Do You Know the Jesus of Christmas?

Christmas Card 1After Jesus was born to Mary, Satan used King Herod to kill all the boys in the land under the age of two.  It was a shotgun attempt to kill Jesus, the Son of God.  For Satan heard the same stories and rumors others did, but he didn’t know for sure who, or where Jesus was.

In the movie, The Young Messiah there is a line spoken by young Jesus.  Jesus looked at Satan and said, “You don’t know who I am do you?”  I’m sure Satan saw glimpses of Jesus, but probably too, couldn’t believe that God would send His son, to earth, as a child.

Satan didn’t know who Jesus was until Jesus was baptized.  For when Jesus came up out of the water there was a loud voice from heaven saying, “…this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mat. 3:17)  Afterwards, Jesus went into the dessert to fast and pray for 40 days, then Satan tried to tempt Him.  If Jesus had given in, God’s plan would have been killed.

Your whole life, God has been trying to reveal His Son to you.  Do you believe it?  Have you accepted God’s plan?  Your whole life Satan has been trying to kill God’s plan for you.  It’s true.

Please, take a moment this Christmas.  Get quiet, and look at the Christmas cards around you.  It’s more than a holiday.  It’s more than a story.  And it’s definitely more than a time to go into debt!  It’s the beginning of a love story.  God’s love for you.  Accept the Jesus of Christmas.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Check it out:
Fresh, anointed, honesty shared here:  https://tatianaketchum.wordpress.com/

Is This It?

20171122_144820

The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Stay With It to the End

c2gpic1

artist unknown

“Behold!  The coming of Jesus is so soon, it’s as if He is standing up now getting ready to go gather his church home!”  I was about 8 years old, when that word of prophesy sure got my attention.  I thought dang!  I had better tie my shoes!  I was ready then to stand before God and to give an account for how I had lived my life.  After serious soul searching and one more prayer asking God to forgive me of all of my sins I can say right now I am ready to stand before God.

In these last days, one has to be intentional about staying focused on the prize of eternal life.  Satan is working overtime, and with the help of the Russians putting out “fake” news to keep Americans stirred up (okay, kidding), but honestly, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a straight path toward heaven.

Mar 13:4-13  “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”  Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people.  When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end.  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.  “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth.  The Message has to be preached all across the world.  “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart–the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.  “It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents.  There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. “Stay with it–that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved. (MSG)

All one has to do is read the above verses, and then turn on the world news.  Am I predicting a date of Jesus’ return?  NO WAY!  If you read further down chapter 13 it goes on to say that only God knows the exact day and hour.  Therefore, I beseech you, okay a little too much King James, but I urge you strongly to keep your focus on God, hold Jesus’ hand, and listen to the Holy Spirit, and you will make it home.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

One Man’s Sin

DSC_6186As we saw this past week, in a very visual way, one man’s sin, hurts another human being.  It doesn’t have to be a mass killing either.  It can be a lie, but when found out another is hurt for they got deceived.  A cheating spouse, a wayward leader.  Someone else will get hurt.

Unfortunately, as long as there is sin in this world, there will be hurt.  There is sin in the world because of evil spirits that rule over this world.  When Adam and Eve sinned (disobeyed God) it opened up the door for evil to come over us.

Eph 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

But there is hope!  For those who have accepted God’s free gift of having their sin’s forgiven, by accepting that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins.  There will come a day when God’s Spirit rules over a new earth, and that will cause peace, and no more pain, and no more tears.

My heart ache’s for those that were affected this week by one’s man sin, but I do not get discouraged, or want to give up, because I know, without a doubt, God’s word is true, and one day there will be peace.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Thorns and Thistles

080512 169Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is life so hard?”  You strive to do good, get ahead, but at times it seems the more you press forward the further behind you get.  In your finances, at work, or in relationships.  The truth is, it’s not your fault.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden part of the punishment was life would be harder.  They received their sentence before they were evicted from the home God wanted for them.  See the scripture below:

Gen 3:18   The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, (MSG)

All the more reason we need God to lift us out of the weeds and thorns of life that desire to choke, and overcome us.  If you’re tired of weed whacking then stop, and ask God for help.  He will, and He can.  Consider the fact His way was for us to live in a garden.  My neighbor once saw me planting flowers several years ago.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  My reply, “I know, but I’m having a great time.”  God, the master gardener, knows what He is doing.  Turn your life over to Him then trust and obey.  That’s the only way to live life in the garden.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Why?

Cross nailedHe laid as still as he could.  Any movement reminded him of the flogging his back took.  The soldier placed the nail with the tip pressing his palm.  He saw the other soldier rear back with the hammer.  He turned his head.  Bam!  The nail drove through his flesh pinning him to the cross.  That nail represented the times I took something that wasn’t mine.

The same thing took place on the other side.  Bam!  That nail represented the sinful times I touched something I had no business touching.  Bam!  The nail in his feet represented the times I have gone somewhere I had no business being.  The thorny crown shoved down into his head represented the evil thoughts I failed to bring into captivity.  The beatings he suffered should have been mine.  The spit that landed on him, represented the disgrace that was meant for me.

Everything Jesus went through, the trial, lies, pain, agony, and torture was for me.  The 39 lashes that shredded his back open and bled was so I could be healed.  He chose to go through that for me.  He chose to go through all that for you.  Why?  Because He knew, He was the only who could.  Because He knows pure love, and how to show it.

He also knew how to defeat death, and on the third day, He proved it.

THANK YOU, JESUS.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

“Now This Will Preach!”

I gave up on life altogether. I’ve forgotten what the good life is like.
I said to myself, “This is it. I’m finished. GOD is a lost cause.”
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all–oh, how well I remember– the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
GOD’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.

SO THEN:

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out      and fail to return.

Now read only what is in yellow.

Lamentations 3:17-24, 28-31 (MSG)
Italics mine.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Greatest Plan…Ever!

gods-planThe greatest love story.  The greatest gift.  The greatest promise…kept.

Who, but God could have come up with a plan to place his son Jesus, in a young virgin.  Very few looked there.  The politicians didn’t, the religious leaders didn’t, and most of the people didn’t either.

God, through his word, told what He was planning on doing, so it wasn’t a secret, but people have a tendency of not knowing God, or his word.  This causes them to take God’s plans and play them out as they understand, or worse, want.

How all of this life on earth ends is also part of God’s plan.  It’s not a secret, or mystery.  Yet people still do not get to know God, and believe how they want to.  Read God’s word.  All of it.  Even Revelation.  Though you may not understand, believe it will happen…according to God’s plan.  So far, God’s plan has worked out perfectly.  Remember this, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)  Faith…use it.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Close Gifts

red-crossMary held him close enough to hear him breath.  To feel his chest move in and out.  To see every radiant color of his eyes.  Her heart melted when he smiled.  Just think what an honor it must have been to be that close to God.  To hold God in your hands.

Jesus said, “For the Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)  Mary held God.  Today, God can hold you.

When it hurts, when you’re scared, when you’re confused, run into God’s arms.  Because God gave us His son, His son gave us God.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved