Monday, December 30, 2013

When You're In Pain

Gal 4:13-16 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.

When Paul initially came to the region of Galatia he was not planning on staying, but due to a chronic illness he had no other choice accept to stay. Paul's sick room became his pulpit. He calls his sickness a "trial in his flesh." It seems that his illness had something to do with his eyes. 
In writing to the Corinthians Paul referred to an ongoing physical illness as a "thorn in the flesh." 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. He said that it was used as a buffeting tool from Satan to keep him humble. Paul pleaded three times with the Lord to heal him, but he was not healed. However the Lord responded to Paul's request and said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor.12:9 For Paul being in the ministry came with some pain attached to it. Yet this pain that God allowed kept Paul humble and useful for the kingdom of God. Paul came to a place where he learned to accept what God allowed. He even came to the place that he took pleasure in  his difficulties for he discovered a strength and a grace he had never known before. 
Perhaps you are in a place of experiencing some pain. You have pleaded with the Lord to change the circumstances and it has not happened yet. There is a grace that God will provide in all your weaknesses. His grace will be sufficient and His strength will be enough to sustain you. "We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains, it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."- C.S. Lewis

Friday, December 27, 2013

I was Adopted

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, bornfn of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons.

God had a plan all along. Before the foundations of the world He knew that Jesus would be sent to purchase, redeem,  and ultimately adopt us. 
The Greek word for adopted means, to place in a position as an adult son or daughter.  We do not enter Gods family by adoption the way a homeless child would enter into a family, we enter Gods family through regeneration. Jesus said,"you must be born again." John 3. But we enjoy all the privileges Gods family by adoptionAdoption has to do with our standing in the family of God. Once we were born again we were placed positionally as an heir, as an adult son. Whether you got saved at 5 or 50, positionally after you were born again you became an heir.
As a child of God you have access to the presence of the Father. You don’t get sent to the back of the line because you just got saved. You have a direct line to God, and can have fellowship with Him. He has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness. 
Some would say, "well I can’t be used by the Lord I don't know enough." Thats not true. Look where you stand in Christ today. See your position in Christ today. Understand that the Lord has made you a son or a daughter in Him. You have been adopted into the family. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What Happened?

Gal 3:1-2 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

 In verses 1-5 Paul begins to ask some 6 questions that relate to when the Galatians came to faith in Christ. He takes them back to when they were first saved. He reminds them about all that the Lord did in their midst. He encourages them to reminisce about the faithfulness of the Lord in their conversion. He will also point out a number of their experiences that could only be attributed to the Lords grace and not the keeping of the law.
O foolish Galatians: foolish is a word meaning lacking the power of perception. It speaks of a person who fails to reflect. This is exactly what the Galatians were doing. In seeking to live by the law, they had forgotten about the cross. How did this happen? The Galatians had forgotten about growing in LOVE and replaced it with  KEEPING THE LAW.

Do recall when Jesus wrote in Revelation 2 to the church in Ephesus.?  Jesus Said to them “I see your works, I see your labor, I see many things that are great, but there is something that makes all those things worthwhile that you have lost sight of. You have left your first love.”
You were so in love with me when I saved you, you were so into spending time with me when we first met, but you have left the passion.  

Perhaps as you read this, you also have left the passion and fire for Jesus. You are simply going through the motions without any emotion. Maybe it's because you have forgotten when you were saved, and what you were saved from. It's time to reflect back upon your love relationship with the LORD. Go back to what it was you were doing when you were so enamored with, and in awe of Jesus. Was there a time when you were closer to the Lord then you are at this moment? Something needs to change. You may have left your first love but you haven't lost it. Don't get sidetracked and loose sight of the main thing. The main thing is Jesus. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Was It A Silent Night?

Luke 2:7 there was no room in the inn…
Most Christmas cards  show the nativity picture of Mary and Joseph with halo's over their heads. The child in the manger is glowing with radiant light. All the animals are gathered around looking peaceful and content. We can almost hear the song, silent night, quietly playing in the background,  and the lyrics ring out of how the baby, "no crying he makes". The bible does not record all the trauma of the birth of the savior.

We have had four children and I can assure you we didn't have halos or the hallelujah chorus in the delivery room. And it definitely wasn't a silent night. 

Imagine if you can, Mary is ready to have a baby, the contractions are getting stronger, the pain becomes unbearable. She begins to scream in anguish. The animals in the stable become frightened and uneasy. It smells like a dirty barn. Meanwhile Joseph does his best to stabilize his wife. There is no doctor available. There is not even a midwife present to assist in delivery. There isn’t an anesthesiologist preparing an epidural. There aren’t any clean sheets, there is no place to lay down. When the baby does arrive there is no crib to set him in, no babies first outfit with little socks and hat. The King of the Universe is placed in a feeding trough for animals, which would be the equivalent of setting your newborn in a dog dish. It is hard to conceive the condescension of the Christ to the world. You would assume, that with the arrival of the King of the Universe, the LORD OF ALL, that the response would be monumental, unprecedented but sadly it wasn't. The one who will forever change the course of human history, comes into the world and there is no room for him. Think for a moment of the irony of it all. Here is the creator of the Universe, the creator of heaven and earth, and there is no room for him in that which He has created.
But even more disheartening is today some do not have room for Jesus in their hearts. There has been no Bethlehem experience in their lives. Yes they recognize and understand that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but He has never been born in their hearts. There is simply no room for Jesus. 

I encourage you, make room for Jesus. If you make room for Jesus in your heart, you will discover He has made room for you in His heaven. -MERRY CHRISTMAS

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that HE GAVE His only Son, that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.