Daily Word Archives

What Open Door posts on Facebook - December 2014




We begin the last month of the year and it is hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. Many are concerned about what 2015 will bring with all the uncertainty and strife in the world. May we look to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to make sure that we stay steadfast on the solid Rock.


Remember the song; In times like these we need an anchor...


Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; ~ Hebrews 6:19


Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. ~ I Corinthians 15:58


Remember that our hope is not in this world, our confidence is not in man nor the arm of flesh but we look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.


May we exhibit our faith, trust and confidence in Him each day and thereby be a light and a help to the people in our sphere of influence.




The story is told of a fellow who was disgusted with what he had been doing in preparation for Christmas celebrations. He met with some of his friends and complained: I have spent time that I really don't have, buying things that I really can't afford, eating things I certainly don't need, and trying to impress people I really don't like.


He just needed a place to vent some frustrations. Some of the things he mentioned might help us to avoid some of these areas and focus more on Jesus.


When we keep Jesus as the focus and meaning of our Christmas, all the ways we celebrate, our get-togethers, food, decorations, and presents just enhance the joy of Jesus in our hearts.




A good question for us each day is: Am I following the will of God as best I can?


We all know that so many questions and situations come before us each day that we do not have answers for.


But we must be able to answer for the stand we are taking and the way we conduct our individual lives.


We desire that God be pleased with the way that we are "living for Jesus".




Many of us are already preparing for Christmas - some even have been at it for weeks. We know that we prepare for things that are important to us. Sometimes we do things "off the cuff" so to speak - but not the important things.


There can be so many aspects to our Christmas celebrations: family, friends, food, presents, Christmas cards, decorations, lights, a tree, activities, church services, Christmas programs - things like the Bethlehem walk in our area, Nativity & manger scenes. music and caroling - usually choral groups and musicians start working on music in September and October.


As Christians we know that it is not just about December 25th. It is the entire season of the year when we want to honor Jesus and commemorate His birth. We want to "spruce things up". We will be blessed to walk into a decorated sanctuary with flowers, lights, a tree, etc. - things that bring a sense of pleasure and joy on the inside because it is meant to bring honor and praise to our Lord. We are thankful to those who work hard to keep our church up, to keep it going and to "spruce it up".


We desire that the outside decorations just be a reflection of our hearts and lives that would be a praise unto our Lord as well. That should be our desire everyday, but the Christmas season gives us the opportunity to make things look a little nicer to honor Jesus. We encourage everyone to make the most of the Christmas season in honor of Him.




We know that Christmas is often called the season of giving.  May we approach each day with the thought "how can I give in some way today?" - time, effort, energy, money, prayer, goods, etc.


May God bless us to do something each day that would fit in the category of "giving".




This is why there's a Christmas Day!






On this anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we especially remember and pray for our men and women in the armed forces. We pray for their families as well as those who serve to protect our communities and work in fire and rescue. All of these people risk their lives to keep us safe.


We so appreciate and thank you all!




A few years ago we found a song that was meaningful for Christmas. We try to do it at church every other year or so. It plays on the word "presents" that are often associated with Christmas. The song says to the Lord "I want Your presence for Christmas" instead of presents.


The words are below if you have never heard it, and the link at the bottom will let you hear it done by three girls on YouTube:


Your Presence For Christmas


 In   the   busy   Christmas   noise

All   the   lights,   the   bells,   the   toys

I   have   found,   You   are   the   only   source   of   comfort   and   joy




            Lord   I   want   Your   presence   for   Christmas

            I   want   Your   presence   for   Christmas

            I   long   to   hear   Your   Spirit   speaking   peace   to   my   heart

            Of   all   the   gifts   I   may   receive,   thereís   only   one   I   really   need

            And   itís   Your   presence,   Your   presence,   for   Christmas


When   the   holiday   is   through   

And   the   year   is   fresh   and   new

What   will   linger   are   the   moments   spent,

My   Lord,   just   worshipping   You


Beautiful version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZbM762RF4k




If you have ever attended a marriage seminar, you often hear this question asked of both husbands and wives. Are you treating your spouse now the same way you did when you were dating?


The question assumes that people are often on their best behavior when dating, trying to make a good impression, putting their best foot forward so to speak.


We know we could get over on negatives that can happen in dating and carried over into marriage. But the question is asked to get our attention. Have we slacked off and taken one another for granted?


It would likely do us all good to be as attentive and thoughtful as we were (or should have been) when we were dating.


This could be a lasting Christmas gift to our spouse.




May God grant us individual wisdom to both live and share the message of Jesus Christ in our sphere of influence.




In case you have not heard this rendition - we believe you will enjoy it!






For those who been Bible students for a number of years, isn't it interesting when you come across a verse that seems like "I never remember seeing or hearing that".


Perhaps verses strike us differently when we relate them to current concepts or what is going on in our lives. How about this one from Job 32:9


Great men are not always wise: ...


This is certainly one to keep in mind with what we are seeing today. Whether we are great or not, we know how important wisdom is to us on a daily basis:


Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. ~  Proverbs 4:7-9


May Biblical wisdom grant us a Godly greatness!




So many sermons, teachings and object lessons have come out of the Biblical accounts of the coming of Christ. We may touch on some of them before the 25th. We are reminded today of Christ coming as a servant.


Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: ~ Philippians 2:5-7


We rarely think about the fact that a servant has things of his own that need to be taken care of - especially if he or she has a family. A true servant puts others first - this is a great challenge for all of us. It was not the only mindset that Jesus had because He had other responsibilities. So balancing all of the "missions" was something He dealt with.


So also it is with us. We have responsibilities to lead and make decisions - with children/family, on the job, and in the community. We have to do that from a Christian standpoint (that should exhibit high standards) along with being a servant from the New Testament perspective.


Thus we recognize how much we need God's help in order to serve in the right way - whether we are giving the instructions or whether we are receiving them. When we do each in a Christ-like way, we enhance our testimony and witness greatly.




Like the wise men, we want God to know how much we appreciate Him sending Jesus and we declare His birth is worth celebrating. The wise men give us an example of how to respond to the birth of Jesus:








That is the way to celebrate the birth of Jesus.




In keeping with our musical theme, we share this country-flavored song: It Still Takes A Wise Man To Pray





Consider the circumstances surrounding the time of the birth of Jesus:


They were dealing with taxes then - just like today.


There was mass murder - Herod killing baby boys 2 years old and younger.


It is an interesting comparison to ponder. Our point is that everything was far from perfect when this intervention from God came. We see the same in the ministry of Jesus. He demonstrated the awesome power of God - yet He did not fix everything in the natural to everyone's satisfaction.


This takes some time digest. Each of us can believe God and take Him at His word that He will bless us, take care of us, and comfort us when necessary - probably not to everyone's satisfaction.


This is the reality we deal with in this fallen world. This should not detract from the joy of our salvation and our pursuit of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. But we also remember that Jesus said in this world we would have tribulation.


In the midst of it all we are grateful for His presence and for righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost ~ Romans 14:17




During the first week of December one of our topics involved what we do in preparation for Christmas. Much of it involves decorations and other things particularly meant to be seen. You have probably seen video and news casts that show houses lit up like airports and flash to the beat of a particular song. All of this is just part of the fun and festivities.


We also need to remember that not everything may work out or continue to function perfectly - why can't we get tree lights that will last more than a few days, I just cannot find the perfect gift, some of the folks cannot make it home for Christmas, I just burned half of the Christmas dinner, someone in the family has to work Christmas Day, etc. We do not make light of any of these scenarios as we know Christmas is special to many of us. It is often the one time of year when families can get together.


But we should remember that so much of it is the external. We know the true meaning is Jesus. We remember that people are more important than things. When things go wrong we do get frustrated but we do not want to let it ruin our Christmas.


Lord help us keep the right focus, to keep our joy when something tries to steal it, and keep our hearts right no matter what. We remember that the coming of Jesus was announced as " tidings of great joy which will be to all people". May others see the joy in us this Christmas.




Just some bluegrass fun because Christmas Time is Coming:





On this Christmas Eve, many are preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. We know that the date is likely not the correct day of the actual birth. The fact that He was born is more important than the date.


The same is true with us when we think about it. We assume the date on our birth certificate is correct and we use it for a number of things in this life. But more important than the date is the fact we were born.


So it is with Jesus - we rejoice in His birth and not the date.


We believe the birth of Jesus is worth celebrating - year round! Yet this particular time gives us the opportunity to declare His birth to the world and help our children understand the meaning of Christmas.


Thus we celebrate Christmas because we love Jesus and are so thankful for His birth.




We pray you enjoy a Jesus-filled, Christmas Day celebration of joy. May Christ fill our hearts with His presence that we might be a blessing in the world.




As soon as Jesus came to earth, then began His mission to fulfill the destiny and calling that was on His life.


We too, after Jesus comes in to our lives, should begin our mission to fulfill God's calling in our lives.


We look to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) that we might grow up into him in all things (Ephesians 4:15)


We are on a journey and in a race - may we complete it successfully!




As we are closing out 2014, we may reflect back over the year concerning all we have been through. Likewise we may look forward to 2015 regarding things we are fairly sure we will deal with while knowing things unexpected could happen.


Regardless of our perspective, Christians should rejoice that we are not on our own. Jesus did not leave us helpless, but sent us the Comforter - the Holy Ghost.


Regardless of our circumstances, it is always good to draw near to God and come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace in a time of need.


We are grateful for an anchor to our soul and the Rock of our salvation. We look unto Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith.


Heavenly Father, we ask for Your wisdom, grace, favor, and power as we prepare for 2015.




Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; ... ~ Colossians 3:16


Wouldn't this be a great challenge and goal for us in the coming year!




We have come to the end of another year. Have you ever heard a football coach tell his players: When the final whistle blows and you walk back to the locker room, leave the game on the field. That may be too simplistic but the coach is trying to remind the team that the game is over.


In regards to the year, we could say it like this: 2014 is over - let it end. For many the 2014 year was rough and they have noted that they are looking forward to the new year and putting this one behind them.


As much as possible, we encourage you to let 2014 end. We know that people will still deal with things that are ongoing from 2014 - but do not live in the past year. Move on into 2015. As Paul stated: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 3:13-14.


We might say it this way: I do not have everything down pat, but I am pressing forward to the good things God has for me in Christ Jesus. Lord help me to tie up any loose ends that I can, so that I may be able to move forward unhindered.


May the Lord richly bless you as you enter the new year with Him.


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