Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, December 14, 2013


     It was less than two weeks till Christmas and it seemed like everyone in Daisy's Sunday School class was bubbling with excitement, well almost everyone. As Daisy glanced around the room, she noticed Barney sitting off in a corner by himself staring at a blank sheet of paper. “Everything okay< Barney? She asked walking over to him.

     “Yeah,” Barney said with a sigh, “I'm just working on a list.” “Isn't it getting a little late to be making a Christmas list now?” Daisy asked. “I finished mine two weeks ago and I'm almost done with it.” “Oh,” Barney sighed, “I'm done with my Christmas list too. This is a different list I'm making and I'm finding it very hard to make.”

     “I didn't know making lists were hard.” Daisy said hoping to get Barney to let her in on his list. “I didn't think so either.” Barney told her, “But this list is no ordinary list.” “Is there any way I can help?” Daisy asked. “There might be.” Barney said as he perked up, “Harold asked me to make a list of all the good things he has done.”

     When Daisy heard what Barney's list was he was trying to make, she started sputtering and coughing. “A list of all the good thing’s Harold has done?” She said, “That's more like impossible.” “That's what I'm discovering.” Barney said in agreement. “Maybe the kids here can help.” Daisy said and then called out but all she got was a bunch of blank stares like she was nuts.

     “I already tried that.” Barney said. “I got the same results. “Well,” Daisy said, “Maybe I can come up with one. How about the time... No I guess that won't work. How about... No that won't work either. There's got to be something good that Harold has done.” “I thought so too.” Barney said. “But I have been having a very hard time. As you can see, my list is empty.”

     “How long have you been working on the list?” Daisy asked. “About a week.” Barney replied. “Did Harold say why he wanted the list?” Daisy asked. “He figured he could use it to get on God’s side.” Barney replied, “He was sure God wouldn’t want him the way he was so he wants to try and impress God with a list of all the good things he has done.”

     “Oh, bother.” Daisy said in disbelief, “That's never going to work.” “I know.” Barney said, “I can't think of anything to put on the list.” “Even if you could fill the list with a hundred things,” Daisy said in return, “It still wouldn’t work. You can't get on God's good side like that.” “Try telling Harold that.” Barney sighed.

     “I have an idea.” Daisy said, “Why don’t you remind him of the right way to get on God’s good side, Jesus.” “Why didn’t I think of that.” Barney said as he wrote JESUS on his list in big letters.” I think I can do that.”

     In Genesis 2:8-9 we read that the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (ESV) - Imagine being in God's garden planted just for you.... and then imagine if you will - Genesis 2:15-17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (ESV) How much better could it have been?

     It didn't last – they ate of the tree - Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever" therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:22-24 (ESV)

     Man was kicked out of the garden and forced to stay out. Many have tried to get back but unsuccessfully.. God needed to provide away. He told Satan (the serpent) I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15 (ESV)

     So, how did God make a way? Let's go to the Christmas story.

      In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?" And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38 (ESV)

      Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
Matthew 1:18-21 (ESV)

  • As the Scriptures say, "No one is good— not even one. Romans 3:10 (NLT)
  • Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV)
  • I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9 (ESV)
      Here's Something To Ponder
  • Do you ever feel like Harold – That you need to get on God's good side?
  • Are willing to accept God's way for salvation?

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