Monthly Archives: November 2015

Go, Tell It!

 

As the Christmas season once again approaches, I find myself bringing out the Christmas music. Thanksgiving has passed now, so I can listen to the carols, Christmas hymns, and catchy tunes all I want (and then some – it’s played EVERYWHERE!) for the next month.

As I listened to an instrumental Christmas CD in the background this morning, while getting some work done, it occurred to me that one of the best Christmas songs isn’t played that often or appreciated enough. “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is both a beautiful and important song during the holidays, and any other time! The particular CD I’m listening to has a lovely jazzy version of the song mixed with several other tunes of the season, and I highly recommend finding a copy if you can. It’s an older one – from 1996 – but very well done, produced by Unison Music and manufactured by Thomas Nelson Inc. in Nashville, TN. “Christmas in Manhattan” is the name of this selection of instrumental music.

One of the most important lyrics in this song sums up the basic gospel message in a few short lines:

“Down in a lowly manger 

Our humble Christ was born 

And God sent us salvation…”

This song reminds us too of our responsibility to go out and share the incredible story of what Jesus Christ did for us:

“Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere;

Go, tell it in the mountain

That Jesus Christ is born”

 

This is so important – to KNOW the love of Christ for us and to SHARE and SPREAD the love of Christ with others. Go, tell it!
 

Advertisements

Righteous Before God

“And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly  in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” (Luke 1:6)

How amazing would it be if God said this about you and me! How amazing would it be if this was what other people said when they saw us living our lives! After all, as we say in the catechism, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Our main goal in life should be to live in a way that brings glory and honor to God.

In our desire to be righteous before God, we are not to harbor pride in our hearts because of how we keep God’s law. We must remember that it is the righteousness of Christ that makes us righteous – without Him we are nothing. 

Jesus didn’t come for people who already think they have it all together on their own, but for those who admit their need for a Savior. “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: –I desire mercy, not sacrifice.– For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ ” (Matthew 9:10-13) 

We must not look around at others and have a condescending attitude, making ourselves feel more righteous because we don’t sin in the same way as someone else. “The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other men — swindlers, evil doers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:11-14)

When we come before God Almighty, Who sent His one and only Son to die as a sacrifice for our sins, we must bow before Him with an attitude of humility, grateful to Him for His work in our lives, not boasting and trusting in ourselves to earn any favor from God. Let us be found faithful in our righteousness that comes from the faithful righteousness of Jesus our Savior.

  

Healthy Holidays, Part 1

The holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, to name a few – are just around the corner, and while it’s expected we might gain a couple of pounds from all the treats, here are a few simple ways we can curb those carbs just a bit, while still enjoying the feasts and festivities.

First, just because there’s plenty of food doesn’t mean we should eat so much we get sick! As with our regular eating habits, portion control is important during the holidays, both so you don’t regret it immediately and so you don’t regret it days or weeks later. 

Are you one of those people like me who likes to try a little of everything? (My reasoning is 1. if someone who brought a dish asks me if I tried it, I can honestly says “yes,” and 2. many holiday sides are something I don’t eat most of the rest of the year and/or are special family recipes reserved only for these occasions.) Trying a tiny little bit of everything can help you decide your favorites you’d like if you go back for seconds and can save you the embarrassment of leaving a large amount of something behind that you didn’t care for, but don’t want to have to admit you don’t like. 

  

Jesus Is The Great Physician.

“When Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved web compassion for them, and healed their sick.” – Matthew 14:14

Jesus can and has healed people of physical ailments. “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind (Jesus) and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately he discharge of blood ceased.” (Luke 8:43-44)

Jesus’ main purpose of the healing is to bring about life change – to cleanse from sin. “And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’ ” (Madk 2:17) Because Jesus came to save, He did not save Himself from the punishment of the cross, though that was within His power to do. 

Unfortunately, many did not recognize their need for Him (nor do many even today!), but that did not stop Him. He promised that His message would not be widely received. “And He said to them, ‘Doubtless you will quote to Me this proverb — Physician, heal yourself. — What we have head you did at Capernaum, do here in Your hometown as well.’ And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.’ ” (Luke 4:23-24)

  

Jesus Is The Passover Lamb.

“There is no sacrifice too great,

for God, the Great I Am.

His love is perfect, spotless, pure –

God provides the Lamb.

His Son became the costly price

And chose to be the Lamb –

New hope, and joy, new life again –

Are precious gifts from Him,

A place prepared because of Christ –

Our God provides the Lamb.”

– Rebecca Barlow Jordan (*quote, not Scripture)

“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” (John 13:1) Jesus came as the sacrificial fulfillment of the Old Law, that many would be saved by their faith in Him as the Messiah.

He took the Passover meal with His disciples prior to His crucifixion and resurrection, to show them that they should begin a new tradition with the elements of the meal, in order to remember His sacrifice until His Second Coming return. “And He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’ ” (Luke 22:15) “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.’ ” (Luke 22:19-20)

Jesus Is The One And Only.

“We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

There is only one risen Savior, Jesus. No one else can begin to compare to Him in any way. He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is both God and the Son of God. He is spectacular in glory and majesty and splendor. “No one has ever seen God, but the One and Only Son, Who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known.” (John 1:18) “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9) “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Because Jesus is the One and Only Way to God the Father, we must recognise His as such in order to be saved. “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18)