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(Repost with minor revisions)

2 Samuel 22, 21:15-17a

I read about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.  David was exhausted and a Philistine named, Ishbi-Benob,  wanted to kill him.  Then Abishai came forward and killed the Philistine.  I believe God used Abishai to rescue David.  David was a thankful man and sang in celebration after God helped him many times.

Eight years ago today, God rescued me.  I was driving on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a little car that suddenly appeared at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, the front of our car just seemed to float.  I opened my eyes and saw the little car I had tried to avoid still at the stop sign, with no damage.  I was pointed in the right direction.  Shaken, I drove very slowly and found a place to park.  I checked out the car.  There wasn’t any damage, and I wasn’t injured!

Believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel to pick up our car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!  God helps me in many ways, but the heavenly help on Bever Avenue that afternoon stands out.  Every year now, when I put up a new calendar, I write on the month of May, “Heavenly help on Bever Ave,” so I can remember what God did for me.

 

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Luke 2:8-20, 6:12, 9:10-17, 13:10-17

On Good Friday night, my family watched the movie, Jesus (1979).  We had watched it several times before, but this time I took notes.  This movie is based on the book of Luke and is careful to adhere to Scripture.  Still, I wanted to analyze how the movie helped enrich our understanding of what Jesus and others might have experienced.

In Luke 2:8-20, at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly life, shepherds reside in fields at night, guarding flocks from whatever lurked in the dark.  They would surely have been prepared for any predators.  What they didn’t expect was an angel.  The Bible lets us know that the shepherds were frightened.  The movie did well showing shepherds initially doing their job with one shepherd even playing a flute-like instrument.  But when the angel arrived, the flute playing stopped and you see one shepherd stop petting a lamb, get up, stagger, and stare.  It felt realistic.

In Luke 6:12, it’s mentioned that Jesus spent the whole night praying.  There was a convincing scene for that.  Imagine staying up the entire night praying!  That’s amazing!

In Luke 9:10-17, Jesus miraculously fed more than 5,000 people with a small amount of bread and fish.  Everyone ate until they were full.  The movie added cheering people when the food was being distributed, which I thought was a nice touch.  It could have happened-Who doesn’t want a free all you can eat buffet?

In Luke 13:10-17, A woman who must have had kyphosis, praised God after Jesus healed her.  In the movie, the elderly actress spoke heartfelt dialogue as she moved to frame Jesus’ face with her hands saying, “Praise to the Lord!  God keep you Rabbi.”  I got teary with her believable lines.

Jesus is a good movie.  It prepared our hearts for Easter Sunday.   The movie makes me think of a framed quote in my dentist’s office that says, “It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross but rather his love for us.”

 

2 Samuel 22, 21:15-17a

I read about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.  David was exhausted and a Philistine named, Ishbi-Benob,  wanted to kill him.  Then Abishai came forward and killed the Philistine.  I believe God used Abishai to rescue David.  David was a thankful man and sang in celebration after God helped him many times.

Seven years ago, God rescued me.  I was driving on Bever Avenue, a busy street, when someone ran a stop sign and headed for the left front of the car.  I was forced to swerve immediately to the right onto a side street, and unfortunately, there was a car at a stop sign there, right in my path.  I braced for the impact as my tires screeched, but instead, our car just straightened out and seemed to float.  Shaken, I drove slowly and found a place to park and checked out the car.  There weren’t any scratches and I wasn’t injured!

You can believe what you like, but I believe God sent an angel or angels to pick up the car.  Thanks be to God, my rescuer!  God helps me in many ways, but the heavenly help on Bever Avenue that afternoon stands out.  Every year now, when I put up a new calendar, I write on the month of May, “Heavenly help on Bever Ave,” so I can remember what God did for me and celebrate.

Think about how God has come to your rescue.  Then, you can put it on your calendar every year to celebrate what He did for you.

Luke 1:8-25, Luke 1:57-66, Luke 3:21-22

In an earlier post, I wrote about the angel Gabriel talking to John the Baptist’s dad, Zechariah.  Initially, Zechariah was very fearful.  Then, he became inquisitive and asked Gabriel a question that revealed his disbelief.  Gabriel promptly took away his ability to speak until the event foretold happened.

While John the Baptist was growing up, he might have asked his dad why he was named John, instead of his dad’s name.  I’m guessing that at some point Zechariah told his son about his encounter with Gabriel.

Later, John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  The Holy Spirit came down, “like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:  ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’.”

I don’t know if John the Baptist’s parents were still living when that special baptism took place.  If so, I think John the Baptist would have been happy to tell his parents about another supernatural event in his family’s life.

 

Isaiah 46:3-4

Earlier this month, I saw a baby on a plane reaching for the overhead controls.  I later saw a gray-haired lady, probably in her 80s, pushing a cart in a dollar store.

The above scripture reveals how God cares from conception to old age.  He can carry us and rescue us.

Six years ago this May 21st, God rescued me from disaster when a car ran a stop sign and headed towards me.  I braced for an impact but there wasn’t one.  Instead, it felt like the front of my car had been lifted.  I believe God sent an angel to help me.  Nobody was hurt.  That day, I was carried and rescued.  I’ll always thank God for that miracle in my life.

God made us.  He cares for the baby on the plane and the gray-haired lady in the dollar store.  He cares for me and He cares for you too.

Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 1:26-45, Luke 2:8-40

Jesus’ mom, Mary, had out-of-the-ordinary experiences before Jesus was born, but also after.  When she found out from an angel of God about her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy, she went to her house and greeted her.  Elizabeth let her know that when Mary greeted her, the baby inside her leapt.

When Jesus was born, shepherds came the same day after the angel encounter to Bethlehem to see Him.  I don’t think Mary or Joseph would have known any of the shepherds.

Eastern wise men came, worshiped the child Jesus in a house (Matt. 2:11), and gave gifts including gold.  The Reformation Study Bible (Sproul) says, “Jesus was no longer in a stable (Luke 2:7).  This visit was some time after the birth (v.1), perhaps a year or more (cf. v. 16),” and, “The “Magi” were not kings, but priests or court advisers…They were probably from Mesopotamia, the region of ancient Babylon, although other locations east of Palestine have been suggested.” Mary (and Joseph if he was there) were probably amazed to see the wise men with their gifts and hear their story of the star.

When Mary and Joseph brought their son to Jerusalem, a righteous man named Simeon blessed them.  An elderly prophetess, Anna, gave thanks.  Since Mary (and Joseph) were from Nazareth, they may have not known Simeon or Anna.

Of the people above that either knew of or saw Jesus as a baby or as a child, Mary probably only knew  Elizabeth.  It seems to me that Mary might have expected the unexpected.

Luke 2:8-20

The last thing we know about the shepherds in Jesus’ birth story is that they were praising God.  The angel had told them that a Savior, Christ the Lord had been born.

Since the shepherds were so excited about Jesus, I wonder if they sought updates on Him.  Maybe they were even present for Jesus’ celebratory entry to Jerusalem.  Going from Bethlehem to Jerusalem would be about six miles.

Even if the shepherds weren’t at Jerusalem during that time of praise, they’re surely in Heaven praising Him.  As we head into the New Year, let’s share the past and likely current enthusiasm of the shepherds for Jesus!

Nehemiah 12:27-30, 40-43

Luke 2:8-20

In Nehemiah, the people celebrated Jerusalem’s rebuilt wall.  God gave them joy and their rejoicing could be “heard far away.”

In Luke, the angel came to the shepherds to tell them the “news of great joy,” that Christ the Lord was born.  Shortly after the angel finished speaking, “a great company of the heavenly host appeared…praising God…”

I’m guessing that the heavenly host that came to praise God were even louder than the celebrating people in Nehemiah.  God deserves our rejoicing and praising.  He gave us joy through Jesus, the perfect gift.  So, rejoice greatly for Him!