Embrace the King!

He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. Micah 5:4

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 The world is in confusion and terror is on every street. The year is 701 BC and the Assyrians are coming down from the north. They have already come down the coastline and are coming back up from the south to finish Judea off. Hezekiah the king is powerless to save them. It would seem that Judea will be destroyed just like Israel was twenty years before. Why has this tragedy come? It is because the people worship idols and are filled with greed. The nation that once had been built around God has forgotten their God. They have caused this destruction by their evil practices and their denial of the Lord. The year is 2017 and our world seems to be in confusion. Our nation is filled with rebellion on the streets and terror threats in our cities. We see degrading values in our culture and greedy politicians who trample on the common man. Gone are the days of the past where people followed the Lord. America has entered a new era and is facing many of the problems of Micah’s Judah. Fortunately, God has not forgotten His people and offers the same solution – a king to lead and save them.

 The King will be from Bethlehem. The prophecy was so clear that the Pharisees of Herod’s court could tell the magi exactly where to find the baby in the manger. He will be humble and be able to relate to people. He will not be born in a palace but in the little crossroads of Bethlehem about ten miles south of Jerusalem. Yet, he will be of the royal family and fulfill the promises made to David about a descendant who will rule forever. Many will reject the king, but those who are desperate enough and recognize their weakness will embrace Him. To those who seek Him, God will reveal the savior. They will have joy while others still struggle. They will bow down before the king and make Him their Lord while others are chasing after fleeting happiness and disappointing answers. The king will come to those who have fallen on hard times and are willing to put themselves in His hands.

In His hands, they will find peace. He will shepherd His people and they will depend on Him. He will lead them beside the quiet waters and He will restore their souls. This will be a king that will bring wholeness to people who live in chaos. We see it in the life of Jesus as He heals the sick and as He brings help to thousands sitting on the hillside looking for answers in a world of fear. The world around them may be chaos, but Jesus gives order and light to their lives so that the pieces of life work together to build stronger families and friendships. He changes them from the inside out so that they have character and values. Life is Shalom with Jesus. It has real peace. The fool will try to keep Jesus and His wisdom at a distance in life. God gave them a king, but not let Him rule. They will hear His guidance and think that they are so wise that they don’t need it. The wise will bow before this king and follow Him with their life. They will put Him first in their lives and hang on every word that He says in scripture and seek Him out daily in prayer so that they may have His guidance and comfort. They will thrive in the chaos because Jesus will be their leader and bring them peace. Disaster surrounds them, but in His care, they will have the confidence that eludes the masses. 

Bringer of Light

Isaiah 9:2

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

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 Darkness surrounds us even though the presidential campaign was over a year ago. We are just as divided as ever and name calling and persecution is on the rise. It seems odd that things that the world has known were wrong continue to be touted as what is suddenly right. Churches are seen as places of small minds instead of the wisdom of the Lord. Yet, the world seems to spin out of control as the light of Jesus is forsaken. The wise will be shown to be foolish. It is to the desperate that the light will come most this Christmas. It will be people broken by divorce, by job loss and by the pain of illness. While the rest of the world pretends that everything is Ok, the broken will be looking for the light. They will be open to the words of a carol or a bible left in a hospital room.And the savior will bring them hope and help. He will comfort them with his words in scripture. He will listen to the prayers and give them comfort. He will send people like you and me to give them food to eat and presents for the children of those in prison. The light will come because they need it most.

The ministry of Jesus will change lives. The families of Jairus and Lazarus would see life come into their midst. Dozens of people were healed of sickness and demon possession. Thousands were fed by Jesus on hillsides. But most of all were the people whose lives were changed by his words. As the days grow shorter and the darkness takes over from the summer’s sun, Jesus is the light that is needed so much. He is the cure for the blues that come with the darkness. He is the friend who will be there at our side when everyone else is busy. He is the one who brings real holiday cheer. Those who hold on to Jesus will find that he still works miracles. He answers prayers and he cheers our hearts as we read his scripture. He chases the blues away as we bask in his love. Ultimately, he gives us the hope of everlasting life. He lets us know that no matter who we are, things will be all right.

 As the Christmas season comes upon us, many of us will put up lights on the outside of our homes and decorate our homes with candles and tree lights. We hope to chase the gloom away and bring hope and peace in the darkness. Yet, I have always found that we need to bring Christ into the season in order to chase the darkness away. It is the Christmas carols played on the stereo or sung in a Christmas program that reminds me of his birth and his love. It is the times of giving like Angel tree or a donation to Salvation Army that bring a warmth to my heart. We can’t overcome the blues by ourselves. Those who make time for Jesus this season will find a joy that is often missing in the people around us. Those who let Jesus in will find that He brings real joy and peace no matter how dark life can be. His light and love are like a gentle fire that wells up in you bringing light and warmth to a dark cold world. Share the light and bring hope. Invite a friend to a Christmas service or concert. Let them see the light in this dark world. Let the light of Jesus shine so that our world can be brighter.