The Lord Formed The Human Spirit

When our kids were small they watched Barney quite a bit. Barney was a big purple dinosaur who had his own club members. Barney would say, “Your very special!” Barney was right; we are very special. God made us that way.

But, the one thing we have in common is the Lord made each of us. In Zechariah the prophet says of the Lord; “The Lord…formed the human spirit.” Think about that. The Lord made us.

The Lord made us just like we are. God loves us. We are all different. We don’t think alike. We don’t look alike. But God made us.

I don’t particularly care for some forms of music. But others do. There are certain things I like in church but others may not care for. We see things different politically.

The Lord made us and loves us. He formed the human spirit. And because He did, the Lord is the only one that can bring us happiness. The only way anyone will find happiness is through knowing Christ. We each have a void in our hearts that can be filled by God.

So, if you are searching for meaning and happiness – look to the Lord…He created the human spirit.

Let A Sleeping Dog Lie

Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I don’t want to bring up a sore subject….but….” and then they proceed to bring up a sore subject? That’s called “stirring the pot”…meaning you are bringing up a sore subject. Some people seem to love this. They live to stir the pot.

Proverbs 30:33 says “As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.”

Notice the last few words….”stirring up anger causes quarrels.” Whenever we bring up an issue that needs to be left alone, we cause quarrels. I have known people that seem to thrive on this.

In a former church, I walked in one morning and one person told me about some problems. It sounded pretty serious. Then I went and spoke to the man whom the information came from and he just shook his head and said, “they love to stir the pot.” If you love to stir the pot…stop stirring, please. What good are you doing?

If there is a problem…try to resolve it…if you aren’t going to try to resolve it, don’t bring it up.

This also applies to social media. Social media is a great tool. Many people use it to share the gospel. But can also be a place to post things that don’t need to be posted. Before you copy & paste something, find out if it’s true. If you can’t find out if it’s true, don’t post it. abs even if it is true, does it need to be posted?

So, if we are guilty of it, we all need to stop stirring anger.

You may be familiar with the expression, “Let a sleeping dog lie…” That means don’t stir anger. Don’t bring up stuff that should be left alone. Those are good goals for the coming year for us.

Christmas Throughout The Year

Christmas is over, right? Well Christmas Day is over but the spirit of Christmas doesn’t have to be limited to one day.

The decorations will come down…in a few days we will begin a new year…but the spirit of Christmas doesn’t have to stop. We may not be able to purchase gifts like we did at Christmas but, we can help others. We can give that little extra.

I encourage you to carry a giving, helping spirit every day.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox once wrote;

“There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;

Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood,

The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth,

You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,

Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

So, in 2020, will you be a lifter or a leaner?

The apostle Paul wrote;

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

Christmas Is God With Us

What is Christmas?

If you ask a random person that question you will hear things like, “Christmas is about Santa Claus…it’s Rudolph…it’s Frosty…”

Someone else may say, “Christmas is about family and friends.”

Both of these explanations are ok…there is nothing wrong with Santa & Rudolph & Frosty…But is that all there is to Christmas?

No it’s not. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus.

Someone expressed it like this; “Christmas is when God came down the stairs of heaven with a baby.”

Matthew 1:23 says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23 KJV).

Christmas is Emmanuel, God with us. When Jesus was born, God took on human skin and walked among us. God came to this earth in the form of Jesus. Jesus would ultimately go to the cross to die for our sins. Jesus loves us and Christmas is proof of that.

Today, God is with us. You may ask, “How?”

God is present today through the presence of the Holy Spirit. God is with us.

God is with us to help us with our anxiety.

God is with us to help us with addiction

God is with us to help us with our heart-break.

Sometimes God is with us in the form of a person who ministers to us. Sometimes it’s through His word. Sometimes it’s through song. But God is with us.

Happy birthday Jesus!

Why Is It Wise To Follow Christ?

Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of Christ. Throughout this week, my posts have been on different characters in the Christmas story. Today, let’s look at the wise men.

The wise men were astrologers. And the Scripture says they followed the star to the stable where the Christ child was born.

Due to the wise men following the star, an expression has been around for years which is “Wise men still seek Him.”

Why do wise men seek Jesus? Because Jesus Christ is the greatest person in history. Jesus Christ was filled with love and mercy. Jesus healed people…He cared for people…He forgave people….Jesus died on the cross for the sin of mankind. Jesus died, was buried and rose again in bodily form.

The world is filled with religious groups but only Jesus rose from the grave. This is why wise men STILL seek Jesus.

The Shepherds – God Uses Ordinary People

Ordinary people.

That’s what the shepherds were. Just ordinary folks. There was nothing extra-special about them but, they were the first to hear about the birth of baby Jesus.

The Bible says the shepherds were out in the fields around Bethlehem keeping watch over their flocks. It was just a regular night. But then, the sky was filled with angels. And the angels announced to the shepherds that they had good news.

That night, in Bethlehem, a Savior was born. Then the angels encouraged the shepherds to go to Bethlehem to see the baby. They would find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

So the shepherds traveled to Bethlehem and found the baby just as the angels had said. The shepherds….not the upper-crust of society, were the first to hear of Jesus birth.

If you’ve ever thought God can’t use you…you are wrong….God can use us….doesn’t matter what our background is…God can use us.

Someone has said that God must have loved ordinary people because He made so many of them. God can use all of us….no matter how ordinary we are.

Joseph Did The Right Thing – We Should As Well

Imagine that you were Joseph.

He and Mary were betrothed which meant they were engaged. One day and angel appeared to Mary and told her she would bear the Christ child. The problem was she and Joseph had not had intercourse. So, Mary has to tell Joseph that she’s pregnant…and the father is the Lord. It’s going to be tough to persuade Joseph on that.

Joseph and Mary talk and Mary tells him about the angel visiting her. Joseph could have had Mary stoned. But instead, Joseph must have told Mary he needed some time to think. As Joseph slept, he had a dream and in his dream the Lord spoke to him. The Lord told Joseph that Mary was being honest with him. But now, Joseph had to believe.

After thinking about, Joseph took Mary at her word and took her as his wife. Jospeh probably experienced some ridicule from others for believing Mary. But, he did what he thought was right.

We can learn from Joseph. It is not always easy to do the right thing. But, it’s always right to do the right thing. Maybe there is something you need to do. You know you need to do it….it’s the right thing to do….but it’s not going to be easy.

Like Joseph, we should all do the right thing. Joseph did the right thing inspire Of experiencing ridicule. Today and every day, let’s ask the Lord to help us do the right thing.

Why Do We Need Christmas?

This Friday, we will celebrate Christmas…the birth of Jesus Christ. But why is the birth of Jesus so important?

Go back with me to the beginning of time. God made Adam & Eve and placed them in the garden of Eden. God gave them everything they needed and told them not to eat from one tree. Well, the devil came along, disguised as a snake and tempted them to take the fruit from the forbidden tree…and they did. When they took the forbidden fruit, sin came into the world and that sin separated man from God. Since then, every person comes into the world as a sinner because we are all descendants of Adam.

So, man now has a sin problem. Because if his sin, man is separated from God. So how does man fix his sin problem?

Man tried building altars but that didn’t work. Man tried being good…keeping the commandments but he couldn’t do it. Man is human and humans sin. Man tried giving but he can’t give enough. So what could man do? Nothing! There was nothing man could do. Man needed a second chance.

God in heaven knew this. God could have done nothing. He could have said, “Man, you made your bed now, lie in it.” But God is love. And although man made his problem God still loved man. And God knew He was the only one who could solve the problem.

But there was an issue. Since all children come into the world with sin, how could God get His Son into the world without sin? There was only one way; God had to cause a virgin to conceive and He did! God caused a virgin to conceive (Mary) and she gave birth to Jesus, Savior of the world. Jesus’ Father is God so Jesus came into the world without sin. That’s important because a perfect sacrifice had to be made to take care of man’s sin.

So, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God. If Jesus had not come into the world, man would have no hope!

This week, take time and give thanks to God for the gift of His Son at Christmas.

Mary Was Willing To Follow The Lord.

It was an ordinary day. She was going about her daily routine. She was betrothed to a young man named Joseph so maybe her thoughts slipped ahead to thinking about what it would be like to be married.

But then, everything changed. An angel appeared! Mary may have thought she was seeing things! If this happened today, maybe Mary would have said, “Oh my God! That’s an angel!” This is AMAZING!

Then, the angel spoke to Mary! The angel told Mary that she was going to be the mother of the Messiah! Mary was stunned! Shocked!

She said to the angel, “You can’t be serious! You went to the wrong house. I can’t be a Mother. I’m not even pregnant!”

But the angel told her she was going to be pregnant. The Lord was going to open her womb and she would bear the Christ child!

Mary was stunned! Shocked! She had all kinds of thoughts but she struggled to put them into words. So Mary said, “I am the bond servant of the Lord. Be it done to me according to Thy Will!”

We can learn from Mary. Maybe God has spoken to you about something. But you are unsure. Our response needs to be, “I am the servant of the Lord..be it done according to Thy will.”

Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. She hadn’t done anything to deserve it. She was a simple young lady from Galilee. But, if the Lord had a task for her, she was willing.

Today, we can learn from Mary. May we be willing to follow the will of the Lord in our lives.

Singing The Lord’s Song With A Heavy Heart.

One of the highlights of the Christmas season is music. We love the music of Christmas. We love to sing along to our favorites on the radio. Music and Christmas are synonymous.

But, there are times when our hearts may be so heavy that we can’t sing. You may want to sing but your heart is heavy and you can’t. You may find yourself just humming along because you are too burdened to sing.

In Psalm 137, the people of Israel were in Babylon…away from their home-land. Their captors told them to sing one of their songs. But the people said, “Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem. We put away our harps,
hanging them on the branches of poplar trees. For our captors demanded a song from us.
Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”

But notice how the people responded, “But how can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a pagan land?” The people had lost their joy in a pagan land and could not sing.

Have you ever felt that way? Lots of people do at Christmas. While the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”. For many, it’s one of, if not the most difficult time of the year. Someone has lost a loved one…for them Christmas can be tough. Someone is going through a divorce…for them, Christmas can be tough. Someone is alone…for them Christmas is tough.

So, you may feel like the people of Israel….you may ask, “How can I sing the Lord’s song in a pagan land? How can I sing at Christmas?

Maybe you simply can’t. Don’t beat yourself up. Pain is real. The Lord knows our hearts. Ask the Lord for strength this Christmas season.

If you know someone who is hurting, reach out to them. There are lots of people whose hearts are heavy during this season. Reach out to them.

In Christmas we celebrate God coming to earth in the form of a baby. He is God with us. God has us in this world to minister like Jesus did. Ask the Lord to use you to lift someone’s burden this Christmas.