Author Archives: Mike

The Return

Luke 17:15New Living Translation (NLT)

15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”

After the carols are sung and eggnog consumed, Americans will hit the roads to return unwanted gifts. We will return as much as $284 billion dollars of unwanted gifts. The gift to be remembered?

Jesus gave 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19 a gift of healing to their bodies. These men had a flesh eating disease that would ultimately take their lives. The men were unclean and would be placed in a colony to live out their lives separate from everyone else.

In this story, Jesus hears the lepers calling out to him, “Help us! Have mercy on us!” Jesus immediately sends the gift of healing to their bodies. He tells them to go show themselves to the priests. As they started walking, the healing happened.

For me today, my thought goes to the nine. Why did they not come back? Why did they not return to Jesus and thank him? Did they think they were owed? Were they ungrateful? We do not know. Scripture is silent.

Yet, one did come back. This one man who received healing came back to praise Jesus. He got to his knees with his face in the dirt. What was interesting was that he was a half-blood. He was half Jewish and half gentile. He was a Samaritan. He received the gift of healing and was grateful. 

Many will hit the malls and stores to return gifts after this Christmas holiday. These gifts will be forgotten. Do not forget the gift of Jesus. Hold dearly your gift of salvation. Also, do not forget the return of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He was a gift to our world. He came to save. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of salvation and your abundant grace.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Luke 2:14New Living Translation (NLT)

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Christmas made it! It is here! Tonight is Christmas Eve. Stories will be read, scripture quoted, and songs sung. Generally most of us will go to a candle light church service where this is a time of fellowship and worship.

As I look at all this, do we really do the day of Christmas justice? Why is it at this time people will come to church and then we do not see them again until Easter or at Christmas next year?

My mind moves to the shepherds on a hillside. These men were watching their sheep. To me it would be a mindless job, but God sent his angels to these men. Not only did they see the angels, they heard them sing.

I believe no orchestra or band could have even begun to match the gloriousness of that night. That is why I think we should, as men, be the strongest voices heard tonight. God sent angels to the shepherds. These were men doing their job.

Tonight, men, our job is to get our families to church to sing praises. We are not singing to a babe in a manger. Tonight, we sing to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who is returning again! Merry Christmas!

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Names

Matthew 1:17New Living Translation (NLT)

17 All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.

You will notice that Matthew points out the genealogy from Abraham who was the father to Joseph, the husband of Mary. Joseph was not the father of the Messiah, but he was the step dad to the new born King.

Jesus had no earthly father, yet, through the prophesy of Abraham, then to David. It was completed by Joseph. It is interesting to me that God had importance of a name. What I am meaning by this is that he knows everyone’s name. He knew his son’s name, Jesus.

The genealogy of his birth was important then, and it is important to us today. Names give significance of time and generation with each family.

This week, Christmas week, are days and times set aside with family members with names. For me this gives me great joy. My genealogy has given me five children, two with spouses, and five grandchildren.

Like most families, there is messiness involved with my family, and so was it for Jesus. Abraham, the father of faith, lacked faith at times. Boas was born of Rahab, the prostitute. Solomon came from David and Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah. And this goes all the way to the birth of Jesus born of the Virgin Mary.

With Kingdom eyes, what a mess. Yet, God still uses us. We, his people, play a role in our Lord’s Kingdom. Each having a name.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

2 Timothy 1:8New Living Translation (NLT)

So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.

This Christmas Season involves opportunities to tell others about Jesus. Often times we pass up critical moments to share with others because we are afraid or because we are not prepared.

Being afraid or ashamed should be our least bit worry when it comes to talking about our Lord. The Christmas Story opens opportunities and softens people’s hearts more now than any time of the year.

Being prepared is critical. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:2 that we should be ready in season and out of season. That means we are literally ready to share the Good News all the time.

Our news for today, men, is never be ashamed. Jesus came, and he is coming again. Allow your story of how Jesus came for you to be your testimony and be ready to share. He is not a baby in a manger. We serve a risen King who is mighty to save!

Strength and Courage

Michael

Vital Men will start back up after the Holidays. See you then.

 

The Prophecy

Numbers 24:17New Living Translation (NLT)

17 I see him, but not here and now.
    I perceive him, but far in the distant future.
A star will rise from Jacob;
    a scepter will emerge from Israel.
It will crush the heads of Moab’s people,
    cracking the skulls[a] of the people of Sheth.

Balaam gave a specific prophecy that specifically mentions a star coming out of Jacob. Wise men followed that prophecy in a journey that took 800-900 miles. This was all to see the Christ child.

They knew of him because of the prophet Daniel. Daniel was a man of wisdom who was placed in bondage as Israel went into bondage in Persia. Daniel made a difference in spite of his circumstances, and he continued to trust in God. He was a wise man.

There are 5 components that made the magi wise:

  1. Read and believed God’s Word.
  2. Sought Jesus.
  3. Recognized the worth of Christ.
  4. Humbled themselves and worshipped Christ.
  5. Obeyed God.

The magi or wise men were truly wise. How about your journey today? Are the 5 components in your focus? It says in Revelation 2:28, ‘They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!’ Jesus, men, is the morning star. Allow him to be your focus.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

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