Spiritual Food for the Soul…

Are you spiritually hungry or spiritually starving this morning? There is only One place to go to be filled, spiritually.

Spiritual Food for the soul…

Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead…”

If you are a child of the King (born again) as an indicator that you are one of His you will…

I Pet 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby…”

So, do you desire to know God’s word?

Along with the desire comes the command to study God’s word. Which only makes sense being as it is our one source of truth that we can trust.

II Tim 2:15 “Study to show yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

What areas of my life is God’s word beneficial for?
 
II Tim 3:16,17  “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so
that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

ALL…

If you do not have the desire you may not be one of His children. Not everyone who says to God that they are one of His truly are one of His. Check out the gospel of John…

Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

John 3:3 “For truly I say unto you, except a man is born again he cannot
enter the Kingdom of God.”

And then go to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to be fed!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”

Mat 11:28 “Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest…”

Where to find Absolute Truth….

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small puncuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “ I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Who’s writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Take a minute to thank our God this morning for giving us His word and protecting it through the ages so we can have the same truths that were revealed and recorded years ago. Yes, it is encouraging and challenging to think that God has given us truths to live by. Now it’s up to us to read and follow…………….

66 Books, 40 Scribes and ONE AUTHOR……………….WOW!

Yes, God is Real….

II Tim 3:16,17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be made perfect, thoroughly furnished until all good works.”

Take the Ant you Sluggard

Taken from a note written by Dr Dewey Hodges with minor additions.

This was created mainly for the high school
students wanting to make a good impression during
the first few weeks of the new school year. But as
you will see if offers yet another piece of evidence
for those needing to accept that our God is real.

Science was never my strong suit, but a few
years ago I learned some fascinating things
about ants. It’s likely that you have never
heard this before, and you can share something
totally new with your class (of course, adults
can impress their friends with this as well).

Here’s a condensed version of some basic
information about ants, taken from a Web site
at the University of Arizona, entitled “Adult
Males and Females”, and from your home encyclopedia.

When ant colonies reproduce, the new queens
and males may be found in the colony. These are
“flying ants” and have two pairs of wings.

Males generally have small heads, large eyes,
large thoraces, and a pair of claspers at the end of
the gaster. Once they fly (and mate), males do not
live very long.

After mating, new queens break off their wings
and never fly again. Without wings, they can
generally be distinguished from workers by their
larger body size, larger thorax and larger abdomen.
All workers are females.

Most of us who have had the most basic science
classes in high school and college (that would
definitely include me) have heard about the
dominance of female ants over males. I don’t
know exactly when this first became accepted as
fact by the scientific community, but given the
size of an ant, it makes sense that it has been
since the advent of the microscope, which has
been within the past 300 or so years.

Now go back about 3,000 years, to the book of
Proverbs, the sixth chapter, verses 6-8: “Go to the ant,
thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which
having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat
in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest”.

At first glance, some people might say, “So?

There are verses about ants in the Bible. Big deal.”
But look at how the ants in these verses are identified.
There has been a bit of controversy in recent months over
a new translation of the Bible which removes virtually
every reference to gender. It has been well-received in
some circles and highly criticized in others.

Part of the motivation for creating this new
translation was the long-standing allegation that the
Bible has always been sexist. Of course, that is a pile
of garbage, but a look at the use of gender-specific
language in the King James Version, which I have quoted
here, is relevant to our discussion.

The pronouns she and her are used 2,442 times in
the entire Bible, according to a search engine at bible.com.
The pronouns he, him and his are used 21,182 times. That’s
a huge difference, which some might say fuels the gender
discrimination argument.

But if you believe that every word in the Bible is
important and inspired by God the Holy Spirit, or even if
you don’t, you can easily gather from these numbers that
whenever a female pronoun is used in the Bible, it is used
intentionally. That brings us back to our ants.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways,
and be wise…

The ant cited in Proverbs is a female ant. If the
Bible were sexist, wouldn’t it assume the important ants
were male? Perhaps, unless the Author, who is God, knew for
a fact that the females were the ones he was talking about.
And the Author inspired His scribe to record this fact. A
Creator usually would know those facts.

How did Solomon know? He didn’t have a microscope
back then. There was absolutely no way humanly possible
to find out. So he either took a wild guess, or he found
out from God.

II Peter 1;20,21 tells us that God is the Author of
scripture and those privileged to be the scribes were
actually documenting God’s word instead of their own wisdom.
Now we’re starting to walk by faith and likely making many
uncomfortable. The letters of Paul, John, Peter, etc are in
actuality not their teachings but that of God. Scripture
takes on a much more meaningful tone with that in mind and
as we also keep from giving credit for its content and power
to men versus God. And of course that explains how Solomon
knew about those ants.

And of course this further means there actually is a
God, and He may be the Creator after all. We’re getting way
beyond science now. According to evolutionists and nearly
everybody else who determines what passes for science in
schools, we’re dabbling dangerously close to religion.

Maybe it is catastrophic to remove God from the origin
teaching in our schools. Or by allowing the public school
to be the tool to educate our families on topics they are
not equipped to teach on. Better stop that right now.

On second thought, forget about mentioning this
in class, especially in a public school. There’s no
telling what the reaction would be. Or just maybe it is
an appropriate topic if we are to be the light and the
salt of this world!!?? Remembering that if the salt has
lost its seasoning power than what good is it??

II Tim 3:16, 17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God…”
Gen 1:1a”In the beginning God created…” Amen!

How is your seasoning this morning?

Bible Interpretation – Can I…

Bible Interpretation – Can I…

Many people today feel they are inadequate in and of themselves to interpret scripture. Some have been taught that way and some are simply lazy understanding that it takes a time commitment to do so. Either way both are wrong according to the word of God itself. Noted below are some principles for interpreting scripture that have helped me along my journey to love, honor and obey God.

Can I interpret scripture or am I dependent upon someone else to provide me with God’s truths as they see them? The answer is yes you can, but our Lord as with all questions provides some guidelines in doing so. First keep in mind that Jesus Church as defined in scripture was instituted by God and designed by Him. In it He gives some members the Spiritual Gift of Pastor, some Teacher and some of the other gifts designed to aid in our search for understanding His truths. They were not placed in the Church to dictate our beliefs but to help us in our quest to find, love, worship and obey God. Our responsibility is to check out our teachers say using scripture to do so. We are to take advantage of those persons using those Gifts and what our Lord will teach us through them.

But as you will note in the principles identified below if for some reason beyond our control we are not able to attend a biblically sound Church with those members teaching, then God the Holy Spirit says that He will teach us. So the bottom line is that God will teach me if I truly seek Him. I will need to present myself to studying scripture and then God will provide me with the truths of His word that I need for my life.

  • I John 2:27a But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you;…”
    • The anointing mentioned comes from God the Holy Spirit to ‘born again’ believers. If you have not yet trusted Jesus as your Savior you do not have the anointing.

The Principles for Bible Interpretation;

  1. Must be ‘born again’ which is when the Holy Spirit comes into us.
  2. As ‘born again’ believers the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and uses many means to teach us.
  3. The Church was designed by God to be one of our teachers by those within it using their Spiritual Gifts to do so. The Church if doctrinally sound supports the family teaching and interpreting of scripture.
  4. Scripture never contradicts itself so you can never take one verse all by itself to prove a point. The rest of scripture must support the point or modify it so that they all agree.
  5. You need to understand the context of the passage surrounding the verse in question as to whom it is written to, when it was written, the situation the hearers were in, etc. Most of the NT is written to ‘born again’ believers.
  6. The Bible is not solely a history book. It truths are relevant for all ages. The unsaved will see scripture and the study of it as foolishness.
  7. Bible interpretation requires study. We are to study the scripture daily to please God as those in Berea did.
  8. God’s truths never change so base your acceptance of a Church or an individual’s teaching on God’s word. No Church teaching can change or replace it. It requires you pray for God’s wisdom and your study so God can provide it.
  9. It requires faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter just as it requires faith to be ‘born again’.
  10. God will protect His truths or scriptures down through the ages so we always have them to live by.

The following are some Bible passages supporting these principles;

  1. Must be ‘born again’ which is when the Holy Spirit comes into us. No Holy Spirit = no salvation.
    1. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    2. Acts 16:30b, 31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
    3. Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
  2. As ‘born again’ believers the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and uses many means to teach us.
    1. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
  3. The Church was designed by God to be one of our teachers and those within it using their Spiritual Gifts to do so. The Church if doctrinally sound supports the family teaching and interpreting of scripture. Infallibility (Church clergy speaking for and as God) is not taught in scripture. Jesus Church is not any one denomination but is made up of all ‘born again’ believers. The only Church name or denomination mentioned in scripture is ‘the Way’.
    1. Heb 10:25 “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
    2. Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
    3. Acts 24:14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
  4. Scripture never contradicts itself so you can never take one verse all by itself to prove a point. The rest of scripture must support the point in question. All scriptures are in agreement.
    1. The best example would be taking James 2:17 (faith without works is dead) all by itself. If we do we can say that salvation includes works after we accept Jesus as our Savior. Other scriptures like Eph 2:8, 9, Titus 3:5 note that salvation is by Grace through faith and not by any of our works. Gal 2:21 notes that if we can add works to what we must do to be saved than Jesus sacrifice for our sins was done in vain.
    2. Both salvation passages taken together bring us God’s wisdom. What God is saying in James 2:17 when interpreting scripture is that real saving faith will be displayed by our works as a sign of our salvation.
  5. You need to understand the context of the passage surrounding the verse in question as to whom it is written to, when it was written, the situation the hearers were in, etc. Most of the NT is written to ‘born again’ believers and must be read with that in mind.
  6. The Bible is not solely a history book. It truths are relevant for all ages. The unsaved will see scripture and the study of it as foolishness.
    1. I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (unsaved man) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
  7. Bible interpretation requires study. We are to study the scripture daily to please God as those in Berea did.
    1. Acts 17:11 “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
  8. God’s truths never change so base your acceptance of a Church or an individual’s teaching on God’s word. No Church teaching can change or replace it. It requires you pray for God’s wisdom and your study so God can provide it.
    1. Mal 3:6A“For I am the Lord, I do not change;”
    2. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
  9. It requires faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter just as it requires faith to be ‘born again’.
    1. Eph 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    2. Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
  10. God will protect His truths or scriptures down through the ages so we always have them to live by.
    1. Mat 5:18 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Be sure to check out the scriptures I noted above to see if they are true using the principles noted above………..

2 Tim 3:16, 17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Roman Catholic vs Protestant Bible….

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Roman Catholic vs Protestant Bible…..

Are you using a different bible than I am? Recently I was asked that question in one of our bible studies. One person who was attending had mentioned to a friend that they were attending a bible study. The curious friend wanted to know more and one question that they had was whether or not the study was using the authorized bible from the church they attended. The attendee did not know and asked the question at one of our studies.

It brought back reminders of my early days as a Christian. I to have asked that question. Shortly after being ‘born again’ and with many questions my wife and I met with our RC Church clergy and talked about our new faith and why the RC Church had not taught us to be ‘born again’ as scripture did. We were told by the clergy to stay away from those people and to stay out of the bible. The insinuation was that the bible was too complex for us to understand it without their guidance and also those people were using an unauthorized bible leading us to believe it contained error.

God as with all of my questions and dilemmas in my life when I truly ask and trust Him for wisdom He then came to my rescue. Our God is great. He waits for us via faith to seek Him and to depend on Him.  He tells us He will never allow men or women to deceive us if we truly seek His truths. That was and is the most valuable source of information I use for my life today. God is in control and sovereign.  He is my protector and is greater than any power this world can come up with. But I must first seek Him and allow His will for my life.

With that question being asked at the bible study I sought God’s wisdom on how to help the group. The Holy Spirit led our group in a study of the bibles available to see if they held the same truths or had once been corrupted by mankind. As a very young Christian as previously mentioned I struggled with the question of whether my bible that I at that time was using (KJV) 35 years ago was different than the one my Roman Catholic Church authorized. God helped me by presenting His word to me in Mat 5:18 which says that both the OT and NT will be protected by God so that we have His truths. It says that protection will occur until Heaven and Earth pass. God does away with current Heaven and Earth and creates a new Heaven and new Earth for His eternal family after the 1,000 year millennium which is also after the 7 year tribulation period. The Book of Revelation or Apocalypse provides us with the last time periods of mankind on this earth and the events leading up to the creation of the new Heaven and Earth. And unfortunately the judgment of mankind that chooses to reject God. Until all of it occurs (Mat 5:18) God will protect His truths so that all of mankind have availability to it and no excuse for rejecting it.  That provided me with the peace that passes understanding on the topic of whether or not God can and does protect His truths for all those who seek Him.

With that in mind we took older and the latest bible versions of the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants faiths to our study. The Roman Catholic bibles all having the Roman Catholic Imprimatur authorizing their use. We studied the most important question asked down through the ages, the same that the Philippian jailor asked; “What must I do to be saved?” We read from each on the following topics;

  • All being sinners (Rom 3:10, 3:23, Isa 64:6),
  • All condemned to Spiritual and Physical death because of our sins (Rom 6:23)
  • God’s awesome love for sinners (John 3:16, Rom 5:8)
  • No work, church affiliation or family heritage can save me from the punishment (Eph 2:8,9, Titus 3:5)
  • What must I do to be saved (Rom 10:9, 10 & 13, John 3:3)
  • My only Mediator in confessing my sins is not a clergy member but Jesus Himself (I Tim 2:5)

It soon became obvious that the bibles of both faiths proclaimed the same glorious truths. God, as He says in Mat 5:18 will not allow mankind to keep His saving truths from those who truly seek them. The jot and title mentioned are the smallest words of the Greek and Hebrew texts. That was and is comforting then and now. What is required of us is to take God at His word. If He can create us He can protect us and lead us to truth.

Heb 12:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

If you have a similar question today go ahead and check it out. Put the bibles side by side and see the power of our God. He will provide you with the truths you seek and need for your life.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”

A CHRISTmas Poem…..

CHRISTmas poem….

‘T’was the night before Christmas

and all through the town

Not a sign of Baby Jesus

was anywhere to be found.

 

The people were all busy

with Christmas time chores

Like decorating, and baking,

and shopping in stores.

 

No one sang “Away in a manger,

no crib for a bed”.

Instead, they sang of Santa

dressed-up in bright red.

 

Mama watched Martha Stewart,

Papa drank beer from a tap.

As hour upon hour

the presents they’d wrap

 

When what from the T.V.

did they suddenly hear?

‘Cept an ad.. which told

of a big sale at Sears.

 

So away to the mall

they all flew like a flash…

Buying things on credit…

and others with cash!

 

And, as they made their way home

From their trip to the mall,

Did they think about Jesus?

Oh, no… not at all.

 

Their lives were so busy

with their Christmas time things

No time to remember

Christ Jesus, the King.

 

There were presents to wrap

and cookies to bake.

How could they stop and remember

who died for their sake?

 

To pray to the Savior…

they had no time to stop.

Because they needed more time

to “Shop til they dropped!”

 

On Wal-mart! On K-mart!

On Target! On Penney’s!

On Hallmark! On Zales!

A quick lunch at McDonald’s

 

From the big stores downtown

to the stores at the mall

They would dash away, dash away,

and visit them all!

 

And up on the roof,

there arose such a clatter

As grandpa hung icicle lights

up on his brand new step ladder.

 

He hung lights that would flash.

He hung lights that would twirl.

Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus…

The Light of the World.

 

Christ’s eyes… how they twinkle!

Christ’s Spirit… how merry!

Christ’s love… how enormous!

All our burdens… He’ll carry!

 

So instead of being busy,

overworked, and uptight

Let’s put Christ back in

Christmas and enjoy some good nights!

 

Merry CHRISTmas, my friends!

 

Luke 2:8-11 “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in
the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, the angel of the
Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were
greatly afraid. Then the angel said unto them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is
born to you this day in the city of David, A SAVIOR, WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD|||||||||||||||”

 

 

Mary, the Faithful Sinner and CHRISTmas….

 

Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

 Luke 1:26-32 “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”

Mary, the faithful sinner and CHRISTmas

In the drama of the first Christmas there is a perfect example of walking by faith. God begins in Luke 1:26 – “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary, The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.'” A name above all names! In no other name is salvation found.

God’s request to Mary was that she walk by faith and trust Him. He asked her to take His hand and allow Him to lead her into something amazing. Mary did not insist that she see some piece of evidence before she accept God’s plan. We must understand that in the Jewish culture of those days a woman was stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock. Now think about the faith it took to obey.

God was leading her into a situation where she was suddenly and miraculously pregnant. And who’s going to believe that God is doing this? How about the arguments that may have gone through her head. She has a lot to lose if she walks by faith and goes where God wants to take her. She may lose her reputation as the “nice girl of Nazareth.” She may lose the man she loves when he hears she is expecting and he knows he’s not the father. The wedding she has dreamed about from an early age may never happen. And since, in the Jewish culture of that day, they stoned women for sexual sin, obedience could even cost Mary her life.

But Mary was a woman of faith. Listen to her response, “I am the Lord’s servant.” Those words show her heart. If Mary’s identity is, “I’m Joseph’s girl,” there’s no way she’s going

to do what God wants. If her image as the “nice girl of Nazareth” is her identity, she won’t do this. But Mary bases her identity on one thing and one thing alone. With open hands, open arms,

face looking up, she declares, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.” And because of that surrendered spirit and surrendered future, Mary carries God’s only Son in her body.

God’s most special assignments are for those who will let go of their fears and begin the walk of faith. When you know that God is asking you do something, and then the choice is; do I serve Jesus or my fears and desires? It may be to share His love with someone who has never heard (Mat 28:19, 20). It may be to develop and use your God given spiritual gift(s) for His glory. It may be to give up something very precious to you for the benefit of another (Agape Love).

It may be to turn the other cheek. It may be to be the salt that lovingly calls sin for what it is even in the face of much opposition. It may be to set aside the occupation the world and family and self gave you and take up the one Jesus has for you.

This Christmas season, take your Father’s hand and with child-like faith, tell Him, “Lord, take me wherever You want me to go.”

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”

If you are serious about walking by faith then take the time to check out Eph 2:8,9, Rom 12:1,2, Luke 9:23 and Phil 4:13