Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Without Christ

Christmas Without Christ
Through our naked eyes, we could see that Christmas Season is the brightest and most colorful season of the year, but in spiritual sense, Christmas Season and its spiritual significance could be obscured by carnal hearts of men.

Right heart with God and an in-depth study of the Scriptures make a man to be more appreciative of the true essence of Christmas.

Christmas is C-hrist’s H-istoric, R-emarkable I-ncarnation S-tory, T-elling M-essiah’s A-waited S-alvation.

Every Christmas Season people are deeply engaged in the affairs of the world without realizing Christ’s remarkable visit to sinful men. Truly, lack of interest on spiritual things and an indifferent attitude toward God’s Word can lead people to carnality and pride.

Sometimes we ask these thought-stirring questions to ourselve: Does Christmas Season really help people draw closer to God or to gold? Does Christmas Season lead us to the Word or to the world? Does Christmas Season make a Christian spiritual or carnal?

We must realize that Christmas is a great reminder to us all, and we strongly believe that this season is a great help for spiritual Christians to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and become stronger.

As we go through this well-celebrated season, may we not forget “the most special person of the season” which is the Lord Jesus Christ. Bear in mind that “Christmas without Christ is a mess.”

MESS: M-essiah’s unrecognized significance (Luke 2:1-6), E-arthly affairs (Luke 2:7; 1 John 2:15-17), S-piritual confusion (Matthew 2:3-7), S-piritual poverty (Matthew 2:13-18; Revelation 3:17-22).

As we enjoy the Season, may we not overlook the spiritual significance of Christmas. Have a merry Christmas not a messy X’mas. It is a blessing to celebrate Christmas in the center of God’s will and to experience the spiritual richness of the birth of Jesus, which is the Savior of the world. —Jose Cabajar

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 KJV)

Blessed Christmas 2015

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government 
shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, 
Prince of Peace. 

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ink Spots

Ink Spots
Several months ago while doing our laundry I accidentally left an ink pen in one of my pockets. When I opened the door on the clothes dryer I saw bright blue ink all over the white laundry! The inside of the dryer was a disaster! I think it was a brand new pen; and the ink went everywhere! Even now I see the results of my simple mistake; ink spots remain on our laundry.

Likely you have heard someone sarcastically say “What I do is my own business; it’s no concern of yours.” That is not usually true. What we do affects others. If we sin, it touches the lives of those around us, just as the ink from one single pen went on most of the laundry.

In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth he explained the seriousness of immoral behavior (1 Corinthians 5:1-13). Within these verses we find this statement. “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" (verse 6 NKJ). Just as a little yeast spreads, so does our sin. Sin may not be as easy to see as blue ink; but it leaves stains that only the blood of Christ can remove. Laundry can always be replaced; the closet of your mind will hold your choices for a life time. Pam Ford Davis

Friday, December 11, 2015

Lentil Stew

And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Genesis 25:34a ESV)

Lentil Stew
“Rinse and drain the dry lentils.”

“In a saucepan combine the lentils, chicken broth, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery, parsley, basil, garlic, and pepper.”

“Simmer for 45-50 minutes until lentils and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.”

That is the recipe for easy lentil stew by Mimi in Maine at With the weather turning colder by the day, taking lentil stew is a good way to warm us up, especially when we are famished.

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came back from the field (probably after hunting) and was famished. He said to Jacob to let him eat some of the stew because he was exhausted. We know the rest of the story, how Jacob struck a deal with Esau and how Esau disregarded his birthright and gave it up for bread and lentil stew (Genesis 25:29-34).

Perhaps we might think of Esau as being foolish, but aren’t we sometimes like him? Do we not on occasions give up what is more important in exchange for something we long for or covet? What is the ‘lentil stew’ in our life that we are willing to let go our birthright to a closer relationship with God or even our faith? Is it our desires, our job, our preoccupations or even our loved ones? Whatever keeps us from God or a closer walk with Him is the ‘lentil stew’ we need to let go.

Many of us hunt to achieve our goals, but at the end of it all we find ourselves totally exhausted. We think to ourselves, “Surely there must be more to life than just these!”

Are we famished with desire to live out a more meaningful life? The pursuit of earthly satisfaction can never fill our heart’s emptiness for the One who created us, whose love for us knows no bounds. He is the One who willingly left His place in heaven, gave up His life and rose again so that we might call God, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6).

Whatever things were gain to us, therefore, let us now count as loss for the sake of Christ because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. In our labor and hard work, let us be found in Him not having a righteousness of our own, but through faith in Christ experience the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:7-11).

Dear Lord, thank You for reminding us what is more important than our work, our desires, our preoccupations or even our loved ones. Help us always to put You first in all areas of our life so that we might find true satisfaction in fulfilling Your will. Abba, Father, thank You for giving us Your Son so that we are able to experience the power of His resurrection through the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit in us. Renew in us a greater desire for our birthright to a closer relationship with You, for we long to know Christ Jesus our Lord and to become more like Him.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Irritable Syndrome

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (Galatians 5:12 NIV)

Irritable Syndrome
Constant chattering or nagging jar the ears and grate on nerves, and we have probably known or met such people before. Loving them is difficult because they annoy us, provoke us and irritate us. At times, we wish such people would leave us alone or go away to debilitate themselves because their incessant chatter bothers us day after day.

The Bible records many accounts of people who have been vexed by others. Hannah was provoked bitterly by her rival to irritate her because the LORD had closed her womb. Samson was prodded by Delilah’s nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it. The apostle Paul was greatly annoyed for days by the shouting of a female slave who had a spirit. The Galatia church was faced with agitators whom Paul wished would emasculate themselves (1 Samuel 1:6; Judges 16:16; Acts 16:16-18; Galatians 5:12).

Notwithstanding the fact that we face difficult people all the time, we ought also to examine ourselves to see if we are the cause of agitation to others. Some of the ways to avoid vexing others are found in the advice within the following Bible verses:

Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes. (Proverbs 10:15 NLT)
And you, fathers, do not irritate your children, but bring them up tenderly with true Christian training and advice. (Ephesians 6:4 WNT)

By God’s amazing grace and love, we can ask Him to give us His same spirit of love. This love does not act rudely or unbecomingly. It does not demand its own way and is not irritable. It does not keep a record of being wronged (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Are we constantly chattering and nagging? Are we lazy at work or frequently telling our kids what they should do? Are we finding it hard to love the unlovable? Are we filled full in the Spirit of God and seeking God’s enabling to grow in love for others?
Like David, let us ask the Lord to test and try us, and to examine our heart and our mind to always be mindful of God’s unfailing love, and live in reliance on His faithfulness (Psalm 26:2-3).

Dear Lord, You know the condition of our heart, how much we can love. You also know how we sometimes react to those who agitate us. Grant us by Your Spirit a heart and spirit to love the way You love, even those who are unlovable by human standards. Remind us to always examine ourselves not to irritate others by our nagging, unceasing chatter or inconsiderate manners, but be mindful of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.