Revelation 3:1-6 

Romans 10:9

What does your “to do” list look like?  Maybe it’s a little longer with New Year’s resolutions, or shorter if the resolutions didn’t work out.

In Revelation 3, the Holy Spirit communicated to the Sardis Church.  Most of them were warned to awaken and complete the unfinished deeds.  If they didn’t awaken, repent and obey, Jesus “will come like a thief…”.

There were a handful of Sardis people Jesus found worthy.  He relayed that anyone victorious like those few will get to be with Him.  Jesus promises not to “blot out” the worthy person’s name in “the book of life.

If life has you distracted, force yourself to stop and reflect on your status with Jesus.  If you’re not saved yet, say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.  If you don’t think it’s important to get saved, the enemy is lying to you!  Or if you think you can put off salvation like procrastinating on a project, you may not have the time you think you have.  What if you could see Jesus about to delete your name from the Book of Life?  Wouldn’t you want to stop that action?

I once heard a pastor give an electrifying message on salvation.  He challenged listeners to care about others’ salvation to spare them from Hell.  He begged the congregation to imagine lost people unknowingly walking towards and over the edge of a cliff.  He hoped that if people could actually see others nearing that deadly place, they would call out, “Hey!  Stop!”  Then, they could tell them about Christ.

If you are saved but have a sleepy spiritual life, wake up!  A good way to wake up spiritually, is to complete Experiencing God, a workbook by Henry Blackaby.  I finished the workbook last month and found that although he is not afraid to step on toes, Experiencing God was helpful in deepening my relationship with God.  One bit of wisdom that stands out, is to remember the last thing God communicated to you to do, and then to do that without hesitation.  So, you might have to revise that 2018 to do list.


Luke 19:1-9, Revelation 22:7-21

You are probably familiar with the account of Zacchaeus climbing a sycamore-fig tree so he could see Jesus.  Soon after, Jesus provided Zacchaeus with salvation.

Have you ever wanted to see Zacchaeus’ tree?  I discovered an interesting post of a blogger that searched for the ancient tree.  Once in Jericho, the blogger found three possibilities for the tree and thought it’s also possible the historic sycamore-fig might not exist anymore.

I think that Zacchaeus’ tree is what is displayed in the Greek Orthodox monastery.  Only a trunk is left, but it looks like it was a climber-friendly tree with easily accessible branches.  The last tree the blogger saw in the garden of the Holy Land Museum does not look climber-friendly.

Whether Zacchaeus’ tree still exists or not, doesn’t appear to be known.  What we do know is that Zacchaeus used a sycamore-fig tree to look for Jesus.  Let’s also eagerly look for Jesus now and in 2018.  The end of Revelation tells us in Jesus’ own words that He is coming.



Matthew 2:1-12

One morning earlier this month, sunlight came through our kitchen window and shined like a spotlight on our Nativity scene.  That light reminded me of the star we associate with Jesus’ birth.

What do we know about the star?  In Matthew 2:1-2 we read that Eastern Magi saw “his star” and they desired “to worship him.”  Also, the star “went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.”

The NIV Study Bible says about the star, “Probably not an ordinary star, planet or comet, though some scholars have identified it with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.”  And R. C. Sproul, who is now with our Lord, had said in The Reformation Study Bible about the star, “This may have been a planetary conjunction, a supernova, or something purely supernatural.”

It really sounds like the Magi got a show.  The star was like a spotlight on Jesus, the real star.

Luke 2:4-7, 23:50-56, John 19:38-40

When the topic of Jesus as a baby is mentioned, we often think of Mary and his earthly dad, Joseph.  We picture Mary wrapping Jesus as a baby in cloths, and then putting Him in the manger.

Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man (Who’s Who in the Bible) present at the end of Jesus’ earthly life.  He asked Pilate if he could have Jesus’ body.  He then got Jesus’ body off the cross and used cloths to wrap the body (with the help of Nicodemus) and got it into a tomb.

Mary and Joseph of Arimathea wrapped Jesus in cloths.  Through the hands of those He created, it’s like God wrapped His only son as a gift to the world.

Luke 18:1-8

Since the holidays are upon us, by now you’ve probably seen at least one costumed Santa.  My family saw one on a chair receiving little kids for photo ops.  Except for a crying little boy that seemed to be scared of Santa, other kids probably told Santa what toys they wanted for Christmas.  I heard another Santa in a store ask a cashier what she wanted for Christmas.  She asked for a day off, something that the costumed Santa didn’t pretend to give.

How would you have answered that Santa?  Maybe you want a day off.  Well, because of Christmas, the Christian celebration of Jesus coming into the world as a baby, most Americans have Christmas off.  And if you’re a student, you might have quite a few days off.  Or maybe you desire healing, something you wouldn’t try to ask Santa for.

You can ask God for healing.  He is able to provide healing.  If you’ve been asking Him for healing, keep praying and asking Him like the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable.  She kept asking a judge for justice.  He eventually granted her justice.  If you keep asking God for healing, He can grant you the gift of healing.

Luke 2:1-20, 12:6-7, Matthew 10:29-31

Do you have your Christmas decorations up?  Last weekend, by our bay window, I was fussing with an artificial Christmas tree with a nativity ornament among other ornaments and lights when I got that feeling I was being watched.  When I looked out the window, I discovered some sparrows had been watching what I was doing from an outside bush and near the ground.  Since I had been maneuvering the nativity ornament to my liking, it made me wonder if a sparrow or sparrows could have watched Jesus as a baby in the manger.

Jesus talked about the worth of sparrows.  Maybe sparrows were near the manger foreshadowing what He would say as an adult.

Luke 16:1-15

Are you in debt?  Many people are.  Some need to pay for a house, car, college and/or something else.  When you make a payment, you might pay with a check.

In Luke, Jesus told a parable about a manager.  In the parable, someone owed a lot of olive oil (3,000 liters!) and someone else owed a large amount of wheat (30 tons!).  If you need to pay a debt, be glad it doesn’t have to be paid with a mega quantity of olive oil or wheat.

Genesis 1-2

Did you watch the documentary Genesis: Paradise Lost this past week?  My family watched it and I’m glad we did.  As part of the Creationist panel, there was an amazing scientist, Dr. Charles Jackson, with four degrees.  His discussion had us mesmerized.

Recently, I looked up at a beautiful, clear, night sky sprinkled with stars.  I watched a raccoon running down our street, and learned about chinstrap penguins and Eurasian Spoonbills.  The intricacies of the universe and the Kingdom Animalia did not just happen.  God created them.


Genesis 1:1

Isaiah 40:26

On 12/16/12, I did a post on the dwarf planet, Ceres and said, “NASA’s Dawn spacecraft plans to be in its orbit in 2015.”  I closed the post by saying that God already knew what they’d find since He created it.

Since it’s 2017, there is news to report on Ceres (the biggest object found in 1801 between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt) on this link (warning:  not a Creationist view!):

Here are some of their findings (Viewed 240 miles from Ceres, which is closer than Earth’s International Space Station is):

  • has a “crater chain”
  • Occator Crater is 55 miles wide
  • possible salts (Watch the rotation video)
  • The diameter is about 600 miles which is about the size of Texas
  • has ice and rock, mountains (one more than 20,000 ft. which is close to North America’s highest mountain, Alaska’s Mt. Denali at 20,310 ft.) and valleys
  • Some scientists think there was an ocean underground.
  • The mission director thinks the streaks on the mountain slopes could mean an unknown substance used to flow down it.  He invites the reader to imagine “an eruption of some strange combination of water and other chemicals on this cold, distant world.”

They want to get within 120 miles from Ceres.  They don’t want Dawn to land on Ceres because they want to avoid bringing contaminants.  The mission has been extended and the director thinks Dawn can keep working until the latter half of 2018.

Dawn’s mission director confidently said, “But the ship (Dawn) will remain in orbit around Ceres as surely as the moon remains in orbit around Earth and Earth remains in orbit around the sun.”  Ceres has a pummeled surface with a collection of craters, so God will decide if Dawn remains in orbit.  Also, Isaiah reveals that God calls planets by their name.  I’m guessing that includes dwarf planets.  Ceres was named by man for a Roman goddess of agriculture and grain.  I don’t know what God would call this dwarf planet, but it sure wouldn’t be Ceres.



John 14:2-3, Isaiah 11:6-7, Revelation 21, 22, 4:3-5

My family has a habit of reading the devotional, Our Daily Bread each day.  Recently, one writer wrote about someone who assumed Heaven is boring.  The writer quickly mentioned that when they went to the Grand Canyon, they were in awe at one part of God’s creation.  The author concluded that Heaven would not be boring.  I would like to add reasons I think Heaven will not be boring:

  1. Jesus will be there!
  2. Wolves, lions and bears can reside there (like a beautiful zoo with no cages).
  3. The sun is not needed because God Himself provides all of the light with no night.
  4. The River of Life is in front of God’s throne.
  5. Lightning and thunder come from God’s throne.
  6. There is a rainbow encircling His throne (no more waiting for the weather conditions to be just right for a rainbow).
  7. The main street is made out of GOLD.  God doesn’t have to mine for gold, since He can just make it.
  8. New Jerusalem’s walls will be decorated with jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, amethyst (my favorite), etc.  Is that enough precious stones for you?
  9. There are lots of mansions in Heaven.
  10. Jesus said He’d “prepare a place for you” which implies individual things might be included, like your favorite wild animals.

Will Heaven be boring?  Maybe one day’s highlights would be strolling down the golden street, hugging a lion, and doing a backstroke in the River of Life while watching lightning shoot out from God’s throne.  That sounds exciting to me!  Why would God make Himself a boring place to live?  That’s an insult to Him.  God is GOD and everything will be perfect.  Trust Him to provide eternal entertainment.