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But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus – Ephesians 4:20-21 NKJV

Are you growing in Christ?

Would you say that you have deepened your relationship with Him as you increased your knowledge and understanding of Him?

Paul shares with believers that we can find the truth in Jesus.  He affirms that we can grow by learning through hearing and being taught “by Him.”

If we want to grow in Him, brothers and sisters, we need to learn from Him.  Our task is not simple as followers of Christ.  We are pressed, pressured and persecuted for our beliefs.  In order to withstand the devilish and wicked schemes of our day, let us continue growing our faith by following the lead of the teachings and sayings of the Master, the Rabbi and the Holy One of God- Jesus Christ.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
-Romans 10:17-18 NKJV

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Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything  like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers?

Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.
– Joel 1:2-3

When things happen- whether they be good or bad- we tend to talk them up with others. We broadcast the news. We share the latest happenings. We make a lot of noise about what we have going on.

Pass on the Good News. Let other generations to come hear about it
Let them read about it. Let our poetry, songs and other writings speak about it.

Publish it among all of the people so that it will continue to speak generation after generation.

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Feliz Navidad!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!

Previously, I wrote about the miracles of Jesus and shared some of the inspirational accounts from the Gospels.  The Gospels depict Jesus as a worker of miracles as well as a messenger of God’s redemption while remaining the Messiah who would serve as the Lamb of God.

But when the time had fully come, 
God sent his Son, 
born of a woman, 
born under law, 
to redeem those under law, 
that we might receive the full rights of sons.
– Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)

However, the miracle of Christmas is more about God orchestrating everything beyond coincidence.  He set things in order long before they began to unfold in order to redeem mankind.  Christmas marks a celebration of things coming in order to fulfill God’s plan for redemption.

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WizzleyI write all sorts of content as a freelance writer.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.I have no real niche.  I write poetry and fiction.  I write about religion as much as I write about sports and community activities and events.  I blog, journal, present, teach, and edit online as a freelancer.

 I write e-zine articles and post to multiple blogs.  I write for a wide variety of audiences.

You can join me on my freelance journey at iWriter, too.

I have published articles on Squidoo and HubPages, too.  My articles include content related to writing grants and freelance writing opportunities.  I also publish my own books of inspirational poetry on Lulu.

Get a copy of one of the Bible studies offered by Life Path Ministries & Services.  Subscribe to get inspiration from one of my other blogs either Rev Bruce or Life Path.

Bruce Jackson, EzineArticles Basic Author

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Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of the LORD; thus says the LORD, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'” – 2 Kings 7:1 (NASB)

Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said. 
– 2 Kings 7:16 (NIV)

It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 
– 2 Kings 7:18 (NIV)

The man of God in the Old Testament was more than priestly.  He usually stood out as a messenger of God, a prophet.  Elisha was such a messenger.  He was an advisor to the Hebrew kings of his generation and times.  He provided spiritual insight and interpretation for the benefit and blessing of the entire kingdom based on the word of the LORD.  

A severe famine had struck the land due to invaders surrounding the city and placing it under siege.  This same famine caused the market rates to go sky high.  During this famine, a  donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver and quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels ( 2 Kings 6:25, NIV).  Eighty shekels of silver was the equivalent of approximately two pounds, while a quarter of a cab represented about 1/2 pint of seed pods.  In such an economic crisis, no one can get much for their money due to the limited supply and a high demand.  When did donkey heads become listed commodities on the open market? That’s when you know things have gotten real bad.

Things had gotten so bad that a woman had agreed to cook her son and eat him with another woman. Upon hearing of this, the king becomes distraught and tears his robe as a sign of mourning.  He vows to have the head of Elisha, God’s messenger.  Obviously, Elisha quickly fell out of favor with the king at this point due to the dire conditions of the kingdom in that day. God’s messenger is His representative among the people, too.  That also makes him the perfect target for outrage and criticism when things go awry.

Elisha offers a prophecy of coming profitability.  God shared that the famine would end soon and things would turn around.  He prophesied that by the next day  a “seah” of flour and two of barley would both sell for only one shekel.  When it comes true, the people are overjoyed and elated.  They readily grab hold of  all that they could and lived on during the economic recovery.

Keep in mind that the head of God’s messenger was sought by high ranking officials just hours before things turned for the better.  Even though he believed it to be so, others did not readily believe it until they saw it for themselves. 

Today’s financial conditions will not remain the same always.  Hear where God is directing you and see where He is making swift changes and movements that impact our global economy right before our eyes.  You may need to prepare for today’s prophecy becoming tomorrow’s reality quick and soon.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: 
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 
– Matthew 5:12

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18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
-John 15:18-25 (NKJV)

The words of Jesus seem to have been spoken with both simplicity and significance.

What He said to His closest followers on that final night before His death seemed to come off as touching as Lou Gehrig’s farewell in Yankee Stadium delivered by Gary Cooper in “The Pride of the Yankees.” He spoke specifically of the things to come and how His disciples should face them with the inevitable assurance of the coming of the Helper.  He spoke directly, openly and candidly with these men about His departure.  Yet, He spoke plainly about what these men would face without Him physically present with them.

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

He kept it plain.  He said it with simplicity.  He said that they would be hated by the world since Jesus had been hated by the world.  He said it in real simple terms.  He did not want it misunderstood or misinterpreted by them.  He kept it simple, hoping them to take His words in and remember them when the time came.

If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. 

He said it with significance.  Persecution, in whatever form that it would show up, would surely come to the followers of Jesus.  Jesus said it to them while He was still with them.  That was significant.  He did not want them caught off guard by the ill treatment of the world.  He did not want them to be shocked or stunned by how cruel the world could be towards Him or His followers.

He had already shared the indication of the world’s past.  He had already spoken of Israel’s ill treatment of the prophets.  He had already shared words that had perplexed and confused in His famed Sermon on the Mount, referencing the prophets being treated to persecution prior to His coming

Why say it in such a way? Why keep it simple and plain?
Soon, after the meal had been shared and the wine had been sipped, they would see one of their own hand the Master over to His persecutors.  Once they had supped, they would be confused among themselves regarding much of what He had said.  They would question their own motives.  They would run and hide, doing no better than those disciples who “turned back and no longer followed him.” 
He said it simple and plain.  He said it with significance.  He said it so the disciples would recall it when they needed to remember it the most.  After all, we read it today and recognize that our own mistreatment is not without reason.  We follow Jesus.  We walk in His footsteps.  We get the hatred of the world that hates Him because we not of the world since He chose us out of the world and caused us to walk with Him.

Those who hate me without a cause


Are more than the hairs of my head;

They are mighty who would destroy me,

Being my enemies wrongfully;

Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

-Psalm 69:4 (NKJV)

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Read Plato’s Republic or Walden by Henry David Thoreau and you can get a worldly view on politics and its citizenry.  That may not go well with the Bible.  In fact, it may not match at all.  However, there are some key things that Christians can learn by observing the current political race for presidency.

  1. You have to announce that you are running in the race.  Christians should not act like they have the best-kept secret in town.  The gospel is translated as “good news.” You share good news.  You don’t keep it to yourself.  We have to announce it to the world that we are in the race.
  2. You have to make an effort to reach people one way or another.  The Obama Campaign of 2008 incorporated all sorts of means and mediums to involve every type of potential voter around the country.  We have to reach people with our message with the same fervor that candidates push their agendas and campaign slogans online and in print, even through the media and public appearances.
  3. You have to let people know where you stand on the issues that matter to them.  Politicians will constantly talk about taxes, public assistance programs, business development and employment, even education and health care.  They may step into controversial areas like birth control, abortion and same sex marriage, even illegal immigration.  We have to know what matters to people and share where we stand with people.  We lose any opportunity to win souls like we should when we fail to share what the Good Book says about this life and eternity.  Look at Luis Palau, James Dobson and Chuck Colson for examples of how to evangelize with hope and a firm standing on the issues of today.
  4. You have to keep your cool and your composure in the heat of the debate.  Political jousting is nothing new.  It is as old as politics itself.  However, as Christians, we have to be able to maintain our cool when our beliefs are attacked.  We cannot get on the defensive, taking it personal, and become arrogant or abusive with our attackers.  The Bible tells us that our spiritual warfare is not fought against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:10-18).  After all, even as Jesus hung on the cross, He did not call upon the armies of angels to rescue Him as He endured the fatal punishment of the storied execution style of the Romans and the cruel mistreatment of His own people.  We, too, must endure the attacks of slander and assumptions regarding our beliefs.
  5. You have to carry yourself as a winner.  No candidate enters the race with the hopes of being a loser.  No, political candidates go for broke with a winning attitude.  They are confident in their own abilities.  We do not have to get conceited or cocky.  We just have to go forward in faith, with full belief in the Lord’s ability to provide for us and protect us.  We have to take Paul’s words to heart, believing: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

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