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Archive for December, 2014

“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent His servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then He sent some more servants and said, “Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared My dinner . . . Come to the wedding banquet.” But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. “     Matthew 22:2-5

I have read these verses many times, but this morning my eyes were opened to one phrase…

“…But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.”

 We have been invited to an event in which the Father is celebrating His love for His Son. He says He has prepared everything…how magnificent. What could you expect to see and experience at a feast like that?

We the invited have nothing to do but to come…twice He says, “Come”. 

But the tragic response is that not only do they not come, but instead the choice that is made is that they

“went off—one to his field, another to his business. “

They were not refusing Him because they had filled there schedule with acts of “sin”, if you will, they were not intent on revelry and debauchery, no. They “paid no attention” to this invitation because they were busy working. 

I saw this morning that this invitation was not just intended for an event, but for a lifestyle, a lifestyle of celebrating His love for His Son.

Why would anyone chose a lifestyle of toil over receiving, receiving a feast prepared by the Father Himself?

His Spirit touched my heart this morning, not in condemnation of my habitual efforts to work: to accomplish, to provide for myself, physically, relationally, emotionally, but His touch was to remind me of the invitation, to come, to see His love for His Son, and feast on His provision. 

I believe this is His intention for me…not as an event, but as a lifestyle.

I believe this is His intention for us, His Bride, His Church.  How sad if the Bride herself was too busy working to come to the feast and rejoice. May the Spirit of God quiet our hearts today so we can hear His invitation. 

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”  Luke 2:8-11

Good News”…“Great Joy

Take a moment and think of what would be “good news” for you.

What would bring you “great joy”?

Perhaps news regarding health issues, relationships restored, finances?

We know the Lord is tender towards our concerns, our broken hearts.

In Psalm 34:18 we see He is very near to us in our brokenheartedness

But He has good news for us, He had great joy for us, better news than if all of these heart issues that we have just thought of (or had hidden away) were resolved.

It is this news that brought the angels out in celestial celebration.

Their God, the very God that they saw and worshiped day and night, had entered a human virgin and now had made entrance upon the world.

It was unthinkable.

These angels who had seen the plight of man, who had for millenniums been assigned to watch over, guard and protect these humans, were now coming with an incredible announcement.

Not, “Your sheep will multiply and give you a great financial return this year.

Not,  “You will find the woman of your dreams and live happily ever after.”

Not, “All your sicknesses will be gone forever.”

Something far greater,

Something that shook heaven and would change these shepherd’s lives and the entire planet forever….

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”

The very God they had worshipped day and night, was now accessible to the touch of humans. His name is Emmanuel, “God is with us”.

 Psalm 4:7  “YOU have given me more joy than when the grain abounds….”   (what is your own “…than when” ?)

We see Paul bolstering the hearts of the Philippians, this group of believers who where going through untold trials and persecutions.

“Rejoice, I say again, rejoice…the Lord is near.”  Phil 4:5-7 

Not, “Rejoice, this will soon be over”.

Not, “Rejoice, I will destroy your enemies”.

Not, “Rejoice, I will make this make sense to you”.

“Rejoice…the Lord is near”.

What if this were true? What if you could know that the Lord, Creator of heaven and earth was near?

Whisper to yourself…”The Lord is near”.

No wonder the writer of Hebrews says, “…be content with what you have because He Himself has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you’”.  Hebrews 13: 5 

Ah, yes, the Lord is near.

“You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy…”Psalm 16:11   fullness of joy”.

 In the 39th chapter of Genesis we see Joseph enduring great suffering, betrayal, imprisonment, yet three times we hear:  “…but the Lord is with Joseph”

“Whatever I thought was gain (could bring me joy) I count but nothing compared to knowing Him.” Phil. 3: 7,8

In knowing Jesus, I will be able to have the joy for which I was created. 

I pray Ephesians 3: 14-20 over us this day, that we would know joy,that we would know Jesus, and know that He is with us. 

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

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