A Sign

A Sign

“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 A sign. Evidence. Proof. This whole scene must’ve only taken moments to complete, but who could believe what was happening before their very eyes? Who could trust what they were seeing? Their minds were sure to play tricks on them, and they were sure to talk themselves out of it, believing they had a crazy dream. But God gave them a sign. He invited them to test the word and see if it was real. Of course, they did and found everything just as they were told. Then they became eye-witnesses to the event. They told everyone what they had seen and heard. Once you and I hear the Good News, we test it out and discover it’s true, then we can’t help but become like the shepherds, like the woman at the well, like the delivered demoniac, the Apostles, and so forth....
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O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” The message of Jesus Christ is good news to the lost and dying, sin-sick world -- although it can be easy to lose sight of that. The world we live in is hostile to the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, it is! Jesus requires that the idols of one's life be displaced and replaced. Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus requires surrendering to self on every level. Jesus warned that there would be resistance when He said, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." John 15:18 Because of the intense resistance, many are tempted to shy away from the ridicule, shaming, and rejection streaming from the mockers of the world....
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God With Us

God With Us

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 This is part 2 of 2. You can read part 1 here. When her father heard what had happened to his daughter, he was devastated, but not hopeless. He always knew something like this could happen, so he’d made a plan. He would not leave his beloved daughter in the clutches of the deceiving one, but the only way to rescue his daughter was to become a created one. The deceiving one thought he was so bright. His conceit blinded him from comprehending anything that involved love or self-sacrifice. So, he could never imagine a way for the father to rescue his daughter. In his mind, his trap was airtight, and he thought he had forever foiled the father's righteous influence over creation. Being willing to do absolutely anything for his daughter, the father initiated his plan. He...
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Immanuel

Immanuel

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 It was the darkest and most lonely existence. She could’ve never imagined it. All hope was snuffed out and what remained for the once beautiful appointed one was the agony of lost dreams and purpose. In the beginning, the appointed and created one was the picture of beauty. She was conceived in love, and the plans for her life and future were set in place. She would one day take her place and dispense righteous wisdom and benevolent justice as her father's representative. Her world was lush and fruitful. It was vibrant and alive with expectation. As she walked through the garden of her world, all creation rejoiced in her presence. Her eyes saw nothing but good and her spirit was alive and brought energy to the remainder of her being. From her spirit she knew things, she...
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Why I Hate The Holidays and What I’m Going To Do About It

Why I Hate The Holidays and What I’m Going To Do About It

Transparency alert: I don’t love the holiday season (and it's not because I don't love Jesus or my family and friends). I know not loving the holidays flies in the face of conventional Christianity and you might consider me a hard-hearted, needing to be saved, heretic for saying that. But it's true. I really don’t care for it at all. To me, this time of year means a whole lot of extra work, interruption to my schedule, and frenetic spending. Sometimes I resent it, and lots of years I want to escape it, but every year it rolls around, and I have to mentally prepare myself for the whirlwind in order to survive it. Can you relate? The truth is, I hate the commercialization of one of the most precious and vital events in history, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas is about celebrating the redemption of mankind from the snare of sin, not Santa, Frosty, or holly jolly Christmas...
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