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Posts tagged ‘Saint Joseph’

Hold On to Your Promise From God.


 

woman reading bible

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David…” (Lk. 1:31-32).

Mary was given a wonderful promise from God. At first, it seemed to be fulfilled fairly quickly. She conceived and birthed a son before she and Joseph consummated their marriage.

We love it when that happens, don’t we? God speaks and then, Boom!,here’s the proof.

But that wasn’t the whole promise. Mary was told her son would be the long-awaited Messiah. Yet what she held in her arms was an infant.

The promise didn’t look like she expected.

So what’s the next step? She had a promise. She had an angelic visitation. She had confirmation from shepherds, the anointed man Simeonand the prophetess Anna.

But she was still holding a baby.

What do you do when the word you’ve been given doesn’t play out like you think it will? It was 30 years before Mary saw her Son step into the destiny spoken to her. She had to have more than the initial euphoria of the spiritual experience to carry her through those decades.

“All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often” (Lk. 2:18-19).

The Greek word used for “kept” means Mary preserved these things to keep them from perishing; keeping them in mind lest they be forgotten. And the word used for “thought about them” means she was conversing with herself about them, bringing them together in her mind.

And 12 years later, when she had to go back to bring her Son home from the Temple, she still “treasured all these things in her heart” (v.52).

Mary kept the promise alive inside of her. She deliberately, purposefully rehearsed and remembered what had been said.

As the years passed, rather than let go, she chose to hold tightly to what she’d been told.

Do you have unfulfilled promises in your life? Learn from Mary. Take time, as you head towards a new year, to dust off those promises. Remember them, think about them. Refuse to be discouraged or distracted. Remind yourself of the faithfulness of the One who gave them, and let this be the refrain of your heart this year:

Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!”(Lk. 1:45).

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

KAREN RAMSEY

Karen Ramsey is a special education teacher in Kansas City and a contributing blogger to A Modern Voice.
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“This Is Serious”.


So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
Luke 2:15

Recommended Reading
Luke 1:26-38 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%201:26-38&version=NKJV )

If a stranger announced that you were the winner of a giant sweepstakes, would you believe him? It is doubtful. But if the Publishers Clearance House team arrived at your home with an official van, balloons, video cameras, and a huge check, would your reaction be different? Yes, it would — but why? Because when important things happen, there is a need for verification, authenticity, and believability.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

Now think about the first Christmas. If a friend told Mary she would give birth to the Messiah … if a stranger told Joseph that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit … if one of the shepherds said to the others, “I think the Messiah was just born in Bethlehem” … if Joseph woke Mary up in the middle of the night and said, “I think we need to go to Egypt” — how believable would any of these scenarios seem? Not very! Instead, in all four instances (and throughout biblical history) God sent angels to declare the message, “This is serious.”

Thank God for “ministering spirits” this Christmas.

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Hebrews 11-13

By David Jeremiah.

The Unopened Gift.


For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

Recommended Reading
Proverbs 3:5-6 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%203:5-6&version=NKJV )

We expect a lot from December: Christmas songs, yummy Christmas cookies, decorations, good food, and time with those we love. As we rush to buy last-minute gifts, we try to remain calm amidst the crowds and busyness. It shouldn’t surprise us that we tend to overlook the one gift that can help us keep perspective during the month of December: God‘s Word.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

When we open the Bible, we find encouragement for those times when our expectations remain unmet. The birth of Jesus lacked most of the comforts we now associate with Christmas. Mary did not expect to give birth to her first child in a barn. Joseph did not expect Mary to become pregnant before they wed. They were alone and far from family. Despite their difficult circumstances, Mary and Joseph trusted God. They had received the gift of God’s voice and they followed His directions.

We too can hear from God. Scripture reminds us of what is important. It speaks to our deepest needs and keeps us focused on God and His will during each season of life. Let’s not forget to open this gift this Christmas and throughout the year. God’s Word has the counsel, wisdom, and power we need. Open it today.

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Galatians 1-3

By David Jeremiah.

The power of positive words…


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
-Proverbs 18:21

In Luke, we read how the angel appears to Mary telling her that she’s going to become the mother of the coming Messiah. Probably 15 years old or so, Mary’s just recently become engaged to Joseph. They have not consummated their relationship, and yet the angel says that she’s going to be pregnant before they’re married. To Mary, this should come as very bad news.

Think about the repercussions socially for Mary, an unwed, teenage virgin. Joseph is going to think that she has cheated on him and she will become an outcast to her community. The outcome could be life threatening because, in those days, to have a child out of wedlock meant that you and your child were probably going to sit on the street and beg.

This is terrible, terrible, terrible news for Mary socially. However, because the news comes from God through an angel, she somehow knows that it’s not terrible news. Something great is going to happen.

And how does Mary respond? Does she respond with doubt? No, she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be as you have said.” She receives God’s blessing, speaks her own positive words of blessing over it, and then she begins to sing.

Remember, there’s power in our every word.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you so much for the example of Mary, who had such deep and abiding faith in you that she was willing to embrace a life change that almost anyone else would have rejected. I pray that I will be as open to your every blessing as was Mary was on that very important day. Amen.

Reflection: Have you ever experienced a radical life change that you could have faced with fear but instead, because of your faith in God, faced positively?

Accepting life changes…


“An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit‘”
Matthew 1:21

Change often accompanies personal sacrifice. When Saul felt he was doing God‘s work by persecuting those who followed Jesus, he was met with a life-changing experience. He was honored by God by being chosen, and his name was changed to Paul. He loved God, but he had to sacrifice everything he had worked for all his life. He had to put his own feelings to the side to honor God in the ministry that God had planned for him.

Every person in the scriptures that God used greatly had first to accept major changes in their lives. If they honored God and did not resist His calling, they were then used mightily.

When I accepted Christ, if there had not been a change in my life, I would have accepted Him in name only. Fortunately, because He was beyond just a person who once lived, once He entered my life, my life changed forever. It was the sign that He was there.

Now I am able to accept change without much difficulty, seeking and accepting God’s will with the best of my ability. However, I do have difficulty when I see some of God’s people resisting positive change. If one cannot accept the change that is happening, then it’s time to move on – it’s that simple.

What if Joseph had not accepted the word of God? What if Mary had not accepted what had happened? We can go on and on with examples from the Bible of things we don’t understand but have to accept on faith. Resisting change that God has ordained is futile; it only frustrates us.

When we carry the cross of Christ, we don’t need to understand everything that has happened; we just wait to discover how we can be a part of it. Though sometimes, as Saul/Paul experienced, serving Christ has a cost, we always will discover that change is the very seed for something wonderful, something beyond what we can imagine if God is in control. It is the seed of eternity in our hearts and “great things He will do.”

Prayer: Father, thank you for the changes you have made in my life. Thank you for planting the seed and spirit of acceptance in me that you are in control. I can let go knowing all things are in your strong and powerful hands. In Jesus’ name, thank you. Amen.

Devotion: What change in your life is causing you to struggle or feel anxious? What can you do right now that will help you to “Let go, and let God”?

By Fred Gillett, Crystal Cathedral Pastor

Max Lucado Offers Prayer in Wake of Conn. School Shooting.


Max Lucado
Max Lucado (Facebook)

Max Lucado, best-selling author and Minister of Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, offered a Christmas prayer in the aftermath of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. The following text is Lucado’s prayer:

Dear Jesus,

It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord.  These children, Lord.  Innocence violated.  Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.  But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty.  Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Hopefully,

Your Children

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

The power of positive words…


“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
-Proverbs 18:21

In Luke, we read how the angel appears to Mary telling her that she’s going to become the mother of the coming Messiah. Probably 15 years old or so, Mary’s just recently become engaged to Joseph. They have not consummated their relationship, and yet the angel says that she’s going to be pregnant before they’re married. To Mary, this should come as very bad news.

Think about the repercussions socially for Mary, a teenaged virgin. Joseph’s going to think that she has cheated on him and she will become an outcast to her community. The outcome could be life threatening because, in those days, to have a child out of wedlock meant that you and your child were probably going to sit on the street and beg.

This is terrible, terrible, terrible news for Mary socially. However, because the news comes from God through an angel, she somehow knows that it’s not terrible news. Something great is going to happen.

And how does Mary respond? Does she respond with doubt? No, she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be as you have said.” She receives God’s blessing, speaks her own positive words of blessing over it, and then she begins to sing.

Remember, there’s power in our every word.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you so much for the example of Mary, who had such deep and abiding faith in you that she was willing to embrace a life change that almost anyone else would have rejected. I pray that I will be as open to your every blessing as was Mary was on that very important day. Amen.

Devotion: Have you ever experienced a radical life change that you could have faced with fear but instead, because of your faith in God, faced positively?.

By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor

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