December 23, 2017

Christmas or Christ's Mass Is a Celebration Of Our Forgiveness

Names are an important clue to destiny in the Bible. we need to begin by examining the name Jesus and understanding our personal need for both human and divine forgiveness. The name Jesus is a combination of Je or Yeh a shortened form of Yahweh; and “sus” the Aramaic verb to save. Many people in our secular culture are not aware of the danger of un-forgiveness as separating ourselves from both other people and God. I went through 30 years of silence and emotional darkness before experiencing the joy of forgiveness and reconciliation with my ex-wife. In our healing ministry Lucille and I have seen the joy on many faces as people come to forgiveness with others or accept forgiveness from Jesus. Un-forgiveness leads to destructive emotions of bitterness that pollute our personal spirit and separate us from God. The Good news of Jesus is that He was born to die for the sins of all people so they could be freed from what Isaiah called the "rod of the oppressor", Satan, who deceives us into rebellion against God and spiritual death. The Readings explain how this gift of forgiveness works.

1. Luke (2.1-20) Gives Us the Good News of the Forgiveness of Sins by Jesus

December 16, 2017

Prophecy Calls Us Into Right Relationship - Righteousness (Advent 3, Year B)

In the Gospel Reading (John 1.6-8, 19-28) we see a situation that is happening in our own lifetime. We have representatives of a corrupted religion investigating a genuine prophet. He tells them God is about to fulfill the Isaiah Prophecy. He tells them that the one “…you do not know.” (v. 26) is in their midst. This was a stinging rebuke to the religious leadership and a wake-up call to the Jews. It is also a wake-up call to us now. The question is what should we do to "make the way straight" or get into a right relationship with God  and "make righteousness and praise spring up" (v. 11) in our time?

1. The Baptist proclaimed the fulfillment of the Isaiah Prophecy
This was a prophecy that God would intervene in human affairs once again to "... make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations" (Isaiah 61.11). Water baptism is the first step in spiritual life.