MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2019: I AM MORE THAN ONE–WITH THE LORD

                This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

 An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.

A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.1

 The Pessimist:

Let’s leave 2018 behind as quickly as possible and watch the ball drop at Times Square to make sure this year departs. It’s been a year of turmoil, strife, violence, loss, an increase in acceptance and tolerance of immoral behavior, and a challenge to our Christian faith. Why would we want to hold onto it? Just “drop the ball” and start off anew on January 1st, 2019.

The Optimist:

Let’s reflect on 2018: A year of turmoil, strife, violence, loss, an increase in acceptance and tolerance of immoral behavior, and a challenge to our Christian faith—during which times many demonstrated courage, empathy, charity, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, and great faith. It has been a year where we were called to stand for what we believe in, both publicly and privately. The ball may “drop” to end 2018, but what we learned this year should be carried into 2019. We cannot start anew; we must start where we left off and make use of the lessons of 2018 to build up our faith, our courage, our empathy, our charity, our forgiveness, our compassion, and our willingness to make sacrifices for the Lord.

The Pessimist: I am only one. What can I do to make a difference?

The Optimist:  I am the one. “{I} must be the change {I} wish to see in the world” 2  and in myself.

**“Do I dare Disturb the universe?” ― T.S. Eliot 3

**“In a gentle way, [I] can shake the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi 4

** “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ― Edward Everett Hale 5

**“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.” ― Jimmy Carter 6

    “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

A new year awaits us. Let us go to our “war rooms” and pray with due diligence to be stronger in our trust in God, wiser in our actions by His guidance, and bolder in our decisions to make a difference for the Lord.

I AM MORE THAN ONE—WITH THE LORD.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/30/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

1 Bill Vaughan. brainyquote.com

2 Mahatma Gandhi. brainyquote.com  “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

3 T. S. Eliot. http://www.goodreads.com

4 Mahatma Gandhi.brainyquote.com  “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

5 Edward Everett Hale. brainyquote.com

6 Jimmy Carter. goodreads.com

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“Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.”

Many titles are conferred in our society. This may involve an honorary degree from an academic institution, knighthood from English royalty, or a Doctorate granted from intense study in a discipline. A newborn child may inherit a title through a lineage of ancestry.

Yet, only one child, born in a lowly manger, bore the title of Lord of all at His birth:

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. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2: 8-12)

The title that He chose to accept for Himself involved bearing much: leaving heaven with the Father and entering the human world in human form through a virgin birth, carrying out His Father’s business at a young age in the synagogue, knowing His purpose and its consequences, enduring unearned punishment and torture, being suspended on a cross to embrace a cruel death, taking upon Himself the sins of us all which involved being abandoned by the Father. No child ever entered this world with such a weight to carry, such a destiny to live out, such a death to face each day of His life.

“Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.” 1

That night wasn’t silent for long. Heaven proclaimed the arrival of the Lord and Savior of all at His birth: 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2: 13-15)

Let us remember and praise Jesus as our Lord at His birth, through His life on earth, in His death on the cross, and in His resurrection and honored place at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19).

 Jesus, the One who chose to be our Lord and our Savior at His birth,

is forever worthy of our praise.

1https://www.carols.org.uk/silent_night.htm

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 12/23/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: A GIFT BESTOWED BY GOD

 

FELLOWSHIP: Friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests; companionship; comradeship; friendship; mutual support; togetherness; solidarity. ¹

Fellowship in the Lord is a special gift only Christians can fully unwrap, open to the Light, and experience. God has given us a church family—brothers and sisters who share a common bond, a common love, a common faith, a common hope in Christ. Through Christian fellowship, we are each other’s mutual support and companions through the challenges, tests, struggles, suffering, and hardships in this life. We are each other’s faithful friends, sharing in the joys, special moments, and laugh-out-loud times. Our solidarity is secured in our united efforts as comrades in the cause of Christ, showing His love through our lives and through our fellowship with one another.

Do we have this type of fellowship that God intended for us? Are we following the example of the New Testament church?

Acts 2:42 – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:3 – That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord cannot exist without the presence of CHRIST Himself. When we pray, when we break bread, when we sing, when we worship, HE is with us. When we share a meal and thank Him for it, HE is seated at the table. As we clean the building in the spring, HE is there in our midst. When we sing carols to the elderly in a nursing home or assisted living, JESUS is harmonizing with us. Fellowship in Christ is fellowship with Christ.

This gift of Christian fellowship, bestowed by God, is a blessing in this life but an even greater joy in eternity. Our friendship, our companionship, and our togetherness will continue forever.  Human fellowship cannot last, but fellowship in Christ endures and grows stronger. Can we envision what Christian fellowship in heaven will be like?

Can we have the kind of Christian fellowship on this earth that prepares us for that Day?

Hebrews 10:24-25-  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

Have we made good use of God’s special gift to us in our fellowship with one another? How have we thanked Him?  Do others know we are Christians by our fellowship with one another?  Let us pray with purpose and faith that we may use this God-gift of Christian fellowship to help and encourage each other in our walk with Him, as we work together in solidarity to bring souls to His salvation and to this special fellowship of His followers.

¹www.google.com-fellowship

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/16/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Our Voice: God-Given but human-enabled. How will we speak?

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

(Psalm 141:3)

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Our voice: God-Given. Human-enabled.

The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)

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 When my granddaughter was two, she would blow kisses to almost everyone she saw or encountered. People would react with smiles and joy, wave, or blow kisses back. She didn’t have the repertoire of words to speak, but she was saying a lot through this action of unspoken voice, and she was definitely “heard.”

What sounds come forth when we speak? Are they gentle? Are they loving? Are they kind?

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

(Proverbs 15:1)

What comes forth from our mouth is usually what is lingering– or dwelling– in our heart and thoughts. If it is love, then love will be expressed. If it is anger, then harshness will be what we send out to those around us.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

Ultimately, the voice we have is God-Given to praise and honor Him. Once we have our heart and thoughts in sync with God, our voice will utter what is pleasing to Him and to others.

 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

In this time and throughout all time,

KINDNESS MATTERS!
 “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 13:1)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/09/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

God’s Timing: Always the Right Time for His Purpose

 

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, 33 and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”  

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)

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“How will this be?”

We, like Mary, may ask this question when our limited human understanding cannot comprehend God’s unlimited power. We are grounded by gravity on this earth and think in terms of the physical instead of the spiritual. Having a child as a virgin was inconceivable during Mary’s time. It would be a miracle. If this occurred today, however, many people would, more than likely, reason that it was a conception of scientific achievement, controlled by man, and not a miracle of God. The question in our time might be phrased in a different way: “How will this be done by scientific methods?”  

1To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, And a time to die…”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

 Why that time period for “the holy one to be born (who) will be called the Son of God?”  It was God’s selected time for His purpose to be fulfilled. God’s perfect timing.  To the One who sees and foresees what we cannot, the child to be named Jesus was conceived and born at exactly the right time in the right place to the right person in human history.

 Whatever plans God has for you and for me, we must trust as the right timing in the right place with purposeful planning through Godly intervention. Our response should be like Mary’s: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/02/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word