What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quero Conhecer a Jesus

O Plano Simples De Deus Para A Salvação



Meu amigo! Faço-te a mais importante pergunta desta vida. Tua alegria ou tristeza por toda a ETERNIDADE depende dela. Eis a pergunta: Estás SALVO? Quer dizer ... ESTÁS CERTO de que irás para o Céu quando morreres? Não te pergunto se és membro de alguma igreja, mas ESTÁS SALVO? Não te pergunto se és pessoa de bem mas ESTÁS SALVO? Ninguém pode gozar das bênçãos de Deus ou ir para o Céu, sem estar salvo. Jesus disse a Nicodemos, em João 3:7 - "Necessário vos é nascer de novo." Deus nos deu na Sua Palavra um ÚNICO plano de Salvação. Esse plano é simples. Podes ser salvo HOJE.
Primeiro, meu amigo, tens de reconhecer que és PECADOR.
Romanos 3:10 - "Não há um justo, nem um sequer."
Romanos 3:22, 23 - "Porque não há diferença: TODOS pecaram e destituidos estão da glória de Deus."


Não há OPORTUNIDADE de seres salvo, se não reconheceres que ÉS PECADOR.
Porque és pecador, estás CONDENADO À MORTE!
Romanos 6:23 - "Porque o salário do pecado é a morte."
Tiago 1:15 - "E o pecado, gera a morte."


Isto significa separação de Deus, no Inferno para sempre. Sim, é terrível, meu amigo, mas é verdade. Mas Deus te amou tanto que Deu seu unigênito filho, Jesus Cristo, como teu substituto, para levar teus pecados e morrer em teu lugar.


2 Coríntios 5:21 - "AQUELE que não conheceu pecado (Jesus) 0 fez pecado por NOS para que nELE fôssemos feitos justiça de Deus."
1 Pedro 2:24 - "Levando Ele mesmo em SEU corpo os NOSSOS pecados sobre o madeiro, para que, mortos para os pecados, pudéssemos viver para a justiça; e pelas Suas feridas FOSTES SARADOS."
Jesus teve que morrer. Ele teve que derramar o Seu sangue. "Porque a alma da carne está no sangue (Levíticos 17:1 1). "Sem derramamento de sangue não ha remissão" (Hebreus 9:22).


Não podemos, agora, compreender como os nossos pecados foram colocados sobre Cristo, mas Deus, em SUA PALAVRA, diz que foi assim. Assim os TEUS PECADOS, meu amigo, foram carregados POR JESUS, e ELE MORREU EM TEU LUGAR. Isto é verdade. Deus não pode mentir!
0 carcereiro de Filipos perguntou a Paulo e Silas: "Que é necessário que EU FAÇA para me SALVAR?"
Atos 16:31 - "E eles disseram: CRÊ no Senhor Jesus Cristo, e SERÁS SALVO, tu e a tua casa."


Basta crer nELE como 0 que carregou teu pecado, e morreu no teu lugar, foi sepultado e ressuscitou para tua justificação. Clama, agora, por Ele!
Romanos 10:13 - "Porque TODO AQUELE que invocar o nome do Senhor será salvo."


A primeira oração que um PECADOR deve fazer, é a seguinte: "Ó Deus, tem misericórdia DE MIM, pecador" (Lucas 18:13). Agora és um pecador e sentes tristeza por isso. Então, AONDE ESTIVERES, podes elevar o teu coração a Deus em oração. Não é necessário fazer uma longa oração em voz alta, porque Deus está ANSIOSO para te salvar. Basta dizeres: "Ó Deus, sou um pecador arrependido. Tem misericórdia de mim e salva-me pelo amor de Jesus." Aceita-0, então, de acôrdo com a Sua Palavra.
Romanos 10:13 - "Porque TODO AQUELE (isto te inclui) que invocar o nome do Senhor SERÁ SALVO (será salvo, e não talvez seja salvo). SERÁ SALVO!
Crê em Deus e na Sua PALAVRA. Quando tiveres feito o que Ele te pediu, aceita a SALVAÇÃO PELA FÉ, conforme a SUA PALAVRA. CRÊ E SERÁS SALVO. Nenhuma igreja, nenhuma sociedade nem as boas obras ninguém - mas Só e unicamente JESUS CRISTO PODE TE SALVAR.


0 plano simples da salvação é: ÉS PECADOR; porque és pecador, DEVARÁS MORRER ou crer em Cristo que foi TEU SUBSTITUTO e morreu em TEU LUGAR, foi sepultado e ressuscitou. Clama por Ele, reconhecendo que és um pecador e pede-LHE que tenha misericórdia de ti e te salve, pelo AMOR DE JESUS. Crê, então, na Sua Palavra e, PELA FÉ,ACEITA A SALVAÇÃO. Dirás talvez:" Certamente isto não basta para ser salvo."
Sim - nada mais e absolutamente nada. Graças a Deus, muitos têm sido ganhos para Cristo por esse simples plano. Está nas ESCRITURAS. É 0 PLANO DE DEUS. Crê nÊLE meu amigo, e SEGUE-0. Agora é o tempo. HOJE é o dia.
2 Coríntios 6:2 - "Eis aqui AGORA o tempo aceitável, eis aqui AGORA o dia da salvação."
Provérbios 27:1 - "Não presumas do dia de amanhã, porque não sabes o que produzirá o dia."


Se não achares perfeitamente claro, lê novamente até poderes compreender. Procura um Cristão verdadeiro em qual podes confiar e pede-lhe que te tires as dúvidas. Não abandones a leitura ou sua busca de Deus, até que possas entendê-lo totalmente. Tua alma tem mais valor do que tudo no mundo.
Marcos 8:36, 37 - "Pois que aproveitaria ao homem ganhar todo o mundo e perder a sua alma? Ou que daria o homem pelo resgate da sua alma?"
Assegura a tua salvação. Coloca a tua salvação acima de todas as coisas. Se perderes a tua alma, não entrarás no céu e perderás tudo. Deus te ajudará afim de que sejas salvo hoje.


Deus te salvará e, também, TE GUARDARÁ.
1 Coríntios 10: 13 - "Não veio sobre vós tentação, senão humana; mas fiel é Deus, que vos não deixará tentar acima do que podeis, antes com a tentação dará também o escape, para que a possais suportar."
Não contia nos teus sentimentos. Estes mudam. Firma-te nas promessas de Deus. Estas nunca mudam.


DEPOIS DE SALVO, há três coisas que deves realizar, para o teu crescimento espiritual:
ORA - e falarás com Deus. LÊ A BIBLIA - e Deus falará contigo. TESTIFICA - e falarás por Deus. Em seguida deves ser batizado e afiliado a uma congregação o grupo de crentes, adoradores que creia verdadeiramente na Bíblia.
Mateus 10:32 - "Portanto qualquer que me confessar diante dos homens, eu o confessarei diante de meu Pai, que está nos céus."

Blogs que me Inspiraram em 2008

Voce não pode ver mas dentro da concha existem pérolas que brilham intensamente! Só vemos bem com o coraçao! Meu blog presenteia blogs que brilharam em 2008: Café com Poesia Esterança Street Kids Caroline L'Atelier

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Paris interactive flight - Sobrevoe Paris - Vol sur Paris


To treat yourself to an incredible view of Paris from the night sky, click on the link below.
Then, click on the photo to zoom and move the mouse around to travel...click on the hotel and the building windows to see what our French friends are up to. Click here

Para um inacreditavel passeio sobre Paris clique abaixo. Em seguida clique na foto para aumentar, deslize o mouse para viajar... clique nas janelas do hotel e dos predios, para ver cenas do quotidiano. Clique aqui!


Pour découvrir Paris d'en haut, cliquer en bas.... Une fois ouvert, cliquer sur la photo pour l'augmenter, et faire glisser la souris pour voyager...cliquer sur les fenêtres d'hôtel et des immeubles pour des scènes quotidiennes. Cliquer ici

PARA VER NEW YORK CLIQUE AQUI
TO SEE NEW YORK CLICK HERE
POUR VOIR NEW YORK CLIQUER ICI

Monday, March 3, 2008

A ship named "Relations"


Lessons from the threshing floor.
Written and posted by Jean-Louis.
Original written first in 1995.

A ship named “Relations” Part I
A study on human relation-ships from Acts 27.
Paul’s shipwreck on Malta.


I. PAST SITUATION.

1. Circumstances outside anyone’s control.
“Much time had been lost and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast”. Verse 9

Paul’s warning: “ Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship, cargo and to our own lives also”. Verse 10.


2. Men’s efforts to correct the situation.
The crew’s response: “but the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship”. Verse 11.

3. Pressure to do something.
Result: wrong decision: “since the harbor was unsuitable for winter, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there”. Verse 12.
Lesson to be learned: Sometimes the majority can make the wrong decisions based on logical reasoning and accurate data.
Consequence: “the ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along”. Verse 15.
 
II. PRESENT SITUATION.
1. No help from above
Natural condition:when neither sun, nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging”. Verse 20, (a).

Result: Loss of hope: “we finally gave up all hope of being saved”. Verse 20, (b).

The much needed “I told you so in learning our lessons”. (Apparently Paul hadn’t had many lessons on how not to damage people’s brittle self-esteem by telling them the truth.) We don’t like to hear those words because we hide our sense of pride under the thin veneer of our fragile egos. (A little shame at first would save us a lot of pain at last.)

Paul to the crew: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete, then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. Verse 21, (b).

Notice that Paul (or rather God who spoke through him) waited until the men were ready to listen to him, just as the Father in the parable of the prodigal son waited for the son to be hungry and at the end of his rope and to come to his senses. He exhorted them only “after the men had gone a long time without food”. Verse 21, (a).

Exhortation with assurance of knowledge:
Paul says: “but now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be lost”. Verse 22.

2. Help from above: divine intervention
Paul’s explanation: an angelic visitation.
Result: Hope restored

Last night an angel of the Lord whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said:” Do not be afraid, Paul… God had graciously (here we see the common grace and specific personal grace of God at work) given you the lives of all who sail with you”. Verse 23.

Remember one important principle:


Being always precedes doing. Just as we are sinners not because we commit sins but because of who we are in our sinful nature, we do righteous acts not because we are righteous of our own merit but because we have the righteousness of God imputed to us. God was very clear in revealing His Name to Moses, He told him: "I am that I am, not I do that I do". If Christ whose name we bear could say those words out of the burning bush, who are we to go ahead and have our “doing” before our “being”?

Response from Paul to the Angelic visitation:
The only response that pleases God, namely FAITH.

Paul to the men: “I have faith in God that it will happen as he told me. Nevertheless we must run aground on some island”. Verse 25, 26.
Not only Paul’s exhortation to the crew came from the assurance of his knowledge of divine revelation (this was not blind faith, neither was Abraham’s faith, neither should our faith be), but from the faith that it inspired and motivated.

3. Escape attempt: (Running away from God and His will).
“In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow”. Verse 30.

What are some of our lifeboats, the easy way out, the exit strategies that we keep hidden in the back of our minds just in case the boat that God has given us in our present relationships proves to be less than adequate for our lives? After all, we know better than He does what is good for us and how to run our ship.
-- Is it divorce?
-- Is it children running away from a difficult situation at home?
-- Is it ending a commitment with a Church or a job situation that turns out to be   

    unpleasant for the moment, (see Hebrews 12:7-13)?
-- Is it ending a relationship at whatever level of commitment because it requires unselfishness and sacrifice on our part and does not fulfill our
unrealistic expectations and needs although it may be the very ship that God has ordained for us to navigate the rough seas of life, for our own benefit to help us grow and mature into the person He desires us to be?

Notice that in such cases there is always an attitude of pretense, a denial of the reality, indicated by a lack of honesty and willingness to take responsibility in an attempt to justify and rationalize one’s own actions and bad choices. This mostly happens through blaming the other person’s for one’s predicament. (For a more thorough and better understanding, read and study the story of Jonah).

In this story, every one attempts to save his life using his own survival skills. The sailors wanted to use the lifeboats. Further on, the soldiers wanted to use their swords to prevent the prisoners to swim ashore and escape because they needed them to save their own lives from military justice if they failed to carry on their military duties to the end and to take the prisoners to their final destination.

4. Paul’s warning: Condition for God’s rescue.
Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved”. Verse 32.
The promises and blessings of God are conditional, only His mercy and love as demonstrated in the sacrifice of His son Jesus on the cross in payment for our sins resulting in our forgiveness, salvation and the gift of eternal life are unconditional. The condition required is faith, resulting in trust and obedience. This involves volition, the conscious act of submitting our will to the will of God and choosing His ways rather than our own.

5. Encouragement and reassurance from Paul:
Whatever the reason for the crew deprivation of food for 14 days, whether it be “constant suspense”, unending struggle in keeping the boat afloat against the elements, or purely visceral reaction in keeping any food down, now that all 276 persons are still aboard, Paul encourages them in those terms: “ I urge you all to take some food. You need it to survive. No one of you will lose a single hair from his head”. Verse 34.

6. Paul demonstration of Faith and authority in spiritual leadership:
A good and faithful servant of God will always show the example to follow; his actions will prove his words.
First, Paul turns to God who gives the blessings and promises and exemplifies the correct attitude, the response of a grateful heart towards the grace of God who supplies all our needs. “After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, then he broke it and began to eat”. Verse 35.

Results: Faith turns to action:
 

Increased response from the crew in renewed faith and trust in God’s providence through Paul’s leadership and example:they were all encouraged and ate some food themselves”. Verse 36.
 

Further proof of their faith and trust in God’s provision for the rest of the journey: “when they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the grain into the sea”. Verse 38.


Change of attitude and actions in the centurion entrusted with secular leadership:
Even though the fate of the ship was out of his hands and in the hands of Almighty God, the centurion didn’t shirk his responsibility and delegated governmental authority by asking Paul to take charge of the ship and its human and physical cargo. Whereas at the beginning, the centurion was opposed to Paul’s advice, now because of his training to recognize and respect true authority, he shows wisdom and a right attitude in the end in responding to God’s mercy with faith and mercy of his own as the following verses describe his actions: The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest of were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship”. Verses 42-44. He did this knowing full well that he risked losing not only his career but also his own life. What a great admirable example of courage, leadership and sacrifice!

III. CONCLUSION: Everyone reached land in safety. Verse 44.

Faith and trust in God’s revealed will and obedience to His command will bring the desired fulfillment of God’s true word and sure promises in any situation. Sometimes, this might be done through following the leadership and good example of a legitimate, called servant of God, whose actions consistent with his words demonstrate that he has received his calling and delegated authority from God himself.


A ship named “Relations” Part II
A study on human relation-ships from Acts 27.
Paul’s shipwreck on Malta.

Life Application. "When our boat shipwrecks"

 

To understand the previous context, first read Acts chapter 27:1-7.
Picking up at v. 7, we read: "We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens near the town of Lacea.
The circumstances out of men’s control were such that time had been lost.
Without being overly insensitive to the unfairness of this life, this is the stuff reality and life are made of. At one time or another during the course of our lives every one of us will experience things that are out of our control. Notice that everyone in the boat was there as a result of their past thoughts, intentions, actions, reactions, desires, habits, patterns and life styles resulting from choices they had made, whether good or bad. Basically, we are all in the same boat.

The question is: Who is going to be in charge of the boat?
There was nothing wrong with the boat. The timing of the voyage was wrong.

Note that after the first unheeded warning, Paul let things run their course.
He didn’t have any other alternative solution to offer.
Not listening to, nor heeding wise godly counsel, advice and warning has its disastrous consequences.

When finally Paul heard the Angel, at the proper time he relayed the message, exhorting and encouraging all to be courageous, have faith in God’s mercy, grace and providence. This shows the compassionate heart of a true pastor full of grace, mercy and love, ready to intercede for the people under his spiritual leadership. His revelation was in answer to intercessory prayer.

The one who hears the message of warning has the responsibility to be obedient, advise, exhort and encourage the people believing in faith that God will accomplish what He said he would do.
However, as far as our receiving the blessings and promises of God, there are conditions.

In answer to Paul’s prayers, God could have calmed down he wind and the storm as He had done previously on the Sea of Galilee. Paul himself with the power of God could have calmed the storm. In either case, the boat could have reached safely its destination.

Instead, God chose to let the boat shipwreck.

As it is with us, when this happens, God through that experience wants us to abandon our old patterns of thinking and living, trying to patch up our old ways of relating to each other. He wants to give us a new lease on life, just as all who were saved from the shipwreck got on board a new ship. “After 3 months, we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island”. Chapter 28:11. We can perhaps assume that their lives and relationship with each other had been tremendously impacted and affected by this experience. (I have personally experience several really bad storms at sea and I can testify of the profound effect it had on my life).

What is lost is lost. Give it up. Let it go. Start anew. Learn from the experience
Warning!
After we have made a wrong decision in whatever relationship (wrong choices, actions or wrong timing perhaps based on faulty logic, self-interest and/or accurate data), pleasant beginnings in our new journey can deceive us into believing that everything is fine until it’s too late and we realize that we are in the middle of a deadly storm. We must not presume and take God’s grace lightly and go contrary to God’s will.
“When a gentle wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted”. Verse 13.

Now, just because God later on gives us a revelation of His will doesn’t necessarily mean that it will automatically be done in our lives. Obedience following faith exercised in actions is necessary to be in God’s will and to do God’s will. There is no such thing as real faith without a corresponding response through action.


Sometimes, God has to destroy the false sense of security by removing from us the props on which we build our lives in order to start rebuilding on the right foundation.
On the ship there were free men and men in chains. There were sailors, soldiers and prisoners. Every one of them thought of doing what was right in their own eyes guided by their own desires and motives.



Some like the owner had something to gain but could lose everything.
Others like the sailors didn’t care about the owner’s cargo or profit when it came to choose between that and their survival. All they wanted to do was to save their lives. The prisoners had nothing to gain and everything to lose whatever the outcome of the voyage.
It’s only when nothing else worked that all the others started listening and were receptive to Paul message.

  • Paul was physically bound by chains but spiritually free in Christ. Paul was the one with the words of spiritual authority.
  • He was calm and contented with his station in life.
  • The only one with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  • His life didn’t depend on anybody or anything.
  • He had placed himself in God’s hand.
  • He was called of God for a purpose, already knew and accepted that suffering was going to be involved in that purpose.
In conclusion, we can see that God’s grace was at work, demonstrating this time not His awesome power in wrath and judgment, but His love and mercy by sparing the lives of all the persons on board the ship, whether free or bound, criminals or innocent of crimes.

Let us pray in the same way as Habakkuk did in Chapter 3: 1-2 and ask God to make us instruments of His mercy and love to others:
Lord, I have heard of your name, I stand in awe of your deeds.
O Lord, Renew them in our day,
In our time, make them known;
In wrath remember mercy.

“Let us speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, the perfect law of Christ, the law of love), because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful”. James 2:12.

MERCY TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGMENT. James 2:13

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sois prompt à écouter

"Que tout homme soit prompt à écouter, lent à parler et lent à se mettre en colère" Jacques 1.19

On a dit un jour d'un célèbre linguiste qu'il "pouvait se taire en sept langues différentes". L'Ecclésiaste nous enseigne : "qu'il y a un temps pour se taire et un temps pour parler" (Ecclésiaste 3.7).

Malheureusement, nous mélangeons ces deux temps. Chacun d'entre nous doit apprendre à se taire afin d'écouter l'autre. J'ai remarqué ceci : bien souvent nous nous parlons sans nous écouter. Nous écoutons non pour comprendre ce que l'autre dit mais uniquement pour lui répondre.

En d'autres termes, lorsque l'autre parle, au lieu de l'écouter pour analyser son point de vue, nous l'écoutons tout en cherchant dans notre tête une contre argumentation ; ce qui débouche inexorablement sur une discussion sans fin. C'est pourquoi tant de personnes peuvent parler pendant des heures sans finalement jamais se comprendre, alors que d'autres parviennent à régler un conflit entre elles en seulement dix minutes. Pourquoi ces dernières arrivent-elles à résoudre leur problème ? Parce qu'elles ont su se taire pour écouter et comprendre l'autre.

Avez-vous déjà remarqué que deux personnes qui se disputent généralement le font en criant ? Pourtant elles ne sont qu'à quelques centimètres l'une de l'autre ! Est-il bien nécessaire de crier ? Bien sûr, si une personne est de l'autre côté de la route ou bien à une grande distance, il lui faut hausser la voix pour se faire entendre. Mais pourquoi deux personnes crient-elles lorsqu'elles sont à quelques pas l'une de l'autre ? La raison en est simple : malgré la proximité physique, les deux individus sont loin l'un de l'autre, ils ne s'entendent plus, et ils pensent qu'en criant ils seront mieux compris.

Il ne faut pas qu'il en soit ainsi. Comme la Bible l'enseigne, soyez prompt à écouter et vous verrez que dans la plupart des cas, les cris cesseront. Car celui qui n'est pas prompt à écouter, en règle générale parle vite et plus il parle vite, plus il parlera fort et plus il parlera fort, plus il se mettra en colère. Alors : "Que tout homme soit prompt à écouter, lent à parler et lent à se mettre en colère" (Jacques 1.19).

Une action pour aujourd'hui.

Dès à présent, décidez de développer un "programme de silence constructif" en écoutant pour essayer de comprendre ce que l'autre dit sans chercher à argumenter votre cause.
Patrice Martorano

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Occasional Letter Number One

Some Lessons From The Underground History Of American Education

11/03/2006
By John Taylor Gatto Spinninglobe

Editor’s note: John Taylor Gatto was the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991 and has been named New York City Teacher of the Year three times.

Between 1896 and 1920, a small group of industrialists and financiers, together with their private charitable foundations, subsidized university chairs, university researchers, and school administrators, spending more money on forced schooling than did the government itself. Carnegie and Rockefeller, as late as 1915, were themselves spending more. In this laissez-faire fashion a system of modern schooling was constructed without public participation. The motives for this are undoubtedly mixed, but it will be useful for you to hear an excerpt from the first mission statement of Rockefeller’s General Education Board as it occurred in a document called Occasional Letter Number One (1906):

"In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple … we will organize children … and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way".

For more interesting and enlightening reading on the subject, consult:

http://abundance.org.uk/some-lessons-from-the-underground-history-of-american-education


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Love always hopes.

Written and  posted by Jean-Louis at http://thelightseed.blogspot.com
This is a post I wrote a few years ago 

        










Almonds trees in blooms
 
As people celebrate Christmas with all its symbols regardless of what they think the exact time and year of God's divine condescension among us  are, this is what this season represents to me as a spiritual reality.

As I was reflecting upon the incarnation of our Savior Christ Jesus as the supreme gift of our Heavenly Father to mankind, I could not help but think of the limited perspective that we sometimes have of the infinite measure of all of God’s attributes and works in the vast universe He created but also in each of our lives.

The first thing I consider when I ponder the miracle of the supernatural birth of Jesus-Christ is that God chose to manifest His presence in the flesh as a seed of the Holy Spirit in the chosen womb of Mary.

Imagine a little! The creator and sustainer of the endless universe becoming a frail human being Himself subject to the natural law of human birth and physical existence.
What is amazing is that as we follow the course of His birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and His coming back to take His own faithful ones to reign with Him, the same characteristic stages apply to us who have experienced the second spiritual birth and have passed from death to life, from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light.

 As the mature tree is essentially contained in the seed just waiting to develop through the different stages of growth, so was the life of the Lord Jesus and so is every one of our lives.
 

An illustration from the sharing of presents on Christmas day comes to my mind. Imagine one of the present being a huge box with someone’s name on it. The person feverishly tears off the paper hoping to discover a big present that will provide a level of satisfaction commensurate to his perceived size. But as the box reveals another smaller box hidden under the packing peanuts, he suspects someone is playing a joke on him as he realizes from the sheer weight of the box.

As he keeps on opening another box, then another one, he finally opens the last tiny box and no matter what the value of the present, it leaves him or her with a sense of unfulfilled expectation and diminished satisfaction. Here in brief is how the acquiring and enjoying of material things which are supposed to fulfill our lives from the cradle to the grave end up being a great disappointment and a snare in the end. Not so with the present from our God, the free gift of salvation available to anyone willing to accept it. 

Conversely, imagine that you received the gift of God, salvation by grace in a small box. After receiving and opening the gift, once your life is changed by that spiritual tiny seed, you realize that as you grow, the gift keeps on growing as you learn and mature into eternal everlasting life, the box of our life, so to speak, getting bigger and bigger.


Now considering another angle to giving and sharing presents.
Jesus talking about greed said that life doesn’t consist in the abundance of things. Luke 12:15.And He told the people to not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21.


Jesus is not only talking about treasures, but incorruptible treasures! What is He talking about? He is talking about treasures that have their beginning as an intangible seed beginning here on the earth and continuing in Heaven and/or enjoying all the stages of the growth of the seed in two dimensions simultaneously, in the physical body while at the same time in the invisible realm of the spirit.

He means treasures like the Christian virtues, generosity of spirit, goodness, mercy, humility, faith, wisdom, spiritual knowledge, love, patience, fruits of the Spirit, all intangible, but whose effects are felt when translated into good works and service to our brothers, sisters and fellow man. And of course, included are all the material gifts that he has blessed us with in superabundance to share with those less fortunate than us and to provide the means to advance the Kingdom of God, through preaching of the Gospel through gifts to missions throughout the world. Everything that will become the stones building the foundation of our sphere of influence in the coming Kingdom.


In I Timothy 6: 18, Paul tells Timothy to "Command those who are rich in this present world... to put their hope in God who richly provide us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up for themselves a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life". It is obvious that one can build a house or a building only as tall and as large as the dimensions of the foundation supporting it, otherwise the building collapses.


In the Bible we can find several mentions of this manifestation of life as encapsulated in the title of Our Lord who is the Alpha, the beginning and Omega, the end and of course everything in between.

We can find the image of the seed in I Peter 1:23. “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is through the living and abiding Word of God.” Isaiah 9:6-7 promise of the coming Messiah follows this development: "for a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest upon His shoulders … there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace."


Salvation, knowledge and wisdom are part of the incorruptible treasures that Christ talks about in Matthew. Talking about Christ, Isaiah 33:6 declares:He will be a sure foundation for our times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge: The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”
 
This salvation which starts as a spiritual seed planted by the Holy Spirit Himself in the hearts of men who have received Him on His terms is ever expanding and revealing the loving heart of our Heavenly Father at this time of the year and all year long. "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us". Romans 5:5

Paul prays for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:14-17 that: "He would grant you according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His spirit in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." This is also my prayer for all of us today and for the coming year.


Contrary to the philosophy of this passing and dying world, the present of eternal life in Christ Jesus started as a tiny seed, first the human seed inherited form our natural father and then the Holy Spirit seed  that contained all that is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which our Father and Creator put us on this earth. See I Corinthians 15. 
45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. (NIV)



So this Christmas season until the beginning of 2014 and beyond, I invite you to remember with grateful and humble hearts, that the tiniest and most humble manifestation of life, a human seed, a tiny baby in his or her mother's womb is infinitely precious and worthy of protection and nurturing because it was made in God’s image. Psalm 139.


I invite you also to let your hearts and minds expand onto other amazing dimensions of life and consider all the stages of the life of the Savior in His birth, His death, His resurrection, His going back into the glory of Heaven and His coming back to give us glorified bodies, for we have already been resurrected if we have been born again, starting as a tiny seed wrapped up in a small and fragile package that we all are, as pilgrims on this earth. 

This season Jesus offers us hope, joy and peace in a world sadly lacking theses blessings.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.

Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for the gift of life present and eternal.


Jean-Louis.
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