Sunday, December 25, 2011
So, today let us go back over 2000 years ago to an event that established the greatest celebration this world has ever known, the birth of Christ. Luke 2 records...
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:1-20 KJV, emphasis mine)
Why is this so special? Today we celebrate the birth of the Savior this world needs. I hope that you spend some time thinking about and celebrating the birth of Christ.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
This person has a sandwich in one hand and a drink in the other. You may have to zoom in on the picture to see it a little better. The ironic thing is that this is an insurance company. Aren't they the ones who tell us this is a dangerous distraction? I wonder if this person's insurance company would pay if this driver had an accident because of this.
Friday, November 18, 2011
There is a vast difference when it comes to the pulpit and the one who occupies it. Even though the pulpit is a platform that stands before groups of people, the central focus is not the speaker but rather God Himself. Therefore, there is no room for a self-focusing spotlight. Pride cannot even play a part in the life of the minister. If by chance he becomes self-focused and self-presenting, then there is great potential to create a congregation who will be just like him. The result is an attitude to be served rather than to serve.
C.S. Lewis once said "to humble oneself before God means becoming so aware of the greatness and reality of God that the self falls into its proper perspective, certainly not at the center, but infinitely worthy and precious because God is fully present and in control."
Christian, you also have a platform. You can either point to yourself or point to Jesus. Think about the message you are conveying and ask yourself the question "who am I pointing to?"
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I look forward to seeing the work that will be produced from the class over the next couple of months.
How is it a fad catches on nationally in a short period of time?
How do clothing manufacturers succeed by offering only one or two styles of their product each year?
How do young children want the latest toy for Christmas and it hasn't even hit the shelves yet?
The answer to all of those questions is by the use of the media. It does not have to be just commercials, but it can also include sitcoms, movies, books, or magazines. We are Influenced by what we see. So, the next time you are in the middle of the greatest movie of all time, ask yourself "what am I taking away from this movie?" Do I want what they have, or, have I been conditioned to believe the lifestyles they portray is really okay?
So, let me leave you with this question. What is your greatest avenue of influence? I hope it is the number one best seller of all time.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
- When will this (the temple being destroyed) happen?
- What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?
It is interesting to note that Matthew does not record Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question on the dating of the destruction. The answer is found in Luke’s record in Chapter 21 verse 20. “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” [The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982)] The account does not give a particular time period or generation so the reader must look at other information concerning this event. The only prophetic information concerning this may be found in Zechariah 14:1–2 which says:
Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. [The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982)]
These verses pose a period of destruction against Jerusalem that happens in what Zachariah calls the “Day of the Lord”. Scriptural references to the “Day of the Lord” always refer to the wrath of God; and in this case is the tribulation period. Therefore, Zachariah’s account refers to a destruction of Jerusalem that happens in the last days. This time period is different from the destruction that happened in A.D. 70.
Readers of Genesis 6 may wonder how the destruction of Jerusalem can be compared with the catastrophe of the Flood. But this is the sort of comparison envisioned, as the evocation of Noah’s milieu at Matthew 24:37–39 shows. Even allowing for some metaphorical exaggeration, the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is not easily squared with the description of events which Matthew portrayed. To see that disaster as a prefigurement or an anticipation of a yet future destruction seems more in keeping with the tone of the passage. [Roy B. Zuck, A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, electronic ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 60.]
Keep in mind the discussion concerning these events is in the setting of the end times. The question at hand comes from the possibility to a shift of time or thought between verses 2 and 3 of Matthew 24. If there is no break of time or interruption of thought between those two verses then Jesus’ references to the destruction must be held to the last days. However, if there is a break then there includes the possibility of reference to the A.D. 70 date. Reading the account through Mark, the shift does not appear to be as pronounced as the possibility in Matthew. Beyond that the only difficulty to that conclusion is posed with the prophesy of Zachariah. To harmonize Zachariah with Matthew’s account then the date would refer to the tribulation period.
To conclude the question of date, there was a destruction in A.D. 70, however, Jerusalem will be posed with a fall in the last days.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
As I was watching one group leave, I noticed another family waiting until the theater was cleared before they exited. This family had a little boy who was disabled. It took some time to get him situated and ready to leave. There was also a difference in this family's demeanor in comparison to most of the others who were in a hurry to leave. This family did not seem to have any worries. They made sure that their son had everything ready to go and they weren't in a hurry. When they left, they were smiling as if they knew something that everyone else didn't.
How odd that the family with the greatest load was the family that appeared the happiest. I took a moment to lift up a small prayer for them as we walked out. God used that moment to teach me some great truths about happiness and His provision.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23
Sometimes we have to wait upon the Lord to see the things that bring true happiness. If we would just slow down a little, we would have time to experience the things He wants us to experience. Keeping your foot on the accelerator only allows you to experience the thrill of your desires not His.