Category Archives: Good News

Declaration of War

Declaration of War!

This week, when they slaughtered 21 Egyptian Christians, ISIS declared war on “the people of the cross.” ISIS is in the Middle East, in Australia, in Europe, in Africa, and in North America. The church burning and vandalization in Florida this week was not an isolated event, it was part of ISIS’ war on Christians. ISIS will generate much fear, but they will not win the war…because the war is already won.

The offended Creator declared war on Satan and sin in Genesis 3. God the Son was given a human body to become God the Father’s Sin Sacrifice (Heb 10:1-7, John 1:29). Jesus did as He was sent to do (John 19:30). Now He is at the right hand of the Father waiting for His enemies to be put under His feet (Heb 10:11-13). Among those enemies are the enemies of His Cross/sacrifice (Phil 3:18-19).

ISIS is purely demonic. Soon the devil and all those who worship him will be under the feet of Jesus Christ. So fear not, little flock! Greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world (the prince of this world). Keep your “citizenship papers” handy (Phil 3:20)!

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God cannot use me

The next time you feel like the Lord cannot use you, just remember…

Noah got drunk. Abraham was too old. Jacob was a schemer. Joseph was abused. Gideon was afraid. Samson was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Jonah was a run away. Naomi was a widow. Job went bankrupt. Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. The Samaritan woman was a multiple divorcee. Martha was a worrywart. Peter denied Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was a religious fanatic. Paul was a repeat offender, a hopeful addict (1 Cor 16:15). Lazarus was dead.

We all fall short of the glory of God. But with God nothing shall be impossible. So no more excuses. God can use you! He wants to use you! He will give you His power to do it! Call on the name of Jesus Christ the Lord and receive the baptism of the power of God from on high.

The Incarnation: What happened?

Something happened about 2,000 years ago that had never happened before.  Something so simple that it went unnoticed by nearly all, yet something so profound that it changed everything forever.  It changed the course of history.  In fact, it enlightened and clarified all history.  What happened?

Light set aside His glory – so the blind could see the Light.

Love was given – so enemies could be made friends.

Eternity stepped into time – so the old things could become new things.

The Potter became a pot – so the cracked pots could be made whole.

The Master became a servant – so the slaves could be set free.

The Rich became poor – so the poor could become rich.

The Word of God became flesh – to show the lost the way home.

Spirit took on flesh – so flesh could receive the Spirit.

The Shepherd became a Lamb – so the lost sheep could be found.

God became a Man – so men could become the children of God.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ happened.  And the world has not been the same since!

The 12 Days of Christmas

We are all enjoying the Christmas songs on the radio this time of year.  The most beautiful songs are those proclaiming the Message of the incarnation of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the real Reason for the Season.  Some of the secular songs about this season are beautiful musically.  Other secular songs communicate the world’s crass commercialization of this holy day, and they leave me cold.  But one song in particular I have always thought of as pure nonsense – The Twelve Days of Christmas.

We all know the song.  The melody is undoubtedly playing in your minds right now.  But who needs those gifts?  And who would ever get that many gifts?!  Talk about commercialization and materialism!  In addition, the repetition was always a real burden for me.

But I have recently had my mind and my heart opened to the truth about The Twelve Days of Christmas.  With understanding has come a great appreciation for this song and its profound message.

From 1558 until 1829, many were not permitted to practice their faith openly in England due to religious persecution.  Someone during that era wrote The Twelve Days of Christmas as an “underground in broad daylight” means to teach the children about their faith.

My True Love” is God the Father, the One True God Who is Love  (John 17:3,  1 Thessalonians 1:9,  1 John 4:8).  What did our True Love give us?

The partridge in a pear tree  =  Jesus Christ

Two turtle doves  =  Old and New Testaments

Three French hens  =  faith, hope and love  (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Four calling birds  =  four gospels   (Matthew,  Mark,  Luke,  John)

Five golden rings  =  Torah/Law/Books of Moses   ( Genesis,  Exodus,  Leviticus,  Numbers,  Deuteronomy)

Six geese a-laying  =  six days of creation

Seven swans a-swimming  =  the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit in Romans 12:6-8   (Prophesy,  Service,  Teaching,  Exhortation,  Giving,  Leadership,  Mercy)

Eight maids a-milking  =  the eight beatitudes, the last of which was the driving force behind this coded song  (Matthew 5:3-10)

Nine ladies dancing  =  nine fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23  (Love,  Joy,  Peace,  Longsuffering,  Kindness,  Goodness,  Faithfulness,  Gentleness,  Self Control)

Ten lords a-leaping  =  the ten commandments

Eleven pipers piping  =  the eleven faithful disciples

Twelve drummers drumming =  the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed, another teaching aid in a time when Bibles were rare

When you add up the number of gifts given by our True Love during those twelve days, you get 1 + 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 + 21 + 28 + 36 + 45 + 55 + 66 + 78 = 364 gifts, or one for every day of the year.  God’s blessings are overflowing  (Psalm 23:5)!

So now, rather than ignoring this “silly song”, we can sing it from the depths of our heart with abounding joy to celebrate the priceless, supernatural gifts we have received by faith.  We rejoice in the truth that Jesus Christ is the center of everything and everyday.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Pivotal

(Photo posted on the Facebook page “Last Call”)

History is the chronological flow of events.  History explains why things are the way they are.  Certain events are of critical importance in the flow of history to this point in time.

Inventions such as the wheel, the sextant, the printing press, the steam engine, the telegraph, the light bulb, the transistor, and the Internet were of profound impact on human life on earth.

The Battle of Tours, the Reformation, the American Revolution, and the Battle of Stalingrad were pivotal points in conflict that had things turned out differently, we would not be where we are now.

In our individual lives, marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a child, studying abroad, or an automobile accident are examples of pivotal events that shape or re-shape our personal histories.  We all have them.

There are also events that transcend all human history (3 past and 1 future) and invade our personal histories.  I can think of four, and only four.

1.  The Fall of Man:  Man (Adam and Eve) disobeyed God and death corrupted all of creation.  Every person born since the Fall of Man has been born spiritually stillborn and emotionally crippled.

2.  God became a Man:  God so loved Man that He sent His Son in the form of a man to pay for all the wrongs man has committed against Him.  Jesus was supernaturally conceived in a virgin i.e. incarnation  (Jesus was given a human body and placed in a virgin’s womb), not fertilization (the result of marital relations between a man and a woman).  His birth was announced with “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

3.  “It is Finished”:   The Son of God, Jesus Christ, became a man for the purpose of paying the price for all of man’s wrongs.  He did so on a cross, where He voluntarily laid down His life as payment for me and you and all men.  But it was not possible for death to hold Jesus so on the third day, He arose from the dead to defeat death and the fear of death for those who chose to believe.  That belief/faith results in being made new on the inside, spiritually re-born unto eternal life.

4.  The Return:  Man has reigned on earth since the Fall of Man.  He has not done a good job.  As promised, Jesus Christ is going to return to earth and He will reign forever, and His government will establish perfect peace on earth.  The citizens of His kingdom will be those who chose to believe in Him.

These four transcending events, more than any others in the history of the world, are pivotal.  More than any other events, these explain why things are the way they are.  More than any other events in my personal history, these four invading events define who I was, who I am, and what my future will be.

The four transcending events have invaded your life to some extent.  Have they all invaded your life?  Perfect peace comes when all four do.

Addiction

(Photo posted on Facebook page “Last Call”)

Addiction is a habit.  Addiction is slavery.  Addiction is bondage.

To stop an addiction causes severe trauma.  The “habits” of smoking, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, prescription pain killers, pornography, promiscuous sex, video games, etc, etc, etc, destroy health, wealth, and relationships.  Yet the trauma of kicking any of those habits is too painful…more painful than the loss of health, wealth, and relationships.

Help is needed.  A slave must be set free by someone stronger than the slave master.  A bondage must be broken by someone stronger than the chain.  Where can addicts find this help?

There is only one who is stronger than the slavery and bondage of every addiction:  Jesus Christ.  He came to set us free from a cruel slave master who wants our destruction.  The Bible says of Jesus Christ in Hebrews 2:14-15, ” Forasmuch then as the children (people) are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Do you have an addiction that you know in your heart of hearts is killing you…but you cannot break the chains of that slavery?  Jesus is the help you need!  Call out for His help!  It will not be easy and it will hurt, but He will set you free!

 

 

Hope or hopeless?

(Photo posted on Facebook page “Last Call”)

Hope, according to the dictionary, means  1) the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best,  2)  grounds for this feeling in a particular instance, 3)  a person in which expectations are centered,  or 4)  something that is hoped for.

How can some people endure a hardship with a smile and peace?  Hope.

Why do others give up in the same hardship, sometimes to the extent of taking their own lives?  Hopelessness.

Did one have a feeling or grounds or person or thing that was different than the other? For all people:  feelings are volatile and unstable,  grounds move,  people fail,  things crumble.

So what is the difference between hope and hopelessness?  The Bible alone has the answer.  Hope in the Bible means “certain expectation or confidence.”  Since feelings are unstable, grounds move, people fail, and things crumble, where can we find certainty?  Only in Jesus Christ, our blessed hope (Titus 2:13).  In Jesus we have the hope (certain confidence) of eternal life  (Titus 1:2).  Contrary to the hope offered by the loving God is the hopelessness peddled by the liar known as Satan.  Satan’s message is, “There is no hope.  God cannot help you.  Just kill yourself.”

If a person facing a hardship puts his/her hope in Jesus, they can endure it with a smile and peace.  If a person facing the same hardship puts his/her hope in feelings, grounds, a person, or a thing, they may be overwhelmed, feel hopeless, and even take their own life.

Do not listen to the liar.  Listen to Jesus.  He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,”  (John 14:26) and, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The Person Jesus Christ is Hope.  He came to give hope to the hopeless.  We have no other hope.

If you have this hope, praise Him and bear witness of Him!  If you are hopeless, cry out to Jesus!  He, the difference between hope and hopeless, will give you hope.