Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Wednesday

Knowing CHRIST As He Should Be Known 

By Pastor C.R. Stam
John the Baptist introduced our Lord with the proclamation: "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). Throughout His earthly ministry Christ was known as the "Son of David," the King with whom God made a covenant to establish His kingdom forever.

The Old Testament prophets predicted that Christ would (and He will) reign on earth upon the throne of His father David. While His kingdom was being proclaimed "at hand" He walked and talked and ate with men as "the Son of Man". Wearied with traveling He sat at Jacob's well and asked for a drink of water. Pressed by the throng, He got into a fishing boat and addressed the multitude from the sea. Hated by His adversaries, He was tied, scourged, spit upon and nailed to a tree. This was indeed "Christ manifest in the flesh."

With regard to His humiliation, however, the Apostle Paul says by divine inspiration that "God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name" (Philippians 2:9).

Again, the Apostle declares that God's mighty power was "wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenliest, far above all (Ephesians 1:20). He is no longer to be known as "the lowly Jesus" but as the exalted Lord in Heaven. And this has its bearing on us too: "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now, henceforth, know we Him no more" (II Corinthians 5:16). Our blessed Lord is now to be known as the glorified Son of God, the great Dispenser of Grace to a lost humanity; the One who in love and mercy "tasted death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9).

Oh, How I Love JESUS
  1. There is a Name I love to hear,
    I love to sing its worth;
    It sounds like music in my ear,
    The sweetest Name on earth.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, how I love Jesus,
      Oh, how I love Jesus,
      Oh, how I love Jesus,
      Because He first loved me!
  2. It tells me of a Savior’s love,
    Who died to set me free;
    It tells me of His precious blood,
    The sinner’s perfect plea.
  3. It tells me of a Father’s smile
    Beaming upon His child;
    It cheers me through this little while,
    Through desert, waste, and wild.
  4. It tells me what my Father hath
    In store for every day,
    And though I tread a darksome path,
    Yields sunshine all the way.
  5. It tells of One whose loving heart
    Can feel my deepest woe;
    Who in each sorrow bears a part
    That none can bear below.
  6. It bids my trembling heart rejoice;
    It dries each rising tear;
    It tells me, in a “still small voice,”
    To trust and never fear.
  7. Jesus, the Name I love so well,
    The Name I love to hear:
    No saint on earth its worth can tell,
    No heart conceive how dear.
  8. This Name shall shed its fragrance still
    Along this thorny road,
    Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
    That leads me up to God.
  9. And there with all the blood-bought throng,
    From sin and sorrow free,
    I’ll sing the new eternal song
    Of Jesus’ love for me.

Daily Smile:

In The News:

Texas Policeman Gives Ticket and $100 to Needy Driver
A police officer in Texas -- who wants to remain anonymous -- is gaining attention after he gave a man a $100 bill folded in a citation, Fox News reports. When Hayden Carlo, 25, was pulled over by Plano police because he had an expired registration, he said he told the police officer he was struggling financially. "I don't have the money," he told the officer. "It was either feed my kids or get this registration done." The officer then handed him a citation, but when Carlo opened the paper, he saw a $100 bill. Carlo said he "broke down" in his car -- "What else can you do?" -- and was able to update both his and his wife's registrations with the money. The charitable act would have gone unnoticed, except Carlo's grandfather was moved to contact the police department about the gesture. The officer does not want to be identified, but a department spokesman said he is 43 and has a family. He apparently has a past of doing good deeds at his old post at another police department, and his coworkers are reportedly planning on honoring him for his generosity.

Christian Father of Five Shot to Death in Somalia for Leaving Islam
Gunmen in central Somalia on Dec. 8 killed an underground Christian who had been receiving death threats for leaving Islam, Morning Star News reports. Two unidentified masked men shot Mursal Isse Siad, 55, outside his home in Beledweyne, 200 miles north of Mogadishu, and fled immediately after the murder. Siad's oldest daughter, 15, said her father was killed "because he failed to attend the mosque for prayers and used to pray at home. He used to share with us about Jesus." She said he had received messages on his mobile phone stating, "We know what you are doing, and you must stop, otherwise you risk your life." A Christian source in Mogadishu confirmed the killing, and a Muslim resident of the Beledweyne area also said Siad was killed for leaving Islam. "Siad deserved to die because he was not committed to the Islamic religion," the resident said. Siad's 42-year-old wife, three daughters and two sons have fled the area, fearing for their lives.

Unbelief Now the World's Third-Largest 'Religion'
A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that while Christians and Muslims make up the two largest groups, those with no religious affiliation -- including atheists and agnostics -- are now the third-largest "religious" group in the world, the Religion News Service reports. The study found that 84 percent of the world's 7 billion people adhere to some form of religion. Christians make up the largest group, with 2.2 billion adherents, or 23 percent worldwide, followed by Muslims, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent worldwide. Close behind are the "nones" -- those who say they have no religious affiliation -- at 1.1 billion, or 16 percent. "One out of six people does not have a religious identity," said Conrad Hackett, a primary researcher and demographer on the study. "But it is also striking that the overwhelming majority of the world does have some type of religious identity. So I think people will be surprised by either way of looking at it. The next largest groups, the report finds, are Hindus (1 billion people, or 15 percent), Buddhists (500 million people, or 7 percent) and Jews (14 million people, or 0.2 percent). More than 400 million people -- 6 percent -- practice folk traditions from African, Chinese, Native American or Australian aboriginal cultures. An additional 58 million people -- slightly less than 1 percent -- belong to "other" religions, such as the Baha'i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism.

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