Saturday, December 02, 2006


When a situation is a matter of life and death, we are compelled to offer assistance. If we have the answer to the problem, we dare not keep it to our selves.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:6 – 9 (NLT)


Jesus said, I am the light of the World (John 8:12). Later, in John 9:5 (NLT) he said, while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.

Jesus shone brightly while here in this world because of the stark contrast of His perfection against the sinfulness of man. He exposed the religious system as being legalistic without following the spirit or intent of the law. Even as a young boy asking questions in the temple, we read...

And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. Luke 2:47 (NKJV)

As we know, He was put to death later and buried in a tomb for three days. However, we also know that He came back to life and appeared to many people. After speaking to His disciples, He left the world. Today, He is back in heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father.

Who is the light of the world now?


Jesus himself said…

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:14 - 16 (NLT)

Later Paul penned these words…

Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:14 - 15 (NLT)

We must tell the story of Christ and His gift of Salvation offering eternal life and hope to all who will believe.


Friday, December 01, 2006


Christmas is quickly coming and we want to make sure that people recognize it as the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, not just a holiday for giving and receiving presents. Those of us that claim Christ as Savior have the task of making this known to others. We are to prepare the way for the Lord.

We looked at the need for a spirit of joy in our lives as we take up this task. We briefly looked at a verse from the Gospel of Luke to see the joy in Zechariah’s life when he was obedient to God. Zechariah was the father of John the Baptist. Below is the rest of that passage:

He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. 65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. 67 Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: Luke 1:63 - 67 (NLT)

A prophecy about the coming Christ and Zechariah’s son as the person who will “prepare the way for the Lord” follows this passage. Today, though, I want us to notice what happened to Zechariah after his joyfully praising God. Verse 67 says that he was “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

As we go about our task of helping people understand the Christ of Christmas, we need to do this in the power of the Holy Spirit. In our own strength, with our own words, we will not be effective. As the scripture says, apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).

The Holy Spirit filling us does not have to be some mystical, magical event, though indeed it is magnificent. When we accepted Christ as our Savior the Holy Spirit immediately took up residence in us. For the Holy Spirit to fill us we must be involved in a continuing, connected and close relationship with Him.

First, we must acknowledge that we need Him; that we are powerless without Him. The next step is to ask Him to fill us. Listen to Jesus’ own words in Luke chapter 11, verse 13,

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

Our part is to ask and then accept the filling of the Holy Spirit by faith. How do we ask? That’s what prayer is all about, conversation with the Almighty God.

Do you want the Holy Spirit to fill you? Ask Him. Talk with Him. Walk with Him. When you do, showing forth the Christ of Christmas and the “reason for the season” will become an easy task.

In a spirit of joy, filled with His Holy Spirit, God will use you mightily.


Thursday, November 30, 2006


Now be honest and tell me, would you rather be around someone that is happy and full of joy or someone that is sad and depressing?

Well that’s a big, “DUH!”

Now I want you to think about when you are at church, at work, school or some other place where non-Christians are. Would they say of you that you are happy and full of joy?

Paul talks about the importance of this in Philippians 4:4 when he says,

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

People, including you and me, prefer to be around joyful people. It’s contagious!

In talking about this advent season as we prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, we need to recapture that “joy of salvation.”

When Zechariah was able to speak again at the birth of his son the bible says in Luke 1:64,

He began praising God.

The very first thing he did was express joy and praise God.

When the angel was announcing the birth of the Messiah, he said,

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10 - 11 (NKJV)

When the Wisemen saw the star that would lead them to the place where the Messiah was,

They rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. Matthew 2:10 (NKJV)

Let us be of that same mindset in this advent season. Let people everywhere see in you the Joy of the Lord!


Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Psalms 51:12 - 13 (KJV)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We are in what is known as the Advent season…

The word Advent derives from a Latin word meaning, coming. The Lord is coming. In Church history, it is the period of time 4 weeks before we celebrate the Lord’s birth. Its purpose is to bring meaning to the celebration as we remember Gods working in the lives of His people and His coming to earth in the form of a man. It is to PREPARE us for the blessed event.

John the Baptist was sent by God to PREPARE the people for Jesus’ birth. He said of himself in John 1:23,

“I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

His statement was a reference to Isaiah 40:3-5,

3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

You and I are to PREPARE our hearts for the celebration of His birth in the midst of the secular shopping frenzies.

Every valley lifted up…

Could we look at that which is low in our lives and lift it up to Jesus? Perhaps it is your self-esteem. Perhaps it is an area in your life that you need to improve. If you turn it over to the King of kings, it will be exalted or lifted up.

Every mountain made low…

Perhaps your mountain is a problem in your life. Turn it over to Jesus Christ and He will make it right. He will either remove it or cause you not to even consider it a problem anymore!

On the other hand, perhaps you are very proud of something. In the light of what Jesus has done, how great is it? Turn your pride over to Jesus and walk in humility.

We are also to PREPARE others for His second coming or advent.

Tell them what Jesus has done for you.

Tell them what He can do for them.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Mr. Miller’s wife stood up and told the preacher he was simply wrong. Mr. Miller yanked on her sleeve and tried to quiet her but was unsuccessful. She finally sat down and then started, in quite a loud voice, to ask her husband if he agreed with her.

What is wrong with this picture? It is unruly, disruptive and just a tad rude. This is an example of what Paul was dealing with in his letter to the church at Corinth. Their obsession with “who had the greater gift” and “listen to me” mentality had gotten out of hand. Church meetings had become circuses!

Peace and unity were to be the rule. God was a God of order and he wanted them to act like it. That’s why he gave them some guidelines on how to run a church meeting (14:26-33). That is the context in which we are to read the next two verses:

1 Corinthians 14:34 - 35 (NLT) Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. 35. If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary has this to say:

Paul then wanted silence on the parts of married women whose husbands were present in the assembly, but he permitted the participation of other women when properly adorned (1 Cor. 11:2-16). Such silence would express their subordinate (but not inferior) relationship to their husbands. This contrasts with a disturbance caused by their talking to their husbands during the service. (Copyright 1983, SP Publications, Inc.)

Since verse 35 says, “they should ask their husbands at home”, we can deduce that he is referring to married women.

Paul already mentioned in 11:5 that women could prophesy and pray as long as they had their heads covered.

But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

Can women participate in church? Of course they can, but within the context of God’s order and the authorities that He has set in place within that specific body of believers.

The point is God is not a God of confusion but of peace (14:33). Order promotes unity, which in turn promotes the proper functioning of the body, the Body of Christ.


Monday, November 27, 2006


When I used to play the French horn in a symphony, I had to practice. A lot! I was the section leader (first horn) and had a responsibility to make sure the horn section was ready. As a young leader, I made many mistakes by insisting that everyone be “as good as me.” As I grew older, I learned that the relationship with them was more important. I learned that getting along as people actually caused us to want to play better as a team. That took tact, respect, humility and patience.

We in the church are to “be a team” as the Body of Christ. We need to learn some of these same lessons of relationship, with God and with each other. When we do, we will find that unity “happens” and the Body of Christ functions as intended. Is it any wonder that Jesus said the two most important commandments were to love God and to love each other?!

1 Peter 3:15 (NASB) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

SET APART Christ as Lord – Let it be plain to all that He holds this position. Let there be nothing and no one else vying for that place in your life. Only Christ paid the price to claim the throne, has the ability to carry it out and has our best interest in mind to qualify for the position of Lord!

ALWAYS – every day, every minute – be ready. This shows the importance of studying God’s word, so that we can give adequate answers. We are not simply to respond, “Because I feel this way or that”. We are to respond as Jesus did when tempted by Satan, with the Word of God.

YET – and while we are to be ready we must do it with gentleness and reverence. We need to exercise love. Not all believers are going to be at the same stage of development that you are or that I am. The Spirit of God brings each of us along as He reveals truths to us through the Word.

Our job is to explain why we believe what we believe…why we have the hope of eternal life through Christ Jesus…so that others will want to accept Him as well.

With gentleness, humility and patience…

2 Timothy 4:1 - 2 (NASB) I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2. preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

Build each other up…

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Aim for harmony…

Romans 14:19 (NLT) So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Holidays can be a difficult time for people who have lost a loved one, whether it is death or a temporal situation like divorce. From our earliest childhood memories we pull out vignettes of happiness from being together with those we love.

The first Thanksgiving dinner without dad or without mom can indeed be difficult. The first Christmas gathering around the piano to sing carols without the one you loved can indeed flood the mind with memories.

And that’s OK! It is perfectly natural to miss these loved ones.

I want to share a couple of things with you today:

  1. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

Forever is a long time. We carry the love that we shared with those now gone in our hearts – forever. I look at a picture of my grandmother and grandfather, and I recall the incredible love for me and all the wonderful times we had together. Their faith in God is instilled in me – forever. The hope that one day I will be with Jesus in heaven is before me – until that day!

  1. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NLT)

Jesus spoke these words. When loved ones are gone, when parents divorce, or when we find ourselves in broken circumstances, Jesus is ALWAYS with us. He will not leave our side. You can depend on Him for your every need.


If you know someone who is struggling with loneliness or some type of separation during the holidays…share the love of Jesus with them. Jesus works through people. Allow Him to use you.