Ephesians 5:13-17: “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
When we know what God’s will is, we know how to spend our time. Time is drifting away, time which we don’t get back. There’s so many different things we can do with our time. Is it productive for God’s kingdom? Is it what we’re supposed to be doing? Is it useful? Is it important? All these questions are answered by one simple question, one filter you can make all your decisions through: What is the will of God for my life?
When you can answer this one question, you’ll know what you need to do with the time God has given you. Satan wants to distract us from what God’s will is, so it’s important to know what God’s will is for your life.
"The wicked takes and the righteous gives." That's the Jeremy Summary of Psalm 37:21.
"The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives" (that's what the Bible actually says).
If you want to be seen as wicked, borrow and don't repay. If you want to be seen as righteous, show mercy and give.
But does this mean that the righteous shows mercy and that the righteous also gives? That is a possible interpretation of it, but the way I see it is that it's two contrary things that the wicked and the righteous do (the wicked takes and the righteous gives). If this interpretation is correct, then, another way to see the righteous is that he (or she) shows mercy through his or her giving.
God wants us to give generously. When is He calling you to show mercy through your giving? One way you can demonstrate this is by helping the poor in your community. Another way is through donating to us, as we've pledged to help a Christian maternity center in Romania as well as planning children's homes, an afterschool program, a food distribution program, and a job preparation, all to help the community around us who is in need, and to be able to open the doors to share with them the Gospel of Christ. You can donate here.
No matter how you do it, how is God calling you to be righteous through giving to those in need today?
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s," 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
How many times have you read that passage? Probably many times. The understanding of this passage is that Jesus died for us, so we are living for Him. That's the true understanding of this passage, but it can also be applied and understood in a different way.
Let's take the last part of the first verse and the first part of the second verse. When we hear this passage, we usually say it this way, "You were bought with a price - you are not your own." This can easily be applied to your employer. When you're at work, you are working for your employer. You aren't doing your own thing, you're working for him or for her. You're on their clock.
(This is also a reason you should not be in a bad company or working for someone with not good intentions, as you're working on their clock.) In a similar (but significantly different) way, when we're at work, or school, or the grocery store, or wherever we are, we are on God's clock, doing His work.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:16-17).
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality” (Romans 12:10-13).
This passage gives 10 great things Christians should be doing.
"Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You."
We're going to go through hard times. However, remember, you've gone through hard times in the past, and you're still here. God has gotten you through those, too.
The same God that brought you out of those trials and tribulations can get you out of these trials and tribulations. He saw your situation before you did, and if you're His, He's working it out for your good. Praise God in the good times, praise God in the hard times.
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John 1:1-14, KJV: “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 3:1-21, KJV: “1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
What is Christmas really about? There's the secular side of it, which is all about Santa and his reindeer, the feeling you get when you see the lights, the trees, and more, and believing in "magic" of Christmas. But none of that is reality.
The reality, though, is the true meaning of Christmas, which is summed up in one verse: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," Romans 5:8. If He didn't come to us in the world, then He wouldn't have been able to die and to resurrect for us, taking our sins and making us whole again.
So, Christmas is summarized in the love that Christ demonstrated to us by dying on the cross. That's the meaning of Christmas, that "...the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost," Luke 19:10.
There's one more question that remains: Do you know Jesus? In other words, do you know that when you die, you will hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:21)?
If not, we'd love to pray for you. If you'd like to let us know any decisions you've made recently, or because of this blog series, you can fill out the form below, and we'll pray for you or let you know of a Church near you that you can attend. May you truly have a Christmas this year that you remember!