Category Archives: Bread And Spirit

Passover 2024

Sundown today marks the beginning of Passover. Passover marks the deliverance from slavery to freedom by the death of a firstborn and the death of an innocent lamb. It’s also an act of judgment and mercy born in the heart of the gracious, loving, and just Most High God. Amen.

Sin and death seem linked, as do innocent blood and forgiveness — forever.

On Earth at the moment, the scope of anti-Semitism and humanistic rebellion against this magnificent God is noteworthy. Similar situations have had their moments in history but have not swelled to the proportions seen in the past century and at this moment. Nor has it been seen to this extent in people professing faith in God. What does this portend for us as human beings? A time for war?!

Angels, demons, and the people they influence worldwide are players in this cosmic and cataclysmic scenario. The most important part and factor is the judgment of the Almighty—how and when He will choose to act, but act He will, out of justice and love.

There will be deliverance and protection for his own, those who fear him and draw near in fidelity and obedience. And there will be judgment on the evil and the unjust — a removal of cancer, if you will, for the nations and His creation. Selah.

Happy Passover 2024, as you remember the gracious, merciful Holy One who initiated this deliverance and the Passover of the death angel who judged a rebellious, idol-ridden world power.

Worship the lamb and celebrate the victory he gives and makes possible over sin and death — over sin and slavery.

“Pesach Sameach” 

    פסח שמח  

       Happy Passover

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“’O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?’

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT).

“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.’ …
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 2).

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).

Christmas and Hanukkah 2023

On an early-morning, 3-mile walk around our neighborhood with my wife, we stopped at a restaurant for breakfast. Soon, our conversation turned to soul care — reading the Bible habitually, praying, staying in a community of faith — and abiding in the Light.

“Soul care” seems to be jumping out to me everywhere. Ron, my neighbor, came into the yard yesterday evening, catching me putting the last touches on our Christmas angel, and he was there for the lighting ceremony just as the sun was setting and Hanukkah was beginning. While enjoying a beautiful moment and sunset, our conversation turned to “soul care” — the habits, disciplines, and rhythms of the Christian faith and subsequent peace.

Hanukkah is from the Hebrew word for consecration. Hanukkah, according to dictionary.com is “A Jewish festival lasting eight days, celebrated from the 25th day of the month of Kislev to the 2nd of Tevet in commemoration of the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees following their victory over the Syrians [168 BC] under Antiochus IV, characterized chiefly by the lighting of the menorah on each night of the festival.” Sometimes spelled Chanukah, it is also called the Feast of Dedication or the Feast of Lights.

Bethlehem Light

On our morning walk, we also discussed that “people believe what they want to believe.” When it comes to Bethlehem, can you really overlook such a carefully placed puzzle piece? You can if your heart doesn’t want to know, see, or believe.

On the same note, if you do want to believe there is a God who cares, Who is there, and always does what He says from generation to generation, then pause at Bethlehem. Open your eyes, your ears, your heart, your soul, your spirit, and peer in wonder at a humble Baby and the very heart of your Creator God.

The sky was full of light that night! Happy Hanukkah.

Bethlehem and Hanukkah

What do these two have in common? Other than both will begin on the same day December 25, 2024 — light! Those living in darkness will see a great light in Galilee of the Gentiles (Isaiah 9:1-2, Matthew 4:14-15). A prophet, priest, and King is born in Bethlehem, Judah, as predicted by the prophet Micah (5:2). Bethlehem, “the house of bread,” is a fitting beginning for Jesus, who would call himself the “bread of life.” The Lion of Judah, the Son of David, was born in the same town David was, 1000 years earlier. Seems like too big a coincidence, doesn’t it?

The religious (those trusting in their own knowledge and works) didn’t see it. Check for yourself. Does any prophet come from Nazareth? (John 7:52). Who else doesn’t see? And who does? That’s a fascinating study within itself as you follow Jesus’ life and ministry on the pages of the Gospels.

It’s by invitation only! But the guest list is immense, in keeping with the wealth and goodwill of the Host. There is an RSVP stated or implied, and that’s our only responsibility, apparently. 

Please, stop what you’re doing. Put worldly cares and your to-do list aside. Enter into the joy of the Lord, where there is feasting without strife and rest — where there is true life.

Take care of your soul. Start living your faith or keeping your faith in an ever-increasing and deepening fashion. There dwells light and life — love and joy.

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But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity
” (Micah 5:2).

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them” (Isaiah 9:1-2).

Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’” (John 6:35).

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

African Spiritual Adventure 2023

One of our members at Harvest Community Chruch has a fledgling relationship with an African pastor who is four years into a church plant in Uganda. Our church sent a five-member team to support this church in July/August, and scout out whether the Spirit might be leading us into an ongoing relationship. This turned into a beautiful, relational adventure.

We were their first team to host, and they did a remarkable job. Our lodging was clean and safe, and their hospitality was exemplary and warm. We felt honored and well cared for — indeed, welcomed into their family.

Buyera Community Church (BCC) is a non-denominational church in an association of about 200 similar churches throughout Uganda. We found Pastor Steven and his wife Judith to be very hard-working, self-sacrificing, genuine Christians who are laying their lives down to further the church and Kingdom of God. They have put together a fledgling church in four years of about 100-150 people in Buyera, a village on the outskirts of Kampala, the capital. While the area is relatively impoverished at the moment, its proximity to the capitol with some recent business and governmental activity promise to bring needed economic resources to their village as well as many new people.

They’ve put together an amazing, well-kept campus, and started an elementary school with about 80 children. That’s Judith’s passion and dream, because she was a Project Compassion child herself who came out of the slums and a bad family situation to get an education and wants to give back or replicate that for others. Teaching children is about the best way to make disciples imaginable. Pastor Stephen is well-educated, with Christian parents who recently celebrated their 47th anniversary — their age being a rarity in Uganda where the average age is 15.5 years.

Steven has a young, energetic leadership team — one quite large for the size of the church. It occurred to us that their real call may be to raise up and train leaders for the church in Uganda and Africa. Steven’s main focus seems to be the church, as it should be, the bride of Christ and a representation of His family. Their local church is bursting at the seams, space wise — meeting in the three-room school each Sunday. They have the foundation built for a church building on the campus, with standing metal beams. They are also ready to pour concrete for the floor and are in the process of making their own concrete blocks — a process in which we participated.

We enjoyed our recreation day at the beginning of the trip (desert first!) instead of at the end as usual, resting Steven and Judith, by going on a safari. This turned out to be perfect for getting to know the couple and their hearts, as we let them know us and gain their trust. We feel like family now.

On that note, a safari is a good option for the recreation and reflection day that most short-term-mission trips build into their schedules. It’s about a 5 hour drive from the BCC to the national park/game preserve. That’s a hike, but it allows the team to recover from jet lag — while experiencing a long, peaceful drive through the countryside getting a feel for the culture and people while resting and chatting.

As a veteran of about 20 short term mission trips, each one a success in its own right, I’d say this trip ranked near the top. BCC is very kingdom minded, and the fields are “ripe unto harvest” in Uganda, which may prove to be a hub in Africa for sending out young preachers and church planters. “Can anything good come out of Buyera?” is a common saying there. 🙂

At a Charles Simpson leadership conference in May of this year I sat at breakfast with two gentlemen who were involved with training young pastors and preachers near Kampala, Uganda. What are the chances? On the flight from Amsterdam to Uganda, I sat by a very lovely Belgian woman, a nurse, who met her husband on a medical mission to the Congo, just west of Uganda. She married her Canadian-pilot husband, and he currently flies for Uganda Air and they live in Entebbe. She told me Uganda is mostly Christian and the gospel is spreading rapidly, but that the depth of the church is somewhat shallow, with a lot of prosperity teaching, etc.

We found Pastor Steven a grounded student and teacher of the Bible. He and his wife met working for Project Compassion, and the church they attended at that time sent them out as church planters. They have established a nice church campus with a building used for a Christian elementary school, a building for church and school offices, a mission building, and the start of a church building. The campus is clean and well laid out in a good location for growth as Kampala spreads south toward Lake Victoria and Entebbe Airport. But it’s the hearts of these two leaders, their four children and their staff that are the treasures. We plan to help them any way we can as the Spirit leads, with funds and sharing lives via visits. It’s beautiful and refreshing to find God’s Spirit in God’s family in many different parts of the planet — and to experience their love is an inexpressible joy!

Photos of African Mission Adventure 2023

Honduras 2023 — There is Still Room

There Is Still Room

I must include one more highlight from our spring-break trip to Honduras, because it furnished our mission statement and direction for the entire trip, “There is still room” — at the King’s table. This is how we came to hear it.

Pastor Dario, learning that Tim and Lindsay had lived in China for six years, invited him to speak to the church saying, “Brother Tim, tell us about China.”

Tim read a passage of Scripture from Luke 14 about people who were invited to a fabulous banquet by a wealthy master, but many made excuses and didn’t come. The master told his servants to go out into the highways and byways and invite the lame, poor, and anyone who would come. The servants did so, and reported this to the master and that: “There is still room.”(v22) The master sent his servants out again.

 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’‘’Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet’” (Luke 14: 21:23 NIV).

Tim chose to tell the Honduran church about how the underground church in China had ignored and not evangelized the Tibetan people because they were “idol worshipers” and chose willingly to ignore God and go their own way. Tim mentioned also that a very, very small percentage of Tibetans had ever heard the name of Jesus.

Then there was a major earthquake in Tibet a few years later, and the Chinese church decided to send humanitarian and spiritual help. They were well received and many came to Christ. The Chinese church repented for exclusivity and admitted their failure in going to Tibet with the Gospel, as commanded in the Great Commission.

After hearing the story, Pastor Dario said to Tim, our team, and his own church, that this was a word for the Honduras church. He went on to say, “Everyone in Honduras has heard the name of Jesus and the Gospel message.” But the Honduran church has been like the underground Chinese church and judged that the people who haven’t responded to the Gospel or accepted Jesus were doing so because that was their choice. Therefore the church wasn’t going out into the highways and byways any longer like they had a one time.

“Now we’re hearing, ‘There’s still room,’ and we’re failing at going out again. This is a good word for us, and one we need to hear.” 

“There is still room” seemed to become the main theme or word from the Lord for our team concerning our time in Honduras, and beyond.

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Photo Journal of Honduras 2023

Honduras Spring Break 2023

A Prison Break! — Honduras March 20, 2023

[Eight of us experience Prisoners of Light @ Olanchito, Yoro, Honduras Prison ]

There is no way I can describe what happened in there.

As we turned over our passports and walked toward the solid metal door with a peephole, then through that door to the bare, concrete holding area in front of another solid metal door with a small window, prisoners began excitedly whispering and running through the narrow perpendicular passageways beyond.

I’d been inside this prison before, but no one else with me had been except our translator. I hadn’t seen this activity before, so it was a bit unnerving, partly because we had five precious young women with us. But I quickly had inner peace and a spiritual impression that all was well and everything was alright.

We hurried into the hallway, turned left, and followed the narrow passageway lined by some prisoners, until we emerged into the open-air courtyard. It was surrounded by high walls topped with Concertina wire and a guard tower manned by a uniformed guard with a machine gun.

Immediately to our left, seated in many straight rows, were 150+ prisoners who began to clap loudly — applaud thunderously is more like it — our arrival.!?

Totally surprised and humbled by such a warm reception, we waved sheepishly at the clapping inmates. We continued walking to where we were motioned, to our seats at the front left side — very close to the prison worship team.

There was a warm and impassioned welcome to our team by the prison pastor, who is also an inmate. And the inmates echoed his welcome with thunderous applause.

Our Honduran translator Kerlin stood up at the front by the pastor and translated Spanish to English for our team when appropriate or as needed. After their welcoming remarks, Kerlin invited me as the team leader to speak to the prisoners.

I gave them our greetings from the United States, our Arkansas church, and the Covenant Life Fellowship brothers and sisters in Louisiana who had visited before. I had seen enough of their Spirit-filled worship to tell them, “Don’t be surprised if there is more spiritual light in here than out there.” This was followed by loud applause. I told them we experienced a waterfall of the Spirit as they worshiped so freely and passionately, and thanked them for letting us share the experience with them.

I recounted that I had been inside their prison five or six times during the last ten years. We weren’t allowed to visit in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19. They nodded appreciatively their understanding and thanks for trying. I recounted how small the Christian group of prisoners was ten years ago, maybe 15 to 20 inmates meeting against the western wall. Most of the other inmates were milling around the courtyard then, with some of them heckling. Five years later, the number was about 50, and you had a small area set aside for worship and meeting. But now!?! …

Trip Report to the Elders

That’s how I started an after-action report to our elders about the fourteen-member team that Harvest Community Church, Fayetteville, AR, sent to support an indigenous pastor. The trip also provided opportunities for our community to disciple believers in another country and culture, and be discipled by them. It was a beautiful experience and what Jesus commanded His followers to do in Matthew 28:19-20, commonly called “The Great Commission.”

You can click on the whole report below and hear the rest of the prison story as well as read the highlights of the trip, mostly recorded from my journal.

There Is Still Room

I must include one more highlight, because it furnished our direction for the entire trip, “There is still room” [at the King’s table]. But this blog has become long enough so I’ll continue that on the following bog.

Godspeed on your spiritual journey wherever you find yourself. May you be spending time with Him each day, knowing Him better and better for the joy that is, and the joy that lies before you. Shalom in Jesus Christ, the Lord.

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Trip Report to the Elders

Photo Record of Our Honduras Adventure

Pentecost 2023

Today is Pentecost 2023, 50 days after Passover and the 7th Sunday after Easter — the day the Holy Spirit came in power to the Chruch. You might say to found the Chruch, the Bride of Christ — forever changing history and beginning the Last Days according the prophet Joel (2:28).

WOW! I just looked in my iPhone calendar, and they don’t include Pentecost on their calendar. Look at Western Civilization and the civilized world of the last 2000 years — and note if you have eyes to see and mental facilities to look at historical facts unbiased — to see all the advances in science, medicine, education, art, government, and religion where Christ is acknowledged as King and His Father God as Sovereign over all.

On Pentecost 33 AD, the same Sovereign sent His Spirit into His house — His disciples, His church, and all future disciples who would become holy ones — normal mortals made holy by Christ’s sacrifice and then the indwelling of His Spirit. These have caused His Kingdom to come forth on the earth in some measure, ebbing and flowing, with the resultant “righteous, peace, and joy” (Romans 14:17) described in Scripture during the ensuing 2000 years.

Pause with me and ponder, “Where are we today in America and the Chruch with these realities?” — realities that began on 33 AD in Jerusalem, and the most recent outflow of that Grace for us in 1620 and 1776 in the USA.

Ponder in wonder, and give thanks. Amen אמן

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Remembering Pentecost four years ago in Jerusalem

From my latest book Puzzling 2020: “Without being born of the Spirit, we cannot see the things of God or know God Himself. If Nicodemus, the Bible scholar, and teacher of Israel, couldn’t apprehend God with just his mind, why do we think we can? Or that it’s our job to make the issue more clear for others than Jesus made it and left it. It is God’s job by His Holy Spirit. Thankfully to those who believe Jesus’ testimony, ‘He gives the Holy Spirit without measure'” (John 3:34b).

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:26-27).

Good Friday 2023

As I sat this morning and contemplated Good Friday and the events of that fateful and glorious day, I found it hard to grasp even a little bit of what happened there in the heavenlies and on earth.

I did notice in Mark’s account, that the very next thing reported after Jesus breathed His last breath was that the curtain hiding the presence of God was torn apart. And that this happened simultaneously. Could that be telling of the most important thing that happened that day? From Heaven’s perspective?

I pray the Lord will give each of us some revelation and insight into it as we walk throughout the day.

I went back and watched a couple of YouTube videos that came my way during Holy Week. This one from Ron Mooney and the Nehemiah group. This one from our friends the Coles in VA.

I also felt impressed to read the chapter on Emmaus in Puzzling 2020, which added some clarity to the spiritual aspect of apprehending our Redeemer’s realm.

Have a peaceful and thoughtful day in meditation about our Lord,

Dwayne

Good Friday 2022

“… Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:37-38).

Puzzling 2020

Einstein said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” The pandemic and explosion of events beginning in 2020 certainly did that to Americans and the world. As busy lives slowed to a crawl, isolated people worked thousands of puzzles, and people got outside, slowing to the pace of living and to being human. This book of 70 short chapters or puzzle pieces makes sense of what we experienced from a perspective of spiritual, historical, and current events. It also provides inspiration and insight to live hopeful, meaningful, courageous lives. Enjoy!

Many things were stripped away from our lives as we pondered how to stay healthy. Some reacted in fear, and some in faith. It caused everyone to reexamine who they trusted for valid information about safety, health, and hope for the future. Puzzling these events, even after two years, a resolution is still inconclusive. This book seeks to answer some basic questions: “Where are we? How did we get here? Where do we go from here, or how do we live in these puzzling times?” We look to the Bible, history, and God for insight and truth  — and for grace to live with purpose and without fear. These puzzle pieces will help you “Light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.” Click here to order.

Dwayne Bell holds degrees in mathematics and theology, and was a school teacher before pursuing a career in aviation. He served in the United States Air Force and reserves for twenty years flying F-16 fighter aircraft while concurrently concluding a twenty-five-year career as an airline pilot, flying Boeing 777s to Europe and Asia. He retired early to begin a new chapter of kingdom life and adventures. He enjoys back country flying, writing, photography, and biking. He and Elizabeth, his wife of forty-seven years, make their home in Springdale, Arkansas. You can reach Dwayne at: www.afriendoftheking.com

Christmas Now and Then

“Those living in darkness have seen a great light….” (Isaiah 9:2, Matthew 4:16).

Luke 2

On December 16th my wife and I read the Christmas story from Luke 2 together. The verses that stood out to me were not the normal ones. We also read Psalm 16, which oddly seemed to parallel Luke 2 and what I was hearing and seeing at the moment.

“… Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed [emphasis added]'” (Luke 2:33-35).

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel [emphasis added]” (Luke 2:30-32).

Psalm 16

“Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.’ As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, nor will I take their names upon my lips” (Psalm 16:1-4).

Psalm 16 is a beautiful meditation for our times ( all times really), times when our Lord is bringing a scalpel or a sword on the land because of unfaithfulness, injustice, and our worshiping idols — objects of worship made by our own hands and leading us in the pathways of destruction and death. We were created for so much more.

But we have chosen, and are choosing, to worship humankind and human creations over our loving, wise, sovereign, creator God — to our own hurt.

Our wise and good God gave us the choice, life or death, then encouraged us to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19–20). But then He truly lets us decide, to honor us with that privilege, and to see what’s in our hearts. In my upcoming book Puzzling 2020, I quote C.S. Lewis who speaks with insight and truth into the ways of God: “Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.” Yes, even the manifold evil we see happening in our day and times.

“May our gracious Father, Creator, Lord have mercy — then supply to us grace for turning and living from His giant, good heart.” A Christmas prayer.

“The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me” (Psalm 16:5-6).

“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely” (Psalm 16:7-9).

“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).

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“And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,

‘Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel'” (Luke 25:32).

Amen. אמן Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas 2022

As a dark cloud seemingly descends on our country and world during these past two years, it’s good to remember that it was that way when the King came the first time, to humble parents and humble people, in a place we know as Bethlehem Judea, within tiny Israel.

Here’s a blurb about it recorded in my newest book Puzzling 2020, which will be out any day now:

“It’s encouraging to remember something the Scriptures say: ‘But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 5:20-21 NLT).

“Recently in conversation, a quote about Christmas came up, ‘Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas’ (Calvin Coolidge). Indeed, everyone should cherish peace and goodwill. Certainly, everyone should be plenteous in mercy. And those things are rightly celebrated at Christmas. However, Christmas is a time and a season, and perhaps a state of mind, to focus on the King whose advent makes these things possible on a wide scale in a dark world at spiritual war.

“Christmas is about Christ more than about his rule and reign, his attributes, or even His kingdom. It’s about the gem of creation — God becomes a man. A Son of Man to tell us about God, His kingdom, His rule, His purpose, His Person, and then to send us His power in the form of His Spirit to live this life and make peace, goodwill, and mercy possible on the earth and in our realm of family and friends. He came to dwell with us.

“Some might ask, ‘Isn’t the point of Christmas love, peace, mercy, truth, goodness?’ I’d say yes, of course, these are the things we celebrate which are made possible by the King and are descriptive of the King. But I would add that many people think and act as if they can bring these qualities to bear on the earth on their own. History would demonstrate that we can’t in any widespread measure or lasting degree. We need a righteous, kind, powerful king to effect what we celebrate at Christmas and desire year-round and lifelong.

“Christmas is a time and a season to be still, to be quiet, and focus
on this gift from above — a baby, a gift of power and love. A king
is born — beautiful, personal, good, enabling. He is mighty to reign
and enforces justice in the middle of His enemies all around. His rule
ensures ‘the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth and
goodwill to men’ (Longfellow).

“Worship and give thanks — honor and celebrate Jesus the King.”

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“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (I Timothy 1:17 NASB).


“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.
Therefore He will give them up until the time
When she who is in labor has borne a child.
Then the remainder of His brethren
Will return to the sons of Israel.
And He will arise and shepherd His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.
And they will remain,
Because at that time He will be great
To the ends of the earth.
This One will be our peace”
(Micah 5:2-5a).