Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Beginnings

Minnie Pearl – A fresh breath of spring/the end of a cold hard winter

New Beginnings


If there was ever a man who needed a new beginning – Job.

Key Scripture: Job 22:28 You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.

This is what Joshua did when beginning his new day. He said:

Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Long before 1905 and the first New Year’s celebration to be held at Times Square in New York;

Long before AD45 and the adoption of the Julian Calendar which made January 1st the beginning day of each new year since;

Long before the birth of Christ; the times of the prophets, the reigns of King Saul, King David or King Solomon;

Back before the Judges in Israel … all the way back to the giving of the Law to Moses and the children of Israel at Mount Horeb more than 3500 years ago …

God gave instructions for the observance and celebration of a New Year.

God commanded His children to begin each New Year by

* first ridding themselves of the past evils, failures, sins and disappointments,

* and then pledging themselves to a greater, more Godly and productive year ahead.

Exodus 12:2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

We initially see this New Year’s Observance spoken of in Exodus the 12th chapter and then on throughout both the Old and New Testaments from Leviticus to the book of Hebrews.

God was the First Author of a New Year’s Resolution.

He understands the value and the benefits of a New Beginning, A Clean Start, A Fresh Chance and God set His children up to have a New Beginning at least once each year.

Even though it is God’s will and purpose that we each have access to New Beginnings, it can still take a lot of effort on our part. It’s not always easy to stop something we need to stop or start something we need to start.

Some new beginnings take real and lasting commitment but offer real and lasting benefit.

So, if we are going to go to all the trouble of a new beginning, we may as well know what it takes to get it right and to be successful.

Lets look at some scriptural examples of what it takes to have a New Beginning … A Fresh Start … A New Year.

Won’t you turn with me to the book of Deuteronomy

All through the bible we find new beginnings.

One such case, in the book of Deuteronomy, shows Moses reminding the children of Israel about their journeys in the desert since leaving Egypt.

Moses realizes that he is about to move off of the scene and leave his successor along with the next generation to accomplish what he had begun for God.

When it comes time for his farewell speech he does not fail to remind the people what it will take to have a successful New Day.

In Deuteronomy 5, Moses rehearses the Ten Commandments as a basis for daily life.

The 10 Commandments are broken down into two distinct groups and written on two tablets of stone.

* The first group includes Commandments 1 through 4

> These deal with man’s relationship with God

* The second group includes Commandments 5 through 10

> These deal with man’s relationship with man

Then in Deuteronomy 6 Moses begins his summation of these commandments and tells those who are entering into this New Day that their future success will demand attention and adherence to these laws.

Now lets read from Deuteronomy 6 NKJV

1 ¶ "Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,

2 "that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

3 "Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’

4 ¶ "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

It was a New Day, A New Beginning for the Children of Israel and Moses wanted them to be successful. These were his parting words.

Around 1500 years later, near 30 miles across the Jordan River from where Moses made this speech to his successors, there was another New Day approaching for God’s chosen people.

Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, had completed His earthly ministry and was ready to be offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

He, like Moses, was ready to move off of the scene and leave the continued work of God to His successors and future generations.

He also, like Moses, understood the costs of a New Beginning and all that a New Day promises.

Jesus also wanted His followers to succeed.

Matthew 22 records Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His earthly ministry.

During that week Jesus made the time to remind those who were entering into this New Day what it would take to be successful.

Like Moses, Jesus chooses to go over the Ten Commandments with these future leaders one more time.

In Mark 12 Jesus sums up God’s requirements for being successful in this New Day. He does so by expounding on what Moses had said centuries earlier. This duplicated example demands our attention.

Lets read from Jesus’ summation out of

Mark 12 NKJV

29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

* Recognize that from Deuteronomy 6:4? It’s an evident pattern for a New Beginning. Jesus continues:

30 ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

31 "And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

Reading Matthew’s account it is recorded that Jesus concludes:

Matthew 22:40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

What is Jesus doing? He is summing up the Two Tables of Stone

Whether seeking a Fresh Start, A Second Chance, A New Day, A New Beginning or A New Year, the admonition from Moses in his day, Jesus in His and the Holy Spirit in our today is the same.

If we are to put the past behind and reach toward a greater future and lasting success, we must resolve to keep these commandments of God. (Not the letter, but the spirit - the intent)

He Who framed the law had an intent around which He framed it. This intent cannot be understood or adhered to by the letter, but by the spirit. This is evident from: Romans 2:29; 7:6 & 2 Corinthians 3:6.

The intent of God’s commandments is this: That we, His Children, would live as examples, showing that we:

1. Love God more than we do ourselves

2. Love others as much as we do ourselves

On these two principles hang all the will and purpose of God for mankind. These are the cornerstones of any New Beginning.

What about you, are you resolved to begin your New Year right?

Make your declaration: “As for me and my house …”

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Four Miracles of Christmas: Part Four - The Miracle of Participation

Four Miracles of Christmas

Gtcotr/ss122406 Part Four – The Miracle of Participation

Key Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:12 ¶ And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry

December has been our month of miracles.

1. The Miracle of Incarnation

2. The Miracle of Reconciliation

3. The Miracle of Salvation

Today we look at the fourth miracle of Christmas:

The Miracle of Participation

The miracle of earthly involvement

From Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise men, to the angels in heaven, God involves others in His plan. He is a: Whosoever will; He that hath an ear; Lest at any time kind of God. God always planned to include each one of us in the Miracle of Christmas.

Let’s look at the Christmas Story from the familiar book of:

Luke 2 NKJV

1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 ¶ Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12 "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

The Miracle of Participation

The miracle of earthly involvement – as stated earlier,

From Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise men, to the angels in heaven, God involves others in His plan. He always has and always will. God always plans to include you.

In fact it’s all about you! God made Christmas all about you.

The Christmas Story is retold in this manner by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 5 NJKV

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God has a plan

· His plan is that all men might hear the Good News by credible witness

· And having heard, that each one experience the Holy Spirit tugging on the heart to believe, embrace and endure.

He will succeed

· God will not be denied justice on the day of judgment

· Every person will have had a spiritual opportunity to accept God’s plan

We all have a chance to participate

· God reaches through people to people

· We are His arms extended, His love reaching out

God wants to involve you in His unfolding Christmas story.

Our key scripture indicates that God will enable the faithful and place them into the ministry. What ministry? The ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ …

… with the word and ministry of reconciliation – The Good News!, not the negative stuff.

The Christmas Story demands that we who have received the Good News Ambassador from Heaven, become Good News Ambassadors for Heaven.

Decide right now that you will tell someone the Good News this Christmas. Let’s all make this Christmas about the Christ Who came, born of the Virgin Mary in a stable manger in the town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago and is coming again.

This Jesus the Incarnate; Jesus the Reconciler; Jesus the Savior wants to partner with us as we participate together in His Father’s plan.

What will be your answer? Will you participate?

Let God know your answer right now as we pray together.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Embrace & Endure

Embrace & Endure


Success is more than a one step process.

Success is often determined by our ability to endure the process.

I have wondered if it is because of God’s strategy or if it is simply that God sees the end from the beginning that causes Him to give us such an optimistic picture of each adventure of life He leads us to embrace. When Moses was sent to speak to the children of Israel he had but one message to Pharaoh and but one message for the Children of Israel.

To Pharaoh the message was “Let My people go!”

To the Children of Israel the message was:

“God will deliver you from bondage and take you to a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Both of these messages are pictures of a sure destiny but without any mention of what it may take to get there.

God strategically left out the journey and it’s demands on life.

The prophecy was sure and secure but many of those who heard the word would embrace the destiny without enduring the journey and therefore would die without inheriting the promises.

Some died from natural causes and the process of life while others found opportunity to go astray and abandoned their journey. Circumstances and situations of life through time led many to disbelieve and disregard the word of the Lord.

We see the same reality played out in the days of Noah.

All of the animals who were summoned by the Spirit to present themselves to Noah for the voyage to a new world were obedient to follow. (Genesis 7 & 8) Each one of the seven pair of clean animals and fowls and the two pair of unclean animals were obedient to God in following His will on this adventure of a lifetime.

Every one of the birds and beasts spent the same amount of time on the ark … one year! Cramped, no doubt rationed and daily rocked by the wind and waves of the seas. All following the promise of a new world, the prophetic word of Noah saying that God would destroy the earth by water and begin a new world with those saved through the ark.

The story continues as we see Noah and his shipmates, along with all the bird and animal cargo arriving at the destined dry ground of the new world. Each had been obedient and now one would think that all would have the chance to enjoy the reward of their obedience by being fruitful and re-filling the earth. Not so fast!

Genesis 8:20 says that one of the first things Noah did was to build an altar to God and then he took one of every clean animal and bird and sacrificed it on the altar to God.

Hold on … you mean that some of these animals, quite a few in fact, made the whole obedient journey of hardship just to get to their greatest potential and die before enjoying the Promised Land? Yep, that’s exactly what happened!

Why? Well maybe we don’t see the whole picture yet! Perhaps our view of death as well as our view of the prophetic is limited to what we see as life. God sees life and eternal life. I think we may be a bit shortsighted when it comes to how God views destiny.

Perhaps our duty is to embrace and endure.

Luke 1 NKJV

67 ¶ Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people,

69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David,

70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began,

71 That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us,

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant,

73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:

74 To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins,

78 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace."

80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

This prophecy about what was happening would not actually be manifested for another 30 plus years.

Many people who heard this prophesy died before it was fulfilled.

You see, God inspires us with a destiny message however, it is the journey which takes us there.

Four eternal truths which should inspire us to embrace and endure.

1. God’s Word Is True

2. God Calls Greatness Out of Obscurity

3. Death Does Not Stop The Promise of God

4. The Journey Is Our Friend

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Four Miracles of Christmas: Part Three - The Miracle of Salvation

Four Miracles of Christmas

Part Three: The Miracle of Salvation


The past two Sunday Mornings we have studied two miracles:

1. The Miracle of Incarnation

2. The Miracle of Reconciliation

This morning we continue our Christmas journey by reading a portion of the traditional Christmas story looking for the third miracle of Christmas:

The Miracle of Salvation

Luke 1 NKJV

26 ¶ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

36 "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.

37 "For with God nothing will be impossible."

38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Mary is the perfect example for us. She showed the whole world how to be saved.

Verse 38 simply told God’s messenger: (NLT)

"I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever

He wants. May everything you have said come true."

This is every person’s proper response to what God wants.

What does God want? All people to be saved! (1 Timothy 2:4)

John 3 NKJV

16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Ephesians 2 NKJV

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God

Romans 10 NKJV
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10 NKJV

13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

Will you follow Mary’s example today and everyday?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Four Miracles of Christmas: Part Two - The Miracle of Reconciliation

Four Miracles of Christmas

Part Two: The Miracle of Reconciliation


Last week we discussed the first miracle of Christmas:

2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ …

We re-discovered The Miracle of Incarnation

The Word of God became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:14)

The Son of God and The Son of Man

23 Chromosomes of human genetic design

23 Chromosomes of divine genetic design

Combined to produce Jesus, the Messiah, born of a virgin, Son of God. The Miracle of Incarnation.

Imprinted with both the DNA of man and the DNA of God

But what did the miracle of incarnation accomplish?

Let’s read more of our:

Key Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5: 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself …

The miracle of incarnation made way for the miracle of reconciliation.

Just as the birth of Jesus accomplished the miracle of incarnation

The death of Jesus brought about the miracle of reconciliation

The death of Jesus did not save every person, but did make salvation a possibility for every person. This is the miracle of reconciliation.

Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

From the preponderance of scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments, (Leviticus 16:20; 2 Chronicles 29:24; Ezekiel 45:15; Ephesians 2:16; Hebrews 2:17), it is clear that reconciliation does not mean salvation.

Reconciliation has little to do with winning the sinner back to love and loyalty to God.

Reconciliation speaks to the restoration of God’s forfeited favor and the removal of His merited wrath. God’s anger was appeased.

Sin demands death; Justice demands punishment; Reconciliation demands sacrifice. Jesus restored God’s opportunity to forgive.

Justice was satisfied, anger appeased, the wall of separation was abolished, all by the death of our Savior, God’s Son, Jesus the Messiah.

The miracle of reconciliation restored man to a place where God’s favor and grace could be accessed by sinners who were once disallowed appeal and pardon.

The death of Jesus satisfied justice and made God friendly toward sinners, at peace with mankind, no longer enemies and opened the door of salvation to all who would sincerely apply.

Reconciliation makes salvation a possibility.

(The story of the Korean woman whose daughter played the harlot.)

· She saw her daughter through the cross of Calvary

· In Christ’s death, her anger was appeased, grace and favor returned, justice was satisfied, accounts were settled

· Given the opportunity, relationship was restored


2 Corinthians 5 NKJV

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Both the miracles of incarnation and reconciliation were acts of God on behalf of all mankind.

Through these miracles God made a way for us to be saved.

God is waiting for us to make the connection. He is not mad any longer, but loves us and hopes we make the right choice.

Salvation is only one decision away … and that decision is yours.

Will you be reconciled to God today.

He came more than halfway, He came all the way, now you only have to open up your heart and let Him in.

I am an ambassador for Christ speaking on God’s behalf, pleading with you: I implore you, be reconciled to God before it’s too late.

Ask God to accept you into His family, to pardon your sins and save your soul. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Give God your life and become a new creature in Christ Jesus today.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Four Miracles of Christmas: Part One - The Miracle of Incarnation

Four Miracles of Christmas

Part One: The Miracle of Incarnation


Key Scripture: Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (NKJV)

Every known discipline of life demands that we respond to truth. This is accepted from marriage to mechanics.

Where catalogued information is understandable and detailed, if we follow it back to its origin, we find intelligence.

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If we found this written on the screen of a computer:

We would expect no intelligent design of catalogued information for any future purpose. However, if we found written:

Preheat the oven to a temperature of 350 degrees F and place the casserole on a lower rack for 45 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese.

To deny this as an intelligently designed catalogue of information would be to deny evident truth, even if we don’t know how to cook.

Where there is catalogued, understandable, detailed information, if we follow it back to its origin, we find intelligence. The more detailed or complex the information, the greater we can expect the intelligence to be.

Lets look further:

The human cell, for example, consists of three parts: The outer cell wall membrane; the cytoplasm inside the cell wall and the nucleus.

Inside the nucleus one finds:

  • A network of long thread-like materials known as the chromatin which contains hereditary materials. These materials control the activities of the cell. During cell division the chromatin threads condense and become highly coiled structures called chromosomes. Each chromatin thread is made up of proteins and a compound called deoxy-ribonucleic acid or DNA. In the DNA, the hereditary information is stored.

What information is stored within each cell? A detailed schematic of the past, present and future potentials of ancestors, the individual and offspring. From hair color to height, from physique to psyche, from mental capacity to athletic capabilities, complex potentials are catalogued in detail and contained within each basic building block of life.

To think that following the trail back to the origin of this understandable, detailed, complex catalogue of information would find anything less than intelligence is ludicrous and denies the basic science of life.

Chaos, even with infinite repetition, cannot produce the complex order of catalogued information in sub-cellular sequence necessary to produce life, let alone, life capable of reproducing itself.

Life is by intelligent design. Given this, we know that there must be a designer. We know this designer as Almighty God, Creator of the universe, our Heavenly Father, all powerful, always present, all knowing and ever lasting.

John 1 NKJV

1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Verse 14 reveals:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

This Child spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah; this Child which was to be born of a virgin; this Child Who was to be named Immanuel, God with us;

This Child is Jesus!

In the book of Luke Mary asked the question, “How can this thing be?”

The answer from her heavenly visitor is found in:

Luke 1: 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (NKJV)

Jesus Incarnate, the Son of God, the Son of Man, was imprinted with not only the DNA of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but also with the spiritual DNA of God, once again reproducing spiritual life in mankind.

You see,

2 Corinthians 5:19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

1 John 4 NKJV

1 ¶ Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Larry King was asked who in all history would he want to interview. His answer: Jesus of Nazareth.

Larry King said he would ask but one question, “Were You indeed virgin born?”

Even though King is an avowed agnostic, the answer, he said, would explain history.

Every known discipline of life demands that we respond to truth.

The truth is:

Jesus the Messiah, born in the town of Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary, raised as the supposed son of a carpenter in the town of Nazareth, crucified in Jerusalem on a hill called Calvary, resurrected from the garden tomb on the third day and ascended to heaven in the sight of many witnesses, this same Jesus, Rabbi, Teacher, Prophet and King, is Immanuel, God Incarnate, God with us, God the Son.

This is the truth.

Truth demands we respond.

What is your response to the truth this Christmas season?