Today’s Scripture:  1 Kings 19:11-12

11  And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12  And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Introduction:

Here’s another Carol that I’ve not really heard of.  You know it’s rare when the most recent people to sing it are Roger Whitaker and Julie Andrews.  So, this is one of those messages where I’m going to have to rely upon the Holy Ghost for.  It’s always good to rely upon the Holy Ghost, but some times with messages like this with a song I’m not familiar with…I’ve to lean upon Him to help me write.

So…I’m going to get out-of-the-way, and let the Lord say what He wants to say…Amen!?!

Today’s Video:

Today’s Message:  “Ding Dong Merrily On High”

Ding dong merrily on high,
In heav’n the bells are ringing:
Ding dong! verily the sky
Is riv’n with angel singing.
Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

I had to try to find lyrics.  I also had to look it up on YouTube to see how it went, and of course once I heard it then I could finally remember what it sounded like.  So, how many of you have seen the word “excelsis”, and since I’ve seen it a few times I wanted to know what it meant.  It simply means:  “Glory to God in the highest“.  You add in “Hosanna” which is defined as “A shout of fervent and worshipful praise.”, and you come up with something like this:  We’re shouting with fervent and worshipful praise “Glory to God in the highest.”!  So, this message is probably going to be about worship.

You know, I found myself standing next to one of those people this morning who had his hands in his pockets during worship.  Now, understand when I write this I’m not standing in judgment of anyone.  Maybe in his own private time with God the man does things differently.  However, I guess I find it hard to understand how when you know all about what God’s done for us (think about the last message)…I don’t understand how you can just stand there, and keep your hands in your pockets.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I live in Arkansas Razorback country.  The fans here are very passionate about all things Arkansas Razorbacks.  For instance, with the football team whenever they score a touchdown…you get the “Woo Pig Suey”, and everyone is all excited jumping up and down shouting…having a good ole time.

I have nothing against being emotional about your favorite sports teams, but when you’re able to get more excited for a football team than the King of kings and Lord of lords Who shed His blood so that you and I could be reconciled to Him…I can’t for the life of me figure out how you can stand there in the middle of worship unmoved.  Am I the only one who thinks that’s not right?

You can hoot and holler it up for the Razorbacks, but we can barely get an audible “Amen” from you during a song.  Look, I’m not saying that I’m always in church hooting and hollering it up, but I can tell you that it’s practically impossible for me to just sit there with my hands in my pockets unmoved by the Holy Ghost.  When I think about all the Lord has done in me, through me, with me, and for me…I can’t sit there without any sense of worship at all…and there are many times that I have that fervent and worshipful praise in my heart…how about you!?!

We seem to have so many bells and chimes and rings in our lives. Whether the microwave is letting us know that the “”homemade” chicken nuggets are ready, or our car is beeping to tell us that our seatbelt is unbuckled, or that super annoying “”aaaeee! aaaeee! aaaeee!” coming from our alarm clock is piercing through the dark bedroom to jolt us from our slumber; our lives are surrounded by noises and alarms. These alarms can mean so many different things.

That alarm clock is a jerk isn’t it?  I know when mine goes off…more often than not…I’m not too thrilled to hear it.  The alarm clock signals the beginning of another day of work, and while I’m grateful to have another day of life…I’ve to be honest enough to say that I’m not excited about the day until my second (and some times third) cup of coffee.  There sure are a whole lot of buzzers and bells and chimes aren’t there? Even my coffee maker beeps at me to let me know it’s finished brewing my coffee. By the way, anyone else feel like I do about coffee?  Thank the Lord for it…Amen!?!

From this classic, beautiful Christmas carol we are drawn a picture of the celebrating chimes from heaven. It’s almost as if the author of this song is describing the way we might hear a call from heaven. In several different passages, scripture describes how someone heard from God. In some instances it was a booming sound like thunder and in others a still small voice.

I guess I’ve never really thought about all the bells and chimes of Christmas until just now, and I guess I never really thought of the significance of them until just now.  Jingle bells, silver bells, and all the other sounds of Christmas.  It’s a beautiful, musical time of year isn’t it?  There really isn’t another time in the year like it.  Could you imagine instead of fireworks letting bells, chimes and the other sounds of Christmas illustrate the Fourth of July?  It doesn’t really match does it?

I’ve learned that Christmas time really is the most wonderful time of the year.  You have these cheerful Christmas carols, the music is mostly upbeat, and for the most part people are joyful.  Yes, I know that there’s always rude people no matter what time of the year it is, but for the most part from Thanksgiving through the end of New Year’s it really is just a wonderful time of the year.

I think that maybe it’s like that because we get a slight glimpse of what heaven is going to be like…only there won’t be any rude people there.  Everyone is going to be full of joy and happiness.  It’s going to be a place unlike any we’ve ever known here on earth.  But, in a small way…for just a few weeks it almost feels a little bit like heaven on earth.

Have you ever heard that gentle whisper calling you like Elijah heard in 1 Kings 19:12? God can call us in so many different ways. But what he calls each of us to is unique. He may be calling you to minister to a friend going through a tough holiday season. He may be calling you in your profession. God can use doctors to serve those who cannot afford treatment, contractors to build a school in a poverty-stricken country, a lawn care worker to cut the grass of an elderly widow in the neighborhood, or whatever your talent might be. The important thing is for you to listen to His voice, just like the beautiful chimes from heaven. He is calling you to be a light in someone’s life this Christmas.

I have heard that gentle whisper from God.  However, the writer of this devotion is absolutely right.  We have to learn to train our ears to hear that still small voice of the Holy Ghost.  How do we do this?  We get trained to the voice of God by reading and studying His Word.

Family, you do realize that very rarely are we going to have the burning bush experience, and the reason that is…it’s because we already have a burning bush that over 80% of the Body of Christ barely pays attention to.  The Bible is our burning bush, friends.  Less than 20% of the Body of Christ reads and studies it every day…the other 80% barely pick it up or don’t pick it up as often as they should.  It’s much easier for someone to tell us what the Bible says that for us to find out what it says for ourselves.  So, that’s why there’s so many Christians walking around in error today…because they’re receiving their teaching in error.

There’s a whole lot that can be said right now, but I don’t have the time nor the unction to get into it.  If you’d like to know my thoughts on this…then I’d like to encourage you to read the Why Read The Bible? series we did a while back..

But, we have a burning bush already that the majority of the Body of Christ ignores.  God speaks through other means, but why would He use them if we don’t use the main one already?  I mean Jesus said:  “My sheep know My voice.”.  I promise you the fastest way to know the voice of God is by reading the Word of God.  Listen, if you have no idea what the Bible says you’re not even going to know whether what the man your listening to on Sunday’s is preaching the unadulterated Word of God or if he’s preaching from Joel Osteen’s lastest novel.

The important things for us is to LISTEN TO HIS voice…and the ONLY way we get to know HIS VOICE is by READING AND STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD….Amen!?!  (I’m going to move on or I’ll never get this message closed).

So, go ahead and hit that snooze on your alarm clock, but answer the call of the Father on your life.

What’s the call of the Father on your life?  It’s simply for you to “come”, and if you’re already in the body of Christ…the call of God is to “stay”.  Jesus issues all of us the great invitation, and He gives us another one in Revelations when He says that He’s standing at the door knocking…if if we let Him in…we’ll dine with one another.  The book of Revelation is written to believers…and can I tell you that the only reason I know that is because I know the voice of the Shepherd?

What is God saying to you?  Is He saying come or stay or come back home?  Are you someone who has never answered the call of God on your life?  Are you someone who needs to answer the invitation to accept Him as Lord and Savior?  Are you a prodigal son or daughter?  Have you known of the voice of God only to wander away into the wilderness, and now you find yourself in the pig pen of life?  If you have said “yes” to any of these questions…then this next section is for you…if you have trusted Christ as Savior and become a prodigal son or daughter…or if you’ve never trusted Christ as Savior…then this is how you become a son or daughter of the most High God…this is how you answer the call of God.

A- Admit
Admit to God that you are a sinner. Repent, turning away from your sin.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23
B- Believe
Believe that Jesus is God’s Son and accept God’s gift of forgiveness from sin.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3: 16
C- Confess
Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10, 13

This next question is the most important one:  Are you ready to answer the call of God, and accept the initiation to make Jesus the Lord of your life?  If so, then you’re ready to pray this simple prayer out loud…so all of heaven and hell can hear you!

Dear Lord Jesus…come into my heart.  Forgive me of my sin.  Wash me, cleanse me, and set me free.  Jesus, thank You that You died for me.  I believe that You are risen from the dead and that You’re coming back for me.  Place me IN Your Ark right now, today.  Fill me with the Holy Ghost.  Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God, and a holy boldness to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I boldly confess that I am a whosoever that has called upon the name of the Lord…that I am IN the Ark…and that I am saved…I am born again…I am forgiven…I am the righteousness of God IN Christ Jesus…and I am In the Ark and on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart.  In Jesus name I pray…Amen!

Friend, if you just prayed that prayer…you are born again…and you are now part of the Body of Christ.  If you need materials to help get you started…please read on through the rest of this message as I will let you know how to get in contact with us…and write us.

For the rest of us…I believe I’m going to close this message by reposting the last line of this devotional…

So, go ahead and hit that snooze on your alarm clock, but answer the call of the Father on your life.

I don’t know about you…but I’m ready to answer the call of the Father on my life…Amen!?!

Questions:

I think I’m just going to rename this section…and leave it be the same kind of honor system.  I’m not going to ask you to answer the questions, I’m not going to check with y’all to see if you have.  This section is all up to you if you desire to go and dig deeper.  This section is going to be between you and God…and if you answer the questions or not…it’s all up to you…and what you want out of your relationship with God.

How have you heard from God in the past?

What is God calling you to do for someone else this Christmas season?

In Closing:

Well, glory to God!  What a message!  I think I might have to print this one out it’s so good…Amen!?!  I am just so thrilled that this series has turned out some really good messages, and that it’s speaking so much to our hearts.  I am so thankful for all of you who are following along, and I hope these messages are blessing you.  I also want you to know that none of these messages are copywritten or anything like that.  If you read a message that you think someone else could benefit from…please feel free to forward it to them anyway you can.  I have freely received what I write…and therefore it’s freely given…and there’s never going to be a charge.

There may be a day where we’ll have the ability to receive donations if you feel like you’d like to financially support this ministry, but we will never charge for our messages…and we would actually prefer it if you’d share our messages, tell people about our pages, and invite them to check us out.  So, please feel free to share what you read…Amen.

For those of you who may have made the decision to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved…you can write us at christlikeministriesarkansas@yahoo.com, leaving us a name, and a way we can contact you.  We have a few things that we can send you to help you to begin your walk with the Lord, and we will do our best to help you find a good, solid Bible believing, preaching, and living church in your area.

Thanks for reading along, and may God bless you richly.

“Be strong & take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm. 31:24
Blessings & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA