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!

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Police State

Local police departments under fire and a rising animosity toward police officers.  A broken justice system.  A paralyzed and dishonest federal government.  The judicial branch of the government increasingly writing law rather than interpreting the law.  Lawlessness on the rise.  Are we seeing the fingerprints of a federal police state?

http://www.worthynews.com/top/forbes-com-sites-robertwood-2014-12-10-obama-justice-department-was-involved-in-irs-targeting-lerner-emails-reveal-/

Reading of Germany in the 1930’s is like reading today’s news in this nation.  The lessons of history are 1) man does not learn from history, and 2) if we do not learn from history, we will repeat history.

Wake up, America!

The coming Day

Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide.  In Europe, in USA, on every populated continent.  It is especially virulent in the Middle East, dominated by “the religion of peace” that falsely and deceptively claims to worship the same God as the Jews and the Christians.

http://www.worthynews.com/top/timesofisrael-com-al-aqsa-speaker-the-slaughter-of-the-jews-is-near-/

The Bible speaks of the Day when all nations will rally to annihilate the Jews.  On that Day, the God of Israel will stand and fight for His people and all nations will know that He is the Lord of all the earth.  We see the Day coming.

 

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!

 

 

A horrifying truth

(Photo posted on the Facebook page “Finish Well”)

Coming to Jesus Christ is not a forced march.  Following Jesus is not a forced march. Staying with Jesus is not a forced march.

Man, created in the image of God, is given a free will to choose which way he will go every step of his life.  Man must choose to walk by sight or by faith.  Man must choose to live after the flesh or to live after the Spirit.

The Word of God reveals to us that the Lord wants a relationship based on trust and selfless love with us.  Relationships are voluntary.  Every relationship takes two like-minded volunteers.  The quality of any relationship is a function of how faithful both volunteers are to their role and responsibility.  In a healthy relationship, both volunteers are faithful to their role and responsibility in the relationship.  God is faithful…so who “owns” the quality of our relationship with God?!  We do!

Which leads me to the most horrifying truth in the Bible:  apostasy.

There will be a great falling away from faith in Jesus Christ in the last days of man’s reign on earth (2 Thessalonians 2:3);  one must have faith in Jesus Christ to fall away from it.  Hebrews 6:1-8 speaks of believers in Jesus Christ falling away (“apostatize”).  When a believer turns and denounces that Jesus Christ is Lord, denies Jesus Christ is God, and renounces his/her faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, they are apostate.  The Word says it is impossible for apostates to be renewed again unto repentance.  Woe!

This is a “hard saying” that will not be understood by the dull (“lazy”) of hearing of the Word of God  (Hebrews 5:11-14).  Brethren, do not be members of the Church of the Dull of Hearing.  Be diligent in you relationship with Jesus Christ and be found a member of the Church at Philadelphia that is of little strength, has kept His Word, and has not denied His name (Revelation 3:7-13).

I pray none of you are surprised by the most horrifying truth in the Bible.

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.