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Tag Archives: Luke

  • He Is Alive

    Posted on March 31, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again”’ Then they remembered his words” (Luke 24:5–8).

     

    He is alive and I am forgiven and my soul has been set free. He is alive and I am forgiven and my joy I cannot contain. He is alive and I am forgiven and my faith is here to stay. He is alive and I am forgiven and my love flows deep and wide. He is alive and I am forgiven because He did what He promised—He arose after three days. He is alive! He is alive! He is alive!

     

    What emotions did the friends and disciples of Jesus feel when they realized He was real? Certainly they were surprised by the joy of knowing Jesus was back, even larger than in life. Even though they had watched Him raise Lazarus after four days of death, their faith had forgotten. But now they were glad again because God raised His Son to life.

     

    If you look for Jesus among the dead you will not find Him. He has left the cold cemetery and risen to be with the warm love of His Father. Dead churches cannot claim the calming presence of Christ because they have forsaken the faith required to recognize Him. Look for the Lord among the living, those who live out their faith with bold grace.

     

    Remember the words of Jesus, and your faith will resound with reassurance. “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18). You serve a risen Savior who lives in your life by faith. Take Him at His Word, and joy will fill your innermost being as you celebrate His appearance almost two thousand years ago. Enjoy Jesus, anticipating your Lord’s second return.

     

    “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).

     

    Prayer: How can I reassure my faith with the reality of a risen Savior? Where are the places I can find Christ among the living? What words of Jesus do I need to constantly remember?

     

    Related Readings: Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Peter 3:18

     

    Post/Tweet: Look for the Lord among the living, those who live out their faith with grace and transforming truth. #amongtheliving

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Easter

  • Shameless Audacious Prayers

    Posted on March 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Luke 11:8

    Sometimes our prayers are too pretty and too pious. They become a work of art instead of a work that conforms our heart to Christ. We can pretend things are better than they are and we can lack a sense of urgency with matters that mean the most to our Heavenly Father. He wants our prayers to persistently punctate heaven for help, for wisdom, for the least, the lost and for those who need His healing. Indeed, our big God wants us to offer up big bold prayers with shameless audacity.

    Men and women tire of our requests, but not the Lord. He is ever vigilant to take our weary requests and revitalize them with His robust resources. Jesus is the Master of the Universe in meeting needs that seem to be a nuisance to the naked eye. He longs for His children to linger long in importunity for other needy friends. When prayer flows from an unfeigned faith, what man says is annoyance the Spirit commends as shameless audacity. Bold prayers breakthrough!

    So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. Ezra 8:23

     

    Moreover, you can be an aggressive advocate for others, because you have a generous advocate in Jesus Christ. Your advocacy for those stuck in adversity grabs God’s heart. Perhaps a portion of your prayer time is to lift the downtrodden to the Lord. Your heart will follow, as it seeks provision for your petitions. Also, pray for creative ways for your house to become a haven for those who need a safe place to stay. Your warm home will warm hearts to Christ’s heart.

    Shameless audacious prayers are the product of a broken and contrite heart. The more the Lord has of you, the more you will want of Him. The world brands foolish what God calls wise. Thus, don’t let go of dreams and visions that raise the stakes of your commitment to your Savior Jesus. He gave His all for you, so that you can give your all for Him! Lastly, pray bold prayers with other shameless servants of Christ. He answers prayers produced during intimate encounters.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:31

    Prayer: Heavenly Father,  I will pray shameless, audacious prayers on behalf of others.

    Related Readings: Job 42:10; Psalm 34:6; Isaiah 62:6-7; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Philemon 1:22

    Post/Tweet today: The more the Lord has of you, the more you will want of Him. #surrender

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Prayer

  • Care For Strangers

    Posted on March 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, The one who had mercy on him. Jesus told him, Go and do likewise. Luke 10:36-37

    Who is our neighbor? Jesus says our neighbors are those we meet who are in need, especially the needy who are outcasts. Religious people may ignore a suffering race indifferently,  or label a lifestyle as repulsive, but Jesus sees them with compassion. The individuals Jesus spent most of His time loving are the ones who were marginalized by those who felt spiritually superior. Ironically, the “Good Samaritan” loved someone who may not have done the same for him.

    Furthermore, when we take time to care for those much different from ourselves,we model the love of Christ. It is easy to love those like us, but more difficult to love those from a diverse culture. We do risk rejection from religious people too busy with programs that care only for their own kind. They reason, “We don’t have the time, money or interest to care for those of a different culture, while our people still have needs.” However, love looks beyond its own and offers care!

    If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. Luke 6:32

     

    Racism is a raw nerve that requires intentional investment by those of us with influence. We all have opportunities to accept those who have been rejected and bring healing to those who have been hurt. Yes, those who have been robbed of equal rights need us to make things right through education, legislation and jobs. However, the quiet generosity and engagement of Jesus followers is the most effective in affecting society for good. The sufferings of those trapped in generational cycles of cynicism desperately need our compassion. Christians are called to care for strangers.

     

    Who in your life is beat down by their circumstances and needs you to lift them up? Who can you search out that has been robbed of their rights, that you can stand in as their advocate for justice? Perhaps for a season your generosity will give hope to someone who faces temporary setbacks. It may require you to get your hands dirty in dealing with their issues, because relationships are messy and complicated. Care for  strangers can lead them to love Christ, the ultimate caregiver!

     

    I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. Job 29:16

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a heart of courage to care for those different from me, who are in desperate need.

    Related Readings: Leviticus 25:35; Job 31:32; Matthew 25:35-44; Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:5

    Post/Tweet today: The quiet generosity and engagement of Jesus followers is the most effective in affecting society for good. #involved

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke

  • Active For God

    Posted on March 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them. Luke 8:16-18

    Dormant disciples lose the Lord’s favor and are a dim reflection of what they were and what they could have become. However, those active for God burn brightly for Him. There is no shame of their service in the Kingdom of Heaven, only the desire to remain a faithful steward with God’s blessings. In their home their light of love and forgiveness outshines the dark side of selfish agendas and angry reactions. Those active for God at their work support others in their work.

    Are you active for God or has the agenda of others consumed your activities? Inactivity in the eternal is the outcome of over activity in the temporal. Yes, we are wise to guard our calendars from overcommitment to good causes, but not God’s best. Do our children have to be constantly on the go, or can they learn to do one thing extremely well for Christ? Yes, be active for Jesus by engaging everyone, everyday with encouraging words and kind deeds. Be an extravagant giver!

    You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. James 2:24

    Have you dedicated your talents, gifts and abilities to the Almighty? When you lay your life at the altar of God the fire of the Holy Spirit falls fresh on your faith. Like a bonfire of bold belief, the world takes notice when your life, ignited by the Lord, burns brightly. Your platform at work is a natural place to express God’s supernatural grace in your relations with coworkers. Your faith in Christ is not to be concealed, but revealed by your righteous acts and your life giving words.

    Lastly, listen intently during  your intimate times with the Lord. Do what He says and do it quickly. Obedience delayed is disobedience. He takes from inactive and indifferent followers and gives in abundance to active and engaged followers. The Holy Spirit directs moving objects, so move out under His leadership. Adjust as you go and watch the Lord use you as a loving light for Him!

    The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I lay my life on Your altar, ignite my faith with Your Spirit’s power!

    Related Readings: 2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 89:15; Proverbs 20:27; Acts 13:47; Revelation 22:5

    Post/Tweet today: Inactivity in the eternal is the outcome of over activity in the temporal. #eternalrewards

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke

  • A Greater Forgiveness

    Posted on March 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more? Luke 7:41-42
    There is a greater forgiveness that accompanies greater sins. The generous grace of God covers the multiple sins of an adult reprobate, as fully as He forgives a sinful child raised in church. However, the Lord’s greater forgiveness invites a greater gratitude. Forgiveness that is fresh on the mind thinks of ways to show love and appreciation. A grateful Christ follower rushes to give good, even expensive gifts to God. Public appreciation flows from a personal transformation.
    Those who become too familiar with their faith can forget the generous grace of God. One sin condemns us to hell, but one act of faith in Jesus delivers us to heaven, now and forevermore. Glory to God; whether it's our extravagant sins or our modest sins we are forgiven by the lavish love of the Lord! Therefore, there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Yes, our gratitude toward God keeps the greater forgiveness of God at the forefront of our faith.
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
    Moreover, make a big deal out of your forgiveness from your Heavenly Father. Celebrate your conversion by publicly illustrating your life change with baptism. Come out of the closet for Christ and He will bless your boldness. He died publicly for your sins, so you could publicly confess your sins. Encourage those in your community who have recently left much of the world’s trappings behind to follow Jesus. Invite them to study the Bible and serve with you.
    Gratitude to God is unashamed to show love for God. Perhaps you share something expensive with someone who loves the Lord and in the process you honor the Lord. You give back to Jesus, not to pay back Jesus, but to worship Him, so others might follow Him. Gifts to God are an opportunity to get people to God. Yes, your love for the Lord leads those you influence to love the Lord. Be generous with those around you, so they’ll desire intimacy with your generous God!
    But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your greater forgiveness that motivates my greater love!
    Related Readings: Jonah 2:9; Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philemon 1:18-19; 1 John 2:15-17
    Post/Tweet today: We give back to Jesus, not to pay back Jesus, but to worship Him, so others might follow Him. #generousgiving

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry
    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Forgiveness

  • Hot For God

    Posted on December 31, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

     

    Institutions of God can lose their intimacy for God. Like the marble floor of a stoic cathedral, the culture of a once vibrant ministry can become cold and hard. Indeed, Christ calls out His church to make a clear commitment to His commands and not waffle like a reluctant bride or groom at the altar. A community of faith fossilizes for a lack of faithfulness to the tenets of the truth. Lukewarm disciples are repulsive to the Lord. 

    Is your faith on fire or is it simmering under the influence of sin? There is no room for neutrality toward religion rooted in Christ. Are you for Him or against Him? Apathy is a vote against Him. Passivity to prayer and public worship is lukewarm leadership for your home. Thus, use the beginning of the new year to attend church with your family. Join a friend in a year long Bible reading plan and/or sign up for a mission to serve the poor.

    “This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side [Jesus’], you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.” Luke 11:23, The Message

    The world wants us to make everyone happy, but how can we at the expense of disappointing our heavenly Father. Companions who cool our commitment to Christ are not wise to be around. It is our red hot heart of righteousness that needs to rub off on those unsure of their salvation. Our humility and compassionate care are like kerosene to another’s flickering flame of faith. Our combustible love explodes another’s faith in God.

    Therefore, come out of the closet with your commitment to Christ. Do not be ashamed of the gospel, but instead proclaim it. Because you have been given so much--you can give much! Be bold in your faith without being obnoxious. The cross of Christ carries its own offense without any added judgments. Look to your heavenly Father to fuel your faith and to the Holy Spirit to ignite it. Burn hot and bright for God’s son Jesus Christ!

    “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, create in me a hot heart for what is important to You.

    Related Readings: Joshua 24:15; Psalm 119:113; Matthew 6:24; Romans 12:11

    Post/Tweet today: There is no room for neutrality toward religion rooted in Christ. #bold

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Revelation, 1 Kings

  • Love Listens

    Posted on December 27, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Mark 9:7

     

    A heart full of love listens first to the Lord. There is a humility that remembers God created two ears and one mouth for a reason. The tongue, untempered by love, is a prime target for the tempter, Satan himself. However, love longs to listen and understand what Christ says, before making conversation. Words incubated in a heart of love have a positive affect on hearers. Love listens to Jesus before jumping to judgment. 

    We need the words of our heavenly Father to work out our wrong thinking, before we share potentially abrasive words. For example, we pause during family conflict to contemplate Christ’s teaching to be peacemakers. We become a voice of reason and patience where angry words have broken trust and erased respect. We listen to both sides and then offer solutions based on forgiveness and an ongoing process of godly counsel.

    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27

    Furthermore, listen to others even when you don’t feel you are being heard. Your patient love does not have to make its point, because listening to and understanding the other person’s viewpoint is more important. As you lovingly listen you learn, from friends and enemies alike. Your quieted spirit becomes a student of anyone you meet. Perhaps you learn kindness from a cashier or acceptance from a greeter. Love listens and learns.

    Love is slow to speak and quick to listen. It doesn’t seek to impress people with its smart and clever speech. Instead, it carries a conversation with emotional comfort and caring words. You are most comfortable in your own skin when your goal is to first listen to the Lord and then His precious children. Lovingly listen, some will invite your influence into their life. Consecrate your conversations to Christ and He will speak.

    “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to lovingly listen to You and Your children.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 30:20; Isaiah 55:3; Proverbs 10:19; James 1:19, 2:5

    Post/Tweet today
    : Consecrate your conversations to Christ and He will speak. #listen

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Mark, Hebrews

  • Remembering

    Posted on December 26, 2012 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Reed

    "Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old." Psalm 25:6 (NIV)

    I sometimes struggle to see how God's Word applies to me and my life. Especially when I've been waiting a long time for some prayers to be answered. For hearts of loved ones to fully turn to Jesus. For manna to rain from heaven.

    The funny thing about waiting is it can be all-consuming. It inhales my attention, chews my focus and swallows my thoughts, leaving me in a place of uncertainty and doubt. I forget God's power to fulfill my hopes for prayers answered. Its then, when I can't see how He's going to bring things to pass, I have to rely on His faithfulness in the past.

    Remembering God's faithfulness in other's lives in Scripture, reminds us of His faithfulness in our own.

    When the waters rise, you've waited long for rescue and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 8:1*: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

    When dust and debris threaten to replace passions, dreams and callings and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 9:15: I will remember my covenant between me and you.

    When the pitter-patter of little feet is silent and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 30:22: Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

    When fear, worry, doubt and anxiety enslave and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Exodus 2:23a, 24a, 25b: During that long period...The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out...God heard their groaning and he remembered... and was concerned about them.

    When you can't sleep and restlessness sets in, remember... Psalm 63:6-7: On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

    When guilt consumes and you fear God will never forget your sins, remember... Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

    When all hope is lost, remember... Luke 24:6a-7: He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you...'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'

    When your marriage comes back from the brink of despair, remember... Deuteronomy 8:2: Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness.

    When dreams come true and you're thriving in your calling, remember... 1 Chronicles 16:12a, 15: Remember the wonders he has done... He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations...

    Recalling these accounts in Scripture helps me remember His goodness in my own life. When I can't see how He is moving on my behalf, I choose to remember that He promises to be just as present and faithful to me and you today as He was for others in the past.

    When joy surrounds. When sorrow clobbers. When all's right in our world. When the bottom drops out. When we feel loved and cherished. When we feel abandoned and alone, let's remember... They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. (Psalm 78:35)

    Dear Lord, Your love and Your grace never fail. Please help me remember this today and always. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

    Share God's faithfulness to those in need by supporting a child through World Vision.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Remember times God has been faithful to you. Recount those out loud today.

    Focus on the everyday miracles that remind us of God's faithfulness like waking up and breathing.

    Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been, Thou for ever will be
    Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning new mercies I see
    All I have needed thy hand hath provided
    Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
    ~Thomas Chisolm

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 143:5, "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done." (NIV)

    Jeremiah 31:34b, "I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (ESV)

    *All verses NIV

    © 2012 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616G MatthewsMint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm, Luke, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, 1 Chronicles, Exodus

  • Night Before Christmas

    Posted on December 24, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.” Luke 2:4-5

     

    It was the night before Christmas and Jesus, who was from the line of David, was to be born in the city of David. He was coming, not as a King, but as a Savior to shepherd the souls of hurting humanity In God’s eyes His Son had always been and always would be. But to mankind the birth of Jesus was the defining moment in history (His story!). Calendars began to divide time: BC (before Christ) to AD (Anno Domini: in the year of our Lord). 

    In a similar way we define our conversion to Jesus as a new birth into His kingdom. The calendar of our soul is clearly categorized as before Christ and after Christ. The night before our new birth we were lost in our sins. But at the daybreak of our faith, we stepped into the light of forgiveness and  were saved from our sins. Indeed, Jesus was born into the world to seek and to save the lost. He was born, so that we could be born again!

    “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

    Have you made room for your Lord Jesus at the inn of your soul or is He in the hay barn of your heart? The world’s activities are loud, busy and demanding. It’s easy to drift under their demands and forget the words of our Lord, “Follow Me.” Yes, once the excitement of your new found faith wears off the world can wear you down. So, be intentional as humble shepherds and wise men to search out your Savior. Give Him gifts of gratitude.

    Like Joseph, be responsible in care of the mundane: be compliant to the government, know the condition of your family, identify their needs and give them security. Indeed, it’s out of your every day obedience to Christ’s commands that He births faith, hope and love. Your heavenly Father takes care of you, as you take care of His business. Christmas Eve is a celebration of Christ’s entrance on  earth and  the joy He brings to all who believe!

    “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Christ’s birth and for my new birth of faith.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 20:7; Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 6:4;  John 4:14, 7:42

    Post/Tweet today: Jesus was born so we could be born again. #Christmas

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Isaiah, Christmas

  • First Christmas

    Posted on December 23, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manager.” Luke 2:11-12

     

    The focus of the first Christmas was Jesus. It was His day. There was no competition from commercialism seeking economic gain. The gifts were given to Him. God was the recipient of gratitude and generosity. He was glorified on this day of salvation for all who would come to believe in Jesus as God’s only Son. There was an appreciation for the Almighty’s descent into the decadence of humanity. There was no feuding from other faiths jockeying with each other for time in the Savior’s spotlight. On the contrary, there was a religious respect and humble worship from those who traveled great distances from their diverse origins of belief. On this day, Jesus unified sincere seekers of truth.

    The first Christmas, however, was not without controversy. Politically, He was a lightning rod (some things never change). Government leaders felt threatened, as if a traitor had infiltrated their influence over the masses. Involuntary spies were sent to validate His presence. Once His birth had been verified, the powers-that-be went to work. Insecurity and fear drive people to commit irrational acts, and it was no different back then. So what started as a celestial coronation for the Prince of Peace ended with jealous leaders taking severe and deadly action. The Christ-child was driven from their pitiful, but powerful presence. They destroyed other God-fearing people in the process. The community was cast into chaos when Christ was removed from their culture.

    We can learn from the first Christmas, to keep Christ central in worship and society. He is the wonder of our worship. He is the reason for our giving gifts. It is because we celebrate His birthday that we pause to pray, reflect, and plan to follow His will in a more robust and intentional manner. Our Master came to earth and made Himself like man. He took on the form of a servant, though He could have crowned Himself as King. He pointed us to the love and forgiveness of His heavenly Father. The Christ-child was born of a virgin. He was God who dwelt among us, but sometimes we forget Him, even on His birthday. 

    One reason we have failed to keep Christ in Christmas is that we have failed to keep Him in some of our churches. Why should the culture embrace the Christ of Christmas, when some of our churches have marginalized their Master? Let’s start by inviting the Almighty back into our churches with fresh and revitalized reverence in worship, evangelism, and discipleship. Let’s prayerfully and responsibly “lay hands” on leaders who fear God, hate sin, love people, and teach the Bible. Christmas is losing its luster for the Lord because Christians have forgotten to fear God.

    His birth is only significant if His death and resurrection are significant. The Christ of Christmas becomes compelling when we, as followers, flock to Him in faithfulness and obedience. Let all who name the name of Jesus revisit Him in the awe and worship of that first Christmas. Let’s exclaim with enthusiasm, to a hurting world, that He has come to heal broken hearts and revive sick souls. We unapologetically celebrate His birthday with passion because God is with us. He is transforming us into the likeness of His Son. Let’s make this Christmas like the first Christmas. Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with forgiveness, joy, hope, peace, and love while we worship our Lord together. The first Christmas fuels our faith and recalibrates us to Christ.


    Post/Tweet: Christmas celebrates Almighty God’s descent into the decadence of humanity. #Christmas

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Christmas

Items 61 to 70 of 100 total

Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
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