Taken from Lucado’s book “When God Whispers Your Name”
God has given a son to us… His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God … Prince of Peace. —Isa_9:6
Every Christmas I read this reminder that came in the mail several years ago:
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.
Christmas cards. Punctuated promises. Phrases filled with the reason we do it all anyway.
He became like us, so we could become like him.
Angels still sing and the star still beckons.
He loves each one of us like there was only one of us to love.
In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. —Joh_1:1
The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed, and ridiculed. Scholars have mocked it as foolish. Kings have branded it as illegal. A thousand times over it the grave has been dug, and the dirge has begun, but somehow the Bible never stays in the grave. Not only has it survived, it has thrived. It is the single most popular book in all of history. It has been the best-selling book in the world for years!
There is no way on earth to explain it. Which perhaps is the only explanation. The answer? The Bible’s durability is not found on earth; it is found in heaven. For the millions who have tested its claims and claimed its promises there is but one answer—the Bible is God’s book and God’s voice …
The purpose of the Bible is to proclaim God’s plan and passion to save his children. That is the reason this book has endured through the centuries… It is the treasure map that leads us to God’s highest treasure, eternal life.
Today’s Devotional from Lucada. Awesome to remember this.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. —Php_1:21 NIV
Just as a parent needs to know that his or her child is safe at school, we long to know that our loved ones are safe in death. We long for the reassurance that the soul goes immediately to be with God. But dare we believe it? Can we believe it? According to the Bible we can.
Scripture is surprisingly quiet about this phase of our lives. When speaking about the period between the death of the body and the resurrection of the body, the Bible doesn’t shout; it just whispers. But at the confluence of these whispers, a firm voice is heard. This authoritative voice assures us that, at death, the Christian immediately enters into the presence of God and enjoys conscious fellowship with the Father and with those who have gone before.
The Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. —Gal_5:22-23
In the third century, St. Cyprian wrote to a friend named Donatus:
This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden… But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out … you know very well what I would see; brigands on the high road, pirates on the seas, in the amphitheaters men murdered to please the applauding crowds…
Yet in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people… They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians…
What a compliment! A quiet and holy people…
Quiet… Not obnoxious. Not boastful. Not demanding. Just quiet…
“The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 (NASB)
“If You, LORD, should mark iniquitites, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That you may be feared.”
Psalm 130:3-4 (NASB)
“There is nothing to fear but fear.” – Francis Bacon
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.”
Proverbs 15:33 (NASB)
I have been studying the bible and working on my book about Paul. One of the openings for the book is entitled “The Fear of the Lord.” We find the bible says how “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” What would you think that means? Leave a replay if you have any ideas on the subject.
(The devotional for the day from Max Lucado, enjoy)
God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all your sins. He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. —Col_2:13-14
All the world religions can be placed in one of two camps: legalism or grace. Humankind does it or God does it. Salvation as a wage based on deeds done—or salvation as a gift based on Christ’s death.
A legalist believes the supreme force behind salvation is you. If you look right, speak right, and belong to the right segment of the right group, you will be saved. The brunt of responsibility doesn’t lie within God; it lies within you.
The result? The outside sparkles. The talk is good and the step is true. But look closely. Listen carefully. Something is missing. What is it? Joy. What’s there? Fear. (That you won’t do enough.) Arrogance. (That you have done enough.) Failure. (That you have made a mistake.) …
Spiritual life is not a human endeavor. It is rooted in and orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. Every spiritual achievement is created and energized by God.
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-10
In today’s world we find so many people arguing and even fighting over religious rights. They tend to argue for their own point of view and will kill others in the name of _____ (you fill in the blanks.) We also find people who are working so hard at closing religion all together. The demand it be revoked from our lives and that we accept the idea of there being no life after death.
It is fascinating then when we come to this verse in the bible. We are told that in the end everyone will confess to Jesus Christ and claim he is Lord. Does that mean everyone will go heaven? No. But they will realize in the end who Jesus truly is.
We will all be accounted for in the end times for what we know and were taught. And many, who we did not even suspect, will be sitting in heaven. However, accepting him is not only for the afterlife. He is here today to help you through all things. He sent his Holy Spirit to be here to comfort all people through their times, for we do live in a sinful world. But in the end every knew will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord. Accept it now while you can still reserve your place in heaven, or accept it then when it is too late. God did not make hard; the choice is up to you.
Thanks be to God for his gift that is too wonderful for words. —2Co_9:15
Why did he do it? A shack would have sufficed, but he gave us a mansion. Did he have to give the birds a song and the mountains a peak? Was he required to put stripes on the zebra and the hump on the camel? … Why wrap creation in such splendor? Why go to such trouble to give such gifts?
Why do you? You do the same. I’ve seen you searching for a gift. I’ve seen you stalking the malls and walking the aisles. I’m not talking about the obligatory gifts… I’m talking about that extra-special person and that extra-special gift… Why do you do it? … You do it so the heart will stop. You do it so the jaw will drop. You do it to hear those words of disbelief, “You did this for me?”
That’s why you do it. And that is why God did it. Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.”
I am very eager to see what happens in the end times. Many people will look at the whole idea of Christ return with fear, but this is simply because the do not know the truth about what is coming.
Christ word to us in John 14:3 states “After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.”
“It was customary for travelers in those old days to send some of their party on in advance, to find lodging and make arrangements for them in some great city. Many a time one or other of the disciples had been ‘sent before His face into every place where He Himself should come.’ On that very morning two of them had gone in, at His bidding, from Bethany to make ready the table at which they were sitting. Christ here takes that office upon Himself.” (Taken from Expositions of Holy Scripture (Alexander MacLaren))
He told us that he took this office upon Himself in the verse before this. We find him saying “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.”John 14:2
He is preparing a great place for us to dwell, and if he is doing this he will surely come again and have us join him there as well.
Many times, when travelling I look forward to my destination, but even more so I look forward to going home and be relaxed again.
He we are waiting on this earth, but it is only temporary in the long run of eternity. We have a great home waiting for us in heaven, and he promised his will return for us.
I, for one, am looking forward to that day that we will go home to be with him. How about you?