To everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. (Luke 1:63-64)
Did you ever think about what December would be like if Christ had never come?
We could easily get side-tracked by the cold and gray often found in our December days. We would have the New Year to look forward to, or maybe not. There would be snow in the future, or ice and a cold, cold rain. No time off from school or work, no reason to gather with family and friends, no gifts or cards, no thoughtful words.
Christ, the word made flesh, is born among us as one of us! Rejoice! (John 1:1-18) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become… Read more
Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas were the most powerful leaders in Palestine in Jesus’ day. But they were upstaged by a desert prophet named John.
In his day, before a king took a trip, messengers would tell those he planned to visit to prepare the roads for him. John, similarly, told his listeners to make their lives ready so the Lord could come to them.
Religion is spelled with two letters: “D-O.” It’s a list of things people think they have to do in order to be accepted by God – go to church, give money, keep the Ten Commandments, be baptized, and pray every day. The list is endless. It’s always Do… Do… Do.
Christianity is spelled with four letters – “D-O-N-E.”
Salvation is not based on what we do but on what Jesus Christ has already done. If you want to get on the highway to heaven, you don’t have to do anything; you just have trust in what Jesus Christ has already done for you.
What gives God joy? Although God created everything, his greatest joy comes from our genuine worship and trust.
Sometimes we feel as if we don’t understand ourselves, what we want, how we feel, what’s wrong with us, or what we should do about it. But God’s understanding has no limit, and therefore he understands us fully. Take your mind off yourself and focus it on God. Strive to become more and more like him. The more you learn about God and his ways, the better you will understand yourself.
Reflection: The Lord kept his promise to send a Savior, the righteous Branch of David’s house.
Do you remember when a deal could be sealed with a handshake? Once upon a time one’s word was considered one’s bond. In today’s world we no longer depend on people keeping their promises as a practice of moral obligation. More often we anticipate a breach of trust at some point in most every relationship. “The Backlist,” “Scandal,” “The Good Wife,” and “Empire” are all television shows that focus on the theme of betrayal. Democrats, Republicans, and all politicians alike thrive on the construction of false campaign promises. A lot of us are led to the belief that it’s normal to make promises and then break them. The old adage claims that promises are meant to be broken. But promises are meant to be kept! God keeps His promise to send us a savior in spite of our tendency to disappoint God. God’s integrity is unimpeachable. With kindness and affection God cares about our welfare! God promises that our sins have been atoned for in Christ so that when He returns our earthly sorrows will at last turn to joy! We serve a loving, compassionate and merciful God! This Christmas let us be mindful of God’s faithfulness in delivering His promised precious remarkable gift of grace through our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Righteous Branch of David’s house!
First UMC of Fairless Hills recently sent us their annual Advent devotional booklet, a collection of 26 thoughtful meditations authored by Pastor Vicky Allen and 18 church members. It arrived neatly copied, folded and stapled together on plain paper, as plain perhaps as the rustic manger where the baby Jesus was born. But their heartfelt prose and prayers elevate those plain pages into rich testaments of faith and simple theological wisdom that can inspire one’s daily reading and reflection.
Allen and her fellow scribes agreed to let us publish their Advent offerings in our Website’s INSPIRE section for the edification of our readers. So take one or more of these a day, like a prescription from the Great Physician, to help fortify and prepare your heart for the coming of the once and future King, who rules and abides with us even today.
Two extraordinary church leaders who seek to personify Jesus Christ–one of them literally–were honored at Annual Conference with the Harry Denman Evangelism Award, an annual tribute to the spirit and… Read more