Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell is an internationally known author, speaker, and authority on Biblical Manhood and Family.


Called to the encouragement and lifting up of men throughout the world Colin is an author of books, teaching CDs and DVD's.


As author of Where Are The Real Men of God? and 21st Century Patriarch DVD studies, Colin often speaks at family retreats  and Men's groups throughout the year also.


Believing God’s plan is "building godly generations" through men and families, he seeks to impart God’s truth to the next generation and their children too.




 

PersistenceWe continue studying the characteristics of the warhorse.

Job 39:22: “Neither turneth he back from the sword.”

Job’s description of the warhorse states that it will never turn back from the sword. Though swords flash all around it, it still charges forward. There is not an atom of retreat in God’s warhorse.

There is no retreating in God’s service. God’s warhorses always charge onward. “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war” is a mockery to a retreating church.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

Such a magnificent song should never be sung by those who have no understanding of spiritual warfare.

Song of Solomon 6, 10 describes the church as “Terrible (majestic, inspiring) as an army with banners.” These banners display the declaration of God’s truths which are an awesome sight to behold. Psalm 60:4 says: “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.”

In Revelation 19:11 the Commander in Chief of the church, Jesus Christ, rides a white warhorse. White represents purity and righteousness. Jesus Christ was called “Faithful and True” and all those who followed Him also rode white horses. Revelation 19:14 says: “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

They would never follow a Commander in Chief who made his reputation through building gambling casinos and all the sexual perversions that go with it. They would never follow a Commander in Chief whose wife posed herself nude for a pornographic magazine in Europe.

Men, we are in a great spiritual battle for the souls of the citizens of USA. We had better make sure the one we elect to follow as Commander in Chief is riding a pure white horse, as much as possible for an American president to ride.

He must be one who is faithful and true to his word--the testimony and character of one who is worthy to rule. He should not have a track record of flip-flopping on major issues of morality and justice. There should be no signs of retreat from the foundational truths on which our nation was founded.

I wonder, could it be that a people who lack moral backbone, who themselves flip-flop all over the place regarding morality, could easily elect a Commander in Chief who will hopefully amass them more money to follow more of their lusts?

I believe this is what we face in these coming elections. We must not retreat from the sword of our enemies. Never. But we will retreat if we as a nation, and as a church, do not take a strong stand for righteousness and truth. Righteous morality is the only thing that gives us backbone.

May we never be like the Ephraimites. Psalm 78:9-10 says: “The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law.”

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WickedFleeJob 39:22: “He mocketh at fear and is not affrighted”

Proverbs 29:1 says, “The righteous are bold as a lion.” Just as the warhorse mocks at fear, even so we should mock at the enemy’s strategy to put fear upon us. Fear is debilitating. It paralyses the strongest of men. A physically small man that has no fear is stronger than a physically strong man who is full of fear.

In Judges chapter seven, we read how Gideon and a small army of only 300 men put to flight and destroyed an army which could not be numbered. Judges 7:12 says they were “like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seaside for multitude.”

What happened when Gideon’s men exposed themselves from their hiding places in the darkness of night, blowing their 300 trumpets, breaking their 300 pitchers, revealing their 300 lamps, and shouting with 300 voices all at once? Judges 7:21 states: “All the host ran, and cried and fled.”

What an amazing miracle. What God can do with only 300 men! I’m sure that God caused those 300 trumpets to sound like three million trumpets and the sound of the breaking of the pitchers and shouting of voices to sound like a gigantic roar.
These 300 men of Israel were not afraid and surely mocked at the fear that possessed the vast multitude.

Daniel mocked fear as he ran against the giant Philistine.

Psalm 91:5 says: “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day.”

If we fear the Lord we will never fear the enemy. When Satan tries to bring fear into our lives because of the unknown, finances, economic collapse, or being scared to fight it out in the battles of life, we should recognize where that fear comes from and start mocking it.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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ResolutenessJob 39:21: “He goeth on to meet the armed men.”

The warhorse is not afraid of confrontation. He expects it and willingly marches on to meet it. He knows that confrontation and battling it out with the enemy is what he was born for.

Immediately following Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). Verse 2 says: “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights.” Spiritual warfare requires the discipline of the spirit and this is where prayer and fasting is very important.

Prayer and fasting deny the flesh its appetites and tune the spiritual senses to high alert. Fasting and prayer make us not only more alert, but also more aware of the enemy’s strategies. They save us from being caught off-handed by some surprise attack or broad-sided by the enemy.

The devil hit Jesus at His physically weakest moment: “He was afterward hungry.” However, through fasting and prayer Jesus was well prepared for the devil’s armed attack. An unarmed enemy is called a “soft target,” but strangely enough, in this instance, the enemy (the devil) was armed with Scripture as well as darts of doubts as to Jesus being the true Son of God. We are living in a time when many of God’s people are deceived by preachers and teachers, who like the devil, twist the Scriptures and quote them out of context. The true doctrine of Scripture is not what one Scripture on its own has to say, but rather what all the Scriptures have to say on a particular subject.

I am sure the discipline of Jesus’ fasting and prayer would have given him a far greater advantage to respond with a powerful impact of what the Scriptures really had to say. Jesus said: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Job 8:32). Jesus did not know a little truth; He knew all the truth because He is the truth (John 14:6).

When Jesus was about to face the battle of all battles-- the “armed men” of Jerusalem, He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 50:7: “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”

Luke 9:51 tells us: “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he STEADFASTLY SET HIS FACE to go to Jerusalem.” Like the warhorse going on to meet the armed men in Job 39:21, nothing in all the world could possibly deter Him.

Men, as we face the armed men in our lives, we must also set our faces like a flint. Flint is hard rock. It is unbendable. This should be out attitude as we go out to meet the armed men who come against us.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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GreaterVictories6a. HIS STRENGTH continued.

Men, as the warhorse rejoiced in his strength, so we should rejoice in the One who gives us all the strength we need to not only fight in the battles, but also to win every battle.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 Paul talks about the battle he continually faced which he described as a “messenger from Satan to buffet him.” He cried out to God three times to be delivered, but what did God answer? “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

We should therefore glory (boast) and confess our weaknesses in order to receive the strength and power of God to come upon us. I believe that Paul was not encouraging people to praise their lack of strength, but rather to make honest, humble confession of our human weaknesses and inabilities. This leads us to ask and claim the power of God to be given to us in exchange for our total weaknesses and inabilities.

There are far too many Christians who continually talk about their sicknesses and diseases in order to get people to feel sorry for them. It would be far better for them to share with their friends of God’s great manifestation of power upon them in response to their humble confession of weakness

The psalms are full of David confessing God has his strength (Psalm 18:1, 2; 27:1; 28:7, 8 and many more).

The more we acknowledge our weakness and rejoice in His strength He gives to us, the greater will be our victories.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WeakStrong6. HIS STRENGTH

Job 39:21: The warhorse “rejoiceth in his strength.”

How easy it is for us to be discouraged. We get discouraged especially when we become wearied by those we thought were for us and then find they were betraying us behind our backs. We get discouraged when our bodies become weak and lack endurance. We also get discouraged when the battle continues long and there seems to be no end in sight. It’s not good to think we are the only ones who have to go through these battles for they are common to man.

The natural warhorse has great strength and can therefore rejoice in the strength God gave him. But many of us facing great spiritual and physical battles have very little strength to rejoice in. What little strength we have in the natural often disappears in the first round of the boxing match.

The mighty Samson soon found out when Delilah ordered the locks of his hair to be shaved off how weak he really was in his own natural strength. Going out and shaking himself after he had given away his Nazarite vow did not help him one bit. Judges 16:20 states: “And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.”

Christians who walk in step with Christ can find that He is all-sufficient strength and that we can handle every situation He allows us to go through. It is time for us who call ourselves by the name of the Lord to learn what it means to rejoice in the strength that has been generously provided for us in our relationship with Christ.

God spoke to Paul in His weakness: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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ThisValley5. HIS PAWS

Job 39:21: “He paweth in the valley.”

When a horse paws, he is usually agitated because of being confined. He can’t wait to get going. The warhorse does not like to be hemmed in or stand around doing nothing. He was bred for war and all of war’s challenges.

Valleys are typical in Scripture of places of depression, stress, anxiety, and imprisonment. Valleys are places where you can’t see the sunrise or the sunset. Valleys are the places of limited horizons and long shadows. However, no matter how negative valleys can be, warhorses paw their hoofs in the valleys.

Isaiah 61:1-4 prophecies the anointing of the Spirit that was to come upon Jesus Christ in order to deliver the people who were down in the valleys, in the prisons, the broken-hearted, and the mourning. Jesus Christ was the greatest of all warhorses who was, and still is, more than eager to set the captives free.

Psalm 84:6 speaks of those who go into the Valley of Baca (weeping). As they pass through it they make it a well of the water of life and cause the rain of the Spirit to create pools of water for the thirsty.

Psalm 23:4 says: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will far no evil: for thou at with me.”

2 Chronicles 35:22 mentions the valley of Megiddo where many ancient battles were fought and where some believe that the Battle of Armageddon against Gog will be fought (Ezekiel 39:1-4).

The warhorse, Caleb pawed his hoofs as he looked up from the valley at Mount Hebron where the giants called Anakims lived. The cities were great and fenced with high walls. But Caleb the warhorse cried out “Give me this mountain” (Joshua 14:12). Joshua 14:10 reminds us that Caleb had been pawing his hoofs for the last 45 years, waiting to go and take that mountain. All mountains have valleys on their sides. When Caleb declared, “Give me this mountain” he also accepted the valleys that go with it.

We can go one better than Caleb who said, “Give me this mountain,” We can say, “Give me this valley also.”

The warhorse, Joshua pawed his hoofs in the Valley of Ajalon where he commanded the sun and the moon to stand still so the children of Israel could have a complete victory over the Amorites (Joshua 10:12-14).

Men, no matter what valleys we are in now or maybe in the future, the same eager spirit of the warhorse that gets into the fight to bring victory in the valleys can also come upon us. We can be possessed with the same Holy Spirit that caused Caleb to paw the ground with eagerness to take the dangerous and challenging mountain.

There may be all sorts of valleys ahead of us--perhaps economic valleys, Islamic terrorism valleys, or political valleys, etc. God is able to make us willing to conquer the valleys.

God calls His church to paw in the valleys. We paw in the spirit when we pray and intercede. Are you one who paws in prayer? Do you paw to get to the prayer meeting? You can’t wait to get there to fight the battles in prayer. This is the description of a true spiritual warhorse.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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HisNostriles4. HIS NOSTRILS

Job 39:30: “The glory of his nostrils is terrible.”

There is something awesome and terrible about the nostrils of the warhorse. He breathes through his nostrils the breath of life that gives him strength and stamina for the battle. Whether the battle be in the valley or on the mountain top his nostrils provide him with all the air he needs to not only carry himself, but also the rider and whatever load he has to carry. Though the valleys may be full of mud, bogs, and potholes, or the mountains dangerously steep, his nostrils do not fail to supply him with all the oxygen his strength requires to succeed.

When a human baby is born, the body requires their lungs to be developed enough to provide them all the oxygen they need to be strong and healthy. If their lungs are not developed, as in a premature baby, they may not survive without the help of modern medical assistance.

When a man is spiritually born again, he receives oxygen and air from the Holy Spirit to enable him to live in the new spiritual realm of life. This air or breath is called Holy Spirit life.

John 20:22 says: “He (Jesus) breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” This was the beginning of the new walk the disciples experienced with the Holy Spirit, bringing a new type of breathing into their spiritual nostrils.

Acts 2 speaks of the terrible, awesome, rushing mighty wind that filled the house where the disciples were sitting. This is the wind of the Holy Spirit that turned the disciples into the most powerful Spirit-filled warhorses.

God definitely wants all of us to have strong spiritual nostrils to breathe in the air and wind of His awesome Spirit. The more we expose our spiritual nostrils to the atmosphere and breath of the Holy Spirit, the more powerful we will be to change the world around us.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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GrasshopperWe continue looking at the characteristics of the warhorse.

3. HIS FEARLESSNESS

Job 39:20 says: “Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper?" Never. Perish the thought. Just as this warhorse is not afraid to go into battle, even so we who call ourselves soldiers of the cross should not be afraid to go into battles against spiritual enemies. Ephesians 6:12 says: “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.”

Ten of the men who went to spy out the land of Canaan gave into a grasshopper mentality. They told the people: “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33).

When they saw the giants, the fixed their eyes on what they saw instead of God. They lost their vision of the great and mighty God who brought them out of bondage from Pharaoh. They allowed the spirit of fear to put them into a state of paralysis. They got the jitterbugs.

This kind of fear does not come from God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Ten spies gave into a jittering grasshopper mentality. But not Joshua and Caleb. They were true warhorses. Listen to what these warhorses confessed about the giants: “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it . . . Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, AND THE LORD IS WITH US: fear them not” (Numbers 13:30 and 14:9).

The brave warhorse mentality of Joshua and Caleb was completely opposite to the grasshopper mentality of the other ten spies, as well as the rest of the children of Israel whom they freaked out with their fearmongering. Read the whole scene in Numbers 13:25-33 and 14:1-12).

Men and fathers, it is only as we keep our eyes upon the greatness of our amazing God and praise and worship His awesome power that we can be delivered from fear and the grasshopper mentality. Men that have their eyes on God will encourage others to keep their eyes on God.

Grasshoppers raise grasshoppers! Remember fathers, you are not in the business of raising grasshoppers. Beware lest we allow all the corruption coming against our country to turn us into grasshoppers. On the contrary, let’s rise up with the fearlessness of the warhorse. And let’s raise children who will also become battle horses in God’s army.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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CharacterWarHorseToday we begin to take a closer look at the warhorse.

1. HIS STRENGTH
“Hast thou given the horse strength?” (Job 39:19). The answer is yes. The warhorse’s strength comes from God in order to accomplish feats of great strength. Spiritually, God gives us all the strength we need through His Holy Spirit to accomplish things that our own strength could not accomplish.

King David emphasizes this point in Psalms 18:32, 34, 39, 40: “It is God that girdeth me with strength . . . He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken in mine arms . . . For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.”

2. HIS POWERFUL NECK
“Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?” (Job 39:19). When you look at pictures of the warhorse’s neck, it strikes you as being very awesome and powerful. In old time battles the warhorses often had to pull heavy loads, perhaps a heavy cannon gun or battering ram which would be roped to a collar or yoke around the warhorse’s neck.

The strong neck also enables the horse to hold its head up high even in the midst of the raging battle. Loud thunder is frightening and the powerful necks of warhorses also installs fear into the enemy. Spiritually speaking, the Holy Spirit enables our necks to be awesome, like frightening thunder to our enemies.

Song of Solomon 1:9 says: “I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.” There would have been at least two outstanding, well-trained, disciplined, and amazing horses to pull King Pharaoh’s chariot. Their necks would have been strong to carry the harness and hold their heads up high.

They could see where they were going. Their neck’s thunderous strength enabled them to see the way forward.

God wants our spiritual necks to also put terror into the hearts of His enemies.

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WarHorseThe warhorse described in Job 39:19-25 certainly had the right attitude about battle. This horse was built and bred for speed, strength, and endurance of the horrors and demands of the battlefield. Most of us do not see ourselves as warhorses. We do not care to put ourselves in harm’s way. Our highest aspirations are for peace and tranquility. We usually prefer the easy road.

However, life is fraught with ups and downs, mountains and valleys. Many of the battles we face we wish we did not have to face and we wish they would just go away. But sadly that is not usually the case. Rather, they continue to dog us until we decide to take action and often we take the wrong action and make matters worse.

Goliath looked like a warhorse and David did not. But who was the greatest warhorse? We know the answer--David

The apostle Paul, whose name meant “small,” did not look like a warhorse and yet he was one of the early church’s greatest warriors. Samson, despite what most think, did not look like a warhorse in any shape or form and yet what an incredible havoc he wrought on the Philistines.

Jesus Christ, the meek and gentle Lamb of God did not look like a warhorse and yet he fought and overcame the battle of all battles against sin and Satan and won the greatest victory of all.

All the warhorses of faith in Hebrews chapter 11 did not look like warhorses, but their names go down in the Scripture’s Hall of Fame as the greatest warriors of all time. They were recorded in Scripture for our benefit so we would also take courage and fight in the day of battle. Like the warhorse in Job 39 they had the right attitude about spiritual warfare.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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FightGoodFightThis is the beginning of the New Year. It’s good to be back with you. I wonder what 2016 has in store for each one of us. What challenges, battles, and difficulties will we face? How many will we win?

Those who are spiritually mature understand that our life here on this earth was never meant to be one big bed of roses. We were born for battle and we were born again in Christ Jesus to win the battle. Good and evil rages on and will continue until the end when every enemy will be crushed beneath the feet of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:25).

C. T. Studd, the famous English cricketer wrote about The Chocolate Soldier. He scorns those who run from the battle and melt when the going gets too hot. He writes that true soldiers are like children who when the school bell rings at the end of the last semester, bound out of school to begin their vacation, full of excitement. True soldiers don’t like to be confined and coped up. They just can’t wait to fight on the battlefield.

Job describes the war horse in Job 39: 19-25: “Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of this nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted: neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield He salloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smell the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.”

This is the same attitude we should as we fight the Lord’s battles against evil. We men must also teach our children to fight the good fight of faith. We must prepare them for the battles of life (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3,4 and 4:7). We must pray that 2016 will prove us all to be great warriors for the truth, that we will embrace the call God has given us to draw our swords, and that we will never back down no matter what the devil hurls at us.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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PrayForYou"God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you" (1 Samuel 12:23).

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HumblePlacesNazareth was also a humble place. Nazareth means “separated or branch, possibly prophetic of Jesus.” Being warned by God in a dream, Joseph and Mary fled with baby Jesus to Egypt. After Herod died, they returned to Nazareth to live.

Mary was in Nazareth when the angel, Gabriel first announced to her that she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus the Christ (Luke 1:26). Joseph’s carpentry business was in Nazareth.

John 1:45, 46 tells us: “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” God delights to bring the very best out of the things that men regard as insignificant.

1 Corinthians 1:25-29 says: “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

Simeon, an old man and obviously a humble man, being led by the Holy Spirit was told by God he would not see death before he saw the Christ (Luke 2:25-32). Why was this privilege not given to others? Could humility be the answer?

Anna, a prophetess and widow for 80 years lived at the temple serving God “with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:36-38). She also arrived on the scene just at the right moment and “gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

I amazed me how few were privileged to behold his first coming. How many will be chosen to behold His second coming?

May God grant to us all a revival of the true humility of Christ.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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HumbleBethlehamBethlehem was a humble city. The word Bethlehem means “a place of bread and food.” Jesus confessed in John 6:35: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Micah 5:2 says: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Why didn’t God the Father choose a famous city such as Jerusalem to be the birthplace of the King of kings and Lord of lords? Once again, God the Father wanted to teach the world a tremendous lesson on the subject of humility. Evidently God did not want His Son to be born in Jerusalem. There was too much religious pride in Jerusalem, especially with the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus said of them: “All their works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments. And love the uppermost rooms at feast, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi” (Matthew 23:5-8).

Little Bethlehem was the place of His humble birth, but Jerusalem was the place of his death. Pride persecutes and puts to death the humble. But the humble shall always be lifted up for God the Father deeply loves humility. James 4:6, 10 says: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

Bethlehem was near the place of Rachael’s tomb (Genesis 35:19). Ruth, the God-fearing Moabitess made her home in Bethlehem with her second husband, Boaz and was remembered as the ancestress of David (Ruth 1:1, 2, 19, 22). King David himself was known as “the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah, whose name was Jesse” (1 Samuel 17:12, 15). It was also in Bethlehem that David was anointed king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:13).

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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Joseph was obviously a humble man. Matthew 1:18, 19 says: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost . Then Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.”

JosephIf Joseph had been a proud and arrogant man he may have made a public example of Mary which could have meant her death or at least tremendous public humiliation. However, he was a humble man, he loved Mary, and was not willing to publically humiliate her. Instead, he was prepared to annul the espousement, which among the Jews, was the only legal contract in the marriage. All legal documents were signed at this time although the couple had to wait to come together to be married. The only way for these contracts to be annulled was through a bill of divorce.

The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and explained to him how Mary had become pregnant by the Holy Ghost and he must go ahead and marry her. Joseph was humble enough to bear with the shame and carry the suspicions of all those who knew them both. Even though they both might have tried to explain it, who would believe that they had not committed fornication before marriage? Even though he was a “just man” and would have wanted to defend his character, he was humble enough to obey the angel of the Lord who appeared to him in a dream. By getting married to Mary, friends and family would judge he was admitting his guilt.

Joseph was not only a just and upright man, but also a humble man, willing to suffer shame on the behalf of Christ. By putting Mary away and giving her a bill of divorce, he would have cleared his name, but humility tempered his justice and enabled him to bear the consequences.

The Scriptures mention that Joseph was a carpenter. After the people had listened to Jesus teach in his own town of Nazareth Matthew 13:54,55 says: “They were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s?” They questioned his credentials. In their minds the only people worth listening to had to have cultural and theological credence.

They were familiar with his mother and his brothers and sisters, but because of his lack of credentials they were offended in him (verse 57). The Greek word is “skandalizo” and means they were stumbled or scandalized by Him. They didn’t take humility into account at all when it came to theological wisdom and mighty works. They did not know how to connect the dots. A carpenter’s son could not, in their minds, be Israel’s Messiah.

But he surely was a carpenter’s son as well as the son of God.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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DaddysShoesI care little for the government which presides at Washington, in comparison with the government which rules the millions of American homes. No administration can seriously harm us if our home life is pure, frugal, and godly. No statesmanship or legislation can save us, if once our homes become the abode of profligacy.

~ T. L. Cuyler

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HumilitySurroundsBirthMary and Joseph were very humble people. Mary mentions in her Magnificat: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the LOW ESTATE of his handmaiden: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

God looked for humility when He chose Mary to be the mother to bring forth the Savior of the world. It was not the status of her family; not her social standing, not brilliant intellect, not her gift of singing or any other gift, not her good looks if she was so endowed, and nor her pleasant personality.

Mary’s prophetic utterance made it abundantly clear that it was nothing less than her humility, her LOW ESTATE. She also prophecies: “He hath showed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of LOW DEGREE” (Luke 1:51, 52).

This is a great lesson for all who want God to lift them up. How low is our estate (regard of self) in our pursuit of humility? Have we reached the depth where God can gladly lift us up? We have just stated how God exalts them of low degree.

The question remains: How far down do we go to reach the point of low degree? Paul instructed the believers in Philippians 2:5-11: “Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

It appears to me that the lower the depth of humility the higher the exaltation.

Men, we must take this truth to our own hearts and make sure that we impart it to our families.

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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JoyTotheWorldJoy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing.

The western world is not all silent regarding the birth of God’s beloved Son. We publish it with carols and brilliant light displays. We observe the 25th of December as a special holiday to commemorate the wonder and glory of His birth. Personally, I am all for it. I rejoice at the birth of Christ and am glad that along with other Christians we can enjoy a special meal and the sharing of gifts.

The devil is a killjoy and does not want Christians to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world. Some Christians despise Christmas trees and it decorations citing Jeremiah 10:1-5 and Isaiah 44:9-17. These Scriptures refer to the tree being used as an idol and worshipped. In all my life I have not met one Christian who worships a Christmas tree.

Legalism is always a joy robber. But God is not a killjoy. He lit up the heavens and the glory of the Lord came down. The heavenly hosts rejoiced, so why shouldn’t we?

Some say the reason we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas is because it is celebrated on a day that was once used to celebrate a pagan deity. In my mind, I think that if it replaces a pagan celebration, then it is a good thing and another victory over the devil.

However, in the excitement and joy of Christmas we must never be silent in our praises for Christ’s absolutely, amazing humility. This to me is the greatest reason why I celebrate Christ’s birth.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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InvitationListWho did God the Father invite to come to visit His newborn Son? Why was the list so small, especially considering He was the “Son of the Highest” and heir to the throne of David (Luke 1:32)?

It was only the humble shepherds were invited by God to see His newborn son (Luke 2:8-20). Verse 12 says: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” What a sign that was. I doubt there would have been another baby in the world born in a cattle stall and laid in a manger. Yet this was no accident. It was pre-planned from the beginning of time.

While the “multitude of the heavenly host” rejoiced at this amazing event, the  earth was strangely silent. Only a few humble shepherds were honored to receive the heavenly announcement. The Christmas carol, “Silent Night, holy night” truly fitted the manger scene.

King Herod only received the news second hand. He was too proud to receive the great news from God. The religious leaders of Israel were not notified by God or angels for they were also too proud. In fact, the whole nation, apart from the humble shepherds, were silent and asleep that night.

When heaven reasoned who should be told and invited to this awesome holy occasion, out of the whole nation, it was only the humble shepherds who were given the amazing privilege

Oh how God loves humility.

Be encouraged.

Colin

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HumilitySurroundsThere has never been anyone who humbled themselves us much as our Lord Jesus Christ, not even close. Humility is most often connected with His death, which without doubt, is the greatest display of His humility. However, His birth into this world also displays such amazing humility.

None of this was by accident, but rather God’s eternal purpose and decree. We must ask ourselves the question: What great and wealthy king would ever plan for his first born son to be born in a cattle barn (a manger) without all the comforts of the local Inn? It would not have been hygienic. Cattle stalls are not always that clean. The smell of cattle and their droppings would certainly have tainted the air and, without a doubt, Mary would have been concerned.

I am sure that Joseph would have done his best to clean up a space for his wife to give birth, but Mary may have wondered if she had really heard from God. After all, what great God would stoop to such depths to bring forth his Son in such poor and humble conditions. Surely God could have arranged for someone to cancel their night in the Inn.

But these continuing doubts would have quickly dispersed when eventually the wise men from the East came to visit. They had been invited by God to follow star from some eastern country all the way to Jerusalem where they inquired: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).

They eventually were given an appointment with King Herod to enquire more. But this baby was not Herod’s baby although he lived in the palace. God was teaching the world a great lesson of how much He respects, loves, and honors humility.

To be continued.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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