Posts Tagged ‘Celebration’


John 1:1-18 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,[and nothing that was created was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything] and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

Considering the time of the year this is being written (December), I have studied the birth of Christ from the two gospels that record it, Matthew and Luke and it would have been proper to focus on those passages but as you can see above, the passage I used is from John. Being a chronological thinker, I like to put things in perspective and this passage in John seemed to help put the first block in place of Jesus’ birth.

The birth of Jesus was a significant event at that time when it occurred and there was much that happened in and around His arrival. However, from reading this passage, it makes me wonder if we are right in saying Jesus was ‘born’ because He pre-existed before anything was ever created. This was merely Him taking human form to relate to us but He most definitely was not a new creation placed in the middle of humanity as an afterthought to save humanity.

John starts his gospel by stating that the word existed before everything, it was God and it was with God. He then gives the word personality by using the term ‘he’ (verse 2) and we see it transpose itself into a person, the person who created everything, gave life to everything and gave light to everyone. This person is the person of Jesus Christ who He came into the world He created (verse 10) by taking on human flesh and lived among us (verse 14) to reveal God’s glory.

Jesus’s life brought light to everyone and this light shines in the darkness, therefore dissipating it. Is it not interesting that darkness is the lack of light and only comes into existence when light is put out? Jesus in his later years on earth in human form dealt with evil doers by revealing the darkness in their hearts and they could either respond by receiving His correction or running away from it. Light always reveals things shrouded in darkness and so Jesus’ life brings the truth out in our dark world.

As we draw near to the day many Christians chose to celebrate Jesus’ birth, December 25th, let us now dwell on whether we got the date right or if we should be celebrating his birthday on one day or everyday but instead let us use this opportunity to receive the Word of God into our lives so that He can reveal the darkness in our lives and give us a way to be reconciled with His father so that we may have life and life eternal.

If you want a sense of the power or worth of this Word of God, read the passages below:

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. Psalm 33:6 (NLT)

He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Psalm 107:20 (NLT)

Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws. Psalm 147:18 (NLT)

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

The Word of God is true (Psalm 33:4; John 17:17), it is flawless (2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 30:5), it is infallible (1 King 8:56; 2King 10:10; Psalm 103:20), it is obeyed by angels and it is eternal (Psalm 119:89,152; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 119:103), it is sweet and delightful (Psalm 138:2), it is exalted above all things (Isaiah 45:23), it is irrevocable (Ephesians 6:17), it is the sword of the Spirit (2 Titus 2:9), it is not chained (Hebrews 4:12), it is living and active (1 Peter 1:23) and It is living and enduring.

There is so much more we can study on the Word and I hope today’s passage has inspired you to seek Jesus Christ who came to live among us and die for us so that we might have the opportunity to be reconciled with His father and be called children of God and have an eternal inheritance no one can ever take away.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

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Leviticus 23:1-3,5-6,10,15-16,23-24,27,34 The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD… The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast…. “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest… “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD… The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts… “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD… “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.

Seven seems to be a number that God likes or so it seems from the number of sevens mentioned in the Bible. Here it is the seven festivals the Israelites were commanded to observe.

So many forced breaks certainly would’ve made employers/businesses wonder how they could achieve productivity and so is this just a concept of the ancient past? (more…)


Exodus 31:1-6,12-13,16-17 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you… Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy… The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.’”

How beautiful is it when God reveals His desires for us? After God described the beautiful dwelling place He will live in to be with His people, He reveals that the materials are provided to the Israelites, as are the skills and the calling.

God certainly has shown total and perfect control in all He does and He has a beautiful way of using His people to achieve His objective. What then happens to great men like Moses and what is this about the Sabbath?

One great challenge we face as humans is our pride. Pride has served as a great stumbling block to many in their walk and continues to be among the greatest battles we face daily.

We today deal with challenges such as lack of self-confidence, low morale, poor esteem, low self-worth, etc. as issues that affect our personality and we try to work hard against it.

Children are taught from a young age to take charge, be leaders, be individual and confident in their presentations, we reaffirm them, motivate and inspire them, etc. to help them work away from the issues of low self-esteem.

With God, things seem to be very different. First God chooses a man who stammered, who had no face among the Egyptians or Israelites because he murdered and ran away, who was just a shepherd tending flocks and lived under the grace of his father in law Jethro.

Moses was that man and God used him to accomplish the great task of shaming the great Egyptians and freeing the Israelites from 430 years of bondage and slavery, all without an army or wealth or physical strength.

As Moses leads this great nation of over two million people across the sands of the desert to the promised land, God then establishes other men from among the nation to take up other responsibilities.

Clearly God is not in the process of making one man superstars but rather works on using each of His chosen ones to do His work when they are willing and ready.

When we are transformed by God’s love, we are each called to serve God and some may be called to be the face while others may be called behind the scenes but no single person’s role makes them any less important to God.

Further, God makes it clear to the Israelites that they were to keep the Sabbath without fail and the consequence of not keeping it was death! Seems a bit stiff as an expectation, you might wonder.

When we contrast those words of God to the words and actions of Christ in the 4 gospels, you are left shocked as were the Jews of Jesus’ day because we see that our understanding of God’s words are not complete and Jesus reveals the meaning and purpose of God’s word.

Read these passages from the gospels and think about Jesus’ response: Matthew 12:1-16; Mark 3:2; Luke 6:1-5; Luke 13:10-17; John 6:2-18; John 7:23.

On the sabbath day, Jesus healed people and ate grain from the fields and this stirred up the keepers of the law who lived by this commandment in Exodus 31:16-17 and Deuteronomy 5:14.

Jesus responded to them asking them how they felt about David’s actions when he and his companions were hungry and went into the temple and ate the consecrated bread. It was unlawful for them but not for the priests.

Furthermore, priests work on the sabbath day and that is certainly unlawful as per the law, yet they are considered innocent. The problem here was not the action but that God desired mercy, not sacrifice.

Sabbath was the day of rest from regular work but it is a day to celebrate God’s goodness to us. We are called to spend the day worshipping God. No law must be understood so as to contradict itself. Jesus Christ is the Lord of the sabbath and the day is to be dedicated to Him for His glory.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Exodus 15:1-3,20-21,25-26 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name… Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea”… Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

The song of a victorious people is joyful indeed but this song takes on much more significance because it celebrates the one who freed them from slavery and delivered them in such a dramatic and powerful way. Add to that Miriam’s song with the Israelite women and we can see a real joyful celebration indeed.

Two million plus people celebrating God surely was a sight but is it not amazing that in three days time, they were back to complaining!!! Is this a representation of us today or just evidence of 430 years of hardships echoed? (more…)