This Week's Pastor's Corner

Pastor's Corner is a weekly devotional and encouragement that is posted each week. 

Check back each week for the latest posting. You'll be blessed and encouraged! 

December 10, 2017 
 

 

The Christmas Season is upon us and Christmas Day will be here soon. People are already very busy making preparations for Christmas. I was thinking about Christmas as I prepared this week’s Pastor's Corner. The Christmas story begins with a tree, but not the kind of Christmas tree with colored lights or ornaments. The Christmas story begins with a tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2:9 we read, “And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (NKJV)  Think about it - God had given Adam only one restriction in that paradise, and that was that he they could not eat from that tree. But before long, that’s just where we find them. Isn’t that just like people - always thinking they want what the Lord says “no” to? Of course, we know the rest of the story. They listened to the serpent and ate the forbidden fruit. And once that happened, they lost their fellowship with God and sin entered the world. Then a few verses later, we come to the first Christmas verse in the Bible, where God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” This is where the line was drawn so to speak because the devil knew this Messiah would come--and that He would come from the Jewish people. So he tried to stop that from taking place. And as we look at the Christmas story, it doesn’t begin in Matthew or Luke. It begins in the Old Testament. Before there was a world, before there were planets, before there was light and darkness, before there was anything but the Godhead, there was Jesus. He was with God. He was God. Jesus Christ became human without ceasing to be God. He did not become identical to us, but He became identified with us. The real message of Christmas is that God came to this earth. The real message of Christmas is Immanuel, God is with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

As I sat to write this week’s Pastor's Corner, I thought about some of the things we are learning in the Sunday evening study and in relation to the times we are living in. in Luke 9:23 we read the words of Jesus when He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.” Notice that it is something we are to do each day - and many times it is multiple times throughout the day. I was reminded of

 

Jesus words in Matthew 4:4 when He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ He was referring to Deuteronomy 8:3. As I thought about all this, I remembered when we were on some airline flights. Have you ever noticed that most people don’t pay much attention to flight attendants as they go over the emergency procedures at the beginning of a flight? I probably don’t do this as well as I could because I’ve heard it before.  But if while in flight what if there was a sudden noise outside and smoke coming from an engine? Then a flight attendant

 

suddenly steps forward and announces over the intercom, “Ladies and

 

gentlemen, we must make an emergency landing. We will be reviewing the emergency procedures with you once again. Please listen carefully.” I am sure I would wake up if I was asleep or put down what I was reading, find the emergency exits and pay attention for one simple reason: my life and Susie’s life depends on it. When it comes to the Word of God, we need to pay careful attention as well because our spiritual lives depend on it. Simply listening to the teaching of Jesus doesn’t make you a disciple. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, then you must continue in God’s Word. Do you read the Bible every day and spend time with the Author? It is important because your Christian life depends on how much of the Bible you get into your heart and mind on a daily basis and how obedient you are to it. If you have a deficiency of the Bible in your spiritual diet, then you’ll wither spiritually. But if you have a regular diet of the Word of God on a daily basis, it will help you be spiritually strong.

 

 

 

As I sat to write this week’s Pastor's Corner, I thought about some of the things we are learning in the Sunday evening study and in relation to the times we are living in. in Luke 9:23 we read the words of Jesus when He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.” Notice that it is something we are to do each day - and many times it is multiple times throughout the day. I was reminded of

 

Jesus words in Matthew 4:4 when He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ He was referring to Deuteronomy 8:3. As I thought about all this, I remembered when we were on some airline flights. Have you ever noticed that most people don’t pay much attention to flight attendants as they go over the emergency procedures at the beginning of a flight? I probably don’t do this as well as I could because I’ve heard it before.  But if while in flight what if there was a sudden noise outside and smoke coming from an engine? Then a flight attendant

 

suddenly steps forward and announces over the intercom, “Ladies and

 

gentlemen, we must make an emergency landing. We will be reviewing the emergency procedures with you once again. Please listen carefully.” I am sure I would wake up if I was asleep or put down what I was reading, find the emergency exits and pay attention for one simple reason: my life and Susie’s life depends on it. When it comes to the Word of God, we need to pay careful attention as well because our spiritual lives depend on it. Simply listening to the teaching of Jesus doesn’t make you a disciple. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, then you must continue in God’s Word. Do you read the Bible every day and spend time with the Author? It is important because your Christian life depends on how much of the Bible you get into your heart and mind on a daily basis and how obedient you are to it. If you have a deficiency of the Bible in your spiritual diet, then you’ll wither spiritually. But if you have a regular diet of the Word of God on a daily basis, it will help you be spiritually strong.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

I was thinking about Flag Day being this Tuesday and that the American flag represents freedom. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV).  Satan wants to put blinders over your eyes so that you cannot see who you really are in Christ, and the only thing that can

 

remove Satan’s blinders and break the chains of bondage is truth. So many people - even God’s people - deal with unforgiveness. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colosse, “…forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (NKJV) This is telling us that forgiveness is not an option. The Living Bible puts it this way: “Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t been wronged at some time in their life. Regardless of what caused the wrong, we have a choice when that happens. We can either let the wrong

 

that was done against us cause us to sit down and wallow in pity, or we can choose to get up, dust ourselves off, forgive, and keep going. Forgiveness is a choice, and it’s never too late to make the right choice. Forgiveness has to happen before the healing process from those hurts can begin. One thing is for sure and that is that you cannot expect any significant growth in your life until you release yourself from the effects of the wrong that was committed against you. Give it all to God: the anger, the resentment, the hurt, the shame, the guilt—and whatever else it is that has kept you an emotional prisoner of the past. You can be free beginning today. You do not have to suffer the rest of your life for your own past mistakes or the mistakes of others. What happened in your past does not have to define your future. God is in the business of restoration, and He will restore all you have lost if you will seek Him and believe His Word. Choose today to forgive—not only others, but yourself as well. God is not hiding truth from you. He has hidden it for you in His Word—all the way from Genesis through Revelation. If you are hungry enough for freedom, then you’ll get into God’s Word. The more of the truth of God’s Word you know, the more free you will become.

 

 

 

 

 

I was thinking about Flag Day being this Tuesday and that the American flag represents freedom. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (NKJV).  Satan wants to put blinders over your eyes so that you cannot see who you really are in Christ, and the only thing that can

 

remove Satan’s blinders and break the chains of bondage is truth. So many people - even God’s people - deal with unforgiveness. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colosse, “…forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (NKJV) This is telling us that forgiveness is not an option. The Living Bible puts it this way: “Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t been wronged at some time in their life. Regardless of what caused the wrong, we have a choice when that happens. We can either let the wrong

 

that was done against us cause us to sit down and wallow in pity, or we can choose to get up, dust ourselves off, forgive, and keep going. Forgiveness is a choice, and it’s never too late to make the right choice. Forgiveness has to happen before the healing process from those hurts can begin. One thing is for sure and that is that you cannot expect any significant growth in your life until you release yourself from the effects of the wrong that was committed against you. Give it all to God: the anger, the resentment, the hurt, the shame, the guilt—and whatever else it is that has kept you an emotional prisoner of the past. You can be free beginning today. You do not have to suffer the rest of your life for your own past mistakes or the mistakes of others. What happened in your past does not have to define your future. God is in the business of restoration, and He will restore all you have lost if you will seek Him and believe His Word. Choose today to forgive—not only others, but yourself as well. God is not hiding truth from you. He has hidden it for you in His Word—all the way from Genesis through Revelation. If you are hungry enough for freedom, then you’ll get into God’s Word. The more of the truth of God’s Word you know, the more free you will become.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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