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Post  Admin on Thu 17 Jan 2019, 10:58 pm

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"But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. Then you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, and on my coming I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away." Matthew 25:26-29.

Reading this parable, we are struck by the serious consequences of failing to produce Kingdom fruit. 

But there's something I want to particularly point out. 

Many of the great heroes of the faith-
- people like Moses and David, were not given great responsibilities immediately. 
Each of these men first served as a lowly shepherd, tending sheep.

Having tested them first in this humble vocation-
God then felt confident to elevate them to positions of greatness.

But it all started with a small step!

God is testing his saints in the little things-
- as we pass our early tests, 
- the Lord will promote us to greater things. 

Don't despise the day of small things-
- a single talent invested wisely can produce a bountiful harvest! 

And remember that it begins with faithful stewardship of whatever gift or talent that God has allocated to you.

Let's be wise stewards in these last days, using our divinely given abilities for His glory and purposes-
-so that we can produce an abundant return on the Lord's investment in our lives. 

Let's heed the warning and the encouragement that Jesus gives us in this parable-
- multiplying, 
- rather than hiding our talent. 

Amen!
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Post  Admin on Mon 14 Jan 2019, 10:20 pm

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"...at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11.

Whether you've been a believer for many years or just recently trusted Christ as your Saviour-
- there's​​ ​​o​​ne crucial thing you must settle in your heart. 

Many Christians understand that Jesus died on the cross for their sins. 

But who is He today?

Scripture tells us that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who took on flesh and entered our world in the form of a servant. 
He came to walk among us and make it possible to know Him. 

Then after His death, burial, and resurrection-
He was exalted back to His rightful place as Lord and sovereign Ruler.

It's essential that every believer understand the person and position of Jesus Christ. 

We often call Him "Lord," but what does that mean? 

The answer is that as Lord and Creator, He made and sustains all things. Col. 1:16-17. 
And by trusting in the Saviour, we accept His rightful place in our life.

As Lord, He has authority over every single element of our daily lives. 
We are sheep, and who should follow the Shepherd; going our own way, we'd fall off the mountain and end up destroyed. John 10:2-15. 

Won't you acknowledge that He has the right to determine what you do and where you go? 
You can trust that His way always results in fullness of life.

Jesus is not some distant, judgmental ruler.

He's your awesome, supportive Lord, who loves you and has gone before you, having lived a human life and suffered unimaginably. 

So when He says, "Follow Me; I'll make your life count"-
- you can be confident that He is trustworthy every step of the way.
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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 6:12 pm

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God' Word brings us a comforting promise, along with an insightful command as we face a New Year: 

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:5-6.

We can live this coming year without fear-
- if we apply these four incredibly wonderful truths to our lives and root them deep into our hearts.

The Contentment of His Provision!

Contentment is not getting what you want-
- but it is wanting what you already have. 

First Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us therewith be content." 

If you know Jesus Christ, you have contentment. 
If you've got clothes on your back, something to eat, and Jesus Christ in your heart, you're rich!

Do you know why we have fear? 

Because we think our needs or the needs of someone we love are not going to be met. 
Or we fear that the things we think are meeting our needs are going to be taken away from us. 

The deepest need of your heart can only be met in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Companionship of His Presence!

I don't know what I'm going to face next year. 
But there's one thing I know, He will never leave me. 

Are you a child of God? 
He will never leave you either. 

Isn't that wonderful!

What's another reason we may fear in the coming year? 
Because we're afraid we're going to have to face something we don't understand, and we're going to have to face it alone.

When God's Word promises that God will never forsake you, it literally means that He will never abandon you. 
He will not give up on you. 

We need to practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. 
When the devil comes and knocks at you heart's door, you can simply say, "Jesus, please go answer the door."

The Confidence of His Promise!

We're going to zero in on a little phrase in our verses in Hebrews, "He has said." 
A promise is no better than the one who makes it. 

Who says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"? 
It is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. 

This is the confidence of His promise!

In the coming year, when you say, "God, I just don't have the strength." 
The omnipotent God will answer, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." 

When you say, "God, I'm afraid of what is going to happen." 
The omnipresent God says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." 

And when you say, "God, I don't know what to do." 
The omniscient God will respond, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." 

He himself has said it.

The Comfort of His Protection!

Hebrews 13:6 promises, "So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Now, put that with verse five which says, "He has said."

I don't know what you're going to go through this coming year. 

But I know you can boldly say-
"The Lord is my helper, so I will not fear what man shall do to me." 

When you find your contentment, companionship, and confidence in Jesus-
- then, you'll find your comfort and courage in Jesus.
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Post  Admin on Mon 07 Jan 2019, 11:13 pm

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.


Scripture teaches a number of practical lessons about suffering. 

First-
Learn!

It’s okay to ask for a different road, as Jesus did-
- but we should choose God’s will above all. 

Our best response to adversity is:
“God, what do You want me to learn?”

Second-
Lean!

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus asked close friends to stay awake and pray. 
We need support and godly relationships, especially during trials. 

Genuine friends will speak truth kindly and encourage us in Christ. 
They will also faithfully lift us up in prayer.

Third-
Limit!

It’s natural to struggle with prayer when pain is intense. 
During those times, a simple “Help me,” is sufficient. 

God wants us to acknowledge His Lordship-
- but He does not expect us to have perfect words. 

He knows what we need before we ask.
And He is able to give us far more than that.

Fourth-
Let go!

We should resist the temptation to blame. 

Jesus was betrayed and rejected, yet He asked God to forgive those who crucified Him. 
Likewise, we shouldn’t blame others for our hurt. 

By turning to God during tough times-
- we’re choosing to trust His ultimate authority. 

Our Father may not have caused the hardship, but He allowed it. 
And He will use it for His glory and our good.

The key to suffering is remembering that- 
God is in control and always with His children.

In love, He allows pain, but He also places a limit on its length and intensity. 

You do not hurt apart from the presence of Him-
- who will sustain, help, and eventually bring you through your distress.
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Post  Admin on Wed 02 Jan 2019, 11:22 pm

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"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3:14.

A life without a goal is like the captain of a ship without a map and a compass. 

His ship will just drift aimlessly from day to day hoping to arrive somewhere. 

The apostle Paul set for himself a goal! 

He pressed forward in search for his goal.
He pressed toward the mark of the high calling in Christ! 

He had a clear direction of where he was going and he was focused on the Lord! 

How much more should we!

By setting a goal-
- we are making a decision to act. 

We are providing ourselves a map and depending on the Lord to be our compass-
- to provide the direction He wants us to go! 

A goal is more than a dream.
It's a dream acted upon. 

It's not saying "oh, I wish I could." 
It's declaring what we want to do for the Lord.

It's a declaration of faith!

Let's make our lives interesting.
Let's set for ourselves a goal! 
Let's make a clear declaration of faith, saying-
"This is what I am going to do for the Lord and then press forward!" 

I can't wait to see where the Lord will take us!
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Dec 2018, 6:57 pm

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“And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Take unto thee sweet spices…with pure frankincense…And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony [Ark of the Covenant] in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy. And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the Lord.’” Exodus 30:34-37.

In Bible times they worshipped the Lord by burning incense-
- a sweet perfume rising up to the nostrils of God. 


It was a symbol of worship-
- to be used in the worship of God alone.

Frankincense tells of His sinless deity, the beauties, the fragrance, of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 
Frankincense represents Jesus, our Intercessor, and His intercessory prayers for us. 

Its fragrance speaks of the love and mercy of God.

Myrrh was used to embalm the dead. 

When the Lord Jesus Christ was being buried-
- they poured spices and myrrh into His grave clothes. 

“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.” John 19:39. 

Myrrh to embalm the body of Jesus. 
The gift of myrrh speaks of his sacrificial death. 
He was born to die.

These are what a wise man will do. 

I wonder, are you really wise? 

Do you understand that He was born to die?
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Dec 2018, 12:32 am

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“The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart's desire…with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.” Psalm 21:1-3.

Gold was a gift fit for a king. 

The wise men asked, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?” 

Our verse today speaks of kings. 
They wear a crown, and it is a crown of gold.

When the wise men brought gold, they were saying:
“We recognize this child is the king of the Jews. He’s destined to reign. He has sovereign dominion.”

“Well, how am I going to crown Him?” you may ask. 

You can crown Him the way they did—with gold. 
If all of your wealth is not under His control, you’ve not recognised Him as your Sovereign King!

He has a right to all you own. 
You say, “It’s mine.” 

If He is not Lord of everything you have, He’s not your Saviour. 
His throne is not a duplex.

How will you serve Him? 
One way is to serve Him with your wealth. 

As the saying goes, “He has no hands but our hands.” 

Serve Him by showing His love to those in need. 
He requires your absolute surrender to His lordship. 
He is the king.
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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Dec 2018, 6:42 pm

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Crown Him


Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again.
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.


Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense holds a deity nigh.
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God on High.


Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom,
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.
 
Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice,
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heaven replies.  
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Post  Admin on Wed 26 Dec 2018, 12:44 am

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“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11.

Many people think these three gifts were just incidental. 

No, they’re fundamental. 

These were not trinkets; these were treasures that didn’t occur by happenstance. 
This was something the wise men had planned. 

These gifts are highly symbolic. 
They carry deep significance.

In the gifts the wise men brought to the young boy Jesus-
Gold speaks of His sovereign dominion—He was born a King. 
Frankincense speaks of His sinless deity—He is God in human flesh. 
Myrrh speaks of His sacrificial death—He was born to die that we might live.

    He is King and they brought gold.
    He is God and they brought Him frankincense.
    He is our Saviour and they brought myrrh.

Sovereign dominion;
Sinless deity;
Sacrificial death.

Because He is a King, He has my wealth. 
Because He is God, He has my worship. 
And because He died, He has my witness. 

All that I am, all that I have, all that I do, belongs to this One. 

That is wisdom!
That’s what a wise man will do. 

Do some soul-searching today. 
Are you really wise?
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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Dec 2018, 1:47 am

My Manna - Page 11 Wise_m11My Manna - Page 11 4magi-11



My Manna 


"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2.


No single tradition is more widely adhered to during the Christmas season than that of giving gifts. 


This tradition is firmly rooted in the biblical account of the Magi who saw a star in the east and came to worship Jesus. 


“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” Matthew 2:11.
My Manna - Page 11 Childj11



Despite its biblical basis, gift giving has been vigorously challenged by followers of Herbert W. Armstrong as well as by organizations such as the Watchtower Society. 
Their basic argument is that Magi means “astrologers” and that God would never lead His people to give gifts at Christmas on the basis of astrology.


In response it should first be noted that even if the Magi did practice astrology, the Bible makes it crystal clear that the wise men were led by God both by means of the star, which guided them to Christ (Matthew 2:9), and by means of the warning that kept them from returning to Herod. Matthew 2:12. 


Furthermore, contrary to the practice of astrology, which involves divination and attempts to predict the future apart from God, the star the Magi followed was not used to foretell the future, but to forth tell the future. 


In other words, the star of Bethlehem did not prophesy the birth of Christ; it pronounced the birth of Christ.


Finally, it is interesting to note that, contrary to popular tradition, the Magi were not necessarily three kings. 


While Matthew’s gospel narrative does teach that wise men visited Jesus and His parents shortly after His birth, Matthew never specifies how many wise men there were. 


The traditional belief that there were three wise men originated from the fact that they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11. 


Consequently, while the biblical account is consistent with the possibility of three wise men, there is no strong biblical or extra-biblical evidence in support of this numbering. 
Neither is there any biblical support for the naming of the Magi. 


Tradition beginning sometime in the sixth century named the wise men Melkon (or Melchior), Balthazar, and Gaspar. 
As with the numbering of the Magi, these names should be attributed to folklore and tradition rather than to historical fact.


On the one hand, the exchanging of gifts can be dangerous in that gift giving has a powerful potential for promoting crass materialism. 


On the other, the giving of gifts reinforces the reality that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35. 


This Christmas season, may we be ever more mindful that the greatest gift we can give to another human being is the Christ 
Child. 
When He enters the human heart, everlasting life becomes a present reality.
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Dec 2018, 10:03 pm

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Glorious
Each of the participants involved with Christ's birth-
Mary and Joseph, the inn keeper, the angels, shepherds, and wise men-has much to teach us.

Although there is no scriptural basis for stating dogmatically that there were three wise men-
- the fact that three distinct gifts are mentioned has given rise to this traditional idea. 

Master artists throughout the centuries have depicted three wise men on camels as one of their favourite nativity themes.

The number of wise men is not important, but the fact that they persisted in following the light that was given them until they found the object of their search, that they responded in worship, and that they returned home to share their experience with others all has much to tell us. 

Also, the gifts presented to the Christ child were both significant and appropriate: 
Gold, symbolic of His kingly reign; frankincense, symbolic of His priestly ministry; myrrh, symbolic of our redemption through His death. 

How important it is that our gifts of love and Devotion be offered to Christ after we have first found Him and then have bowed in true adoration before Him.

The author and composer of this well-known Christmas hymn was an Episcopalian minister from Pennsylvania. 
John H. Hopkins has been credited with contributing much to the development of music in his denomination during the nineteenth century, writing a number of fine hymns and hymn tunes. 

One of his publications, Carols, Hymns and Songs, enjoyed four editions.

We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain, gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I, incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, all men raising, worship Him, God on high.

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise, King and God and Sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia! Earth to heav'n replies.


My Manna
Great Goodness
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy." Matthew 2:10.
"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned." Matthew 4:16.

Many questions have been raised about the star that the Magi saw and the way in which it guided them to the place of our Lord’️s nativity. 

Whatever the Magi from the East saw, the important thing to notice is what they did when they saw it. 
They obeyed the revelation they were given. 
They followed the star. 

And when they understood that the star had come to stand over the place where the child Jesus lay they responded with exceeding joy.

Christmas is a time for Christians to revel in the great goodness of God’️s revelation in Jesus. 

All of us were in darkness until the light of Christ shone upon us. 
Blindly we stumbled about until the dawn of the birth of God’️s dear Son. 

The Father has sent his Son into the world to give us the light of life. 
He has sent forth the message to us, not in the form of a star this time, but in the Gospel message.

Like the wise men from the East each of us must obey the Gospel word we have been given. 

We must “walk in the light as He is in the light.† 1 John 1:7.  
And we must, like those men from the East, rejoice greatly that we have now seen the Child of Bethlehem. 

This is the stuff of exceeding great joy, not only for this season of Christmas, but for every day in every season.

"Almighty God our Heavenly Father, we adore You for the gift of your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We humbly thank you for shedding abroad the light of the Gospel among us. We were darkness. Now you have made us children of light. Give us grace that we might continue in that light all our days and grant us that same exceeding great joy in which the Magi rejoiced. Glory be to you great Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ages to ages the same, Amen."
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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 11:26 pm

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"When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy." Matthew 2:10.
"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned." Matthew 4:16.

Many questions have been raised about the star that the Magi saw and the way in which it guided them to the place of our Lord’s nativity. 

Whatever the Magi from the East saw, the important thing to notice is what they did when they saw it. 
They obeyed the revelation they were given. 
They followed the star. 

And when they understood that the star had come to stand over the place where the child Jesus lay they responded with exceeding joy.

Christmas is a time for Christians to revel in the great goodness of God’s revelation in Jesus. 

All of us were in darkness until the light of Christ shone upon us. 
Blindly we stumbled about until the dawn of the birth of God’s dear Son. 

The Father has sent his Son into the world to give us the light of life. 
He has sent forth the message to us, not in the form of a star this time, but in the Gospel message.

Like the wise men from the East each of us must obey the Gospel word we have been given. 

We must “walk in the light as He is in the light.” 1 John 1:7.  
And we must, like those men from the East, rejoice greatly that we have now seen the Child of Bethlehem. 

This is the stuff of exceeding great joy, not only for this season of Christmas, but for every day in every season.

"Almighty God our Heavenly Father, we adore You for the gift of your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We humbly thank you for shedding abroad the light of the Gospel among us. We were darkness. Now you have made us children of light. Give us grace that we might continue in that light all our days and grant us that same exceeding great joy in which the Magi rejoiced. Glory be to you great Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ages to ages the same, Amen."
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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Dec 2018, 8:53 pm

My Manna
Each of the participants involved with Christ's birth-

Mary and Joseph, the inn keeper, the angels, shepherds, and wise men-has much to teach us.

Although there is no scriptural basis for stating dogmatically that there were three wise men-
- the fact that three distinct gifts are mentioned has given rise to this traditional idea.

Master artists throughout the centuries have depicted three wise men on camels as one of their favourite nativity themes.

The number of wise men is not important, but the fact that they persisted in following the light that was given them until they found the object of their search, that they responded in worship, and that they returned home to share their experience with others all has much to tell us.

Also, the gifts presented to the Christ child were both significant and appropriate:
Gold, symbolic of His kingly reign; frankincense, symbolic of His priestly ministry; myrrh, symbolic of our redemption through His death.

How important it is that our gifts of love and Devotion be offered to Christ after we have first found Him and then have bowed in true adoration before Him.

The author and composer of this well-known Christmas hymn was an Episcopalian minister from Pennsylvania.

John H. Hopkins has been credited with contributing much to the development of music in his denomination during the nineteenth century, writing a number of fine hymns and hymn tunes.

One of his publications, Carols, Hymns and Songs, enjoyed four editions.

We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain, gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I, incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, all men raising, worship Him, God on high.

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise, King and God and Sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia! Earth to heav'n replies.
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My Manna
SEEK JESUS
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2.
Although we try to keep Christ in Christmas, many of our ideas about Christmas aren’t Bible based. 

For example, although angels visited the shepherds, there is no mention of them being present at Jesus’ birth but, chances are, there’s an angel watching over the holy family in most nativity scenes. 

Perhaps the most glaring example of misinformation, however, regards the wise men. 

The names Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, while good to know when playing trivia, are simply the stuff of legends and not the Bible. 

Moreover, there weren’t necessarily three of them, they weren’t kings, and the shepherds weren’t present when they met Jesus. 

We can blame John Henry Hopkins, the Pennsylvania clergyman who wrote the song, “We Three Kings” for much of our confusion. 
He wrote the carol in 1857 as a special treat for his nieces and nephews and used it in a Christmas pageant that year. 
Published in a collection of hymns and carols in 1863, it’s been sung around the world ever since and most people are now convinced there were three kings.

The magi or wise men, however, weren’t kings; they were probably priests, court advisors, or even astrologers from a land or lands to the east such as Mesopotamia, Persia or Arabia. 

Ancient astrologers interpreted major astronomical events as signaling the birth of a king. 

Whether it was the conjunction of the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars or a supernova, these wise men knew it was a special sign. 
Familiar enough with the Old Testament prophecies to quote from Micah to Herod, they knew a star would herald the Jewish king’s birth. 
It was typical for kings to send emissaries from their court with gifts to another king and that may have been why these men brought such extravagant gifts to this newborn king. 

While the gospels mention three gifts, it may have been as few as two or more than twelve wise men who brought them.

Since they travelled long distance and stopped to see Herod in Jerusalem, the wise men wouldn’t have arrived immediately following Jesus’ birth. 
Jesus was probably a toddler when they finally arrived and found Him in a house with Mary. 

While the wise men sought to worship the new king-
Herod sought to kill him; his decision to kill all boys two years and younger ties in with this timeline. 

Although they make a nice addition to our nativity scenes, the wise men weren’t there.

Even though those wise men don’t belong in our nativity scenes-
- they are an important part of the Christmas story. 

My Manna - Page 11 Shephe10
Although Jesus’ birth announcement was made to lowly Jewish shepherds-
His first worshipers were respected and scholarly Gentiles. 

A messiah had been promised to the Jews but it was foreigners who sought Him, recognized His value, presented Him with precious gifts and worshipped Him. 

They may have been Gentiles, but they recognized the King of the Jews. 

Moreover, instead of returning to Herod as he’d ordered-
- they were obedient to God when they returned home another way. 

The presence of the wise men is a reminder that- 
Jesus, the promised Messiah, came to save all of mankind. 

The wise men remind us to-
- seek Jesus and 
- recognize Him as our saviour, 
- present Him with our gifts and worship him, 
- and to obey God even when He sends us in a different direction.



Few problems!
My Manna

Though it rightfully takes a back seat to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, many churches each year celebrate the visit of the wise men on Jan. 6, also known as Epiphany, or the 12th day of Christmas. 
Matthew 2:1-12 gives the incredible account of these men who sought to bring Jesus gifts. 

I love this story, and I love to sing the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are." 
Maybe you do too—it remains a classic that's sung every Christmas season.

But there are just few problems!

There are a few details found in the carol that are not listed in the Scriptural account. 
No, these details do not contradict Christian doctrine-
- but if we're going to tell the story of the wise men to those who don't know it, 
- we should be careful to share what Scripture—not the carol—teaches.

So what does the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are" add? 
It's all there in the title:

Three
Matthew 2:1 simply says "wise men," with no number given. 
Perhaps because there were three gifts presented to the Christ child, the assumption was made that there were three donors of the gifts. 
But the truth is, Scripture does not tell us how many wise men came to visit.

Kings
Matthew 2:1 describes the visitors as "wise men" or magoi in Greek; magi in English. 

Biblical scholars believe they were most likely astrologers or members of a priestly caste that specialized in the interpretation of dreams, omens and seeing symbolism in the stars, and, according to the ancient historian Heroditus, they claimed the gift of prophecy. 

Orient
We usually think of the Orient as the Far East, including nations such as China. 

But Matthew 2:1 simply says the wise men came "from the East." 
We do know that there was a group that fits the above description in ancient Media (today's Iran). 
Other scholars identify a similar group in present-day Iraq. 
Regardless, there is no evidence that they came from the Far East.



Manger
Another non-biblical detail in our commemorating the visit of the wise men comes from the manger scene loved by Christians all across the denominational spectrum. 

Manger scenes are usually displayed as "photo shots" of everybody we associate with Christmas: 
Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the shepherds, the animals, angels and the wise men. 

But Matthew 2:11 speaks of the wise men entering a house, not a barn with a manger. 

Infant
Additionally, the word used here for Jesus is toddler, not infant.

Herod, attempting to eliminate this rival king, slaughtered the young boys of Bethlehem up to age 2. Matt. 2:16-18. 

Why not just tiny babies? 
Most likely because it took a considerable amount of time for the wise men to make the long, dangerous journey to Israel. 

By that time, the family had long since departed the place of the manger for a better place to stay. 

So to be biblically accurate, get those wise men out of your manager scene—but don't get rid of them. 

Indeed, the wise men are part of the celebration, just not the Christmas Day part. 

And as we will see, understanding more about their story can deepen our own sense of awe, wonder and celebration surrounding the birth of Jesus.


HIS STAR
My Manna
Should We Study the Stars?

The wise men discerned from the symbolism of the stars that something extraordinary was to occur. 

In Matthew 2:2, they asked, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising"—which is a better translation than "in the East." 

What was " H is star"? 

There have been various explanations suggested over the centuries, but they all agree that to those believing in the symbolism of planets and stars, there was to be a new king in Israel who would be the king over all the world.

For a further exploration of this subject, go to a planetarium during December. 

In the dome the stars will be positioned to reflect the heavens at the time thought to be the birth date of Jesus. 
The lecture will explain why the wise men derived the conclusions they did. 
Or read one of the books or view one of the DVDs that do the same. 

Some helpful resources are the book The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi by astronomer Dr. Michael Molmar and the DVD The Star of Bethlehem by attorney Frederick Larson.

But some Christians might wonder: 
Is it a good idea to study the stars? 
Isn't this indulging in astrology, which is occultic and forbidden? 

I believe the answer is that there is a right way and a wrong way to study the stars.

The right way!
While the Christian faith is often straightforward in its setting forth of scriptural doctrine and commandments, there is sometimes mysticism and symbolism that add to, but never go against, the plain teaching of Scripture. 

God proclaims His glory in the heavens about who He is and what He is about—"big picture" stuff, not detailed information or guidance for the individual. 
We read in Psalm 19:1-2 that the heavens declare the glory of God and that the night (sky) "declares knowledge." 
Job 9:9 speaks of God not only making stars in general, but also making what we call the constellations and star clusters of "the Bear" (Ursa Major) and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south." 
And Jesus speaks in Luke 21:25 of signs in the sun, moon and stars.

From this we know God uses the stars—indeed, all of creation—to show His power and creative ability and to catch the attention of all humanity.

The wrong way!
Interpreting the stars goes wrong when we worship them, believe they control our lives, or make them the source of personal guidance as to our conduct.. 
When people do this, whether by reading the horoscopes in newspapers or magazines, or by indulging in elaborate sessions with a professional astrologer, they take the focus for daily life off of God. 

This is dangerous—at best because it substitutes something far inferior for what we can have in God, and at worst because the power source behind astrology is Satan.

The wise men of Matthew 2 consulted the stars in ways consistent with what Scripture teaches. 
God showed them something of major importance for the world, and this led them on their journey to Bethlehem, because they sought God and went to worship Him.
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Post  Admin on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 8:27 pm

My Manna

Should We Study the Stars?

The wise men discerned from the symbolism of the stars that something extraordinary was to occur. 

In Matthew 2:2, they asked, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising"—which is a better translation than "in the East." 

What was " H is star"? 

There have been various explanations suggested over the centuries, but they all agree that to those believing in the symbolism of planets and stars, there was to be a new king in Israel who would be the king over all the world.

For a further exploration of this subject, go to a planetarium during December. 

In the dome the stars will be positioned to reflect the heavens at the time thought to be the birth date of Jesus. 
The lecture will explain why the wise men derived the conclusions they did. 
Or read one of the books or view one of the DVDs that do the same. 

Some helpful resources are the book The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi by astronomer Dr. Michael Molmar and the DVD The Star of Bethlehem by attorney Frederick Larson.

But some Christians might wonder: 
Is it a good idea to study the stars? 
Isn't this indulging in astrology, which is occultic and forbidden? 

I believe the answer is that there is a right way and a wrong way to study the stars.

The right way!
While the Christian faith is often straightforward in its setting forth of scriptural doctrine and commandments, there is sometimes mysticism and symbolism that add to, but never go against, the plain teaching of Scripture. 

God proclaims His glory in the heavens about who He is and what He is about—"big picture" stuff, not detailed information or guidance for the individual. 

We read in Psalm 19:1-2 that the heavens declare the glory of God and that the night (sky) "declares knowledge." 
Job 9:9 speaks of God not only making stars in general, but also making what we call the constellations and star clusters of "the Bear" (Ursa Major) and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south." 
And Jesus speaks in Luke 21:25 of signs in the sun, moon and stars.

From this we know God uses the stars—indeed, all of creation—to show His power and creative ability and to catch the attention of all humanity.

The wrong way!
Interpreting the stars goes wrong when we worship them, believe they control our lives, or make them the source of personal guidance as to our conduct. 
When people do this, whether by reading the horoscopes in newspapers or magazines, or by indulging in elaborate sessions with a professional astrologer, they take the focus for daily life off of God. 

This is dangerous—at best because it substitutes something far inferior for what we can have in God, and at worst because the power source behind astrology is Satan.

The wise men of Matthew 2 consulted the stars in ways consistent with what Scripture teaches. 

God showed them something of major importance for the world, and this led them on their journey to Bethlehem, because they sought God and went to worship Him.
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Post  Admin on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:34 am

My Manna

Though it rightfully takes a back seat to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, many churches each year celebrate the visit of the wise men on Jan. 6, also known as Epiphany, or the 12th day of Christmas.

Matthew 2:1-12 gives the incredible account of these men who sought to bring Jesus gifts. 

I love this story, and I love to sing the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are." 
Maybe you do too—it remains a classic that's sung every Christmas season.

But there are just few problems!

There are a few details found in the carol that are not listed in the Scriptural account. 

No, these details do not contradict Christian doctrine-
- but if we're going to tell the story of the wise men to those who don't know it, 
- we should be careful to share what Scripture—not the carol—teaches.

So what does the carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are" add? 
It's all there in the title:

Three
Matthew 2:1 simply says "wise men," with no number given. 
Perhaps because there were three gifts presented to the Christ child, the assumption was made that there were three donors of the gifts. 
But the truth is, Scripture does not tell us how many wise men came to visit.

Kings
Matthew 2:1 describes the visitors as "wise men" or magoi in Greek; magi in English. 

Biblical scholars believe they were most likely astrologers or members of a priestly caste that specialized in the interpretation of dreams, omens and seeing symbolism in the stars, and, according to the ancient historian Heroditus, they claimed the gift of prophecy. 

Orient
We usually think of the Orient as the Far East, including nations such as China. 

But Matthew 2:1 simply says the wise men came "from the East." 
We do know that there was a group that fits the above description in ancient Media (today's Iran). 
Other scholars identify a similar group in present-day Iraq. 
Regardless, there is no evidence that they came from the Far East.

Manger
Another non-biblical detail in our commemorating the visit of the wise men comes from the manger scene loved by Christians all across the denominational spectrum. 

Manger scenes are usually displayed as "photo shots" of everybody we associate with Christmas: 
Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the shepherds, the animals, angels and the wise men. 

But Matthew 2:11 speaks of the wise men entering a house, not a barn with a manger. 

Infant
Additionally, the word used here for Jesus is toddler, not infant.

Herod, attempting to eliminate this rival king, slaughtered the young boys of Bethlehem up to age 2. Matt. 2:16-18. 

Why not just tiny babies? 
Most likely because it took a considerable amount of time for the wise men to make the long, dangerous journey to Israel.

By that time, the family had long since departed the place of the manger for a better place to stay. 

So to be biblically accurate, get those wise men out of your manager scene—but don't get rid of them. 

Indeed, the wise men are part of the celebration, just not the Christmas Day part. 

And as we will see, understanding more about their story can deepen our own sense of awe, wonder and celebration surrounding the birth of Jesus.
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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 12:38 am

My Manna


Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2.

Although we try to keep Christ in Christmas, many of our ideas about Christmas aren’t Bible based. 

For example, although angels visited the shepherds, there is no mention of them being present at Jesus’ birth but, chances are, there’s an angel watching over the holy family in most nativity scenes. 

Perhaps the most glaring example of misinformation, however, regards the wise men. 

The names Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, while good to know when playing trivia, are simply the stuff of legends and not the Bible. 

Moreover, there weren’t necessarily three of them, they weren’t kings, and the shepherds weren’t present when they met Jesus. 

We can blame John Henry Hopkins, the Pennsylvania clergyman who wrote the song, “We Three Kings” for much of our confusion. 
He wrote the carol in 1857 as a special treat for his nieces and nephews and used it in a Christmas pageant that year. 
Published in a collection of hymns and carols in 1863, it’s been sung around the world ever since and most people are now convinced there were three kings.

The magi or wise men, however, weren’t kings; they were probably priests, court advisors, or even astrologers from a land or lands to the east such as Mesopotamia, Persia or Arabia. 

Ancient astrologers interpreted major astronomical events as signaling the birth of a king. 

Whether it was the conjunction of the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars or a supernova, these wise men knew it was a special sign. 
Familiar enough with the Old Testament prophecies to quote from Micah to Herod, they knew a star would herald the Jewish king’s birth. 

It was typical for kings to send emissaries from their court with gifts to another king and that may have been why these men brought such extravagant gifts to this newborn king. 

While the gospels mention three gifts, it may have been as few as two or more than twelve wise men who brought them.

Since they travelled long distance and stopped to see Herod in Jerusalem, the wise men wouldn’t have arrived immediately following Jesus’ birth. 
Jesus was probably a toddler when they finally arrived and found Him in a house with Mary. 

While the wise men sought to worship the new king-
Herod sought to kill him; his decision to kill all boys two years and younger ties in with this timeline. 

Although they make a nice addition to our nativity scenes, the wise men weren’t there.

Even though those wise men don’t belong in our nativity scenes-
- they are an important part of the Christmas story. 

Although Jesus’ birth announcement was made to lowly Jewish shepherds-
His first worshipers were respected and scholarly Gentiles. 

A messiah had been promised to the Jews but it was foreigners who sought Him, recognized His value, presented Him with precious gifts and worshipped Him. 

They may have been Gentiles, but they recognized the King of the Jews. 

Moreover, instead of returning to Herod as he’d ordered-
- they were obedient to God when they returned home another way. 

The presence of the wise men is a reminder that- 
Jesus, the promised Messiah, came to save all of mankind. 

The wise men remind us to-
- ​​​​seek Jesus and 
- recognize Him as our saviour, 
- present Him with our gifts and worship him, 
- and to obey God even when He sends us in a different direction.
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 11:39 pm

Gentile sinners

My Manna

The wise men are coming to him worship him, and they bring with them their best cultural products and practices and resources — gold, frankincense, and myrrh being just the beginning.
Revelation 21 picks up on Isaiah 60 and re-casts this prophetic vision of the future with Jesus at the center. 

The apostle John writes:

"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day — and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations." Revelation 21:22–26.

The nations bring their gifts. 
And the world's kings gladly bow to the king of kings. 
And not only will the glory of God light the whole kingdom, but the single lamp will be the Lamb — the Lamb who was slain for us.

The King of the Jews crucified for gentile sinners!

When the magi came to Jerusalem asking, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?" little did they know that they were asking for him by the very title that would be written above his head as he hung on the cross dying for sins not his own: "the king of the Jews." Matthew 27:37.

This true king of the Jews is not the usurping king, like Herod, abusing power, acting impulsively, employing deceit to bolster his crushing grip on the throats of his subjects. 

Rather, this king of the Jews is the one true king, the one who "came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28), the one who doesn't merely demand our homage but wins it in his shocking self-giving on our behalf — all the way to death, even death on a cross. 

He is the king who demonstrates his love for his people in that while they are still sinners — while we are still stargazing in our astrology and wizardry — he dies for us.Romans 5:8.

This side of the cross we know more than the magi knew. 

Not only would this God graciously draw ​gentile sinners and amazingly permit them to come near to his Son, but he would provide eternal salvation for astrologer-sinners like them, and like us, through the willing death of that very baby they came to honour.


He's my dad!

My Manna

"My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust." Isaiah 51:5. 
A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps in search of new species of flowers. 

One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty that its value to science was incalculable. 

But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides. 

To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope.

A curious young boy was watching nearby, and the scientists told him they would pay him well if he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below.

The boy took one long look down the steep, dizzy depths and said, "I'll be back in a minute." 

A short time later he returned, followed by a gray-haired man. 

Approaching the botanist, the boy said, "I'll go over that cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He's my dad!"

His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to place our entire trust in Him and is pleased to show His faithfulness, we can trust Him to hold us even when it seems we are on the very edge
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 8:58 pm

My Manna


The wise men are coming to him worship him, and they bring with them their best cultural products and practices and resources — gold, frankincense, and myrrh being just the beginning.

Revelation 21 picks up on Isaiah 60 and re-casts this prophetic vision of the future with Jesus at the center. 

The apostle John writes:

"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day — and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations." Revelation 21:22–26.

The nations bring their gifts. 
And the world's kings gladly bow to the king of kings. 

And not only will the glory of God light the whole kingdom, but the single lamp will be the Lamb — the Lamb who was slain for us.

The King of the Jews crucified for gentile sinners!

When the magi came to Jerusalem asking, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?" little did they know that they were asking for him by the very title that would be written above his head as he hung on the cross dying for sins not his own: "the king of the Jews." Matthew 27:37.

This true king of the Jews is not the usurping king, like Herod, abusing power, acting impulsively, employing deceit to bolster his crushing grip on the throats of his subjects. 

Rather, this king of the Jews is the one true king, the one who "came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28), the one who doesn't merely demand our homage but wins it in his shocking self-giving on our behalf — all the way to death, even death on a cross. 

He is the king who demonstrates his love for his people in that while they are still sinners — while we are still stargazing in our astrology and wizardry — he dies for us.Romans 5:8.

This side of the cross we know more than the magi knew. 

Not only would this God graciously draw ​gentile sinners and amazingly permit them to come near to his Son, but he would provide eternal salvation for astrologer-sinners like them, and like us, through the willing death of that very baby they came to honour.
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Post  Admin on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 11:59 pm

My Manna

"​​​​Behold, magi from the east came to Jerusalem." Matthew 2:1.

Matthew says "behold" to make sure he has our attention. 
He knows how prone we are to fall asleep while we're reading.

"Wake up. Make sure you're listening. This is huge. Don't miss it. It's not what you'd expect..."

But what's so shocking about magi coming to Jesus? 

We should we be surprised. 
Because magi is an ancient word referring to pagan astrologers. 
And since they dabble in the dark arts, we eventually got our English word magic from such magi.

"Behold," Matthew says. 

Look at this: 
Astrologers are coming! 
Pagan sorcerers are searching for Jesus! 

This is shocking—and spectacular!

Now "We Three Kings" is a wonderful Christmas song. 
They are pagan astrologers, not too far from what we'd call sorcerers and wizards.

These magi are ​"​​magi"cians, pagan specialists in the supernatural, experts in astrology, magic, and divination, blatant violators of Old Testament law ​but they are coming to worship Jesus.

We really should beware of having a narrower vision of who can come to Jesus than God does. 
We can be so prone to write off people like this, but God doesn't. 

He draws. 
He woos. 
He's seeking worshipers from among the priestly caste of pagan religion. 
There will be worshipers from Hogwarts, even from Slytherin.

And God is drawing them to his Son even though the Old Testament clearly condemns their vocation. 
These magi are "the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans" that the king of wicked Babylon commanded to tell him his dreams in Daniel 2:2. 

Moses had so clearly condemned the use of such magic in Deuteronomy 18:9–14. 
And prophets Isaiah (47:11-15) and Jeremiah (10:1-2) added their words of judgment to those dabbling in magic and sorcery.

Also the New Testament joins the refrain in Acts 8, when Peter condemns a man named Simon who dabbled in magic and offered 
money to obtain the apostles' power to heal, and in Acts 13:6–12, as Paul condemns a magician name Elymas who was opposing 
the advance of the gospel.

So the whole Bible, Old Testament and New, plainly condemns the kind of astrology, stargazing, and dabbling in the dark arts typical of the magi. 

In biblical terms, the magi are plainly marked as "sinners."
Here Come the Sinners​!​

And Matthew says, "Behold, magi come! Astrologer-magician-sorcerer-pagan-sinners are coming to Jesus." 

Don't miss the shock of these Jewishly uncouth men coming to Jesus.

Matthew 2:11 provides an important connection between these pagan astrologers and a prophecy from Isaiah. 
Verse 11: "And going into the house ​(​the magi​)​ saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. 

But it seems that the main connection Matthew wants us to make is to Isaiah 60-
- where Isaiah prophesies about all the nations coming to Israel's king. Psalm 72:10–11. 

Here's Isaiah 60:3–6:
"Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar (bearing gifts we traverse far?)...The wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord." 

This Christ is not only king of Israel, but he is the king of all nations, the king of kings.
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Post  Admin on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 11:45 pm

Knowing Christ!   My Manna
"I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." Philippians 3:8.

What matters to you more than anything else?

* Your family? Your friends?
* Your reputation? Your health?
* Your grades? Your achievements?

These are all good things. 
They should matter to you. 

But there's one thing that should come before any of these-
Knowing Christ!

Before Paul was a Christian, he placed high importance on who he was and where he came from. 
He took great pride in his pure Jewish heritage, his excellent education, and his flawless behaviour. 
His reputation in the community was everything to him.

Then he met Christ, and everything that used to be on the top of his priority list fell to the bottom. 
Once he experienced Christ, nothing else could come close! 

From the moment of his conversion, Paul sent everything else but Christ to the back of the line. 
As far as Paul was concerned--compared to the value of knowing Christ--everything in his life was as worthless as garbage.

Is knowing Christ that important to you? 

No one is asking you to stop loving your family, to hate your friends, or to harm your body. 
But knowing Christ more intimately should be the first item on your priority list. 

When you choose to place him first in your life-
- you'll see everything else in its proper perspective.

What does this kind of attitude mean in practical terms, in day-to-day life?
Read Up: 1 Timothy 1:12-17, 2 Timothy 2:8-13
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Post  Admin on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 11:44 pm

"My Manna" 
The passion  
"My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’ But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.” Mark 11:17.
This wasn't Jesus' first time at the temple. 

His parents accidentally left Him there once when He was a boy, and He had often taught there at times during His ministry. Matt.26:55. 

But this visit was different. 

This time He surprised a temple audience with more than His words. 
This time He grew fiercely angry at the activities in the courtyard.

Fierce anger isn't what we expect from Jesus. 
But God is passionate about His people, and His people were at the mercy of mercenaries at the temple. That had to stop. 

So Jesus turned tables, drove out the profiteers, and quoted phrases from the prophets to prove His point. 
God's temple is a place of prayer for the nations, not a business venture.

This event clearly teaches us that God opposes deception and greed, but there's a much deeper message in it. 
The intensity of Jesus' reaction reflects the heart of the Father for His people. 

The passion He demonstrated at the temple wasn't about the building.
It was about the worshipers who have gathered and, on a larger scale, the nations they represented. 

Apparently, God isn't just mildly interested in the hearts of human beings. 
He's fiercely protective of them. 
He's zealous for our worship and jealous for our love.

When Solomon dedicated the first temple in Jerusalem, priests fell on their faces as God powerfully filled the building 

with His presence. 
The building was holy ground, a place of purity and prayer. 

Centuries later when Jesus overthrew the money changers' tables-
He demonstrated God's intense passion for this same holy ground. 

But what about now? 
Worshipers no longer gather at a temple in Jerusalem. 

Where does God direct His passion?

In the New Testament-
God's people become the temple of His presence. 

The building gives way to the body. 

If Jesus could be so profoundly provoked over a stone temple-
- how much more fervent is He about His body of believers? 

The purity and prayerfulness of His dwelling place deeply matter to Him. 
He enters our hearts with zeal to drive out unholy influences and make us His own.
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Post  Admin on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 4:28 pm

My Manna




"My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust." Isaiah 51:5.


A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps in search of new species of flowers. 


One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty that its value to science was incalculable. 


But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides. 


To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope.


A curious young boy was watching nearby, and the scientists told him they would pay him well if he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below.


The boy took one long look down the steep, dizzy depths and said, "I'll be back in a minute." 


A short time later he returned, followed by a gray-haired man. 


Approaching the botanist, the boy said, "I'll go over that cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He's my dad!"


His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy.


Our Heavenly Father wants us to place our entire trust in Him and is pleased to show His faithfulness, we can trust Him to hold us even when it seems we are on the very edge! 
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Post  Admin on Sun 25 Nov 2018, 10:06 pm

My Manna

"My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’ But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.” Mark 11:17.

This wasn't Jesus' first time at the temple. 

His parents accidentally left Him there once when He was a boy, and He had often taught there at times during His ministry. Matt.26:55. 

But this visit was different. 

This time He surprised a temple audience with more than His words. 
This time He grew fiercely angry at the activities in the courtyard.

Fierce anger isn't what we expect from Jesus. 
But God is passionate about His people, and His people were at the mercy of mercenaries at the temple. That had to stop. 

So Jesus turned tables, drove out the profiteers, and quoted phrases from the prophets to prove His point. 
God's temple is a place of prayer for the nations, not a business venture.

This event clearly teaches us that God opposes deception and greed, but there's a much deeper message in it. 
The intensity of Jesus' reaction reflects the heart of the Father for His people. 

The passion He demonstrated at the temple wasn't about the building.
It was about the worshipers who have gathered and, on a larger scale, the nations they represented. 

Apparently, God isn't just mildly interested in the hearts of human beings. 
He's fiercely protective of them. 
He's zealous for our worship and jealous for our love.

When Solomon dedicated the first temple in Jerusalem, priests fell on their faces as God powerfully filled the building 

with His presence. 
The building was holy ground, a place of purity and prayer. 

Centuries later when Jesus overthrew the money changers' tables-
He demonstrated God's intense passion for this same holy ground. 

But what about now? 
Worshipers no longer gather at a temple in Jerusalem. 

Where does God direct His passion?

In the New Testament-
God's people become the temple of His presence. 

The building gives way to the body. 

If Jesus could be so profoundly provoked over a stone temple-
- how much more fervent is He about His body of believers? 

The purity and prayerfulness of His dwelling place deeply matter to Him. 
He enters our hearts with zeal to drive out unholy influences and make us His own.
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Post  Admin on Wed 21 Nov 2018, 6:15 pm

My Manna

"I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." Philippians 3:8.

What matters to you more than anything else?

* Your family? Your friends?
* Your reputation? Your health?
* Your grades? Your achievements?

These are all good things. 
They should matter to you. 

But there's one thing that should come before any of these-
Knowing Christ!

Before Paul was a Christian, he placed high importance on who he was and where he came from. 
He took great pride in his pure Jewish heritage, his excellent education, and his flawless behaviour. 
His reputation in the community was everything to him.

Then he met Christ, and everything that used to be on the top of his priority list fell to the bottom. 
Once he experienced Christ, nothing else could come close! 

From the moment of his conversion, Paul sent everything else but Christ to the back of the line. 
As far as Paul was concerned--compared to the value of knowing Christ--everything in his life was as worthless as garbage.

Is knowing Christ that important to you? 

No one is asking you to stop loving your family, to hate your friends, or to harm your body. 
But knowing Christ more intimately should be the first item on your priority list. 

When you choose to place him first in your life-
- you'll see everything else in its proper perspective.

What does this kind of attitude mean in practical terms, in day-to-day life?
Read Up: 1 Timothy 1:12-17, 2 Timothy 2:8-13.
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