Friday, December 25, 2015

The Christmas Story, Part 3

The Christmas Story
Part 3

Yesserday I enjoyed readin bouts the birth of Jesus wif you. It weres such a holy night when ours Lord came to earth and it mades me happy to know Him weres loved and adored on that night, for Him endured such awful things later on. Today Mary and Joseph take Him to the temple accordin to the law and we see two more people declare Jesus to be the Messiah.

"On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before He was conceived." (Luke 2:21 ) This weres accordin to the law as it says in Leviticus 12:3, "On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised." This is another example that Mary and Joseph did theirs best to live accordin to all the Lords commands.

"When the time came for the purification rites required by the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law 'Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord'), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two young pigeons'." (Luke 2:22-24) Accordin to the law, 40 days of purification followed the birth of a child, at which time the mother hads to present a sacrifice. The preferred sacrifice weres a year-old lamb for the burnt offerin and a young pigeon or dove for the sin offerin. But the law allowed for the fact of poverty and saids if the mother couldnts afford a lamb her coulds bring two doves or two pigeons instead. (Leviticus 12:6-8) Because Joseph and Mary coulds only bring two birds we knows they weres too poor to afford a lamb.

Oh, but why bring a lamb when the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world weres here? Gods holy and spotless Lamb hads come to earth to save the poor and the rich alike, to save the reverent and the wicked alike, to make children of God from all who woulds accept Him. Accordin to ours studies, Jesus Himself never mades any kind of sacrifice. Theres no record of it in the Scriptures. Tho sacrifices weres required by the law, they weres made to atone for sin, and Jesus hads no sin. In this area the law woulds not apply to Him for Him weres sinless.

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for Him what the custom of the law required, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying: 'Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.' The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother: 'This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.'" (Luke 2:25-25)

This man Simeon hads been promised by God that him woulds live to see the Messiah. The Holy Spirit instructed him that the Savior weres in the temple so him went over to see Jesus in person. Now Simeon coulds depart this life in peace knowin Gods promise hads come true. The preachin of the Lord Jesus weres going to reveal to people what weres truly in theirs hearts. Those who eagerly heard Him weres convicted by the Holy Spirit of theirs sinful state and they found in Him a Savior. Jesus woulds lift up those who hads turned to Him from wicked lives. But many woulds also fall: those who thought they weres righteous yet weres evil in theirs hearts but refused to believe it.

Simeon prophetically tells Mary, "And a sword will pierce your own soul too." I think this prophecy is twofold like most of the prophecies in the Bible. Just as the Lord Jesus woulds be pierced by a sword on the cross, Mary woulds be pierced to the soul at the same time, witnessin the death of hers precious boy. Some of my readers may haves lost children and you know exactly how Mary felt. Also I believes that the sword of the Holy Spirit weres going to pierce hers soul and show her that her needed a Savior just as we all need a Savior. Mary weres aware her werent perfect for we sees her keepin the law and bringin the required sacrifices for sin. But after the resurrection of Jesus her believed on Him also as Savior. At that time her fully unnerstood all the things her hads formerly marveled at and kept in hers heart.

"There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." (Luke 2:36-38) We begins to see already that Jesus treated men and women alike. Him revealed Himself to both. In a patriarchal society women weres often treated as the lesser sex, treated as if they werent as impawtant as men, but in the ministry of Jesus we will see Him treatin women wif respect and dignity. Him even taught women, which a rabbi didnts do. This is why the sisters of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, loved Him so, for Jesus believed theirs instruction and teachin weres as impawtant as the mens. We all are equally valuable to Him. We all are equally loved by Him.

"When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him." (Luke 2:39-40) The Lord went home wif Joseph and Mary and grew strong in this household wheres the Lord weres respected. The Lord Jesus weres filled wif wisdom and the grace of God weres on Him. Someday this child woulds become a man who woulds go to the cross for us all, pourin out the grace of God on all mankind.

At Hims first advent the Lord weres loved only by those whose hearts longed to know Him. The Lord Jesus, King of all creation, Maker of heaven and earth, lived humbly Hims entire life. Instead of sittin on Davids throne at Hims first advent, ours Lord weres born in a stable. Instead of havin all mankind bow down to Him as Lord, they hung Him on a cross. But someday Jesus Christ will return as King of kings and Lord of lords, magnificent in glory, mighty in power, and the government of this world will be on Hims shoulders. Righteousness will reign. Peace will prevail. Love will be the law. Amen! Come soon, Lord Jesus our King!

Below is ours worship song for today.
Our King Has Come

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Christmas Story, Part 2

The Christmas Story
Part 2

Yesserday we saw that Mary and Joseph hads arrived in Bethlehem to be taxed. Today we studies the birth of Jesus.

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." (Luke 2:6-7) Cans you imagine how nerve-wrackin this experience weres for a young couple away from home? If Mary hads been home her could haves hads hers mother and female relatives to help wif the birth but we doesnt see any mention of anypawdy being wif Mary and Joseph as they traveled to Bethlehem. Plus no inns hads any room for em even tho her weres bouts to haves the baby any minute. Mary and Joseph hads no experience wif labor and babies and I cants help wonderin if they weres frightened and upsetted. All we knows for certain is that Mary evidently gave birth in a stable or some type of other shelter for livestock, for her laid the baby Jesus in a manger.

I haves heards it mentioned that most everything Jesus ever hads weres borrowed. When the Lord said "the Son of Man has no place to lay His head" it weres the truth. (Luke 9:58) Hims first baby bed weres borrowed from the farm animals. Him stayed at the homes of friends and disciples durin the years of Hims ministry. The body of Jesus weres even laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. Jesus, the Lord of heaven and precious Son of God, owned nothin but the clothes on Hims back here on earth. Him dids that for us! Him considered us worth the cost of layin aside the glory and privilege of heaven. Just between you and me, we werent worth it. We werent worth the hard livin, the sufferin, and the death of ours Lord. But love mades us worth it to Him.

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.'" (Luke 2:8-14) You woulds expect the Messiah and King to be born in a palace somewhere but the sign weres that Him hads been laid in a manger, wrapped in swaddlin cloths, like a homeless child. Ours sinful world thought we hads it all but we really hads nuthin wifout Him, so Him gaved up everything Him hads to come here and save us. The Lord Jesus said to one of the churches in the book of Revelation, a wealthy church, "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked." (Revelation 3:17) Thats what we weres wifout Christ: wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. No wordly treasures coulds ever compare to what we haves in Him. No amount of wealth cans save ours souls. When we gets to heaven its gonna be by grace alone that we enters in.

"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." (Luke 2:16-18) I finds it so touchin that there weres shepherds and lambs at the birthplace of ours Lord because Him weres the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) I heards somepawdy say once that only eyes that adored Him weres the ones who saws Him on the night of Hims birth and that blesses my heart, for so many eyes that hated Him saws Him on the day of Hims death. On the night the Lord weres born Him weres looked upon wif lovin eyes. The Father looked down on Him wif pride and probably some sorrow too, knowin what weres to come. The angels looked upon Him in adoration and praise. Mary and Joseph looked upon Him in love and awe. The shepherds looked upon Him in worship. The animals looked upon Him as theirs Creator. The King hads come and on this first night Him weres honored.

Mary, that young scared girl wif a new baby, weres tired and proud and awestruck at the events that hads taken place. Luke says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19) Doesnt that sound just like a mom? Her treasured everything to do wif hers son, and her treasured everything said bouts hers son. Mary hads a mental baby book for this precious boy, just as in ours day a mom woulds save all the cards, birth announcements, pictures, and the wunnerful compliments bouts hers child.

"The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." (Luke 2:20) The word of God is true and we will find things just as we haves been told. This child Jesus hads been told of by all the prophets. Hims eventual sacrificial death weres pictured in the Passover lamb and all the sacrifices which hads come before Hims birth. At last God hads come Himself, in the flesh, to Hims people. Nopawdy else coulds save us but Jesus and Him weres more than willin to do it. Who elses God ever died for them? What other religion offers us salvation thru anything but ours own works? Ours salvation is in the person of Jesus Christ, and in Christ alone. Glory to Hims name for this great gift!

Below is a worship song about the night ours Lord weres born, the night when heaven came down and changed everything.
One Silent Night

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Christmas Story, Part 1

The Christmas Story
Part 1

We begins ours study of the second chapter of Luke today. Its gonna be a very familiar chapter to most of us because it includes the Christmas story, which we will get to in tomorrows study. I hopes that even tho this story is familiar to us we will learn somethin new together and will get a fresh look at the birth of ours Lord. We are going to take a look at some of the history as well as study the firstest part of the chapter which involves Joseph and Mary havin to travel to Bethlehem to be taxed.

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register." (Luke 2:1-3) Now we knows from the King James Version that this census weres for the purpose of taxation. My hoomans weres just complainin bouts the increase in ours property taxes that getted voted on but we sees from Gods word that taxin isnt a new idea. It weres a good way to finance the Roman army, the road buildin, the upkeep of the palace, and all the conveniences of theirs culture. Caesar Augustus weres the adopted son of Julius Caesar and hims real name weres Octavian but him taked the name of Caesar (no doubt for the royal honor that camed along wif it) and added the name of Augustus which means "great" or "magnificent". Caesar Augustus evidently hads a high opinion of himself and essentially called himself "Caesar the Great" or "Caesar the Magnificent", as if him weres a god. The taxation idea weres the cause of Joseph and Mary travelling to Bethlehem and the Lord Jesus being born there. This fulfilled the word of God as spoken by the prophet Micah, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (Micah 5:2) This weres a prophecy about the Messiah, as the Apostle John validates by sayin, "Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" (John 7:42)

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child." (Luke 2:4-5) I thinks we doesnt give enuf credit to Joseph for the man him weres. In the gospel accordin to Matthew we sees that when Joseph found out Mary weres expectin him intended to "put her away privately". In those days an engagement weres a legally bindin contract and it weres like gettin a divorce to break the engagement. Joseph hads the right to put Mary away for being pregnant by somepawdy else but being a good man and not willin to bring shame on her, Matthew tells us that him intended to put her away privately. (Matthew 1:19) Joseph coulda mades her a public disgrace but him weres too tenderhearted to do such a thing. But God intervened and sent an angel in a dream to tell Joseph that the baby weres fathered by the Holy Spirit and that him hads no need to put Mary away for her hads not been unfaithful to him. The angel said to Joseph, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21) As we studied earlier in the week, the name of Jesus means "God saves". What a perfect name for Him, as God in the flesh who takes away ours sins! From the book of Matthew we also sees that the birth of Jesus fulfilled what weres prophesied by Isaiah who said that a virgin woulds conceive and bear a son. (Isaiah 7:14)

In the mornin Joseph waked up and obeyed the Lord and accepted what the angel hads told him. It werent gonna be an easy road to travel for all theirs friends and neighbors probly thoughted either Joseph and Mary hads beens together before marriage or else they believed Mary hads beens intimate wif anudder man. I bets there weres all kinda gossip floatin round wif folkses speculatin who the real father of Jesus weres. People woulda wondered why Joseph putted up with it and raised Jesus as hims own son. It taked a strong and godly man to stand up to this kinda whisperin and gossip. Not only weres it hurtful to hims own honor, but it also dishonored Marys name by makin her sound like a loose woman. God the Father knew exactly what Him weres doing when Him chose Joseph and Mary to raise Hims precious Son. It takes faith to go against the flow and obey God when the world is against you. It takes faith to obey God even when it hurts. This is the kind of faith that Mary and Joseph hads and I believes God chose the perfect family for Hims only Son.

Luke wants to make sure theres no doubt in ours minds that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the one promised by God and prophesied by the prophets. Hims birth weres the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Theres no way Jesus could haves arranged Hims birth to coincide wif the word of God sayin Him woulds be born in Bethlehem. It took a taxation law passed by a prideful ruler to bring this about. Theres no way Jesus could haves arranged being born of the line of David as the Scriptures predicted. It took the will and plan of God to bring this about. Theres no way Jesus could haves arranged for Hims mother to be a young unmarried virgin girl. It took the Holy Spirit to bring this about. All the prophets, speakin hundreds of years before Hims birth, weres speakin by inspiration of God wifout any way of knowin how all these things woulds come together. But God hads a plan in place since the very beginnin and things weres gonna happen exactly the way Him intended for them to happen, for whatever God says is as good as done whether it happens next week or a thousand years from now.

In the book of Revelation the Apostle John calls Jesus "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". (Revelation 13:8) The execution warrant of Jesus weres signed at the moment that God created mankind. Hims death on the cross weres certain. The date of Hims death weres set. Everything that came before that day weres gonna take place exactly accordin to Gods plan and exactly as foretold by the prophets so there woulds be no doubt in ours minds that Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin, born in a stable in Bethlehem, weres the Son of God. Jesus weres the Messiah promised by God. Mary and Joseph knew this to be true and coulds stand up against any gossip or harmful whispers. Luke knew this to be true and weres willin to help take the gospel to the world. I knows this to be true and I declares in faith that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and Him is my Lord.