Friday, December 12, 2014

Redeemer



“But when the time had fully come, God sent his son,
born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those
under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)

“when the time had fully come,”
               The Apostle Paul writes to the believers in Galatia. He speaks of Jesus coming at the chosen time. God saw a need for His son to come to earth.

“God sent his son, born of a woman,”
                The people had not listened to the prophets He had sent in earlier years. It had been 400 years since the people had heard from God in this way. He chose to send His Son as His personal ambassador to this hurting world.
                                    
“born under the law,”
               God chose to have His son enter our world as a baby in order to get our attention. Do you remember one of your parents asking if they had your attention when you were in trouble? I do.
“to redeem those under the law,”
               The believers in Galatia knew the concept of someone being a redeemer. In the Old Testament, a close kinsman saved land of a person who had lost their land through a time of hardship. The Galatians understood the importance of the work of a redeemer. 

“that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
               The kinsman redeemer allowed the rightful heir to land to regain his dignity. When Christ grants us salvation, we receive a new-found peace about who we are. Jesus Christ redeems us of our sins and gives us a new life.
  


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Prince of Peace



“For unto us a child is born, a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders
and he will be called . . . the Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

               The prophet Isaiah spoke of a coming prince, One whose name itself exudes peace. We know Him by the name Jesus. We utilize this part of His persona when we have fears and misgivings about our lives. We seek Him after receiving disheartening news.
               As children of God, we are ambassadors of His peace. In this 21st Century world, we have innumerable times to share the peace of Jesus with those who are hurting.
               As I began working on this blog entry, our phone rang. It was 7:30 A. M. My caller ID screen told me it was a call from church. The office doesn’t open until 8:00. It was a recorded message; one of our members had passed away. She had been diagnosed 25 days earlier. She was in Worship service the three Sundays since she came out of the hospital. Her memorial service was last Thursday. She was a well-loved lady.
               During times of loss, we yearn for peace for those bereaved family members. We call out to Jesus and ask Him to comfort the family and those who knew the departed.
               People in our nation and in our world desire peace. Jesus told his disciples,”’ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not be troubled and do not be afraid.’”
               Jesus is our peace for whatever problem or condition we face. He came to earth to help us learn of the Father and how we can live closer to Him.

               As ambassadors for Jesus, let’s each one choose to speak words of peace to those around us, at the grocery, the hair salon, the insurance office, wherever we hear Jesus telling us to speak words of peace—His peace.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Light of the World

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people,
he said ‘I am the Light of the World.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.
But have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (NIV)

               Jesus speaks for himself here. He tells us that He will lead us through times that may seem dark but we can trust Him to lead the way.
               When we come to Christ, we may have had the idea that we will no longer have problematic times. We are not exempted from having times of stress, doubt, interpersonal differences, illness, or financial strains.  But God sent His son to show us how to navigate through those difficult times.
               Jesus uses His Father’s Word to illuminate our way as we traverse the rocky roads of this world. He also brings people who can help us across our paths, as we face uncertain times.
               As God leads us through uncertain times, He blesses His children in many ways. In my quest to record His gifts to me this year, I have logged 954 gifts , thus far, that I praise God for. On a recent Sunday, I saw two teen girls exit the church building as I approached. They were on their way to Sunday school in the other building. I recognized the dark headed one and mentally made a note that she was at church. I had some things to get to one of our church secretaries for her daughter and for a Christmas party they plan. I walked past a couch where the one girl’s mother was sitting; still not realizing this family was in town from the southern part of the state. It was only during the service when I saw, the young girl’s half-brother walk to the back of the sanctuary did things begin to click. I was blessed to see this entire family visit us. They moved away right at Easter.

After service, I got to hug each of the children-one girl and three boys. Each of these children acted happy to be with us that day. This was a major blessing to me.

Here I am to worship.

Interview with a Roman Soldier

ubdavid.com Quiet Spirit: Today, we have with us Servius Antonius Balduinus, a Roman soldier who was garrisoned at Jerusalem during th...