This message convicted and comforted me. I pray it is a help to you!
35 “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. 36 Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38 Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 40 You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.”
“May Be I’m Off Topic A Little Bit…But If The Lamp Is Burning, Really, Then Anytime Will Do.
**Be Dressed Ready For Service And Keep Your Lamps Burning (Luke 12:35)”
Wil, you’re right!
As a Catholic child I loved the large ornate crèche that our parish church always placed in front of Mary’s altar at the beginning of Advent. Around and above it, fir trees stood. We had our own small nativity set at home – its figures were small enough to place by hand in a little stable.
If the Lord wanted us to worship using things like this, why did Jesus teach us,
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
A Nativity Scene isn’t a teaching tool or a seasonal decoration but a focus for our idolatry.
3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.
Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
“. . . We must hold it as a first principle, that as often as any form is assigned to God, his glory is corrupted by an impious lie.” (Institutes, 1.11)
Pulpit & Pen:
“The Reformers weren’t having it. The early church fathers weren’t having it. We not only tolerate these images of Jesus, however, we put them on display.”
“By creating an image of Jesus (e.g., in a painting or a stained-glass window), a person is inserting his or her own ideas of what Jesus looked like. Because we do not know what he looked like, this image would not be a true image or representation of Christ. Rather, it would simply be an image of a man from the imagination of the artist that he or she has called ‘Jesus.’
“If these images, then, do not truly represent Christ, then they are put in the place of the true Christ. Evoking any sense of worship of that which is not Christ, but rather inserted in the place of Christ, is – by definition – idolatry. If an observer were to gaze upon that image with the intent to worship, by thoughts or emotions, then that observer would be worshipping a man-made image and not the true God-man, Jesus Christ. The same principle would also apply for images of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.”
Photo credit: Bronner’s
“False teachers, they’ve always been a plague in the church. They always will be a plague in the church until the day the Lord returns. But we know their methods. Even better, we know the scripture, which always exposes them, for who they are. Always exposes them for what they are. See our best defense against false teachers is to know the Word of God so well, that we immediately spot and we can immediately shut down any deviation from that precious truth, that is the Word of God.”
9 The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So what wisdom do they have?
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.