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In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. (Luke 2:1-5)
Have you ever thought what an amazing thing it is that God ordained beforehand that the Messiah be born in Bethlehem (as the prophecy in Micah 5 shows); and that he so ordained things that when the time came, the Messiah’s mother and legal father were living in Nazareth; and that in order to fulfill his word and bring two little people to Bethlehem that first Christmas, God put it in the heart of Caesar Augustus that all the Roman world should be enrolled each in his own town?
Have you ever felt, like me, little and insignificant in a world of seven billion people, where all the news is of big political and economic and social movements and of outstanding people with lots of power and prestige? If you have, don’t let that make you disheartened or unhappy. For it is implicit in Scripture that all the mammoth political forces and all the giant industrial complexes, without their even knowing it, are being guided by God, not for their own sake but for the sake of God’s little people—the little Mary and the little Joseph who have to be got from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
God wields an empire to bless his children. Do not think, because you experience adversity, that the hand of the Lord is shortened. It is not our prosperity but our holiness that He seeks with all his heart. And to that end, he rules the whole world. As Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” He is a big God for little people, and we have great cause to rejoice that, unbeknownst to them, all the kings and presidents and premiers and chancellors of the world follow the sovereign decrees of our Father in heaven, that we, the children, might be conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Source: Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper
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“My church is boring. It’s so boring that you can sleep all through the sermon.”
“How can a church exist that has absolutely no regard for youths? Their service is way too old-fashioned.”
“I don’t like how the pastor dresses. He makes me feel like I’ll end up being poor if I stay there.”
I’ve heard so many things from people when the issue of how they rate their local churches come up. I have also noticed that almost everybody has at least one thing that they are not comfortable with in their local churches. And the cause(s) of their discomfort will most times differ from one person to the other. So, it’s not strange seeing believers leave their churches to other churches where they are less “uncomfortable”.
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I’m grateful that you trusted me with your secret.
Sitting across from me at the kitchen table this afternoon, you poured out your heart. When you married your high school sweetheart at 19, you never once suspected you would be in this place. Now, at 39, after twenty years of marriage, you call yourself gay.
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FreeTheSheeple: an online movement launched by popular On-Air-Personality, Daddy Freeze, aimed at pastors who collect tithes from their members. It’s a movement with a proposed mission to free Christians (the sheeple) from the clutches of their alleged greedy pastors.
This generation is one with a love for new things. This is not strange, however, as every generation has always succeeded in discovering things that the former failed to discover, largely caused by either sheer ignorance or an undying love for old, traditional things. And it is often the case that whatever new thing a given generation learns to create and to love, the former finds very hard to accept. I’ve come to see that this isn’t because they hate progress, but because it’s difficult to accept change. Perhaps the only other thing which surpasses that difficulty is that of moving with the tide and being part of change.
Many years ago, I got to understand the concept of Jihad. I was told that it was a core belief in Islam, and was led to believe that every Muslim wanted to have my throat – they just didn’t get the chance. I have a balanced understanding of the religion now, however, and get really sad when my brothers in the faith attack Muslims unjustly. I believe it was Dr. Ravi Zacharias who said something along these lines, “If what the other person says still sound ridiculous, then you probably don’t understand what he is saying”.