Day 6 Celebrating Immanuel

Day 6 Celebrating Immanuel…

…Then Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily…” (Matthew 1:19 KJV)

I say, beware of “putting those things away privily” which the Lord hath given!

How many of us have “put away” blessings from the Hand of God in FEAR of what others might say about us or do unto us?  Joseph was just about to do that in the life of his espoused wife, Mary…

The Bible tells us that Joseph did not want his virgin, espoused wife to be made a “public example” seeing how she was carrying a child out-of-wedlock; a child that did not even belong to him…Joseph must have feared the thoughts and actions of others….And, with good reason…Who in their right mind would have believed that Mary was carrying the Son of God? Who?  Ask yourself…Would you have believed his story if you have lived in that time period?

Even today many miracles require Great Faith to receive them into our lives…But, our God is, and always has been, and always will be a Great God of Miracles!  My three daughters and I used to sing a beautiful song titled,  “There’s a Miracle in the Making for You!”   Wow! What a “miracle” Mary and Joseph experienced in their lives! Praise be unto God!

Both Mary and Joseph had a “Divine Calling” upon their lives…And, it was going to require Great Faith on their parts to carry the calling out….In some ways, the same is true today when a believer feels that he or she has a divine calling upon their own life…To announce a “calling” requires Faith…Why?  Because people tend to have a “doubting” side within their hearts when someone says that he or she has been “called of God” for service.  A lot of people’s first reactions or thoughts may be something like this: “Whew, glad it’s them and not me.”  Or, “Sure; we’ll see.”  As a result, those who do feel they have a certain call of God upon their lives sometimes delay or even reframe from following that call in “fear” of what others might say; or how they might be judged.  How sad…To follow any “Calling” of God requires Faith and Courage; maybe, not the same amount of GREAT FAITH that was required at the hands of Mary and Joseph, but Faith nevertheless.

However, just as God was with Mary and Joseph, He will be with ALL those He calls into His service.  When a person does step out in Faith, God empowers that man or woman with His Holy Spirit to fulfill and carry out his or her specific “call” for their life. I cannot STRESS ENOUGH the word, “CALL,” (or, Divine Calling) because without God’s empowerment upon a person’s life, he or she cannot carry out God’s Spiritual business on planet Earth…It may look like it for a while,  but only time will tell for certain if the true Power of God is resting upon an individual’s life…God always tests those whom He has called and chosen!

My friend, just as the angel appeared unto Joseph telling him, “Fear not,” I encourage you to “fear not” as well.  The Bible teaches us to, “Lean on God and trust in the Lord with all our heart; and lean NOT to our own understandings, and He shall direct thy paths…(Proverbs 3:5)…God is the author and finisher of our Faith…Whatever God brings us to; God will see us through…Let’s not privately “put away” our blessings because of FEARS…Today, like Joseph, by Faith, you, too, can do whatever God has set forth for you to do…But, ONLY In His Name and In His Power….Amen…Remember, in His time, God shall bring it to pass!  Hallelujah! Amen…

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T Rollins, Author

@copyright by Lin T Rollins – Nov. 2012

Day 5 Celebrating Immanuel…

Day Five – Celebrating Immanuel…

And, His (God’s) mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation…(Luke 1:50 KJV)

In this verse, we see God’s promise given unto those who “FEAR” Him.  He promises that MERCY (God’s love, forgiveness, and kindness shown) will be upon them from generation to generation…

In this context many scholars teach that the term “FEAR” is defined as one showing, demonstrating, or possessing a sense of “reverence,” “respect,” and “honor” towards another… I would never, never argue that point…But, I also believe it could be defined here as one who actually “fears,” or is afraid, of a stronger, greater, or mightier force of power….In other words, a healthy, positive “fear” towards God being God!

In my opinion, our world is missing a good, healthy dose of “FEAR” towards a Holy, Righteous, Mighty God….Yes; I know God loves us.  He sent His only begotten Son to die in our places. (John 3:16)…  However, my earthy Dad loved me, too…But, I sure did have a good dose of “FEAR” when it came to obeying what he told me to do and following his instructions!  He provided for my earthly needs as a child, but he would also correct me when I got out-of-place!  My Heavenly Father deserves my “fear” as well; even more so as He provides for ALL my needs!  Amen…

I believe if people truly “feared” God in the right way, we would not see as many hideous crimes committed or vulgar, ungodly living around us…Children, teens, and adults seemingly having no “fear” of any authority whatsoever…Those who laugh, mock, and make fun of the Bible lack any Fear whatsoever towards a Holy God…Those who disbelieve in His Word (The Holy Bible), and make fun of those of us who do believe, lack “fear” towards our God; our Creator… Sadly, their lack of “fear” will one day bring them to a terrible place of torment where the Bible says that the worm dieth not and the fire is never quenched. (Mark 9:48 NT).

Thank goodness, for those of us who do believe and “Fear” our Holy Righteous God in a good and positive way…For we will receive MERCY for as long as we shall live…How Great is our God…Amen…

Today, you may not FEAR God as you should.  You may believe that you can continue to get by with your own ways and your own thoughts without anyone ever interfering.  That’s not true my friend….We shall all one day stand before a Holy and Righteous God to give account of our deeds, thoughts, actions, and ways done here upon Earth…I pray that you will come to “Fear” God in a loving, positive way as your Heavenly Father who will either shower you with His Mercy or say to you one sad, eternal day, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”  Oh, how sad.  Won’t you come to Jesus; Come to Jesus today…Amen.

Remember God Loves You!

Lin T Rollins, Author

@copyright Lin T Rollins Nov 2012

Day 4 Celebrating Immanuel

Day 4 Celebrating Immanuel

And, Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior, For he (God) hath regarded the low estate (humbled estate) of his handmaiden; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46 -48 KJV).

The key to an outstanding, victorious, blessed of God, achieving Christian life is humbled OBEDIENCE…

A significant part of Mary’s salutation to her cousin, Elizabeth, was actually revealing the condition of Mary’s own heart…She stated to Elizabeth,  “God hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.”  Another version of this same scripture uses the word, “humbled estate” in place of “low estate.”  Both words, “humbled” and “low,” can be defined as one possessing a spirit of meekness… In either version, Mary is revealing that she did NOT argue with God’s plan, debate God’s plan, question God’s plan, or delay in following God’s plan.  She responded to God’s plan with a spirit of humbleness and meekness…In other words, she was instantly “OBEDIENT” to God’s plan…No wonder she said, “All generations shall call me blessed, For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and Holy is His name.” (Luke 1:49 KJV).

Notice, Mary did NOT say to Elizabeth, “I have done great things.”  She said, ” For He (GOD!) that is mighty hath done TO ME GREAT THINGS!”  Not only was she completely of “low estate” and  “obedient,” but she also gave FULL credit to God and NOT to herself!  How many times does God want to use us, but we get the misconceived idea that there’s something within us worth using!!

Mary knew that she could offer God nothing more than her complete obedience.  What a good lesson for each of us to learn…What if we all stripped ourselves of our earthly pride, arrogance, high-mindedness, self-will, and self-centered ideologies to put on garments of meekness, humbleness, and simple obedience??!!  Then, we could say, like Mary, “I am called blessed.”

Even though people use the term, “Blessed,” in so many different ways, the true Biblical definition of one actually being “blessed,” is finding favor of God…We say to our friends and strangers alike, “Have a blessed day.”  We are using the phrase “blessed day” much in the same way as saying, “Have a good day.”  However, one can have a “good” day without having a “blessed” day!  Non-believers can have “good” days, but without the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon their lives, they cannot know what it means to have a Biblically “blessed” day.  Oh, my friend, I want to be “blessed” of God and to have “blessed” days all the days of my life!!  “Surely, goodness, and mercy shall follow me all the days; all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6)

And, the older I get and the farther along I walk with God, I am learning that to have more and more “blessed” days in my life requires me to be more and more “obedient” unto the Lord in ALL things.

I don’t know about you, but I am truly thankful that the Lord’s handmaiden, Mary, was of “low estate,” and willing to be an obedient servant unto the Lord…

Thank you Sweet Jesus for those who have forsaken all to be “obedient” unto you.  For great is their reward…Yes; they shall be called, “Blessed.”

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T Rollins, Author

@copyright by Lin T Rollins Nov. 2012.

Day 3 Celebrating Immanuel

Celebrating Immanuel…

And, blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And, Mary said, My soul doth magnify (praise) the Lord…Luke 1:46

Oh, my friend the amazing, eternal, and everlasting effects of one who “Believes.”  

Noah believed God and through his belief he saved his own family and repopulated the world after the Great Flood.  Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as “righteousness.”  Moses believed God and he lead the children of Israel out of bondage.  King David believed God and was called the “Apple of God’s Own Eye.” The Old Testament prophets believed God and risked their own lives telling others about the LORD.

On that most blessed day, over two thousand years ago, a young maiden named Mary believed God and as a result brought forth our Savior!  Thank you Lord Jesus for those who have believed, and for those who do believe, and for those who will one day believe…

But, what about those who do not believe God or believe in God?  Oh, my friend their effects are just as eternal and everlasting; passing down their unbeliefs to the third and fourth generations…and even beyond….

A genealogical study was performed by a group of university students and professors comparing the lives between two different contrasting families. One family was known as “believers” in God who practiced the teachings of the Bible.  The other family was “non-believers” who did not trust in God nor practice the teachings of the Bible.

As the study revealed, over several generations, the “believing” family possessed and contained several great and outstanding leaders including one founding US President, several senators, state and federal court judges, doctors, teachers, and lawyers.  On the other hand, over several generations spanning the same time periods, the “non-believing” family possessed and contained several bank robbers, drunkards, and ever murderers.  The “curse” of non-believing had made its mark!  And, the “blessings” of “Believing in God” had made its mark!

The simple “act” of “Believing in God” can never, never be underestimated…”For without Faith it is impossible to please God.”

Oh, my friend, like Mary, I, too, want my life to “magnify” (praise) the Lord…I want everyone I know to know that I am a believer and follower of God…I want all the generations that follow after me to believe and know God by Faith and through His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus…

Believing” does make a difference….All the difference in the world…An eternal difference…For those who believe will one day stand before a loving Savior who will wipe every tear from our eye and every pain and heartache from our bodies…But, woe unto those who do not believe, for they will one day stand before a Holy and Righteous God who will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”  As “believers,” our eternal home will be Heaven…And, sadly, the “unbeliever’s” eternal home will be a dreadful place of torment known as Hell…(Luke 16: 19-31).

Please don’t allow “unbelief” to steal your life here on earth and to seal your eternal destiny and abode.  Please do not allow “unbelief” to set the difficult course for future generations…Come to Jesus; come to Jesus in belief knowing that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do…Accept the greatest Christmas gift of all:  “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever BELIEVES in Him shall have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16).  God sent His Son for anyone who makes the choice to “believe.”  Won’t you believe?

Remember, God Loves You

Lin T Rollins, Author

copyright by Lin T Rollins, Nov. 2012

Day 2 Celebrating Immanuel…

Day # 2 Celebrating Immanuel…

“And the angel came unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”

(Possible conversation between Mary and Elizabeth on the day Mary arrived in the city of Juda, home of her cousin, Elizabeth)

“Oh, cousin Elizabeth, the angel said that I am highly favored and blessed among women.”

“Yes, Mary, indeed thou art blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

What woman is not somewhat overwhelmed with amazement and awe when she first hears the news that she is carrying a child? Even if the child was unplanned or maybe conceived under difficult circumstances, there is a part of a women that knows her body is being used to bring forth life. There is an immediate bonding between the Giver of Life and the one carrying the new life within…

Nonetheless, over two thousand years ago, a virgin from the small town of Nazareth was visited by the angel Gabriel, sent forth from God, to announce that she would bring forth a child who would be called, “The Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father (King) David…” (Luke 1:32 KJV)

Did you see that? A lowly, yet highly favored, virgin from Nazareth would bring forth a King!  What “believing” (religious) mother doesn’t want good for her child!  A godly mother wants her child to be healthy, happy, and succesful; a child filled with wisdom and righteousness who accomplishes great things for the Lord.  Well, Mary was certainly no exception…Except, where most mothers don’t know the exact fortunes or futures of their children-to-be, Mary was given an immediate promise that her son would one day be given the throne of King David of Israel…And, not only would he sit on the throne, he would reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end!  (Luke 1:33 KJV)…Hallelujah!

Can you only imagine what it must have been like for Mary to “process” such vital information?  Most of us mothers-to-be would be thrilled just to be told that the baby inside of us was healthy and would one day graduate college and run a successful business, marry the love of their life, and live happily ever after!  Yet; Mary’s baby son would not only be a future King, but of his kingdom there would be no end!  I don’t know about you, but I would be in absolute shock and jubilation at the same time. Talking about being all over the radar with my emotions!  I wouldn’t know what to celebrate first; being highly favored myself or knowing that my Son would be ALL of Earth’s future King!

But, not Mary…She replied, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”  I love it…Keeping it simple…In Mary’s mind, she wasn’t thinking about the future of the child at the moment, she was wondering how on earth was she going to conceive a child without first knowing a man as her husband!

No matter who we are, it’s a challenge at times to understand, by Faith, the workings of a Holy and Righteous God; Mary was no exception.  Mary would go on to learn that she would remain a virgin without the “natural” use of a man to aid in her first conception.  The angel Gabriel would explain that the  “Holy Thing” (Luke 1: 35 KJV) which shall be born unto her would be called the Son of God…Amazing!…Can you only imagine Mary’s thoughts on that day!

However, without resistance, Mary quickly responded, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”  (Luke 1: 38 KJV)…Amen!!  No wonder she found “favor” in God’s eyes!

Yes, Mary, thou art highly favored among women…And, today, I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for your faith and obedience that you showed on that most blessed divinely appointed time in history.  The very moment when you surrendered your life and your body to bear God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ…who would come into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be Saved…(John 3:17)…Oh, yes; oh, yes; oh, yes…Mary, thou art truly highly favored.  Amen.

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T Rollins

@copyright by Lin T Rollins, November 2012

Day 1 Celebrating Immanuel…

Celebrating Immanuel….Day # 1 — November 24, 2012

For the next 30 days, I would like to take us back in time on a literary journey to the days preceding the blessed birth of our Lord, Savior, and Messiah, Jesus Christ. I would like to travel back to a time when the arrival of a Messiah was hugely on the hearts and minds of every soul…And, compare it to our present-day anticipation of Christ’s Second Coming.  Amen!

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  (Isaiah 7:14)…

(The arrival of Mary to her Aunt Elizabeth’s house)…”Oh, Aunt Elizabeth, How truly amazing. Can I really and truly be the chosen virgin whom the Prophet Isaiah spoke of? A hand-maiden who will bring forth the blessed Son of God?” 

“Oh, yes, my dear child. The babe inside of me leaped with joy when he heard the salutations of your voice. It is you who carries our Redeemer; the Hope of Israel.”

(Two older Jewish men working side by side under the harsh hands of Roman rule)…”Where, where is this Hope of Israel? How long must we suffer at the hands of Rome? When will a Deliverer come; as was promised?”

“Old man, you speak as a foolish one…Does our LORD have to tell us when He will come? Our prophets spoke of His coming, and I believe.”

In those days, the Jewish people expected their Messiah to come any moment as a reigning King to deliver them from the harsh bondage of slavery that they had endured for over four-hundred years. Yet; the Bible teaches that His first coming was upon the “wise.”  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12

Oh, the great anticipation of His long-awaited arrival would soon be over…Mary would bring forth a Son…Oh, ask yourself this question: What must have those days, hours, and minutes leading up to the birth of Jesus felt like to both young Mary and her espoused husband, Joseph, as they awaited for their Promised Messiah?  The Bible tells us that,  “Mary pondered these things in her heart.”

Oh, my friend, do you and I “ponder” the sacred things of God in our hearts today?  Do you and I ponder the second coming of Christ Jesus as eagerly as those who awaited his first arrival?  Do you and I greet each morning with great anticipation that, “Today, could be the day that the Lord comes again!”   Oh, I hope so.

I hope you will enjoy my thirty-day series on, “Celebrating Immanuel.”  I’m looking forward to reflecting upon our Lord’s first arrival in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago while also writing about His exciting futuristic second coming as earth’s King of Kings and Lord of Lords…Let’s Celebrate Immanuel together!! Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Amen!

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T Rollins, Author

@copyright by Lin T Rollins – November 2012

To Forgive is Divine

To Forgive is Divine

 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him,
so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:5)

An old proverbial adage says, “To err is human, but to forgive is divine.”  There is a lot of Biblical truth contained in that saying.  First, it is human to err, to choose wrong, to make a mistake, to fall short of a goal, and to sin.  Second, it is divine to “forgive.”

There is a great lesson in “forgiving” someone who has harmed, mistreated, hurt, or disappointed you.  God doesn’t tell us to “forgive” just for the sake of “forgiving.”  He tells us to forgive for the sake of NOT hurting ourselves anymore than we have already been hurt.  Let me explain.  I feel that the main reason it is hard, if not nearly impossible at times, to forgive someone who has done you (us) wrong is because we feel it “devalues” our feelings and self-worth.  I, too, had to learn that forgiving others doesn’t mean what they did to me or to someone I love was right or justified…Forgiving was my determination to follow the will of God for my life and to allow HIM to become the supreme “judge” in all matters.  It’s a matter of Trust and Faith.

“Forgiveness” is demonstrating to God and to others that you have put your total and complete Faith and Trust in God.  Then, after we have “forgiven,” the Bible tells us to be “reconciled” unto the person whom we have forgiven.  Don’t kid yourself, no one can be “reconciled” when they have not yet forgiven.  And, when a person cannot be “reconciled” because they have not forgiven, they are “regarding iniquities” within their own heart…Thus, the real “heart of the matter” is revealed to God and to others…(God sees the heart!)

An unforgiving, un-reconciled person is harboring sin within their heart and life.  In God’s eyes, the “unforgiving,” “un-reconciled” person can possess a more bitter sin than the person who first offended.  All “un-forgiveness” and the refusal to be reconciled leads to a strong root of bitterness that will eventually destroy a person’s life.

No matter of good deeds, hard work, prayer, or attempts to “hide” un-forgiveness will prevent bitterness from taking root within an “unforgiving,” “un-reconciled” person’s life…It is a Spiritual Law.  Bitterness can lead to all matters of sickness and stress within a person’s life. You can hear bitterness in a person’s tone and see it on their face…They may think they are hiding it, but bitterness creeps up on a person’s life much like wrinkles! One day they are not there and the next day they are!

The “unforgiving” person will eventually defeat their own cause.  The unwillingness to forgive and to be reconciled in God’s love unto the one who offended will be the Achilles heel in which their life will eventually fall apart.  I have seen it happen too many times.  Oh, I never want a root of bitterness silently growing within and choking out every good deed I have ever done in the Name of the Lord.  I pray to always possess a Spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and obedience unto my Lord and Maker.

There are no exceptions in God’s Spiritual Law of Forgiveness and Reconciliation.  God sent his only begotten Son for the “forgiveness of our sins” and to be “reconciled” back to God.  If this is the very basis of Salvation, then why would God allow his own Son, Jesus Christ, to be so badly beaten and wounded for the “forgiveness” of our sins but allow us to prosper in our own “un-forgiveness” of others??  It just won’t happen.

Through the obedience of God’s Word, many people have forgiven horrible, terrible, and harsh acts of violence at the hands of others.  There are women out there who have forgiven sin-sick fathers who physically molested them as young daughters. Adult men and women who have forgiven fathers or mothers who beat them, verbally abused them, and did not provide for their needs.  Wives who have forgiven husbands who cheated on them, beat them, verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused them. Sisters who have forgiven older brothers or sisters who tormented and abused them. Brothers who have forgiven older brothers or sisters who beat or molested them. Sons and daughters who have forgiven mothers and fathers who abandoned them, left them, gave them up.  Nieces forgiving aunts.  Nephews forgiving uncles.  Cousins forgiving cousins. Parents who have forgiven sons and daughters for abuse, disrespect, disobedience, shameful and disgraceful behaviors. Even those who have forgiven those who murdered, killed, or raped a loved one.  The practice of “forgiveness” covers a multitude of sins…

God doesn’t just tell us to “forgive” the things that don’t matter to us…He tells us to “forgive” others regarding the things in this life that do matter the most to us…

My parents were non-church goers when I was younger and growing up. They did not get involved in church until after I was married. It took me a long time to get over that fact and to forgive them for not caring about my soul or teaching me about God’s ways. But, they were blinded in their ways, and I had to learn that… But, with God’s help and my wanting to be obedient to God’s word..I learned to forgive them and be reconciled unto both of my parents.

I also learned that not being exposed to “church-life” as a child had its advantages in some ways.  When I became a pastor’s wife, I could relate to the stories of many newly converted Christians.  I understood their background and their need for the Lord.  My husband, having grown up in a church-going family, could not always understand the harshness that many people endured before coming to Christ.  God always has a purpose and a plan for our lives.  But, we must first surrender to His will in ALL things.

Sadly, if I had refused to forgive my parents for “disappointing” me or “letting me down” in some way by not taking me to church, I would have never fully known the wonderous Grace of God…And, I would have been harboring an even greater sin within my own heart…”Unforgiveness” is a sin in God’s eyes…And, one that can bring about great harm and hurt into our own lives.

My friend, there may be someone out there today that disappointed you, hurt your feelings, didn’t behave the way that you felt they should have behaved, or even brought about great harm into your life…I ask you to Give it to Jesus.  Ask God to forgive “them” of their wrongdoings to you.  Ask God to forgive you for not forgiving them.  Ask God to not allow a root of bitterness to spring forth in your own life.  Ask God to work things out the way He sees fit; not the way you think it should go.

Be reconciled to the best of you ability to the one(s) that hurt you.  Then, leave the results in God’s hands.  If, after you have forgiven the one(s) who hurt you, and asked God to forgive them as well, and you have made every attempt to be reconciled back to that person and they “refuse” to be reconciled….then, walk away…You have done all you can do…You are freed from the root of bitterness in your own life and you are now walking according to God’s command.  By forgiving and showing effort to be reconciled, you have made peace with yourself and with God…The rest is in His hand.  And, I pray that you will see God’s Fruit of the Spirit upon your own life…Amen.

May you find peace today in forgiveness and being reconciled first unto God and then unto those who have hurt you.  May you feel the JOY of God’s own forgiveness sweeping over your soul as you sing from the heart, “It is well with my soul.”  After all, it is your soul and only your soul that determines your relationship with God…Not someone else’s actions, but your own…Today, is your soul really and truly  well with God?

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T Rollins, Author

@copyright by Lin T Rollins, Nov. 2012