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Encourage0gram December 17, 2018

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram December 17, 2018

Let us Rejoice our Savior has come and He is coming again!

As I sit in my office before 8:00 am, I am reflecting on the Amazing Christmas Narratives.  They are filled with songs!  Zechariah, Mary, Angels, and Simeon are singing! The Shepherds are sharing their faith and leave the stable rejoicing at the fulfillment of the angel’s message.  The Magi travel for years to bow down and worship the Savior.  And may I add, that King Herod objects to the newborn King by a violent attack on the children of Bethlehem. 

These very simple observations spoke to my heart in a unique way.  I began to see how this story is reflected in our mission statement at FCC.

We invite all generations and all cultures to share life together that all may be transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.

In the story we see different generations:  Zechariah and Elizabeth are very old yet welcome a newborn baby son into the world.  Mary and Joseph are very likely young and welcome a child. 

The story also contains some very different cultures.  The Shepherds are likely poor and were outcasts in their Jewish culture.  The Magi are likely rich and Gentiles.  Both cultures join together in the presence of the Savior. 

The one outstanding similarity between all these individuals is that they believed the word of God and took steps of faith to obey Him.  This truth is well illustrated by the Virgin Mary who says:

ESV Luke 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."  

The shared life is the climax of the story.  God came in the flesh to live among us!  He came to share His life that we would be miraculously equipped to share life with him and with one another. Even when the enemies of the gospel try to stamp out the Savior as Herod did, our Lord does not dessert us!  He is Immanuel – “God with Us” – yesterday, today and forever! And when we gather in His Name, He is present with us!  Life on this planet can be very difficult but our Lord, the Prince of Peace, keeps us calm.  The struggles we face only drive us to the Savior! So, may we rejoice with all who rejoice and weep with all who weep.

Our joy is extending God’s invitation to everyone! Here are just a few examples!

ESV Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.  

ESV Isaiah 55:1 "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

ESV Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!  

What a precious reminder for us!  Are we believing the Word of God?  Are we taking appropriate steps to follow our Savior?  Do we humble ourselves and worship Him?  As we worship are we rejoicing with faith and exuberance? Do we share the good news with others?  Our church mission is well stated so let’s put it into practice this season and always!

Be Encouraged today!

Pastor Rick

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