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Showing posts from November, 2012

King Herod

Prayer: Dear Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I bless Your name today. Thank You for this first week of Advent where I begin to re-imagine the wonder of Your birth here among us. Please bring me to worship with Your people on Sunday morning so that I might praise Your name, bechallenged and strengthened in my faith, be a witness to others as we join together in Your house. You are an awesome God who gives us amazing gifts. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Read: Matthew 2:1–3, 16–23

Think about It: Jesus' place in history stands right next to one of the truly most evil men ever placed into leadership, King Herod the Great. While Rome was the true power in the region at the time, Herod was the ruler over Jerusalem, placed there at the leisure of the Romans. While he was probably highly intelligent, he was also ruthless and prone to evil because of his paranoia. He even had many members of his own family, including several of his 10 wives and even his own sons, murdered rather t…

Census and Taxes

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I praise You and worship You today. Thank You for bringing me to a place of devotion and study. Help me to integrate what You show me in the Word into my own life, allowing You to shape how I think and inform the making of my character. I bless You for doing this good work in me every day. In Jesus'  name I pray. Amen.

Read: Luke 2:1-3

Think about It: Back in the book of 1 Samuel, when the people of God asked for a human king, God explained to them that one of thedrawback to having a king is that he would charge them taxes. We have been paying taxes ever since! Benjamin Franklin said in 1789 " . . . but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Even in the days of Jesus, taxes were a reality. Because of taxes, Joseph was compelled to go back to his hometown of Bethlehem in order to be numbered in a census. The purpose of the census,conducted every 14 years, was to set taxes.

As we have discussed this week, Jesus is placed…

History Speaks

Prayer: Dear Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is always my joy to worship and praise your name. At this season of the year, Iremember with gladness the sending of Jesus into this dark world to bring His Light and there is much to celebrate in that fact. Please be with me today as I read Your Word. Open my eyes to Your truth as these Words inform my character and shape my existence. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Read: Psalm 2

Think about It: Jesus has been placed into the history of mankind both by the Scriptures we cherish and by secular historians. "The first-century church applied the second psalm to the Messiah as anexplanation of the crucifixion of Christ by the rulers (Herod and Pontius Pilate), the nations, and Israel (the priests, scribes, and Pharisees). They had conspired together against the Messiah of God (Acts 4:25–28)."*
Very few scholars today actually believe that Jesus didn't exist. They may not believe in Him for their salvation, but historian…

Greater Glory

Prayer: Dear Lord God, You have ordained that all of Your creation should praise You and so I do just that. I bless Your holy name anddeclare with the heavens that You are God. Thank You for bringing me into Your kingdom and creating in me a faith that longs to declare Your greatness. May Your name be glorified in my life today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Read: Haggai 2:6-9

Think about It: Quite often, when we read these Old Testamentprophecies, we walk away scratching our heads and wondering what in the world the might have been about. Today's passage from the rarely read Haggai is rather like that. What in the world was Haggai talking about? As we consider the concept of Jesus across all of time, this verse comes into play rather neatly.

Three times in the Scriptures God uses the shaking of the earth toherald the fact that something magnificent is happening. First, we find the earthquake that took place on Mt. Sinai upon the giving of the Ten Commandments. Then, when Jesus d…

Jesus Across Time

With the holiday season comes the ancient custom of observing Advent. This is a time of preparation for the birth of the Messiah. Because of this remembrance, the devotional blog will take on a different look until after Christmas. For the season, we will take a break from 2 Kings and instead ponder the readings that will be read during the coming Sunday. I pray God bless this season for you with deep meditation and an ever growing fascination with the Newborn King!
Prayer: Dear Awesome God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thank You for bringing me to this time of devotion, prayer, study, and closeness with You. Please Holy Spirit, fill my heart and mind with inspiration, insight, and a deepening love for You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Read: Hebrews 1:1–6

Think about It: In 1875, Scotsman Robert Burns wrote a poem about the nest of a mouse he had turned up with a plow. From that poem we get the following line, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley"…

Reform

A Godly Man

Amon