Jesus’ Early Years

I marvel at how the Lord works.

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The incarnate Son, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, became one of us, born to a poor couple, in a humble stable. Then moved to a nowhere place in Galilee where he grew up as a carpenter’s son.

When he was twelve, his parents took him to Jerusalem at Passover, as they did every year. He went to the temple sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions. “All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and answers.” (Lk. 2:47).

Luke summarizes Jesus’ early years this way, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Lk. 2:52).

Take a moment to reflect on Jesus’ early years. What comes to your mind? How does Jesus’ humble beginnings impact you? Take a moment to thank Abba for sending Jesus.

Maranatha,
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Encourage One Another

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I was on an airplane this morning flying home from a 10 day trip. While reading 1 Thessalonians  5 and pondering some of its thoughts, these verses stood out to me.

“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thess 5:8-11)

Take a few minutes to read and think about these verses.
What thoughts come to your mind? Give thanks to Him for all He has done for you.

Maranatha,
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Guest Post: Christ the Exalted King

A wonderful guest post from my friend Pierre.
Wonderful thoughts to ponder this new year: We see by His example that in God’s Kingdom the way upward is downward.

Happy New Year to you and yours, Stacy.

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Today is January 2nd 2017. Already a New Year. And one day has already gone. Please accept my greetings. Happy New Year! May God bless you all as He has never done before.

As we start this New Year we are reminded by Paul of the exaltation of Christ. He concludes this scriptural portion of Philippians 2:5-11 with a hymn. Theologians and historians say it probably was a hymn sang in the Church even prior to Paul writing. It is called “Carmen Christi”. But it did not all start this way. It started with humiliation.

After Christ’s incarnation, identification with us, obedience and death on the cross, Paul says the Father “has highly exalted him and bestowed him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11, ESV).

We see by His example that in God’s Kingdom the way upward is downward. Do we seek recognition, or promotion, or any kind of elevation?

May this year be a year of total commitment to Christ. May it be a year of true paradigms shift, practical love, great humility, sacrificial service, costly forgiveness and willful obedience. May it be a year lived to honor God and glorify Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Questions to ponder?
* What am I aiming for in this New Year?
* Am I ready to sacrifice for others to grow?
* Who will be my example in ministry, Christ? Leaders of this world?

God bless you!

He Emptied Himself

BirthOfChrist.jpg“But He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7)

Jesus was an extraordinary Man. His life and ministry continue to overwhelm the world. Non-educated people and scholars, nonbelievers and Christians, Liberals and Evangelicals, proponents of all schools of thoughts altogether are still actively and passionately reflecting, analyzing, pondering, digging, searching and researching to comprehend His Person, Nature and work.

How could such a great figure come down to us? How could the greatest Man become the smallest of all? How could God become a Man? How could the Creator become a servant, a doulos to be more biblical?

Books have been written. Films have been produced. Stories have been told. Discoveries have been made. Nothing in the world has been able to definitively settle the matter, because Jesus is and always will be of a different kind. But the message of the Bible is clear and simple. Jesus He is God from eternity to eternity.

No one can compare to Him. Nothing equals Him.

For our salvation He incarnated Himself in human flesh. In order to accomplish such a great salvation, Jesus had to empty Himself. He did by laying aside all His privileges, by taking the form of a true servant. He sets the example for us.

Nothing in our lives and/or ministries thrives if it does not spring from a deep desire to empty ourselves. These are some questions to ponder:

  • Have I emptied myself of every pride?
  • Who do I think I am? Something or nothing?
  • Am I a human hero or a spiritual zero?
  • Am I a VIP or a simple true servant
  • Am I setting myself above others or do I identify to them?
  • Can I really say in everything I do I empty myself?

God bless you!
Pierre