Instructions from The Father to His Son

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Child of the Father

We celebrate Christmas as the season of remembering the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We relish the image of a baby in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. But we spend little time thinking about Jesus as a little boy growing up under the care of his mother and father. Apart from myth, there is little in the Bible that tells us of how he was raised. However, we do have a glimpse into how His Heavenly Father, God, trained him while Jesus was young.

We find a brief account of Jesus as a young boy in the New Testament book of Luke that gives us insight into his upbringing.

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

[Luke 2:41-52 KJV]

Jesus, as a boy, recognized his duty to be subject to Mary and Joseph but at the age of 12; but he also recognized that he was the Son of God and had a duty to His Heavenly Father. This led him to answer his earthly parents saying that he was about his Father’s business. Obedience to his Father in Heaven was first on his mind. As the 5th commandment tells us, Jesus was subject to his earthly parents (although Joseph was only a step-father) and this was in fulfillment of the Law of Moses.

Reading and understanding the Word of God was a part of the Father’s business with Jesus. He was learning and discussing what he learned with those who had a ‘learned’ position within Judaism in the city of Jerusalem. He was able to convey his understanding and reach out to understand more. The idea that Jesus as a pre-teen would seek Biblical knowledge and wisdom speaks of the training he received from his Heavenly Father.

It is no stretch of the imagination to understand that Jesus’ Father would use the book that He wrote, the Hebrew Bible, to teach His Son with. Jesus had many lessons to learn from this textbook of the Bible before entering into his earthly ministry and fulfill his Father’s Will. Just as we have lessons to learn that prepare us for the purpose God has in our life and ministry, Jesus had to learn these lessons as well. Any loving Father will train and discipline their children so that they may grow to their full potential.

Take for example the story of Sampson and Delila in the Bible. If Jesus were to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, he would find his eyes blinded and led to serve at satan’s mill for an eternity. If like Esau, Jesus took hold of the pleasures of the flesh instead of the inheritance God gave him, he would lose the position he had with God and His Kingdom although he would bitterly seek it all his life. And like Adam, if Jesus disobeyed the Will of God and took hold of the carnal knowledge of good and evil, Jesus would be rejected out of paradise and left to suffer the thorns of labor all his days.

There are so many stories that can be counted as lessons from the Father God to His Son. All of them are stories of God’s love for His Son that prepared him for his ministry and ultimately for the Cross. While these lessons not only applied to Jesus but to ourselves as well, let us look into the greatest challenge Jesus would ever face – the crucifixion.

Jesus was led by the Father to a water baptism with John the Baptist before the Holy Spirit came upon him. Then, led by the Spirit, Jesus raised several people from the dead during his earthly ministry. Jesus even raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the tomb 4 days. Jesus foretold of his death and that he would raise from the dead after 3 days. The experience the Son gained from obedience to the Father, led by the Holy Spirit, helped Jesus understand that his death on the Cross would not be his end. This all led to Jesus being able to trust the Father and obey His Will to suffer the death of the Cross.

We can draw from the lesson book that God gave to Jesus, the Bible, many lessons that apply to us as well. The truth of God’s Word is timeless and endures to all generations. Looking into the curriculum that Jesus had from his Heavenly Father gives us a glimpse into Jesus the man who was also God, prepared to take on the sins of mankind so we could be forgiven by the Father.

There is more to this story than meets the eye. Trusting God, being led by the Holy Spirit, obedience to the Father by faith in His Son Jesus Christ, are only the beginning of a life well lived. Truly, we are children of God the Father by trusting in the Cross of Jesus Christ. How wonderful it is for us that Jesus was an obedient Son, obedient even to the point of death.

Pray this prayer to become a child of God.

God of heaven, I believe in Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for me. I believe that he paid for the penalty of my sin, which I admit I have done. I ask for your forgiveness of my sin and thank you for your love. Please bring me closer to you so that I may know you. By your Holy Spirit, please make in me a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a right mind that I may do those things that are pleasing to you. Thank you God, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and now my Father in Heaven. Amen!

Love Is the Gift of Christmas

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Christmas Love

We have often heard of the passage in the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians that speaks of the power and primacy of love. The eternal blessing God has given to us through His Son Jesus Christ is a gift of love. This gift of love was first given to us on the day we celebrate Christmas.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

[1 Corinthians 13:8-10 KJV]

What is that which is perfect? It is the love of God given through His Son Jesus Christ.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

[1 Corinthians 13:11-13]

We know in part, we see in part but when we see Jesus, we will know as we are known. How are we known – by the love of God. We are not seeing things clearly not but God really loves us!

Our knowledge of things on earth is only an imperfect picture of God’s love. Our picture of knowledge, when we’re in heaven, will be the face of God, from which all things are seen with perfect clarity. We can learn now that love is the foundation of creation and of salvation and everything in between. There is nothing that God has given to us that is without His Spirit of Love – God is Love!

This Christmas, let’s celebrate the Love of God, who gave His only begotten Son, not just on the day of his birth but on the Cross through which he triumphed over our sin. We have God’s love in us when we accept God’s forgiveness of sin through the work of Jesus on the Cross. When you ask Jesus into your heart, to forgive your sin, and to renew your fellowship with God, you will experience the joy of Christmas, now and forevermore.

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

Celebrate the love of God.

Celebrate Jesus in your life.

The Media Doesn’t Have a Clue

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Media vs Trump

America’s Media, tabloid journalism gone professional, lost the recent election when Donald Trump became President. They wanted Hilary Clinton to be President and have been so upset that they couldn’t manipulate the outcome of the election that they persistently blame the Russians for influencing the outcome of the elections more than themselves. At the end of the day, the media is not aware of the way Trump won the election; they simply have no clue!

Trump did not campaign in a traditional manner throughout the Republican Primary. The traditional candidates bristled against him for his non-traditional manners. He repeatedly went past them to those voters in America who would not be called Republican or Democrat. Trump ran in the Primary as an independent candidate for the Republican nomination. This is the first fact of his campaign that the media doesn’t understand.

After winning the Republican nomination, Trump ran a campaign to get the Republican base to support him, after all the rhetoric was settled. Mike Pence was chosen to be his running mate to consolidate the GOP around Trump. Pence is the professional, traditional, conservative element in the Trump campaign that secured the Republican vote for the general election. Trump’s reach to the right with Pence may have also caused concern with the ‘liberal’ media but not with the American people.

At the outset, Clinton had an uphill battle against her and her husband’s political baggage. The ability she had to reach the independent voter was marred from the beginning. Trump, who campaigned for the independent voter before the general election, was already amassing new voters in the GOP for the primaries and general election. Clinton was behind from the beginning while Trump had the advantage; and Clinton never caught up. This is the big reason why she lost; and the medias doesn’t get it.

The fact of any election is that there are usually 3 candidates in a race: Republicans, Democrats, and the Media. The two major parties usually have candidates in all races down the ballot. We all understand that people typically vote for party candidates or for candidates independent of party ties. To win an election, one must get their Party’s base vote (~33%) and a majority of the independent vote (~17%) to get a majority of the vote (50%+1 vote). The Media typically represents neither of the major parties but they consistently represent the independent voter. Like Clinton, the Media didn’t realize that Trump was ahead of them during the general election in reaching out to the independent voter.

Trump won the presidential campaign because of his non-traditional reach to average Americans who have no party affiliation. And when the Media continually berates Trump for his non-traditional behavior, they are undermining their ability to influence the independent voter. In fact, they insult the independent voter of Trump with their fake news and attacks. Attacking Trump means attacking the independent voter, who is the deciding vote in any election.

It wasn’t the Russians who caused Hilary to lose the election, they lost it themselves because Trump reached out to the independent voter before they did. Democrats like the Media, are undermining themselves the more the compete against Trump. Republicans run the risk of losing elections if they dismiss themselves against him because they also need the independent voter to win elections. Although one may disagree with Trump’s manners, Republicans should agree with Making America Great Again, with lowering taxes, with common sense government. Finding something to agree with Trump on means winning the midterm elections in Washington.

It will take another election cycle for the Media to understand that this is not a populist movement, this is an American President who has reached out to the American People in terms they understand. Political correctness ends at the door of the independent voter. The more people in the Media and elsewhere try to fit Trump into a traditional box the more they find they will fail. They simply don’t have a clue!