At the ATM, It Happened Again: “Triple Debit Indebtedness”

Not too long ago, I wrote about how, in just over a month, I had found 2 Bank Debit/Credit cards, and how it made me realize how blessed I was to be “raised right.” To do the right thing.
That particular writing was called “Double Debit Indebtedness,” and told the story of how I had found the cards, well over 100 miles apart: One in August, and one over the Labor Day Weekend.
Well … this past weekend was Thanksgiving Holiday weekend …

It is a weekend I look forward to, all year. 4 days off, and, yes … lots of football. So much to be thankful for, and the joy I take in hearing others just talk about what they are thankful for.
The word “Veteran” came up a lot, and, on Thanksgiving Day alone … I heard our National Anthem on 3 separate occasions, from 3 separate states.

We have so much to be thankful for.
Among our greatest blessings has to be the examples we’ve had, starting with our parents, and continuing throughout our lives, with great examples we’ve been exposed to, that God has brought into our lives.

So … back to the weekend. True to my word, I didn’t leave the house until early Saturday morning, to trek to the grocery store (something I’m also thankful for). Seemed that most of the population was still exhausted from Friday (which is called “Black,” yes, like the Plague), so not many people were out.

Back to work on Monday, and I had to stop by the local bank’s ATM to pick up some cash, to have for the next day, for a collection they are taking up for, at School. Since I don’t carry cash, I never have money to give on the “same-day.”
Anyway, it was Monday, after School, and I was exhausted. I drove up to the ATM, put my card in … and, you guessed it … it wouldn’t go in. There was another Bank card in the machine, left by the previous visitor. I first thought was, “No, can’t be. Not the third time in 3 months.” But, there it was. I took it out, looked at the name, which was hard to see in the twilight. Man! It gets dark early up here!
Plus, even my eyes were exhausted. It never occurred to me that the bank was open, and I could have just pulled around, walked in, to give them the card. Or just pull up to the drive-through. I guess my only thought was getting home to the recliner, and my much-anticipated nap. I did call the bank, first thing, and, yes, they did ask if I could bring the card in. I explained I was already home (hoping they could sense the exhaustion in my voice), and would bring the card in the next day. They said that was ok, just deliver it through the drive-through, which I did, immediately after School the next day.

Once again, it made me realize how thankful I am, to have been raised to be honest. As I write this, it strikes me that I am also thankful that I had 20.00 left in the bank … after the Holiday!
And, as much as I may disagree with some of their policies, I am thankful that we do have banks. And, that we can bank, can do business with, any bank or financial institution we choose. This is another one of those “freedoms” we have, which we take for granted so often. I am also grateful for many of the services they offer, like the ATM, and the technology which exists, which allows us to “use our debit card just like a credit card” (sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it?).

I’m thankful I could write this in the earlier post:
“I was so glad I was “raised right.”
Raised to be honest.
And, that I was taught the difference between right and wrong.
And, yes, taught to work hard.
By the living examples of those who raised me, who were as hard-working as they were honest.
I may have strayed, but they never did.”

Let’s see … A found card over Summer Holiday, a found card over the Labor Day Holiday, a found card over the Thanksgiving Holiday … guess I’ll have to go back to the ATM over Christmas …

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Here’s the link to Double Debit Indebtedness

So Thankful: Yet, so Failing, so Often, to “Get the Word Out”

Hi Friends:

So often, we think, and write, about how thankful we are for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Blessings we enjoy every day. Every day.

And, that, so many of the blessings we enjoy here in the United States are a direct result of … just where we live … in the United States.

Especially in this past year, God has really placed it on my heart to learn about, and to pray for, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who, simply, just don’t have these freedoms and blessings we so easily take for granted “over here.” And, I mean the basest, the most elemental things we take for granted. Like this word “freedom” we so easily toss around, not realizing how “strange/foreign” this word is, to so many.

Let’s not forget-ever-why we have these freedoms … the sacrifices made, and being made, in order for us to, just, “be free.”
But, let us also not forget those who don’t enjoy these freedoms. Just because of their belief, they are persecuted. Yes, we may all have an idea of what “persecution” is … but, I’ll admit … I don’t … I don’t know what it’s like to live in constant danger, every day … just because I am a Christian. Just because I am a Christian. I don’t pray enough … I don’t give enough … I don’t think enough … about my Brothers and Sisters in Christ … who, plain and simple … may not live to see tomorrow … just because “word has gotten out” that they are a Christian.

This makes me think about the way I act. The way I talk. The things I do. Based on my actions … my actions alone … Has “word gotten out” that I am a Christian?

Based on what others see in me … will they report that I am a Christian? Yes, I’ve heard the question, and it’s still a good one:
“If I was on trial for being a Christian … would there be enough proof to convict me?”

Funny … just thinking about that … I already feel “convicted,” but in a different way.

The thought occurs to me now that, if I truly am a Christian, one of the things I must do, I have to do … I must be compelled to do … is to “remember those in bonds, as if I were there with them.”

Let me say again, that, if I really am “what I say I am,” I must not forget to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. These are men, women, and children … yes, so many children … who, while inside, they know what “being free” really is … do not know what “freedom” in their world, outside, looks or feels like. Every day brings new challenges, just to stay alive. They’ve had to move, or be moved, relocated … because they “refused to move.” Men, women, and children … murdered … yes, murdered … just because “word got out” they chose to follow Christ.

I’m writing this on Black Friday. I won’t go out. I think about what others are thinking about today. Maybe “praying” for a good parking spot. Maybe “praying” they won’t run out of money.

I’d like to just think today about those whose time has “run out” because “word got out” that they were the “real deal.”
The “real deal.”
What a thought for this weekend. A “real deal.”

Let me write again: As a professing Christian, has “word gotten out” that we, yes I, that we, are “the real deal?”

If they begin to round up the “real Christians,” would my name be on the list?

I just walked onto the front deck. I live out of “town,” in what’s called the “Swedish Village.” It was quiet, as a looked around, through the falling snow (yes, we’ve got snow on the ground), and
it was so peaceful. Passing in front of me, walking down the street, no cares in the world, was a deer. He looked so peaceful. Just strolling down the street, a deer walking down the road of a quiet, peaceful village. I thought about so many of our Brothers and Sisters, whose village has been decimated, whose village is no longer a “village,” but a war zone. I didn’t have to worry about ducking down, afraid I’d be seen. I didn’t worry about binoculars focused on me … following my every move. I didn’t have to worry about neighbors, watching … watching … waiting for an opportunity to “strike.” Watching, and reporting, my every move. That deer … strolling down the street … without fear …

Well, I sat down to write something totally different.

Let’s remember those whose lives are so “totally different” from ours. Who can’t just walk outside, without danger. I pray that, while our lives, and circumstances, are totally different, our faith won’t be different.

Let’s pray that our faith won’t be different.

Let’s remember that we have others to think about. To pray about. And, to support.

While this freedom we enjoy gives us the chance to act, and live, pretty much any way we want, we have the freedom, and I’ll say it … we have the freedom to live any lifestyle we choose, even lifestyles that, not so long ago were abhorred, not glorified … included in that freedom is to “get the word out,” and the freedom for “the word being gotten out” about us.

When Jesus returns (and He will), I don’t want to be “left out.”
Lord, please help me to “get the word out.”
To be “one of the ones” about whom “the word has gotten out.”

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Shared E-Mail Classic: “Work”

Note: I got this several years ago (at work), and the numbers have changed … but, the intent hasn’t changed. Enjoy!

For a couple years I’ve been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason:

I’m tired because I’m overworked.
The population of this country is 237 million.
104 million are retired.
That leaves 133 million to do the work.
There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.
Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.
2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.
Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.
At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.
Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.
You and me.
And you’re sitting at your computer reading jokes.

Pray for the Persecuted: “I’ve Been Remembered”

Yes, Sunday, November 6, has been designated as “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”

I can’t implore you strongly enough to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I urge you to include these men, women, and children, and their families and churches, as part of your daily prayers.
We must, every day, heed the words of Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

Please. Every day.
Pray.
Please.
God can open doors no man can close.
God can close doors no man can open.
There is nothing He can’t do.
There is nothing too hard for Him.

How often I write, is such series’ as “Wealth Stored for the Righteous,” how blessed we are, right now … So much of our daily blessings are the result of … just where we live …

Again, I urge you, I beseech you, to pray for those who don’t enjoy the freedoms we have.
I always include a video to go with this annual observance, and, for weeks, I had planned to share a particular video. Now, as I sit here on a Friday night, home from School, before the weekend, the laundry sounding in the background … I discovered this video, from the ministry of “Open Doors.”

I found this song.
This song.

This is the only song I have played on this Friday night, and I must share it with you.

The words of Jesus.
The words of Paul.

Numbers I’ve seen, yet, here in this country, find so astounding:
The percentage of the world’s population who are living under persecution.
As I’ve written so many times:
“We don’t have a clue.”
“I don’t have a clue.”
How many people, worldwide, in other countries, “over there,” who live, every day, with the threat of imprisonment or death, just because they choose to believe in Jesus …

73% of the world’s population live under persecution … Most of them are Christians …
That is hundreds of millions.
Yes … hundreds of millions.
Every day.
That’s hundreds of millions.

The words of Jesus.
The words of Paul.
The words of this song.

The words of this song:
“I’ve been remembered by someone far away …”

“My heart sings with the knowledge that I do not stand alone … We are truly connected …”

The prayer at the end:
“We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who share our faith … but not our freedom …”

One more time:
“We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who share our faith … but not our freedom …”

I’ll share 2 important links:
http://live.opendoorsusa.org/idop/
https://www.persecution.com/

Blessings to all,
Richard.Vincent. Rose.

“I’m not that old … but, I remember”… The Power of Music

I don’t know if you can have too many series going at the same time, but here’s a new one:

It’s amazing how powerful music is; how powerful songs are; how powerful the words can be. Not just to enhance a current moment in your life, but, the power that a song can have to take you back … to a moment, or series of moments, from years ago. How a song can just make you “think back” and remember … both good, and bad, times. The pure emotion that hearing a song can bring out.

On Friday night, I try to catch up on business paperwork, and do all of “the financials” for both home and business. It’s always “been an exhausting week,” so it gives me a chance to at least sit down, while still “getting stuff done.” Between doing the laundry and running the dishwasher, I get caught up on paperwork, ship out free gifts to customers …wait … this doesn’t seem like much of a “night off,” but, for me, it is among the “least busy” times of the week … So … I “treat myself” to listening to music, while I work. It is the only time I actually listen to the radio, except for Sports Talk, when I’m in the truck running errands or back/forth to work. Really … it’s not the radio at all that I listen to. It’s online music. I listen to AOL music online, and it’s always “oldies,” like their “Super Seventies.”

This may be odd for someone who is “an old radio man,” but, I like to listen to what I like to listen to … and … I don’t like the commercials on broadcast stations. It’s not the content of the commercials, just the commercials, period. At least they are limited, online, and are almost always for Home Depot or Lowes, so I can bear with those. Anyway, I probably do this “online music” thing about 2 times a month, but I enjoy the music when I do.

As an old radio man, however, sometimes listening online has its drawbacks. For instance, I always want to look at the picture of who is singing the song. I like to know what album it is from. I like to know the history of the singer, or the song, which you can usually get as each individual song plays. So, sometimes … I don’t get as much done as I could, because I am researching each artist and song … Sometimes, they play I song I really love, and I’ll just have to jump over to YouTube, and see the live performance … and, you know how that is … before you know it … you’ve spent the evening bringing up all those “related” songs showing up on the right side of your screen …

Ok, so one night, I’ll admit it … I set aside the paperwork, and compiled a list of my favorite songs, which could be shared, via YouTube, with our friends … Yes, I recorded them, or copied the links, just in case I wasn’t allowed to use them on our online ministries … Didn’t get much done that night … or, did I?

One of these days, I’ll have to write about our YouTube channel. Our writing, and what we do online, is never to “promote us,” so we don’t talk about it much. But, we are grateful for our friends who join us over on our YouTube channel. I will put a link at the end here, so that you can access all of the videos we’ve shared.

Ok, so I admit I love music, even though I don’t listen to it often. I recognize the power a song has. The power the words have. The memories they can “jar loose.” As a writer, I know the power words have, and how the words I have been so blessed to write have affected other people. I guess I am taking this moment to realize how words so many other people have written, have affected me.

The power of music. Is it any wonder that in “Old Testament Times,” before a battle … the musicians and “praise teams” would march out first? Often, the battle would be won before the soldiers “fired a shot.”

It strikes me now, this “singing and playing music” before a battle. I’m not comparing the two, I’m really not, but understand the intent: Don’t we play or sing (or both) our National Anthem before a sports contest? Wouldn’t we consider sports a “battle” of sorts? Again, I’m not comparing the two, trust me, but consider the point. Music, a song, can unite us, can spur our emotions, really, like nothing else.

So, I think it’s ok to listen to music. To even enjoy music. Some of my best friends have been musicians. Still are. I don’t get out much, but I enjoy, so much, listening to live music. To watch the band. Even between songs.

It looks like, yet again, I have written an introduction to a piece that is so long, I don’t have room for the original piece …

This series will be called “I Remember,” and will talk about memories I have, from not that long ago. It hasn’t been that long ago, has it?

It would be sub-titled:
“I’m not that old … but, I remember…”

I remember when there was no question: When the National Anthem played, you removed your hat/cap, and stood.
Period. There was never, ever, any question. Never. Ever.
No question.

I watched the football game from England last week. We have so many friends who join us from “across the Pond.” Bless them.
It was awesome to see both Anthems being played before the game.
The power of music, or a song, to unite us, to stir emotions. Like nothing else.

The older I get … the more I love “Georgia on my Mind,” regardless of who sings it … I’m listening to a version of it now…

I remember Karen Carpenter.
The older I get … the more I think that she may have had the most beautiful voice … ever…
Karen Carpenter.
I remember.
I remember being on live Radio when the news broke … and, announcing, live, that Karen Carpenter had died.
I can still see the teletype paper in my hand … shaking as I read…

In 1977, I was live on the Radio when the news broke about Elvis … I still remember the date…
I still remember.
August 16, 1977.
I still remember the time of day. The teletype in my hand. The teletype machine going wild.
Bells … News … Bells…

I remember “Ringing the Bells” at noon … each day of the Hostage Crisis in Iran…
I remember…

I’m not that old … but, I remember…

I remember when “instrumentals” were hits … even the themes of TV shows.
I remember “The Rockford Files.”
And, the theme.

I remember Henry Mancini.

I remember a lot of things.
Yet … I’m not that old…

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Our YouTube Channel

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 18: “Attention Shoppers!”

Hi Friends:

We are back to the series “in which, yes, we are thankful for what our Heavenly future holds, but, let’s not forget all of the benefits … all of the blessings … we have, in our life right now, which, often, we take for granted …”

I think that many of the blessings we enjoy are things and activities which we do … so often … things we have to do, that they become a “chore;” that we just don’t realize how blessed we are, just to be able to do these “chores.” High on this list is a chore, a “have-to” activity, done weekly, or even more often:

The opportunity, the ability, to just go out and buy groceries. To have “Grocery Stores” available to us, with such a variety of products. We can just go in, choose what we want, and leave … without incident. This “without incident” is important. Think of the situation so much of the world is in, right now. Just the ability to “go out without incident” is a pretty rare thing in a lot of countries around the globe. How blessed we are in this country, and in many countries, just to be able to “go out” and shop … where we want, and when we want. What a blessing this is! What an opportunity so many don’t have.

There is an example I’d like to share, which really brought this thinking on. Several years ago, our Pastor told this story:
This, again, was several years ago, and it was during a time when, in Russia, there were massive food shortages. Remember? People were lined up … lined up for blocks … just to get bread, or other basic food necessities. It was a terrible time in Russia, and we saw all this on the nightly news.
Our Pastor, like so many Pastors, worked a “regular job.” This is one of the reasons we try to do all we can to honor Pastors. So many we’ve known, have held down full-time jobs, while serving as Full-Time Pastors. Our Pastor worked in a grocery store. He had worked in a grocery store pretty much all his life, and was a manager when he received the call to preach. So, when God called him to a small town, many miles away … in order to support his family while beginning this new Work … he worked at a local grocery store.

One day, a lady, from Russia, came into the store, accompanying the friends she was visiting, here in America. This grocery store was laid out like all grocery stores, set up so that the first department you had to walk through was the Produce Section. In a marketing course I once took, I learned there is a reason that all grocery stores are set up this way. Anyway … our Pastor was working the Produce Department on this particular day. This lady, visiting here in America, during the time of a national food shortage in her home country, walked through the entrance of the store, veered to the right (notice it is always to the right), and the first Section she saw, in this American grocery store, was the produce department. She passed out. She fainted. She really did. She was so overwhelmed by what she saw, she just “shut down.” Fainted. Passed out. Overwhelmed. She could not comprehend how so much food … how so many choices … were available … She could just reach out and pick out … whatever she wanted … Where were the crowds … the pushing and shoving … the mass hysteria …???
I wonder … how many people … in that grocery store at that exact moment … were complaining? How about the “line” at checkout? I would image … once this lady revived … she could have told us about what a “grocery/food line” really looked like.

I think of two things as I write this: Knowing the outlay of the store, I know that the Deli Department would be the next section she would have encountered. All that fresh bread … all that fresh food … all those choices … All those people at the Deli Counter looking like they had better things to do than stand in this line … Somehow, she must have made it through. The other thing I think of, is this: I’m not knocking this particular grocery store, as they do have a fine Produce Department … but, I think about the first time, down in Rhode Island, when I walked into a “Whole Foods” Market for the first time. I must have spent an hour just in the Produce Department! At least! It was like a world tour of produce. I think … had this lady … from Russia … walked into this Store … well, they would have had to send an ambulance, at least …

How blessed we are. Maybe it’s because of this lady’s story, but, I never complain about going to the grocery store. I go down every aisle, whether I need anything there, or not. By the way, in the South, when you go to the grocery store, you call it, “go get groceries” or “grocery shopping.” In the North, it’s always called, “Food Shopping.” And, those grocery carts? In the North, they are called “carriages.” Just thought I’d throw that in. Yes, we all complain about prices, I guess. And, how about this, in the middle of this story: How often have we complained about the selection? Not enough brands. Not enough choices. I wonder how this lady would respond to our complaints over the pains of grocery shopping in the United States?

I never complain about the price of gas, because I know how much “the rest of the world” has been paying for gas for several years now …

A word about shortages: I can remember only a few “shortages” in my time. I think about how that must sound to those growing up in the World War II years, for example. How the word “ration” was part of their daily existence. How blessed we are! Right now! My first job, in fact, my first 2 jobs, were in a grocery store. I remember during this time, and I was still in my early teens, there was a “sugar shortage.” Remember? The cost of a 5 lb. bag of sugar “went through the roof.” There was a huge outcry from the public. I remember clearly, as I worked, bagging groceries. People just quit buying sugar. They did. What happened? Suddenly … the price went down … and, there was, suddenly, plenty of sugar to go around. It seems like there was another shortage I can remember, but I can’t quite remember if this was around the same time. But, at one time, I remember a shortage of peanut butter. Yes, peanut butter. A shortage. I remember it. Seems like the same thing happened, as happened to bring the sugar shortage to an end.

That’s it, the shortages I can remember. Of course, this doesn’t include the gasoline shortage. This was something we all remember. I can, so clearly remember, the statement that “Gas will never go up to over 1.00!” Never! Ever! Remember the lines at the pump? The certain days when you couldn’t buy gas?
I also remember this statement from that period: “As soon as gas went up over 1.00, suddenly, there was plenty of it.”

While I am writing about this lady from Russia, there is something else I remember, from hearing about her visit here, and it directly relates to this series, and how we take for granted, what so many people around the world just don’t have. Remember that this lady was staying with friends here in the United States, during a time of great turmoil in her home country.
You know how, when you take a bath, you drain the water?
And, when you finish doing the dishes, you drain the water?

Well, this lady, as she helped with the dishes … she was appalled when, after the dishes were done … the water was drained … What? What? She didn’t understand, and, as she watched the dirty dish water empty out, she exclaimed, “What are you doing???” Why aren’t you saving that water???
In her home country … there was also a water shortage … how could we possibly just drain out water we could use again???

Should I even mention her reaction when she discovered that, after someone bathes … they drain the dirty bath water?
She, literally, could not fathom such a waste of precious water. Precious water, which could be used. Again, and again.
How blessed are we?

I just got home from the Grocery Store. Our small town has a local grocer, and there is a “big” grocery store in the adjoining town, about 5 miles away. I am thankful to have the choice to frequent both, and that I get a sales paper from each … which determines which one I visit that particular week. Yes, one “large-chain” grocery store closed here a few years ago, and we still have that “big-box” store, where I can buy bags of dirt, and lettuce … and, check out at the same register.
We are blessed. We don’t have what many have, the choices and all. But, I am thankful for the choices we do have. Plus, if I want to save another 10.00 on groceries … I have the choice to drive, “without incident,” to other grocery stores in the region. My choice. I love it when I hear someone brag about how much they saved by driving 70 miles, and spent half a day … to get those veggies on sale!!! Saved 5.00!

It seems so silly to complain about any shopping experience we have, given the freedoms we enjoy, which so many don’t. My major complaint about my “gettin’ groceries” today is those “fridge-packs” of soda. Made to fit right in on that bottom drawer. Perfect! They have been out for several years … and, I still haven’t opened one right, yet! Today, I decided to change my luck, and, finally, learn the secret to opening one. They open, I see from the examples, where you can get one out at a time. It didn’t work this time, either. There are perforations to make it easy, but, to tear open from the perforations … I haven’t got it right yet … today, I set the “fridge-pack” on its side (pretty smart, I thought), and, as I tore apart from the perforations … I took out the spice rack from the wall …

I remember attending a lecture a few years ago about primitive cultures. How that they were “hunters and gatherers.” And, how we are, still today, hunters and gatherers. We just hunt for the bargains, and then we go to a certain location (the grocery store) and gather.
We are so blessed, just to have the opportunity to hunt and gather, without incident, in our country.

As a bonus, getting back to the story of the Russian lady, let us thank God, every day, for running water, for running hot water, for electricity, and for so many other things we take for granted. Every day. We are so blessed.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

On the left-hand side, there’s a direct link
to the entire series so far

Weal

Shared Bible Study: Jesus Christ – Who He Is

I recently completed this in-depth Bible study, from College of the Open Bible, and it blessed me so much, I’d like to share it with you.

It begins with the statement, “The most significant question in human history continues to be: What think ye of Christ?”

After “the day I’ve had today,” I really wanted to share what happened to me, personally, today, and how God “got me through it,” even singing by day’s end.

Well … I couldn’t have done that … without knowing Jesus … without knowing Who He is, and What He is … What He is to me, and what He can be to you … Regardless of the headlines, the news, “our day,” it is true …

Oh, my! It is true! Even seen the bumper sticker … yet, it’s still true … To know peace … you must know Jesus …
Know Jesus.
Know peace.

I know people who know Jesus.
I know people who don’t know Jesus.
Guess which group is at peace?

I don’t care if it’s a person … a family … a group … a city … a country … a nation … If you don’t know Jesus …
If you don’t know Jesus … well, there’s a lot things you won’t know … but, for sure … you won’t know peace …

So … instead of writing about the problems … let’s write about the solution …  Not solutions (plural), but solution (singular).
There will always be problems. Especially among people.
Especially among people.
There will always be a (singular) solution:
Jesus.

Of all the things I’ve written about life, one constant remains:
How can you have a relationship with someone you don’t know?

I will never, ever forget what my Brother-in Law said one time:
“Why are we so surprised that people who don’t know Jesus act like they don’t know Jesus?”

 Jesus Christ – Who He Is

The most significant question in human history continues to be: What think ye of Christ? Your answer to this significant question will not only determine your eternal destiny; but also reflects how you live now. One of the most powerful thoughts a Christian possesses is knowing Jesus Christ can never be less than who He is, HE IS LORD.

The Preexistence of Jesus Christ as God

  1. As taught by John the Baptist – John 1:15.
  2. As taught by the apostle John – John 1:1.
  3. As taught by the apostle Paul – 1 Timothy 3:16.
  4. As taught by Christ Himself – John 8:58

What was Christ Jesus the Savior doing before His Bethlehem appearance?

  1. He created the universe – John 1:3; Colossians 1:16. This creation included everything, from electrons to galaxies, and from angels to Adam.
  2. He was controlling this created universe – Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17.
  3. He was communing with the Father – John 17:24.

The Incarnation.

That God the Son could take upon himself the full nature of man and yet retain the full nature of God. The Bible declares that Christ was as much God as if He had never been man, and as much man as if He had never been God. When God the Son joined himself to a body at Bethlehem, it was an eternal arrangement. He will continue to manifest Himself in this body (its resurrected state) throughout eternity. Amazingly, when Jesus Christ was born, He was older than his mother and the same age as His Father (heavenly Father).

The prophecies concerning the incarnation.

  1. Old Testament

* By Isaiah the prophet – Isaiah 7:14.

* By Micah the prophet – Micah 5:2.

  1. New Testament – Heavenly announcements were given to at least eight individuals or groups concerning the incarnation in the New Testament.

* To Zacharias – Luke 1:17,76.

* To Mary – Luke 1:31-35.

* To Joseph – Matthew 1:20,21.

* To the shepherds – Luke 2:10-12.

Why the virgin birth (incarnation)?

God never does anything without a good reason, and in this case, there are profound reasons for the incarnation.

  1. To reveal the invisible God – John 1:18; 14:9.
  2. To fulfill prophecy – Genesis 3:15.
  3. To guarantee the Davidic covenant – Luke 1:31-33.
  4. To make a sacrifice for our sins – 1 John 3:5.
  5. To reconcile man to God – 1 Timothy 2:5,6.
  6. To provide an example for believers – 1 Peter 2:21.
  7. To provide the believer with a high priest – Heb 2:17.
  8. To destroy the devil and his works – 1 John 3:8.
  9. To escape the historical curse – Romans 5:12.
  10. To heal the brokenhearted – Luke 4:18.
  11. To set a liberty the bruised – Luke 4:18.
  12. To give abundant life – John 3:36.
  13. To glorify the Father – John 13:31; 17:4.

The Humanity of Jesus Christ. He was a real man!

  1. He had a human parentage – Luke 1:31; Gal 4:4.
  2. He had a human body, soul, and spirit – Matthew 26:12; John 12:27; Matthew 2:8.
  3. He looked like a man – John 4:9; 20:15.
  4. He possessed flesh and blood – Hebrews 2:14.
  5. He grew – Luke 2:40.
  6. He asked questions – Luke 2:46.
  7. He prayed – John 17.
  8. He was tempted – Matthew 4:1.
  9. He hungered – Matthew 4:2.
  10. He thirsted – John 4:7.
  11. He was weary – John 4:6
  12. He slept – Matthew 8:24.
  13. He wept – John 11:35.
  14. He suffered – 1 Peter 4:1.
  15. He bled – John 19:34.
  16. He died – Matthew 27:50.

The Deity of Jesus Christ – Jesus Is God!

  1. Christ is omnipotent (all powerful).
  2. Over disease – Luke 4:39.
  3. Over demons – Matthew 8:16,17.
  4. Over men – Matthew 9:9; John 17:2.
  5. Over nature – Matthew 8:26.
  6. Over sin – Matthew 9:1-8.
  7. Over traditions – Matthew 9:10-17.
  8. Over death – Luke 7:14,15.
  9. Over all your problems – Romans 8:28.
  10. Christ is omniscient (all knowing) – John 2:24; 16:30.
  11. Christ is omnipresent – John 3:13; 14:20.
  12. Christ is worshipped as God:
  13. by the angels – Hebrews 1:6.
  14. by men – Luke 2:15; Matthew 2:2,11.
  15. Christ forgives sins – Mark 2:5,11; 1 John 1:9.
  16. Christ judges – John 5:22.
  17. Christ saves – John 10:28.

The death of Christ has the prominent place in the Word of God. Indeed, the death of Christ is the foundation in Christianity and is the subject of supreme interest in heaven and in the hearts of believers.

The Old Testament and Jesus Christ

The Old Testament reveals the plan of Christ crucified; while the New Testament reveals the man, Christ, crucified.

  1. The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) foreshadow Christ crucified.
  2. The Prophets foretell of Christ crucified.
  3. The Psalms express the feelings of Christ crucified.
  4. The Gospels give the facts of Christ crucified.
  5. The Epistles give the fruit of Christ crucified.

The death of Jesus Christ is important for three significant reasons:

  1. Christ crucified satisfied our sin debt.
  2. Christ crucified satisfied the holiness of God.
  3. Christ crucified satisfied the human heart (those who receive Christ).

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – The importance of the resurrection – 1 Cor. 15:12-19. If one denies the resurrection, he is forced to six horrible conclusions:

  1. All gospel preaching has been, is now, and always will be completely useless.
  2. All past, present, and future faith is futile.
  3. All preachers become notorious liars.
  4. All living Christians are still in their sins.
  5. All departed Christians are in hell.
  6. All reason and purpose for life itself is destroyed.

The order of the resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ is represented here (1 Corinthians 15:20-24) as being the first of its kind, thus indicating that previous miracles, such as the raising of Lazarus, were more on the order of restoring a dead mortal body to a living mortal body. True resurrection carries with it glorification.

There are three such resurrections:

  1. The resurrection of Christ – Matthew 28:5-8.
  2. The rapture / resurrection – 1 Thess 4:13,18
  3. The pre-millennial resurrection of Old Testament and tribulation saints. Rev 20:5,6.

The Ascension and Present ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. The fact of His ascension and ministry – Mark 16:9; Acts 1:9; Romans 8:34.
  2. The purpose of His ascension and ministry:
  3. To be our Forerunner – Hebrews 6:19,20.
  4. To prepare a place for us – John 14:2.
  5. To give spiritual gifts to His followers – Eph 4:10-14.
  6. To offer encouragement to His follower – Heb 4:14.
  7. To make high priestly prayers for us – Romans 8:34.

The theme of God’s Word is Jesus Christ Crucified, God Satisfied, The Believing Sinner Justified.
Dr. Arthur Belanger

https://www.collegeoftheopenbible.com/jesus-christ.html