, (Neh. 1:3).  What could he possibly do all the way in Shushan?  The Bible tells us he fasted and prayed and confessed the wrongs of his people before God, (Neh. 1:4).  Then, God gave an opportunity for King Artaxerxes to take notice of his plight and support the project that had burdened his heart.

Arriving in the area of Jerusalem with letters from the king should have made things easy for Nehemiah.  But, the plain and simple truth is there are those who don’t want to see God’s people blessed.  There are those who don’t want to see God’s people prosper and favored.  This is what Nehemiah faced.  Nehemiah 2:10 tells us this of his enemies, “They were deeply disturbed that a man came to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

As soon as the work began and they took steps toward the goal of their heart, their enemies laughed at them and despised them and put accusations against them, (Neh. 2:19).  But, Nehemiah’s response was one of total faith and reliance upon God.  He said, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,” (Neh. 2:20).

Know this, anytime God lays a burden on your heart to do something for Him, there will always be enemies that try to stop the plan of God in you.  Sometimes it could even be just our own doubts and insecurities about our own ability to get the job done.  But, if God called you to it, He will see you through it.  Prosperity belongs to God!  All He has ever asked us to do is to step out in faith and do the work and depend on Him to increase it and cause it to grow.  No human on this earth has any say so about what God is doing in your life!

Be Blessed 🙂

“Your Content Reads More Than Your Cover!”

My Project 418-001

“The LORD is with you mighty man of valor!” Judge 6:12, NKJV

We’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  It simply tells us that what we see on the outside doesn’t always accurately represent what’s on the inside.  Books usually contain a lot of content within their pages and when one looks at the cover it is supposed to give an idea of that content.  Sometimes covers can disappoint you.  What they show can appear to be an exciting and promising read but when you get into the story it’s simply not so.  And vice versa.  Covers can inaccurately represent some great stuff on the inside while the outside seems to be dull and dreary.

Down through the years this phrase has been applied to people, and rightly so.  As we treat book covers and their content is often how we view other people.  We judge the outside without first getting acquainted with what’s written within.  As in Gideon’s case, sometimes we apply this same judging standard to ourselves, not recognizing the promise and potential in our own person.

It’s not all about how we see ourselves – it’s how God sees us!  God said, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee,” (Jer. 1:5, KJV).  The psalmist said, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb,” (Ps. 139:13, NKJV).  What both of these verses tells us is that God knows us better than we know ourselves.  God can see inside of us where we can’t.  God knows when we lay down and when we get up, Ps. 139:2.  God knows everything about us and more!

As we do with other people we do with ourselves.  We can only judge by what we see.  God has often called and declared more for a person than they have seen in themselves.  Abraham was going to be a father of multitudes though he had no son.  God saw more!  Joseph was going to reign as second in command over Egypt though he was the bane of his brother’s existence.  God saw more!  David, out in the field tending his father’s sheep and considered to be the least in the family rose to be Israel’s greatest king and deemed “A man after God’s own heart.”  God saw more!

God sees more in each of us individually than we could ever imagine.  You may think that you are lowly and not measuring up but God sees more.  Like Gideon you might even feel as if you are the least, Judges 6:15.  But God calls you “mighty!”  God sees you as a force to be reckoned with!  Someone that God can accomplish great feats through if you submit to His will.  It’s all about what God says I am!  Your content reads more than your cover.  Be blessed today as you walk in this truth 🙂

“Reap Rejoicing!”

jesus-against-sunset

Photo Credit: Wallpaper4god.com

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:5-6, NKJV

Good Friday or Holy Friday, no matter which name you call it by, it was a day of great tears and sorrow that ushered in a day of rejoicing.

From the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed earnestly until His sweat became as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44), to the illegal trials at night that stripped away any rights He may have had in the human form, Jesus knew anguish.  He knew more than just heaviness of heart.  He experienced deep, physical pain – yet, the night was not over.

Had it stopped at the trials and mockery, some would say it was tolerable (though I wouldn’t).  Let us not take lightly all that Christ endured on that night.  For He not only bore the pain of stripes and nails, but He carried the weight of the world.  He carried the soul’s destiny for every human that ever walked the face of this earth.

It was a time of great sadness.  As a parent mourns over a wayward child, Jesus carried the burden of people in His bosom.  Earlier He said, “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37, KJV).

Now, on this night of sorrow, spiritually He is doing just that.  No one could ever put into words the pain of what it felt like to hang on that cross and bear the sins of the world.  But, as He hung there, with blood pouring down, He was in the gathering process.  That’s why He couldn’t come down because even as He was nailed and left to die, He with great sorrow and tears, was working at gathering that would eventually lead to rejoicing.

What a clear head and frame of mind our Lord kept through it all.  Most of us would have went into survival mode under such duress, thinking of self.  Jesus went to survival mode, too.  Not for Himself rather, “To seek and to save that which was lost,” (Luke 19:10, KJV).

As He hung there, He thought about all those that are captive by sin and needed a great deliverance.  These people staring at Him as He bled knew a little something about being a people held captive.  Their history repeats over and over again of how they were forced out of their promised land due to sin and negligence.

But God didn’t leave them like that.  In each instance, He brought a plan of deliverance and salvation into the mix.  When they cried out, He saved them and brought them back to their homeland.  They shed many tears as the farmer scatters seed.  Just like the seed, there comes a time where sowing stops and gathering begins and “shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him.”

As He hung there, Jesus was doing both.  Sowing: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,” (John 12:24, KJV).  He was also gathering:  “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.  This He said, signifying by what death He would die,” (John 12:32-33, NKJV).

Jesus was sowing the seed in tears and at the same time reaping with rejoicing.  On this Good Friday; this Holy Friday, we are now the benefactors of that great work done on the cross.  When God brought the children of Israel back from captivity, the nations said, “The LORD has done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2, NKJV).  Their response was, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad,” (Psalm 126:3, NKJV).

Jesus brought us out of captivity on that Friday.  Through our life of sinfulness we have experienced many tears.  Through the sins of others, we will sow many tears.  Now, because of Christ, we can also “Reap Rejoicing.”  “And, we are glad!”

 

“Joy to the World – He Came!”

My Project 486-001

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.”

Read more: Traditional – Joy To The World Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Christmastime, as they say, is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmastime often brings with it sweet thoughts and times of reminiscing with loved ones over the years past.  There’s a celebration of joy in the atmosphere that isn’t felt as prominently during other times of the year.

But, I’m here to tell you that Christmastime is so much more than an emotional response to a holiday and family.  It’s more than the gathering of sweet fellowship and food.

Christmastime is a declaration of all God has wanted to do for mankind since the time He created him.  It’s the time we celebrate God’s love on display in holy determination to have that relationship with man that He so desired.

Christmastime is a celebration of the healing.  There was a rift that was torn by sin between God and man – now it comes together in an era of reconciliation and peace.

Isaiah prophesies of the means by which God ushers this in.  He said, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6).  This is the very foundation of the Christmas story.  Matthew picks it up and tells us in the New Testament,” And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins,” (1:21). Mankind had fallen short of the glory of God, but this little baby had an assignment on His life to save people from their sins!

The Christmas story tells us that He is the fulfilled prophesy that states, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” (Isaiah 7:14). We see that come to pass in Matthew 1:23 which states He shall be called “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Down forty-two generations He traveled (Matthew 1:1-17) to be with us. That’s why the carols ring out, “Veiled in flesh the God-head see; Hail the incarnate Deity, Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel,” (Hark! The Harold Angels Sing – Charles Wesley). He was that “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).

That’s why Luke lets us know, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end,” (Luke 1:32-33).

This is what the Christmas story is all about. Joy to the world – He came!

The Bible declares, “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,” (Luke 2:7). He was shunned by the world with no one to care other than Mary and Joseph. Nonetheless, He came!

The angels proclaimed that night, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:11). The deliverance of all mankind made His way into the world. God’s plan of salvation broke through the flesh of humanity to rescue in the Spirit.

Joy to the world – He came!

God incarnate manifested Himself in the humility of man. He stepped off His throne in glory to dwell with a sinner like me. He pulled off His royal attire to associate with the filthy dregs of this life.

Joy to the world – He came!

Christmastime we celebrate His birth; we rejoice in His coming. But, that’s not the end of the Christmas story.

He came once so that He could come back again.

“Living he Loved Me

Dying he saved me

Buried He carried my

My sins far away

Rising he justified me

Freed me forever

One day he’s coming back Glorious day.” (Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>eLyrics.net</a>)

He came, and He’s coming back once again!

The first time He came He was encapsulated in His mother’s womb, riding on a donkey toward Bethlehem to be born. But, the true end of the Christmas story is the next time you see Him, He won’t be that same baby from the womb riding with His mama on a donkey.  He’ll be standing in the air riding the clouds of heaven.

The first time He came He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. The next time you see Him, He will stand before you as the King who broke free from the grave clothes that tried to bind Him, gaining the victory over the grave; gaining the victory over sin and death.

The first time He came only a few lowly shepherds and a few little wise men came to honor Him and pay tribute to the miracle that occurred on that night. The next time you see Him, “Every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Philippians 2:10-11).  That same baby they ignored.  That same baby they refused to find room for, their mouths are going to open and declare that HE IS LORD!

We celebrate the Christmas story as the ultimate gift of God’s love toward humanity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).

But, the Christmas story is more than the celebration that He came. It stands as a reminder every year that if He came once as He said He would, then He’s coming back – just like He said He would!

We love this time of year. There’s no greater feeling than the fellowship and gifts of love shared.  But, once the gifts are unwrapped and once the food is eaten and people return to their homes; let the Christmas story remind you, the King came once, and the King will return once again.

Pope Francis is quoted as saying, “God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.” (Quote Source: Brainyquote.com).

In preparation of His return I must ask, “Have you received His gift?”

Joy to the World – He came. And, He’s coming back again. That’s the true end of the Christmas story.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

“Give Me This Mountain!”

My Project 447-001

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua was ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God   for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God  made sure it was put in there four times (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.