Posts tagged ‘Christian Art’

Preparing for the passover meal in the Upper Room

 

THE UPPER ROOM WHERE THE LORD'S SUPPER IS SERVED (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE UPPER ROOM WHERE THE LORD’S SUPPER IS SERVED (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

 On the first of the Days of Unleavened Bread, the day they prepare the Passover sacrifice, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations so you can eat the Passover meal?”

He directed two of his disciples, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jug will meet you. Follow him. Ask the owner of whichever house he enters, ‘The Teacher wants to know, Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will show you a spacious second-story room, swept and ready. Prepare for us there.”

The disciples left, came to the city, found everything just as he had told them, and prepared the Passover meal.

After sunset he came with the Twelve. As they were at the supper table eating, Jesus said, “I have something hard but important to say to you: One of you is going to hand me over to the conspirators, one who at this moment is eating with me.”

Stunned, they started asking, one after another, “It isn’t me, is it?”

 He said, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who eats with me out of the same bowl. In one sense, it turns out that the Son of Man is entering into a way of treachery well-marked by the Scriptures—no surprises here. In another sense, the man who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man—better never to have been born than do this!”

“This Is My Body”

In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said,

Take, this is my body.

Taking the chalice, he gave it to them, thanking God, and they all drank from it. He said,

This is my blood,
God’s new covenant,
Poured out for many people.

 “I’ll not be drinking wine again until the new day when I drink it in the kingdom of God.”

They sang a hymn and then went directly to Mount Olives(Mark 14:12-26 MSG)

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SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins so we may  have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER.

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Is there life for mankind after death (Part 1 of 2)

IS THERE LIFE FOR MANKIND AFTER DEATH?

THE LIGHT THAT LEADS US FROM DARKNESS TO THE BRIGHTNESS OF GOD'S GLORY THE TUNNEL (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE LIGHT THAT LEADS US FROM DARKNESS TO THE BRIGHTNESS OF GOD’S GLORY                       (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

We begin today’s lesson not with one question, but two. The first question is this,  “IS THERE LIFE FOR MANKIND AFTER DEATH?”  The second question is, “IS YOUR FAITH BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD ARE SOMETHING ELSE?”  I consider both questions important for the overall discussion of the Death and Resurrection of JESUS CHRIST.

Therefore, as we begin our forward look towards Easter and the celebration of the life, death and resurrections of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I find that there is no better time than now to ask these two very important questions, and have you the reader to examine your soul for the answer to a question that so many of us refuse to even consider bringing up in our family discussions.  I find this to be a sad commentary especially for believers.

Now as I was doing research for my book on “LIFE AFTER DEATH,” I came across this quote from another great writer, and it said, “Christianity,” “is a religion of the open tomb.” Keep that thought in mind as you study this lesson on the resurrection. The founder of Christianity could not be kept in the prison house of death. An angel rolled the great stone from the door of Joseph’s new tomb, and the Son of God came forth triumphant over death. “I am the resurrection and the life,” He said (John 11:25).

The apostle Paul argues that the Christian faith stands or falls upon the fact of the resurrection of Christ.

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:13, 14).

Now let us understand this one very important truth, and that is this; Jesus came to this Earth to teach mankind a particular lesson; and if He was destined to become the Savior of mankind, then the greatest lesson which He could have taught man was that of faith; faith in his God and faith in a life after death.

THE TOMB OF DEATH COULD NOT CONTAIN HIM (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE TOMB OF DEATH COULD NOT CONTAIN HIM (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

 

By His very own death, Christ Jesus must bring to man faith, and the belief in a LIFE AFTER DEATH. He preached immortality, and to further impress this fact upon humanity, He must go through the throes of death in order to return to life and bring to man proof of an after death life. To accomplish this He appeared to His beloved disciples in His  spiritual body. In I Corinthians, 15:6, Paul says, “After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once: of whom the greater part remains unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” He walked and talked to them so that they might believe that what He had preached, the immortality of the soul, was a fact and that after man has laid aside his physical body, he still lives in a finer and more ethereal body.

Our hope of deliverance from sin in this world (see Romans 6:4, 11, 12) and the reality of life in the next (see 1 Corinthians 15:17-23) are dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus. The incarnation of God’s Son, His sinless life and vicarious death, would have availed nothing if He had been kept a prisoner of death. The saints of all ages would remain in their graves, sealed forever, if Christ had not broken the power of death and come forth to immortal life. And Christians would have been “false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised” (1 Corinthians 15:15)!”

We encourage you to open your mind and think deeply upon this lesson and the ones to come.  Our hope is that you who have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior find some comfort in these words as you continue to study with us here at VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES.  If you want SALVATION for your soul, you can have it right here and now.  Just stroll to the top of this page and click on SALVATION IS FREE, read it, accept it, and come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There is HOPE in a continuous life beyond this life when you accept Jesus as the only one that can provide you with it.  We have presented this lesson to you today from a position of peace, power, purpose and prosperity.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!

Now let us end this lesson for today with this short video clip.  Please return tomorrow for another great lesson on LIFE AFTER DEATH part 2…

 

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God shows us there is mystery everywhere

GOD SHOWS US THERE IS MYSTERY EVERYWHERE

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

MYSTERY EVERYWHERE THE TREES BUDDING THE BIRDS SINGING (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

MYSTERY EVERYWHERE THE TREES BUDDING THE BIRDS SINGING (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

I begin my day as I do in most days with a brisk walk in the early morning dew.  As I walk, I see the MYSTERY OF GOD EVERYWHERE, and in everything.  The birds chirping and singing praise, the trees budding, and the freshness of the morning air enters my body, lifts my spirits and brings joy and excitement to my soul like nothing else I have ever experience before.  Nothing but THE MYSTERY OF GOD EVERYWHERE!

The dictionary describes the word MYSTERY as, “a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand.”

As I sit and looked at my computer screen, my mind was deep in thought watching each blink of the cursor urging me to begin writing something. I ask God, “to let it be with me, feed me with strength and endurance, give me knowledge wisdom and understanding of things I cannot see, because I know your MYSTERY IS EVERYWHERE. At any given moment LORD, make me at home in your WORD, my plea.”

There will come a point in our lives when we will come to realize that the “WORLD” we live in is not a neat tidy place in which we are able to gain control on our own, without God we are useless, nothing.  It is part of THE GREAT MYSTERY!

THE GREAT MYSTERY OF THE EARLY MORNING SUNRISE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

THE GREAT MYSTERY OF THE EARLY MORNING SUNRISE (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

What we experience from a “WORDLY” perspective are situations we encounter in some way daily; suffering, injustice, ugliness in attitude and behaviors, pain, poverty, abuse, just a few of what the “WORLD” offers sin-starved cluttered minds of IMIGATION.

The beauty in all of this is that in God’s World, we are able to find love and forgiveness, release from our short-comings. God’s World offers grace, freedom, mercy, joy, sacrifice, love…everything is included in his love, relationship, teaching/training, and correction/discipline, loving and saving us all the way until we are finally able to comprehend the fullness of the MYSTERY EVERYWHERE in his presence.

Chosen of God: When we are open and willing to accept Christ and his teachings, we share in the MYSTERY EVERYWHERE, which surrounds us. Until we come to know and operate within the principles of his teachings we are unable to reach fulfillment. Unless we open our hearts and minds, it’s easy to misunderstand how God works, how we become part of his secured possession.

What we must realize is that the “root” of a solid spiritual life is embedded in our relationship between people and God; we are no longer our “separate self” we are all “interconnected” in some way.

Everything we do, think or feel is who we are in Christ; we often seek a religion or faith that gives us access to God, expecting to do so with-out having to be “bothered” with people  or only” bothered when we so desire”. That’s the beauty of the MYSTERY EVERYWHERE, our very existence is composed and shaped by all we are able to see, touch, hear, taste and smell. So we are in the presence of God, the MYSTERY EVERYWHERE when we are open and ready to receive such gifts that are from above, not “man-made”. We learn to live our earthly existence in expectancy of what is yet to come, that’s the exciting part of our reality, it is therefore most advisable to stay centered and remain focused because we know “Joy” waits for all willing to become a part of the pattern.

In order to share in the MYSTERY EVERYWHERE, we must learn to release, to let go of negative thoughts and things that tend to pull you of course, reaffirm these thoughts as you journey: “I release my spirit into the wind, where there are no boundaries or obstacles, to freely soar above the worldly elements that threaten to drain the very source that gives life. I soar free in spirit interacting with those that welcome me as I am, dear Lord, let it be with me just as you say, allow me to share in the MYSTERY EVERYWHERE; where-ever I may journey, uninhibited, unrestrained.”  Thank you Heavenly Father, for allowing me to see and be a part of your MYSTERY EVERYWHERE!  Today, my soul is FREE and I lift up my hands, rejoice, worship and praise you.

Thank you for visiting, reading and studying with us; may you enjoy the natural beauty of God’s Mysteries Everywhere in all that you do each and everyday.  Click on the link below and visit our youtube teaching channel:

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SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

SIMON OF CYRENE WAS THE BLACK HANDS THAT HELP TO CARRY THE CROSS

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Simon of Cyrene the black hands that helped carry the cross (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.

And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull.  (Mark 15:20-22 AMP).

In verse 21, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, was coming into the city from the countryside into the city of Jerusalem, but the Lord was traveling out of the city.  These two men were traveling in opposite directions.  Simon was coming in and the Lord was going out being led by the Roman Soldiers and a large crowd of haters.  Simon suddenly found himself turned around at the instructions of the Centurion and finds his life walking in exactly the opposite direction from where he was first headed.  Meeting Christ at this point and being forced to place his hands on the cross and carry it would be a life changing experience for him.

Now some of you might ask, “why would he ever mention Simon of Cyrene as the Black Hands on the cross, and how would he even know that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man?  For those of you who are truth seekers, these would be legitimate questions to ask.  For me as a Minister of the Gospel, called and ordained to come boldly before the throne of grace, and speak truth to power, convince, rebuke, exhort and teach, it is my job to empower you with knowledge in order that you may know the truth and the truth will truly set you free.  (John 8:32)

For me to state here with absolute certain that Simon of Cyrene was a Black Man is impossible.  This is a question that has been debated by Scholars worldwide for hundreds of years.  However, I should start by pointing out it is difficult to determine with accuracy black men and women in the Bible because the Bible is color-neutral. There is never any reference to race or racial features. The main distinction throughout the Bible is between those that serve God and those that do not, whether as individuals or as nations. It is not definite that everyone from Ethiopia or Cyrene was black, but certainly you could reasonably assume that it was a good possibility. So this study will have to be considered reasonable speculation.

We know very little about Simon. We see from this Mark’s writing that he had come from the country to Jerusalem on this occasion, perhaps on business. He must have been a strong man. I don’t think the soldiers would have picked a weakling. God had appointed him to be there, not to help Jesus with the cross, but to encounter the one who was to be crucified for his sins. Except for Mark’s obscure reference to Rufus and Alexander we would have no more information about Simon.

What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  It’s safe to say he was Jewish and may have been called “Black” simply because of his looks.

Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya. According to Spirit of English Magazine Vol. 10, pg. 286; in ancient times Libya contained two countries Cyrenaica and Marmarica.  Wikipedia [the on line encyclopedia], shares that Libya was until recent times, the home of one the oldest Jewish communities in the world, dating back to at least 300 BC. In the 1st century, the Jewish historian for the Roman Empire, Josephus Flavius, noted 500,000 Jews lived in Libya. By today’s standards, people from North Africa may or may not be classified as Black. The New Testament, let’s us in on the fact that Joseph, Mary and Jesus spent time in Egypt, This raises an equally intriguing question as to whether or not Simon’s friend, Joseph of Marmarica (a.k.a. Joseph of Marmore, Joseph of Arimathea, brother of Jesus’ grandmother) from the neighboring district of Marmonica/Marmarica, should also be classified as African or Black. –Satchell Intell.

We find here in (Matthew 27:32 NKJV).  Simon of Cyrene was from Ethiopia, and this text and the identity of this man clearly reminds us all of us today that all cultures were represented at Calvary and in the church.  This further reminds us that wise men of all ages would be honored to be allowed to perform the task that was conferred upon Simon of Cyrene, the Ethiopia from northwestern Africa.  Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, black hands were extended to help the Savior bear His cross.  The Ethiopian eunuch from Africa (Acts 8:26) was the first Gentile convert mentioned by name in the Book of Acts.  History reports that he returned to Ethiopia to found the Abyssinian Christian Church, which exists until this day.

May God’s saving grace, be with each one of you whose hands, regardless of their color, feel obligated to pick-up your cross and carry it this day be blessed with love, peace and power.  Only because Jesus loved all of us and died for our sins so we may  have the opportunity to celebrate his life, death and resurrection on this EASTER.

Thank you for studying with us today and may you receive all that you desire from the Lord as you walk into your divine destiny…

Please go here now and subscribe to our you tube channel it is absolutely FREE…

By subscribing you will receive all our latest posting as soon as they go up and you will help us to meet our goal of 20,000 channel views within the next 30 days. Thank you for your support.

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Saturday Morning Devotional Prayer and Praise Service (Praying for Spiritual Empowerment)

PRAYING FOR SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WILMINGTON, N.C. ESTABLISHED 1808 (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WILMINGTON, N.C. ESTABLISHED 1808 (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Today my brothers and sisters, I want to encourage you to pray for one another, you pray for me and I pray for you. We have a greater responsibility in the work we do then we can begin to imagine. When the Lord, Our God called us into this ministry work, he carefully chose each one of his servants, he prepared them for the many challenges that they would face along the way. He equipped each one of his servants with the necessary tools to make the journey a smooth one. He blessed each servant with a praying spirit, and he told us that we must pray daily for SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT.

 

 

Now my Dear Brothers and Sisters as we enter into our prayers for one another, let us all understand this one fact; during the course of our lives, we all have had someone to pray for us. Prayer is the key that unlocks the door to our blessings, and when we learn that our purpose in life is to serve others, and we can truly be effective as a servant by praying in the Spirit for our fellowman, we are then moved to pray without ceasing.

Paul’s prayer for SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT for the Ephesians was that they be united by the Spirit, indwelt by Christ, and filled with all the fullness of God’s love. We know that God made the Holy Spirit available to all who believed in Jesus Christ as Savior. The Spirit provides power for our new lives.

The Prayer that Paul prayed for SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT was a beautiful and powerful prayer. Now listen to Paul words as he spoke them in Ephesians 3:14-21:

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height.

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God, Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

We find that in this text’s prayer, Paul asked that the Holy Spirit deepen His work in their lives in three ways:
1. That Christ would dwell–more literally, “be at home” in their hearts by faith, that is, that He would move from being an acquaintance to being the center of their church family;
2. That they would grasp God’s love at a spiritual level, beyond intellectual or theological knowledge.
3. That they would be filled with God’s fullness, that is, that the Holy Spirit would reveal the things of Christ (John 16) more fully, achieving God’s fuller work in each life unhindered, unquenched, ungrieved.

My Brothers and Sisters, let not your hearts be troubled, but pray always for everyone and for everything. God is a prayer answering God and He is waiting on you to call him up on His Hot Line, and the only way you can do that is through your prayers. Therefore, if you truly want to be EMPOWERED to do the Lord’s will, learn to PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT!

OUR SONG OF PRAISE:

 

We thank you for joining us this day as we begin our new year of prayer and praise services lifting up the Lord and thanking Him daily for our blessings.  He is truly an awesome God.

 

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Sunday prayer praise and worship service 102 (Believe)

What do you Believe?

"BELIEVE"  (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

“BELIEVE” (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

CHIDREN OF GOD, in our PRAYER, PRAISE and WORSHIP SERVICE for this SUNDAY MORNING, we present to you our CHRISTMAS STORY beginning with the Birth of John as God’s divine plan unfolds for many UNBELIEVEING MINDS.  It is a story that many of us have read and studied over a long period of time, but in it all there is always a ray of HOPE and INSPIRATION for a greater tomorrow when we celebrate this beautiful story of the unfolding birth of OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.  Our lesson today is simply title:  “BELIEVE!”  Allow this word to sink deep into your sub-conscious minds, and renew your Spirit daily whenever doubt begin to creep in.  Let us lift up God in high praise for His mighty works, for He is worthy to be PRAISED.

LET US PRAY FOR UNBELIEVING MINDS:

Pastor Davis in Prayer as Zachariah

Pastor Davis in Prayer as Zachariah

 

Eternal God, Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for those among us who have believed, and we seek divine intervention into the minds of those that are still wavering in their faith.  For we know that with you Heavenly Father, all things are possible to those who believe.  Transforming a world of unbelieving minds may seem to be an impossible task for some, but we as believers are trusting you Heavenly Father, because we know that it is possible.  You sent your only Son into an unbelieving world as a gift that those among us who would believe in Him should not perish but be transformed into a brand new creature and enjoy eternal life.  Through our prayers Heavenly Father we are seeking the same transformation for those unbelieving minds among us today to come into the full knowledge and understanding that you are God, and they can do nothing without you.  And for this Christmas Season, our prayers are for those unbelieving minds to know that Jesus is truly the reason for this Season.  Amen!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING:

For with God, nothing shall be impossible.  (Luke 1:37)

Background Scriptures for today’s lesson is from (Luke 1:1-37)

TODAY’S MESSAGE IS TITLE:  “BELIEVE”

Our Christmas Story is a true and profound statement by God who can do all things but fail.  All He asks us to do is to BELIEVE.  In this story, God performed one of the greatest miracles known to man, yet we find it very difficult to BELIEVE when the simplest things are right before our very own eyes.  WHY?  Do we not know that God can never lie, if He lies He will denied Himself.  So why do we continue not to BELIEVE the word of God when the Word of God is truth in itself?

Perhaps, like so many before us, we want God to show us a sign.  Let us examine for a moment the High Priest Zachariah, who was a minister of God that worked at the Temple managing its upkeep, teaching the people the Scriptures, and directing the worship services.  When God sent His Angel Gabriel to tell Zachariah that he and His Wife Elizabeth was going to have a son Zachariah words came perilously close to doubt, [disbelief].  Zachariah wanted more than the word from this Heavenly visitor, he wanted a sign from God.

ZACHARIAH QUESTIONS  GOD'S MESSANGER GABRIEL

ZACHARIAH QUESTIONS GOD’S MESSANGER GABRIEL

So Zachariah question the angle by asking, “How can I know this will happen?”  At that very moment Zachariah saw only the obstacles and not the possibilities of the Good News that the Angel Gabriel was presenting to him from God.  His thoughts were that he and Elizabeth were both well past their childbearing years.  In Zachariah mind, he could not see, comprehend or even understand how God could perform such a miracle and place such a burden on him and his wife at this late stage in their lives.  Gabriel explained to Zachariah by stating, “I am Gabriel; I stand in the very presence of God.”  (Luke 1:19)

When we do not BELIEVE and allow doubt to creep in and rule over our unbelieving minds, it will result in some sort of punishment.  God has His own ways of letting us know that He is not please with our actions, and just like any loving parent, He will punish us for our unbelieving minds.  In Zachariah unbelieving mind, he asked for a sign and was quickly granted his request.  He would be unable to speak until the Child was born.  The angel’s words would certainly come true at the proper time, whether Zachariah BELIEVED or not.  God’s plan had been set in motion and nothing could stop it.  (LUKE 1:20)

Zachariah and Elizabeth had been childless for many years and God had promised a son to them, and God kept His promise.  The promise came even before this child was ever conceived.  God was waiting for the right time to ENCOURAGE them and take away their disgrace of not being able to bare a child in their early childbearing years.  Elizabeth soon realized that in this impossible pregnancy, God had performed a MIRACLE.  (Luke 1:23-25)

What God has done for Zachariah and Elizabeth, He will do the same for you.  With God, nothing is impossible, all you have to do is, “BELIEVE!”

THE STORY OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN

When Elizabeth was full-term in her pregnancy, she bore a son, Her neighbors and relatives, seeing that God had over whelmed her with mercy, celebrated with her.

On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and were calling him Zachariah after his father. But his mother intervened: “No. He is to be called John.”

“But,” they said, “no one in your family is named that.” They used sign language to ask Zachariah what he wanted him named.

Asking for a tablet, Zachariah wrote, “His name is to be John.” That took everyone by surprise. Surprise followed surprise—Zachariah’s mouth was now open, his tongue loose, and he was talking, praising God!

TODAY’S ALTER CALL: 

If you are a person studying this lesson with us today and have not received the saving grace of the Lord and would like to join the Lord’s family of BELIEVERS and receive ETERNAL LIFE, we simply ask you to, “BELIEVE!”

Now repeat this short prayer with me:  “Lord I am a sinner, I have sinned against you, I BELIEVE that Jesus died for my sins, and on the third day you raised him from the grave and today He lives.  I ask you to forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart and cleanse me of my sins.  If you have prayed this prayer with me, you now are saved and have ETERNAL LIFE  in glory.”

We encourage you to find a local Bible Teaching Church and begin to study and fellowship with other believers.  You can also return back here daily and study God’s word with us.  We share the truth of the scriptures daily, and you will find over 1000 topics for study and discussions.  May the saving grace of our Lord and Savior be with you now and forever, in Jesus name, AMEN!

CLOSING PRAYER:

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise Godbe glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

 

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