TIS THE SEASON TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS!

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  December 25 is not the day He was born but the date chosen to celebrate His birth. Jesus’ exact date of birth is unknown. Christmas is a Holy Day, not a holiday.  But when we look at how Christmas is celebrated, do we see many holy things or activities?

The symbols we see in abundance are Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees.  Rarely can we find holy symbols of Jesus’ birth that remind us that Jesus is the reason for the season.

A popular activity in the Christmas season is attending multiple parties. Friends, family members, jobs, clubs, groups, and organizations you belong to host Christmas parties. Is Jesus the guest of honor at these parties?

Is the main activity of the season going to church or giving our talent, time, and treasures to those who really are in need?  No, it’s buying gifts for everyone we know—family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, clergy, the mailman, the garbage man, cat, dog, etc., mainly with credit cards, hoping for reciprocation. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday this year, billions were spent online. In today’s uncertain economic climate, does our discretionary income allow us to meet regular financial obligations and buy gifts for multiple people at the same time? New flash, if you buy items at a sale price but have to pay credit card interest on your purchases, you probably are not saving any any money!

Are we really celebrating the birth of Jesus?  Do we celebrate a loved one’s birthday by buying gifts for everyone we know and giving or attending several parties for them?  A loved one’s birthday is usually celebrated by giving that person a gift, taking them out, or giving or attending one birthday party in their honor!

There’s nothing wrong with giving. God is a great giver.  He gave us Jesus so that we can have eternal life.1 He gives us all that we need 2and when Jesus went back to heaven, He gave us the Holy Spirit.3 We were created in God’s image4, therefore, we, too, have the capacity to be great givers.

Since we are celebrating the birth of Jesus and freely giving out gifts, shouldn’t we give Jesus a gift? What will you give Jesus this Christmas?  We can give to Him by giving to one other.  God has given each of us talent, treasures and time, which He expects us to give and share.5

Everyone has something they can give and share with others.  God has given every believer at least one special ability. 6  We can use our God-given abilities to be a blessing to others. Some sing, some prophecy, some teach, some preach, some have a special ability to heal or help others, some to show mercy and compassion, and some to lead.7 God has also given us treasures, talents, and time to share with one other.8

How and to whom should we give?  The Bible declares we should give willingly9 and cheerfully 10 to those who are poor, 11 those who ask,12 those who cannot reciprocate,13 and to our enemies.  Giving to an enemy turns him into a friend! 14

Let’s put Christ back into our Christmas celebrations by giving to those who are in need. Let’s bring joy to those in institutions by visiting and singing Christmas carols!  Let’s teach the story of Jesus’ birth to children in our neighborhood!  Let’s give gifts to a homeless family! Let’s donate money to a charity instead of having a grab bag at work!  Let’s babysit for a single mother who cannot afford a sitter! Let’s take a senior citizen, handicapped, or an ill person shopping or to the doctor!  Let’s invite friends, neighbors, or co-workers to go to church with us!  Let’s invite a one-parent child to a show this Christmas season!

The Bible says we will be blessed when we give.15 God has promised we will receive when we give.16 When we give to the poor, God considers it a loan to Himself and He says He’ll repay the loan and will bless, deliver, and protect us.17

Since Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, what will you give Jesus to celebrate His birth?  The greatest gift you can give Him is your heart.  It’s easy as A, B, C.  If you have not accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord, please pray the following prayer sincerely from your heart! 18

Dear God,

Thank you for loving me and giving me the greatest gift of all, your son Jesus.  I ADMIT that I am a sinner and need a Saviour. I BELIEVE Jesus died on the cross in my place for my sins.  I CONFESS Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.   Thank you Lord for saving me!

Welcome to the family of God!  I pray God will lead you to a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church of His choice where you can fellowship with other Christians, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and discover God’s purpose and plan for your life!

1 John 3:16 2 Phil. 4:19    3 John 14:16 4 Gen. 1:7 5 Luke 12:48b Rom 12:6-8 7 Eph. 4:11-12 8 Luke 6:38   9 1Chron 29:9 10 2 Cor. 9:7 11 Deu. 5:11 12 Matt. 5:42 13 Luke 14:12-14 14 Prov. 25:21-22 15 Acts 20:35b 16 Prov. 11:25 17 Ps. 41:1-3 18 Rom.10:9-10

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 7

The last diagnosis I want to teach you is being a mature Christian.  Just as a child desires to be a grownup; likewise, every Christian should have a goal of being a mature Christian.

A baby and a carnal Christian’s lives exemplify the Greek term “kata sarka” which means abnormal, out of harmony with their new identity.  As they grew spiritually, they put off the old man (practicing sin) and put on the new man (practicing righteousness).  In addition to Jesus being their Savior, He is now their Lord.  They are led by the Holy Spirit and have grown into a mature Christian. Now their lives exemplify the Greek term “kata pneuma”, normal and in harmony with their new identity. 

Mature Christians are “souled out” to God and have a vibrant, intimate relationship with Him.  They pray without ceasing as commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:15 and have become prayer warriors.  Hebrews 5:14 says, “solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Because of a steady diet of the solid food of the Bible, they are able to operate in discernment.  In obedience to Joshua 1:8, they meditate and do God’s Word day and night resulting in a prosperous and successful life. 

Mature Christians are active church members.  They attend Christian Education classes, prayer meetings, and are cheerful givers and willing servants in the House of the Lord.  They know what God has anointed them to do and use their spiritual gifts to serve in God’s Kingdom.  They are “nevertheless Christians” and are working to fulfill God’s unique purpose for their life.  Mature Christians are living to hear God say to them one day “well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”

Mature Christians exude forgiveness and love for God and all people in their walk.  They exhibit an uncompromised lifestyle and are consistent faithful witnesses that glorify God.   Keep doing what you are doing so others will be inspired to continue to grow to spiritual maturity also. 

This concludes the It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup series!  Its purpose was to help you truthfully reflect and examine yourself.  If you self-diagnosed yourself as a baby, carnal, or a maturing Christian, follow the treatment plans and prescriptions given for each diagnosis. As people get older in the natural, people may say “you look like your father or mother.”  It is my prayer that all Christians will grow into a mature Christian that resembles God, our spiritual Father.  God is willing and able to help all Christians grow as they seek, discover, and fulfill His unique purpose for their lives!

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 6

Another possible diagnosis from a spiritual checkup is being a growing Christian. They have had a revelation of what it means to be a Christian. Developing their relationship with God is now important so they spend time with Him consistently in prayer and in His Word. As a result, their knowledge of who God is and who they are in Him is growing. Their belief and trust in God are also flourishing.

Because growing Christians have experienced some spiritual growth, a hunger and thirst for the Word and the things of God are being cultivated. They have established a daily time of devotion. Recurrent attendance at Christian Education classes has become their norm. Using their spiritual gifts and talents in willing service at church has caused them to seek God for their purpose.

Growing Christians have become a living epistle of 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV), “your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.” It is evident to all that they have changed. Their concern for the salvation of their family members, friends, and others is ever-increasing. They are learning how to witness and share their faith with others and have begun to live a consecrated life unto the Lord.

If you are a growing Christian, it is my prayer that you will continue on your journey until you reach spiritual maturity!

stay tuned for part 7 of it’s time for your spiritual checkup for one more possible diagnosis!

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 5

Another possible diagnosis one may receive from a spiritual checkup is being a carnal Christian.  A carnal Christian has accepted Jesus as their Savior but does not consume the Word regularly.  As a result, their mind is not being renewed and their faith is weak.  They are not doers of God’s Word. On the contrary, they are ruled by the standards set up by the dictates of their flesh and trust in the flesh and people more than in God.

1 Corinthians 3:3-4 gives a clear description of a carnal Christian.  Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church, “For are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men”?   Because they were envious and jealous of one another’s spiritual gifts, they were argumentative and divisive. He rebuked them for their prideful behavior.

A carnal Christian is a willing prisoner of thoughts, desires, and values that are opposite to God’s Word. They are led by their emotions, their flesh (five physical senses), and by satan instead of being led by the Holy Spirit. Lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life impact their choices.

The treatment plan or prescription to cure carnality is to desire, decide, and be devoted to developing one’s relationship with God by spending more time in prayer and reading, meditating and studying God’s Word and depending on Him to help you do it.

If you are a carnal Christian, I pray you will be sold out to righteousness and not to sin!

 

STAY TUNED FOR IT’S TIME FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL CHECKUP – PART 5 TO LEARN ANOTHER POSSIBLE DIAGNOSIS!

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 3

Upon physical examination and reading of your tests results, your doctor will diagnose your physical condition and give you a treatment plan. We, too, must read the results of the spiritual tests that Apostle John administered to us in Part 2 and self-diagnose our current spiritual condition.

The first possible diagnosis may be that you are a sinner (sin-sick) and need salvation. The prescription for that spiritual condition is to accept Jesus as Savior.  If this is your diagnosis, please pray the following sinner’s prayer:

 “Dear God, I Acknowledge that I was born a sinner. I need your mercy, forgiveness, and grace.  I Believe Jesus is your son who died on the cross in my place for my sins, was buried, and arose rose from the dead. I Confess Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.  I invite you to take control of my life and to help me to know and obey you.  Thank you for saving me, giving me new life in Christ, and filling me with the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen”!

If you have prayed this prayer sincerely from your heart for the first time, you are now a Christian.  Just that quick, God performed spiritual surgery on you, took out your hard heart, and replaced it with a soft heart. Welcome to the Body of Christ!

I pray that God will lead you to the bible-believing, bible-teaching church of His choice so you can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Remember, the abundant life starts with faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross!  Go, run, and tell someone that you just got saved!

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing along with the angels in heaven that you are now a Christian, a Kingdom citizen, and a child of God! You have just begun the most exciting journey that God has planned for you! Email us and we will send you information to help you in your new life in Christ!

Stay tuned for it’s time for your spiritual checkup – part 4! you will learn about another possible spiritual diagnosis.

It’s Time for your Spiritual Checkup – Part 2

As part of an annual physical examination, your doctor will administer various tests to help diagnose your physical condition.  In the books of the Bible that Apostle John wrote, he gives eight tests to help us diagnose our current spiritual condition. There are no wrong answers. Think about your lifestyle and give your honest answers!

Belief tes– 1 John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…”  Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son who died on the cross for your sins?

Sin test – 1 John 3:9 “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God”.  Do you live a sinful lifestyle?

Obedience test – 1 John 2: “The man who says, I know Him, but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Do you obey God consistently?

Holy Spirit test – 1 John 4:13 “We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of his Spirit”.  Is the Holy Spirit operating in your life consistently?

Love test – 1 John 3:14-15 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him”.  Is there anyone you hate?

Answered Prayer test – 1 John 3:22 “and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.  Is God answering your prayers?

Love of the World test – 1 John 2:15-16 – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.” Who do you love–this world and its things or God and all people?

Persecution test – John 15:19 “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”  Does the world hate you because you are a Christian or does it love you because your lifestyle resembles its?

STAY TUNED! IN THE NEXT POST, YOU WILL DIAGNOSE YOUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION!

God is Elohim

There are many names of God listed in the Bible. Each of them reveals to us who God is. The Old Testament name Elohim is the plural name of God. In Genesis 1:26, God the Father said, “let us make man…” He was commissioning the other members of the Godhead–God the Son Jesus and God the Holy Spirit–to co-labour with Him in the Creation.

One of the benefits of staying in a hotel on the beach is the opportunity to view nature up close and personal. Early one morning in Myrtle Beach as the sun was rising, I ran down to commune with God and enjoy His creation. Its brilliance reflecting off the water captivated me. I was awestruck and captured the beauty of God’s creation in this article’s featured picture. Truly the heavens declare the glory of God!

Any one who knows me is well aware of my favorite color. I was compelled to snap a photo of this purple tree. It is yet another display of the magnificence of our God!

Look at this rare super moon I was excited to photograph a few years ago. Only God, Elohim, our Creator could do this!

Let’s treasure and be good stewards of all God’s creation that He made for us to enjoy!

God Is…

One of the missions of “God Is” Ministries, LLC is to teach you who God is. As we get to know who God is, we begin to discover who we are in God.

There is only one true and living God and His name is Jehovah, which means eternal God. The Bible declares in John 4:24 that, “God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” God is an incorporeal being. God is Elohim, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth. He created everything–the earth, the animals, fowls, fish, and mankind.

We become a Christian by establishing a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. By faith, we accept the gift of salvation based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Once we establish this relationship, we must then develop this relationship by getting to know who God is.

Though we cannot expect to know everything about God, He has revealed Himself through general and special revelation. God reveals Himself through nature. Psalm 19:1 says, “the heavens declare the glory of God…” Look at the leaves on trees in the Fall with its variety of hues and shapes. Every year without fail, this abundance of leaves returns. How can we not realize that only God can do this!

God has also revealed Himself through His Word. The Lord said in Psalm 40:7, “Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me.”

Additionally, God revealed Himself through His Son. Jesus said in John 14:9 “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.”

Let’s look at some of the things God has revealed about Himself and what it means to His people:

  • God is a trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; I am a trinity: I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body.
  • God is a good Father. He meets my needs, protects, guides, and corrects me.
  • God is the source and the strength of my life, so since I’m made in His image I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
  • God is omnipresent. I’m never alone because He is always with me.
  • God is a giver of good things. Good things are coming to me and happening to me.
  • God is Alpha and Omega. He will continue to work in me until it is completed upon Jesus’ return.
  • God is gracious. He can give me the things I don’t deserve.
  • God is merciful. He can spare me from getting those things I do deserve.
  • God is omniscient. When I call on Him, He shows me great and mighty things that I don’t know.
  • God is love. His love is the greatest love I will ever experience.
  • God is faithful so I can trust Him when I can’t trace Him.
  • God is omnipotent. He has given me power over serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of  the enemy.
  • God is immutable. Because He does not change, I can believe all His promises.
  • God is infinite. There is no limit to what He can do for me and through me.
  • God is eternal; I’m His child and we will be together forever.
  • God is truth so I can stand firm on everything in His Word.
  • God is just, therefore, I always expect Him to do the right thing.
  • God is sovereign. I can rest in Him because He is large and in charge of everything.
  • God is perfect; therefore, I do not put Him on the same level as mankind.

Stay tuned for more teaching on who God is!