Daily Word Archives



What Open Door posts on Facebook - December 2016

 

12/2/2016

 

Many of us are in "Christmas mode" and involved in various things regarding the celebration. We also know that it is not a happy time for some, and depression is often very evident during this season.

 

We must remember that the real meaning of Christmas is described in John 3:16:

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

All of the external decorations, lights, parties, food, colors and sounds have little meaning without the true meaning.

 

It is not the "stuff" that brings us joy. The stuff should reflect the joy that is on the inside.

 

May this simple truth of the gospel be our motivation in all that we do with the "stuff"; but also our motivation in helping others who may be struggling, depressed, or just need a little help.

 

12/3/2016

 

Tomorrow at church we will begin to play and sing our Christmas songs. If you are involved in a church music program, you know the decision has to be made concerning when to start it.

 

There is the playing of it: prelude music, closing music, congregational singing, specials, etc.

 

Some may think it starts too early, but to try to get everything in requires planning and often an early start.

 

For many of us, the standard Christmas songs and hymns can be sung basically from memory. We encourage you however (and ourselves) not to let it become mundane or without meaning.

 

May the words of our songs inspire a new zeal for things of Christ and our Christian life. Let us do what we can to stir ourselves up to sing and celebrate like we are hearing about the coming of Jesus for the first time.

 

The reality of Jesus' birth is still the same regardless of whether we let it excite or motivate us.

 

May our efforts be renewed, our desire steadfast, and our consecration be to give Jesus the preeminence in all our Christmas celebration. We pray the joy of the Lord be our strength and His wisdom to show us how to be a blessing to others during this holiday season.

 

But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. ~ Hebrews 13:16

 

12/5/2016

 

As mentioned in our last post, we began singing our Christmas songs at church yesterday. We will sing some every service until Christmas Day which happens to fall on a Sunday this year. We will do some contemporary Christian songs with the Christmas theme, while also doing many favorite Christmas hymns we have known since childhood. We could sing many of these from memory.

 

By the time Christmas arrives, many may feel tired of the Christmas music. We should do our best to keep this from happening. We remember the message of the words and music. The angel declared it:

 

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. ~ Luke 2:10

 

We are singing about what God did to bless us now and to prepare a wonderful eternity for us.

 

Therefore let us sing the songs, enjoy the decorations, and promote the true meaning of Christmas with great joy unto all people.!

 

12/6/2016

 

The word "purge" in the New Testament is quite interesting. The common meaning is to cleanse, purify, rid and remove.

 

Note these verses regarding what has been purged by the blood of Jesus. It almost seems too good to be true:

 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; ~ Hebrews 1:3

 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ~ Hebrews 9:14

 

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. ~ Hebrews 10:1-2

 

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. ~ II Peter 1:9

 

It is obvious from these verses is that God has done the ultimate to cleanse us from sin. This cleansing purged (got rid of) our conscience of sin. Our conscience should now be one of righteousness that is imparted unto us as a gift from Jesus. It is the reality we should be walking in more and more.

 

This is one of the joys of salvation. It is a release from the burdens of sin. It empowers you on the inside to believe the love that God has for us - because it manifests itself in our inward man who has become new in the righteousness of God. ~ Ephesians 4:24

 

Thus we do not take this grace of God lightly and continue to walk in sin. Lord show us how to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us" that we might "run" in this righteousness you have given us ~ Hebrews 12:1

 

We pray each one who reads will know the blessing of a conscience purged by the blood of Jesus and empowered by His righteousness.

 

12/7/2016

 

Today is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We know the news coverage then was nothing like it is now. There was likely a lot of speculation, unknowns and fear. It was not just the attack itself (which was bad enough), but now the United States was going to enter this war. So young men would be sent off to fight all over the world. Women's duties would change as well. The thrust and daily life in our country for so many was about to shift.

 

Our thought today: What kind of Christmas do you suppose most families had that year? Jesus and the message of the gospel had not changed and perhaps some could consider that (at least for a few weeks) as opposed to the life-shaking events that were happening.

 

We are thankful that most of us do not face devastating circumstances at Christmas time. Yet some do and we especially remember those who faced one 75 years ago. We give thanks today for those who are vigilant in places of danger and war - who serve to keep us safe.

 

May we especially lift up prayers in this regard - for families from World War II all the way to today who serve in the military and security of our country. We are grateful for all they do that we might enjoy a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

 

12/9/2016

 

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ ! Philippians 3:14

 

Today we want to look at the word "press"  in light of the above verse.

 

We know about pressing toward something in the natural, Many now are in the press toward Christmas - the day itself, a celebration, a production, a trip, etc. We want to pull our own weight and make good on our commitments.

 

We take these thing seriously and we will sacrifice time and effort in our "pressing".

 

May we develop this in our spiritual life, in our relationship with God, and our Christian service. It should not be lackadaisical or half-hearted. Help us heavenly Father to demonstrate a zeal in our personal pressing toward Your individual high calling for us in Christ. 

 

12/11/2016

 

In our last post we talked about the word "press" as in striving toward something - particularly toward the things of God from the verse we cited.

 

The word "press" is the root word of "pressure" and all of us likely know what that is. It can give us a little incite into the word "press".

 

Basketball fans know exactly what a full-court-press it. It is designed to intimidate the opposition, frustrate their plans in hopes they make a mistake. The "press" or "pressure" is on the opposition (opposing team)

 

In the Bible we know Jesus faced a lot of pressure in the Garden of Gethsemane. May know that the word Gethsemane means "wine press" or "oil press". The pressing of grapes and olives was and is very common in Israel. The pressing of grapes and olives is one thing, the pressing of people's souls and very lives is another.

 

While Jesus was being pressed, in prayer He was pressing towards God's high calling for Him, You can go back and read the story if you do not believe it was intense.

 

It is interesting that Jesus did not rely on His own strength or all the good works and successes that He had in the past. He sought His Father as the source of strength and we read:

 

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him ~ Luke 22:43 (read the verses before and after to really grasp the "pressing"

 

What we see here is Jesus "pressing" back. The "pressing" can work both ways and we call upon the power of God to do just that when we are under pressure. May we learn and develop this skill more and more in these days when so much evil abounds.

 

May we "press" and use the pressure of "good" in our lives daily.

 

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21

 

 

12/12/2016

 

Often the subject of motivation comes up in life. The dictionary defines motivation as: the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. In general we know what motivation is and we certainly know what a lack of motivation looks like ~ we can pick that out very quickly.

 

We know that motivation often is associated with our feelings or desires. We can say in some ways that motivation is imposed upon us: We go to work or we will go bankrupt ~ this is often a quite effective motivator. However, if we constantly derive little or no satisfaction with what we are doing, we will often seek a change.

 

While the term "motivation" itself is not in the Bible, we have verses such as:

 

"walk in love..." ~ Ephesians 5:2

 

"ye have an unction from the Holy One ..." ~ I John 2:20

 

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works... " ~ Matthew 5:16

 

"For we are labourers together with God ..." - I Corinthians 3:9

 

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works ..." ~ Ephesians 2:10

 

The list will get long with verses that tell us we have a lot of work to do and how to do it. Christianity is the blueprint for the greatest work ethic imaginable. As Christians we should endeavor the be the best at our jobs, the people that demonstrate the fruit of the spirit, the kind of people the company cannot do without - this is practical demonstration of Christ in us.

 

This is not always easy of course with the world we live in today. But this alone ought to be good motivation for us to go out and make a difference in this world. We have been empowered to make an impact.

 

We pray each day that God show us how to do this.

 

12/14/2016

 

A common phrase today is: Pick your Battles.

 

It is based on the observation that you cannot address and engage everything that comes across your path. In the ministry of Jesus, He did not do everything that everyone thought He should. He did not jump on everything that was "wrong" in the lives of every individual - thank God!

 

This concept is a whole sermon in itself. But as we have mentioned before, it is very important for each of us to know what God wants us to deal with each day. Therefore praying and keeping our hearts sensitive to the Lord's leading is crucial.

 

We know life gets hectic and when the pressure is on we are likely to make snap decisions that are not good. Teach us the way heavenly Father to handle situations properly in both the wisdom and the love of God. We know this will bring good success and blessing.

 

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. ~ Joshua 1:8

 

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:31-32

 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. ~ II Timothy 3:16-17

 

God has also blessed us with the Holy Spirit to be our Guide, Counselor, and Helper.

 

All of these serve to help us make wise choices.

 

12/16/2016

 

Many of us have been preparing for Christmas for some time. 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 ware 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 and going and "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.

 

 

12/18/2016

 

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:

 

They:

 

Worshipped

Gave

Rejoiced

 

That is the way to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

 

 

12/20/2016

 

So many sermons, teachings and object lessons have come out of the Biblical accounts of the coming of Christ. 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.

 

12/22/2016

 

We remember this beautiful medley and marvel at God's creation of the human voice:

 

http://faithtap.com/2167/home-free-angels-we-have-heard-on-high/

 

12/23/2016

 

Facebook  reminded us of a post we did before Christmas in 2011. We share it again:

 

Christmas is just days away

When Jesus in a manger lay

A star would guide the wise men to see

The Savior who was born for you and for me

 

Wise men still seek Him in 2011

Through Him alone can we make it to heaven

A wonderful gift God gave us that night

In a world full of darkness He gave us His light

 

The Gift is One Who keeps on giving

Each day a life that's worth the living

So on this Sunday the 25th of December

All He means to us - let's remember

 

And though the day might not be exact

The truth that He came - that is a fact

The story of the manger - that's just the start

For the story continues on as He lives in your heart

 

12/25/2016

 

We want to say Merry Christmas to everyone and pray you have a wonderful day. We remember the coming of Jesus to the earth some 2,000 years ago. We pray each may experience His coming into your heart and life and His blessings, peace and presence be with you always.

 

12/27.2016

 

As we approach the new year, words like "steadfast" and "consistency" come up when we consider resolutions for 2017.

 

When you think about it, we often apply them more to things than people. We really want the products we buy to be steadfast and consistent. That would be a great attribute for all the things we use and deal with on a daily basis. We want things we can count on.

 

In our lives we know the Biblical admonitions to stay true and steadfast in our faith and daily living. What we need to learn is to stay consistent when we constantly have to flow with changing situations.

 

We pray God show us how to do that on a daily basis. We are constantly faced with new situations, new technology, different ways of thinking, and circumstances we may have never seen before. So it is crucial that we be able to apply the Biblical principles that God has forever settled to our lives as we encounter so much change and variation.

 

The ability to do this would greatly enhance both the foundation and productivity of our lives.

 

12/28/2016

 

Billy Graham recently stated that as he assessed his Christian life and service, he wished he had spent more time in prayer. Every Christian would likely say the same thing, and we certainly long to be more effective in this area.

 

Some of the most powerful words that Jesus spoke were in regards to our prayers, how important prayer is, foundational principles, and answers to our prayers. Yet even those we consider most knowledgeable and experienced in prayer still declare it to be a mystery.

 

This is likely because it is a supernatural exercise or endeavor if we can use these terms. It is something beyond the natural of this earthly existence. It is a way to communicate with God, tap into His spiritual realm, and be a part of Jesus' kingdom that He said was not of this world. Thus it will certainly be somewhat a mystery to our flesh and our minds.

 

Yet our spirits should rejoice as prayer takes us to the realm where our spirits are nurtured, energized, and able to fellowship with the Creator. Countless books have been written about prayer, how to get started, and how to develop our prayer lives. But none of us will get very far until we just jump in and do it.

 

We encourage you to find a Bible-based prayer fellowship - where your prayer life can grow and expand. We hope this would be in your church.

 

Prayer should certainly be a part of our to-do list as we enter into the new year.

 

12/30/2016

 

Are you making any resolutions for the new year?. We know that many of them do not last long or we are not as diligent as we should be in carrying them out.

 

One reason might be that we do not give much thought or planning to our resolutions. Sometimes we just jump right in and try something, endeavor to solve a problem, etc. Our intentions may be good, but we usually need to address these areas on more than just a whim.

 

Usually these areas are things in our lives that have become habits that are detrimental or just time-wasters. If we are serious about making some changes, we should both pray and do some research so that we can deal with theses areas effectively.

 

There is just great satisfaction in achieving success and good results.

 

12/31/2016

 

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: 2016 is over - let it end. For many the 2016 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 2016 end. We know that people will still deal with things that are ongoing from 2016 - but do not live in the past year. Move on into 2017. 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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