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December 6

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“Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever” (Psalm 125:2 NLT).

From: December 6, 2018

IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US
One of the 15 psalms of ascent, written to prepare the hearts of worshipers as they climbed up to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Entourages of pilgrims like the one that traveled from Nazareth with young, 12-year-old Jesus, would have sung these songs as they came to celebrate Passover.
 
In this verse, the psalmist revealed his intimate knowledge of Jerusalem, although built on the hills of Zion, Moriah, Bezethah, and Acra, it was surrounded by hills at even higher elevations, such as Mt. Olivet to its East. This gave visiting pilgrims who arrived from the East an excellent view of the Temple Mount, which sat on hills surrounded by valleys and then higher mountains surrounding them. No wonder Jesus loved praying on the Mount of Olives. It gave Him a wonderful view of Jerusalem.
 
The psalmist compared the mountains that surrounded Jerusalem to the way the Lord surrounds His people. One can almost see him sitting on the Mount of Olives writing this psalm. Indeed, wasn’t it the Spirit of God that inspired him? And wasn’t it Immanuel, the Lord Jesus, who loved sitting in the same spot when He came?
 
Have you considered how the Lord is with you today?

“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it” (2 John 1:6 NKJV).

From: December 6, 2017

Love is the great motivator for obedience. Not duty, nor fear, but love. And not just any kind of love, but God’s kind of “agape” love, which is both unconditional and sacrificial. So love motivates obedience and then obedience becomes the evidence of that love.
 
What is love? That we obey Christ’s command (John 14:15). And what is Christ’s command? That we love one another just as He loved us (John 13:34-35).

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6 ESV)

From: December 6, 2016

God gave the prophet Hosea a word of accusation and warning for the priests of Israel. He accused them of failing to fulfill their calling to know, believe and teach God’s Word. This failure affected the people, who were being “destroyed for lack of knowledge,” and the next generation of children who no longer knew God, nor His Word. Today, we are the “priests” (1 Peter 2:9). And we are responsible to know, believe and preach God’s Word. Where the people in our world are being destroyed and the children are being forgotten, isn’t it because we have yet to give them the knowledge of God?

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7 NKJV)

From: December 6, 2015

When Christianity was barely 50 years old, already false doctrines were being taught concerning Jesus. The apostle John calls one who would give a different confession concerning Christ as “a deceiver and an antichrist.” It seems he was standing against an early deception called gnosticism, which believed that the flesh was evil and that only the spiritual was good. This belief therefore concluded that Christ could not have literally been in the flesh. This conclusion denied the incarnation. It denied the name given to Jesus at His birth, which was “Immanuel,” God with us. John guarded his eyewitness testimony that Jesus is God in the flesh. This was why he was so specific in his first letter to say he had seen, examined and touched Jesus (1 John 1:1). He was affirming the doctrine that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The incarnation is not only the central theme of Christmas, it is the true doctrine concerning Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh. He really came. He really died for our sins. He really rose from the dead and ascended to the Father. This is his-story.

“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back” (Proverbs 29:11 NLT)

From: December 6, 2014

Have you heard someone make excuses about the way they lose their temper? They blame it on a family trait or a situation, but they don’t own the problem. In the book of Proverbs, the words wisdom and foolishness are considered nearly synonymous with righteousness and sin. In this verse, fools (sinners) express uncontrolled anger, while the wise (righteous) keep theirs under control. Is anger sin? No. It is an emotional response to a felt offense. Even God gets angry. Yet, His anger is always under His complete control, whereas, our anger usually is not. Don’t let your anger be an excuse for sin. Believers can put their anger under the Spirit’s control, practicing self-control, which is the fruit of those filled with the Spirit.

“Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed” (Hosea 4:1-2)

From: December 6, 2013

The prophet Hosea records this stinging accusation from God about Israel. Notice how God lists His concerns: First, He describes the brokenness of their relationship with Him, then He details the brokenness of their relationships with one another. As it regarded their relationship with God, He accused them of three “No”s– No faithfulness, no love, and no knowledge. These three “no”s were not only God’s priority concern, but they also led to His secondary concern, namely the breakdown of their human relationships, both family and civilization. In summary, they failed to keep the Great Commandment: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

“Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: ‘There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land'” (Hosea 4:1)

From: December 6, 2012

The prophet Hosea was called to warn Israel as a nation. Israel’s unfaithfulness was considered adultery, as God called Himself Husband and Israel, His bride. Hosea warned that God had removed his favor and protection from Israel. Among Israel’s many sins was that there was “no knowledge of God” in the land any more. Is there “knowledge of God” in our nation? If not, be careful where you point the blame because God blamed Israel’s priests (Hos.4:4). Who are today’s priests? (Answer: 1 Peter 2:9).

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11)

From: December 6, 2011

Parents teach your children to control their tempers. Your external control grows into their self-control later. Yet, the best is the internal fruit of the Spirit which includes self-control. Stop saying you have a bad habit or anger issues and start walking in the Spirit.