Daily Charge

Read: John 6

 Where do you get your daily dose of encouragement, hope, peace, energy, and strength?  Some people think of coffee, energy drinks, and other forms of caffeine when they need a boost of energy and an extra charge added to their day.  Others are willing to accept only 5 hours of energy.  In John 6 Jesus told his disciples that it was the Spirit that gives life.  The Holy Spirit and the power of Jesus Christ can provide you with joy-filled energy each and every day if you seek after it.

I recently read that Stanford University scientists have figured out how to transmit electricity wirelessly to a moving object, using an electromagnetic process.  This could drastically change how far the new electric vehicles could travel in the future.  Professor and lead researcher Shanui Fan said, “The hope is that you’ll be able to charge your electric vehicle while you are driving down the highway.”  This process however would require a series of coils that are connected to an electric current embedded in the roads.  In other words, this may not be available in the near future.

However, there is a daily ongoing charge that is available through faith in Jesus Christ.  When Jesus was talking to the twelve disciples about this Peter responded by saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.”  In Philippians 4:13 Paul says, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”  In the Psalm 119:28 it says, “My soul is weary with sorrow, strengthen me according to your word.”  In Ephesians 6 some of the final words to the church in Ephesus are, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

I love a good cup of coffee in the morning as much as anyone, but I don’t want to lean on that cup of java to get me through the day.  I need the strength, hope, power, and encouragement of Christ for that daily charge.  Yes, Jesus can provide us with the energy to make it through each day, and he can also give us the charge of a call and purpose for our lives.  That is something everyone needs.  Before you set out for your day be sure to turn to Jesus!

Make it Personal:  What does your morning routine look like?  Does it include a time of prayer, Bible reading, and connecting with your source of power in Jesus?  Find some time, short or long, to pray, seek after the Lord, and request his presence throughout your day.  You won’t be sorry and you won’t have to stop by the convenience store for that extra 5 hours of energy to get you through the day.

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes

An Event For Everyone

 For this week’s reflection we have the Christmas story as paraphrased from the Message Bible…

“An Event For Everyone” 
Luke 2:1-20 (The Message)

The Birth of Jesus

2 1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

An Event for Everyone

8-12 There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:  Glory to God in the heavenly heights,  Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the shepherds were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Make It Personal:  Be sure to share and celebrate this scripture this Saturday as you celebrate Christmas.  Make the reason for the season come alive in some creative or meaningful way as you gather with family and friends.

Merry Christmas Everyone,  Glen Rhodes

The Power Of Christmas Music

Read: Psalm 150:1-5

Why do you enjoy the Christmas season?  Sometimes we think about the hustle and bustle of Christmas and we don’t stop to appreciate the things we really enjoy about this time of the year.  The music of Christmas is something that is powerful.  It has always blessed, inspired, and brought forth memories of the past for me as well as inspiration for the current season..  From the favorite carols to the traditional classics the sounds, the music, and the words of the Christmas season are different than any other time of the year.

In a recent article by Jen Wilkin in Christianity Today magazine I was struck by a question she asked.  She wrote, “Does our sacred music merely move us in the moment or form us for a lifetime of faithfulness?”  Jen was writing about hymns and worship songs in general but this same question can be asked about the music of Christmas.  Does it help to form our faith in Jesus and the Christmas story or is it just nice music to set a mood or moment?

This is an encouragement for us to think about the words of these Christmas songs, carols, and hymns that we sing in the month of December.  Many of them we can sing by heart and memory because we have heard them for so long, but what if we thought deeper about what they are saying or proclaiming in our world and in our lives.  Think about that this year when you sing “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” or “O, Come All Ye Faithful.”  

Make It Personal:  Think about these things when you sing the songs of Christmas this year.  What are you singing?   What does it mean?  How does it form your faith and testimony of Christmas?  How can they help you to share the good news of Jesus?   

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes  

GPS & Star Gazing

Read: Matthew 2:1-12

On our recent trip to Texas for Thanksgiving we had the Google Maps app up on our phones for almost the entire trip.  Even if you know where you are going it is nice to see the actual time you will be arriving at the bottom.  Another feature is the voice that tells you when to turn, when you need to turn around, and when you have arrived at your destination, I usually choose to keep that muted.  Thank goodness the voice doesn’t tell you when to stop for gas, when you need to eat, or when to use the restroom.  That just might be too much information and an invasion of privacy, but that day may be coming soon.

A common phrase we hear from this GPS voice is “recalculating” or red lines showing up all over the screen when you take a different route than the one they think is best for you.  It’s nice of them to want to keep you on track but sometimes I think my way is a better option than the two or three others they are giving me on the phone.  Sometimes I regret going my own way though, if I would have followed the plan things would have turned out better.

This whole GPS thing reminded me about the Magi (The Wise Men) that came to see Jesus in Bethlehem after his birth (Matthew 2:1-12).  God gave them a star in the sky to guide them to the Savior of the world.  They followed that guiding light and ended up at Jesus’ side.  In verses 10 and 11 of Matthew 2 it says, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Because the wise Magi from the east followed the star (God’s directions) they found the Savior that God had sent to the world in Jesus.

The lesson for me was this:  It’s okay to mute the voice on my GPS unit, but I need to make sure I am not doing the same to God.  The Lord wants to give us direction and guidance in our lives and we need to listen and follow that direction at all times.  Those Magi in the Bible have come to be known as wise men.  We would be wise as well if we allow God to lead us to our Savior Jesus Christ.  “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

Make It Personal:  Whose version of Christmas are you following this year.  Is it the world’s consumeristic focus, is it all about the decorations, is it rushed, busy, and stressed out? Or is it calm, hopefully, peaceful, joyful, and filled with love?  That is the Christmas season that Jesus wants us to celebrate and live.  We are trying to focus on those things each Sunday during Advent but please make sure they are a part of your plan and Christmas destination.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes