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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Why "Little Drummer Boy" is One of My Favorite Christmas Songs

Little Drummer Boy 

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum 
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum 
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, 
When we come. 

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum 
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum 
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, 
On my drum? 

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum 
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum 
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum 
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum 
Me and my drum.

Onorati, Henry / Simeone, Harry / Davis, Katherine K

Published by
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, INTERNATIONAL KORWIN CORP, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I have always loved the message of the Little Drummer Boy. The poor little boy, who wanted to truly honor his Savior, worried that he had no gift to bring that was fit for the newborn King. But he did have his drum, so he decided to play his best for the baby King -- "pa rum pum pum pum."

This song has encouraged and challenged me for years. It encourages me because I, too, feel like I don't have a lot to offer Jesus. I mean really, what can you give to the Creator of the universe that will put a smile on His face? But in reality, I have all that He desires right within me. God doesn't want my stuff, He wants me. The song challenges me because the little boy played his best for the King. I don't always give God my best. Sometimes I'm lazy and distracted with the things of the world, and not focused on God.

So what is it that God wants from us -- all of us -- whether we have pockets full of gold or pockets full of lint?

Love - Matthew 22:36-37 - "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said unto him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."

Obedience - Notice how love and obedience are entwined here by Jesus in John 14:23-24 - Jesus answered and said unto him, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our home with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings...."

Honor - In the old testament book of Malachi, the Israeli priests were making offerings to God and despising Him at the same time. He required their sacrifices to be spotless -- the best of the herd or the flock. They were giving Him their worst -- the blind, lame and sick animals. They were just going through the religious motions and God was not impressed. He said to them, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I be a Father, where is my honor?" (Malachi 1:6)

The word honor here means heavy or weighty. The Hollies famous old song, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (which by the way has a good message), could be reworked for the true living God and be titled He Is Heavy, He's My Father. He's the heaviest heavyweight of all time. Muhammad Ali plus his god are lighter than lightweight (even lighter than strawweight) compared to Jesus' Father.

Does the super-duper heavyweight God carry any weight with you, or do you think lightly of Him? Do you think of Him at all? God wants us to acknowledge His importance to us. Don't forget Who made the air you're breathing, and the lungs you're breathing it with, and the built-in autotimer (standard on every model) that makes you breathe without having to think about it, and the untrimmed nose hairs (also standard on every model) that filter the air.

Humility - Micah 6:8 - He has showed you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Humility has great value  to God. You can humble yourself, or wait for God to humble you. The less painful way is humble yourself. Do it. Do it now.

Love, obedience, honor, and humility. Who is unable to give these gifts to the King? Even if the Little Drummer Boy lost his drum, he could still honor Jesus with these gifts. Maybe you don't yet know the King. You can come to Him right now, right where you are. Turn from your sins, call on Jesus and ask Him to come into your life. You will never be the same (in a good way). He will give you a new heart so that you will be able to love, obey, honor and walk humbly with your God all of your days.

Merry Christmas to all!       

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Top Six Scriptures That Show Jesus Will Save All People

There are over 1350 verses in my King James Bible that I highlighted in light blue indicating that they support universal salvation through Jesus. These verses directly teach universalism, the sovereignty of Almighty God, and other nuances that confirm the doctrine. Of these I have my favorites. I’ve put together my top six and the reasons why they’re my go-to scriptures when discussing God’s plan to save all people.

1) 1 Timothy 2:4 -- “[God our Savior] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” This is the king of the heap. It clearly spells out God’s will. Other Bible versions say that God wants, desires and wishes that all people be saved and come to the truth. This verse completely supports universalism, so I don’t really have to explain it. It puts the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of those who say Jesus will cast the defiant into hell for all eternity. They believe God wants to save all people, but for some reason is unwilling or unable to do it. I want to hear their reasons why the all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, Almighty Creator of all mankind can’t get what He wants.

2) Jeremiah 32:27 -- “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh, is there any thing too hard for Me?” I say, “No, nothing is too hard for You, Father, You are able to save all people and bring them to the truth.” Those who believe in eternal hell for unbelievers do have a list of things that are too hard for the Almighty to accomplish. I want to see my heavenly Father’s face when they present this list to Him.

3) John 5:22-23 -- “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son: 23That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent Him.” I believe this scripture in underused by universalists. Scriptural universalists believe that there is a judgment, and that it will be horrible for those who go through it. But we also believe there is a very high, ultimate purpose for that judgment -- “That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.” The word honor means to prize or revere. All people will eventually prize and revere Jesus, and His judgment will play a vital role in accomplishing this.

4) Matthew 18:11-14 -- “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the mountains, and seek that which is gone astray? 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” We must understand the value of every soul to God. We are all former “little ones.” The problem is that we all grow up and rebel. Still, Jesus came to save what was lost -- all of us -- and He won’t fail.

5) Acts 3:20-21 -- “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” When Jesus comes all will be fully restored. This is no secret. God has talked about since the world began. Will you believe it?

6) 1 John 4:14 -- “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” This verse gives us a title for Jesus and His mission: Savior of the world. Will He or won’t He fulfill His title and mission? How could you or I bet against Him succeeding? He is and will be the Savior of the world -- everyone…all people…yes, really, all people. Now that’s good news…no, that’s great news!  

There’s my Top Six. You may have your favorites also. I’d love to hear them and why you chose them. There are numerous scriptures to choose from, and my top choices will probably change from time to time. Keep searching the Scriptures for evidence of God’s unfailing love for you and His entire creation.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Is Your Bible Lying to You?

I will use the term Bible in referring to English translations of the Scriptures. I will use the term Scripture in referring to the manuscripts -- written primarily in Hebrew and Greek -- that are based on the original writings that were directed by God. Two of the most popular English translations are the King James Version (KJV) and the New International Version (NIV).

When you or I pick up our Bibles we naturally assume that we are reading what God wants to communicate to us. We trust our Bibles, and there is nothing wrong with that. But do you ever "check" your Bible? How would you check it? I am not a Hebrew or Greek scholar. I have enough trouble with English sometimes. When I do have trouble understanding something in English I use an English dictionary, and I usually find the solution to my misunderstanding there. Likewise, when I don't understand something, or I want more clarity in my Bible study, I go to my Hebrew or Greek dictionary. This usually brings a fuller understanding about the Bible because a lot can be lost in translating from Hebrew and Greek Scriptures to English Bibles.

Recently I discovered that my Bibles (I have many different translations) were telling me lies. One lie in particular drastically affected my perception of God and His plans for mankind. I had believed for nearly seventeen years that God would cast those who reject His Son into hell (or the lake of fire) for all eternity where they would be tormented forever. I no longer believe this.

The Greek word aionion is translated to everlasting and eternal in English, but it does not mean everlasting or eternal. It means perpetual. The adjective aionion is based on the noun aion which means an age. I'll explain the significance of this with the following example from Matthew 25:46, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment..." (KJV). Jesus is sending these people into judgment. For years, based on the reading of the King James Version, I believed these people were doomed forever. But in light of my new understanding of the Greek behind the English, I now see their judgment will end at some point. It will last for an age, not eternity. This has truly changed my view of God and His plans for the better. I encourage you to get a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (which contains a Hebrew and Greek dictionary), and research all the uses of aion and aionion in the Scriptures. It's a lot of work, but you'll be blessed as your understanding grows.

Make no mistake, God will deal with all sin. But the judgment of unbelievers will end at some point, and God's plan will be accomplished. He "will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV). His amazing grace will encompass all people -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

You can learn more about God's plan to save all people in the book Jesus and Hitler: Salvation For The Worst Of Us, Salvation For All Of Us Through The Savior Of The World here for a printed copy (enter promo code FTHZRCLF), and here for Kindle version (free download on 1st and 15th of each month). God bless you as you dig deep into His words. Never stop learning and growing.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Poor Little jesus

He came. He tried. He died. He failed. Poor little jesus (this is not a typo -- little jesuses do not deserve a capital j).

Do the verbs in the opening paragraph describe the real Jesus, or the jesus proclaimed (probably unwittingly) by Mainstream Christianity? I am proclaiming the Biggest Jesus -- the Savior of the entire world -- because that's what the Bible and His Father call Him (1 John 4:14). Mainstream Christianity proclaims a savior of the world who won't actually save the world. Contradiction? I think so. But I don't want to be too hard on the contradicters, because I used to be one. I have repented of my contradictoriness (I just had to use that word since I saw it in the dictionary. Scrabble anyone?).

Jesus left heavenly places and came to earth to fulfill all of His Father's will, which includes the salvation of all people. 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us that God our Savior "will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (KJV). The word will in this verse comes from the Greek word thelo which "denotes the active resolution, the will urging on to action" [Baker Interlinear Greek-English New Testament; p.183 of New Testament Synonyms, George Ricker Berry, copyright 1981]. Is God sitting in heaven hoping and wishing for the salvation of the world? Is He rubbing a giant rabbit's foot? No! He's done something about it, and will continue until the task is fully accomplished. Jesus will not fail. But jesus will fail because TV and radio preachers say he will.

Jesus (the real One) says in Luke 14,

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,30 Saying, "This man began to build, and was not able to finish."

Jesus is building a peaceful kingdom -- God's kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7). He is the cornerstone of the the foundation. Does He have "sufficient to finish it?" Did God do a thorough job of counting the cost of saving the world before He embarked on such a foolhardy mission? Will the world mock the savior of the world as He tries to save all men but is not able to finish the job? Will they shake their heads saying, "Poor little jesus. He came. He tried. He died. He failed." No! He is sufficient. He counted the cost and will finish the job for the glory of His Father and the sake of all people.

God is truly the Almighty, and nothing can stop Him from completing all of His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Does God Want?

This is my first blog. It's like public speaking, but with a delete key.

The Scriptures (Bible) can be hard to understand, and I certainly don't know everything about them, but I am learning. I like things simple. That is why I want to focus The Biggest Jesus Blog on the subject of salvation as presented in the Bible.      

Any discussion of man's salvation should begin by seeking God's will about this most important subject. "What does God want?" should be our guiding question. After all, He's the One doing the saving. 1 Timothy 2:4 says, "[God our Savior] will have all men to be saved , and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (King James Version of the bible will be used unless noted) When the Bible says that God will do something, we better pay attention, because it will happen. God will have all men saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. This is clear.

Is there anything that is able to stop God from getting what He wants? No. Matthew 19:23-26 says,  

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, "Verily [truly] I say unto you that a rich man shall hardly [with great difficulty] enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." When his disciples heard it they were exceedingly amazed saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

 In Jeremiah 32:27 God said to Jeremiah, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh, is there any thing too hard for me?" NO! "Impossible" is not in God's vocabulary when it comes to accomplishing His own will. And in this we should rejoice because God's will is "...good, and acceptable, and perfect..." (Romans 12:2). When God's will is accomplished all people will benefit. He will save us because He loves us.