Some of you have already put your Christmas lights up and some of you are going to put up soon. Christmas time is a joyous time and it seems everywhere you go to- like shops, malls, streets and houses in your neighborhood are all glittering and shining with the lights.
When Christ was born, there was a Star shining in the east in the night. Wise men from the east came, .. and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Mathew 2:2. There was not only a Star that was shining, but Jesus who was the Light Himself came to call us out of the darkness into His marvelous Light. Are you walking in the light? Paul was changed forever when he was confronted with the Light- Jesus Christ on the way to Damscus. (Read Acts 9) “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
At His Second Coming, it will again a night but without a light or a star, it will be a dark night. “….those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mathew 24 :29-30.
Do you have the light? Jesus said ” I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”. Its not about the lights on the house but the light in the heart !
Are you expecting a gift?
Christmas is a time when people give gifts or receive gifts. The shepherds were told that you will find your gift wrapped in swaddling cloths. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
The Word of God encourages us to receive Christ Jesus who is God’s indescribable gift for mankind! ( II Cor 9:15) “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: ” John 1:12
There are also gifts stored for those who are looking for His Second Coming! “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” II Timothy 4:8
Your blog lives and breathes. Today we’re launching a new way for you to check its pulse. It’s called Notifications, and it lives in the right corner of your Toolbar (Admin Bar), which appears at the top of your screen while you’re logged in to WordPress.com.
Whenever another WordPress.com user follows your blog, or likes one of your posts, Notifications will tell you who your newest fans are by adding a new note to the stack:
You can even follow them back, right from within the note. After all, blogging is a journey of discovery and community.
If you’re a fan of Google+, as we are, a lot of this will be familiar as many parts were inspired by Google’s toolbar, and a bit by Facebook’s new real-time stream.
What will Notifications do in the future?
We’ll add more activities, such as comments. We’ll give you a way to…
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And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Mathew 25:40
Today we have much confusion over the mission of the Church. This is one of the passages, which is often misquoted and misinterpreted by many to justify their holistic approach to the gospel. This is one of the verses many would quote to justify, why they strongly feel about the social justice and put strong emphasis on social transformation. This confusion has changed the gospel preaching ministry into so-called “Incarnational ministry“.
An Example of this confusion is found in The Lausanne Covenant.
It states, In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. John R. W. Stott explains this statement: “I now see more clearly that not only the consequences of the commission but the actual commission itself must be understood to include social as well as evangelistic responsibilities” We therefore should share his (God’s) concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men from every kind of oppression. We express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive.
The key to understanding this passage lies in ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων, “…one of these brothers of Mine…”
- We must ask here a question, who are these brothers?
- Now we have to answer this question, is everyone on this earth His (Jesus) brother and sister?
There are three groups of people who could claim this verse to be talking about them in this passage. The brothers of Jesus who are related to him i.e. his immediate family members and also the Jews who are related to him by way of Jacob. But Jesus was referring to this third group of people. I would like to quote two verses from Mathew. These verses will make it more clear.
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brothers! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Mathew 12:49-50
Therefore we can easily conclude that the verse was referring to this group of people. And they are found within the body of Christ. These verses help us to understand the concern of Jesus for his own brothers and sisters- the Church.
Evangelism is reaching people outside the Church of Christ with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But at the same time our social concern should be within the framework of the Church of Christ- the brothers and sisters in Christ.
If this is the case, we must rethink our mission and do it without any confusion. If you do not want to miss your reward then show your concern to the brothers and sisters of Jesus.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do GOOD unto ALL MEN, ESPECIALLY unto them who are of the HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH. Galatian 6:10
The first thing is it provides the etymological implication to do good. As we have ( While we have been given) opportunity (ὡς καιρὸν ἔχωμεν) – a time/ season. Somehow there is a sense of urgency is seen here because seasons do not last. You have a season to sow seed. The word here is used by the author is the same word which has been use in NT for season to sow or reap. This means you cannot let it go. The farmer who does not sow in the opportune time loses his reward. One cannot make an excuse, he cannot do it. We cannot say “NO” when it is in our power to do good. Proverbs 3:27 says, ” Do not withhold good from those whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
Secondly there is inbuilt logical implication to do good, that we have also been given ability or power to do good. Τὸ ἀγαθὸν is, of course, the morally good but includes what is beneficent or kindly. This implies God demands that we should do good to All men-whether one belongs to our country or not, whether he is of same race or not, whether he is of same caste or not, whether he is insider or not, whether he belongs to same party or not, whether he belongs to same denomination or not. We are called to do good. Alleviating sorrowful people, Raising those who bowed down, Comforting those who mourn, delivering those who are oppressed, Protecting those who are in fear, Providing those who are in need and preaching the gospel to those who are perishing. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 So no one is excused. We should be thankful to God for giving us privilege to do good.
The third thing is chronological implication of doing good. An application is one must begin doing good at home. Charity begins at home. We are to do good to those who are of the HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH (πρὸς τοὺς οἰκείους τῆς πίστεως). People who share common faith with us in the Lord Jesus Christ. We must not neglect or forget those who are needy, sick, weak and helpless, widow and orphan belonging to the Church of Christ.
- They have the first claim on our resources.
- They should be the first who should benefit from our benevolence and liberality.
- They ought to be preferred before all the others.
- They must be fed before the other hungry people of the world.
- They must be clothed before the other naked people of the world.
- They must be sheltered before the other homeless people of the world.
- They should be shown mercy before the hurting people of the world.
Therfore one must be careful and eager to doing good. “And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 We should take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives.