MUSINGS OF AN OLDER MAN.

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AMAZING THINGS. (8)

Every time I read the story in Luke 2, I have to smile. Here is this mighty man, Caesar Augustus, the most powerful man in the then known world and he issues a degree that everyone in his ‘kingdom’, the Roman Empire should be registered. The poor man must have felt pretty important but did not realize that he was just a pawn in God’s hand. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” He did not realize that it was almighty God who had put the thought in his mind to issue this degree. And why had God done that? Because more than 700 years earlier the prophet Micah had written, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” Micha 5:2. There are two Bethlehem’s in Israel, but Micah pointed to the right one, imagine, 700 years earlier. And now, according to God’s schedule, the time had come for the fulfillment of this wonderful prophecy. However, there was a problem because the parents of this yet unborn Ruler lived in Nazareth and not Bethlehem, so God had to do something to get them to Bethlehem. He could have sent an angel to Joseph, as He had done before, but He chose to touch Caesar’s heart and mind, AMAZING. Not only that, but it says in Luke 2, “So all went to be registered, every one to his own city. “ In other words, the whole Roman empire came in motion, all these people, and none had any idea of what was really going on. And all this because a prophecy had to be fulfilled, God’ Son was to be born. Again, AMAZING. It must have taken quite some time for Joseph and Mary to make that 90-mile gruesome journey on foot and with a donkey, but they arrived right on schedule, at the right moment and at the right place, for the Son of God to be born. God had planned it so, that they did not have to travel in de summer, the hottest time of the year, neither in the winter, the coldest time, but in the Spring, right at the time that shepherds were out in the fields watching for lambs to be born. And now God`s Lamb was also going to be born, and these shepherds who were looking for newborn lambs were the first to see God`s newborn Lamb, absolutely AMAZING. I just praise God. Luke wrote that “all had to be registered.” Why not let this Christmas season be special and open your heart to that Ruler who died for you, and you also will be registered,…… in His book.

Caesar Augustus and his empire

 

AMAZING.

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If mankind does not want to come to God, God said, “I will come to you.” And He came, not as a ruthless ruler, but as an innocent Babe, amazing. And He did not come to destroy, but to save. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” I wrote the following five years ago, and it bears repeating.

The wonder of Christmas:

1. He who was far off has come near
2. He who was invisible has become visible
3. He who was untouchable has now become touchable
4. He who was unreachable has now become reachable
5. He who was seated on a heavenly throne is now lying in a manger
6. He who was worshiped by millions of angels is now visited by a few humble shepherds
7. He who was (and is) Lord, became a servant washing His disciples’ feet
8. He who was rich, became poor so that we through His poverty might become rich! 2Cor.8:9. Oh come, let us adore Him!

Wishing all our family and friends a wonderful and blessed Christmas, while focussing, not on the many gifts, but on the greatest Gift of all. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. 2Cor.9:15.

MUSINGS OF AN OLDER MAN.

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AMAZING THINGS. (7)

Bad news”, Jesus was not born on December 25. But, AMAZING news, when He WAS born and knowing that may thrill your heart as it did mine. In the gospel of Luke, chapter 2, the shepherds are watching their flocks, not in the winter, but starting about half of March-begin April. That’s the Hebrew month of Nisan. Why were the shepherds outside during the night? Because it was the time for lambs to be born. Interesting, what a time for God’s Lamb to be born. Isn’t something that shepherds looking for newborn lambs were chosen by God to be the first ones to see God’s newborn Lamb? AMAZING. Lambs born around Bethlehem were used to be sacrificed in the temple. What a picture of God’s sacrificial Lamb born in Bethlehem. AMAZING. In John’s gospel, 1:14, it says that the Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us. One of the best pictures of Christ in the O.T. is the tabernacle. How long did it take to build the tabernacle? Nine months. How long was Jesus in Mary’s womb? Nine months. AMAZING. When was the tabernacle finished, when did God come to dwell among them? On the first day of the first month, the month Nisan, the biblical New Years day for the Jews. Every important event in Jesus’ life fell on a Jewish holy day. His triumphant entry on Palm Sunday when the people would bring their lambs to Jerusalem, so God brought His Lamb also. His death on Passover. He rose on the day of the First Fruits. He sent His Spirit on the Jewish feast of Pentecost. Jesus fulfills the feasts, but he also fulfills the theme of the feasts. Is there a day on the Hebrew calendar that would fulfill the theme of the Messiah’s birth? What does His birth mean? A new beginning. What special day would fulfill this? If there is one, it would be Nisan 1. In the O.T. on the first of Nisan God came to dwell among His people. In the light of all this, wouldn’t be reasonable to think that Jesus also came to dwell among us on the first of Nisan? Quite AMAZING isn’t? The coming of Jesus, a new begin, a new calendar, the old has passed, the new has come. Praise God. Now, don’t let this dating thing spoil your Christmas, the date is interesting but not most important, His coming is, and we celebrate that on December 25. He was born in a stable, has He been born in your heart? Why not let Him in? Merry Christmas to all with much of God’s peace and presence. (To be continued).

God's Lamb

 

 

 

 

 

OVERPEINZINGEN VAN EEN OUDERE MAN.

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VERBAZINGWEKKENDE en WONDERBAARLIJKE DINGEN. (7)

“Slecht nieuws,” Jezus is niet geboren op 25 december. VERBAZINGWEKKEND-nieuws over wanneer Hij dan wel geboren is en dat zou uw hart wel eens kunnen ontroeren, zoals bij mij.

In het Lucas evangelie, hoofdstuk twee, lezen we over de herders die ‘s nachts buiten de wacht hielden over hun kudden, dat was niet in de winter, maar ongeveer half maart en begin april. Dat is de Hebreeuwse maand Nisan. Waarom waren de herders ’s nachts buiten? Omdat dit de tijd was dat de lammetjes geboren werden. Interessant, ook de tijd voor de geboorte van Gods Lam. Is het niet bijzonder dat herders die aan het uitkijken waren voor de geboorte van lammetjes, degenen waren die door God gekozen werden om de eersten te zijn om Zijn pasgeboren Lam te zien? Toch WONDERBAARLIJK, niet? Lammetjes die rond Bethlehem geboren werden, werden als offerlammen gebruikt. Wat een beeld van Gods Offerlam geboren in Bethlehem. Wonderlijk, niet? In Johannes 1:14 staat dat het Woord vleesgeworden is en onder ons gewoond (getabernakeld) heeft. Een van de mooiste beelden van Christus in het O.T. is de tabernakel. Hoelang heeft men aan de tabernakel gewerkt? Negen maanden. Hoelang was Jezus in Maria’s baarmoeder? Negen maanden. WONDERBAARLIJK. Wanneer was de tabernakel voltooid, wanneer kwam God in hun midden wonen? Op de eerste dag van Nisan, Exodus 40:1-2, de Bijbelse Nieuwjaarsdag voor de Joden. Iedere belangrijke gebeurtenis in het leven van Jezus viel op een speciale Joodse dag. Zijn triomfantelijke binnenkomst in Jeruzalem op Palmzondag, als de mensen hun offerlammeren brachten, en zo ook God zijn Offerlam bracht. Zijn dood op Pasen. Zijn opstanding op het Feest van de Eerste vruchten. En zijn Heilige Geest kwam op het Pinksterfeest. Jezus vervuld niet alleen de Feesten maar Hij vervult ook de thema’s van de Feesten. Is er een dag op de Joodse kalender die het thema van de geboorte van de Messias vervuld? Wat betekent Zijn geboorte? Een nieuw begin. Welke speciale dag beeld dit nieuwe begin uit? Als er al een is, dan is het zeker Nisan 1. In het O.T. kwam op Nisan 1 God in hun midden wonen. In het licht hiervan, zou het niet redelijk zijn aan te nemen dat Jezus ook op Nisan 1 onder ons is komen wonen? Toch WONDERBAARLIJK, nietwaar? De komst van Jezus, een nieuw begin, het oude is voorbij, het nieuwe is gekomen. Geloofd zij de Heer. Laat nu deze dateringszaak uw Kerst niet bederven, de datum is interessant, maar niet het belangrijkste, Zijn komst is, en die vieren we op 25 december. Hij werd geboren in een stal, is Hij al in uw hart geboren? Waarom laat u Hem niet binnen? Een gezegende Kerst toegewenst met veel van Gods vrede en vreugde. (Wordt vervolgd).

MUSINGS OF AN OLDER MAN.

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AMAZING THINGS. (6)

Did you know that there is a small five letter word that is only mentioned three times in the Bible and all three have the same connection? I’ll explain in a moment, but first this:

Many people do not realize that one of the most AMAZING things on this planet is the Bible, the Word of God also called the HolyScriptures. I could write pages and pages about it. It is absolutely unique. Unique in that it was written over a period of about 1500 years by some 40 different writers, in three languages, on three continents, and yet, it is so one in its content and in its unity. It was the first large book translated, the first sizeable book printed, the Bestseller at all times, and at the same time the most loved and most hated book on earth. It gives us such amazing accurate scientific facts, and how about the many, yes, many hundreds of prophecies, just AMAZING, wouldn’t you say? And what the about the power of God’s word, the power that has changed so many lives all over the world, isn’t that AMAZING? All these things are evidence that the Bible wasn’t written just by men, but as Peter said, “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2Pe.1:21. But there is also an inward witness to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I could give you many examples, but I will just show you one. The one five letter word referred to earlier and which is used only three times in the Bible, is found in Genesis, in Ezekiel, and in Luke. And there is one thing that connects these three, amazing. The word is ‘sweat.’

Gen. 3:19, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.” Sweat is the symbol or token of the curse God had placed on the earth after Adam and Eve sinned.

Ez.44:18, “They (the priests) shall have linen turbans on their heads and linen trousers on their bodies; they shall not clothe themselves with anything that causes sweat.” They were not allowed to come into the presence of God with this symbol of the curse.

Luke 22:44, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Jesus sweat because He became a curse for us.

Now isn’t that amazing? Three times and each time in connection with the curse. Only the Holy Spirit could have written that, praise God. I believe we take the Bible too much for granted, it is indeed the most AMAZING book on earth. Read it!

OVERPEINZINGEN VAN EEN OUDERE MAN.

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VERBAZINGWEKKENDE DINGEN. (6)

Wist u dat er een klein vijf letterwoordje bestaat dat maar driemaal vernoemd wordt in de Bijbel en dat elk van deze drie dezelfde connectie heeft met een belangrijk woord? Ik zal het zo meteen uitleggen, maar eerst dit:

Veel mensen beseffen niet dat de Bijbel een van de meest VERBAZINGWEKKENDE-dingen is op onze planeet. Ik zou daar eindeloos over kunnen schrijven. De Bijbel is absoluut uniek. Uniek in dat het geschreven is over een periode van ongeveer 1500 jaar, door zo’n 40 verschillende schrijvers, in drie talen, op drie continenten, en toch is het zo één wat de inhoud betreft, zo eendrachtig. Het was het eerste grote boek dat vertaald is geworden, het eerst gedrukte boek, de ‘Bestseller’ aller tijden, en tegelijkertijd, het meest geliefde en meest gehate boek op aarde. Het heeft zulk ontzagwekkende nauwkeurige wetenschappelijke feiten, en denk ook eens aan de honderden profetieën, werkelijk VERBAZINGWEKKEND, vindt u niet? En denk ook eens aan de kracht van Gods Woord dat de levens van zovelen, overal ter wereld veranderd heeft. Is dat ook niet VERBAZINGWEKKEND? Al deze dingen zijn een bewijs dat de Bijbel niet zomaar geschreven is door gewone mensen, maar, zoals Petrus zegt: “door de Heilige Geest gedreven, hebben mensen van Godswege gesproken.” 2Pe.1:21.

Er bestaan ook innerlijke getuigenissen die de inspiratie van Gods Geest aantonen. Ik zou u daar veel voorbeelden van kunnen geven, maar ik hou het bij één. Het vijf letterwoordje waarmee ik dit artikeltje begon en dat maar driemaal vernoemd wordt in de Bijbel wordt gevonden in Genesis, Ezechiël en Luke. En er is één woord dat hen alle drie inzekere zin verbindt, heel interessant. Het vijf letterwoordje is‘zweet.’

Genesis 3:19, “In het zweet uws aanschijns zult ge brood eten.” ‘Zweet’ is het teken van de vloek die God na de zonde van de mens op de aarde plaatste.

Ezechiël 44:18, “Linnen hoofddoeken zullen op hun hoofd zijn en linnen broeken aan hun heupen, zij zullen zich niet omgorden met iets dat doet zweten.” De priesters mochten niet voor Gods aangezicht in de tempel verschijnen met het teken van de vloek op zich.

Lucas 22:44, “En Hij werd dodelijk beangst en bad des te vuriger. En zijn zweet werd als bloeddruppels die op de aarde vielen.” Jezus zweette omdat de vloek op Hem lag. Is dat niet VERBAZINGWEKKEND? Driemaal en iedere keer i.v.m. de vloek. Alleen de HeiligeGeest kon dat zo schrijven. Ik geloof dat we de Bijbel te veel als vanzelfsprekend beschouwen en als een gewoon boek zien. Nee, het is inderdaad het Woord van God en het meest VERBAZINGWEKKENDE boek op aarde. Lees het!

MUSINGS OF AN OLDER MAN.

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AMAZING THINGS. (5)A

A mouse trap and the universe.

You may wonder, what does a mouse trap have to do with the universe? What is so amazing about that? Let me explain. When you have problems with a mouse or with mice in your house, you need a mousetrap, (see image). To have an effective mousetrap, three things are necessary, first, you need all five parts. When one part is missing, the trap won’t work. Secondly, all the parts need to be exactly in the right place. To have them just placed here and there makes the trap useless. Thirdly, an intelligence is needed to assemble the parts, so they are in the right place. What a simple, yet wonderful illustration of the universe and our planet earth. To have a livable planet, we need, just like with the mousetrap, three things. First, all the parts. We need planet earth, a sun, a moon, other planets, stars, and several other things. Secondly, we need these to be in the right place. For example, the distance between the sun and the earth needs to be just right, otherwise, the earth is not livable. And, the distance between the moon, which is exactly the in the correct position, and the sun and the earth must be just right. We need to have the earth in the right place in the universe, with the right size, with the right tilt, spinning with the right speed, and having the right combination of nitrogen and oxygen, plus small amounts of other gasses. Thirdly, we need an intelligence to put this all in place, just like with the mousetrap, or the earth will not be livable. Is it all in place? Is it all working? Is planet earth livable? Oh yes, it certainly is. ISN’T THIS AMAZING? Who was that Intelligence? Did everything after a so-called “Big Bang” come together, just right, by itself? Could the five parts of a mouse trap assemble themselves? Of course not. You see, that’s why I believe in an Intelligence, that’s why I believe in God and that’s why I worship Him.