Let’s Talk About Laws

For what seems like half a decade, our daily news has been flooded with news of mass shootings and terrorist attacks.  Our local channels almost without fail will start their news cast with the latest homicides in the city.  It’s to the point of absurdity.  Of course, there is a reason WHY they do this.  They are trying to push us to the point to where we say that we need to get rid of guns.  They push these stories out to the point that we are exhausted of hearing about it so the only logical thing we can do is make laws banning guns.  The weapon of choice for the anti-gun control crowd is the AR-15.  The media calls this an assault rifle.  By the way, “AR” does not stand for assault rifle.  The official name is ArmaLite, so that is where the AR comes from.  Oh, and on a side note, I’ve heard some anti-gun people call the AR-15, and AK-15…..sorry, but if you’re going to be “anti” anything, you might want to be familiar with what you’re against.  Just sayin’.

First of all, we have laws pertaining to the buying and selling of guns.  We have background checks in place.  We have cities and states that have passed some of the strictest gun laws in the country.  But guess what?  CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY THE LAW!  And, I’m not even sure if the government is enforcing the current laws.  A lot of our elected officials, it seems, have a problem with following the law themselves, so what makes us think that they have any desire to uphold the laws in place for the buying and selling of guns?  I mean, look at Chicago.  They boast of having the strictest gun laws but, yet, their homicide rate is ridiculously high.  So, tell me.  How are those laws working out for them??

So, here is the point of my post.  The purpose of “laws” are to tell people what is right and what is wrong.  What behaviors are acceptable and what are not.  Let’s look at the Ten Commandments (the Mosaic LAW), shall we.  How many of us perfectly keep all Ten Commandments?  Be honest.  NONE of us can keep every single one of them.  There are Christians who take the LORD’s name in vain.  I’ve heard it.  We’ve all lied at some point in our life.  We’ve all experienced envy over something someone else has, or committed adultery (remember just lusting about someone else in your mind is adultery).  And none of us keeps our civil laws perfectly either.  Any Christian reading this ever got a speeding ticket?  What about recording a pirated copy of a movie or song even though the law states that to do so is a federal crime?  So, if none of us can keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, and none of us follow our civil laws perfectly, what makes you think that every single person is going to follow new gun laws??  Like I said earlier, the law is there to tell us what is right and wrong.  But the law CANNOT force us to obey the law.  I know this because my house is on a one-way street and at 4:30 in the morning, there is no one else driving on my road, so one morning, to keep from having to go the long way around to get to where I was going (work), I drove down my street going the wrong way because I knew there would be no one else who was going to be on that street that early in the morning.  Well, guess what?  That morning there just happened to be a police car sitting in the church parking lot around the corner from my house at 4:30 AM and he gave me a ticket.  Even though there’s signs on either end of my road that says “One Way Street”, those signs did not keep me from driving the wrong way on my street.  Know what keeps me from driving the wrong way on my street now?  A $288 ticket!!  I suffered the consequences of my actions and that is what keeps me going in the right direction now.  I just wish Mr. Po-Po is there when everyone else drives the wrong way on my street…..in the afternoons…..in broad daylight.  But, no, he was there at 4:30 in the morning when no one else is driving that road.

Back to my point……laws can’t force people to obey.  You can scream about needing more laws all day long but those new laws won’t suddenly make people righteous and law-abiding citizens.  If people aren’t obeying the laws we have now, they’re not going to suddenly obey the new ones.  What needs to happen is for our officials to ENFORCE the laws we have now!!  And when someone gets caught breaking said laws, make them pay the consequences.  I could get on a tangent about our justice system but that’s a whole other can of worms for another day.

We need to use common sense about this.  The law has no power in and of itself.  The power comes from the ones making the laws when they enforce them.  And right now, they’re not doing a very good job of enforcing the laws we have now.  Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but my guess is the government doesn’t WANT to enforce them so that they can persuade us, the people, that what we have now isn’t working.  Well, of course, they aren’t working because the government isn’t doing THEIR job in enforcing them.  It’s time to wake up and make our elected officials do their job and enforce the current laws we have now.  More restrictions just make it harder for the normal, law-abiding people to obtain guns.  These laws that our government wants to make are supposed to target the criminals, but I believe they are wanting to make it harder for the rest of us.  To paraphrase a quote I saw the other day, “The answer to stopping crazy people with guns are sane people with better aim.”

Stop being afraid of guns.  Be afraid of a government who wants to take away your right to defend yourself because if they take one right away, they will start chipping away at other rights.  Anything can be used as a weapon:  baseball bats, kitchen knives, an axe, speeding cars, a truck full of fertilizer.  But they’re targeting guns because a group of patriotic citizens with guns are enemies of a government who wants to become totalitarian.  If you don’t like guns.  That’s fine.  That’s your right.  If you choose to defend yourself with a can of mace or pepper spray, you have every right to do so.  But for those who want to defend themselves with a gun, and they prefer an AR-15, that is a right that should NOT be taken away.

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LIFE IS FLEETING

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This past September, my family experienced the death of two loved ones in the same week.  The first being my brother-in-law who was tragically killed in a car accident on his way home from work in the wee hours of the morning.  The accident that took his life was on Tuesday, his funeral that Friday, and the next day, my mom passed away after nearly three weeks of being in hospice care.  Today, we got the news that the mom of one of our friends passed away.  Then, I read on Facebook a post from a woman who nearly lost her 17 year old son in rollover accident that was no fault of his own.  In her article, she posted how, after her son came home from the hospital, she was folding laundry and she began weeping realizing that she still had a son whose clothes she could still fold while there was another mother somewhere who just lost her child and would never have the pleasure of being able to take care of his/her clothes.

It’s amazing at what the smallest, most vague things can seem so important after you’ve lost a loved one.  But, it also can make you think about what things we’re doing that, at the time, seems so necessary and important, but in reality, it’s keeping us from spending quality time with our loved ones.

If we were given the choice of spending the day with our spouse and/or family members sight-seeing and going places we’ve never visited and making memories, or staying home and trying to make our home look like the front cover of Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens, how many of us would choose the first over the last?  Or, how many of us would choose to get as much overtime as possible, all for the purpose of getting more money so that we can get more toys, but never being able to take advantage of those “toys” because we’re always working just to pay for them?  To some people, they believe their worth is in how hard they work, or in how immaculate they can make their homes, or in how much stuff they can accumulate, but see no value in the time they spend with their loved ones.  Then they wake up one day and that person is gone.  They look back and see all the times they could have spent with them, but instead, their focus was on things that have no value.  Don’t get me wrong!  I like a clean, well-organized house.  But that’s just something I haven’t yet mastered 🙂 Because, let’s be honest.  We can have the most clean, immaculate house on the block, but we could come home one day and that house is burnt to the ground, or a tornado can come through and wipe it off it’s foundation.

Or how about that hobby or that job we spend so much time at?  We could be one of the top employees in our company, but still come in one day and be told, “Sorry, we’re downsizing and we don’t need you anymore.”  Been there, been told that!!!

We could lose our house, we could lose our jobs, we could lose our cars, we could lose any number of possessions we own, but all of those can be replaced.  Our loved ones cannot!  The very people that God has put in our lives deserve our attention because one day……they’ll be gone.  Our time on earth is limited.  Some have more years than others.  My mom lived 74 years.  My brother-in-law, 42 years.  So, not all of us have as many years to enjoy as others.  We can’t know that we’ll wake up tomorrow morning or that our loved ones will be there the next day.

Treat your loved ones better than you treat your house.  Give your loved ones more attention than you give your job or hobby because tomorrow they could be gone, but your job or hobby, and your possessions will still be there.  Because, when you think about it, your possessions are just inanimate objects.  They couldn’t care less.  It’s your spouse/family that needs your attention more than that sticks and bricks you live in.  Spend time with them because that time is more valuable than the time spent doing laundry and dishes.  Those can wait a little while longer.  Your family may not be there tomorrow.

It’s God’s Judgment, Not His Absence.

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Okay, so where do I start with this thinking?  First…..do you seriously think that WE can prevent God from being anywhere???  REALLY??  The last time I checked God is OMNIPRESENT.  If you don’t know what that big word means, it means that God is EVERYWHERE.

Second…..do you seriously think that WE can boss God around and tell Him He’s not allowed anywhere???  REALLY??  Because the last time I checked, God is OMNIPOTENT.  That big word means that He’s all powerful and us puny humans don’t control God, HE controls US!!

I know I harp about God’s sovereignty a lot and apparently NO ONE IS LISTENING!!  To say that God is SOVEREIGN means that He is SUPREME RULER and that He possesses “ultimate power”.  We say that God is ALMIGHTY.  To be “almighty” means that He possesses ALL the might.  We say that God is all powerful which means He possesses ALL the power.  Which means there is nothing left for us……zero, zilch, NADA!!

So, let’s set the record straight here.  At no point in time has God not been ALLOWED in schools.  WE don’t have that kind of power to keep Him out.  He’s there.  But, God has been pulling back his Hand of protection over our country over many years because we’ve turned our backs on Him and because of the sins we’ve allowed to become prevalent in our country.  All this that we see happening in our country and in our schools is NOT because we have kicked Him out of our schools.  All this is happening because we are under HIS JUDGMENT!

If YOU believe that you serve a God who can be prevented from being anywhere, you serve a PUNY god….and a false one at that.  I feel sorry for you that you serve a god who can be controlled by man’s will.  That is a weak god.  No wonder you live life in fear.  The God of the Bible cannot be controlled by man’s will but He does as HE PLEASES.  The God of the Bible has everything under HIS control and none of this stuff that is happening is taking Him by surprise.  He is allowing it to happen as a means of judgment.  Just as He judged Israel for their sins, He is judging our nation for ours.

 

Valentine’s Day

The holiday of LOVE is upon us.  For some reason, I’ve never been too keen on this holiday.  Not because I don’t have someone I love or who loves me, but because it seems like this holiday puts an obligation on people to spend a lot of money just to show someone they love them and for whatever reason, it seems the guys get the bad end of the deal.  They go out and buy huge bouquets of flowers to be delivered to their wife or girlfriend just so she could be the envy of all the other women in her workplace.  Add to that a outrageous sized box of chocolates with “secret” fillings.  Or, if he was blessed with a good sized bank account, he could get her a piece of jewelry with all kinds of bling attached to it.  That would definitely open the green eyes of envy among those at her workplace.

I told my husband from the get-go of our relationship I don’t care about the flowers (they die), I don’t care about the chocolate (unless it’s a bag full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups), all that matters to me is that you spend time with me.  I always said that I would be happy with McDonald’s or Hardee’s for dinner because that meant that he wanted to be with me.  For me personally, the amount of money he spends on me is not a measurement of how much he loves me.  It’s how much time does he want to spend with me that matters.  Just going somewhere for dinner to be able to sit and spend time with one another is more valuable than a bouquet of roses or a box of chocolate or an expensive piece of jewelry.

Conflict in the Church

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Growing up in the church you experience different types of conflicts among those who belong to that particular church.  Granted, the church is made up of humans and where humans are concerned, there is going to be conflicts.  Some conflicts are due to real, serious concerns, while others are due to pettiness over things that shouldn’t matter.  It’s in these conflicts, whether serious or petty, that the devil takes delight.  Nothing gives him more satisfaction than to see believers quarrel with one another, especially over trivial matters.

Let’s talk about conflicts that take place over petty issues.  These are the conflicts that have split churches over what color of carpet they would buy, or what color fabric to upholster the pews, or what color paint to put on the walls.  I heard of a church split up in Tennessee where the conflict was over whether the softball team should put the players’ names on the back of their jerseys.  It’s rather sad that these folks let something so minute in importance divide a congregation.  Sometimes all it takes is ONE person being the dissenter and then others will follow.  People have left churches over issues that have no bearing whatsoever on the gospel.  These are the types of conflicts that causes the church or just a few people in the church to be ineffective in their faith.  They get so hung up on their opinion about how THEY think things should be that they would rather forego fellowship with their fellow believers than to admit that they are being petty.  There may be those who will use some petty grievance as an excuse to leave the church.  Either way, nothing gratifies the devil more than to make a person ineffective in their faith by getting them hung up on trivial/petty issues to the point that they stop worshiping or leave for another church because they don’t agree with certain issues.

The matters I spoke about in the paragraph above this are conflicts based on human opinion and, sometimes, pride.  These are issues which should never divide a church or cause someone to leave.  If there’s one issue that should always be of upmost importance, it’s the doctrine that is being preached from the pulpit.  If a pastor or Sunday School teacher is teaching doctrine that doesn’t line up with Scripture, then, by all means, someone needs to confront (in a loving manner) that pastor or teacher and question them about their doctrine.  Dangerous doctrine is of much more importance than what color of paint, upholstery, or carpet is being used in the place where the church assembles.  Churches have split over what is being taught in the pulpit.  It could be the pastor is preaching a false gospel and members call him out on it and he doesn’t relent, those members have left for another church that does preach sound doctrine.  Or maybe the pastor IS preaching sound doctrine and a certain number of his congregation stirs up dissention to get rid of him because they don’t like his interpretation of Scripture, but the pastor and the other members hold their ground and cause the dissenters to leave.  It is that kind of conflict (the defense of the gospel), while it does cause much disappointment and heartache among the congregants, that will separate the sheep from the goats, and in the end, God will bless those who will take a stand for the true gospel.

We must be careful of what we focus our attention on.  If we get too hung up on the aesthetics of the building or on the activities of the congregation, but won’t defend Scripture against those who twist it and misinterpret it, then we should question why we’re there in the first place.  There’s no such thing as a perfect church because imperfect people attend there, but when it comes to the gospel, there is no room for softening the message or watering it down for the purpose of having a large congregation.  The preaching of the hard truth of the gospel will always cause conflict, but it will also cleanse the invisible, universal church (the church as a whole, not just the local body) of those who are false converts.

Conflict is no fun no matter what setting it’s in.  But when it comes to the gospel, we as believers, must stand firm and ready to defend it no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel or who abandons us for our stance.  We shouldn’t go around looking for conflict, but when someone’s teaching doesn’t line up with Scripture, we have to be ready to defend it.  Defending it doesn’t mean bashing people over the head with the Bible, but presenting the necessary Scripture and it’s correct interpretation and then letting the Holy Spirit do His work to help them understand.  It is His job to give them understanding, we just stand back and pray that He will.

 

 

THE REED & THE WICK

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.”  Isaiah 42:3

How many of us, as Christians, have been living life on the “mountaintop”, only to have situations and circumstances in life to knock us off into the valley?  At one time we were standing tall and straight and then something comes along and now we’re bent over and can’t seem to find the strength to stand anymore.

How many of us remember a time when it seemed like our faith was like a huge bonfire?  Or maybe we could have likened it to a raging forest fire.  How many of us can look at ourselves now and our faith can only be compared to the tiniest flicker of light on the end of a candle wick, while those around us seems to still be a roaring fire?

Why does this happen?  Maybe trials and adversities come and throws a little water on that fire.  Maybe we look at ourselves and see the sin still prevalent in our lives and we become discouraged and that discouragement will diminish the fire that once burned brightly in our soul.  Or maybe our discouragement comes from comparing ourselves to someone else and we think because we’re not as “strong” in faith as they are, our “weak” faith might as well be no faith at all.  Or our discouragement may come from the disappointment of not being able to stay in God’s Word and in prayer like we should and that puts a damper on the flames of our faith.

While our faith may be like the bruised reed or the faintly smoldering wick, it’s comforting to know that the LORD will not “finish” us off.  We may be bruised, but instead of completely breaking us, He wants to heal us.  We may be a faintly smoldering wick, but instead of throwing water on us to completely snuff out the fire, He wants to fan the flame so that we can burn brighter than before.

There is a quote by Thomas Brooks that says:  “The weakest Christian is as much justified, as much pardoned, as much adopted, and as much united to Christ as the strongest, and hath as much interest and propriety in Christ as the highest and noblest Christian that breathes.”

The weakest Christian is STILL a Christian.  It’s easy to think that because we’re not like we used to be when we first came to salvation that maybe our salvation was not genuine.  Our faith is a gift given to us by God and it is a gift that He will never take back

We must remember that it is by God’s grace that we are saved, not by any works we do, and it’s God’s grace, not our works, that KEEPS us saved.  So, even though we may find ourselves not living up to our expectations of what we should be as Christians; even though we don’t see as much spiritual growth as we think we should; even though we still struggle daily with sin and our faith doesn’t measure up to those around us, our faintly smoldering (weak) faith is still faith and is still just as secure in Christ as those who have a raging flaming (strong) faith.

Thank you, Jesus, for keeping us secure even when we don’t feel like we are.

NO DISCERNMENT

That describes the evangelical church these days.  I listened to a sermon today by my husband’s former pastor, Jim McClarty, and in that sermon he recounted a story of a man who asked him what he thought about the state of the church these days.  Pastor Jim said, “Oh, the church is fine!”  Of course, he was referring to the TRUE church, the church that Christ himself is building.  The one he was NOT referring to is what passes as the church these days.

There is hardly any discernment anymore.  I see conferences and such geared toward high school and college age people and the folks they’re bringing into these conferences claim to be Christians, but when you listen closely to what they say, they’re using “Christian” words and phrases, but their message is not the gospel and NO ONE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE!  The wolves know that all you have to do is slap the term “Christian” onto something and throw out the name of Jesus here and there and you can reel them in, only to feed them lies.  The vast majority of the younger generation are being fed lies and they aren’t aware of it.  Why?  Because somewhere along the way, people have been told that theology doesn’t matter.  “Oh, it’s not about doctrine.  It’s about a relationship.”  I’m sorry, but isn’t part of being in a relationship knowing about the person you’re supposed to be in a relationship with??  I mean, how would you like it if your “significant other” came home and said, “Here, sweetheart.  I brought you your favorite ice cream……Strawberry!!”  But you’re allergic to strawberries and your favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip.  I think it would make you a little upset that your husband/wife didn’t know what things you like because that shows they haven’t taken the opportunity to get to know you.  Theology matters!!  Why?  Because someone, somewhere can come along and tell you something that’s “supposedly” in the Bible and you can fall for it hook, line, and sinker without so much as checking it out.  When the Apostle Paul went to Berea to preach, the church there didn’t just take him at his word.  They went to Scripture to make sure what he was telling them was true.  I’ve heard of churches where NO ONE brings their Bibles.  None of them.  NOT ONE!  Okay, so how are you supposed to know if what the dude up front is saying is the actual truth??  People have gotten LAZY!  They sit in church, listen to some guy babble on for about 30 minutes, then leave knowing they have checked off one more thing on their “To-Do List”.  They don’t study or listen to good, sound teaching during the week.  The worship services they attend are heavy on the music that either gets you hyped up or very emotional and preaching is just a half hour of funny and/or touching anecdotes sprinkled with a few Bible verses, most likely taken out of context, but picked out because the preacher THINKS it goes along with what they’re talking about.

It’s amazing how people will call out a “fake news” source in a heartbeat, but won’t question their pastor on the things he preaches on.  I guess people don’t want to think that their own pastor would tell them anything that isn’t true.  But, just look around!!  There’s false teachers everywhere who get air time on TV with thousands of people who attend their services each week.  It’s really sad and scary to see the way people are flocking to certain “Christian” pastors/teachers and they think there’s nothing wrong with them.  There are weekly gatherings that call themselves the “church” but, unfortunately, the gospel they preach is false.  And sadly, it’s those churches that are the most full.

“For the gate is narrow, and the way is hard that leads to life, but those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14

 

Speaking Life?

These days Christianity has become bogged down with cliché’s.  For example:

“Let go and let God”…..Sorry, but there are times when there are things God requires us to do in certain situations instead of sitting back and waiting for Him to act.  God parted the Red Sea but He commanded Moses to raise his staff up into the air first.  It was God who brought down the city of Jericho, but He commanded the Hebrews to march around the city for 7 days and blow the rams’ horns first.

“God won’t give you more than you can handle”…..Yes, He will!!  If you never got any more than YOU could handle, you wouldn’t need God.  Trials come to make us stop relying on ourselves and depend upon God.

“Everything happens for a reason”……While that statement is true, there are times when speaking those words bring no comfort whatsoever to the person it’s spoken to.  Try using that statement to a young grieving couple whose 5 year-old daughter was struck and killed by a drunk driver as she played in the front yard.  Yes, she was killed because that driver made the decision to drive after he downed 5 beers.

“Speaking life into someone”…..this one bothers me and is the reason for writing this post.

Charismatics are notorious for teaching that our words have power and that we can speak things into existence.  The most famous example of this is false teacher, Marilyn Hickey, who told her viewers that if they need a financial blessing, just speak to their wallet and money would supernaturally appear (yeah, right!!).  While our words can (and do) hurt or build up, nowhere does Scripture teach us that our words have the power to bring anything into existence.  You can go to a person who’s dealing with depression and contemplating suicide and say you want to “speak life” into them, but what if that person ends up committing suicide anyway?  You can’t say you spoke life into them at all.  You brought them words of encouragement, but in no way were your words powerful enough to change their emotional state.  Only God can do that.  “Speaking life” is just a nice sounding cliché that people use that makes them appear “spiritual”.

In fact, ALL Christian cliché’s are incorporated in a person’s speech for the purpose of making them sound “spiritual”.  The person who is not Christian, hasn’t stepped foot into a church ever (or at least in a few years) would probably look at you strangely if you walked up to them and said “I want to speak life into you.”  They’d probably say, “Um, I’m breathing.  I’m walking around so I think I am already living.”

This is in no way a criticism but just something to make us stop and think about our words and what they mean.  To the person who isn’t saved and is unfamiliar with “Christianese”, our cliché’s mean absolutely nothing to them.  If a person is going through a time of trial/adversity and nothing seems to be going right in their life, just speak words of encouragement without all the Christianese mumbo jumbo.  If we feel led to go to someone for the purpose of being an encouragement to them, great!  Do it!!  But, don’t be surprised if they don’t respond to our efforts right away.  We can’t boastfully say we “spoke life” into someone if we don’t see a change in their emotional state right away.  Just as with Moses who was commanded to raise his staff, God may want us to go to them and love them and be an encouragement, but the outcome isn’t dependent so much upon our words, but upon God who has the power to change the person and their circumstances.

Feed My Sheep

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When we hear the phrase “we must grow our church”, most pastors think in terms of increasing the number of people that warm the pews each week.  But, I want to present a different view.  I believe that pastors should focus on growing the people who are already in the Church.  And by growing, I mean growing in spiritual maturity.

At no point in time did Jesus put the responsibility of growing the size of the church upon the pastors.  That duty falls upon Christ because Christ knows who His Elect are.  Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that HE would build His church and the “gates of hell will not prevail against it.”  Jesus told Peter in John 21 to “Feed my sheep.”  The preaching of the gospel is the food that the sheep feed upon.  But, it is also the means by which the lost sheep are brought into the fold.  Romans 1:16 says:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”  See, Paul didn’t say that it is the gospel plus something else.

There are two groups of people:  the sheep (Elect) and the goats (the world).  Jesus knows who is who.  We don’t.  He said in the last day that He would separate the sheep from the goats.  So how do the lost sheep become found sheep?  Through the preaching of the gospel.  Why is that important?  Because Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”  In a nutshell, preaching the gospel, period.  Not the gospel plus something else.

The problem with many outreach programs and offering entertainment for the express purpose of drawing people in is, you end up with worldly “church” members.  And that’s all they are.  Just names on a church membership roll.  Pastors probably smile and think, “wow, look how big our church is getting” but never think “am I doing enough to tend to the spiritual growth and maturity of the sheep?”  If the sheep aren’t being fed, they end up starving and malnourished and they will leave to find nourishment elsewhere.  When the sheep are fed, THEN will churches find that they are adding to the number in their pews because now their members are better equipped to reach out to their family, friends, and neighbors.  Programs and gimmicks don’t save the lost sheep.  Only preaching the gospel does and if pastors aren’t focused on feeding the sheep, the sheep will not be equipped to be the “fishers of men” that Jesus calls them to be.

 

 

Conceived, Not Born, In December.

So, many people have stated that no one can REALLY know when Jesus was born, and that is true.  No one can pinpoint the exact date that Jesus’ birth took place.  But we can pretty much pinpoint the month in which he was born.  In doing some study and research and listening to my pastor and a few others, it’s easy to see that Jesus was NOT born in December, but was most likely CONCEIVED in December.  We can figure this out by going back to the Bible when it talks about Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, and when he performed his priestly duties before John was conceived.

Luke 1 says that Zechariah was of the priestly division of Abijah.  The priests were divided up into 24 separate divisions.  Zechariah’s priestly course was carried out the first time sometime around mid-late June (www.christinprophecy.org/articles/when-was-jesus-born/).  Each course ran twice a year from one Sabbath to the next (8 days).  We know that it was during his time of temple service that he was visited by the Angel Gabriel who told him his wife would bear them a son.  Of course, we also know that Zechariah did not believe this news and was struck mute.  After Zechariah returns home, he and Elizabeth conceive their son, John.  So, this takes place around mid-late June.  Fast forward six months and now we’re in December, possibly at or near the Festival of Lights (Hanukkah) and Mary is visited by this same angel who tells her that she, too, will bear a son and that her cousin, Elizabeth, is in her sixth month of her pregnancy.  Now, Mary leaves and goes to visit Elizabeth and stays with her for her final three months.  This will put John being born in mid March-early April.  Since we know that John is six months older than Jesus, we can safely say that Jesus was born in mid September-early October.  More than likely mid-late September because we read that there were shepherds in the fields on the day/night that Jesus was born and if Jesus were born in December, shepherds would NOT be in the fields.  It would be too cold for them.

It just so interesting to study and research this stuff because this is not anything mainline pastors will break down and teach from their pulpits.  Not sure why unless they don’t see the importance of it.  They go with the man-made, Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating Christ’s birth in December.  It’s study and research like this that makes me want to dig deeper and learn more because it’s all these “little things” (like when Zechariah performed his priestly duties) that changes the whole narrative on Christ’s birth.