Christmas the Art of Giving

St. Nicholas – modern-day Santa Claus

Nicholas lived during the third and fourth centuries in a small village now known as Turkey. He grew up in a wealthy family. but both parents died in an epidemic when he was young. Nicholas’ deep faith led him to take Jesus’ word to heart. He set out to sell what he owned and to give the money to the poor. Nicholas spent the rest of his life-giving his fortune away. He cared for widows, orphans, the sick, suffering, sailors, and children. His life work was giving.

it is amazing we can celebrate Christmas with such love not only for the birth of Jesus, but yet to bring toys for kids to also show compassion for Nicholas – showing his Faith and wisdom.

Christmas is a spiritual season – the perfect gift given already – the Son of God. One of the best things about Christmas is the generosity we ca offer to celebrate by spending time with our family, our friends, and the Son of God.

A lot of time we get caught up into buying presents that we forget the true meaning of Christmas.

I remember not only the gifts during Christmas, but reading the story from the Bible. We would take turns every year, it would be another kid/another grandchild. My Grandpa would wait till we finished reading the story to break down the true meaning of us gathering near the tree. After we would have the discussion the kids got to pass out the presents in celebration of Jesus’ life.

Those are the moments I will never forget, and now I can pass down the tradition to my kid/kids.

As the time comes closer to Christmas try to remember the real reason of the celebration. Don’t be too stressed due to money, or wondering how you’re going to visit everyone. Just relax, smile, and be devoted to Him for that’s what the Son of God would want us to do.

Day 8 – Planned For God’s Pleasure

Revelation 4:11
“You are worthy, O Lord,To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Psalm 149:4
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

God wired you with five senses and emotions. He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it. God also has emotions. He grieves, gets jealous, angry, feels compassion, pity, sorrow, sympathy, happiness, gladness, and satisfaction. He loves, delights, gets pleasure, rejoices, enjoys, and even laughs.

Genesis 6:6
And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Exodus 20:5
you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me

Deuteronomy 32:36
For the Lord will judge His people And have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their power is gone, And there is no one remaining, bond or free.

Judges 2:20
Then the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice

1 Kings 10:9
Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”

1 Chronicles 16:27
Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place.

Psalm 2:4
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

Psalm 5:5
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity.

Psalm 18:19
He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

Psalm 35:27
Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”

Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Psalm 103:13
As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

Psalm 104:31
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works.

Ezekiel 5:13
‘Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged; and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them.

1 John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Bringing pleasure to God is called “worship”
Psalm 147:11
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.

Worship is a natural as eating or breathing.

John 4:23
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

Worship is far more than music

Every part of a church service is an act of worship: Praying, scripture reading, singing, sermon, taking notes, giving an offering, baptism, communion, signing a commitment, and even greeting other worshipers. God loves all style of music because he invented it all – fast, slow, loud, soft, old or new. We often disagree with music used for worship, defending our preferred style as the most biblical or God-honoring. There is no musical notes in the Bible.

Worship is not for your benefit

We worship for God’s benefit. Our goal is to bring pleasure to God. Don’t worship to please yourself.

Isaiah 29:13
Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men”

Worship is not a part of your life; it is your life.
Psalm 105:4
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!
Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun to it’s going down The Lord’s name is to be praised.

Praise God at work, home, in a battle, in jail, or even in bed. Praise should be the first activity when your eyes open in the morning, and the last activity when you close your eyes at night.

Psalm 119:147
I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
Psalm 5:3
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
Psalm 63:6
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
Psalm 119:62
At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.
Psalm 34:1
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Every activity can be transformed into worship.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:23
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men
Romans 12:1-2 (msg)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Point to Ponder: I was planned for God’s pleasure
Verse to Remember: Psalm 149:4 – For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Question to Consider: What common talk could I start doing as if I were doing it directly for Jesus?

Wow! I have not been doing my best. Not to say I have been cussing out my daily duties. I think I can get a lot more done if I was aiming to please Him, not only through chores, but driving, checking on friends/family, opening doors for others etc. It would be a lot more peaceful I can assure you.

Day 1 – It’s Not About Me
Day 2 – You are Not An Accident
Day 3 – What Drives Your Life
Day 4 – Made to Last Forever
Day 5 – Life from God’s View
Day 6 – Life is a Temporary Assignment
Day 7 – The Reason for Everything

Renew Your Mind

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When the Bible tells us to not love the world or to not be conformed to the world, of course it is not talking about the Earth or physical world; but it is talking about the age in which we live.

World in Greek means Aiwnos – which means “Age”

You need to avoid “the age” in order to do the will of God. Age needs to be recognized and avoided because negative and nonspiritual aspects to them – Selfishness, Desires with no Limits, Materialism, Greed, Pride, and Dishonesty.

With being Humans, we tend to have social influences that can be powerfully overwhelming. We learn to do things that we shouldn’t from others, also known as Peer Pressure. Other times we are influenced when we least expect it.

Rom 12:2 reminds us to be aware of the problem and to be on the lookout for potential bad influences in our lives.

When our eyes open to the peer pressure we often draw away from it, we corner ourselves in our house, or pass at invitations, but the Bible says for us to learn to be IN the world, but not BE of the world. We can not change the world, but we can change ourselves.

If you do want to change, then first change how you think. Every action you do is reviewed by a thought first. Entertaining the wrong thoughts then you will perform the wrong actions. Monkey See – Monkey Do – surely you have heard of that.

Don’t stop renewing your mind. Once you stop renewing your mind you will begin to conform to the world.

Time

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

We often live life in the fast lane. We thrive off technology; often on our phones, computers, televisions, video games or iPods. We take tomorrow for granted. We sit back and continue doing whatever as time passes by. We get up without thinking it could be our last. Everyday we are here is another day taken off our life. We often fail to see the connection of our conduct and our eternal life. We have to be wise and know to live life to the fullest.

Romans 13:11
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

What are you doing with your time?

Number our days; we do this a lot actually.
Weddings – We know the time, the date, and sometimes even the seconds till we say, “I do”
Due Date – We know when the child will arrive, or around what day.
Vacation – We plan, we mark our calendars

We will not make wise decisions of our time without God’s instructions. Wisdom should apply everyday in our life. We need to learn to teach ourselves to number our days, that we gain a heart of wisdom and fulfill purpose in our lives.

Start living your life as tomorrow is your last. Be grateful for everything you have today, even the bad. Stop and smell the roses. Do things today that you wished you should have done yesterday.

Loving Marriage

From the beginning God wanted us to be one.

Genesis 2:24
for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 

You are one flesh, because you come together as ONE.
Christ needs to be FIRST! Husband/Wife 2nd, and so on. Christ is the center of the relationship through all, it all begins with a unity of the two in Christ.

Love is about unconditional love, that means, Your Wife/Husband does NOT submit to you.
Love is about beauty, that does not mean that Sex comes first. Love is more than that.
Love is about friendship, sharing deep discussions, and enjoying each other as a whole.
Love is about giving, it is NOT demanding, or about RIGHTS.
Love is about till death, it is NOT about throwing Divorce in the air, or threatening each other.

Deuteronomy 24:5
When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.

Happiness – That doesn’t mean to under mind her, or just to make sure she is comfortable. This means to MAKE her Happy! There is more to making a wife/husband happy than talking, watching movies, going out to eat, and sex.
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

1 Corinthians 7:4
The wife’s body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband; the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife.

We belong together as ONE. We are to be used to bring us together, for pleasure, and love.
Being together as one does not mean to be bowing down to their every need. It is not about following wife/husband lead, it doesn’t mean to be completely following each others footsteps.

Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

If you truly love your wife, you would never want to cause her harm, or bully her.
Christ loved the church for a purpose: to sanctify her, to put her to her proper use, to allow her to fulfill her potential.
Every husband who has his own good at heart, will nourish and cherish his wife, for they are one. Their good rises and falls together will build them stronger. Love does no harm to the one who loves.

Showing love…
Respect Your Husband/Wife
~Respect – gives a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity
Let the Husband be the HEAD of the family.
Communication!
~ Submitting to Him, does not mean being quiet, or silent, and it doesn’t mean to just agree with whatever falls from his mouth.
~ Respectful in communicating
~ Tell your dreams, desires, and thoughts.
Helper
~ Learn about each other, help one another overcome, and show your inner-self.
Know the Lord is in Control
Giving Time to each other
~ You have to spend time together, to HELP each other.
Speak to Each Other (Communicate) – Seems to be a big thing, right?
Treat Each other Equally
Do not compare Each other to others
Show appreciation

A Marriage is Unity, Love, Headship/Submission, and Perfection.
A Marriage grows over time. You have to learn from one another, and communicate to one another to BUILD your marriage.

 

Increase Strength

Do you feel weak, no strength, no energy?

Life can be exhausting. It can drain us from the strength we need everyday; cleaning house, chasing kids, paying bills, etc. We can exercise to make us feel better, and strengthen us physically, but we also need inner strength to be able to function. Our mind, body and spirit are inner-connected, how we feel spiritually, emotionally can effect on us physically. Ever thought about that?

Psalm 138:3
n the day when I cried you answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.

The LORD is my Rock

Are you going through a rough time? Cheer up! Lift your head high! God’s love for you knows no bounds. He fills your life with blessings and watches over you as though you were the only person alive who He loved. His every thought is good toward you and God wants to pour out a blessing on you that you can’t contain.

Know that God is there for you, and trust in his strength.

 

To Seek, To Require, To Desire

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Prosper – Holistically
~We have a wealth of hope, peace, joy, patience, and love.
He wants us to have a relationship with Him; a relationship in which we experience His greatness. He wants us to be wealthy in our trust and faith in Him.

Seek in Hebrew is baqash – “to seek, to require, to desire” which means “To resort to”, or “to search”.

To seek and to search means to actively pursue God by reading His word and spending quality time in prayer.

Do you desire God’s direction for your career/Job, or are you holding on to the reins yourself?

Do your goals line up with seeking, desiring, and searching for God?

 

Stop Going Around the Mountain

You know I wrote a post about Put the Shut to the Up

It is amazing how you talk about something and then somehow it comes back to you, and it is not even from you.. it is from someone else. Enjoy the video. (Click the link below)

http://vimeo.com/41706119

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