Message: In the Hard Times

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Have hope

Be you hopeful

Have peace

Be you peaceful

(But what if

There is no hope?

What if

There is no peace?)

~

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

Have grace

Be you graceful

Have life

Be you living to the full

(But what if

There is only anger?

What if

There is so much death?)

~

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Have truth

Be you truthful

Have spirit

Be you full of Him

(Even when

There are lies?

Even when

Christ is despised?)

20 On the contrary:  “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21

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Meditation on Christmas: Faithful Joseph

18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew 1

Be you a faithful one
Joseph, Joseph
Be you honorable and kind
Pledged to be married
Yet finding your wife
To be with child
You had every right
To publically disgrace her
To stone her to death
You didn’t want it to be done
You were faithful
And kind

Come now to Joseph
Angel come in a dream
Tell this man the plan of the Lord
Who is this child
Within sweet Mary?
He is of the Holy Spirit
Sent of God
He is to be called Jesus
For He will save His people
Save them from their many sins

Be you a faithful one
Joseph, Joseph
Be you honorable and kind
You heard the word
Of the Lord
And you obeyed it through to the end
You took Mary as your own
And gave the child a name
Jesus
For He would save the people
Save them from their many sins
To you the Lord entrusted this to
To protect His child as He grew
Oh you were faithful
Joseph
You were honorable
You were faithful

~

’13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”’ ~Matthew 2

“20But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” ~Jude