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December 17, 2019, 12:03 PM

December 18, 2019


“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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 in the inn.”

                                                                                                                                                     Luke 2: 1-7

 

God is constantly working in us to make the pieces of our life fit together perfectly. However, one of our greatest problems is not completely yielding our life to Him. We often find ourselves making a real puzzle of our lives because we proceed in our own way. Do you know the feeling?

Jesus, our Savior, was born at the perfect time and in the exact place to fulfill God’s divine plan of redemption. The passage for this week is very familiar to us and is part of the Christmas story. The prophets foretold that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, yet Mary and Joseph were living in Nazareth. How would Jesus be born in Bethlehem? We know very well that God is always putting the pieces together so that they fit perfectly. Because of God’s sovereignty, He worked through the life of a Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, to make all the details fit perfectly so that Mary would give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. Therefore, God made sure that the prophetic announcement turned out exactly as He had planned. He always does that!

Now, what about the puzzle that is our life? Why is it that we continuously try to fit our own puzzle together when we really have no clue how it should look? Have you ever tried to put a jigsaw puzzle together without looking at the box to get some idea of the finished product? Basically, that is what we do when we desire to control our own life. God knows how it all fits together! It is hard for us to admit, but God knows us so much better than we know ourselves. As we are moving through life, at seemingly the speed of light, let us remember that we serve a mighty God who knows our life and the path He has for us in the future. His ways are always perfect! As God was working in Mary and Joseph’s life to bring about His perfect plan, He also desires to work in your life to accomplish similar objectives. Will you allow Him to give you purpose and meaning to your life? May you have a very blessed week as you surrender your life to the One who knows exactly how it all fits together.

 

Merry Christmas!

                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia




December 10, 2019, 3:31 PM

December 11, 2019


“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brough us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

When we consider all the Christmas gifts that will be exchanged and the love that is represented by them, let us not forget God’s love for us. God, in His mercy and grace, has given us the greatest gift: Jesus! Yet, even though Jesus is our greatest gift, how much time do we spend thanking Him? Do you remember your Christmas gifts as a child? We would carefully look through catalogs, store windows and advertisements to make a list of the items we just had to have for Christmas. Then, Christmas would finally arrive and we would diligently play with our new toys. Do you remember what typically would happen next? We would eventually become bored with the Christmas toys and move on to the next occasion for new gifts. Regardless of age, we can all probably identify with that scenario.

Have times changed? Have people changed? Not really. Many people still celebrate Christmas that same way. Think with me about God’s gift to us: A gift so magnificent, so perfect, so extreme, and yet so personal. God desires for each of us to have a love relationship with Him. He has provided everything necessary for that relationship because we could never approach God on our own. The relationship is through His Son, Jesus and He is the gift of life! The Bible clearly says that we are “dead in our transgressions and sins” without Christ. God offers new life to every person through the gift of His Son. However, the term “offers” is so important. God doesn’t force His gift on anyone. Yet, for whosoever will, His gift is the only way fallen man has to eternal life!

You know what is sad? Through the ages, people have despised and rejected God’s greatest gift. Many people today are still rejecting Jesus and making varied excuses for the rejection. There are many today who have lost the excitement of God’s gift. Much like the toys at Christmas, many have seemingly become bored with Jesus. This attitude has been infecting our churches and as a result has affected our nation. Many today would have to describe their relationship with God as stagnant or without excitement. Why? Because they have given in to the selfishness of our culture. Yet, is that even a description of someone who has been saved? The key to an exciting relationship with God is the desire to share His love. If you really want to experience the meaning of this season, share God’s love with others. Our relationship with Jesus should be anything but boring. Make yourself available to Him and share His love with others. The more we share Jesus, the more excited we become about Him! May you have a very blessed Christmas season as you celebrate the only reason!

                                                                                                                                                                        We love you,

                                                                                                                                                                        Brad and Virginia




December 3, 2019, 10:35 AM

December 4, 2019


“In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5: 3-4

As Christians, we should be the example of God’s love in a dark world. How do we show others that we love them? Words are cheap. It usually takes more than words to really share with others the love we have for them. In our materialistic society, we have grown to equate love for someone with buying something for them. Many parents today have replaced real love with the idea of lavishing upon their children the “toys” of the world. Yet, it should be easy to understand that toys and things can never be a substitute for parenting. How many times have we seen interviews with people who say they would have quickly traded presents for their parents’ presence?

Is our love for God any different? How do we show our love for Him? Many have the idea that if we attend church a few times or give a little money it will be enough to let God know that we love Him. But, how do we demonstrate to God in a tangible way that we love Him? From the scripture above, the Bible is very clear about how we show God that we love Him. Obedience is much more than talk, a little money or church attendance. Obedience to God means that because we know Him, we desire to walk with Him daily and do what He says. How can we be truly obedient to God without spending time with Him? It is through our daily walk and fellowship with God that we understand His plans and obey them.

As we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate God’s demonstration of His love for us. He doesn’t just use words to convey His love for us. He demonstrates it! In Romans 5:8 we read, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. God cares about your walk with Him today. How do we demonstrate to God our love for Him? Daily obedience! May you be abundantly blessed this week as you spend time with God, listen to Him and demonstrate your love for Him through obedience.

                                                                                                                 We love you,

                                                                                                                 Brad and Virginia




November 26, 2019, 11:08 AM

November 27, 2019


"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

What words do you use to describe Christmas? Many words swirl around during the Christmas season but do they really describe Christmas? Be honest, what first comes to your mind when you hear the word Christmas? Is it the commercial Christmas of the world or the Biblical account of the Savior's coming?
 
While we have been busy edifying Santa Claus, we have failed to really present the Christmas story. Please do not get me wrong, I am not against Santa! However, as Christians, we have joined in the rhetoric that commercializes Christmas. As a result, many are unfamiliar with the advent of Christ and what He came to accomplish. What do we teach children about Santa? Listen to these words: ?he knows when you are sleeping, he knows if you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake?. Ever heard those words? What if we shared with children (as well as adults) the real consequences of never knowing the Savior? What if the same amount of time was spent seeking Jesus as seeking Santa's knee? For the most part, we know the real Christmas story, but the Santa story just seems more exciting!
 
As you can tell, I tend to get disappointed by so much commercialization at Christmas. I am reminded of the Bible verse we often share; ?He was in the world, and though the world was made by Him, the world did not recognize Him? (John 1:10). Regardless of the world's attitude or celebration, let us be sure to recognize Him during the season. Let us celebrate and worship the One who came to forgive us and to give us everlasting life. It is the season of Christmas! With all the festivities around us, let us never forget the real reason for our celebration.
 
May you have a blessed week as you share with others the Good News of Jesus. Please remember our church family and friends who are continually battling sickness and those who are alone and sad during this special season.
 
We love you,
Brad and Virginia



November 12, 2019, 11:10 AM

November 13, 2019


"So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth."                                                                                                                                                         Revelation 3:16
 
     Those are very harsh words, but they reveal the way Jesus feels about mediocrity in Christianity. If you were to describe the Church, what words would you use today? Satan is doing everything he can to stifle the message that Christians need to be sharing. Satan really knows how to lure us away from the things of God. He will use our so called ?friends? to get us interested in things outside of church. They convince us that it doesn't really matter if you miss a Sunday here and there. Before we know it, we have drifted from the very foundation that was laid for us in the beginning.
     Then, there are the distractions. What is it that satan uses in your life to try to coerce you away from God's will? We learned Sunday morning that one of satan's greatest weapons is fear. He plants worries and fears into our minds to scare us from complete surrender to God who loves us immensely. Another distraction to serving God wholeheartedly is money. For some reason, we believe that if we attain a certain amount of money or a certain income, we will be free from the problems of life. If that is your pursuit, you'll never have enough. Often, the more money a person has, the more they become consumed by pleasures. There is nothing wrong with having and enjoying things. However, those things should not affect your time with God or your service for Him. It is very easy for stuff to become idols that compete with God's place in our life.
     It is sad that many Christians live miserable lives with little meaning. Why? Mostly because they are allowing the enemy to steal their joy which causes them to focus on the wrong things. God has made an incredible world and allows us to find fulfillment in it. However, we must live with the understanding that all we have or hope to attain is to be used to glorify Him. Could your life be described as one of glorifying God? Whatever you have and whatever you can accomplish, always remember none of that could be possible without God giving you the means of fulfillment which only comes in Jesus. God has called us to a great task. Let us not be lulled into becoming lukewarm but strive every day to serve God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Praying you are having a great week!
 
                                                                                                                                                   We love you,
                                                                                                                                                   Brad and Virginia

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