Friday, December 9, 2016

Son of God

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December: Messiah

            “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:        
                        ‘You are my son;
                        Today I have become your Father.’
So it is stated elsewhere:
            ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’ “But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.”           
Acts 13:32-33, 35, 37 (NIV)

            The apostle Paul speaks these words to the believers in Pisidian Antioch. He says some startling things here. God vowed to raise up His Son to benefit His children. The Father also pledged to not let His Son, Jesus, die.

            Think about this for a moment. We serve a Messiah that did not die. The other religions in this world can point to where their leader is buried. Jesus Christ reigns in heaven with His Father. He lives. We serve a risen Savior. One of my favorite hymns we sing at Easter celebration is, “He Lives.” I believe we could sing it anytime during the year.
            The first thing we notice is God fulfilled his promise to His people. Another is that His son did not die, was not buried in the ground and did not face the end that humans face.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Immanuel. New Testament

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December: Messiah
Today we look at a visit of an angel of God to a very confused Joseph. The angel directs Joseph in what he must do to aid his intended in her circumstance. God’s angel tells Joseph the impending child’s name and its meaning.

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet. ‘ The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him ‘Immanuel’—which means ‘God with us.’”
                                Matthew 1:22: 23 (NIV)
                Matthew tells us of an angel’s visit to Joseph. He was considering leaving Mary as opposed to having her stoned. Matthew says he could have exposed her to public disgrace. (1:19) He must have been torn by what his choices were. An angel from God visited the carpenter and spoke of the importance of the child Mary carried.

                All names have meanings. The name God selected for His Son has the best meaning of all, “God with us.”

                Once we accept Jesus into our hearts, God is with us all the time. He is even there when we don’t feel His presence.

                In our present world, we see events occur that are heart-wrenching. When these events are of a personal nature, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to function in the face of the circumstances of this fallen world. I cannot stress enough the importance of standing for Christ because He is truly “God with us.”  When we do this, as He directs we bring His Kingdom into our world.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Immanuel, Old Testament Prophecy

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December: Immanuel

Today, we look at an Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah

‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
                The prophet Isaiah speaks these words to Ahaz, the grandson of Uzziah. Ahaz was on the throne of Judah. The kingdoms of Israel and Aram had marched against Jerusalem. They could not overpower the city. 

                The Lord spoke to Ahaz; He had just told him to stand firm in the faith. Again God spoke to Ahaz. He told the king to ask for a sign. Ahaz said he wouldn’t do that, “I will not put the LORD to the test.”(Verse 12)

                Isaiah then tells Ahaz the words of our focus verse. In modern day language, God will let it be known to all that He cares for His people and will be with them no matter whether they are ‘in the deepest depths or in the highest heights’ (verse 10)

                What does this mean to us who live in today’s world? God is with us no matter what our circumstance happens to be. As a nation and as a world we face trying times. But, when we stand for our faith and choose to live for Him, we bring God into those circumstances.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...