Friday, May 25, 2018

Needs of the Many

Luke 2: 33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”


“Will you be able to fire a third of our department?” was the question in the interview. “No” was my answer. At one point my ruthless heart would do anything for “the company” but I realized something… these were people.

  • One day I woke up and realized there were people around me.
  • One day I woke up and saw many people around me that I could serve.
  • One day I woke up and understood that I have been put here with a much higher purpose.

Simeon’s final declaration was that JESUS would be the cause of many to fall and many to rise. HE would be the ONE who would reveal the true hearts of humans. How cool is that? Not so cool, because the revelation would be through blindness, pain and death. JESUS needed to do something.

  • JESUS has my situation already determined.
  • JESUS has my circumstance already taken care of.
  • JESUS has my life already planned out and HE has declared victory over eternal death for me.

I have a choice to look at JESUS as my savior. By belief in HIS action, I can be part of the “Rise of many.” HIS power, mercy and grace enables me to have life so when my wicked heart is revealed, it will not be as painful because I acknowledge the need for GOD in my life.

  • Are you living your life for “the company?”
  • Do you think your project is more important than those GOD has placed around you?
  • Can you open your eyes and seek HIS face today so HE can show you your purpose?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Being Guided

Luke 2: 25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;

30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation

31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”


“Turn right here” were the words I sensed. It was not an audible voice rather something I simply understood. I obeyed and kept driving. I had no idea where I was, let alone where I was going, all I knew was I needed an apartment in this city I was moving to.

My aching neck made me seek relief so I pulled into a gas station. As I left, I went down the wrong street. “Turn into this driveway” were the words I sensed. I obeyed and wound up on the grounds of a wonderful apartment complex. I did not know my job was only 5 minutes from this very affordable, quiet spacious place.

  • The HOLY SPIRIT has led me many times.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT has guided me to safe places.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT has enabled the right situations to happen in order to guide me to the place I should be.

Simeon was a man led by the HOLY SPIRIT. I would suspect he did not get this way overnight, rather it took years of listening and obedience to be able to discern between selfish thoughts versus the voice of the HOLY SPIRIT.  HE was led to see GOD in the flesh and to declare the blessing on mankind.

  • GOD says to me “Seek first the kingdom of GOD.”
  • GOD says to me “Open the door of your heart to ME and I will come in and sup with you.”
  • GOD says to me “In your weakness I AM made strong.”

Through ambiguity, fear and pain, GOD is still there guiding me to the places HE wants me to be. HE is not bribed by human money, nor is HE trying to build another earthbound kingdom of slaves to capital. GOD wants to lead me to freedom where eyes are opened to HIM and HIM alone.

  • Where are you being led?
  • Are you ignoring GOD’s voice and listening to yourself?
  • Can you stop for a moment and ask GOD “Where do YOU want me to be” today?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

First and Foremost

Luke 2: 22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”


When I woke this particular day, I had work on my mind. I jumped out of bed and started writing down ideas. I then remembered I had some reports due, so I started thinking about those. I thought about people (bosses) I needed to praise. As I showered I had the news on loudly so I could hear traffic and weather. When I got into the car, I checked voicemail. My day was ready!

  • There were times when I placed a huge priority on work.
  • There were times when I placed an extreme priority on the company I worked for.
  • There were times when I placed getting ahead over what was truly important.

GOD’s law required every first born male to be dedicated to HIM. This was more than likely given to humans to show us how to think of GOD first. JESUS was presented according to the law.

  • GOD wants me to think of HIM first on a daily basis.
  • GOD wants me to wake up thinking about HIM.
  • GOD wants me to order my day around HIM rather than the fleeting worries of life.

Each and every day GOD wants a small sacrifice from me. HE wants time, dedicated time. GOD enjoys praise, acknowledgement and planning, just as much as I do for a company, only HE is far more important. GOD wants me to quiet down my racing ambitious mind so HE can talk to me daily.

  • What is first in your life?
  • What do you think about or worry about the most?
  • Can you set aside time to think about GOD for a little while each day?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Special Name

Luke 2: 21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.


“I’m going to call you Skinny Minnie“ said the girl to me as I tried to express a liking to her. “That’s not my name” I said but it was only met with laughter. “I’m not a Skinny Minnie” was the only thing I could think about for the rest of the afternoon in school.

  • There were times I have been called names.
  • There were names that hurt me for a while.
  • There were times when I got so caught up with how others thought of me that I would get distracted at the tiniest tease.

After eight days, the child was circumcised and named JESUS, the name given by the angel before HE was conceived in Mary’s womb. HIS real name is special but this name was given for humans to understand that GOD is with us as a human to save humanity.

  • GOD has given me a name that humans do not know.
  • GOD has given me a name that has HIS purpose tied to it.
  • GOD has given me a name that cannot be tarnished by teasing, slander or hatred.

My real name is unknown, but one day I will know it. GOD sees all I do and have been through and wraps every situation up in my name HE has for me. I can have a hand in my name. I can be a scoundrel or a peacemaker, a Pharisee or a follower. GOD sees my hidden heart and names me according to my deeds.

  • What is your name?
  • Does GOD call you a hider of the truth or a teller of the truth?
  • Can you make your name what GOD wants your name to be by acting in a way fitting to HIM?

Amazing News Told

Luke 2: 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.


“I have to see this for myself” I said to the messenger. I was still in a bit of shock when they said, “Your name is posted, and you have made the Dean’s List.” Considering the semester before was a disaster, I was thoroughly surprised. I told everyone!
  • When I have great news I want to tell everyone.
  • When I have some awesome news I want to tell the world.
  • When I have awesome news I want to sit everyone down and tell them what is going on with me.

Being chosen by GOD was one thing, but the shepherds had to go see the amazing news for themselves. They raced to the barn and saw GOD as a baby in the dirty feed trough, just as the angels said. They told everyone of this amazing event and excitement filled the town!

  • GOD wants me to spread HIS amazing news.
  • GOD wants me to ignite excitement throughout the land.
  • GOD wants me to be excited about HIM enough to tell others about HIM.

What was missing from this passage was complaints about the sheep or ailments of the shepherds or the shepherds not having enough of whatever their fears dictated. It was all about JESUS coming as a human to save mankind. They were excited and so should I. GOD wants me to tell people about HIS amazing news!

  • Are you stuck in complaint mode?
  • Do you have blame on your mind?
  • Can you remove your negative language and replace it with the great news about JESUS?

Monday, May 14, 2018

Making Announcements

Luke 2: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”


“Ball return on 15” were the words everyone in the place could hear. I finally got my chance to get on the bowling alley’s sound system and tell everyone that a bowling ball was stuck on lane 15 and someone other than me was to go and rectify the situation. I felt cool!

  • There were times when I wanted to be heard.
  • There were times when I wanted everyone’s attention.
  • There were times when I wanted to speak in a forum where everyone could hear me.

The angel appeared for the third time with a wonderful announcement. He went to the working class shepherds who were on duty watching over sheep. There the announcement was made that GOD, born as a child, would be found in a dirty feeding trough.

Though they were terrified, he announced that they should not be afraid, rather proclaim joy because THE SAVIOR had been born.

  • GOD says to me “Go and tell everyone about MY SON.”
  • GOD says to me “Proclaim the great news that salvation is for all people.”
  • GOD says to me “Announce JESUS as the world’s only hope.”

Being heard by people is great when I have something important to say. GOD wants the message to be about HIM rather than pointing out how great “I” think I am. HE doesn’t want me to have a crowd rather HE deserves the crowd and sometimes HE uses words through me to announce HIS greatness.

  • Do you wish to be heard?
  • Are you upset at something and want to tell everyone about it?
  • Can you tell everyone about the Great News about JESUS today?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Facing Decrees

Luke 2: And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,  who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


As I walked out of the interview, something told me to speak with the official looking person walking towards the parking lot. The company I had just interviewed with was just placed on a global hiring freeze and I felt a bit dejected.

The person in the parking lot confirmed the statement but said something amazing. “Call our company. I am a recruiter.” I called and weeks later began working for that company.

  • Some human decrees seem devastating to me.
  • Some human decrees seem like they add hurdles to my life.
  • Some human decrees seem like snap judgments leaning towards greed.

Joseph and Mary had to do what the government said. Registering with the government meant more money for the government and Joseph complied. Little did he know that this decree was being used by GOD.

  • GOD places huge situations in front of me so I can tell it is HIM.
  • GOD uses human decrees for HIS good, even when I think the decree is harsh and filled with greed.
  • GOD has a plan for me that includes human decrees especially when humans think they are in control.

Whether it is government or work or an of track church, GOD laughs at human plans. “They think they are in control” HE giggles. The reality is GOD is in control. HE knew towns would be flooded with people who would stay at the best hotels, so HE took the lower route and had HIS SON born in a barn and laid in a dirty feeding trough.

GOD sees the enormity of various situations in my life as well. HE knows the barriers before me are laughable to HIM. HE carriers me through the troubles and lays me down beside HIS still waters of peace. GOD is my refuge.

  • Are you facing something huge?
  • Do you see a huge human decree that seems to be immovable?
  • Can you put your trust in GOD today knowing HE has already taken care of your situation in spite of what humans think?