Overcoming Fear with Songs of Hope

Overcoming Fear with Songs of Hope

Dear Friend,

During the last five months of 2014 we saw the world focused on Ferguson and St. Louis.  Right before Thanksgiving national headlines read like a war correspondent’s report.  Fear had gripped the community.  People were afraid before Christmas to shop in the malls least they be confronted by protestors and reminded of the sins of racism which had festered for years in the hearts and minds of many.

If we are going to stop this disease from destroying our community and our lives, we must ask God to root out the cancer of fear which feeds racism daily. The only cure for this cancer of fear is 1 John4:18 which says “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fears.”

The fact is if we truly believe that we are loved, we will experience the powerful antidote to the poison of fear.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believeth in him shall not perish but have life everlasting” (John 3:16).  It is His love which frees us to live a life of faith and love that is not paralyzed by fear.

Because, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,” we can sing the songs of hope on the coldest, most fear filled nights that life may throw at us.  Not only does God proclaim, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), but He also demonstrated it through sending His Son, Jesus Christ into the world.  Jesus, through His death on the cross, personally revealed…

Click on the link to download and read the rest of this Bible Study: “Overcoming Fear with Songs of Hope

Don’t Miss Jesus for the Manger

Don’t Miss Jesus for the Manger

Dear Friends,
It takes great faith to be obedient to God when you are unsure of yourself. None of us can say with certainty how our obedient actions will be understood and interpreted in days to come. We can want more than anything to be understood, accepted, loved, and welcomed by others. This often gets in the way of being obedient to God. During the seasons of Advent, Christmas,and Epiphany we can find wisdom to understand ourselves in God’s story from his servants in the Scriptures. Advent: means coming. We reflect on the prophecies ofthe Messiah and prepare ourselves for His Coming, not just in the Christmas season but for His Return. Christmas: A celebration of Christ’s birth. The fulfillment of prophecy. What we’ve prepared and waited for has arrived. Incarnation, Emmanuel: God with Us. The Shepherds are the first evangelists of Jesus’ birth. Epiphany: The Magi come and worship,Jesus revealed to all nations as King. People like Mary and Joseph,the unnamed shepherds,and the magi from the east. Over the next few months we are called to prepare ourselves for celebrating Jesus’ birth. Let’s ask for God’s help now.

Heavenly Father,

In me there is darkness,But with you there is light; I am lonely,but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness,but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways,but you know the way for me. {Dietrich Bonhoeffer,1943) Lord we pray you open our eyes to the seasons before us,that we might be prepared to rightly adore Jesus in celebration and to boldly proclaim Him in the New Year.

In the Name of Jesus we pray,Amen.

With the time that we have I’d like to take a bird’s eye look at the celebration of Christ’s coming,birth, and heralding that lies before us in the coming months. When we celebrate Christmas rightly, it comes with preparation. If Christmas is an annual event in your life you might be tempted to accept it as the crowning of the Consumer Price Index rather than as the fulfillment of prophecy that Christ is here…

Click on the link to download and read the rest of this Bible Study: “Don’t miss Jesus for the Manager

Touching a Hurting World

Touching a Hurting World

Dear Friend,

As we think about Christmas, pictures of angels, wise men, a baby in a manger, and other images come to mind.  How we long for the peace on earth spoken of by the angels at that first Christmas.

The reality of this Christmas this year is anything but peaceful.  In fact, the reality we are presently facing more closely parallels that described in Rev. 12 than what we see in the first chapters of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

While Matthew, Mark and Luke describe the nativity events on earth, Rev. 12 tells us what is taking place in heaven as the Christ Child is born.  Verses 7-10 state, “and war broke out in heaven:  Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in Heaven any longer.  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was cast to earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  Then I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, “Now salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ has come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God, has been cast down.”

Realizing what was happening in Heaven while the first nativity scene was unfolding on earth helps us to put things in perspective as we read both the Bible and the daily news events.  It helps to understand why this Christmas…

Click on the link to download and read the rest of this Bible Study: “Touching a Hurting World