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Merry Christmas!!!!!

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Mat 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Mat 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Mat 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Mat 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
Mat 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Mat 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Luk 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Luk 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
Luk 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Luk 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because (he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luk 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Luk 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Luk 2:7 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.
Luk 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9 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.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luk 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luk 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
Luk 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Luk 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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

In the work of Serving our Lord, if we don’t have a direction and a goal, we make it too easy for the enemy

I came across this quote in some reading I was doing and thought I would share it with you.  The author is listed as anonymous, but I think they capture the concept of service well.

Stick with your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars, do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs, do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work. Let liar’s lie, let sectarians quarrel, let critics malign, let enemies accuse, let the devil do his worst; but see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you.

He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed. He has never bidden you to defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself) which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle, or track down every rumor that threatens your reputation. If you do these things, you will do nothing else, you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.

Keep at your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motive; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But wee to it with steadfast determination, with unfalter zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”

I saw this video and I thought, Thank God for some political cadidates who are willing to take a stand for God and not worry about if it is the politically correct thing to do.  It is about time we came back to Biblical correctness.

Just a side note.  I think that we are to take the Bible literally unless otherwise indicated by the Scriptures.  In other words, God meant what He said and said what He meant.  The Bible clearly states in six days God created all the we see and know.  He goes on to say, to clarify for those that may have questions, the evening and the morning were the (first, second, third, etc.) day.  So, yes we can know God created everything in six 24 hour days.

Most modern churches today are full of free-loaders. People that are always looking for something from God. We read the Bible more times than not with our own personal interests at heart. We are searching for things that will gratify our own self-worth and feed our own self-image, and we are not searching for commands to obey. God is very clear in the fact that He wants our obedience. If we want to become effective Christians and reach the world with the Gospel, we need to line up with God’s revealed will and search for commands to obey.

David Foster writes in his blog:

If I were looking for a church to attend in the morning, here is what I’d look for:

When I enter do I hear laughter?
Are people greeting me as a job or a joy?
Does the place look like they were expecting me?
Are people buzzing as they greet each other?
Is there spirited music playing as people gather?
Does the music move me?
Do the people on stage look real and engaged?
Are the announcements short, strategic, and to the point?
Is there a printed outline with Scripture already printed on it?
Does the pastor smile?
Does the message title promise a relevant topic I am interested in?
Does the pastor speak with humility and authority?
Do I feel the presence of God?
Are people listening and engaged?
Is the service no more than 71 minutes?
Does it pass by fast?

Do you notice all of the my, me, and I comments made, and mostly superficial wants and needs. Nothing about holiness, righteousness, or Godliness. Nothing about a church where biblical truth and doctrine are preached and taught. Basically today most folks are looking for a warm, fuzzy, feel-good, get in and out quick, don’t inconvenience me church experience.

We live in a what’s in it for me society, but it is time as the Apostle Paul said, “Put away childish things.” It is time to grow up, start serving, and stop free-loading on God.

Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Many times we hear parents that are distraught with wayward children use this verse for comfort.  We hear them make statments like, “I know Johnny has strayed away from the Lord, but I am claiming Proverbs 22:6 and I know he will come back.”  That is all well and good and we should pray for wayward children to return back to the ways of God, but that is not what this verse is saying.  Let’s read it again,

 Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. This verse says that if we train a child, why do you think it says “a child” and not “children”, I think because each child requires different methods of training.  I didn’t say different messages, but different methods.  Then it goes on to say if we do that, when they are old they will not depart from it.  It does not say they will stray and come back, but that they won’t stray from the truth if they are trained properly.

I spent a while talking with some school administrators this morning about this very subject.  It seems that the mindset of teenagers today is “Nothing is My Fault” and the “World Owes Me.”  I believe that the reason for this is there is not enough “Intentional Parenting.”  Parents expect the school system to discipline their children.  The discipline of a child is the parents responsibility and belongs to no one else.  If God has given you the blessing and privilage of raising children please get involved in their lives and provide them with sound biblical Intentional Parenting. 

Then we can truly and rightly claim the promise of Provebs 22:6.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.   Proverb 22:1

When we use that term, “a good name,” we are thinking of a good reputation. Just as when you think of someone’s name, and you have a positive or negative reaction.  The same thing happens when someone thinks of your name their thoughts are either positive or negative about you and your family.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.Sometimes a person’s name can be ruined by influential enemies, but most of the time it is ruined by his conduct and lack of integrity.

People can not only spoil their family name or father’s name, but they can also bring reproach on the name of Christ.

Psalm 1:1 Gives us some insight on how to avoid this trap.

David says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly”  We are not to take counsel or advice from the ungodly.  Who are you letting advise you and your actions?  Everything we allow in our minds through our eyes and ears is giving us counsel.  He goes on to say, “nor standeth in the way of sinners.”  Do you try to fit in with the way of the world?  James tell us in James 4:4 that friendship with the world is enmity with God.  Are you standing in the way of the sinner?  Then, David says, ” nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”  This one probably gets more Christians than the other two because it is so subtle.  Do you complain?  Do you grumble?  Do you murmur?  How much does it take to get you to blow your top?  Do you realize that you are missing out on a promise that God gave us.  He said if we would follow this patter set forth in Psalm 1:1 that whatsoever we doeth we would prosper.  Why would we want to miss out on that blessing over something trivial?  Why would we want to spoil our good name?  And more importantly, why would we want to bring reproach on the name of Christ?