Monthly Archives: December 2013

Baby Jesus

nativity-baby-jesus-christmas-2008-christmas-2806967-1000-5581 (1)

Luke 2:12

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

A newborn is fragile and utterly helpless. Talk about vulnerable! The infant Jesus was completely vulnerable — because He loved us. Think about that today! Be vulnerable and show others some love!

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GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU

FR-12x12 SA.ST8886 Tan John 3-16Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It is a time when it seems that the entire world is transformed, as people consider what happened on that first Christmas night.

It is the time when families gather together. It is the time when we stop and reflect upon all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. It is a time when we remember that greatest blessing of all, that God, in person of the Lord Jesus Christ, transcended time and space and came into this world to be our Saviour.

The Bible says in John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Wrapped up in this one verse is the whole story of Christmas. Someone has said that if every other passage in the Bible were thrown away and only John 3:16 were left, there would still be enough simple gospel to save the whole world.

This verse has been called the gospel in a nutshell. It is and has been called the world’s greatest love story. It has been called the gospel of Christ in one sentence, but at Christmas, I call it God’s Christmas gift to you.

God (the greatest being) so loved (the greatest emotion) the world (the greatest number of people) that He gave (the greatest sacrifice) His only begotten Son (the greatest possession) that whosoever (the greatest invitation) believeth in Him (the greatest plan of salvation) should not perish (the greatest condemnation) but have everlasting life. (the greatest possession).

What a shame it would be if you did not unwrap God’s Christmas gift. What is that gift? You know what it is. God’s gift is eternal life through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
December 16, 2013
Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.

While You Wait

Acts 1:1-14

Waiting on the Lord may be one of the most difficult aspects of the Christian life. When Jesus promised that he would return, he instructed his followers to wait. That is easier said than done. So what do we do in the meantime? What do we do while we wait?

No one likes to wait. But we wait in traffic, for the doctor, for a spouse, for a baby, for retirement, for sermons to get over, or for Jesus to return.
 
Waiting is not just something we have to do while we get what we want. Waiting is the process of becoming what God wants us to be. What God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is we are waiting for. Waiting, biblical waiting, is not a passive waiting around for something to happen that will allow us to escape our troubles. Waiting does not mean doing nothing. It is not a way to evade unpleasant reality.

Those who wait are those who work, because they know their work is not in vain. The farmer can wait all summer for his harvest because he has done his work of sowing the seed and watering the plants. Those who wait on God can go about their assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and conclusions to their lives and the harvest to their toil. Waiting is the confident, disciplined, expectant, active and sometimes painful clinging to God. It knows that we will reap a reward.
 
When Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem, he was telling them that that this was a means of experiencing his peace, his prosperity and his power. In waiting they would catch the wind of God’s Spirit. In waiting they would see God move.

Sometimes people ask, “But what do I do while I’m waiting?” Good question. During those waiting times take on the active role of a watchman. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,” declared the Psalmist, “I wait and put my hope in His word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning – more than watchmen for the morning” (Psalm 130:5-6). In biblical times, watchmen vigilantly guarded the city. They watched for enemies who might attack at night and they waited for the sun to come up. They were alert and obedient, ready to respond when needed.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
December 16, 2013
Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.

GIFTS FIT FOR A KING

Genesis 43:11-14 

JesusOurGreatestGift
Let’s consider our King. He deserves our best. After all that He does for us, anything less is an insult to the Lord. Sadly, most people are content to take the best for themselves and are willing to give the Lord the leftovers.

He deserves the best of our time. He should have the first part, the best part and not just the leftovers, if there are any. Our time is a great gift from the Lord. He deserves the very best. I should not wear myself out doing the things I want to do, but I should devote the best of my time to Him and His will.

 He deserves the best of our service. Our lives should be spent in the service of His perfect will. For too often, we only do the things we want to do. We serve ourselves and ignore His will for our lives. Be the best you can be where He has placed you. 1 Corinthians 12:7-26.

He deserves the best of our resources. Many people buy what they want and enjoy the fruits of their labors and give God the leftovers. He deserves and demands the first part of our income. The Bible says, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD,” Lev. 27:30.

 God is not looking for elaborate, expensive gifts. He expects us to give Him a very simple gift. He expects us to give Him the very best we have. That is all He expects and it is a gift that everyone can give to Him. Just give Him a gift worthy of our King.

  Are you giving our King the absolute best you have? Or, does He have to settle for second best, third best or worse? Does your gift represent who you are in Him?

  • Does He have your best?
  • Does He have your all?
  • Does He have you?

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
December 16, 2013
Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Luke 2:10-17
images

Let me ask you a question… Is there any such thing as, “The perfect Christmas gift?” Have you ever thought for months, planned for weeks, gotten everything together, for what you knew would be the perfect gift for so-and-so’) You were so excited that you could hardly wait for them to get it. But maybe you didn’t turn out just perfect!!!

How do you know the perfect gift when you see it? What requirements does it have to meet? And who decides it is the perfect gift; the giver or the receiver?

If you want to give the perfect gift; it should be…A PERSONAL GIFT. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son… “John 3:16

If a gift is going to be appreciated it takes some thought. It needs to take into consideration the person, their likes, their dislikes, their personality, their needs, their interests. A gift needs to be personal reflecting their personality… or maybe giving something of yourself. And when God sent his Christmas gift… it was personal. It was God’s own personal Son, His only Son, the Son that He loved. But it was more than that it was God himself… in the flesh.

And it was tailor-made for you personally. He came to die for YOUR sins… the sins that YOU PERSONALLY committed. And he came to bring PERSONAL FORGIVENESS, PERSONAL SALVATION, PERSONAL PEACE…God did not just pull an angel off the shelf and send it saying, “Well, I just feel like I have to give them something.” NO!!! God spent time considering our personal needs, our sin, our separation thinking of the best way to save us. And he came up with this idea I WILL GO TO THEM PERSONALLY AND PAY THEIR PRICE PERSONALLY. Jesus was the Perfect Gift and the perfect gift is a personal gift.

Practical Gift
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God… The wages of sin is death. ” Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23. When God sent His Perfect gift it was Practical. There was nothing we needed more.

Romans 3:23 and 6:23 say that we had all committed sins and the result was that we were all separated from the love and mercy of God and were on our way straight to Hell. We were trapped in the swamp of our sin, unable to help ourselves and we were dying a slow death. God knew just what we needed. What we needed more than anything else and that is what he gave us. Not another ritual, not another commandment, not another prophet. We needed a redeemer, someone to come and buy us back from hell, someone who could pay our price so that we would not have to. There was only one gift that could “fill-the-bill”.. Jesus!

I thank God that He took the time to consider my needs, to care about my needs and then, that He loved me enough that he was willing to give past the point of comfort, past the point of ease he was willing to give a gift that cost him dearly. Jesus is the perfect gift because HE IS A PERSONAL GIFT. HE IS A PRACTICAL GIFT, A PLEASING GIFT AND A PERMANENT GIFT.

When God sent His Perfect Gift it was permanent. He sent his love, his forgiveness, his mercy, his presence, his strength, his help, his guidance.  And it was not temporary… Jesus Christ is an eternal gift God will never take it back even if we are undeserving or ungrateful.

Posted by Fay-An Swearing

December 15, 2013

Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.

Love Must Be Sincere

Romans 12:9-12:13

Love must be sincere. How do you serve Christ without serving people? And this holds true for every Christian. And service is a sign of genuine love! 

Matthew 20:28 “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

If anyone ever proved their love for others it was Jesus. When Jesus washed the feet of His disciples He was showing that He loved them. When He fed the multitudes and taught them God’s Word He was demonstrating love. When He forgave the woman caught in adultery while others wanted to condemn her, Jesus was demonstrating love. Every time Jesus served, ministered, healed, or preached He was demonstrating love. And of course, we know about His greatest demonstration of love; Calvary!

If we want to learn how to love people we just need to read about the life of Christ in the gospel accounts. If all people of the world would just look to Jesus they would know what genuine love is and also, know how to demonstrate it.

Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Paul describe the sincerity of love in this text.
1- We love by hating evil
2- We love by honoring others
3- We love by showing zeal
4- We love by sharing with others 

We must be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Have you honored anyone lately? Have you honored anyone above you?

 LOVE BY SHOWING ZEAL

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 

Zeal in service. If nothing else, we show God that we love Him and the church by being zealous in Christian living and Christian service.

I Peter 4:10-11 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Do you get what both Paul and Peter are saying? Whatever we can do to serve: teach, preach, clean, cook, wash, etc. then we need to do it the best we can! We need to show some zeal in our service or whatever we do for Christ and in His kingdom!

You’ve seen people at work. Some work steadily and efficiently and get work done in quality time. And some others you have to push to get them to do anything. What’s the difference? Motivation could be the difference. 

When God is at work in us through the power of His Spirit we will serve. We will be quick to serve and serve as well possible and even go beyond what is asked or expected of us. 

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 

LOVE BY SHARING WITH OTHERS

13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 

I Peter 4:7-10 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 

I Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

December 15, 2012

Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All Rights Reserved.

Making Room For JESUS In My Life

Luke 2:1-2:7

“What rooms do you keep Jesus out of in your life?” What kind of room do you make for Jesus? Do you make room – or push Him aside? Listen, the truth is Jesus shouldn’t have a room in your life – Jesus IS the room for your life.

It’s EASY to be Christian Sunday/Saturday morning at church around church people and church workers. It’s easy to be a Christian around other men and women of God. But are you a Christian every where else?…all day…everyday…every place. Are you Christlike? Are you a model of Christ. Do you possess the characteristics that exemplify JESUS? Do people even know you’re a Christian? Are you – bold in your faith?

Romans says: I am not ashamed of the Gospel – it is the power of God that brings Salvation. It’s not enough to just believe. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God – good – even the demons believe and tremble.

My prayer for all of us is that we make room for Jesus in our lives. Not just a little room – we give Him our entire life. Every piece of it. Not part of it; every part of it.

Stop pushing Jesus out. Stop keeping Jesus out or certain rooms or in certain rooms. Make room for Jesus in our lives. Make room for Jesus in your faith, make room for Jesus in your family and friends, in your finances – make room for Jesus in your entire life.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

December 13, 2013

Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.

Reasons for Giving Thanks

Text: Genesis 8:20-22

Giving thanks is more than bowing our heads and praying a little prayer over our daily food. It is also more than just a once-a-year event celebrated with friends, relatives, turkey and giving gifts. It is an attitude of heart and life, that leaves us in humble gratitude before God and men.

Our actions are governed by our attitudes. In other words, what we are determines what we do. We must be right on the inside before we can behave correctly on the outside. For thanksgiving, then, to work its way into our daily living, it must begin in our hearts.

Jesus taught this same principle during His earthly ministry.

“A GOOD MAN OUT OF THE GOOD TREASURE OF HIS HEART BRINGETH FORTH THAT WHICH IS GOOD; AND AN EVIL MAN OUT OF THE EVIL TREASURE OF HIS HEART BRINGETH FORTH THAT WHICH IS EVIL: FOR OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART HIS MOUTH SPEAKETH.” (LUKE 6:45)

What’s on the inside is what is going to come out! To be thankful, then, involves self- discipline. We must heed the admonition of Solomon.

“KEEP THY HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE; FOR OUT OF IT ARE THE ISSUES OF LIFE.” (PROV 4:23)

There is nothing easy about cultivating an appreciative attitude. It is something that we have to work on constantly in our inward man.

But, as we humble ourselves and cooperate with His Spirit, the “sweet aroma” of a grateful spirit will begin to issue out of our lives.

Thanksgiving should have first place in our actions.

If we are thankful in our hearts, we will be thankful in our daily living. “Thanksgiving is thanks-living!” That is, a thankful spirit is translated into our actions.

First, our daily lives should display our gratitude to God.

“EVERY GOOD GIFT AND EVERY PERFECT GIFT IS FROM ABOVE, AND COMETH DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHTS, WITH WHOM IS NO VARIABLENESS, NEITHER SHADOW OF TURNING.” (JAMES 1:17)

We should be determined then, by the grace of God, to always show our appreciation for His blessings.

Our daily lives should demonstrate our appreciation to those around us.

When we are sincerely thankful to God for His blessings we cannot help but be grateful for the kind deeds of others.

Let’s not forget to express a “thank you,” to others.

Thanksgiving should have first place in our approach to God.

When we think of approaching God, we usually think of prayer. But, the Bible instructs us to come before God, not only with “prayer and supplication,” but also “with thanksgiving” (Phil. 4:6).

Thanksgiving is simply giving something for something given. It is giving something back for something received. It is giving honor to the One who has honored us! It is blessing Him who has blessed us! It is a reciprocal offering!

Thanksgiving is one of the few things that is said to please God.

He is pleased with the preaching of the Gospel. 1Co. 1:21

He is pleased with Jesus Christ. Col. 1:19

He is pleased with faith. Heb. 11:5-6

But when we offer up “the sacrifice of praise…God is well pleased” Heb. 13:15-16

The Lord delights in, takes pleasure in our offerings of thanksgiving.

Have we been pleasing the Lord?

Is He well-pleased with us?

He is if we are thankful!

If our thanksgivings are to be acceptable to God, we must be clean within and without.

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
December 12, 2013
Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.

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The Invitation and the Excuses

Text: Luke 14:16-24

It is amazing what excuses people make and give for not coming to Christ or for not doing what the Lord is asking them to do. Some are too busy, some too religious to repent, some too worldly, some too proud etc.

The Lord Jesus once focused on this problem. He told the story we see in the scripture passage. It is the story of three kinds of men together with their empty reasons for not responding to the invitation that is given.

The supper time is this present age. The supper itself refers to the blessings and privileges provided for men in the sacrifice of God’s Son.

The many bidden are the Jews who received the first invitation and who had been advised a long time beforehand. The excuses are the silly objections brought by them against Jesus and His claims.

The poor and maimed are the publicans and sinners among both Jew and Gentile who accepted the invitation. Those compelled to come in from the highways and hedges are the strangers afar off who had no hope.

Those who shall never taste of the supper are the unbelieving Jewish nation, who have been cut off.

This parable sets forth great spiritual facts.
1. That God has provided the feast where mankind is invited to eat and drink of the bread and water of life. 2. That not everyone who is invited will accept the invitation.
3. That men will make excuse rather that face the main issue.

Come, for all classes are invited.
1. The poor
2. The maimed – crippled, deprived of limbs. Morally, the ones whose conscience has been seared and whose will-power is cut off.
3. The Halt – Those having all limbs but crippled or deformed.
4. The Blind – Walk pretty straight, but are in blackness of darkness all the time. Outward life right in eyes of men, but unable to see where they are going.

Come for there is still room. Filling fast, but yet still room. Know not hour God may tell his Son to rise and shut the door. Come now is the time. Come!

Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing

Copyright 2013, Daily Devotionals. All rights reserved.