Category Archives: Bible

Palm Sunday

” Jesus is coming!” A  girl told a merchant” he’s coming to rescue the Jews. He’ll march into the streets of Jerusalem with an army skilled to take on the Romans. They say he’s coming soon,”

” None sense,” the merchant responded, handing grapes to his customers” Who is this Jesus you’re referring too?”

The child slapped her knee and edged closer to the merchant” He’s a Nazarene. A son of a carpenter who wields gifts, gifts from the Lord. He performs miracles.  You know, supernatural things no ordinary man could do,” the girls eyes lit up with joy like a warm fire.

 

The merchant crossed his arms” I know what miracles are child. How does someone as young as you know so much about this miracle worker? Are you trying to trick me into giving you something?”

” No sir. I’m spreading the word. My cousin told my brother and I overheard their conversation while hiding under a bush,”

” You know that is called eavesdropping. It’s a sin to eavesdrop, child,”

” I don’t think so,” the girl kicked a pebble off her sandle” Aren’t you excited to meet him?”

The merchant sighed” I’ve lived long enough child to not believe in such foolishness,”

” It’s not foolishness. Jesus is real and he’s coming soon,” the child waved her hands in the air, yet alerted a Roman guard who approached them.

‘ Is this child bothering you? Go home, child,” the roman guard roared, pushing the child away with his shield, but the merchant stood in front of the Roman guard and bowed.

” Stop. The child isn’t bothering me. Come and I will take you home,” the merchant lead the girl away from the guard. They wandered out of the market toward a green field” see what trouble your story has brought us? Don’t speak about this Jesus person ever again.”

As the merchant wandered back to his stand, the girl walked home. She felt ashamed to put the merchant into danger, yet she couldn’t stop thinking about Jesus. The merchant must be wrong. Throughout her village word spread about Jesus and His miracles. Surely he would arrive and bring salvation to her people. The sun set over the hilltop as the girl returned to her home. Her mother stood in the center of the room dishing out soup to all of her siblings.

” Haley, where have you been?” her mother asked with her hands at her waist” why have you come home so late?”

” I was telling strangers about Jesus in the market. A roman soldier told me to leave, but a merchant told the soldier I wasn’t bothering him, so he lead me away from the market and I returned home,”

The girl’s mother dropped her  bowl to the floor. The soup splattered across the room” Goodness, child. You could had gotten yourself killed. Who told you about Jesus?”

 Haley’s mouth was blocked by Mateo’s hand” Haley must have heard someone say something about Jesus the other day. You know how Haley is mom. She tells people stories to brighten their day.” he grinned and lead the  girl into her bedroom” You can’t be telling others about Jesus,”

 

” Why not? You talked about him with Aaria,”

 

” We’re older than you. It’s dangerous to speak about Jesus, especially around the  Romans.” Mateo instructed, but Haley’s admiration of Jesus couldn’t be stopped. For the next few days, Haley spoke about Jesus wherever she went, but she did make sure no Roman soldiers were present. As days passed by the child grew anxious to meet Jesus, but he still didn’t arrive in the city of Jerusalem. Doubt overcame her thoughts. Where was Jesus?

As Haley fetched water with her sisters, down by the creak, a voice cried out” Jesus is here!” the girl dropped her pail and rushed toward the city. As she approached the city gate a crowd stood in the path and blocked her view.

” That is Jesus!” A  stranger gasped” he’s over there, riding in on a donkey.” but Haley still couldn’t see him. She pushed and shoved her way through the massive crowd, but  Jesus was gone. The crowd followed a  trail of palm branches, revealing where he had gone.

 Haley said to herself” I won’t be able to fit into the crowd within the city,” As the child lost hope a clever plan entered her mind. She ran around the crowd and found another entrance to the city. Inside she climbed a tree and watched for Jesus.  She held on tight, but the branch gave away. She fell from the tree into the middle of the street.  Haley spit up dirt and sand and the crowd grew silent. Her jaw dropped as a man in a long, white robe walked toward her.

He greeted her with a smile” Hello my child. The Lord admire’s your perseverance.”

Haley stared at his followers” Where is the army with the soldiers fit to stop the Romans?”

Jesus placed a hand on her shoulder” The Lord can do good things without causing a fire,” Jesus helped the girl to stand. Then Him and His followers marched into the center of the city. A tear rolled down the girls face. She stood and ran back to the merchant.

 ” Jesus is real. I just met him!” Haley boasted.

 

” Really?” the merchant grinned” Take me to him. I must learn if eavesdropping is a sin or not.”

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Resolution Within the Nativity Story

The origin of the messiah is fascinating. His life, death and resurrection from the cross has perplexed humanity for centuries. I’ve read through the gospels a few times, yet this year I figured something out which I hadn’t realized before.

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The first person to hear about Jesus was his earthly mother Mary. Mary was no Taylor Swift. She was merely a child whose life was meant to be average. Mary grew up in a small town called Nazareth within Galilee. Like many  young women in her day, Mary’s future was pretty much chosen for her. Her parents decided she’d merry Joseph a carpenter who was born in the great city of Jerusalem. Mary didn’t know Joseph. She wasn’t ready to accept marriage, yet under her father’s authority she must willingly wed this man.  Here is where the Lord rose the action. He sends down an angel named Gabriel  to greet Mary and tell her she’s going to bare the son of God. And He will be named Jesus savy? What moment sticks out here? Maybe it’s a little vague, but I’ll explain it to you loyal reader. Who first finds out about Jesus? Mary. Not Joseph, not the wise men, not King Herod, but Mary. Lets jump ahead to others who God shared the good news with.

Out in the fields the shepherd’s watch over the sheep. As the shepherds notice a bright star in the sky an angel told them what was up.  To put it shortly shepherd’s weren’t famous. Being a shepherd wasn’t like playing in the NBA or being a hit movie star in Hollywood. They kept watch over animals and were like loners. Before anyone else know’s  about Jesus God told the shepherd’s.  Pretty epic, right?

God don’t care about how much wealth you got. He doesn’t care about how many shoes you own or how many likes you get. What God cares about is us. God created man and man is meant to have a relationship with the Lord. Mary trusted in God. She could of scoffed at Gabriel and been like” Uh no thank you.” yet she understood God had a plan for her and trusted her to fulfill it. Same goes for the shepherd’s. No one talked to the shepherd’s, yet God sent an angel down to tell them the good news.  If God has that much trust in us then we shouldn’t have a problem, putting our trust in Him. Merry Christmas indeed.

Lets go Down to the River to Pray

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“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Isaiah44:3

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way!

O sisters let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the robe & crown?
Good Lord show me the way

O brothers let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
Come on brothers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way

O fathers let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O fathers let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the robe and crown?
Good Lord show me the way

O mothers let’s go down
Come on down, don’t you wanna go down?
Come on mothers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown?
Good Lord show me the way

O sinners, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sinners, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the robe and crown?
Good Lord show me the way.

What is Love?

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1st Corinthians 13:4-7

 

 Since it’s Valentine’s Day or better yet the “Week of Love” A group of children at a local elementary school were asked what they thought love is. One boy said that love is difficult to explain. He’s exactly right.   Many today  have distorted God’s meaning of love. God created love, so we cannot make false claims about what love really is, so what exactly is love? Well love is difficult to explain.

There are different things we love in different ways. I love sports and books, yet I also love my friends,  pets, and family more. You may love that new jacket or pair of NIKE’s you recently bought, yet do you love it as much as your home? When you’re biting into a juicy hamburger saying” OMG I love this hamburger.” is that you talking or your stomach?  I think the verse above really explains what love is in God’s view. God loved you first, so pay attention to His word.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew5:44

When Jesus was among us as a man He showed love to everyone. He showed love to the Pharisee’s, the people who preached God’s word daily. He also showed love to the broken who  felt like God could never love them. He  showed His love to men and women white or black. He loved liberals, conservatives, and independent’s  of their day. He didn’t call people” snowflakes” or” racist”. Jesus didn’t block  His haters out of His life. Ok so Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets were not around back then, but you get the point. Of course there moments when Jesus was  discouraged by His followers, yet he took it with a grain of salt and told them” Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”  It can get extremely  difficult showing people love, because it’s so much easier to hate, yet like JC we should show love, kindness, and respect to those around us. Lets show love the way God intended it to be.

 

Esther- How God Works Silently in Our Lives

This passed week I have been studying the book of  Esther. I’m looking to study certain aspects of the Bible one on one instead of just scrolling along. As Christian’s we should have a firm understanding of scripture and how God  can perform many miracles. The book of Esther is from the Old Testament. An interesting fact from the book of Esther is that God is never mentioned.  In addition, I also have a cousin named Esther which is cool.  It covers the life of Esther who was a Jewish Queen in the time of the Achaemenid Empire which was the very first Persian Empire.  The Jewish holiday of Purim is a celebration of what occurred from the book of Esther. Likewise to most stories from the Bible the Jewish people are a small fish in a huge ocean, struggling to overcome their rulers and other powerful nations around them that seek to destroy them.

 

In the beginning, the Acheamenid king was Xerxes the first. Xerxes was having this feast. He was said to be in high spirits, mostly since he was drinking a lot of wine. Many times Xerxes is mentioned drinking heavily. He comes across as boastful King who likes to party, and a man with little common sense.  While in high spirits he ordered his queen  Vashti to appear before him and his guest. He wished to display her  beauty, but when asked to follow her king’s commands she refused to be at the party.  King Xerxe’s  was puzzled and very upset by her decision, so he asked his wise men what he should do. He also created a decree that all Persian men should be masters of their home. Anyways The wise men understood  that word would spread like jelly on a piece of toast about Queen Vashti’s refusal which would cause  commoner wife’s to rebuke their husbands, so the wise guys decided she must be punished. Soon Queen Vashti was killed, leaving the drunkard Persian King searching for a new bride.

A little while later King Xerxes was once again in high spirit which must be the old phrase for” he’s feeling the buzz.” He decides to hold a beauty pageant   sort of like Miss. Universe to find his new bride/Queen. This is where Esther and her Uncle  Mordechai enter the story. Esther hides  her identity and wins the competition, becoming King Xerxes new bride. Xerxe becomes  so obsessed  with Esther that soon enough Esther becomes the new Queen of Persia. Around this time Mordechai over heard a conversation where two men or more were plotting to murder the king. Mordechai tells Esther, so Esther goes on to tell the king and end this devious plot.  At this point comes the villain of the story and his name was Haman.

Haman is a dissented   of the ancient Canaanites, so likewise to Queen Esther he’s not Persian.  The Persian King gives Haman a promotion which makes him a very important official, so Haman becomes conceited about his new role. Basically he wants everyone to bow down to him and praise his name. On the other hand, Mordechai does not allow Haman to boss him around which makes Haman very unhappy. Haman goes on to get permission from the king to create a decree to  kill all of the Jewish people. To decide what day this purge of the Jewish people will begin Haman rolls a dice. I guess the game of Monopoly was much more vicious in those days. The dice shows that eleven months later on the 13th of Adar all the Jews shall die.  After completing this scheme, King Xerxe and Haman go have a drink and gloat over what is ahead.

 

At this point, Esther and Mordechai are the Jewish people’s last hope at surviving, so they created a plan. Esther would go to the Persian King and reveal her true identity  to him. She would also ask him to  reverse the decree and save her people. The problem here is that asking the king for anything without a royal decree is against Persian law and may lead to death.  King Xerxe tells Esther that perhaps her redemption may arrive in another matter. Later in the day, Mordechai tells Esther that this maybe the reason why she  had become queen in this moment of time. Esther’s bravery shows as she goes to the king and tells him ” If I perish, I perish.” this was like her Patrick Henry” Give me Liberty or give me Death.” moment.

At this point in the story, Esther’s power begins to grow. Esther holds a few banquets for the king and his officials. We all know by now that KIng Xerxe’s loves to find ways to drink more wine. He just cannot help himself and neither could Haman. On his way home from the banquet Haman is high in spirit aka feeling the buzz. He notices Mordechai walking down the street. Again Haman’s anger toward Mordechai grows. Haman orders that a huge stake be placed in the city for Mordechai to be  impaled on in the morning. As things turned for the worst God enters the picture.

The same night that the banquet was held King Xerxe’s cannot sleep, so he has the royal Chronicles read to him.  As he’s being read too he hears how Mordechai saved his life somehow forgetting this event earlier on. I’m guessing his short memory had to do with his love of alcohol, but that is only my opinion.  In the morning Haman arrives, asking the king when Mordechai will be slayed, but the Persian King tells Haman that Mordechai should live and be praised in a huge celebration.

Once again Esther holds a 2nd banquet. At this banquet, Esther reminds the Persian king that she is Jewish and that Haman created a decree to murder all the Jewish people. Again the king is in high spirits. Out of rage Xerxe’s has Haman impaled on a stake. This was both disturbing, yet humorous.  Still Haman’s decree was still in place, so they had to find some way to veto that rubbish. Esther and her uncle create a new plan to reverse the decree, because lets face it this king is pretty gullible.  Mordechai and the king agree to revamp this decree, allowing the Jewish people to fight for their lives and survive this purge. Mordechai now becomes the 2nd highest official to the king.

The decree day arrives and the Jewish people get a mighty victory over those who seek to destroy them. Mordechai and Esther create the holiday known as Purim to celebrate this moment.

 

The book of Esther to me is showing us how God still does His thing even when He’s not being mentioned. The Jewish people were in danger and God  came to their rescue  as always. God took Esther, a common young woman, and transformed her into one of the most important women of her age. Even when we’re not thinking about God, He’s always thinking about us. Think about something cool that may have happen in your life this week or last week. Maybe it was only a coincidence or maybe it was the Lord? Think about that for a few moments.

 

 

 

1st Thessalonians 5-11

For the last few months I’ve been, reading each book from the New Testament, starting with Matthew.  Right now I’m on First Thessalonian’s. Whenever I read from my Bible I come across a certain verse which sticks out from the rest of the text. The verse will stick to my memory for a few weeks. While reading the Bible I  enjoy researching the verse and figure out what God is, trying to tell me. There is more than one message to each verse. I also, enjoying blogging about Bible verses cause it’s a way to connect with fellow Christ followers and see what the verse means to them. Right now my mind is bobbling First Thessalonians 5:11, so lets jump into what my thoughts are about this verse. Lets look into what the book of First Thessalonian’s is all about first.

Thessalonians is a group of letters created by Paul in the years 52 to 54 AD. These verses gather information from the eyes of Paul which he witness while, spreading the gospel in a town called Thessalonians.  Timothy and Silas were also in the town of Thessalonians with Paul. Paul is encouraging the believers within the city to stay firm to their faith. Thessalonians is a book all about faith, hope and love which is a key point to what Thessalonian’s 5-11 says below.

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

This is a pretty awesome verse. As a Christian it bothers me to see so many Christians unpleased and acting shellfish. There is a lot of that going on in modern day. Lets put our feet into the town of Thessalonians. From this book we can see that life was not easy for a believer in this town. The pagans and other none believers were probably very immoral and ungodly. They probably mocked God or Jesus. This probably made a Christian in Thessalonians feel icky, afraid and upset. It probably lead to many arguments and disapproval among the believers.  Paul is, pleading with the believers to encourage one another. When someone is low do we continue to beat them down or lift them up?  Do we find ways to encourage or to shame?

As a Christ follower I live to encourage others. That is never an easy task. Normally I want to yell at a foolish person for being so foolish or I think about myself instead of others. Clearly that is not being Christ like. We need to encourage. Encouragement is very rewarding. Encouraging words can do so much for a person’s life. Try to encourage someone this week. Tell them you care about them and make their day special. When my friends are encouraging me or I encourage them it feels so good! Not only will that make someone happy, yet it will please God very much. Satan wants us to be divided.  A house divided cannot stand, so let’s build our walls high.

 

Have you read First Thessalonians5-11? If so what are your thoughts on this amazing verse. Please let me know in the comment section below. Have a blessed week!

 

 

 

Good Friday

For jwhile we were still weak, at the right time k Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if pwhile we were enemies   We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by This life. Romans 5:6-10

Good Friday marks the day we celebrate the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s kind of odd to celebrate a death, yet His life, death, and resurrection  was so extraordinary. The past two months I’ve been, reading from the gospels. All of the Bible is important, yet the books of Matthew Mark, Luke and John depict the origin of the Christian faith. The Jews were, longing for a savior. There were many prophecy’s about who this savior would be. Many believed the savior had already arrived, speaking of Moses, Elijah etc.  Along comes Jesus of Nazareth. This Jesus was, nothing like the savior they assumed him to be. Jesus was an average, looking man who rode into Jerusalem on a donkey not a glamorous horse. He was followed by 12 men who were all sinful and some looked down upon. Jesus did not have a huge army of angels or fierce brutes to take on the Roman government.

 ” Do not think   I have come to abolish the law of the prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them,”  Matthew 5-17

During his life Jesus preached the gospel peacefully. As Jesus said he came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. Jesus did not come to show boat and sit in a mighty castle, eating grapes from a basket that is probably worth millions if found today. Although Jesus preformed so many miracles, such as healing the sick, the  Pharisees were not pleased with Jesus. The Pharisees felt threatened by Jesus.  So threatened  that they had him put on trail to be crucified. With his crucifixion, Jesus broke the barrier between God and man.

” For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son, that whoever belief in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,”- John 3-16

Jesus sacrificed himself for us. He gave his life even for the worst of sinners. He gave His life for those who do not deserve it. He gave his life for me and you. I hope we can think about this not only today, but at least for a single minute each day. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord.