Jesus is the Reason

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, And the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV
“God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth. A town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The virgins name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28 NIV
Imagine an angel appeared to you. Hard to imagine, right. This was a young girl 13-16 years of age. This would bring fear, questions, “why me, who am I?” For many years her family had told her about God sending a savior to his people. Many people had prophesied of the coming King.
It had taken thousands of years for the timing to be right. He had to find a couple to agree to be the parents of this holy child. It had to be someone special. What would she say? Being pregnant and not being married was punishable by death. Why would he go that route? What would people say?
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “ May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38 NIV
She had to feel highly honored, but what would she tell her family, and Joseph. Would they believe her? Still she quickly agreed. She was scared but the Lord would be with her. The baby to be born was prophesied to come from Bethlehem. God caused the great ruler to decide to take a census.
This would get Mary to where she needed to be to give birth. But a stable? God’s ways truly are not ours. After that long dusty trip, nine months pregnant and bouncing around on a mule, a nice hotel and room service was in order. No, he chose to be born in a lowly stable. No clean water, bed or towels.
What a scary, lonely feeling for this poor, young couple. God was with them just as he is with us. It was all planned to go like clockwork even if not our ways his always supersede.
That same night Angels came to some shepherds in a field nearby. They came to share the great news that a savior had been born. What exciting news but also alarming while sitting in that dark lonely field in the middle of night. The heavenly host broke out in praise to God telling of the joyous news to all people. They could not wait to see this miracle themselves. What an exciting time to be alive.
So many prophecies to fulfill but the Lord had been preparing for years. Each detail was accomplished. .His ways may not be ours but they are perfect.

Following Jesus

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. NIV

What does it take to be a follower of Jesus?

Jesus never said it would be easy or that many would make it to heaven. Actually he said that the road to heaven was narrow and few would find it. Most people don’t make it. Do you want to be part of the crowd? If they don’t make it then that’s probably not the way to go.

Sure the free gift of Christ is eternal life. Accept him and you are on your way. If it’s that easy then why can’t everyone get there? If you read God’s words there is more.

Love your neighbor as yourself. One of the greatest commandments. Do you love everyone you meet? Do you prioritize people, wanting to be around a certain people more than others. Do you shun some people that don’t come up to your standards.

If someone was in need of help would you give them the help they need no matter who they were. What about a homeless, or handicapped, or sickly person. Loving your neighbor can sometimes be difficult. I like myself pretty much all the time. But can I love others all the time?

“If you love me keep my commandments.” John 14:15 NIV

Do you keep all the commandments? Do you even know them? There are a lot of commandments to keep. This is starting to sound like a commitment. I guarantee the more you commit the more you get back. Not just life eternal but, abundant life forever with him. Since I started serving him and following him wholeheartedly my life has gone from ok to amazing. The blessings just keep flowing my way. I still have difficult times, but they seem to come further and further apart.

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2. NIV

“”Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”Matthew 7:19. NIV

Are you producing fruit in your life? What are fruits? Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Are these showing up in your life? Some off the time? What can we do to see these happen more often?

God’s word has all the answers if you look.

There is so much more to being a follower than saying I’m a Christian. Truly following Jesus is more than just a commitment. You need to get to know him. You need to have a relationship with him. He will give you all the help you need if you will just ask him.

Update on my health

After surgery in May the spasms are completely gone, no more pain. I went for my first refill of baclafin and were amazed to find out I was doing so well. Most people need the dose turned up more to get rid of pain. But I am doing awesome with the minimum dose. I will be able to go six months between refills. The relief is so sweet because the pain was so intense. Gods ways are best. The several years that I had constant spasms whenever I was moved, the countless tears I cried waiting for a cure were all worth it because victory is so sweet in hindsight.