Monthly Archives: December 2014

HIS Son

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (Mic 5:2)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa 9:6-7)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (Joh 1:1-5)

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (Psa 102:25-27)

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.(Joh 14:27)

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. (Psa 29:11)

There are many more verses in The Book which point to and describe how a 14 year old virgin gave birth to her first child, a son whose name was to be Immanuel. (God with us.)

The God who spoke the world into being…the second person of the Holy Trinity…(God the Son) who created you and me….became a man; following the will of His Father, our God. (God the Father.) The Holy Spirit was present in all of this as well. (God, the Holy Ghost.)

The baby Jesus was born…to die. A sacrificial Lamb. Born to the slaughter.
How appropriate that His first bed was a manger. (Probably in the same spot where countless other lambs were born and swaddled…close to the fields where the flocks lived..the sheep whose destiny it was to become a sacrifice before God in the Temple.)

And who were the first to know of this blessed event?
The shepherds in the fields. The men who best knew…their charges.
The Angel of the Lord came first to them. To announce that their Savior was born.

(That meek and mild Jesus. The Jesus whose life was foreshadowed by the life of Joseph, written for us to study in the Old Testament.)

The apostle Luke tells the story of Mary, Joseph and their first Child…

“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
Luke 2:1-21 KJV

We are His people. The people who have bowed the knee to the man-God whose birth we celebrate today; The One who was born in the City of David…per the prophets’ proclamations.

His spiritual people, in this Age of Grace.

How can mere words come close to describing the wonder of the gift given to us on this day ..this day that those who came before us have selected as His birth-day.

No matter when it was…the important thing is our faith in the fact that He WAS born. As the Son of God.
A gift that can never be duplicated, nor exceeded in any way.

Unto us a Son is given. Our eternity rests upon His mortal beginning. (As well as His again… immortal position, seated at the right Hand of God.)

Hallelujah. What a Savior!

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

The Storm

image

In Acts 27:22 and after, the Apostle Paul tells the crew aboard the Alexandrian ship that is taking him ( and the Centurion to whom he is assigned as a prisoner) to Rome for his hearing before Caesar. (Note that the ship came not from Antioch, but Alexandria.)

They have been in the midst of a horrendous storm that has lasted 14 days, during which time the men on board have barely eaten if at all, due to the heavy seas as well as the cross-winds that make a ship with sails virtually rudderless in such a tumult.

Paul stands up in their midst and tells the men to “be of good cheer” for an angel of the Lord appeared to him during the night; telling him that he WILL arrive safely in Rome, and that furthermore, there will be no loss of life among those who are with him.

However, there was a caveat. Every one had to remain on board that vessel with Paul.
No matter what. (V. 31; he says to the centurion and the soldiers “except these abide in the ship, he cannot be saved” as the men are trying to launch a life boat in order to abandon ship and save themselves.)

He encouraged them to “eat meat” for they had been without food for fourteen days at that point, and every body needs meat in order to function properly.

Both body…and soul.

He then takes bread, blesses it, and eats it in front of the men. As the men observed him, they too became “of good cheer” as they also ate and nourished themselves. (They had rejected his words when they were at the beginning of this voyage…when they were confident and sure of their original decision to sail along with that luring “Southerly wind” that soon proved to be deceiving. But when at death’s very door…they listened to Paul.)

The ship founders and breaks up…but all aboard safely arrive at land…some even floating to safety upon the broken boards of that doomed vessel.

Are we trying to save ourselves, instead of relying on the words of our Apostle Paul, who tells us in almost every single Epistle of his..that he was appointed to that position by no One less than Christ Jesus Himself. With the additional title of being our Apostle in this age. Per the precise assignment given Him at the moment he accepted and submitted to his newly recognized Lord and Master. The same Lord whom we serve.

Are we following Paul, even as he follows Jesus Christ? Have we submitted to the plain directions given to us by Paul? (Since we are not under the Law, but under grace…we must look to Paul to be our guide…our map that tells us how to approach God Himself in this age….our example of how God directs that we approach Him; not how we blithely decide, outside of scripture… on our own “way” which often mixes Grace with Law. Because that is the way we had been taught in the past, when still babes in Christ and still held in captivity by our sectarian structures?)

Our works can be envisioned as oil….grace, as water. No matter how hard we stir they do not mix.

These verses tell us that those who do not stay with Paul, even as the ship goes down…will be losers in the end.

If we are truly part of the body of Christ, then we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment of our belief.

Sealed.

Can we lose our salvation? Is our foundation secure? Is our faith founded upon the risen Christ….or is it a shaky mis-aligned base composed of a mishmash of blenderized tenets which combine Grace with Law? Or Grace with works?

Grace…and Law….do not mix. “Else grace is not grace.”

Search the scriptures and be a Berean. Study to be “Rightfully dividing the word of God” as it is commanded of us.
Make certain that your faith is based upon your recognizing that Jesus Christ is the son of God; born of a virgin; that He walked the earth, was crucified, buried and rose again in the power of His resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

Time is growing short. Our ship is certainly in trouble, but we are implored to stay with Paul in the midst of the storm. We must eat meat..to stay nourished by daily reading the scriptures…those inspired words set down by His faithful scribes of old.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
The Word of God is Christ Jesus. The bible is His life line to us. He tells us to stand firm and trust in the truth that is revealed to us. The Word is IN the word.

Check your foundation lest it crumble and cause the infrastructure you are building…to fall and fail due to a mis-aligned understanding of the basis of our faith.
Our house should not resemble the leaning tower of Pisa.

Maranatha…
Louise