Jesus in the Feast of Tabernacles

A journey across the seas and through the wilderness. Finding a new home, gathering in the harvest, abundance all around! The nations come to the Light of the world & drink of the Living Water.

Look! Miracles abound in the midst of the crowd as a man, though rejected by his own, claims center stage.

The Anointed & Appointed offers life, forgiveness, freedom, JOY!!!

Then the show goes on into the night. Man-made lights blaze bright into the night.

But the quest advances for a few who hunger & thirst for the future feast to be fulfilled.

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Silence Leads to Violence

The complacency of fools will destroy them. (Proverbs 1:32b)
One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (Proverbs 18:9)

We are all limited in our knowledge, to some degree or another. We are all also limited in our service to the Lord, in one way or another, either due lack of ability or lack of faithful effort. Anyone who fails to serve is subject to destruction. Jeremiah knew this full well:
A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed! (Jeremiah 48:10)

The reasons there are wars & rumors of wars at this time is because of the shortage of those doing the Lord’s preferred work of blessing the nations. If we do not bless, we will be accursed. If we do not build up the Kingdom of God among the nations, we will have to tear down the kingdoms of man called nations.

Ezekiel (3:16-21), who prophesied about the same time, received a message from God that made what Jeremiah prophesied clearer:

At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.

“Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

In other words, if a person does not share the wisdom that God has given them with those who are ignorant, the wise man must execute judgment. Silence leads to violence.

In what was likely one of the first portions of the New Testament that was written down and distributed, Paul wrote in Galatians: As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (1:9) Later on in the book, Paul expanded later in the book of Galatians how we are to identify with Jesus’ ostracism from the community of the self-righteous by setting the example: For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (2:19-20) So we see that there is a dying that must take place to identify with Jesus.

Paul went on to make it clear that:
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (3:10-14)
To follow Jesus is to believe that His death on the cross was sufficient to take all the curses that you deserve, so that through the Messiah Who was crushed, you might be lifted up with Him Who is exalted over every other name and so receive the Spirit of God through the promise you trust. We who receive this promised spirit then are able to bless the nations.

Back to an idea in Proverbs about character: Who are we? Paul says, “We are fools for Christ …” (1 Corinthians 4:10a) To be fools for someone means you will do some things that seem foolish because of your attachment to that person. This may seem like a bad idea, but the alternative to being zealously in love with the Lord is not a good one. Paul includes in the conclusion to his letter to the Corinthians, “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” (16:22) Whoa! Either we love the Lord or we love the world. There is no middle ground. The world may seem good and full of goods, but God is the Truly Good.

Yet our love for the Lord should lead to a love for the lost that says, “Better I die & go to hell, than that many people would die & go to hell.” Again, Paul testifies in Romans 9:2-4a “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.” As he was about to go to Jerusalem and then on to Rome itself, he said, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:23-24) The only reason we live on planet earth after we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior & acknowledge Him as Lord is to make known the Kingdom of Heaven known on earth. God is patient with us so that we might make known His salvation known through our whole life.

Lest we think of this as merely exemplary living, Paul opens his letter to the Philippians with a meditation on his future on earth:
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. (1:20-26)

The point of his life is not himself, but Christ who lives in Him. Christ has become our hope of glory. Let us glory not in being right in ourselves or right with the world. Rather, let us boast of the Righteous One who has come to our defense.

Do you lack any joy? Stop looking for joy in special seasons or special saints or special gifts or special sources of happiness. Let all your springs be in the Lord Jesus. Take offense at no humbug this season. Let not death quench your happiness, but let all things lead you closer and closer to Jesus. Let Him be the Word of God to you. Let Him be the Open Door that is set before you. Let Him be your Bread of Life. Let Him be your Resurrection & your Life. Have you lost your way from the path of peace? Look to Him as the Prince of Peace and pledge allegiance to Him alone. Follow Jesus as the Way. Believe in Him as the Truth. Love Him as the Life. He will bring you to the Father from whom all family derives its name and your spirit will mingle with the Very Spirit of God this Christmas.

Let us go out and tell our families, our friends, our neighbors, and yes, even our enemies what the Lord has done for us not only at Christmas, but also on the cross. The devil also needs to hear more about the saving victory of the Lord Jesus Christ who is risen and coming quickly. Marana tha!

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Christmas Love: A Sonnet and Studies.

A chorus of angels assigns a chore for us:
Run to see the Savior, Christ the Lord.
Young Mary’s heart, soon pierced by evil sword.
Yet magi come with royal gifts, implore us
Let us pray and worship Christ the King
of Whom the moving stars in heaven sing:
Your Jewish baby prince is bringing peace
His sacred suffering shall send forth release
from debt to sin. “You must be born again.”
We run abroad, afar to spread the news,
that God saves any He’d elect to use
while carried by the Comforter, our Friend.

Below are links to various resources on Christmas: links to sites with historical information on Christmas.

Christmas is an opportunity to share the news about the gift that God gave the world, Jesus, whom people can TRUST for their eternal lives! No other message can be GREATER THAN THIS GOOD NEWS! Unfortunately, many people in the world cannot or will not accept this gift of ?Light and life.In fact, there are a growing number of skeptics, atheists, some scholars and agnostics who are attempting to use ?evidencefrom science, archaeology and literature to show there is no God and the Bible does not contain truth! In 2009, a DVD supposedly on Biblical Archaeology was produced that is full of inaccurate information on the OT. The film
indicated that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were NOT father, son and grandson! The use of false accusations such as these cause doubt and confusion. The Bible stands on its own testimony, ?inspired of God2 Tim.3:16. There is a great need for Christians to be able to accurately communicate the truth of God?s Word!
This is especially important when it comes to the Birth of Jesus!

One source of information is

It contains: The Prelude (Old Testament including Jesus?s Genealogy-how God used the Jewish people to be a witness to the world), The Town (Bethlehem) of Jesus Birth, The
Postlude and The Future (Jesus Ministry and the second coming of Jesus as told in Revelation). During this Christmas season the Mission Focus will present some facts found in these sections. We are starting with the Prelude. This gives a background about important historical and spiritual points from the Old Testament (and secular history) that prepared the way for Christ?s Birth. Included was prophecies such as Micah 5:2, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." MAGI: ?From about 600 B.C. to 600 A.D., the MAGI were from the PRIESTLY TRIBE OF THE KINGDOM OF PARTHIA (IRAN). Daniel chapter 2:48 tells why King Nebuchadnezzar II
appointed Daniel to be the leader of the Magi after interpreting his dream! Chapter 2 of Daniel is important to read as it tells us so
much about the power of God! BIRTH OF CHRIST: ?We know now that that King Herod probably died in 4 B.C. The Magi came after the Birth of Jesus, but before the death of King Herod. They spoke with Herod. So Jesus was probably born in 5 or perhaps 4 B.C.

Credible evidence to support the traditional dating of Christmas on the 25th December. Not only so, he argues that "the Roman pagan festival was instituted after the Christians had already been celebrating the birth of Christ on that day for many decades. Their pagan festival was an attempt to create an alternative tradition, which already was associated with the birth of Christ"

Why did the early church institute December 25 as Christmas, a day for giving gifts? Because it was the day when Maji presented Jesus with their gifts. See the next link:

A look at the heavens during the time of Christ & an affirmation of the birth of Jesus. The basis for studying astronomy and not practicing astrology: The stars tell us about the God of heavens like a thermometer: They signify things are hot & cold but don't make things
hot or cold. Stars indicate what is going on but don't make things happen. ?This explanation of the Star is compelling…NASA's Chief Engineer for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station

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Barriers to Joy & Peace

This Christmas, remove any barriers to joy & peace in your life so that you can share in the Love of Christ which is shed abroad in our hearts.

See if any of the following are blocking your capacity to love:

1. Bitterness & lack of forgiveness. If so, let go and forgive.
2. Lack of gratitude. If so, count your blessings.
3. Loneliness. If so, befriend the lonely.
4. Sickness. If so, go to the Doctor.
5. Ignorance. If so, study the Bible & hear a message on Jesus & be honest.
6. Feeling poor. If so, share something you have with others.
7. Hunger. If so, work with your hands and go to a Christian to ask for help buying food.
8. Fear of death. If so, repent of your sin & return to the Lord Jesus. He conquered death.
9. Worry. If so, pray in Jesus name and read promises from the Word of God.
10. Uncertainty. If so, do the one thing you know you last knew was the right thing to do.

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Bible Translation Day

Today is Bible Translation Day with Wycliffe Bible Translators

This video details the current status of translations around the world.

Historically, whenever the Bible is made available in a new langauge, it motivates educational transformation. Regular reading and application of the Bible has also renewed love in marriages, restored health to bodies broken by bad habits (both mental and addictions), ended civil conflicts, and changed economies as people became increasingly productive and stopped busybodying about everybody else. But most importantly, the Bible communicates the way in which we can be restored to God.

God has revealed His plan for humanity. The Bible opens with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth …” and closes with, “the grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.” This is my favorite Scripture, the section between and including those two blessings.

I am thankful today, that I not only am alive, but I have Bibles in several languages to tell me why and portable on my phone to remind me regularly. I am thankful for those languages that are getting the Bible into them even as I write. I am thankful for God’s promise to complete the work He started. I am thankful that His promises never fail. I am thankful that I have enough access to the original languages and critical editions of the Bible to know that the Bible is trustworthy and reliable transmitted down through the generations to today. God’s Word has not failed.

We have failed often to obey God’s Word, but God will accomplish His Word and His Work in our lives. The Law & the Prophets prepared for it. The cross & resurrection of Jesus guaranteed it. The Apostles proclaimed it. More and more, the nations are believing it. Do you believe? What are you thankful for? Have you read the Bible lately? What encouragement did you receive from the Bible lately?

I have been encouraged that Jesus ate with taxcollectors and sinners. This means that God loves government agents and anti-government forces alike. He loves you. He loves you so much He has been thinking about you all day long. He is hoping you will take up His love letter soon. Read. Relax. Relate.

Yes, this is the call of God’s word. In relation to God and others, it is a simple message: Learn. Let go. Love. God Himself will hold you close if you will reach out to him. …

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