Today I went back to my home town, and decided to pick up a few things that I needed for my new home. I only ended up with an old pitcher she used to make tea with, and an old pot. It’s been difficult for all of us to visit her apartment since she passed.
Among my grandmother’s belongings were her old notebooks. I thought about how she had notebooks in which she would write Bible trivia questions, and notes from studying her bible. She was ALWAYS writing away in her notebooks with her reading glasses on, while having her Bible open. Anyway, I had this urge to read her notes, or to look for her notebooks. Today, I had forgotten all about the notebooks until my sister, grandpa, and I were sitting and talking with each other. I looked over and noticed a few books.
I’m going to share a few of her notes at a time, where I can see that there are breaks in her notes. I would share these on my personal Facebook page, but there are a lot of notes. Plus, I want more than my own friends and family to see her “Messages from the Bible” as she has the notebook labeled.
I’ll include a picture of the first page, and then write all of the notes below to make it easier to read and see on one page.
Messages From the Bible – First Excerpt
“2012 – John the Baptist helps prepare us for Christ’s birth and a refining fire:”
“The Christmas is upon us. Sights and sounds of this most joyous of all holidays are everywhere — in the music on the radio and television, in the decoration of storefronts, and the houses of residence, and people feel like they’re happy and ready for this holiday season, when they’ve finished buying presents for relatives and friends.
If you are trying to be happier, quit trying to get it by spending money and focus on how you spend time, making time for friends and relatives is always important. First of all we must learn to Count our blessings. Be thankful for all the blessings you’ve been given. And don’t limit it to the material things you’ve been given, Don’t forget the spiritual ones. How we spend our time not our money is the key to happiness.
Paul the Apostle realized this when he was inspired to write, ‘How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places because we belong to Christ.’ (Ephesians 1:3) Listen to the words of Jesus in the regard.’ If you give you will receive. Whatever measure you use in giving your gift will return to you in full measure, Large or small, it will be used to measure what is given back to you.’ (Luke 6:38). Praise be to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his Good pleasure which he proposed in Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-9).
But for these who are celebrating the birth of Jesus, the spiritual preparation for the holiday should be much more important than getting ready in an physical sense. Just as John the Baptist came to ‘prepare the way’ for the birth of Jesus our Savior, so each of us as believers must prepare our heart and soul for Christ to enter. And do our best not to let physical preparations for the holiday crowd Jesus out of our life.
How can we possibly be spiritually ready for the arrival of our Lord and Savior in getting ourselves ready for his second coming, Without some preparation? We must prepare by taking time to study the scriptures, praying often and meditating we can prepare ourselves for Christ’s entry into our lives through the Holy Spirit. In fact, there’s no other way to reach God our Father because Jesus said we can only come to the Father through him. He is our intermediary.
In chapter one of Matthew, we read how John the Baptist came on the scene. ‘While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John called the Baptizer, was preaching in the desert country of Judea, His message was simple. ‘Change your life, God’s kingdom is here.’ What counts is your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house, make a clean sweep of your life. He’ll place everything true in it’s proper place before God; everything false, he’ll put out with the brush to be burned. (Matthew 1:1-12)”
…John made it clear that we can’t just change on the outside, we’ve got to change inside where it really counts — from the heart…What we say, what we do, and how we treat others.
Yes, John made it clear that we can’t just change on the outside, we’ve got to change inside where it really counts — from the heart. And that means showing we’ve changed by how we conduct out lives. What we say, what we do, and how we treat others. John preached three important things for all of us to take to heart as we prepare for the holy season. And for God’s presence in our lives.
‘Repent’ is the first word. It requires changing the direction our life is taking. We want wrong things and we often go after them. Even though we want better lives, we often sink deeper into our messed up lives. When we repent we quit trying to save ourselves and allow Jesus to save us. John also spoke of ‘Vipers’, he knew they were among those who came out to be baptized not because they had a repentant heart, but because it seemed to be a popular thing to do. They didn’t want to change their lives and they didn’t care what God was doing to save mankind from their sins. Do you go to church or belong to civic club to help others just because it’s the popular thing to do? Or do you do it because Jesus and his Love?
The third really important word spoken by John was ‘fire.’ If you’ve ever built a camp fire, you know how hot it can get. And anything put into the fire is changed and heated up immediately from the outside to the inside. When God comes into your heart, it’s like a fire, you can’t help but be changed and warmed with the glory of Salvation.
So when you profess to want God to come into your life, you’ve got to be ready for a change, because he’s going to change your life. If that frightens you, don’t Let it. It’s always a positive change that he makes in your life. But it will be out of your control, you won’t be in control. It’s a consuming fire that John the Baptist was talking about when Jesus comes into your life. It’s a refining fire that molds us and shapes us into what God wants us to be. This is what John the Baptist was preparing people for, to follow our Savior Jesus in life and in death and accept his sacrifice for our sins. ‘Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is near.’ (Matthew 3:2)
If you or someone you know are having difficulty getting the power of God to work in your life, chances are, you simply haven’t plugged into the right power source. The basic problem most of us have is that we have been disconnected from God. Most people regularly ignore or cross over God’s Law. None of us can measure up to how great God is, so our connection with God can’t work ‘short-circuited.’
The power of God can’t work as it should in out lives and there is nothing we can do about it…EXCEPT…accept the simple way God himself arranged to reconnect us to himself and his power.”
Okay, I’ll post the next excerpt, “How to plug into God’s Power” soon!