Wednesday, December 31, 2014

REDEEMING the TIME... In Season and Out

+  +  + A Personal Note to Fellow Christians... 

Courtesy of BiblePictures.NET


+  +  +


CHRISTMAS is not celebrated, as is done in Western Civilization, in The Holy Scriptures. There is no feasting, gift-giving, and other celebrations recorded about the BIRTH of CHRIST JESUS. 


So... what SHOULD we be doing ? 

Although many Christians no longer keep Christmas, we have noticed one thing: 

the worldlings do !
 
We have gone for decades avoiding the Christmas traditions we all were raised with, much to the consternation of our families and some of our Christian friends.  

However, every pagan, heathen, and “good” citizen in our community  --- including the public school children ---  all celebrate Christmas Day with as much festivity as they can find and many, alas, beyond what they can afford.

Scripture instructs us:  “ Walk circumspectly, redeeming the time because the days are evil.” 

We are also instructed:  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”

As our LORD HIMSELF+ has said,  I+ must work the works of HIM that sent ME+, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”

There is simply no better time to witness at large than during the Christmas season. 

A plate of goodies accompanied by JESUS tracts and  a wonderful cd from Voice of the Martys , JESUS, HE+ Lived Among us,  goes into hearts, homes, and businesses of our acquaintances during Christmas …. because they will accept the witness at that time.


Statistics bear out the fact that there are more suicides and depression at this season of the year than at any other time.  Is not it better to issue HOPE to the ones who would be drowning their sorrows in the bottle or drowning their bodies in the sea, out of despair?

Would it not be better to utilize this season of raw emotion to point them how to come OUT of the sea of lies ? 


What better time to issue the Royal Invitation that there IS INDEED ONE+ Who+ loves you, ONE+ Who+ cares that you are lonely and hurting, ONE+ Who+ will make a “home” for you ?

 
We have been able to place JESUS-tracts inside some very dark homes and hearts by this method, all places that would not normally receive an open witness. Children are especially open to the Gospel message at this season and the elderly are always touched by an act of kindness.


One church we know of urges its congregation to do UNEXPECTED acts of kindness during this INCARNATION Season, as they go about their errands. So they do things such as buy lunch for the fellow behind them in the fast-food drive-in, on a work day, IN THE NAME OF CHRIST JESUS.   

How effective that is ! The fast-food worker receives the witness as well as the unknown stranger in the car behind ! 


So, in all this,  do we promote "keeping of Christmas" and its traditions to the un-saved ? 


NO.. by all means, NO !  

We pick JESUS-tracts that talk about repentance, the need to be saved, the dead-end street of following sin, flesh, and the devil. These tracts invite the readers to JESUS. 


Ourselves, we consent to remember only one thing:  His+ Coming, His+ INCARNATION.  

Because...  if our LORD JESUS had not humbled HIMSELF+ to be robed in human flesh and come in the likeness of man, not ONE of us human beings could have been saved. HE+ had to come! 

Even the serious Christmas hymns, like Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All ye Faithful, and some others, give the Gospel message in a nutshell. 

This we all know and agree with, I’m sure.

Scripture only gives us a peek at the season in which HE+ came: at the time of Roman taxation after the fall harvest of crops. 

Shepherds were still in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night. It seems reasonable to think SOMETHING happened in the last month of the year, either the Conception of the HOLY BABE+ or HIS+ Birth. 


The exact date, however, is ... ALTHOUGH PRECISE ... is not necessary for us to know.    

We agree that The LORD is precise as to the prophetic timing of His+ breaking into human history as the SON+ of Man, but HE has not deemed it necessary to inform us of that precise time, like HE did with the certainty of PASCHA / Resurrection .


In addition, it certainly is in keeping with Scriptures to offer adoration of the CHRIST at His+ birth: the Holy Angels of GOD did it, proclaiming loudly to the shepherds; the shepherds themselves did, hastening to the stable to look with  awe upon their MESSIAH come in the flesh. 

Even up to child-hood, we see the Wise men from the East who not only came to worship the young child JESUS, KING+ of the Jews but also offered HIM+ gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as we all well know.

Because we --- from a distance of 2,000 years away from HIS+ first Advent ---  are so far removed from the actual event, it can be FRUITFUL in CHRIST to offer HIM+ our adoration in awe of what HE+ did, coming as a helpless Baby into this hurtful world. 

It seems fitting, during this season, to offer HIM+ thanksgiving for descending to take on the robe  of Adamic flesh. There is NO OTHER remembrance of the INCARNATION of CHRIST become flesh in the Christian calendar.

It is a blessed season to use 
our gold, frankincense,and myrrh as GIFTS 
for those who do not know HIM+, 
that they might be drawn 
to this HUMBLE JESUS 
Whom+ we love and serve.

Now, I will not argue with anyone either for or against “keeping” Christmas: let every man walk in his convictions in this matter, for whatsoever is not of faith is SIN.

As it is written:

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the LORD; 

and he that regardeth not the day, to the LORD he doth not regard it. 

He that eateth, eateth to the LORD, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the LORD he eateth not, and giveth GOD thanks

This is simply to share with you how we redeem the time, how we share CHRIST and HIM+ crucified, in season and out. 

Yes, the satan has snatched the INCARNATION of CHRIST away from its rightful owners and drowned it in worldliness.  

Are we able to look above

the tawdry and mundane worldly celebrations 

and snatch the MOMENT… 

redeeming the time, 

because the days are evil… 

and darkness is coming, 

in which NO MAN can work? 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

JESUS is Enough...

CHRISTMASTIDE   MEDITATION



JESUS   IS   ENOUGH ?

Yes, JESUS is enough. HE+ is sufficient for every need, at every hour, at every place on planet earth.

That is why HE+  became INCARNATE, at some point in time on planet earth, about 2000 years ago. 

Let's start with the tormenting spirit called "rejection," adapted from: PRAYERS, Christian Word Ministries, 428 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 40503, www.christianword.org, edition 7, year: unknown.  This prayer book of spiritual warfare prayers may be downloaded freely, according to the introduction written in this book.   ALSO: Instead of "me" , you may insert some other person's name.  

JESUS CHRIST, the Incarnated SAVIOR, is more than enough to handle any tormenting spirit called "rejection" from afflicting any person covered by the Blood of the LAMB+ of GOD.

Let us pray: 

Strongman, called SPIRIT of Rejection, in the Name of JESUS CHRIST WHO+ came in the flesh, I bind you along with all of your 
  • works, 
  • roots, 
  • fruits, 
  • tentacles, 
  • links, 
  • spirits, 
  • lies, 
  • deceptions, 
  • torments, 
  • and demands
that are operating in my life along with all of your spirits of  
  •  rejection BY others
  • rejection OF others
  • self-rejection
  • rejection of  GOD
And I cast you out of me along with all of your works, roots, fruits, tentacles, links, spirits, lies, deceptions, torments, and demands, 

and I loose you from me and force you to leave me , according to the Will of The LORD JESUS CHRIST and by all the authority HE+ grants me through His+ Blood. 

And by the Authority of The Name of JESUS and the Authority in His+ BLOOD I declare, O strongman, spirit of rejection, that all your works are DEAD WORKS in my life and can operate no longer, because I belong to JESUS now. 

I loose you from me and command you to go wherever JESUS CHRIST sends you; I command you in His+ Name, by the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST, and under His+ authority, not to come back into my presence again. 

I ask, O Heavenly FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, that you would send the Spirit of Adoption to me now, according to Romans 8:15.   Amen.
  
ROMANS 8  Courtesy of www.biblegateway.com

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.


28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.


31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.


35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.


38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.





Saturday, December 27, 2014

HE+ 's Coming ! HE+ 's Coming !

 Christmastide Meditation

Nativity and St. Jerome's Cave




Oh My+ Children! How often would I+ have gathered ye under My+ wings, but ye would not.  You wanted nothing to do with My+ ways, My+ values, but rather have chosen the world. 

With the world , then, you shall go. 

Have I+ not told you to FORSAKE the ways of the world and come and be full time for My+ Kingdom?  To spend your days full time WITH ME+ ... and ye would not ? 

Have I+ not told you to make NO PROVISION for the flesh... but instead, ye have made plenty... to live a life-style far above My+ Presence ? 

Have I+ joy in half-step obedience ? Have I+ joy in your following the example of other "good Christians" ... yet not following MY+ Example ? 

I+ had no pillow for My+ head; you have several. 
I+ had no animal to ride; you have two vehicles. 
I+ had no silver or gold; ye have both. 


FOCUS your heart upon ME+, 
not upon things of this world. 

Lay up, lay up for yourselves TREASURES IN HEAVEN; no moth nor man can steal those. Your treasures in Heaven, committed unto ME+ will give you the best return of any investment you could make in the Mammon fields.

For Mammon is about to fail. 

All will fall with it, whose hand is upon it.  

Mammon will not keep you;

 I+ will. 

And I+ say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. Luke 16:9


Invest your treasures in Heaven; divest your keepings for the Eternal Habitations. You cannot out-give ME+. 

Be prepared for My+ Coming. 

Few were prepared for my first Advent. Fewer still are prepared for My+ second. Hide yourself in ME+. Learn to live by My+ Voice. I+ will direct you. 

Prepare for My+ Coming. It will be soon... sooner than you think. 

O My+ children... My+ children !


Friday, December 26, 2014

Who Came to Visit ?

EYES on the INCARNATION
Christmas Meditation 




Who came to visit 
at your house, today ?


Did ... one, even one ... of the lame, the lost, the meek, the shunned eat at your festive table today  ? 

If not ...  why not ? 


Who received packages, 
to honor The KING+


Was it ... one, even one ...  of the poor, who could make no return, or the homeless... a bit dirty, perhaps ? 

If not... why not?


Who felt the love of JESUS 
at your house today?

Were the un-loved, the lonely, the sad and sorrowing invited into the warmth of His+ heart .... at your house.... today ?  

If not... why not ? 


Our SAVIOR never commanded a remembrance of His+ birth... as lowly and lovely as it was, recorded in Scriptures. 

HE+ did instruct us to receive HIM+, though, through the lowly ones on the earth. 


JESUS said...  

When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Verily I+ say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My+ brethren, ye have done it unto ME+. 


Did JESUS choose to visit 

at your house today ? 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Yea, LORD, We Greet THEE+ !



O COME, LET US ADORE HIM+ !


NATIVITY AND ST. JEROME'S CAVE


Yea, LORD, we greet THEE+

born this*** happy morning, 

JESUS , to  THEE+ be all glory given. 

WORD+ of The FATHER, 

now in flesh appearing

O COME LET US ADORE HIM+ !

O COME LET US ADORE HIM+ !

O COME LET US ADORE HIM+ ,

CHRIST the LORD !

+  +  +

CHILD+ , for us sinners,

poor and in the manger,

we would embrace THEE+ 

with love and awe. 

Who would not love THEE+ , 
loving us so dearly ?

O COME LET US ADORE HIM+ !

O COME LET US ADORE HIM+ !

O COME LET US ADORE HIM+ ,

CHRIST the LORD !


[*** Please Note: Man does not know the exact date of the birth of The LORD JESUS, although many good guesses and arguments have been established.  We are only given a "season" in the Scriptures and the facts of 1) shepherds were watching in the fields at night , and 2) it was at the time of the Roman taxation. We are given no instructions whatsoever about "celebrating" the birth of JESUS; His+ death is to be remembered, according to Scripture.

So during the INCARNATION season, we remember for WHAT purpose HE+ became INCARNATE:  for the suffering of death. 

Both Western and Eastern branches of Christianity have arbitrarily agreed on Dec. 25 for whatever reasons, only the Eastern Christians follow the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. So it all makes for confusion !  

The IMPORTANT thing is to recognize that Our LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Eternal WORD+ of The FATHER,  was made INCARNATE at one point in time, about 2000 years ago, and that was for the suffering of death.

HE+ entered into time in order to rescue the Adamic race from the grip of satan, the father of lies. HE+ became our CHRISTUS VICTOR and triumphed over death, hell, and the grave ... crushing the head of satan who had bruised HIS+ heel. 

So we here at the Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD+  focus on the FACT of the INCARNATION and join with Christians who rejoice over His+ Coming in the likeness of Adamic flesh ~  regardless of "when" it chronologically occurred. ]


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where Do I Find HIM+ ?

CHRISTMAS EVE.... AWAITING THE ADVENT 

www.pravoslavie.ru
Christmas Eve

Where do I find HIM+ ?

Come to the stable in Bethlehem, kneel down at the manger and await the coming Babe.

Are you despised? HE+ was despised… and rejected of men.

Are you Lonely?  HE+ came unto His+ own… and His+ own received HIM+ not.

Are you afraid ? The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? … For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.


Is your Life meaningless?   

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Are you tired and sorrowing?  

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake

Is the situation hopeless?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 +  +  +

Hasten!  Come to the Stable in the night.

Kneel at the Manger in the shadow of Light.

Open your heart to the Babe at His+ Appearing.

HE+ is little and helpless, too, so softly appealing.

HE+ brings His+ FATHER’S love to you, 
if your heart to HIM+ be true.

Come unto ME+, 
HE+ says, 
and I+ will give you rest… 
I+ alone.