Days Of Infamy

January 20, 1942:   On this day, high ranking Nazi officials met in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin.  Here they planned and set in motion what they thought would be the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”  Outcome:  The Holocaust.    Death toll:  6 million jews.

January 22, 1973:   On this day, an oligarchy of seven Supreme Court justices agreed to the mass killing of unborn children.  Outcome:  Legalized abortion. Death Toll:   54 million unborn.

These dates are set firmly in history.  The damage of the first is done.  The atrocity of the second continues.  Pray for our new President and Congress.  Pray they will put an end to this day of infamy – the barbaric war on the unborn.

May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy
And crush the oppressor.          Psalm  72:4

He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save.  He will rescue their life from oppression and violence,  And their blood will be precious in his sight;        Psalm  72: 13-14

Truth Hurts!

Tertullian:  “The first reaction to truth is hatred.”

An interesting quote, and one for which we can find ample evidence in the NT.  As just one example, note the reaction to Jesus’ comments by his own hometown people in Luke 4:28,29.

I especially like Tertullian because he was very blunt and not afraid to mix it up with nonbelievers, pagans, and especially heretics.  I admire Christians who are willing to stick their necks out on the chopping block when it comes to either a bold profession or a stalwart defense of the gospel.  And people like Tertullian were literally doing just that in the Roman Empire of the 2nd and 3rd centuries.  They were (and are) the black and white types, not those living in gray areas.

God Knows

King George VI continued the holiday tradition of his father before him, by addressing the British Empire in an annual Christmas message.  It was Dec. 25, 1939.  Great Britain was at war with Nazi Germany.  The days ahead of them were dark and ominous for his countrymen.  He would also include in his message, words of a poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins, entitled, “God Knows”.  These words of hope and encouragement were destined to be written on the hearts of many who now faced a fearful and uncertain future:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

The rest of the poem:

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures

Our mind shall fill. 

As we enter 2017, let us also renew our faith and trust in the God of heaven and earth.  As He alone is control of the days which lie ahead.  Jesus is our rock.

                                     Trust in the Lord with all your heart
                            And do not lean on your own understanding.
                                             In all your ways acknowledge Him,
                                  And He will make your paths straight.                                                                                                                                                               Prov 3:5-6

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for                                   welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.                                                                                                                                          Jer 29:11

The Eternal Gift !

You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  It’s so true regarding everything this world has to offer.  But, is the same statement true concerning what Jesus has to offer?  As Baba Looey used to say, “I doan theen so, Queecksdraw.”

The fact is, there is one thing we can receive during this life that we can take with us, and that one thing is not a thing per se, but rather a Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.

For those who have been born from above, Jesus’ Spirit resides within us, and He never leaves us.  Which is how He won the victory over death.  The Bible doesn’t refer to death as non-existence.  The Bible refers to death as separation from God; and conversely, the Bible refers to life as communion with God.  Once we are born again, we are never again separated from God, we are never again truly alone – not ever in this life, not when we face the eventuality of our physical passing, and not throughout the rest of eternity.  When we are born again, we take one “thing” with us wherever we go, and through all of our circumstances good or bad – even, as a matter of fact, if we should happen to sin.  And finally, in the end as we face our final moments in this world, that “thing” is right there with us.  He is with us, and He is in us, as we are birthed into our new existence.

Unlike everything this world has to offer, we do take what Jesus gives us, with us.  We take with us the only permanent thing that can be acquired in this life – which is Christ in us, our hope of glory.

Who but Jesus?

Who but Jesus can make sense of this life and bring order to this world?

Who but Jesus can pay for our sins?

Who but Jesus can give us victory over our sins in this life?

Who but Jesus can give us victory over death?  No separation from Him now and forever.

Who but Jesus can give us new, abundant lives in this crazy world?

Who but Jesus can give us peace and joy regardless of our circumstances?

Who but Jesus can cause us to love all in this world unconditionally?

Who but Jesus can even cause us to love and pray for our enemies?

Who but Jesus can cause us to not worry and to not feel self-pity?

Who but Jesus can inexplicably comfort those who seem to be inconsolable?

Who but Jesus can shelter us under His wings in the storms of this life?

Who but Jesus can give us the courage and the glorious desire to press on?

Who but Jesus can change the words of a musty old book into words of life-giving truth?

Who but Jesus can cause us to understand His word in always deeper and more meaningful ways?

Who but Jesus can give us confidence about who we are, why we are here, and where we are going?

Indeed.     Let me hear you speak up, world.     Who but Jesus?

Christmas Time Is Here !

Christmas –  “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” – so this popular Holiday song first exclaimed back in 1963. And indeed, it is a warm, loving and memorable time to celebrate with family and friends.  It is significant that two major holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, are celebrated in close proximity.  Perhaps their order should be reversed.  Thanksgiving represents a time of reflection and gratitude for the Lord’s blessings. One which is firmly planted in the history of our nation – from the first Pilgrim celebration to the celebration of the birth of our nation:

                                                     The First Thanksgiving 

“Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from the pestilence and granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of nine and twelve in the daytime on Thursday, November ye 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth Rock, there to listen to ye Pastor and render Thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all his blessings.”
– Governor Bradford November 29, 1623

Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to  “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”

And about four weeks later we remember the birth of The Christmas child – Jesus Christ:

        “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they                       shall call  His namImmanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.                                                                                                                                     Matt 1:23

So it might be reflective to consider that true Thanksgiving can only come as the result of a Christmas miracle.  Without the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, mankind would be eternally separated from Almighty God.

All Thanksgiving is given to Jesus

       “Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise.  Give                                                           thanks to Him, bless His name.”                Psalm 100:4

The birth of Jesus Christ is the most significant event in world history.  That He, Jesus:

                Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself                                         becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.    Phil 2:8

Christmas, as John 3:16 explains, is the true reason for Thanksgiving:

          For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that                                whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

Yes, the Lord continually pours out his blessings – but the greatest blessing of all is His gift of salvation, that Christ alone can offer mankind:

      Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life  no one come                                                   to the Father but through Me.                      John 14:6

So this Christmas, let us be mindful and most thankful for the greatest Christmas gift any of us could ever receive – the gift of eternal life thru Jesus Christ the Lord !

           And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under                     heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”                                                                                                                                 Acts  4:12

                            For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
                                And the government will rest on His shoulders;
                 And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
                                               Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.                
Isaiah  9:6