The Christmas Dream Isaiah 45 “He did no

The Christmas Dream

Isaiah 45

“He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited,” v18
In 1969, when observing the Earth from the moon, Apollo astronaut James Irwin said, “When you lean far back and look up, you can see the earth like a beautiful, fragile Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space”.
This Christmas tree ornament was God’s dream. His dream shows us 10 important aspects if we too are going to pursue our dreams:
1. To dream is to do.
At some point we need to stop thinking of the dream and start acting on it.
2. He created the space for His dream
The environment for the dream to sit in is everything.
3. It may have looked empty, but it wasn’t, it was expectant.
Don’t knock what you’ve got.
4. He was content to wait for the right time for His dream to begin to take shape
This dream wasn’t created in a day. It is okay to take time.
5. His dream was formed from what He had created
The last move is crucial for today’s move, don’t ignore the past, use it for today.
6. His dream carried the ability to reproduce itself
Think momentum for it will take the dream further than you dreamt.
7. His dream contained huge risk for it carried the capacity to self-destruct.
Is your dream risky enough?
8. His dream would need constant attention and a thought-through rescue plan.
Thank God for the rescue of Christmas!
9. His dream had a limited shelf-life.
Knowing the end is as important as the beginning.
10. His dream is so huge that it is not restricted or damaged by man’s goals.
Never settle. Never arrive. The world is not yet reached. The dream continues.
Just one of these 10 aspects will keep you on track in the fulfilling of the dream God has given you.

Christmas Redemption Isaiah 44 In Decemb

Christmas Redemption

Isaiah 44

In December 1853 Charles Dickens book ‘A Christmas Carol’ was published. Depicting the appalling conditions of the working people in London it preached a message of the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Dickens priced the book so that all could afford and on opening day 6,000 books were sold.
We know the story so well. The central character, Scrooge, is portrayed as a cold, bitter, selfish and greedy man. Through the ghost appearances the reader sees that this man is on the path to destruction. Christmas past shows Scrooge what he is losing; Christmas present what he has lost and Christmas future what he will lose as he dies alone and in poverty. It speaks to the heart of every man. The transformation of Scrooge to the nice man is the message that no man is beyond redemption, everyone can change and (because of Dickens Christian symbolism throughout the book) redemptive change comes by the work of Christ.
V6 This is what the LORD says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
V22 I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.’
V24 ‘This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
Overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro is the world’s largest statue constructed between 1922 and 1932, Christ the Redeemer. It is an amazing picture for the whole of Brazil’s Christian faith.
Christ the Redeemer has His arms stretched out to the whole world today and especially to the Scrooges of life. No man is beyond His reach.
Is there someone you know who needs to hear the message, “Return to me, for I have redeemed you”?
Is that someone you?
Many are in danger of losing everything and yet Christ is still holding out His hands to give everything, Himself. Let us pray that Scrooge finds redemption this Christmas.

5 Christmas journeys that we are making

5 Christmas journeys that we are making

Isaiah 43

1. The journey of the miraculous, v2
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son …
2. The journey of the harvest, v5-7
You are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.
3. The journey of Intimacy, v8-12
The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
4. The journey of provision, v18-21
Immanuel, God with Us
5. The journey of worship, v22-25
They saw the child, they bowed down and worshipped him.

Jesus loves the weak and broken Isaiah 4

Jesus loves the weak and broken

Isaiah 42: 3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.

As we come to the end of this year and look back you may feel like you are a bruised reed:
Bruised because of the circumstance of life, of the strong winds of nature continually beating you down.
Bruised because of your own bad decisions and character flaws. Even the greatest were not perfect. Founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth believed in the sinless perfection of the Christian. I wonder if you would have believed in his sinless perfection if you had entertained the General in his finery and majesty. This is what one lady said of her experience. “On arrival William Booth virtually took over the management of the household. He demanded dinner at once and simply wolfed it, putting his knife in the salt and in his mouth. He next retired upstairs but didn’t like the bedroom I had prepared as it was at the front of the house. So he took possession of the rose room …. . During the afternoon the fire must have annoyed the General in some way because he put it out by throwing water over the fire and hearth … . Nearly all our doors had to be padded with dusters to prevent them banging and orders were sent down to shut the dog up.”
You may feel like you are a smouldering wick:
A smouldering wick is ineffective with little impact in the lives of others. It is also offensive as the smoke irritates others. There are plenty of ineffective and irritating people around!
However, the good news is that Jesus will never break you nor snuff you out. He will never give up on you nor turn His back on you. He is for you, believing in you till the very end.
He loves and uses the weak and broken.
He started His life on earth weak and vulnerable and he ended his life broken and in pain.
He is with you.

5 declarations in order to overcome the

5 declarations in order to overcome the enemy this Christmas.

The enemy of your life has always tried to destroy Christmas and he will be niggling away at you during this season. Here are 5 things you can repeat to gain the better position.
Isaiah 41

1. “Enemy: You are not invincible”
“There is one greater than you, his name is Cyrus” v2-3,25
“There is one greater than him” v4
“You will not last forever, your efforts to survive are futile” v5-7
“You cannot see the bigger picture” v22-24,26-29
Christ was born under the influence of a dictator, Caesar Augustus. In 12 BC he was named Pontifex Maximus = High Priest. Christ, the Son of God, Creator of the whole world was born under the leadership of someone who was full of his own importance.

2. “Enemy: God is with me”
“I am a chosen servant” v8-9
“I have God committed to me” v10
“I am held” v10
The angel went to Mary and said “Greetings you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

3. “Enemy: There is no fear in me” v13-14
The angel said to the shepherds “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
Mary was able to accept that she was a chosen vessel to carry a supernatural destiny in God.

4. “Enemy: In God I will rejoice in my victory”
“Something new is taking place in me”
“I am becoming more effective”
“I am receiving confidence” (Message)
Mary said “From now on all generations will call me blessed.”

5. “Enemy: God will recreate the landscape.”
V18 He will refresh it
V19 He will replant it
V20 He will be known
The angels declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”

Overcome the enemy this Christmas, afterall he is already defeated!

The 5 calls of God to His Church this Ch

The 5 calls of God to His Church this Christmas

Isaiah 40

1. A call of forgiveness, v2
Joseph thought Mary had betrayed him. Mary thought Joseph would not trust her. This relationship needed forgiveness. Every relationship does.
We must model forgiveness, of each other, of ourselves by a God who came to ransom us.

2. A call to remove the obstacles, v3-5
There were many obstacles: Joseph’s righteousness was a stumbling block at first. Mary had to say YES. The shepherds had to search. The Magi had to study. Then the first Christmas family had to become immigrants.
The landscape of situations may never be perfect, but we can change them, we can remove obstacles so that the story continues.

3. A call not to fear man, v6-8
One of the first things Gabriel said to Mary was ‘Do not be afraid’. Don’t expect everyone to be thrilled with the miracle that is inside you. They do not know that the miracle was planted in you. They do not know your encounter with the Divine Presence. Keep your eyes off people and their rejections will not hinder you.

4. A call to look for Christ’s coming, v9-11
It is more than possible that the Magi were Arabic astronomers, the ancestors of Arabic Muslims today, searching for the Messiah and then bowing down to worship the Christ-child. Whenever Christ comes, these strange things happen and will do so. “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:10-11)

5. A call to trust God, for he knows you, v27
The whole Christmas story shows us that:
The world is under Him, v15-16, 23-24
He is much bigger than we can imagine, v18-22
He never gives up on us, v28
He enables us to rise, v29-31

These 5 simple calls are still there for you and me speaking to us through this amazing story.

Everybody hates a show-off! Isaiah 39 “

Everybody hates a show-off!

Isaiah 39

“As soon as enough people give you enough compliments and you’re wielding more power than you’ve ever had in your life, it’s not that you become … arrogant … or become rude to people, but you get a false sense of your own importance and what you’ve accomplished. You actually think you’ve altered the course of history.”
—Actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Isaiah had already warned Hezekiah of who Babylon were and the effect that the nation would have on his if he got too close or became dependent on them in anyway. So what did Hezekiah do when an envoy from Babylon came to him? He began to show off all he had gained and accomplished. Isaiah steps in and tells Hezekiah that because of this then Babylon would soon come and strip him of all he had been proud of.

We often think suffering is the worst enemy for the Christian, it isn’t at all? We are often so very close to God in times of difficulty. We run to Him and He is our helper. The worst enemy comes when we have something to show. When we am full. When He has blessed us. When we have a testimony. When we are healed. When we are provided for. Where there are people who want to marvel in what has been achieved, what we own or who we have become.
We show off.
Look at me. See what I have and who I am.
We need to be reminded we are not that important. If God took everything away from us then that would certainly help. Maybe He might. Let’s stay in humility let’s stay dependent on our God.

It is not pointless! Isaiah 38 Hezekiah

It is not pointless!

Isaiah 38

Hezekiah was part of the Bible heroes who believed that it all turns out for the best in the end. People like Joseph who in Genesis 50:20 said to his brothers “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is being done.”
We live in a world where it is easier to be negative and doom-saying than positive and hopeful.
Last week I witnessed some bizarre behaviour. Walking along the bank of the river Ganges in Varanasi, India I saw a group of people having their early morning stroll laughing. But this was forced almost canned laughter. I asked the man with me what was happening and he told me it had nothing to do with the emotion of joy but that of healthy diaphragm use. What a waste of laughter!
The world needs real joy, real laughter, they need to hear a positive message. This is where the Christian steps in.
Life is tough. It is going to hurt at times. We have an enemy. But we do not go under in the storm. We do not have to pretend or force ourselves to look like we are positive.
We are in the hands of God and even though the day could be traumatic we can say with Hezekiah, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish”, v17

Isaiah 37 Dear Lord Your heard our enemy

Isaiah 37

Dear Lord

Your heard our enemy yesterday.
I am at the brink. I am facing reality.
But my despair will not take me from you but draw me to you.
Today I seek you for a word, I need the prophetic voice of your Spirit.
Before I call you answer me and I hear you now telling me not to be afraid.
The enemy that opposes me by trying to deceive me is your enemy.
The enemy has plans for my life but you have plans for his.
I receive your word.
So I cast all my care upon you.
Here it all is on this piece of paper, I lay it before you. Here are the charges against me.
My eyes are on You Lord of all.
There is one God and it is You.
You created all things and by You they are created.
All I can do and the best I can do is pray.
You speak not only to me but you also declare over the enemy of my life:
“Whom do you come against? Not my child. It is Me, the Holy One!”
“You are only a pawn in my hand!”
“I will defend what you oppose for My own sake!”
Thank you my Lord.
I deserve judgment but because of Jesus I receive your blessing.
In the end I will remain, the enemy will not.
Thank you God

Your grateful child

Isaiah 36 Dear child On what are you bas

Isaiah 36

Dear child

On what are you basing your confidence upon?
You have looked to ‘Egypt’ to man, but man will disappoint you.
You may as well give up for man is broken incapable of being relied upon.
What despair and discouragement your sin brings you.
Is it truly God you put your trust in? Really?
There was a time when you would worship Him wherever you were but now all there is in your life are church services. (Note: Hezekiah removed the high places that our spiritual fathers had in place of the sacrificial altar in Jerusalem, moving individualistic to the corporate, this was the right thing to do but easy to oppose).
You may as well give up, are you not tired of all this?
I hate fighting otherwise I would fight you, I like talking though, so listen to me.
There’s nothing I cannot give you, but you need to first give up.
You see, your God is my god, He is with me, believe me. (Note: the ultimate deception)
And God says “Give up before it’s too late!”
I am not only speaking to you but to everyone that is connected to you.
For their sake change course, change allegiance, choose me.
It is only going to get worse.
In fact I am speaking to them now so that they will agree when you make peace with me.
Make peace with me and I will make you and all your contacts rich.
The truth is though you have your God, He is just one of many.
Look at all the people in the world with the many gods that they have.
You are the same as them.
Are you listening to me?
Why are you silent?
What must I think of your stillness?
Can you not even argue against me?
I am waiting …

Yours deceitfully

Your enemy