Monday, December 31, 2012

I received this is an email from a friend, this morning...

"Read the Bible to get to know God better.  Our goal in reading the Word is wasted if we are just trying to be a Bible encyclopedia.  Rather, we want the beauty of who God is to sink into our hearts and flow out to other people."

A blessed and joyous New Year to you all...

Sunday, December 30, 2012


There is a difference between hearing it and learning's doing it...obedience...

Our joy is full when we are completely lost in Jesus, and in obedience to Him.

Choosing obedience is to choose joy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Country Far Better

"To all of you who increasingly love and long for Jesus' appearing (2 Timothy 4:8), who have an inconsolable homesickness for a country far better than any that exists here (Hebrews 11:16), your perfect home, a home prepared especially for you (John 14:2), is coming."

Jon Bloom

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Psalm 33:10, 11

"The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation."

Who's word is upright 
and all His work is done in faithfulness (v. 4),
Who loves righteousness and justice
and fills the earth with His lovingkindness (v. 5),
 is in control.

We aren't.

The grid-lock in Washington ("cliff chaos") is on my mind right now, with the truth from this scripture.

When we know the character of God and
when we let the truth of the sovereignty of God
over all things control and shape our thinking,
peace will reign in our hearts,
no matter what the circumstance.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hebrews 2:9-17

"But we do see Him 
who was made for a little while lower than the angels,
because of the suffering of death
crowned with glory and honor, 
so that by the grace of God
He might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting for Him,
for whom are all things, 
and through whom are all things, 
in bringing many sons to glory,
to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified
are all from one Father;
for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
And again,
And again,
since the children share in flesh and blood,
He Himself likewise also partook of the same,
that through death He might render powerless
him who had the power of death, 
that is,
the devil,
and might free those who 
through fear of death
were subject to slavery all their lives.
For assuredly He does not give help to angels,
but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
He had to be made like His brethren in all things,
so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest
in things pertaining to God,
to make propitiation for the sins of the people."


I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas...being with family.
sent by the Father,
 came to a manger throne,
Christ the King,
to make us part of His family,
the very best part of Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Asher David Jacoby

Born at 3:13pm on Thursday, December 20, 2012.
Six pounds, fifteen ounces.
Congratulations, Karin!  He is perfectly precious
and such a sweet blessing from the Lord!
There are few things that bring greater joy than a baby announcement.  There's just something about babies, isn't there?  They are so precious.  And when a new baby is born into your family, there is just joy flowing everywhere.  My twin sister received her second grandson into her arms and heart on Thursday.  I am just so incredibly happy for her!  My husband and I were with our daughter's family, on our way to our favorite restaurant, to celebrate my husband's birthday, when we received the announcement of Asher's birth.  My cell phone rang.  After I said hello, I heard these three words from Karin, "Asher David Jacoby."  It took a couple of seconds to register the information and then I squealed in delight and then passed along the announcement to my family.  (More squealing from my daughter.) What made it even more exciting was we didn't even know my niece was in labor. It was being kept quiet so there was no anticipation, no build-up, which made the announcement all the more thrilling.  And then we waited for the pictures to start coming in.

Isn't this one absolutely beautiful?

While significant to our family and our family's friends, there was a baby announcement made two thousand years ago that has affected the entire world and continues to do so to this day.  It was the greatest baby announcement ever given.  The Father of this baby chose to make the announcement by an angel, to a group of shepherds...

"In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11

Good news of great joy, for all the people.

This announcement is for everyone, around the globe.

A Savior has been born.

Christ the Lord.

May your heart thrill again, this Christmas season, over this good news, which, even after two thousand years, is still fresh and exhilarating, never growing old or stale - that we have a Savior, Jesus, who was born and has saved us from our sins. 

How This Present Age Will End

You saw them, all the funnies about the end of the world occurring today, as predicted by the Mayans.  The one above was one of my favorites.   The one below made me chuckle out loud.

Here's the truth.  The Creator, Who also created time, has clearly given us signs to know when He will close this present age.  

First, take a look at Genesis 1:14 - "Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years."

Jesus created the lights in the sky to govern our days and nights and years - time, and to signal events.  

Jesus gives very specific and clear signs to us, concerning the end of the age we are in now, and how He will bring it to a close.  We find the signs in Matthew 24 and Mark 13.  These signs are to be watched for by all of His followers.  He says this in Mark 13:37 - "What I say to you I say to all, be on the alert!" - all is a 100% word.  Each generation of believers should know these signs.  He spells them out simply and clearly.  Here's my quick summary of Matthew 24 and Mark 13, but you should really study it and know it for yourself.  

False Christs.
Wars and rumors of wars.
Earthquakes and famines.
Hatred and deadly persecution against His followers.
Falling away.
Gospel being preached all over the world.
The abomination of desolation that Daniel wrote about.  (The New Testament teaching on this is in 2 Thessalonians 2.  This is when Antichrist proclaims he is God in the temple - which means a temple of sorts will be rebuilt before the end of the age.)
The greatest holocaust, the slaughtering of the elect - His chosen people, Israel, and of Jesus followers ever to occur.  (It will be much worse than the holocaust of WWII or of the persecution against the church in her infancy - much, much worse.)  
The natural lights going out - Genesis 1:14!
The Glorious Appearing of Jesus with His angels who will gather us to Him!

We aren't given the day or the hour, but we do know what will happen prior.

"...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Pretty clear, isn't it?  

Silly Mayans...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hope

Evil does not stop the plan of God.  Evil does not mean God's hands are tied.  On the contrary.  God is all powerful and in control and even though evil is around us and in us, evil will not triumph.  Jesus will.  God Almighty is dealing with sin.  God will not rest.  He will not quit.  He will not relent until every molecule, in every cell, in every person, in everything in this universe is brought into submission to who He is.  When we get to times of absolute and desperate despair, it is not that God cannot reach - God is calling us to turn again and acknowledge Jesus, the Redeemer.  No love is higher than His love.  No love is wider than His love.  No love is deeper than His love.  No love is truer than His love.  Jesus is The Hope that saves.  

By the Word of the Lord...

"By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, 
and it stood fast."

Psalm 33:6-9

Jesus made the heavens and all the heavenly bodies, simply by speaking them into existence.  "Let there be an expanse."  So waters separated and sky appeared.  "Let there be lights in the expanse."  And lights appeared.  Sun.  Moon.  Stars.  Star clusters - sparkling, swirling...millions upon millions...going deeper and deeper in to grains of sand, too many for the human eye or manmade telescope to count.

Power.  Incredible, unfathomable, incomprehensible power.

Just by speaking words.

I believe this.  No random, spontaneous, massive explosion brought the heavens and their heavenly bodies into existence.  It was Jesus.  Jesus created, effortlessly - with order and beauty and He holds His creation together.  He pours out the rain and snow on some areas of the earth and withholds it in other areas.  He oversees it all.  The waves rise and crash according to the boundaries He has set up.

This power, this awesome, wondrous, massive power causes the worship leader to call everyone, over all the earth, to be in awe of Jesus, and we are to stand.  Not sit.  Stand, for we should stand in the presence of Almighty God, revering, marveling, fearing, for accomplishing incredible wonders...simply by breathing words.

We need to let the power of Jesus shape our thinking today, and His lovingkindness, which fills the earth.  He is greater than everything.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Manger Miracle Night

Pictures from our Awana Manger Miracle Night.  The children came dressed as someone or something at the nativity...

To view the entire album of pictures, click here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sing for Joy in the LORD

"Sing for joy in the LORD,
O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.

Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Here is why...

For the word of the LORD is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;

The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD."

Psalm 33:1-5

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Working Joyfully and Waiting Eagerly

Ephesians 2:8, 9 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Philippians 3:20, 21 - "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Philippians 2:12, 13 - "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in your, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

Philippians 3:14 - "I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

It's happened to you.  Jesus has grabbed your heart.  Maybe it was a week ago.  Maybe it was half a century ago, but we play no part in our salvation.  We were dead in our sins and dead people can't do anything.  God saved us, doing it all.  Faith is His gift to us.  He brings life to us.  When our eyes are opened, and our hearts are melted by Jesus, we've already been raised.  Our salvation begins 100% with God's work and ends 100% with God's work.  Jesus will transform our bodies into His glorious resurrection body.  Our beginning and end is locked up, not in what we've done, but in who Jesus is.  Right now we are in the middle process.  We've been saved but we still sin.  The process we are going through, growing in Christlikeness, is called sanctification.  It means we work and we strain to become more like Christ - to bring glory to God.  We play a part in this middle process.  A big part.  It takes effort.  Great effort.  We work hard.  We press on.  We strain.  It takes discipline.  It's not easy, but oh is it rewarding.  Keep going, child of God.  Keep working.  Keep straining.  Keep pressing on while eagerly waiting for the return of Christ.  There is more joy and overwhelming peace in a growing, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ, than anything this world has to offer.  Jesus is at the finish line.  He is waiting eagerly and joyfully there for you, just as you are working joyfully and waiting eagerly for Him.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Most Humble Person

Jesus was the most humble person to walk the face of the earth.
Every second He was here,
He was pushing aside what He rightfully deserved,
Who He rightfully was,
What He could rightfully command -
His glory,
His honor,
His majesty.
He came like a child.
Christmas was the greatest act of humility,
next to the cross,
that the world has ever known.
Christmas -
God became man.
As we seek to look more like Christ,
we must continually humble ourselves...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why Press On?

"I press on toward the goal
for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  

Philippians 3:14

Why press on?  

Why give everything we have?  

It is not to earn God's love.  

It is not to make ourselves clean.  

We are loved.

We are clean.

It's because we cannot get over the truth that the Creator God of the universe would love us so much that He would spare us from our sin.  

Why do we get up and go to church?  

Why do we study our Bibles?  

Why do we pray?  

Why do we discipline ourselves?  

Because we love Jesus.  

Everyday we need to live in light of the gospel.  We deserved death and hell.  We deserved to be separated from God.  We deserved to not have Jesus step into our place.  In our sin, in our hypocrisy, Jesus has made us His own.  We don't need to fear what the future holds.  We don't need to wonder whether or not we are good enough.  We don't need to wonder if we are loved.  We are loved.  Jesus paid the price for us.  We will stand before the throne, one day, and worship Jesus.  We are going to see Him face to face. It is going to happen.  It will be a reality.  We press on, we strive, we push harder and harder to know Jesus and to grow and be transformed into His likeness, not because we need to for God to love us, but because Jesus has already loved us so much.

(This post, and yesterday's, are notes gleaned from Sunday's message at Harvest Bible Chapel Spring Lake.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

God Loves Hypocrites

Non-believers biggest complaint against Christianity is not necessarily against Jesus; it’s not necessarily against God’s Word.  It is against believers themselves.  They see believers, claiming to be Christians, but they say they don’t see any difference in the believer’s life.  They say believers are just as selfish, just as arrogant, just as lonely.  They see believers making the claim that their hope is in Christ but yet they see the believer living for worldly things.  Non-believers don’t have an issue with Jesus, but with His followers, because they are hypocrites. 

Unbelievers are right.

Any follower of Jesus Christ lives with hypocrisy in their life.  We are saved by Jesus.  One day we are going to be without sin.  One day we are going to live eternally with God in a perfect relationship with Him and others.  We are still sinful people right now and we live in a sinful world.  We are not the finished product that God promises to make us.

If we are honest with ourselves, there are periods in our lives when we are very selfish.  We lie.  We are more about ourselves and temporary things than we are about eternal things.  We shake our fist at God in our attitudes or our sinful actions. 

Here’s the good news.

Because of Jesus and His death on the cross and His resurrection, God loves hypocrites.  Our identity is not in our hyprocrisy, but we are found and hidden in Jesus Christ.  Even though we are not there yet, we are not perfect, God loves us and cares for us.  He is working on us. 

We are His. 

Jesus is greater than our sin.  Jesus loves us, despite our hypocrisy.

We belong to Jesus, but we are not the finished product yet.  We don’t have to be perfect for God to love us.  Jesus took that over for us.  All we have to do is believe by faith, live a repentant life, and we can know for sure that God loves us.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ."  Philippians 1:6