For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.
For those of us who love Jesus, there are angels on assignment to help us do the will of God.
When we are done, Jesus comes!
Matt 11: ! 1 ¶ And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
I love this verse! I see a Word picture painted here for the work of the ministry. We listen to Holy Spirit, and go into all the world and preach and teach the Word of God. Then, after the Word is preached, Jesus, Himself, goes where we have been to preach and teach in the cities where we have been! We prepare the way of the King! He backs up our work, with His presence, power and authority.
This is the work of the ministry, obeying Holy Spirit to prepare the way for the King.
He commands His disciples, then He Himself comes to build upon our work, establishing His kingdom in power and love!
‘Jesus, mighty God, come and teach and preach in every household you have already sent me into with your Word! May they hear your voice, as you preach, teach, and demonstrate your love, in authority and power! Amen’
Seeking God will prosper you
Job 8:5 If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty;
6 If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.
7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
Doesn’t matter where in life you are right now. If you are with God, you are increasing, because He loves you and loves to show Himself strong to His children.
‘Father, you see where I am at, and I am seeking you for increase today, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’
There is a daysman!
Job 9:32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.
33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
35 Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.
The Word ‘daysman‘, basically means ‘judge’: One who renders judgement, or rebukes.
Job had to look down the corridor of time to One who would come, to judge between us and God, the only true mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only way to God.
In his anguish, he cried out for salvation, for one who could mediate between him in his distress, and a Holy God, but at this point, he sees none. Later, Job discovers him by faith declaring Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Now God goes from the feared one, to become our loving heavenly Father, by the blood that Jesus shed for us to provide access.
Maybe God is some strange far off feared being to you today. He does not need to be. He loves you, and has provided a way for you to know Him, Jesus.
Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Mt 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Ac 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Ac 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Let’s call on His name, and receive His kingdom today:
‘Jesus, we call on your name! Come into our lives, and fill us with your Spirit today. Show us your love and plan for our lives, Amen’
If Jesus is Lord, and we are under a better covenant based upon better promises, then
(2 Cor 1:20 NIV) For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
Let’s look at some of the examples of God’s provision in the Old Covenant.
We’re not under the law pastor, why not stay in the New Testament? It is written:
(1 Cor 10:1 NIV) For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.
(1 Cor 10:2 NIV) They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
(1 Cor 10:3 NIV) They all ate the same spiritual food
(1 Cor 10:4 NIV) and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
(1 Cor 10:5 NIV) Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
(1 Cor 10:6 NIV) Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
God still wants us to obey Him. Look at the result of obeying God under the lesser covenant.
Think of it this way. If you have the choice of receiving a fifty-dollar bill, or a hundred dollar bill, which one will you take? $100? Why? They are both money. Why? Because the $100 bill is more. Think of the covenants of God this way. The old covenant was good, but the new covenant is more.
28:1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock–the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
8 The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
9 The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways.
10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you.
11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity–in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground–in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
Notice here that the rest of this chapter is all the curses that come upon the children of Israel if they won’t obey. But, Bless God, read with me Gal 3:13
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
You are redeemed from the curse. Some day, for fun, read each verse of Deuteronomy 28:15 until the end, like this. As you read out loud each of the curses, say after each one. Praise God! Jesus redeemed me from the curse of the law. None of this junk can touch me, I’m a child of the king.
Let’s look at this curse here recorded in Deuteronomy 28:47-48:
47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, ( Notice that if you do serve the Lord, you’ll have joy, and prosperity)
Do you see it? Who do you know who died on the cross to become a substitute curse for you? He was hungry, He said “I thirst!”, they cast lots for his garment, and…
(2 Cor 8:9 NIV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
Let’s look at the words of Jesus, recorded for us in Matthew 6. I call it my “Don’t worry, be happy”, verses.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
Yes, obedience to God will always produce basic provision. Why? God loves you. You are His child. If He created you, he has provided for you. Your job is to pray, obey, and study the word to learn his ways, so that you can have everything He wants you to have.
Yet, God wants us to move from the land of almost enough into more than enough.
(Isa 1:19 NIV) If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;
700 years before the Law was given, Abraham paid tithes.
500 years before the Law was given, Jacob paid tithes.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
21 so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the LORD will be my God
Notice here, what the Bible says about the love of money.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
It’s the root of all evil. It’s Satan’s main root in controlling people. When you begin to tithe and believe God in the area of finances, you attack his main root in the earth. That’s why Paul had to tell us to “Fight the good fight of the faith”, here. The issue is a heart issue. Who is Lord of your money? Where is your trust? Are you trusting God to provide, or are you trusting in your own strength? Remember, Satan steals, people hoard, but God so loved the world that He gave… Giving is the greatest expression of love.
When you tithe, it’s an act of war.
You see there are three heavens. The natural heavens that we see (the sky and the stars), the third heaven where Jesus lives where there are streets of gold and no sickness, dying or pain, but the heaven we need to look at is the second heaven, where Satan is prince of the power of the air, or god of this world. It is here that the angels and demons fight
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Jesus taught us to pray our Father, that “ your kingdom come, your will be done” where? In the earth, as it is in heaven. Which heaven is he talking about here? Well, the third heaven of course, where He calls home. The place with streets of gold. People say, now gold is bad. God doesn’t hold that opinion.
Genesis 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
Everyone say “good gold”. No, gold is not your enemy. It’s your heart. Where will you place your trust? Is it in God, to give you all things richly for you to enjoy? Or in the beggerly things of this world that are not designed to satisfy the deep things of your heart.
I am convinced that tithing is spiritual warfare. Why?
Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
When Satan tempted Jesus, he took him up to a high place
Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
I believe Satan showed Jesus the second heaven, where he ruled as god of this world. Otherwise this would not have been a true temptation.
I believe when we tithe, we make a declaration before God Almighty that Jesus is Lord of our provision, and that the victory that Jesus won on the cross, is in force and in place in our lives.
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Haggai 2:21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
I believe this is a prophetic book speaking not only to Zerubbabel, but to us the church today. God is now shaking the heavens and the earth, destroying the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen. What is the strength of these kingdoms? I believe it is the same strength Jesus saw when tempted by Satan. Devils ruling through the minds of men. We are the church where these gates of hell shall not prevail, for Jesus has come to destroy the works of the devil.
The earth is God’s and we are to rule and reign here as His ambassadors.
18 ¶ Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deut 11:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
See it? If you give yourself totally to God, and His word, and are faithful to walk with Him. He is the same God, His will is for you to experience days of heaven upon the earth.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
As far as God is concerned, your needs have already been provided for you, where? In heavenly places in Christ.
How do we get them? Well, Christ means the anointed one and His anointing. It is the anointing that breaks the yoke. How do we generate an anointing that will produce financial deliverance? We tithe, we obey God, and then we exercise faith in God’s word. When you tithe you declare before God, the great cloud of witnesses that went before, and the holy angels, that this world is not your source. Jesus is my provider, and I am no longer limited to this world and my strength to provide.
You need to see this as an act of war. God has already provided for you all spiritual blessings as His child. When you tithe and pray, you are simply taking what is rightfully yours. He then shakes the heavens for you, and the wealth of the sinner that is stored up for the righteous, begins to come into your hands.
On what should I pay tithes?
30 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
31 If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it.
32 The entire tithe of the herd and flock–every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod–will be holy to the LORD.
Who shall I pay them to?
21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.
22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die.
23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites.
Hebrews 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
The answer to the question as to where we pay tithes is in this verse. You are going to pay them to men that are set apart by God for His work in the ministry. Eph 4, five fold ministry gifts.
This verse shows that Abraham paid tithes:
2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.
Jesus told the Pharisees to pay tithes (the only thing he commended them for)
41 But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
When should I pay tithes?
What if I do and what if I don’t?
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.
9 You are under a curse–the whole nation of you–because you are robbing me.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.
Remember the Sabbath day
1/7 of our time; 1/10 of our money
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Notice here. When you tithe, you make a solemn declaration before God, the angels, the great cloud of witness that have gone before us, and Satan and all his evil bunch. Yes, you declare in the heavenlies that this world is not your source. Jesus is Lord of my money. No I’m not trusting in my riches or my own strength of arm to provide for myself, but am taking Jesus as my provider. Jehovah-Jireh, El-Shaddai, the God who is more than enough. This is one of the few places in Scripture where God dares us to test Him. I tithe, Karen tithes, and your church tithes on every dollar that goes through the bank account.
When to Canada from Tulsa, we had an old car, and pretty much nothing, and we gained a computer, T.V. , appliances, a satellite dish, and many other financial blessings, all of which are paid for, cash. Why? Because we are tithers and givers, and God supplied for us financially. In fact, we have determined to see how much we can believe God for, so that we can increase our giving. God will do the exact same thing for you if you tithe and obey Him, He is a good God, who loves you, and He is no respector of persons.
1.Let’s Pray: Father God, I now receive Jesus as my provider, as well as my Lord. I purpose in my heart to tithe and give, and trust you to increase me, as I obey you in this. Amen.’
As I reread these words of Jesus, I find myself thinking:
Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
So, Jesus did not leave us alone down here, but left precious Holy Spirit, Emmanuel, God with us, to provide comfort, power, purpose and direction for our lives.
Yet we read in:
Ac 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Ac 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
One can never get enough of Holy Spirit. In this busy, busy season, how easy it is to get extremely busy with the hustle and bustle of life, and forget the importance of the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. In this season, we need Him more than ever, Gifts to purchase and wrap, old friends contacted and friendships renewed, family gatherings that can be of temporal comfort, but no eternal value, without Him.
Include Him in your day! Cry out for His power! Yesterday’s blessing, is yesterday! Tomorrow has not come yet! NOW Faith is, and He is an ever present help in time of need.
Let’s Pray, with purpose and power:
‘Father, I come to you now, asking you again, for the Holy Spirit, and power. Precious Holy Spirit, make this the year of your power, the year of miracles. Visit my life, shake my world, bring your fire, your power, your life, to my world, this Christmas! In your name, Lord Jesus, Amen!’
Sometimes, we simply need to remember who Jesus is! https://chrisaomministries.com/2017/02/27/do-you-want-to-go-to-heaven/
Read this little story, and it made me think…
Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never even heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”
Luis Palau, Experiencing God’s Forgiveness, Multnomah Press, 1985
Jesus commands us to forgive, but then what?
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Here it is Christmas again, and families are getting together again. There are those that are ‘stuck like chuck’ in their traditions and who would hold you emotionally hostage to your past failures, or the brutality of what they have been allowed to do to you.
Act differently, and refuse to lower yourself to their level, no matter what they do.
It’s going to take the power of God to do…
‘Father, as I gather with family and friends this holiday, I refuse to be defined by my past, or theirs. I choose to forgive and forget their wrongs, and I choose to receive Your grace and strength, to not allow them to drag me down into their mess and guilt trips. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”
In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, “Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.” It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, let bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life.
Four crazy Faith Friends
Luke 5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.
I love this picture! I have worked for many years as a carpenter, around very skilled tradesmen, working men, in many trades, able to build or fix about anything. I see here respect among men being granted to Jesus, in a wonderful way. This miracle probably occurred at Jesus personal house, and the men who tore off the roof probably knew Jesus, well. Tear off the roof? Sure why not? Jesus is a carpenter, and he knows how to cut in a roof! I see these men, as hard working men, determined to obtain a miracle for their friend or family member, and they were not going to let a crowd or a set of religious do’s and don’ts get their way! They carried their friend to the meeting where Jesus, the healing man, was preaching and teaching, and couldn’t get to Him! No problem, run around the back of the house, hoist the man up on to the roof, and simply tear the roof off to get to Jesus.
These are the kind of crazy faith friends we all need, when the trials of life show up. Been a country song played down here called: ‘Find out who your friends are.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JREouTHpyJE
Do you have any crazy people in your life, that are not afraid to slap heaven and earth together in prayer, to get you to Jesus, when it appears that all hell has broken loose on your life? Bible says: ‘Let the strong uphold the weak’ Ro 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Maybe you need to be one of those four strong men, that carry the burden of a weak brother or sister in the Lord, while Jesus heals them, or maybe life has dealt you such a blow from hell and sinful people, that you are not getting up, unless the Lord does a miracle. Time does not heal all wounds like the proverb says, but the power of God, can, and will if you would receive it today.
I am one of your four crazy faith friends today, aggressively praying and believing for the power of God to come into your life and heal you, set you free, alert folks to help you, write you checks, or teach you what you need to know, to get out of your particular mess. God loves to take messes, and turn them in to miracles, and today is your day for one!
‘Father, I believe I receive my miracle today! I believe you are healing me, revealing to me direction, delivering me, and sending people into my life to give me favor, finances, instruction, and the help I need to get things straightened out, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’
The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.” “Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”
Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. “You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.
“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to
himself. So he put a new one on.
“Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”
The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”
George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked. “None for me,” said the officer. “Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.
“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.
“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”
The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”
The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”
He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”
George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.” “Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said. George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”
“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued. “Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”
Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”
“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”
“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.
“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”
“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”
“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”
“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”
The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.
“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”
The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.
“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”
George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”
This story is better than any greeting card.
He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.
Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381