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faith

Christmas 2020

December 29, 2020


20 …an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). – Matthew 1:20-23

About 33 years later, before He was to give up Himself for us on a cross for our sins, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6.

Do you see it? The way to God is free through Jesus!! No payment or sacrifice of our own could do it; only a perfect Lamb could pay the price for sin, because no amount of our good deeds could outweigh our serious crime of sinning against God. And that is why we celebrate Jesus coming at Christmas. He is God who put on flesh to rescue we who were lost without Him forever. He is my righteousness, my salvation, my God! Christ is truly the reason for joy-both now in 2020 and for all time.

faith

the best promise ever made

October 22, 2020

From 3000 years ago to today (and many years more!), the heavens have reminded us of the BEST, happiest promise God ever made to mankind- that an eternal kingdom given by God would rule forever:

“..Once for all I have sworn by my holiness

I will not lie to David.

His offspring shall endure forever,

his throne as long as the sun before me.

Like the moon it shall be established forever,

a faithful witness in the skies…”

—Psalm 89:35-37, written by Ethan the Ezrahite, circa 970 BC or earlier.

Just 300 years or so later, more details were given about this eternal kingship: one righteous man would reign as King:

1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and might,

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

or decide disputes by what his ears hear,

4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,

and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,

and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,

and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

—Isaiah 11, written by the prophet circa 700 BC.

And about 700 years later, a perfect and just man, God’s very own Son, came to earth to conquer and cast out the ruler of this world, Satan, and to free the prisoners from their slavery of sin and death. He did so by dying himself to pay for the sins of His people, and He conquered Satan by doing God’s will in bringing many sons to glory, into fellowship with Him. Now He is reigning from heaven and offers salvation freely to anyone who desires it. He testifies of this in a promise vision to John who wrote the book of Revelation:

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. —Revelation 22:16-17, by vision of John circa AD 95.

Jesus, the reigning King of all, God’s righteous Son, is the one who satisfies my thirst today- that longing in my soul that cannot be satisfied otherwise. He is the living water, the one promised by God to make all things right in the world. He is my hope and salvation, the true and faithful one who has never failed and will never fail. His kingdom will reign for now and forevermore. One day- a day not so far from everyone of us- the night will be no more, and those who love and obey Him will be with Him forever and ever.

So while you still can see both the sun and moon, I implore you to hear Jesus’ most wonderful invitation:

“Come.”