THE BEST GIFT

IM000867.JPGMerry Christmas! By the time you’re reading this you’ve most likely already opened your presents. The kids are playing with their new toys. The adults might be trying on new clothes, or reading the instructions for some new gadgets they received. Christmas is such a fun time of giving and receiving gifts.

With all the excitement of the day please do not forget the best gift of all which you received. That is the gift from God of His son Jesus, who came to save us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

What better gift can we ever possibly receive than the gift of eternal life?

This is a gift freely given by God. There is nothing we can do to earn it. We definitely don’t deserve it. Yet, it’s free for the taking. All that is required of us is to accept Jesus and believe His actions on the cross saved us from the eternal damnation we really deserve.

With all the other gifts you received today, don’t forget to accept the best gift of all – salvation through Jesus Christ.

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KEEP SEEKING GOD

IM000868.JPGThe wise men sought Jesus because they knew about the prophesy of the coming Messiah. They saw the star. Instead of ignoring it, they followed it until they reached the home where Jesus was. These men were from far away and the journey probably was not an easy one. Yet, they endured whatever struggles they encountered to seek Jesus.

The book of Proverbs is full of sayings comparing wise men with foolish ones. Here are just two examples:

“The way of the fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”  (Proverbs 12:15)

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” (Proverbs 18:15)

Even in our time it is wise for us to seek out knowledge about God and Jesus Christ. This seeking is a life-long journey. The more we learn, the more we grow. There may be pitfalls along the way, but, like the wise men, we can overcome the obstacles.

Never give up seeking. Read the Bible daily. Attend church and small group Bible studies. Read some of the good books written by Christians that explain some of the confusing aspects you might have about Christianity.

BE WISE. KEEP SEEKING HIM.

THE GATE IS OPEN

IM000872.JPGFences are used to keep people and animals off  private property. Intruders are not welcome.

However, an open gate is a sign the owners of the property want guests to feel comfortable and come in.

When Christ returns to earth to establish His kingdom a new Jerusalem will be built. It will have walls made of jasper and streets of gold. There will be twelve magnificent gates through which to enter the city.

“On no day will its gates ever be shut for there will be no night there.” (Revelation 21:25)

The city will be open for everyone “whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”   (Revelation 21:27)

All people who have Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be able to freely enter the new Jerusalem where Jesus will sit on the throne of David. What a glorious time that will be for all Christians. There will be no barriers, no gates to separate us from coming in contact with Jesus Christ face to face.

Do you know if you’ll be present on the day Jesus’ kingdom is fulfilled? You will be guaranteed entrance if you have accepted Jesus in your heart and believe in all He has done for you. There is no other way to get your name into God’s precious book.

Take that step today, open your heart and soul to Jesus. Then you, too, will find all gates are open to you.

UNDER COVER

IM000871.JPGWhoever invented green houses was really smart. What a great way for nurseries to keep growing their saplings and plants through harsh weather. The plants are totally protected from the heavy rains, snow and wind. The green houses also have a heat source so the plants won’t freeze.

We have a cover over us, as well; a protection against the elements of Satan.

“(G0d) will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”  (Psalm 91:4)

This is not to say we’ll be immuned to Satan’s ploys. We live in an evil world and bad things are going to touch us. But God provides us the courage, strength, and wisdom we need to combat them. He also instills us with an inner peace. Nothing can take us away from Him. He holds us in the palm of His hand.

We are under the cover of God. He protects us just as a gardener protects his plants. He is a loving Father with His arms wrapped around us.

Do you feel this love and protection? You will if you believe in Jesus. Through Him we are adopted into God’s family and under His cover.

RESTORATION

IM000862.JPGAccording to the Mayan calendar the world is supposed to end today. I don’t think that will happen. If I did I wouldn’t have written this blog post.

Instead of the world ceasing to exist, I see today as a day to restore our souls. The New Year is fast approaching. Have you thought about any resolutions? Are there relationships in your life you’d like to see restored in 2013? Maybe restoration will come to you through a new vibrance found in going back to church.

There is also a bigger restoration in our future. We have no idea when it will take place, but we know it will happen some day.

“(God) will wipe every tear from their eyes There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   ( Revelation 21:4)

This new order will appear when Jesus returns and establishes God’s kingdom here on earth.

Never give up hope for the Day of Restoration. It will come. That is a promise from God. Is your name written in His book of life so you will be a part of this glorious time? Accept the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ during the New Year. Experience the joy of anticipating God’s restoration of the world.

 

A FRESH START

IM000859.JPGFresh Start – what a great name for a church, because that is exactly what churches should be. Everyone who walks through the doors of a church should be told of the fresh start they can experience by accepting Jesus into their lives.

Hebrews 8:12 tells us, “For (God) will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 

Once a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior he/she starts over with a clean slate. The past is behind and a new life is ahead.

Things done before are ancient history and should not be lingered on. Instead, focus on the new life and how you are going to change the way you live.

This opportunity is available to everyone. Is it time for you to leave your old life behind? With the New Year just around the corner is this the time you take the step toward major change? Let Jesus and other Christians help you take that next step toward a fresh start.

FEELING CROWDED?

IM000852.JPGI saw these trees so close together, crowding each other out, and the thought occurred to me of how our lives get so crowded. We get so busy, being pulled in several different directions, we don’t take time to slow down and relax.

Like the crowded trees in the photo we can feel like the whole world is crowding in on us and think there is no escape.

That’s a time we need God.

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exaulted in the earth.”   (Psalm 46:10)

We need to stop what we’re doing, take a deep breath, and be still. Let God cover you in His peace. Let Him slow your mind down. Then you will be able to collect your thoughts, work out a plan, and take one step at a time. By doing this you won’t feel the crush of the world crowding in on you quite so much. You won’t feel bombarded from a hundred different directions. You’ll still be busy, but you’ll be able to handle it. Take time to be still during this busy Christmas season and remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.