Miracles

Numbers 17:8
“Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”

A miracle is defined as an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God. In other words, it is something that could not happen if God did not infuse His power into the situation. That is exactly what transpired here. To determine the validity of Aaron’s calling and ministry, God infused His power and made something that was incapable of bearing fruit, become fruitful. Aaron’s rod, which was nothing more than an old tree branch, suddenly came to life and produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.

This is not an isolated event. Throughout history God has been infusing His divine power into individuals, making them, and their ministry fruitful. He has, and continues to choose the foolish, weak, and lowly, for His divine service. He then fills them with His Spirit and uses them to accomplish what they could never have done apart from Him. Pulpits, children’s classroom, and mission fields, all around the world, are filled with tree branches that have been miraculously empowered by God, to become fruit bearing ministries. We should never think that our weakness limits God. Instead, we should trust in the fact that He is in the business of doing the impossible in and through the lives of those who are surrendered to Him.

Pastor Jim

 

Merry Christmas 

Zechariah 6:12-13
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out… And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

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The Bible speaks of the riches of the grace of God. Grace is a word that refers to God’s giving nature. James 1:17 puts it this way, “Every good and perfect gift comes from the father of lights in whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Certainly, life is filled with gifts given from heaven to earth. When we gaze into the face of nature, or a new born child, we cannot help but think of the grace of God. Nevertheless, every other gift pales in comparison to the gift given on the first Christmas morning. God wrapped His Son in human flesh and gave Him to mankind to be Savior and Lord. The young Child who was born in a stable, and laid in a manger, would grow to become what the apostle John called, “the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only but the sins of the whole world” (1John 2:2). As the years went by, He would move from a manger to a cross, where He would die, to pay the debt of sin, and reconcile man to God. As you give and receive gifts this Christmas, it is our prayer you would receive the greatest gift ever given, and put your trust in Christ, as Savior and Lord.

Merry Christmas, Pastor Jim

 

 

 

 

The Branch

Isaiah 4:2
“In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.”

_41153086_gallerytree.jpg“The Branch of the Lord” is a messianic title, meaning it is a description of Jesus our Savior. This phrase is used often by the prophets to speak of the work of Christ.

Isaiah 11:1 “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.

Jeremiah 23:5: “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.

Jeremiah 33:15 ” In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. “

Zechariah 3:8 “For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.”

Jesus used this same imagery to refer to Himself and our relationship with Him, when He called Himself the Vine and us the branches. The basic idea being that there is life in Christ, and as long as we are attached to Him, we will experience His life giving power, and have a life filled with fruitfulness. As the chapter continues, Isaiah speaks of some of the fruit that stems from being in relationship with Christ.

First, he speaks of our sins being washed. Sin is what keeps us from God and from eternal life, and as such, is the primary need of man and purpose of God. Jesus came, not primarily to be our teacher, guide, or example, but to be a sacrifice sufficient to wash away all sin. We need Christ because sin keeps us from heaven.

Second,  he speaks of holiness. The fruit generated by relationship with God is a holy life. Holiness means to be set apart in life and service. A person who is holy is a person devoted to God, and seeking to live in a way that pleases Him. Some of the marks of holiness are commitment to live in light of the teachings of Scripture, commitment of personal, private, family, church, and social life to God. A willingness to offer your time, talents and treasures in the service of Christ.

Third,  Isaiah refers to blessings that flow into the life of those who are connected to the branch. We will experience the benefit of intimacy with God. His presence will be like a cloud and a fire. This, no doubt, takes us back to Israel in the wilderness, when the cloud of God’s presence guided them through the desert. We find them being led through difficult seasons, where their needs were supernaturally met by God, and His voice gave insight into heir situations.

What an amazing promise He has given us. In the midst of the spiritual, moral, and social confusion of Judah, God promises that His people can be linked to the Branch who gives life.

Pastor Jim