Saturday, December 22, 2012

" Voices of the 1st Worshippers! "

The Holy Season Theme is: " Advent Voices! "

Advent Thoughts From Pastor's Study:
As we ponder the Scriptures and hear the voice of Gabriel bring the supernatural messages to Joseph and Mary, one might wonder about all the things that will transpire as this Great Mystery unfolds.  Once again we hear the Voice of the Old Testament Prophet Micah [5:2] -- " Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."  Let us draw near to a quiet night where shepherds are watching their flocks out on the hills of Bethlehem.  It is a quiet and serene evening; the stars are brightly shining as the Shepherds lazily keep their eyes on the flock.  In the midst of this star filled moment, " the Angel of the Lord appears " ... and very important, " the Glory of the Lord shines upon them! "  Hmmm, I wonder what our reaction would be if such a supernatural being appeared unto us?  Can you feel the fright of that moment?  God is so gracious toward mankind, it is in being crowned with His lovingkindness that He redeems our lives form destruction and covers us with His tender mercies [Ps. 103:4].  So it was at this moment, in the midst of the presence of God's Glory that the voice of the Angel declares: "Fear Not!" and the message of all eternity is delivered!  Luke 2:10-14 -- " Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."  The mystery is revealed with signs!  " This shall be a sign unto you!  Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace, good will toward men."  O Church, hear the Word of the Lord!  Ephesians 2:14 -- "He is our Peace!"  As the shepherds received the message of Peace on earth.... they hasten to obey and go quickly to this glorious thing that had come to pass.  And when they returned to their flock, we hear their voices--the voices of those who were blessed to visit the Christ Child first ~ "The shepherds returned, Glorifying and Praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen..."  Let us exalt the Christ!
                                             Loving you, Pastor

" The Voice of Mystery! "

Advent Thoughts From Pastor's Study:
Paul's voice is heard as he writes under the direction of the Holy Ghost: As he talks about the "Unsearchable Riches of Christ" he reveals a mystery from the beginning of the world!  " To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ "  ~ Ephesians 3:9.  It is called the "Fellowship of Mystery," and is a revelation that was given to the Apostle Paul.  When we talk about a revelation, it is simply a truth that is uncovered, revealed.  This chapter in Scripture is talking about the Church.  It was in the heart of God from the beginning of all things.  What a thought--how lightly Christianity takes the Church.  However, the Church is not a denomination as humanity has labeled it; it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ who was with God in the beginning and all things were created by Him and for Him.  In this baby that we see lying in a manager, a very low place in our society, the Church would be born--the gathering of the saints for worship, instruction and teaching--that we might know we are " Fellow heirs and partakers of God's Promise in Christ. "  After the day of Pentecost, the disciples began to go among the people and declare the Christ who had been crucified.  The Church was coming forth, and at Antioch the followers of Jesus were first called Christians.  We are now Christians, disciples of Christ and examples of the gospel.  The Babe that fulfilled the Promises of the Old Testament has revealed the mystery in the heart of God and brought Eternal Life to humanity.  O the glorious Promise of such a Mystery, that mankind would dwell together and worship, not just the New born King, but we would receive the manifestation of the Christ who would dwell in the hearts of humanity and save us from our sins.  There is one condition... we must repent and call upon the name of the Lord!  Serving Him becomes our life sentence... for He is Emmanuel, God with us.  The Mystery of the Church is in us.  We are the dwelling place of the Promise of God.  Let us remember we are: "Crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who Loved me, and gave Himself for me."
The Mystery revealed: He lives in us.
                                            Loving you, Pastor

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Holy Season Theme is: "Advent Voices! "

       " Voices of Obedience! "

Thoughts From the Pastor's Study:
Today's Advent deals with those who had their lives interrupted when they were called upon to be obedient to their Heavenly Father.  In a day with so many voices, it is of great necessity that we pause to hear the Voice of the Lord in the midst of our busy schedules.  His voice is ever seeking our allegiance, our attention and our devotion.  It is my prayer that each one of you will read the Daily Devotion  as we walk through the Holy Month of celebration of our Lord's birth.  The purpose is to pause for a moment and reflect upon spiritual matters.  Joseph comes to mind quickly as we see his life is somewhat in order; he is espoused to a beautiful young lady awaiting a Jewish wedding ceremony.  Espoused means that all legal documents had been signed and contracts completed.  All that was needed to complete the union was the wedding ceremony.  While Joseph waited for that special moment, he discovers that his bride-to-be is with child.  No doubt she is telling him what happened to her when the Angel Gabriel visited her.  The brief details of this circumstance in Joseph's life are seen in Matthew Chapter one.  Joseph is a just man/godly man.  We find him in deep thought, not wanting to do anything publicly to hurt Mary.  He thinks upon putting her away privately.  Vs 20 " But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, far not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."  Vs 24-25 " Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."  Joseph's obedience to his God was a great part of bringing to us our salvation.  There was also another person who would surrender to the obedience of her God.  Mary's reply to the information from the angel; the Holy Ghost would come upon her and she would be overshadowed by the power of the Highest; and that which would be born of her wold be called the Son of God!  Mary's response was; " Be it unto me according to Thy Word."  But the greatest obedience was: " JESUS, being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross."  In this Holy Season may we be mindful of our Obedience to Jesus Christ!
                                                      Loving you, Pastor

Our Theme for This Holy Season is "Advent Voices! "

Today-- " The Prophecy of His Coming! "

From the Pastor's Study:
No doubt you have sent and received Christmas cards throughout the year with the term "Advent" upon them.  Eventually one comes to know that Advent is a term used for Christmas; but too often one does not know the true meaning of "Advent."  It means "Coming" - into being!  It is a time of preparation in scripture for the coming of the Messiah.  We explore the prophetical utterances from the Old Testament; and this year we contemplate the Voices that surround this Holy Event.  There are those who say Christmas is pagan, but none the less, there was a birth of the Saviour--perhaps not on December 25th, but He was born and this we celebrate.  There is coming yet another Advent!  It will be the "Coming" of the Messiah in the clouds of heaven as He promised in Matthew 24:30 " Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."  This was Jesus' own words as He taught in the Great Olivet Prophetical Discourse.  the Apostle Paul reiterated Jesus' coming in IThessalonians 4:16-17 " For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."  The word Rapture is not in scripture, but the glorious Advent is truly therein these passages of scripture.  Let us begin our Advent Season with preparation, four Candles, the fifth should be pink, which stands for great Joy as the birth of Christ draws near.  Each night as the Daily Devotion of Advent is read, light the candle of the week and give thanks for our Saviour!  let the Church celebrate Advent as one great voice of thanksgiving!
                          Celebrating Advent and Loving you, Pastor

" Let's Give Thanks! "

" Therefore I will give Thanks unto Thee,
        O Lord, among the heathen,
and I will Sing Praises unto Thy Name! "

From the Pastor's Study:
As the Thanksgiving season approaches, we not only prepare for the Thanksgiving meal, but let us meditate upon the multitude of things to be thankful for in this past year.  It will take a time of meditation to remember the marvelous works of the Lord.  He has brought us to another season of thankfulness.  Scripture records over and over to sing unto the Lord, to marvel in His goodness, and to give unto the Lord thanksgiving.  Such thanks were an intricate part of the worship throughout bible times.  As you read the Scriptures in the Old Testament, you find that the judgment of the Lord was strong upon Israel and the heathen nations.  There were wars, captivity, wilderness wanderings, sometimes lack of food and water, but rejoicing always returned in the midst of repentance.  In the New Testament they rejoiced in 'stripes and beatings' - in imprisonment, cruel mocking, scourging, they were stoned, sawn asunder and slain with the sword.  They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted and tormented.  And Scripture tell us: " All, having obtained a good report through faith..."  such servants of the Lord sang at midnight in the midst of the sore discomfort!  It was through prayer and supplication that they made their requests known unto their God.  And in the midst of the 11th Chapter of Hebrews where we learn this information, we read:  " I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee."  May a Holy Ghost inspired song arise in our spirit as we face the challenges of our day.  And may the song of the Lord bring to remembrance the joy of thanksgiving in our heart.
                                                 Loving you, Pastor