“I Am The Lord’s Servant.”

466765067In response to the angel’s announcement  that she was chosen to give birth to the Saviour of the world, Mary replied with humility, “I am the servant of the Lord, may it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38). Despite all the potential problems that a pregnant, unwed woman could face in a religious world that upheld the Law of Moses, Mary trusted God to take care of whatever would happen. She knew that her first problem would be Joseph. Would he believe her story that she was made pregnant by the Holy Spirit? Only God could convince him and that he did.

Every Christian can take an example from Mary’s humility and servanthood as we aspire to be servants of the Lord. Humility is the chief characteristic of a servant of God. The opposite of humility which is pride is hated and opposed by God. Meekness distinguishes itself in other qualities that should grace the lives of God’s servants. Imagine Joseph taking Mary from her village to Bethlehem near the time for the birth of her child. Then on arrival in Bethlehem, there is no comfortable place to stay and the baby is on its way. It is unthinkable in today’s world for a woman to have a baby amongst animals. That was more than enough to make the average woman upset. However, Mary maintained a calm and meek disposition in her misfortune, an attitude which Peter urged Christian women to exhibit 1Pet.3:4). She was truly humble.

Izaak Walton wrote, “God has two dwellings; one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart.”

A servant of the Lord is grateful. The words of Mary as recorded by the evangelist Luke in his gospel told the joy and happiness that engulfed Mary. She expressed her gratitude and jubilation that God has remembered his people. He had not deserted them but had fulfilled his promise which he gave centuries before. Her praise was towards God and not toward herself.

A faithful servant of the Lord trusts God. Mary believed God completely. She did not argue with the angel to get God’s will modified to suit her. She just accepted God’s will. Even Elizabeth, her cousin, commented on Mary’s faith in what God said through the angel.(Luke 1:45).

The Lord’s servant is obedient to God. Mary was obedient to God’s words. The angel told Mary to name the child Jesus(Luke1:31). In obedience to this command, Mary and Joseph called the child Jesus (Luke2:21). In obedience to the Law of Moses which they had covenanted with God to observe, they had the child circumcised and consecrated to God’s service Luke2:21-24).

A servant of God does not quarrel (2Tim.2:24). But she was thoughtful, reflective and meditated on the beautiful things of God. When the shepherds visited baby Jesus in the stable, Mary listened intently to their story. Mary must have been captivated by their heart-warming message of how the angels delivered the good news of the birth of the Saviour to them. She treasured their contribution in her heart for the rest of her life (Luke2:19). Luke recorded the occasion when Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem when his family was returning home from the feast of Passover.  After realising that he was missing, his parents had to return to Jerusalem to find him. When asked why he had inconvenienced the family in that way, Jesus replied that he had to be about his Father’s business. Mary could have scolded him and quarrel until she reached home. Instead, she pondered all that transpired and kept it in her heart (Luke2:51).

Mary was a faithful servant of the Lord, chosen and equipped for the task of being the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God has called many to his service. All are required to be humble, faithful, grateful and obedient servants like Mary, mother of our Lord.

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No Room In The Inn

Joseph and Mary had travelled a long distance from their village to Bethlehem.  The journey was a rough and tiring one for Mary who was in the latter stage of her pregnancy. Having reached Bethlehem,  Joseph and Mary sought shelter in the town’s motel but heard on arrival that the establishment had no more room (Luke 2:7).  Mary and Joseph had to make use of the animal stable to shelter themselves during part of their stay in Bethlehem. It was during this time that Jesus was born. There was no room for the One who created the universe with all its vast spaces. What a paradox!

Jesus Christ, born of the tribe of Judah, brought up as a Jew, the promised Messiah who came to save his people from their sins, was unwelcome in this world. What harm could a helpless baby cause a powerful monarch like Herod? Yet Herod did all he could to kill the child (Matt.2:16). In Herod’s thinking, there was no room for another king.

Jesus was sent to his people the Jews. He came with a message of salvation and redemption. Only the poor and the humble acknowledged him. The religious elite rejected his message. They refused to believe that he was from God (John 5:40). They closed their hearts and minds to his teachings. They too had no room in their hearts for Jesus.

Finally, his people hated him so much that they thought that death was too good for him. They treated an innocent man as a common criminal. They handed him over to be brutally tortured and killed. They preferred the criminal Barabbas to Jesus the King of kings (John 18:39-40). He was despised and rejected by men (Isa.53:3). Again, there was no room found for Jesus.

Christmas is a time of happiness and joy. Delight that the Saviour has come into the world. Joy in the fact that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. But is there room in our hearts for Jesus? Is there a willingness on our part to surrender to his Lordship in your life? Jesus was sent by the Father to save his people from their sins (Mat.1:21).  He went to the cross to pay for your sins and mine. He redeemed humanity from the horrible slavery of sin (Isa.53:5). The least you can do to show your gratitude for what Jesus has done, is to make room in your life for him.

 

 

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The Word Became Flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John1:14 ESV

Antwerp - Nativity scene by baroque painter Cornelius de Vos

The Hebrew scriptures foretold the coming of the Messiah and the glories that would follow his arrival. The prophets who were given those comforting predictions did not have a clear picture of the things to come (1Pet.1:10-12). The Pharisees and the teachers of the law knew of the coming Messiah and were looking for his arrival but they were confused as to what to expect. They saw him as a conquering king who would free them from the rule of the Roman empire. Even the disciples had this idea (Acts 1:6). The Jews of Christ’s day were so obsessed with having their freedom that they could not understand a Messiah who seemed powerless to deliver them from the power of Rome. They missed the reasons for the incarnation of Jesus which Jesus himself gave in Luke 4:18-19.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isa.7:14 ESV

The angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin named Mary. He announced to her that she would bear a son and she was to name him Jesus. When Mary inquired as to how this would be possible seeing that she was a virgin, the angel told her that God would implant the child in her womb. He further explained to her that she was the one chosen by God to bring the Messiah into the world. Mary was humbled by the news and gave God thanks for allowing her to be his faithful servant (Luke 1:26-38).

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days. Micah 5:2 ESV

From this prophecy in Micah, the Jewish authorities knew that the Messiah would be born in the town of Bethlehem. They knew that he was born to be a king, but they did not comprehend the nature and scope of his kingdom. Because of this ignorance, Herod became jealous on hearing about the birth of this new king and he set out to destroy him. Even the evil attempt of Herod to thwart the purposes of God was foretold in Jer.31:15.

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Mat.1:21 ESV

Jesus was to be the woman’s seed who would crush the head of the enemy Satan (Gen,3:15). He would be the Passover lamb of Exodus 112;1-51 and John 1:29. He would make atonement for the sins of the world as prophesied in Isa.53:4-12 and fulfilled Heb.9:28 and many other scriptures.

There were righteous, ordinary persons among the Jews who were eagerly anticipating the coming of the Messiah.  Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and wife of Zechariah the priest, on seeing Mary became filled with the Spirit and exclaimed loudly, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:42-44 ESV). Elizabeth was overjoyed to be in the presence of the mother of Jesus.

Simeon, an elderly man was waiting to see the Messiah for himself before he died. For him, the arrival of Messiah was the indication that he could now depart this life having seen God’s salvation for his people (Luke 2:28-32). Similarly, Anna a prophetess who spent her life at the temple praying, fasting and worshipping, approached Jesus’ parents and gave God thanks for the child. She too spoke of the redemption of Jerusalem which Messiah was to accomplish (Luke 2:38).

The incarnation, the mystery of how God put on flesh to become one of us, is the glorious work and plan of a loving God to redeem us from the curse Adam brought. The incarnation demonstrates the power of God to achieve his plans for the redemption of mankind and to defeat the wicked purposes of the devil. The incarnation is God’s promise to Israel and the rest of the world fulfilled in his only Son Jesus. The incarnation is our only hope for deliverance (Acts 4:12). Therefore, let us like Anna the prophetess, give God thanks for providing deliverance, salvation and a glorious hope for us through his Son Jesus who became flesh and dwelt among us.

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Following Cleverly Invented Stories?

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 2Pet.1:16-18 NIV

The Apostle Peter  boldly assured his readers that what he presented to them as the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not a fairy tale or an invented fable. He was not telling a tall story to stroke his ego or to pamper his narcissism. He was giving an eyewitness report and there were other witnesses who could verify his report (Luke 9:28-36).  Can your teachers make the same bold claim as Peter? Are you confident that they are not feeding you cleverly concocted theories that they use the Bible to legitimize? Many false teachers have infiltrated Christianity with their damning heresies and lies. “Take heed that no man deceives you.” is the solemn warning of none other than Jesus Christ (Mat. 24:4).

Ask yourself whether these are cleverly invented stories. Be honest with yourself.

  • The white races of Northern Europe, the U.K, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the lost tribes of Israel and this knowledge unlocks the prophecies of the Bible.
  • That the Azazel goat (scapegoat) in the day of Atonement ritual of Leviticus chapter 16 represents Satan. That Satan is the one who bears our sins. It is not our sins but the Devil’s that has been placed back on his own head you are asked to believe.
  • You are told that the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles represents a time in the future when all who did not accept a certain brand of religion in their previous lifetime will be resurrected and given a chance to accept that religion.
  • You believe for sure that your church is the only true church and that Christendom is deceived

  • You believe that the Holy Spirit is a “force” not the third member of the Godhead.

Someone you hold in high esteem used to admonish, “Don’t believe me, believe the Bible.” Have you checked these things for yourself by consulting the word of God and literature outside of your church? Are you so afraid of your church that you cannot independently and objectively study Bible commentaries and other Bible helps on these subjects? The Internet is a valuable source of information on a vast array of subjects. I urge you to make good use of it.

I am sure that some of you have doubts about some of these things. You owe it to yourself to know where you stand. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He want to lead you away from fables and into the truth of Jesus Christ. Stop resisting Him.

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Sabbath And Holyday Observance

In the past, Sabbath and Jewish holiday observance was practised by a few obscure groups, who were considered to espouse unorthodox and sometimes abberant theology.   Today, Hebrew Roots groups have sprung up in many places. These groups believe and teach among other things,  that observance of the Sabbath and the holydays is essential for Christians. This time of the year, many persons are preparing to observe the Jewish feast days that occur in the fall.  Perhaps you are one of these persons but you are not sure whether these days are mandatory or not.

Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries who is a Jewish Christian explains what the New Testament teaches on this subject. This short video will provide a basic understanding that will give guidance to anyone who wants to follow the truth.

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What Will Happen on September 23, 2017? | Answers in Genesis

Could September 23 of this year be a day of great prophetic significance? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

Source: What Will Happen on September 23, 2017? | Answers in Genesis

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Is Your Church A Cult?

Source: Destructive Cults | Cult Methodology

Get the answer to this and many other questions concerning cults and their methodology. Equip yourself with the information that could save you and your loved ones from being the victims of a mind-controlling, money-grabbing, heretical, and destructive group.

Margaret Singer, clinical psychologist and once Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley was the preeminent cult expert of the 20th Century. She counseled and/or interviewed thousands of people affected by controversial groups often called “cults.” Dr. Singer offered meaningful definitions of unsafe groups or “cults” in her book Cults in our Midst.

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness

kindnessOne of the positive aspects of our society is the fact that we witness acts of kindness being demonstrated daily to others. Persons donate money and material things to help victims of tragedies to get back on their feet. They help elderly persons to cross the road safely. Motorists on the main road will allow the other driver coming from a side road to exit. A few days ago, my wife’s money fell from her purse; a gentleman who was passing alerted her to what was happening. These are all acts of kindness that we are familiar with in our society.

King David in 2Samuel 9:1-12 deliberately sought after a descendant of King Saul for the purpose of showing him the kindness of God. Through his servant Ziba, David found out that Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul was still alive. Saul had made David’s life miserable by hunting him down to kill him. David had given him no cause for so doing. In spite of this, David returned all of Saul’s property to Mephibosheth and gave him a permanent place at the king’s table. This is an outstanding example of kindness.

Boaz, another wonderful man, showed kindness to Ruth who was a foreigner (Ruth 2:6-16). Sometimes we respond with kindness to persons from our race or country but treat the foreigner and the person from another ethnic group with unkindness. That is sinful in the eyes of God and ought not to be the practice of followers of Christ.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The person who is led by the Spirit of God will perform acts of kindness to his fellow man. God was known to his people in the Hebrew scriptures as a God who demonstrated kindness to people(Jonah 4:2; Ps. 117:2). Followers of Jesus Christ are admonished to be kind to each other (Eph.4:32).

Acts of kindness can range from offering words of comfort and encouragement to giving food, money or other material things to those in need. Followers of Christ will not ignore the stranger on the street who asks for something to eat. Neither should we turn a blind eye to the cries of children who we know are being abused. Kindness should be shown to those who wrong us.

Kindness is a quality of God. God’s children are called to be like him in character. Kindness is one of the hallmarks of a follower of Jesus Christ. Let us walk as he walked.

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Love

loveA list of the fruit of the Spirit in Gal.5:22-23 reveals love as the first and probably the most notable one. The New Testament speaks abundantly of God’s love for us and in turn, teaches us to love each other. This  love which comes from God and is spread in our hearts by the Holy Spirit is not a natural quality found in humanity. This love transcends all human love. It is the perfect expression of a holy God whose intention is to create in man a character similar to his.

John 3:16 speaks to the fact that God so loved humanity that he gave his Son Jesus Christ to rescue us from the ravages of sin. This was done while the whole human race was the enemy of God (Rom.5:8). The love of God for us is totally selfless. We have done nothing to merit that wonderful love. It was God who made the first move to demonstrate his awesome love for us in such a tangible way (John 4:10).

God does not only show us his love; he gives us his love that we can have the capacity to love like him. The Holy Spirit spreads the love of God into our hearts (Rom.5:5). Every believer has been given the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength and the capacity to truly love God and our fellow man. Our love for Jesus is demonstrated by obeying his teachings which include loving each other (John14:15,23; 1John 4:11). The Bible speaks of a love that ought to permeate every relationship of the believer. We are to extend the love of God to husband, wife, children, relatives, neighbors, countrymen, foreigners, the church, and even our enemies. Every believer should pursue a life of love as opposed to a life of self-centredness.

The subject of love is such an important one that the Apostle Paul wrote a whole chapter in the New Testament about it (1Cor.13). Paul’s instruction is that love should form the basis of all Christian action, thought, speech and motivation (1Cor.14:1).

Having love proves that we are children of God and that God is at work in our lives. Every believer who is serious about living for God will pursue a life that is filled with the love of God. He will be careful to remain in Christ who is the Vine, in order for him to bear the fruit of the Spirit – love (John 15:5).

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Windows of Heaven – Ken Boa Welcomes You to Reflections Ministries

October 19, 2016

Source: Windows of Heaven – Ken Boa Welcomes You to Reflections Ministries

This short video is a timely reminder that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for his children. He will one day return and receive us to himself. He is now in the process of transforming us so that we may be like him.

Jesus came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. He is in the business of saving those who come to him. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”Mat.11:28 He will not refuse any who come to him. Come and share the home he is preparing for his children. The invitation is to all.

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