THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
Luke 2:8‭-‬12‭, ‬15‭-‬17 NLT

We must be so dedicated to the cause of Christ like the shepherds, they went thru Bethlehem searching for the exact inn where Mary and Joseph were with Jesus. He is the reason for the season and we must seek to see Him in every aspect of the celebration

TRUE MEANING OF SALVATION

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].
Matthew 1:21 AMPC

We are saved when we are able to find and understand that the true end and scope of life is God! Apart from God, we are and have nothing! The totality of our life is GOD! Nothing else, nothing more!

TTHE PERHAPS PARADOX

Culled from the SUN STAND STILL Devotional by Steven Furtick

1Samuel 14:1-14

In today’’s reading the army of King Saul has been locked in a standoff against the Philistines. And Jonathan, the king’’s son, has become so aggravated with the inaction of his fellow warriors that he decides to make a bold move. He enlists his armor bearer to join him on a two-man commando raid.

His battle plan is potentially God inspired— – and a little ludicrous. The two young men will openly approach the enemy outpost. If they get a go-ahead sign from God, they will attack. A borderline suicide mission. But if God is with them, Jonathan figures, nothing can stop them.

In his motivational speech to his bodyguard, Jonathan seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth: •

– Nothing can hinder the Lord.

– Perhaps the Lord will act.

At first glance this seems like spiritual schizophrenia.

But perhaps Jonathan isn’’t schizophrenic. Perhaps true faith always feels this way. On the one hand, I know that God is able to do anything. On the other hand, I think He’’s willing to do this specific thing. I know God can. And I’’m pretty sure He will. But I can’’t be completely sure.

That’’s where audacious faith comes in.

Audacity isn’’t the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that God’s promise is bigger than my perhaps.

The Bible says that God’’s Word is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105), not a floodlight beaming to our destination. So, armed with the confidence that there’’s a decent chance and an interesting possibility that my impulse might be from God (perhaps, in other words), I start investigating.

We’’d all like to live in a world where God lets us do big things that require minimal risk. Where the voice of the Holy Spirit carries for miles and miles, piercing through static and fuzz, jeers and taunts. The fact is, though, that the land where the sun stands still is a land where promise and perhaps must coexist. Audacious faith does not eliminate doubt and fear. It eclipses their power one decision at a time. You know God’’s will by doing God’’s will.

Jonathan and his armor bearer ended up saving the day in a spectacular way. Their act of audacious faith tilted the fate of an entire nation.

Act on your “perhaps”, and see what God will do in your world.

IGNITE THE ORDINARY – DAY 2

From the SUN STANS STILL DEVOTIONAL BY STEVEN FURTICK

When you strip the biblical miracles of their spectacular special effects, a common plot point emerges: extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.

Consider Moses’’s first encounter with God.

Moses is tending the family sheep out in the nondescript countryside.

He happens to notice a bush that’’s caught fire. He walks over to take a look……

Up to this point, it’’s not exactly a riveting scene, is it?

In reality, the illustrious burning-bush encounter that seemed so captivating in Sunday school is… really…quite…ordinary. Moses is performing menial manual labor, working for his father-in-law. It’’s dusty. The sheep stink. Does it get any more mundane?

Almost all encounters with God begin that way. You may be living under the illusion that when God ignites great things in your life, He’’ll announce it with a big bang. He might. It’’s more likely that He won’’t. So stop waiting around for the big bang. Pay attention to the subtle clues and the still, small voice. Maybe you’’ll hear it this very day.

What we call a miracle is really just the right combination of your ordinary ingredients and God’’s extraordinary expertise. When God’’s super collides with your natural, sparks will fly.

God may call you to serve as an unknown youth pastor of fifteen kids in a moldy basement for a youth room and with an Atari for entertainment. Ordinary. But He may also be providing you an opportunity to pour your life into one of those teenagers who will go on to preach the gospel in a thousand places you’’ll never go.

Extraordinary.

God may lead you to stay at home with your young children, forfeiting a second income. Ordinary. But along with diapers, dishes, and naps, you receive the gift of time – —to model discipline, instill values, and speak life into your kids. They could grow up to be Joshua’s in their own generation. Extraordinary.

If God is calling you to make a big difference today, He is likely to start in a small way – —a bush that only you will notice. Will you remove your shoes, draw close, and receive your assignment? Will you give the Lord permission to ignite your ordinary? If you will, before long your faith will start carrying you to a higher level than you ever thought you could reach.

LOVE IS SIGHT

““The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said, “Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?” “Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:21-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we have the love of God ruling and reigning in our hearts, He will reveal and make manifest a Himself to us, with that illumination, we can see EVERYTHING! LOVE IS SIGHT! A LOBELESS WORL IS A SIGHTLESS WORLD!

STUDY OF PSALM 91 – 2

“For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:3-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The first thing that comes to mind is that God protects! He knows where the traps are, He knows what brings about diseases and He is willing and able to protect His own from them all without fail. God’s protection is pictured like a mother bird sheltering its baby. The baby is covered by her wing, feels her feathers, hears her heartbeat. Who can be afraid? When we have placed ourselves under God’s protection we have the same feeling of peace as this baby bird. He shelters us and we feel his presence. What can harm us? We must all place ourselves and our situation into God’s hands and trust in His ability to keep us safe. He will replace our fears with his perfect love. And then the peace of God, which surpasses our human understanding, will keep your heart and your mind through faith in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).

RUN TO GOD TODAY!

A STUDY OF PSALM 91

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The first thing that comes to mind is that we live in the shelter of the Most high, that is our dwelling place, we don’t visit there and later move on but we dwell and live there. There is a sense of permanence to the living arrangement. The shelter of God is our permanent home address!

Secondly is to find rest in His shadow, to stand in someone’s shadow you have to be close to them. So close that their shadow can fall on you and shield you from the vagaries of the weather, When you are that close to God you are protected! When you are that close to God, you know that you can trust Him. He is going no where, He is ever present, always there, always available, steadfast, sure.

Thirdly is that He is our refuge and place of safety. A refuge is defined as the state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or difficulty, a place or situation providing safety or shelter. The starting point for protection is being close to God. If you need protection today, I encourage you—don’t look out at your enemies. Don’t look around at your circumstances. Rather, get closer to God. Trust him to be your shelter and your refuge.

GOD NEVER FAILS!