As Thanksgiving approaches, it may be hard to feel thankful. Our nation has been hit hard with catastrophe, tragedy, and unprecedented violence. From the fires in the west to the hurricanes in the south and flooding in the east and numerous shootings throughout, no region has been spared from calamity. Many people are hurting and broken. Some are destitute without a home, while others have lost loved ones without having the chance to say goodbye.
Our hearts hurt for those who have lost everything, and we’re heavily burdened for those who have no hope. So this Thanksgiving, how can we rejoice and give thanks when our world seems to be falling apart?
Consider the question carefully. Do you need joy?
Can you say without hypocrisy that you would be 100% content and joyful if you were stuck in a prison cell tomorrow? Are you honestly 100% content and joyful in the life you have now? Can you say that you have truly learned how to be content in any and every situation? Is anxiety and stress no longer an issue in your life? Has the things of this world—learning, material possessions, achievements, success, popularity—all become less than garbage to you in comparison to knowing Christ?
I’m a full time private music instructor. It’s my job to teach students the inner complexities of music and how to translate what’s written on a page to how to play it on an instrument. I teach students of all ages, but right now, I have quite a few little guys—ages 5-6. And while these youngsters can be a challenge, it is so rewarding to see the proverbial light bulb come on and watch them master each new lesson. Recently, as I was telling my family some of the funny things these little guys have said—I have quite a few stories!—God hit me with something big.
Children trust utterly, absolutely, and entirely. They don’t doubt what you tell them, but in fact, are willing to somewhat blindly trust you.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Today is a day of celebration, praise, and worship of our Savior and King who conquered death and defeated Satan on that glorious Sunday two thousand years ago. What a reason to celebrate and rejoice! Because of Him we have eternal hope!
As we celebrate this day of human love and affection--whether it be with family, friends, or a spouse--let's remember and contemplate God's incredible love for us. He demonstrated ultimate love on the cross and no other type of love can compare with His unending, unconditional, agape love for us.
We’ve finished our Christmas series for the season and have rolled into yet another new year. So now it’s time to start a new Bible study. In 2017, we covered lots of ground traveling through the fields of Bethlehem in the story of Ruth, watching the unfolding drama of Hosea and Gomer’s love story, and learning from the mistakes and struggles of the Colossians. Now as we start the new year of 2018, it’s time to jump back into an in-depth study of God’s Word.
The Year of our Lord 2017 is now officially over. The New Year has begun. And while nothing feels different—the air is still chilly and life is still the same—it is the beginning of a new chapter in life. But before we look forward, let’s take a moment and look back over the past year.
This Christmas season we’ve focused on the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Christmas is now over; however, before we move on, I’d like to take one last look at Zechariah.
The longed for, long awaited day has arrived. Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s Christmas Day! The presents have probably already been opened and sounds of joy, squeals if there are children involved, and thanks have filled the home. But now as the tissue paper settles and the new gifts get neatly arranged, it’s time to take a moment and remember why we celebrate Christmas.
It’s finally here! The day thousands of children have been waiting for. The big deadline shoppers have been frantically preparing for. The day before Christmas.
We are now going to move our focus briefly away from Zechariah and take a look at his wife Elizabeth. In light of Mary, Elizabeth is one character of the Christmas story that is often overlooked. But we’re going to change that today. We’re going to take a close look at Elizabeth and her story, and see what lessons and insights we can gain from this righteous woman.
He was the first person to hear a divine word in over 400 years. He saw an angel while in the temple of the LORD. He was a priest who was well versed in the prophecies of old and miracles from ancient times. Yet despite all these things, he disbelieved Gabriel’s message and became mute for over nine months.
As we gear up for Christmas, let’s cast our minds back to where it all began. Over a year before the scene in the stable, God in His heavenly throne room summoned an angel and gave him a special assignment.
The Christmas season is upon us! Have you heard the bells ringing or the choirs singing? But Christmas isn’t just about the songs, bright lights, festivities, and colorful decorations, is it? No, it’s about much more! Christmas is about God doing an extraordinary thing through a simple girl from a small town called Nazareth.
Advent is here. Christmas is just around the corner. However, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, there is an aspect of the Christmas story we tend to overlook or underemphasize. While flipping through the pages of Luke one and two and Matthew chapter one, we forget the lengthy gap that’s represented in the page that reads “The New Testament.” For us, the span between the Old Testament and New is merely a couple of pages, but for the Israelites it was 400 years.
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