Saturday, December 25, 2021

December 25

Resolve to begin reading your Bible daily over this next year. You don’t have to read it in its entirety, and if you don’t know where to start, start in John. Pray before you read; if you don’t know what to pray, pray the Lord’s Prayer. Taking this simple step of obedience will change your life, honor God, and help you deal with whatever this world tries to throw at you. God needs to hear from you through your prayer, and you need to hear from him through reading your Bible. It’s a simple conversation, a dedication to the One who loves you the most. 

Chew on this verse today; it’s the perfect explanation of why we celebrate Jesus on this special day:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Thursday, December 23, 2021

December 23

If you want a picture of what real love is, read Luke 23. This chapter reveals the lengths Jesus went to for our salvation. He endured all different kinds of physical and emotional trauma on our behalf. From his birth to his death and resurrection, his love for us is evident and overwhelmingly powerful; so powerful that it saves us from eternal damnation but also allows us the hope for living in Heaven for our eternity. The Christmas season is drawing to an end; make it a point to remember why we celebrate it. I’ve struggled for years concerning the whole celebration because of its pagan beginnings, but so much good can come from it if we make it about Jesus; it brings joy and festivity to an otherwise bleak time of year. Keep Christ in Christmas; he’s been here since before the foundation of the world so let’s honor him as he deserves.

And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

December 22

Right before Jesus was seized and taken to the cross for our sins, he told his disciples that scripture must be fulfilled about him. It was true then, and it’s true now. I found it interesting that this portion of scripture was included:

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” Luke 22:35-37

Was this written to make the story good, or was this written as instructions to us?  I believe Luke included this scripture for this time in history. Take your money and weapons and do what you must do because what was written about Jesus will be fulfilled, and it’s happening right now. Defend yourself against the power of darkness. Everything he taught was to clear your mind of damage caused by your circumstances, and in this one moment, it changes to the physical. We know by his example that this was a defensive strategy because when Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus stopped him from doing any more damage and healed the servant's ear. He wants us to be prepared for whatever trials may be coming; prepare your mind and your body because whether we are ready or not, scripture is amid fulfillment. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

December 21

If you haven’t read Luke 21, you should. Some people are reading through the Book of Luke like an advent to Christmas, so I decided to jump in and catch up on the last few chapters as we approach Christmas Day. Chapter 21 reads like a checklist. With the news and social media controlling the narrative, you may not realize that the prophecy Jesus spoke about in this chapter is happening now; you’ve probably heard bits and pieces of rumors, so it will perk your ears as you read it. Jesus told us about the conspiracies long ago; you may not believe people when they tell you what’s unfolding in the world today or maybe it’s too disturbing, so you would rather pretend it’s not happening; I completely understand that approach, but that creates a problem for the rest of us. Unless the majority of the people wake up to what’s going on, the rulers of darkness will win. This verse consoles me: 

“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

We think we know what freedom is, but we don’t. We will receive our true freedom when Jesus redeems us from this world. Stand strong, mighty warriors! Keep up the fight!

Monday, December 20, 2021

December 20

I’m a residential real estate agent/broker by trade. I’ve been in it many years and have my own company. It has become second nature, except for my latest endeavor to sell an entire townhouse complex. With it being residential, I thought it would be as simple as selling any house, but I was wrong; it’s more commercial than residential, and investors are clamoring for it. The buyers in this market want to know the cap rate. So, I give them the numbers, and they can calculate the rate themselves. I left all that math behind after I got my license; I memorized it long enough to pass the exam!

God has invested a lot in us and expects a return on his investment. If he gives you a little, he expects you to invest what he gave you, so he gets a good return. If he gives you a lot, he expects a lot in return. Take what he has given you and increase it. The more people you tell about Jesus and bring into the kingdom of God, the quicker the increase of God’s investment. Do your part.

If you read Luke 19, The Parable of the Ten Minas, this might become clearer.

‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’” Luke 19:26-27

Sunday, December 19, 2021

December 19

Yesterday, every so often, I would hear a banging noise, and I looked out the window but wouldn’t see anything. Finally, I walked outside and saw it; a squirrel had somehow gotten into the bird feeder and couldn’t get out! That smart little thing had figured out how to lift the lid off the top of the feeder to get into it but couldn’t figure out how to get out. What a predicament! The food was so enticing that he couldn’t resist and then became trapped with no way out. 

This scenario is a picture of how sin draws us in, traps us, and offers no way out. The filthy little creature was caught red-handed and sentenced to die if I hadn’t come along and released him. In this story, I acted like Jesus, forgave that little rascal for stealing from the birds I was feeding, and gave him his life back. As a follower of Jesus, we commit to helping him bring others to salvation by releasing them from the trap of sin through faith in him; it’s an act of love and obedience. Play your part, and pass on the knowledge of salvation through Jesus; this world is crying out for him, and we are his representative until he returns.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 1 Peter 1:22-23