The Journey Thoughts

December 23, 2016

Have you ever thought of what you would do if you saw an angel standing in
front of you?  Would you know if it was an angel?  What if there appeared
before you someone who was not there, but now was, seeming to have come from
out of thin air?   Whenever anyone from Scripture saw that kind of thing,
the bible says, "They were terrified!"  But wouldn't you be also?

Perhaps that is why when we read of something like this, it is usually
prefaced with, "Do not be afraid!"  Let's take a look at a situation
concerning a group of Shepherds, watching one night in the region of
Bethlehem: "In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and
keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood
before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were
terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Don't be afraid, for look, I
proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of
David." Luke 2:8-11   When the angel, Gabriel, appeared to Mary, he said,
"Do not be afraid, Mary."  When two angels stood beside the tomb, and when
the women came, and they saw them, Scripture says, "So the women were
terrified and bowed down to the ground."  That seems to be the natural
response when those from Scripture encountered a heavenly being. But when
the women saw Jesus, they were not afraid, and when He appeared to the
disciples after His crucifixion, there is no documentation that they were
afraid, for you see, they recognized Him, they knew who He was.   We seem to
be afraid of that which we do not know or understand, yet we are not afraid
of that which we know.  When we encounter Jesus, our hearts are stirred, and
we have this immediate understanding that the Spirit of the One who has
saved us is right here.  We are not afraid.  If, this year, we are looking
for Him, as we should be always doing, waiting anxiously for His return,
would we recognize Him?  I need to share an important truth with you. Jesus
is here, in our hearts, living through the Holy Spirit, yet how often do we
live as if He was doing exactly that.  Instead, many of us live, as if He is
hanging around somewhere, just not right here, right now.  So we kind of do
our own thing.   We are told in Scripture that on that day (when the Lord
returns), we will be doing many things, but looking for Jesus is probably
not going to be one of them. So how will we know that He is coming?  By the
same way that we know whether He is in us now, or not.  The Spirit of the
Living Christ is in us, teaching us, leading us ( when we are willing to be
led), comforting us, and strengthening us.  He is the voice of truth, midst
the thoughts of self; He is the voice of reason, when we become convinced by
our desires to act our own way. He is the loving companion, who picks us up
again, when we stumble in the mud of living.   So my friends, Do not be
afraid, for this Jesus, who came in the flesh 2000 years ago, now lives in
us, who believe, and He is always with you, and if you try, you will see
Him, but He can only be seen with spiritual eyes, so when you are gathered,
to celebrate our Lord's birth on this earth, raise a glass to the One, who
still lives with us, for He is still God with us, and do not be afraid.

Have a wonderful and very Blessed Christmas, and may our Lord reveal His
presence, to make this day for you, one you will never forget.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, Please show us Your glory, that we would be filled. Clean
our hearts, so that we will see Your Spirit living in us.  I pray for those
who will be preoccupied with the stresses of the world this Christmas
season, and ask You, Lord, to give them Your peace.  Let them see Your glory
and grace.  I pray for those who struggle for various reasons, and we list
their names.  They are on our hearts, and we love them, and place them once
again, in Your hands.  Please touch them today!  I pray for: Don, Dwight,
Lynn, Sammie, Carol, Michele, Pam, William, Carrie, Ada, Rheba, Mary,
Veronica, Douglas, Fritz, Dan, Dillon, Tara, Kristena, Kristen, Carolyn,
Gene, Terry, Angie, Isabel, Don, Mike S., Barbara, Candace, Meredith, Abe,
Ramona, Ben, BJ, Ida, JV, Eva, Kelly and her son, Corbin, Robert, Pat, Ryan,
Fred, Dotty, Scott, April, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan,
Jeff, Laura, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, Tim, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Robert and
Susan, Mike and Terri, Tim and Tammy, Brent and Cindy, Kevin, and Carol,
Randy and Sarah. I pray that You Lord will strengthen all and renew hearts
and rebuild bodies, and we will continue to praise You our Lord, for You are
worthy of our praise, and we lift our praise to You in the name of Jesus.

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