Archive for October, 2010

Immanuel = God With Us


Do we, as believers in Christ, take the meaning of Immanuel literally? Speaking for myself; if I did I would have a whole lot more faith than my actions, thoughts, and words often reveal.

When Jesus sent the disciples away to do His work of spreading the gospel: healing the sick, ministering to the needy and doing miracles in His name; Jesus knew His disciples were at a place where they trusted God would be with them wherever they went. Jesus gave them the “power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases”. -Luke 9:1 This authority He gave them was an authority of the ultimate kind and is not given to those who cannot be trusted with it.

We should beware those who claim to have such authority.  Are they giving glory to God or to themselves?  Do their lives exemplify persons who fully trust in Christ?  Are they walking with God in their personal lives?

The disciples had the greatest example of faith in the person of Jesus.  One whose very name means God With Us, Jesus always gave glory to His Father in heaven for the miracles that were done through Him. (see Luke 8:26-38)  Even Jesus knew who the authority and power belonged to and the One who decides who to share that authority and power with.

I must ask myself, can I be trusted with God’s power and authority?, and honestly admit that I cannot.  I must first believe that God is literally with me.  The meaning of His name is not just figuratively speaking, but it is a reality that I can count on.  I must trust that God is with me at all times and in all situations.  My actions, reactions, words and deeds must prove that He exists among us.

Please join me in the goal of proving with our lives that Immanuel = God with us!

In Christ,

Brother Jim

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Happiness Is


Does anyone remember those old “Happiness is…” definitions that used to be in newspapers and magazines, and on billboards across the country?  Sayings like “Happiness is like jam.  You can’t even spread a little without getting some on yourself.” -anon.  Even the Peanuts comic strip incorporated the “Happiness is” craze into some of their newspaper comic strips, the most popular being “Happiness is a Warm Puppy” -Charles Shultz. 

I was reminded of this when I was about to begin my morning devotional.  The Spirit of the Lord was convicting me about what my devotions had become: a daily ritual; one of many “daily duties” that I felt was a fullfillment of one of the requirements to call myself a “Christian”.  In essence, I’ve been saying, “See You tomorrow, Jesus” and going about my other daily routines.  Not to say it is bad to have routines.  I’m just saying that Jesus should not just be one part of the Christian’s daily life, but should be the mainstay.  He should be invited to walk with us throughought the whole day; throughout all our routines and everthing else that comes across our paths.  This is the key to our happiness.  The apostle Paul figured this out when he wrote, “Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks to the Lord. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today, I’ve been given this definition of happiness: 

Happiness is:  not ever having to say goodbye to Jesus!  You can quote me on that!

In Christ,

Brother Jim

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