HE MAKES THE NATIONS PROVE

Evil men rage madly.  Tyrants and rogue nations taunt the civilized world.  Societies are unhinged by lust and addiction.  Because of villains, the candle of peace, joy, and hope flickers in the wind.

Villains come in all shapes in sizes.  They may hurl test missiles to taunt the nations.  They may hire terrorists to destabilize the world.  They may run factories to kill the unborn.  They may profit from drug addiction.  They may run a social media lie machine.  They may poison young minds in university lecture halls.  They may be the grasping, soulless politicians who will do anything to stay in power.

And they assume nothing can stop them.  They believe they shape the world.   Psalm 73: 6-9 says, “therefore pride serves as their necklace; Violence covers them like a garment.  Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression; They speak loftily.  They set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue walks through the earth.”

Arrogance is the hallmark of evil.  Believing you are in control is the quintessential delusion of oppressors.  How, oh man, can you believe you decide the outcome?

The boasts and actions of today’s evildoers are strangely familiar.  They remind me of that day the Wise Men arrived in Jerusalem.  The entire city was in an uproar—without invitation and warning—heads of state, kings, and potentates arrive, with a bustling entourage, and treasure.  What could this mean?

Satan had taken every precaution to prevent the Christ catastrophe.  This baby will not be born.  This light will never shine in darkness.  Yet, all the hordes of hell, and their earthly minions could not stop the arrival—the desire of ages had come.  A baby imposed its will on the whole disapproving world.

Herod oozes with hate.  He fakes homage to the new born king.  He asks the Magi to come back with the location of the child, “that I may come and worship him also.”

Angels intervene, and the Wise Men escape.  Still, Herod orders the massacre of all baby boys in Bethlehem.

What kind of insanity makes you believe you can kill God incarnate?  And how deep a hate is this, that the angel must tell Joseph “Herod will never recover from this—you must not return until he is dead.”  What madness!

It’s the madness of today.  It’s the madness of the United Nations—who do not even understand why they hate Israel.  It’s the insanity of those who want to erase the teachings and values of Christ—as if they were a disease.  It’s the petty, insufferable thinking that turned Merry Christmas into a hate crime.  It’s all the same witch’s brew that brought us the destruction of marriage, free speech, and faith.

How did Herod’s story end?  A fitting end: He died during a lunar eclipse.  God switched off Herod’s night light shortly after the birth of Christ.

The Psalmist who despaired that evil men would win saw the truth at last:  “When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.  Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.   Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!  They are utterly consumed with terrors.”  Psalm 73:16-19

But, stars, and angels are not the only miracles of Christmas.  Classic Christmas Carols are also miracles.  How else can we explain such enduring, and beautiful songs?  Profound truth, and unequaled poetry lives in them.  We sing them so often their miraculous eloquence flies right past us.  Take for example these words from Joy to the World: “He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove, The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love.”

Let every evil doer who exalts themselves against God take heed.   He makes the nations prove!  He will make you, evil man, prove His Glory.  Not only when every knee will bow.  Long before then.  Every plan will backfire.  Every wicked plot will be confiscated, reworked, and morph into something that advances God’s plan.

Beware God hater.  The Lord of Lords is mounting a response to the madness of the world.  Your schemes will fail fantastically.

Rejoice beloved child of God.  Something big is coming.  Prepare for impossible breakthroughs.

If you battle despair take heart:  He makes the nations prove.  If darkness has weighed you down with care, let Christmas—the real Christmas—do its mighty work in your soul.

This is not just the birthday of Jesus, it is the yearly reminder that evil cannot win.

I leave you with the words of another Carol, I heard the bells of Christmas day:

And in despair I bowed my head There is no peace on earth I said

For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth goodwill to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep God is not dead, nor does He sleep

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth goodwill to men

 

Mechelle, our entire ministry family, and I, wish you all

of the glory, and love of Christmas   

The Best Christmas Quotes in the World.

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The asteroid did not hit Washington D.C. as the Mayans promised.   So, as a consolation and a break from all of the insanity I  humbly and confidently present to you the best Christmas quotes in the world.  And I dare you to disagree!  (Or to add more of your own!)

  Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it.  Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it.  ~Richard Lamm

Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.  ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby.

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank.  People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’  or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’  ~Dave Barry, “Christmas Shopping:  A Survivor’s Guide”

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home.  ~Carol Nelson

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.  ~Roy L. Smith

Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year – and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority.  ~W.J. Cameron

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.  ~Burton Hillis

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!  ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

There has been only one Christmas – the rest are anniversaries.  ~W.J. Cameron

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.  ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Isn’t it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for – I don’t know what exactly, but it’s something that you don’t mind so much not having at other times.  ~Kate L. Bosher

Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish.  Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.  ~Francis C. Farley

Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve.  Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.  ~Carrie Latet

G. K. Chesterton

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? – G. K. Chesterton

 I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph. – Shirley Temple

The only blind person at Christmas time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.- Helen Keller

Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it ‘white’. Bing Crosby

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.- Dave Barry

“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”  ― Ronald Reagan

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.” ― Sigrid Undset

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” ― Andy Rooney

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.” ― Jay Leno

“Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“And how did little Tim behave?” asked Mrs. Cratchit, when she had rallied Bob on his credulity and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content.

“As good as gold,” said Bob, “and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see.”

― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Peace and Joy When the World is Falling Apart.

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One of the greatest mistakes that modern preaching made was getting us all to seek peace and joy.  Peace and Joy are not things we are to go after.  They are things that God adds to those who are going after the right things.

Let me make the case by using the story of the Wise Men.  Imagine the world they knew.  Tradition says they were from the school of the Magi in Persia.  They were Kings and likely billionaires.

They came under the influence of Judaism because of Daniel centuries before and because an edict from Solomon that the whole world should have knowledge of the Lord God Jehovah.

Let’s imagine the turmoil in their souls when they saw the star.  They knew it signaled the birth of the King of Kings because they had long before come under the Spirit’s influence.

Should we go or not?  How do you prepare your kingdom for a prolonged absence?  What if our enemies invade?

Then the real question hit them.  “What if we do not go?  Imagine living out the rest of our days knowing that we were invited to the greatest event in history and we stayed home.”

They found profound peace because they said yes.  Isaiah 26:3 says,  “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

The person kept in perfect peace is not focusing on peace, they are focusing on God and in trusting God.

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The Wise Men learned that God gives peace to those who willingly endanger themselves in a divine quest.  Peace has no place with bored believers seeking escape.  Matthew Henry said, “we cannot be safe so long as we are secure.”  No matter how hard you try to secure yourself against the upheaval in the world you will still battle anxiety.  You cannot ask life to leave you alone and think God will add peace.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Peace is clearly a byproduct in this verse.  It comes from believing in what Christ did on the Cross and what He did before His Father.

Here is the danger of seeking peace while ignoring God’s call:  Luke 19:41 “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”  Let that be a warning to us all.  We must pursue the things that make for our peace.

Joy overtakes those who obey orders.  Matthew 2: 9 “After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Again, joy is not a feeling you work up but a gift God adds to those who are walking by faith and not by sight.  Two years before the star rose signaling the location.  It was their duty to get there and then they could see the star once more.

1 Peter 1:8 says, “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”  Loving Him even though you cannot see Him releases joy.

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Never forget: Peace and Joy are not things we are to go after.  They are things that God adds to those who are going after the right things.