Pastor Damian

Author's details

Name: Damian Smeragliuolo
Date registered: February 16, 2015

Latest posts

  1. New Beginnings — May 6, 2015
  2. The Plumb Line — February 27, 2015
  3. A Love Relationship — January 29, 2015
  4. The Miracle of Christmas — December 4, 2014
  5. Wounded No More — November 1, 2014

Author's posts listings

Dec 04 2014

The Miracle of Christmas

“The Miracle of Christmas”

 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us.” (Luke 1:23)

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! I’m sure that is true for many of us for different reasons. However, there is one reason that it is indeed the MOST wonderful time! This is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah!

The story of the birth of Jesus is all about miracles! The first is His miraculous birth. Prophesied by Isaiah, we are told that a virgin will conceive and bear a son. Jesus was born of a virgin by the power of the Most High God working through the Holy Spirit. There was no human male agency involved in this event! It was miraculous! This is so important because of what the scripture states as the Name of the One born of a virgin. Immanuel. His Name means, “God with us.” If there were any male human agency involved in Jesus’ birth, he wouldn’t be divine. Jesus IS God in human form.

This brings us to another “miracle” of Christmas. That is, the fact that Jesus had a human mother. This means that he possesses the nature that all of us have. He knows how we tick; He knows what we’re made of; He knows how we feel, think and react to things. HE IDENTIFIES WITH US! This is the “…with us” miracle of His Name!

So, why was this the only recorded event in scripture where angels appear to shepherds in the field to announce it? Because God Himself was coming to visit mankind so He could redeem it, heal it and save it eternally! If he were not human, how could we possibly identify with Him? If He were not God, how could He possibly save, heal and redeem us?

You see, the miracle of Christmas is Jesus Christ. He is the Primary One. There is another miracle, however. That is YOU and all who are born again of the Spirit of God. All who have become sons and daughters of God! He lives in each of us! We have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us. God is not only “with us” but – through New Birth – He is IN us! Let’s allow this truth be the experience that makes this Christmas Season so special this year! Let’s tell everyone about the miracle we experienced, and invite them to experience it too!!

May the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas! 

Love in Christ, Pastor Damian

 

 

 

 

Nov 01 2014

Wounded No More

“Wounded No More”

 “…in the midst of the throne…stood a lamb, as though it had been slain…”  (Rev. 5:6)

 People are hurting. Our fast-paced, depersonalizing culture is smothering us with technology, and alienating us from each other and ourselves. We’re living separated lives; having casual relationships (some slightly shorter-lived than others) and becoming increasingly isolated from family, each other and God! When we’re hurting, where do we turn? Few may not be able to afford the “45 minute hour” in the counselor’s office; others may not want to share the hurt for fear it may “get out” and embarrass or humiliate us. Perhaps we don’t want to address it because it’s too painful to reopen a wound.

 

The Bible tells us that Jesus is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (Heb. 4:15); that He came to “heal the brokenhearted and bind up our wounds.” (Mat. 4:18); and that He is the same, “yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8).  Jesus Christ is the Healer. In fact, there is a wonderful verse that IDENTIFIES us with Him in 1 John 3:2. It says, “Beloved, NOW are we the sons (and daughters) of God; but it doesn’t yet appear what we shall be like; for we KNOW that when He appears, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall see Him as he really is.”

 

John had a vision of Jesus seated on the Throne above all thrones, far above all rule, powers, principalities and governments. He saw Him. How did He look?  Like a scarred Lamb; as if he HAD BEEN wounded.” Beloved, do you realize that all believers are IN Christ, and He is in them.? In fact, Paul says that Christ IN US is the hope of glory! His scars are the IDENTIFYING marks of His Messiahship! He told Thomas to feel the scars in His hands, side and feet, as proof that it was really Him!

 

Dear believer, do you realize that there is One who knows where it hurts? He has come to heal it; to restore that area of your life and enable you to live a new life. When He heals, he does so completely and thoroughly. Though a scar may remain, it doesn’t mean you must be wounded anymore! Our Savior is reigning at this moment; scarred, but not wounded anymore. In Him, you and I can live victoriously in Him – scarred, but wounded no more as well!

 

Pour out your heart to Him today. Let Him in to that hurting place in your heart. Believe Him to heal and restore that wound. Receive your healing by faith! He will not disappoint you. Then, live your life for His Glory! Let the “scars” you exhibit be the identifying marks of a victorious and triumphant life – just like His standing, reigning, scarred – as if you were wounded…

 

 May the Lord continually bless you and your family.

 Love in Christ, Pastor Damian

 

 

 

 

Sep 04 2014

True Greatness

 

“True Greatness”

 

…but whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. (Matt. 20:26b)

 

       We live in such a competitive culture. Our entertainment is filled with sports, reality shows, “Biggest Losers”, best Chefs, Survivors, and on and on… It’s part of our nature to be competitive. Where does that come from? I believe it comes from our natural desire to be first. That desire compels us to be competitive. And, it’s often expressed in our tendency to be comparative.

 

We’re constantly measuring ourselves against others, or others against ourselves. Because “I” want to be first, I scan the environment around me to compare how everyone else is doing. If they’re not doing so well, I feel pretty good about myself. If they’re all doing better, I either push harder to be better, or I give up and find another group to compare myself with.  The Bible describes this as “self-ish-ness; we’re self-centered. We constantly get fooled seeing the “grass” that always looks greener on the other side of the street and we’re often dissatisfied with how it’s going with us. Why? Perhaps it’s the way we were raised; or the way we’re raising our children.

 

The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus to ask if He could do her a favor. After all, it’s “Who you know”, isn’t it? She wanted her two sons to be seated on Jesus’ left and right hand in His Kingdom. Surely her two sons would have it made if only they could achieve that high position of honor and power. Now, she wasn’t a bad mother and they weren’t bad sons. However, they misunderstood how things work in God’s Kingdom (both in Heaven and on Earth).

 

Jesus shares two important points with her. First, He tells her that there is a cost associated with our position in the Kingdom. This is what He meant when He asked, “Are you able to drink from the cup I am about to drink…” (v22)? Oh yes, there is a price to pay to be in the “highest” position in God’s Kingdom. Secondly, He said that those positions were reserved for the ones the Father has prepared them. He further explained that the Kingdom basically didn’t work that way. The Kingdom of God doesn’t work in the same way things work in the “world.” Hard work, striving for political influence; hobnobbing with the right crowd; being seen with the right people in the right place, at the right time; and on and on… This may be how things work in the corporate jungle, but not the Kingdom. Yet, there are those who try to operate within the Kingdom the way they do in the world. This attitude and behavior have a corruptive impact on the Kingdom and the Community of Faith.

 

No, to be great in the Kingdom requires that we become the servant of others – THE SERVANT OF EVERYONE ELSE. Servants are often overlooked, under-recognized, over-worked and under-appreciated. In the world, that’s enough to quit. But, in the Kingdom, that makes for PROMOTION! To where will you be promoted? The position that God the Father has already designated for you.  He already has it reserved for you. Will that be at the top or at the bottom? Here’s a secret, aim for the bottom!

 

I wonder if Zebedee’s sons were still interested in becoming the greatest. No, they just concentrated on SERVING. They left the ‘greatness’ to the Father. So, will you serve if there’s nothing in it for you now? Will you labor though there is no recognition; no plaque with your name on it? Will you give even if there will never be a pew with your family’s name on it? These questions test all of us.

 

Beloved, let’s serve the Lord and be the “unprofitable” servants we are. At the end of the day we will say, “Lord, we have only done that which was our duty to do.” Eternity’s morning will tell who the ‘greatest’ among us were while we were serving at the bottom here on earth. There is no competition in the Kingdom, just servants. The Great One is the Lord, Jesus Christ – and that’s all that really matters.

 

May the Lord bless you in your service to Him.

            Pastor Damian

 

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