A Message from Bill and Scriptures by Topic
From Bill Howard
‘Tis the Season
‘Tis the season to be jolly! ‘Tis the season to be joyous! ‘Tis the season to be thankful!
Thankful, again? Wasn’t that last month?
No, my friend, we are called to be thankful everyday and in all circumstances.
So what season calls for us to be jolly, joyous, and thankful?
Christmas, of course!
Because we’re jolly with friends and family? Joyous over the gifts we receive? Thankful we even got a gift?
Yes, to all the above! As we gather with friends and family, some who we rarely see, it is a festive occasion. The exchanging of gifts can show our love for one another. But no gift can come close to the Gift mankind received when our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born. Christmas has become so commercialized over the past century that many do not even know the truth of what we celebrate.
Because of God’s great love and mercy, and because sinful man could not save himself, God sent His Son to be born as a man, to live a life proclaiming truth, and to die on a cross to pay our sin debt. That’s the true celebration of Christmas—to celebrate not only His birth, but also His life, and His sacrificial death, and His resurrection to new life, and His ascension to heaven, and His intercession for us at the Father’s right hand, and His promised return to take us to be with Him. Doesn’t that give you reason to be thankful? Won’t that be a joyous time? Won’t we have a jolly good time in eternity? But there’s one thing you have to do.
Yeah? I figured there was a catch.
You have to receive the Gift. I know you like getting gifts, who doesn’t? But this is the greatest Gift of all time! One that lasts forever! Speaking of forever, if you refuse the Gift, you’ll spend forever regretting it. Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins, but if you don’t accept His offer of salvation by believing in Him and making Him Lord of your life, you have rejected the Gift. John 3:36 tells us, “ And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” Rejection gets you eternal death. Wouldn’t you rather have eternal life?
‘Tis the season, and Jesus is the reason!
Scripture by Topic from Randy
Topic : Protection and Growth
Ephesians 6:10-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Whole Armor of God
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[b] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[c] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 3:14-20 New Living Translation (NLT)
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a]15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.