Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preparing for Christmas

Luke 1:31-33 - And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
A little girl once opened a big box under the Christmas tree to find a giant doll that, when set upright, towered over her. Her parents noticed a few minutes later that the doll had fallen to the side, but the little girl was having a ball playing in the oversized box. We’re apt to do the same at Christmas, discarding the baby but having a great time with the wrappings. At the outset of the season, I’d like to turn us toward that Baby. Here in Gabriel ‘s announcement, we learn four things about Him:
1.   His Name (verse 31). “Jesus” is the Greek form of the Hebrew “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah Saves,” or “Salvation of Yahweh.” Woven into the syllables of that name, we see the suffering He would endure, the salvation He would bestow, and the splendor He would display. Throughout the Gospels, we find that name over and over—172 times. The name Jesus contains and conveys His mission—to seek and to save those who are lost.
2.   His Nature. In Gabriel’s brief announcement, four different “sonships” are given to Jesus. He is: (1) Son of Mary (v. 31); (2) Son of the Highest (v. 32); (3) Son of David (v. 32); and (4) Son of God (v. 35). Two of these references imply His human nature (son of Mary; son of David), and the other two refer to His divine nature (Son of the Highest; Son of God). He is both God and Man. Only Christianity presents a God who, out of love, became a human being through the womb of a virgin to provide atonement for sin.
3.   His Nobility (vv. 32–33). He will be given to throne of David and will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end. Robert Morgan reflects from this passage, “his is a powerful kingdom.” If the skies could part as they did for Stephen in Acts 7, we would see Jesus on His throne, worshipped by angels, feared by demons. “His is a permanent kingdom.” He rules over the stars and planets, over all time and space. “His is a providential kingdom.” Behind the scenes of history is His all-controlling hand. “His will be a political kingdom”, for one day the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover
the sea (Hab. 2:14). “His is a personal kingdom”—He wants to be king of our hearts.
Mary’s response to this message was simple and sincere: “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” When we come face-to-face with God’s wondrous plan for us—a plan that is always centered around Jesus Christ—there is no response better than: “Behold, I am your servant. Let it be to me according to Your word.”
May we fulfill God’s will as we journey through this Christmas season.
-       Bro. Dave

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Blessings that Remain.

The Blessings that Remain.
There are loved ones who are missing
From the fireside and the feast;
There are faces that have vanished,
There are voices that have ceased;
But we know they passed forever
From our mortal grief and pain,
And we thank Thee, O our Father,
For the blessings that remain.
Thanksgiving, oh, thanksgiving
That their love once blessed us here,
That so long they walked beside us
Sharing every smile and tear;
For the joy the past has brought us
But can never take away.
For the sweet and gracious memories
Growing dearer every day,
For the faith that keeps us patient
Looking at the things unseen,
Knowing Spring shall follow Winter
And the earth again be green,
For the hope of that glad meeting
Far from mortal grief and pain—
We thank Thee, O our Father—
For the blessings that remain.
For the love that still is left us,
For the friends who hold us dear,
For the lives that yet may need us
For their guidance and their cheer,
For the work that waits our doing,
For the help we can bestow,
For the care that watches o’er us
Wheresoe’er our steps may go,
For the simple joys of living,
For the sunshine and the breeze,
For the beauty of the flowers
And the laden orchard trees,
For the night and for the starlight,
For the rainbow and the rain—
Thanksgiving, O our Father,
For the blessings that remain. (
Annie Johnson)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Are women to wear head coverings today?

Reflections on 1 Corinthians 11:1-16
If wives are to voluntarily to subordinate themselves to their husbands, does this mean they are to still wear head-coverings? No! Why not? Because the head-covering doesn’t mean in our culture what it did then. The absence of it then identified a woman as immoral and disrupted the church. The absence of a head-covering doesn’t do either of these things today. In other words, we have to distinguish between what is culturally dated and what is eternally valid. The head-covering was culturally dated, but the principle of man’s headship is eternally valid.
Another example of this distinction is the kiss of greeting Paul told Christians to use (2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26). The kiss was that culture’s way of expressing a warm welcome. In our day, a handshake suffices, but the principle of Christians showing warmth to each other remains the same!
This passage gives all Christians plenty to think about. Do we give the public worship services of our church the priority Paul gave them? Do we take care not to identify ourselves as immoral people? Are we willing to submit to the authority of Scripture? Or do we resist and resent when its teachings rub us up the wrong way?
Let’s make it our chief concern to honor and glorify God. When that becomes our grand pursuit, a lot of trivial concerns will melt away and the church will be molding society instead of society molding the church.

Let’s all submit to the headship of Jesus Christ and follow His commands!

-      Bro. Dave