Men From The East

Matthew 2:2 New International Version (NIV)

and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

We call the men from the East, ‘Wise Men’ or Magi, which refers to a group of scholars who study the stars. They would be called astrologers today. These men were not given a divine intervention. God did not speak to them. They did not see angels. There was no miraculous moment. They followed a star that led them to Jerusalem and finally to Bethlehem. 

These men stayed the course by studying, looking to the heavens, and believing the promise of Micah 5:2 in which the prophet foretold the coming of the Messiah. They did not allow distance to discourage them. They would not even let Herod the Great to manipulate them. They followed the star.

Now, this is what I believe the Scriptures say for us today. We are called to stay the course in our time. We will soon see the year 2020. We will all be one year older. We are called to study our Bibles. Have a consistent prayer life. Take time to worship our King, Jesus.

Please do not allow the busyness of life to distract you from worshiping the Lord and preparing for his second return. Jesus speaks very specific about the future in Matthew 24:1-51. It says in verse 42, “So you, too, must keep watch.”

Men, it is our time to be the watchmen. It is our time to be wise men. Be wise and watch.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Gathering January 12, 2020 at Debbie’s Celebration Barn

Do not miss our next Vital Gathering!

Sunday, January 12, 2020 at Debbie’s Celebration Barn.

5:00-7:00 pm

Great Food

Great Worship

Great Encouragement

Bring the ENTIRE FAMILY!

Set the Date!

Jesus Wept

How often do you equate what God is doing in your life, how He answers your prayers, with whether He loves you or not?  I think that is an understandably common feeling.  I want to take a moment to assure you, that God shows His love by not responding when and how we ask just as often as He displays His love by fulfilling our requests.  

‘This He said, and after that He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” ‘ John 11:11-15 

Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha, of that we have no doubt, because scripture repeats it.  So, if He loved Lazarus, why did He let Him die?  Why did He let Mary and Martha suffer the loss of their brother?  He didn’t answer their request in the way they expected, so that it would serve much greater purpose stated in verse 15.  This was not an easy thing for Jesus to do. Verse 35 reflects His heart with the statement “Jesus wept”.  This is difficult for Him, but necessary.

How often in your life have you prayed, cried out to Jesus, to rescue you from something, to alleviate your pain, to lift your burden, or take care of someone you love?  When He hasn’t, did you wonder if He loved you, or do you look for the ways He might be glorified by not responding?  I assure you, “Jesus Wept”.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

Christmas Spirit

Now that we are less than three weeks away from Christmas, we should start to see some familiar things in the streets and stores around where we live.  I was driving across town yesterday and noticed a blow-up Santa Mickey Mouse where there was a giant turkey a week ago.  Lights and greenery on houses and businesses indicate a new sense of excitement as we go.  Maybe you even have a tree in your living room where there wasn’t one a few weeks ago.  Did everyone catch the same decorating bug at the same time, or do we just like our traditions, or maybe even see them as opportunities to out-decorate our neighbor (e.g. Christmas Vacation)?  Regardless of their motivations, people are definitely getting into the ‘Christmas Spirit’ – whatever your definition of that may be.  What Christmas traditions do you most enjoy, if any?

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.  Romans 8:9

There are some who may go a bit overboard with getting ready for Christmas with getting everything just so.  getting Christmas cards sent, getting presents for everyone on the list, decorating, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, having everyone that needs to be able to get together, etc, to whatever degree you can imagine.  There are some who even get upset when others don’t reply ‘Merry Christmas’ when you say the same to them, because you know, that means they are ‘anti-Christmas.’   It’s the same mindset that if everyone else doesn’t do like I do, then they aren’t really in this game with me.  Are there some traditions you are more adamant about than others?  Are you open to starting new traditions with your family, or do you hold to the old code?  I am fairly nostalgic and do enjoy revisiting some of the same things that I did growing up, but also realize that with new people and places in our family, we can start our very own traditions that they will remember in future decades as well.  I like listening to stories of how people celebrated in the past, and though things may have ben different, notice there is a similar spirit of love, joy, giving, and celebration around the birth of our Lord.  How exciting is that? 

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 2:10-11

This year, I have been sharing some of my favorite Christmas songs, with links, on social media and saying why I like this song or that one.  Interestingly, some of my favorites I have only just heard within the past few years, while others are from centuries before I was born.  There will still be new Christmas songs every year from now till eternity, so that is a given.  Each year, my wife and I sit down from our busy schedules to watch some of the same movies and shows each year, because we enjoy them and it is a fun tradition that the kids will remember.  It is good to question what we do and determine whether it has the right motives or not behind it.  Do we do things, just because we’ve always done them, or because it promotes Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in our homes and communities?  Maybe we should ask ourselves each year how we can best love our neighbor in any given situation each day. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

So, as you go about each day in the way you choose leading up to the day we celebrate our Savior’s birth, take a moment to show the love of Christ to those you meet and greet each day.  Pray for them and others within your sphere that the God’s love may abound more and more each year as we share His Spirit during Christmas and each day throughout the year.  May the blessings of Christ abound in your family and the lives of others as you celebrate Christmas this year.  Merry Christmas!

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  Romans 8:14

Yours in Christ,

Clark

Power of Purpose

This Monday, I went to a Starbucks and bought coffee for the two people behind me in line.  They were pleasantly surprised at their free coffee.  We talked about their journey in Medical School and the stress of picking where they were headed in medicine.  Their pick determines their residency and if they decide to change later they will start over in residency.  They were both in long term relationships.  

I started talking about moving to south Florida to start a church.  They told me they went to church when they were home with their parents but struggled to find a church here.  They asked me why I was planting a church here.  I told them I am planting a church to reach people who do not go to church.  Their response was perfect: “why would someone who doesn’t want to go to church go to yours?”

I told them 3 reasons: 1. People dont need religion but to know God, like really know Him 2. People know they need friends 3. People need purpose

They shared with me how people who eat right and have purpose live better and healthier than anyone else.  It is amazing how purpose impacts our bodies. I shared with them how my vision is to have a church where it is common for people to have a purpose filled burden birth in conviction from God’s presence.  Then they use that purpose to make a difference in someone else’s life.  They were completely intrigued and couldn’t believe someone would move here to make that happen.  

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

God has a purpose that He wants to birth in your to make a difference in the life of someone else.  I caring for others and showing generosity, you will find life to the fullest!  So today get in God’s presence and find purpose.  Let that purpose lead you to help someone live a better story!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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Contact Mike by emailing: mike.sereg@gmail.com