The Wonder Of It All

baby-jesus-mary-joseph-by-deweyWhat wonder!  What utter amazement that the babe of Bethlehem was destined to be my savior and king.  He is the unfolding of the tender mercy of our God.  He would shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death.  His name was Jesus for He would save his people from their sins.  “And the child grew… and the grace of God was upon Him.”  Luke 2:40

In manhood the Spirit of God led Him to an old rugged cross where Jesus, innocent of all wrongdoing, died a cruel death.  Victorious, His death banished forever the power of sin over our lives.  Triumphant from the grave, He secured His rightful place as king upon the throne of our heart.  So Jesus became the light of the world.  The one preparing a dwelling for us where the truest reality of all is a place called Heaven.

In this year of our Lord, 2015, will you join me in kneeling before the manger in awe and worship.  Then together, rising refreshed, ready to faithfully serve with all our loyalty and devotion, the babe from Bethlehem who became our king.

The Most Wonderful Secret of All

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It’s always been easy to hear good advice knowing it would be wise to follow.  However, we often lack the motivation to carry through.  The parable of the sower reminds us once again of the importance of being active in our resolve.  Our decisions reveal the person we have become.  Our ears perk up as we read in Matthew that “If ever you were willing to listen, listen now.”  Matt 11:15 TLB

“A farmer was sowing grain in his fields.  As he scattered the seed across the ground, some fell beside a path…”  Matt 13:3, 4 TLB   This story shows four distinct paths of life that have valuable lessons for us today.  The first path represents the heart of a person who is hardened by both circumstances and choices.  They have heard God’s message of deliverance from their past but continue as before.  They don’t accept the love of God that is available to change lives.

As we read further it says “And some fell on rocky soil where there was little depth of earth…” Matt 13:5 TLB  This is the person who decides to give God a try but many distractions get in the way.  Without the inner strength to press on they soon leave a once joy filled profession behind.

The third soil represents the person who truly does want to live for God but they are never able to break from past temptations and desires.  They are unable to hear with real belief and in time back away from making the effort to pursue the gospel message.

The fourth soil shows us the character of a person who has truly given their life to Christ.  They demonstrate a “show me faith.”  They show by their commitment and actions that they have surrendered to God’s call upon their life.  Out from them “…rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.”  John 7:38 TLB  This blessed believer is a person of character.  They are reliable, determined, morally pure, and genuine resulting in real staying power.  A true believer will be constantly changing to become more and more like their leader Christ Jesus.  They understand these words “And be sure to put into practice what you hear.  The more you do this, the more you will understand…”  Mark 4:24 TLB

Now we can see that many hear the message of the gospel but only a few receive it with an authentic and wholehearted response.  All of us who hear the gospel will be compelled to make a decision.  Today are we ready to receive God’s mercy and truth?  God does not want any person to turn away.  He has revealed to us the most wonderful secret of all.  “And this is the secret: that Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.”  Col 1:27 TLB   Friends, rejoice that in Jesus lies our assurance of a life well-lived.

Click here to read an encouraging thought on the parable of the banquet.

Click here to read some interesting insights into the parable of the house build on rock.